Category Archives: Lake Trout

1st Annual Howie Behre Memorial Round Valley Lake Trout Tournament

Behre Bait and Tackle

For all of you Lake Trout fisherman; Behre Bait & Tackle will be running its 1st Annual Howie Behre Memorial Lake Trout Tournament at Round Valley next Sunday (August 17, 2014).  There will also be a pig roast and BBQ to follow the tournament at Behre Bait & Tackle; starting at 3:00 p.m.  I hope to see you all out there!

To enter tournament:   Stop by Behre Bait & Tackle, which is located at 1239 Route 22 Lebanon, NJ.  If you have any questions you can call Behre at (908)625-2326.

  • Hours of contest:    4:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Bait shop will be open at 3:00 a.m. morning of contest
  • $50 entry, per two-man boat:    $15 per extra man
  • All people on board must be entered in tournament
  • Prizes for top 3 places:    1st – 50%  2nd – 30%  3rd – 20%
  • 7 fish bag limit:    Total weight of all seven fish
  • One bag limit per team:    Every angler can keep limit
  • Biggest fish gets $50 bonus
  • Buy bait and supplies at Behre Bait & Tackle:    10% off for tournament anglers

Round Valley Fishing Report – April 1, 2014

This past Tuesday, April 1, I was finally able to get out and fish from a boat on Round Valley for the first time in a few months, thanks to Mike Kalinchock from the Round Valley Trout Association (Thanks again Mike!).  We were mainly targeting Lake Trout by wire lining with Chartreuse and Perch pattern spoons.  Though we were also trolling two rods with small jointed Rapalas behind one color of lead-core off of planer boards, hoping to get into some of the big trophy Trout the RVTA stocked this past weekend.

Me with one of the Rainbow Trout I stocked at the RVTA Trophy Trout stocking this past Sunday (March 30).
Me with one of the Rainbow Trout I stocked at the RVTA Trophy Trout stocking this past Sunday (March 30).  Some true giants were put in this year, a few of which were almost 10-lbs!

Going into this trip I had never fished with wire line before, but Mike definitely knows what he’s doing and was able to show me the ropes for the day.  I can’t honestly say I was used to letting 100+ yards of line out by hand, but once I got into the rhythm of things it wasn’t bad at all.  We started out trolling on the South side of the reservoir between 70-90 feet of water for some Lakers, and soon enough we were into some fish that were taking our spoons off of the wireline rods.  On our first pass down the South side we picked up I believe two fish and missed a few more.  Then, on our second or third pass though the area, we finally got a solid hit on one of the planer boards which were set up to target some Rainbow and Brown Trout.  Mike quickly grabbed the rod and started reeling, and shortly after said he thought it was a tagged fish.  About half way through the fight, we thought it shook the hook, but luckily we were wrong and ended up landing a 24.5-inch, 5-lb Rainbow Trout.  Not only was Mike right about it being a tagged fish, but it also happened to be RVTA tag #553, last year’s RVTA money fish!

RVTA Trophy Rainbow
Mike K. with his 24.5-inch, 5-lb Rainbow Trout (Tag #553) caught trolling a silver jointed Rapala behind one color of lead-core.

After landing that fish, we made another pass or two down the South side of the reservoir without too many more strikes, so we decided to head up to the North side to see if we could do any better there. We only made one pass on the North side before calling it a day, but the Lakers were stacked pretty thick all over the bottom there in 70-80 feet of water, and we landed another one and missed a few more. Also, not to mention we passed over a ton of bait on the North side, the most I’ve ever seen on a fish finder at Round Valley.

Round Valley baitfish
Now that’s a lot of bait!

Then, right as we were just getting to the North tower, we got another hit on a planer board, and I landed a 16-inch Rainbow that took a small silver jointed Rapala fished behind one color of lead-core, just like Mike’s tagged Rainbow. Definitely was a nice change to get out and fish the Valley from a boat rather than shore fishing for once, and overall I was happy with the results. Between the three of us, we landed two Rainbows up to 5-lbs, four Lake Trout up to 3.2-lbs, and lost probably close to another 10 fish on the way up.

Round Valley Trout
Our catch for the day between the three of us. Two Rainbow Trout and four Lake Trout.

Not to mention Mike taught me a ton about not only wire lining, but trolling Round Valley in general. While I’m by no means an expert on trolling, I’ll be putting together a how-to trolling article in the near future with what I do know about that method of fishing. Until then, I hope everyone’s getting out and enjoying the spring weather now that it’s finally here, and tight lines!

