Tag Archives: Largemouth

February 22, 2014 – Spruce Run Ice Fishing Report

Went out and hit the hard water again at Spruce Run Reservoir a few weeks ago on Saturday, February 22 with a few other people for the NJFishing.com meet and greet.  I got out a little late, around 8:00 a.m. and most other people had already set up their tip ups, or were almost finished doing so by the time I made it out to everyone.  Between all of us, we had a pretty good spread around us and had pretty much every type of depth and structure covered; from five feet of water, to about 15 or 20 feet of water, river channels, drop offs, and everything in between.  For bait, most people were either using live Shiners, or big dead baits.  It didn’t take all too long for us to get our first few flags, which was on Matt J.’s (The same Matt that taught Chris and I how to fish for Carp) tip up with a big dead bait on the hook.  While this was happening, I was on the other side of our tip up spread finishing up getting my lines in the water, but Matt landed a nice fat 32-inch Pike.

Spruce Run Pike
Matt J. with his fat 32-inch Pike caught on a large dead bait.

Before all that somebody else landed a decently sized Channel Catfish on a live Shiner (Which I missed as well), so we definitely started our day off pretty decently.  About an hour or so after that, Matt got another flag on another dead bait on the bottom, so we started our journey over to his tip up and about half way there the guys that stayed by our stuff started yelling that we had another flag, on the opposite side of our spread of tip ups, and this time it was one of mine.  So Rob J. and I started our way back over that way to my tip up, and by the time we got to it, it had all the line spooled off of it and was doing a little dance in the hole for us.  So I got the tip up out of the hole, immediately felt a fish on the line and set the hook.  After pulling in what felt like a mile of line, I finally got the fish to the hole and the first thing we saw was the big head of a nice Largemouth Bass, and with the help of Rob J. we got it through the hole and onto the ice.  While we didn’t take any exact measurements since we were a good distance from our gear and I wanted to get the fish back into the water, we estimated it to be somewhere around 4 or 5-lbs.

Spruce Run Bass
Me and my 4-5 pound Largemouth Bass caught on a live Shiner about two feet off the bottom in 10-12 feet of water.

Meanwhile, after we took a few pictures and got the Bass back into the water we found out that while we were handling my fish, Matt had landed another 25-inch Pike on a dead bait fished on the bottom.  After that, the action slowed down for probably about an hour or hour and a half.  Though soon enough we got another flag, this time on one of Dave’s tip-ups rigged with a live Shiner, conveniently (For me at least, haha) Dave was too far away from his tip-up when the flag went up, so I was able to get in on the action.  When I got to within 20 feet or so of the tip-up, I could see the spool spinning out like crazy as the fish stripped the line off the spool.  So I got the tip-up out of the hole, set the hook, and started taking line back.  Once I was able to get the fish within reasonable distance of the hole, it went on a pretty strong run and took a few more yards of line back out.  Though that was it’s last big run, we ended up landing a decently sized 25-30 inch Pike.

David Allen with his 25-30 inch Pike caught on a live Shiner.
David Allen with his 25-30 inch Pike caught on a live Shiner.

That ended up being our last fish of the day before I headed out, but I know the guys that stayed behind landed another nice 30+ inch Pike shortly after I left.  Overall I’d say it was a great day of fishing; met some new people and saw a few people I haven’t seen or fished with in a while, catching fish on top of that was really just an added bonus for the day.  All of the fish we landed were in pretty shallow water, about 10-12 feet of water or less, and were all on either live Shiners on or close to the bottom, or big dead baits on the bottom.

 

Round Valley Fishing Report

I personally have been going to Spruce Run to fish for Pike the past few weeks, so I’m not certain of the current ice condition at Round Valley as of March 6th.  Though I do know that over the past few weeks people have been catching Lakers out in deeper water on Shiners on the bottom under tip-ups, as well as jigging with lures such as Swedish Pimples and Binsky’s.  I’ve also heard that people have been catching Browns and Rainbows in close on Shiners under tip-ups in 5-15 feet of water.  As far as the swimming side goes, I haven’t heard much buzz about fishing on that side, but last time I fished there around mid-February the Pickerel bite was still going strong.  We were having success with them in 5-10 feet of water or less, and were catching on live Shiners under tip-ups set about a foot off the bottom, as well as on jigs such as Binsky’s, Rattle Traps, and Rapala Rippin’ Raps.

Me with a nice Chain Pickerel I caught on one of my last Round Valley trips in mid-February on the swimming side.
Me with a nice Chain Pickerel I caught  (and released) on one of my last Round Valley trips in mid-February on the swimming side.

