My buddy Rob S. and I had a long day of fishing in the first Round Valley Trout Association fishing tournament of the year this Sunday 17 April 2016 at Round Valley, but it was definitely worth it! This particular contest was scheduled from 6am to 3pm, however we were off the water by 1:30, eager to weigh in a Laker. Visit the RVTA website to learn more and get involved.
Our basic trolling spread for Round Valley consists of; two 10 color lead core rods (18lb Suffix) out of the back of the boat and two rods on downriggers for Lake Trout, as well as three planer boards out of each side of the boat with lead core for Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout. Here’s a sample of some go-to lures that are almost always productive Fishing on Round Valley, they’ve become a staple in my tackle box anytime I go out. In addition to these, meatheads are also a very effective lure when targeting Lake Trout.
We had a tough start to the day trolling planer boards; at our first drop we connected with a big RVTA tagged Rainbow and fought it all the way in but lost it at the back of the boat. Our struggle for Rainbows continued for a while after and eventually we made the call to go out deeper for Lake Trout with downriggers and lead core.
Once we went deep and got our Laker lines in it was game on for about an hour with hook ups left and right once we got dialed in on their location and depth. Before it was over we managed to get the fish pictured above, what would become the 1st place Laker for the tournament, weighing 6.90-lbs and measuring 29.25-inches. Slow pick of Lakers for the rest of the day after our morning bite, but overall a very rewarding day on the water.
Shout out to the local shop, Behre Bait & Tackle at 1239 Route 22 East, Lebanon NJ.
You may register the morning of this and all RVTA fishing contests at the top of the concrete boat ramp. A table will be set up and manned by RVTA members. This is also where you go to weigh and measure your entries. Give yourself enough time to get your fish weighed and measured, don’t be that guy running like a maniac at 2:59pm.
Entry fee for adult members is $20.00 per tournament for members and $25.00 for non-members. You can sign up to become a member at the same time though, so really there’s little reason to NOT become a member 😉
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Very excited to be able to share a consecutive three day fishing report with everyone! It’s been a great past few weeks of shore fishing at Round Valley, and if you’re looking to fish anytime soon, now would be the time to do it while the action is hot!
Thursday, December 19
Baits of choice:
Salmon peach PowerBait fished approximately 12-inches off the bottom
Live Shiners fished five to seven feet under slip bobbers
Zach Batren and I decided to head out to Round Valley a little later than usual, just to kill some time before the Round Valley Trout Association Christmas party, and wet our first lines around 1:30 p.m. We started out fishing the rocks by the cement boat launch, just for a slight change of scenery and to stay out of the wind, and were fishing with Shiners fished five to seven feet under slip bobbers, as well as salmon peach Powerbait fished on the bottom. At first we were a little unsure how our luck would pan out seeing as we were starting in the middle of the day, with no cloud cover, while we were usually out fishing early in the morning and out by 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. after the bite died down. Though we only had to wait about 20 minutes or so until we started getting some action, which started off with Zach B. catching and releasing a nice 16-inch Brown Trout that took a Shiner under a slip bobber, while I had a swing and a miss on my slip bobber.
Pretty much from then until we left at 5:00 p.m. we had a hit at least every half an hour to 45 minutes or so, which wasn’t anything too crazy, but definitely made for a fun day! We ended our day right as we ran out of sunlight for the day with Zach B. landing a 15-inch Rainbow on salmon peach Powerbait and a 16-inch Brown that took a Shiner 7-feet under a slip bobber. Meanwhile, I was only able to land one beautifully colored 13.5-inch Rainbow, though I missed a good amount of fish, and at one point had constant hits on both of the slip bobbers I had out for about five minutes straight, but nothing stuck the hook. Everything was released that day, seeing as we were practicing some CPR, or catch-photograph-release for those of you that aren’t familiar with the term.