Shore Fishing 101 – Bait Selection

With Winter now in full swing, the majority of fisherman and woman have put their rods away for the year.  But for those of us that brave the cold weather, Round Valley can offer some great shoreline fishing to hold us over until the Spring!  So in this series articles, I’m going to explain the basics for fishing the shoreline at Round Valley, which can be applied during the Fall, Winter, and Spring for Trout!

Bait Selection

Golden Shiner
Golden Shiner, one of the best all around baits for fishing the shoreline at Round Valley.

 

There’s a wide selection of baits you can use when fishing from shore. Though the two most widely used, and successful baits are Powerbait and Shiners, so I’m going to mainly cover using these in this article since we’re covering the basics of shoreline fishing.  I’ve often found that the time of year does effect which bait the fish will be hitting more readily.  Usually Shiners fished under slip bobbers work better during the Spring and Fall, while Powerbait and Shiners fished on the bottom work better during the coldest months of the year.

Zach Merchant (That's me!) and Robert Ivan with two RVTA jaw tagged Rainbow Trout caught on Powerbait from shore during December of 2013
Zach Merchant (That’s me!) and Robert Ivan with two RVTA jaw tagged Rainbow Trout caught on Powerbait from shore during December of 2013

 If targeting Rainbow Trout, your best bet would be Powerbait on the bottom, or Shiners fished both under slip bobbers as well as on the bottom.  For Brown Trout, Shiners fished both under slip bobbers and on the bottom will produce.  As far as Lake Trout go, they’re a little trickier at times.  I’ve caught them on Shiners fished one foot under slip bobbers as well as fishing Shiners on the bottom casting to about 40-50 feet of water, and everything in between.  Though the most consistent way of catching Lake Trout from shore would be Shiners on the bottom.  While this is what I’ve observed while fishing Round Valley through the seasons, of course this isn’t always the case.  So just to be on the safe side, even if the bite is hot on say Shiners under slip bobbers, I’ll almost always have one rod out with Powerbait as well just in case the bite switches to that throughout my trip (You never know what can happen!).

(left to right) Zach Batren, myself, and Chris Moran with a nice haul of Trout caught fishing the Round Valley shoreline on both Powerbait, and live Shiners!
(left to right) Zach Batren, myself, and Chris Moran with a nice haul of Trout caught fishing the Round Valley shoreline on both Powerbait, and live Shiners!

So pretty much to sum things up:

  • Shiners under slip bobbers in Spring and Fall, when there’s warmer water temperatures.  (But not too warm of course)
  • Shiners and Powerbait fished on the bottom during the coldest months, usually between November/December and March/April.  (Depending on water temperature)
  • Powerbait, nine out of ten times will produce Rainbow Trout.
  • Shiners under slip bobbers will produce Brown and Rainbow Trout.
  • Shiners fished on the bottom will produce a mix of Brown, Rainbow, and Lake Trout.
  • When in season, Shiners can be replaced by live Herring, which can be a more effective bait.

Also, in addition to the baits that I went over in this article.  They are not in any means the only baits that will produce Trout from shore at Round Valley.  A few other baits that are commonly used while fishing the shoreline are:

  • Marshmallow and mealworm combos fished on the bottom
  • Garden worms or Night-crawlers fished on the bottom or under a bobber
  • Cooked salad Shrimp fished on the bottom

Stay tuned in for more shoreline fishing 101 articles!  Next I’ll be covering things such as; rigs for shoreline fishing, finding a good shore fishing location, and casting lures from the shoreline!

November 20, 2013 – Shore Fishing Report

Fishing has been pretty slow for me the past few weeks (hence the lack of posts on here), but even though the action has been slow, the fish are still there to be caught.  I went out and fished the Round Valley shoreline this morning from 8:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. with Zach Batren and Tom Niedbala.  Zach B. and Tom arrived a little while before I did, and set up right in the boat launch area to the left of the concrete boat launch.  Even though they only beat me there by less than an hour, Tom had landed a beautiful 15-inch Rainbow that he caught fishing a live Shiner about two-feet under a slip bobber by the time I had got there, and Zach B. had a big Rainbow follow a Rapala (Brown Trout pattern) while casting off the docks.  It followed long enough for Zach to see that it was an RVTA jaw tagged Rainbow.  Though after I got my lines in the water, we got nothing except for one hit I got on my Powerbait and a few hits Zach B. and Tom got on Shiners under slip bobbers as well as Shiners on the bottom.  So around 9:30 a.m. we decided to move over to the area just to the left of the sandy point across from the boat launch.

Once we got set up at our new spot the fishing was slow for the first hour or so, with the only action we got being one hit Tom got on his slip bobber, as well as one Largemouth Bass Tom landed; also on his slip bobber.  Then, around 10:30 I got a hit on one of my rods that I had salmon peach Powerbait on, and as soon as I set the hook I knew it was a good fish.  After a nice fight, I landed a nice 21-inch 2-lb, 4-oz Lake Trout, which was definitely a nice surprise for the day.   