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.

October 12 & 13, 2013 – Shore Fishing Report

Woke up bright and early at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 12th to meet up with Zach Batren for a full day of fishing.  I managed to get a late start since I fell back asleep after getting everything ready in the morning, but luckily Zach texted me and woke me up before I missed too much.  I arrived at Round Valley around 7:15 a.m. and Zach B. had already landed a beautiful 15-inch Rainbow Trout on rainbow Powerbait.  So I got both of my lines into the water and about an hour later I hooked into another nicely colored Rainbow Trout that took my salmon peach Powerbait.  Within the ten minutes that followed that; the fisherman to my right landed another Trout, and Tom (Who is a regular reader of this website) lost another good fish, which we assume was a Trout.

Round Valley Rainbow Trout
My 15-inch Rainbow Trout caught on salmon peach Powerbait

Though after that flurry of action, we didn’t get anything else by the time Chris Moran met up with us around 9:45 a.m. so we gave it until 10:30 called it quits and packed up to change spots.  As we were walking back to our cars, we saw another fisherman fishing on the swimming side with live Shiners about 3-feet under bobbers hook into a nice chunky Chain Pickerel, probably around 25-inches.  So we stopped and talked to him for a little while and he told us he had been getting Pickerel all morning, so we decided to stop and try for a bit.  We didn’t get anything besides a few boils behind our topwater baits we were casting (Zara Spooks, Rapala’s, etc.).  After about 45 minutes or so of that, we headed off to the South Branch of the Raritan River for some more Trout action.  There were definitely a good amount of anglers fishing the stretch of river we were fishing, but none seemed to be catching much of anything as far as we could tell.

South Branch Brook Trout
Zach B. with his 15-inch Brook Trout caught at the South Branch of the Raritan River on a gold Panther Martin

Probably about three minutes in, Zach B. was into a nice fish that hit his gold 1/8-ounce Panther Martin, and after a pretty strong fight he netted a nice 15-inch Brook Trout.  We tried for about another hour and a half or so without anything else besides some Smallmouth Bass Chris had hooked into while bouncing worms along the bottom.  Zach B. and I decided to head on over to Spruce Run to try for some more Pike, Catfish, and Bass.  Unfortunately Chris had to leave for work, so he decided to stay at the South Branch instead of joining Zach and I at Spruce because of his time restrictions.  So Zach and I headed to Spruce and after making a stop at Behre Bait & Tackle for some Herring and another stop for some lunch, we arrived at Spruce Run around 3:00 p.m.  The wind had picked up a good amount since we left Round Valley and was blowing right back into our faces, which made casting out a little challenging at times but we managed to get our lines out perfectly fine.  After waiting for what felt like forever (But in reality was probably only 45 minutes at most) Zach got a hit on one of his lines that took out a decent amount of line, which was shortly followed by a hit on one of my lines that also took out a few feet of line.

Spruce Run Bass
Me with my Smallmouth Bass (Left) and Largemouth Bass (Right); both caught on live Herring

For the majority of our time there, that was all we got; good hits that just didn’t stick the hook.  Though after a while I started to get into some smaller, but decent Channel Catfish, all around 3 or 3.5-lbs or so.  By the time we decided to end our trip around 7:30 p.m. I had landed four Channel Catfish (One away from limiting out), one decent sized Smallmouth Bass, as well as a pretty bulky Largemouth Bass probably around 3-lbs.  Zach B. on the other hand was only able to land one fish by the time we headed out, but he did manage to get the biggest fish of the day; a 23+ inch, approximately 4-lb Channel Catfish.  So we definitely had a great day of fishing overall and we probably would have stayed out longer at Spruce, but we wanted to get back, fillet our fish, and make ourselves a nice fish dinner so we called it a night.

Spruce Run Channel Catfish
Zach B. with his 4-lb Channel Catfish caught on live Herring. Our biggest fish of the day!

The next day (Sunday, October 13) I headed over to DeMott Pond since I woke up too late to go to Round Valley like I had planned.  But I managed to get out to DeMott around 1:30 p.m. and got my lines into the water for some Carp fishing, and as usual I was using sweet corn along with an oat pack.  About 45 minutes after getting my lines into the water, one of my rods gets a hit and starts peeling out drag and I immediately know it’s a Carp.  At first I wasn’t sure how big it was since it swam towards me at first, then to the left instead of straight out like a lot of Carp at DeMott tend to do.  Though as soon as I got it about half way in the real fight started and became a stalemate since every time I would gain a few feet of line, it would take it right back out and we started again back at square one.  After a while, I was finally able to start gaining some ground on the fish and was able to get it close to shore, almost within netting distance.  Right around then is when I got my first real good look at it, and was able to see that it was definitely an above average sized Carp for DeMott.  For a little while it became a stalemate again with the fish holding it’s ground right outside of netting distance, but after a few more minutes it finally began to tire out and after a few attempts, we were finally able to net it.