Friday, December 20
Baits of Choice:
Live Shiners fished three to seven feet under slip bobbers
Rainbow and salmon peach PowerBait fished 12-inches off the bottom
Made it out for day two of shoreline Trout fishing at Round Valley with Zach Batren and Chris Moran. As stated above, we were fishing with live Shiners fished under slip bobbers, as well as rainbow and salmon peach PowerBait fished about 12-inches off the bottom. We finished wetting the last of our lines by 6:30 a.m., and we eagerly waited to see what the early morning bite would give us, and soon enough we were into fish! I was the first to get a good hook up with a fish, and landed a 15-inch Rainbow that took a live Shiner about 5-feet under a slip bobber. Right after I was able to get the hook out of the Rainbow, I saw my second slip bobber, set about 7-feet down, start bouncing. After about a minute of being toyed with, it went under and I set the hook on another fish, shortly followed by a nice Trout jumping out of the water, and I landed a nice 17.25-inch Brown Trout!
Shortly after that, we had a slight lull in the action for about 30 minutes or so, during which we were joined by Zach B. Probably about 20 minutes or so after he arrived, Chris was into his first fish of the day, which took a Shiner under a slip bobber and ended up being a short 14-inch Brown Trout. From there on, we had constant action for the rest of our time out, and finished it off with Zach B. landing a beautifully colored 18.5-inch Rainbow Trout that took a Shiner about 7-feet under a slip bobber.
Our final tally when we ended our day around 12:30 p.m. was three Rainbows to 18.5-inches, three Browns to 17.5-inches, and about ten hits that didn’t take. Everything was caught on live Shiners under slip bobbers, with the exception of one 16-inch Rainbow that Chris landed on rainbow Powerbait.
Saturday, December 21
Baits of choice:
Live Shiners fished about 5-feet under slip bobbers
Salmon peach and yellow PowerBait
Round Valley seems to have save the best for last for us in this three day shore fishing report, and I’m very grateful for it! I arrived at Round Valley a little before 6:30 a.m. and wet my three lines shortly after, one with salmon peach PowerBait and two with Shiners 5-feet under slip bobbers. Within ten minutes of arriving, one of my slip bobbers goes under and I’m into a fish, which unfortunately spit the hook about half way in. While I was a little bummed I wasn’t able to land him, he didn’t feel like anything too special and I decided to take it as a good sign that fish were there and feeding, rather than another fish lost. Five minutes after that, I landed a short maybe 13-inch Rainbow that also took a Shiner under a slip bobber, which was released. About another five minutes after that, something slammed my PowerBait and my pole was doubled over, though by the time I made it to my rod, my pole was straight and my line slack. So I waited a few seconds, slowly reeled in the slack, and felt my sinker bounce on the bottom. But the same second I began to think I just missed yet another fish, I felt two taps on my line, and I get a good hook set on a fish. Now, taking into account that I was fighting the fish with a 4’6″ ultralight rod with 4-lb test and a 4-lb leader, I wasn’t sure exactly what sized fish I was fighting. Though it was peeling a good amount of drag so I figured it was at least a decent sized fish, that was until I got it about 20-feet out and was able to get a decent sideways view of it and saw it was definitely a good sized Rainbow Trout. Luckily I had Round Valley Fishing reader Mitchell fishing next to me, who quickly grabbed my net when he saw I was into another fish, and was able to help me land the big Rainbow once I got it close to enough to shore. The Rainbow ended up measuring in at 24-inches and weighed a hefty 4-lbs, 4-oz, and was a Round Valley Trout Association jaw tagged trophy Trout!
A little while after that, I was joined by Robert I., who brought some much needed coffee! He got his lines into the water and after about half an hour or so of waiting, he got a hit on yellow PowerBait fished 2-3 feet off the bottom, though the fish was lost shortly after the hook set. After that, the bite completely died off and we were joined by Zach B. and Holly E. We had no action at all after the hit on Rob’s rod a little after 8:00 a.m. all the way until 3:35 p.m. when Rob get a hit on yellow PowerBait again. Rob’s rod got a few good pulls, but just like with my tagged Rainbow, by the time Rob reached his rod and picked it up, his line went slack for a few seconds, shortly followed by him setting the hook on a fish. We knew it was a good fish within a few seconds of him hooking up, but when we finally got a glimpse of it’s head breaking the surface, we all immediately thought of the possibility of it being another tagged trophy Trout. Now this fish definitely gave a better fight than my fish, and actually managed to tangle lines with another one of Rob’s lines while going on a run during the fight. Though Rob, coincidently also fighting his fish on a small ultralight rod with 4-lb test, was able to wrestle the fish in to be netted by Zach B. (I was manning the camera). The fish ended up being yet another large Rainbow which weighed in at 3-lbs, 15-oz, measured in at 24-inches, and was also an RVTA jaw tagged Trout!