Round Valley Lake Trout
My 21-inch 2-lb, 4-oz Lake Trout caught on salmon peach Powerbait

After landing the fish, I quickly got my lines back in the water in the same area I hooked into the Laker, and got two more decent hits within 10 minutes of casting back out.  Though after that flurry of action, we didn’t get anymore action for about another 45 minutes or so, which brought us to 11:30 and I had to leave for work.  So we called it quits after landing Tom’s Largemouth Bass, and 15-inch Rainbow, as well as my 21-inch Laker.  Not the best day of fishing, but could’ve definitely turned out worse so we were happy with the outcome.

July 2013 RVTA Fishing Tournament Report

Rob and I fished the July RVTA Trout tournament out on Robs boat on Saturday July 6, 2013.  We were lucky to have some nice weather overall throughout most of the tournament, was sunny the entire day despite some pretty heavy thunderstorms the night before, though about half way through it got hot and hit 92 degrees (Which felt like 102 without the wind!).  But anyways, we got off to a late start getting onto the water around 6:45 a.m., which was a little over an hour after the tournament started at 5:30 a.m.  Instead of trolling around for Rainbows and Browns like we did during the May tournament, we decided to go straight to trolling with lead core for Lakers this time around.  We began trolling just past the North Tower at the North Hump in about 90 feet of water.  Rob was using at gold Sutton Spoon, while I was using a bronze/gold Warrior Spoon and we were trolling with all colors of lead core out going at around 1 MPH, making sure we were bouncing along the bottom.  I was the first to hook up while we were going over 95 feet of water, though as we’ve figured out, it’s harder to tell if you have a fish on or not while fishing with lead core, mostly cause you have so much line out when you’re fishing the bottom for Lakers.  Luckily Rob saw my rod tip bouncing slightly and let me know I had a fish on so I could set the hook.  While reeling in, I wasn’t entirely sure I had a fish still on or not, pretty much just felt like I had the weight of the lead core on the end of my line and didn’t feel any movement or pulling on the end of my line.  Though after a little while, I felt one pull on my line so I knew it was still on, and it didn’t really start fighting at all until it was about 20 feet under the boat.  Rob grabbed the net I guided the fish in head first, and we were on the board for the tournament!

Round Valley Laker
Our first fish of the tournament!

Not too long after I landed that fish, Rob hooked up with another Laker that took his Sutton Spoon in 110 feet of water.  Yet again, we were unsure if the fish was still on or not due to the lack of sensitivity with the amount of line we had out (Still have to get used to that part of fishing with lead core!).  He ended up landing another nice Laker, about the same size as mine,  but with a little bit more girth to him.  I got snagged up on something on the bottom and had to tie on a new leader and all, so I decided to tie on a Big Weenie Meathead to see how that worked since we got Herring and hadn’t used any yet.  Meanwhile, Rob hooked into another Laker, this time a nice fat one!  As usual, we guided it into the net head first, and into the cooler it went.  Shortly after that I got my line back into the water, as did Rob, and we continued trolling around in the same general area.  I was the next to hook up with yet another Laker, but we lost it boat side before we could net it.  Looked to be a decent size, probably somewhere between our smaller two and Rob’s big one.

Round Valley Lake Trout
Rob’s first Laker of the day!

By about half way through the tournament, a pretty steady wind started blowing in from the Southwest, which helped keep the heat off of us a bit, but made trolling a little more difficult.  So we had to adjust our trolling a bit so the wind didn’t effect us as much.   After picking up a few more Lakers, 11:00 a.m. rolled around and the bite for us completely died.  So after debating on what we wanted to do, we decided to keep trolling for a little while longer and see if we could get anymore fish in the boat.  Though after about two hours of nothing, we decided to call it a day and head in so we could weigh in our fish for the tournament and stopped fishing a little after 1:00 p.m.  At the weigh in, we were told that Rob’s big Laker, which weighed in at 4.06-lbs and 22.5-inches, put him in first place at the time.  We ended up weighing in 6 Lakers, so we didn’t limit out or anything, but definitely not a bad tournament day if you ask me!  All of our fish were caught with all colors of lead core out between 95-115 feet of water on either gold Warrior and gold Sutton Spoons, as well as Big Weenie Meatheads.  Overall it was a great day out, the weather cooperated for the most part, caught some nice fish, went out for some sushi afterwards, and Rob’s big Laker held up and earned him first place!  Next step is to figure out how to get some Browns and Rainbows with our lead core!

Round Valley Lake Trout
Rob’s 4.06-lb, 22.5-inch first place Lake Trout!