DeMott Pond Carp
My 25-lb Carp out of DeMott Pond

The fish weighed in at 25-lbs and was around 35-inches in length.  Definitely one of the biggest Carp I’ve been able to pull out of DeMott to this day!  Unfortunately that was the only fish I was able to land that day, though I got a few more hits and bumps that were definitely Carp, but none took.  All in all, despite the fact I only landed one fish, it was a great trip, and if I only land one fish a trip that would definitely be one I wouldn’t mind hauling in!

Round Valley – October Shore Fishing

As the weather starts to cool down and Fall begins to set in, the shoreline fishing for Trout at Round Valley begins to heat up as the water cools down and the Trout come up shallow and start swimming the shoreline.  Last year was my first year fishing at Round Valley during that time, as opposed to previous years where I’d either be too preoccupied with school or fishing at Spruce Run.  Though last Fall at Round Valley definitely got me hooked on going back and fishing there every Fall almost exclusively.

Fall Brown Trout
Brown Trout from Fall 2012 at Round Valley

This was back before I started writing for this site, and I just happened to be looking through some of the articles and came across one that Rob had posted about shore fishing in October using slip bobbers, which got me curious about trying it out.  However, I wasn’t fully convinced to get out until I heard from Lebanon Bait & Sport (This was before they closed down of course) that people were starting to get into a few Trout from the shoreline, so then I decided I would go out the next morning and see how I could make out.  That decision ended up being one of the best I made to this day in terms of fishing and ended up being the beginning of almost three weeks of beautiful Fall weather, and some phenomenal fishing, some of the best I’ve ever had the entire time I’ve been fishing!

Fall Round Valley Rainbow Trout
Rainbow Trout from Fall 2012 at Round Valley

I remember my first day out there last October like it was yesterday, I stopped and grabbed 2 dozen Shiners from the bait shop, and was out at Round Valley putting my first lines in the water not too long after 6:00 a.m.  I cast out my first rod, which I had rigged up with a slip bobber 10 feet down, and before I even got a chance to turn around to bait my second rod, my bobber was gone, and the first fish of the day for me was a 14-inch Chain Pickerel.

Chain Pickerel
My first fish from Round Valley during Fall 2012

After releasing that, I cast my rod out again, and just as I finally get my second rod out, my first bobber goes under again.  This time it was a 15.5-inch Rainbow Trout!  After putting that one in the cooler, I cast my second line back out, and not even 5 minutes after that I was into another fish, this time a 15-inch Brown Trout.  Now what was all within a time frame of 10-15 minutes or so, pretty good start to a day  if you ask me.  I ended up going back to the bait shop two more times that day because I kept running out of bait!  After that, it only got better for me as October went on.  I had a good amount of days that I was able to land 100+ fish, all of which were released perfectly healthy, except for my daily limit of two Trout whenever I felt like keeping a few for dinner.  Nearly everyday I got a mixed bag of fish as well, between Chain Pickerel, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Largemouth Bass, and the occasional Smallmouth Bass.  While most of the Bass were on the smaller side, nearly all the Trout were 15+ inches, which is keeper size at Round Valley for those of you that may not know.

Fall Rainbow Trout
One of the many beautiful Rainbow Trout I got during Fall 2012 at Round Valley

Last year, I got nearly all my fish on Shiners fished under slip bobbers, with a small percentage caught on artificial lures; Rapalas and small spinners.  Though with the amount of fish swimming the shoreline that time of year,

Fall Bass at Round Valley
Largemouth Bass from Fall 2012 at Round Valley

you’re pretty much bound to get something eventually with whatever it may be that you’re using.  I’ve been eagerly awaiting for this time of year again since last year, and I’ll be sure to be out there nearly everyday come October.  So if you haven’t tried Fall shore fishing at Round Valley, I suggest you give it a try, and if you see me out there feel free to come say hi!  Overall, Fall at Round Valley to me means; beautiful weather, awesome Fall scenery at Round Valley, and not to mention lots of fish … Who could pass that up?  I know I couldn’t!