After that, Zach B. and Holly missed a hit on PowerBait, and that was it for us for the rest of the day. We packed it in at 4:30 p.m. after a painfully slow, yet very successful third consecutive day of shore fishing at Round Valley!
Pretty excited to share this latest fishing report with you all. Got a nice early start this morning (Tuesday, December 3) for another day of shore fishing at Round Valley with Zach Batren and Chris Moran. We finished getting our lines into the water at 5:15 a.m., and were fishing with salmon peach and rainbow PowerBait about two feet off the bottom. A little while before 6:00 a.m. Chris left to go grab some Shiners from Behre Bait & Tackle and got back a little while later. So with nothing on the PowerBait except one tap Zach B. and Chris decided to switch over one of their rods to slip bobbers with Shiners instead of PowerBait on the bottom. Right after the sun came up around 7:00 a.m., I got a hit on one of my rods with rainbow PowerBait on the bottom and landed a nice 15-inch Rainbow Trout.
Not even five minutes after that, Chris and Zach B. started getting hits left and right on their slip bobbers. Chris lost a few Trout shortly after the hook set, and Zach B. landed a nice 15.25-inch Brown Trout. So I decided to switch one of my rods over to a slip bobber and see if I could join in on the action.
After I had my bobber in the water for maybe ten minutes or so, we were all talking and I looked over to where my bobber was and couldn’t find it. I walked over to my rod and as soon as I picked it up, my line started shooting out into deeper water! [PUBLISHER NOTE: This exact scenario is why our tagline is, “dude, your bobber’s gone.”] I set the hook on what I immediately knew was a good fish, but I didn’t know just how nice of a fish it was yet. After fighting the fish for a bit, it started heading towards a weed bed so I fought it up and over the weeds before it had a chance to get me tangled in the weeds. Right about then, the fish went sideways and I saw a flash of the white on it’s stomach and finally knew I was into a really nice Trout, though I couldn’t tell if it was a Brown or Rainbow. Immediately after rolling over, the Trout did a nose dive right into the middle of the weed bed and I thought my line was going to get tangled and snap. Luckily I was able to horse it out of the weeds and it came out about 15-feet or so from shore. After the Trout got clear of the weeds, I eased up and enjoyed the fight a bit before bringing it in so Zach B. could net it for me, and he guided what I could now see was a brown Trout into the net nice and easy head first. Right off the bat I knew it was the biggest Brown I had caught in a while at Round Valley, and ended up measuring 24-inches and weighed 3-lbs, 6-oz (Though we all agreed it looked more like 5-lbs).
The fish also was a Round Valley Trout Association jaw tagged Trout which was an added bonus, especially seeing as exactly one week ago (last Tuesday), I caught a 3-lb, 10-oz RVTA jaw tagged Rainbow Trout. After that 30 minute blitz, the bite seemed to completely die all at once and it was very slow pickings for the rest of the day. For the next three hours or so, all I had was two swings and misses on my PowerBait rod, one fish that I broke off on the hook set, and what I’m pretty sure was another Brown Trout toying with my slip bobber for a while but never stuck the hook. Though one of my swings and misses knocked the PowerBait off the hook, which floated to the surface, immediately followed by a Trout which sucked it off the surface. Chris, thinking fast, grabbed my slip bobber rod which had a Shiner on it, that I didn’t get a chance to cast back out, and cast it right to where the Trout hit the surface. Maybe five seconds after hitting the water, the bobber shot under and Chris landed a 14.5-inch Rainbow Trout, which was released since it was short of the legal size limit. Definitely one of the more interesting stories of landing a fish I’ve had in a while. Maybe about half an hour after that, I finally got a good hook up on a fish that took my rainbow PowerBait and landed a 15-inch Rainbow Trout.
That ended up being the last Trout we landed for the day, but Zach B. landed a nice Smallmouth Bass on a Shiner fished on the bottom. We didn’t bother measuring it before we released it, but it looked to be about 15-inches and somewhere between two and three pounds. Even though the majority of our fish were landed within a 30 minute window right after the sun broke the horizon, we all definitely had another awesome day of fishing, and it definitely seems that the shore fishing at Round Valley has really picked up for us over the past two weeks. Better late than never!