Tag Archives: Smallmouth

December 3, 2013 – Shore Fishing Report

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.

Round Valley Rainbow Trout - December fishing report
My 15-inch Rainbow Trout caught on rainbow color PowerBait.

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.

Round Valley Brown Trout - December fishing report
Zach Batren with his 15.25-inch Brown Trout caught on a live Shiner under a slip bobber.

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).

Round Valley Brown Trout - December Fishing Report
My 24-inch, 3-lb 6-oz Round Valley Trout Association jaw tagged Brown Trout caught on a live Shiner under a slip bobber.

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.

Round Valley Smallmouth Bass - December Fishing Report
Zach Batren with his Smallmouth Bass he caught on a live Shiner fished on the bottom

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!

Round Valley Brown Trout - December Fishing Report
My 24-inch Round Valley Trout Association jaw tagged Brown Trout.

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!

Spruce Run Shore Fishing Report – October 11, 2013

Fished over at Spruce Run Reservoir on Friday, October 11, 2013 with Zach Batren in some cloudy, overcast, and rainy weather (Sounds like fishing weather to me!).  We met up at Spruce Run around 1:30 p.m. and got our first lines into the water around 1:45 p.m at one of the coves on the Northern side of the reservoir, and had a six rod spread between the two of us.  We were using live Herring fished on the bottom with a basic rig consisting of an egg sinker, barrel swivel, short leader, and a hook.  After not even ten minutes, I was into a fish, which turned out to be a nice 4-lb Channel Catfish, probably around 22 or 23-inches.  It didn’t give much of a fight since it swam towards me for pretty much the entirety of the fight, but still a good way to start any fishing trip!  After that, we kept getting constant hits on almost all of our rods for a good hour or so until the action seemed to die down for a bit.  Then out of nowhere one of my rods doubles over and I’m into a nice fish with a lot of fight in it.  At first I thought it was a big Channel Catfish judging from the fight, until I saw it jump and was able to see it was a nice big 17-inch Smallmouth Bass.

Spruce Run Smallmouth
My 17-inch Smallmouth Bass caught on a dead Herring at Spruce Run

After a hard fight; with several strong drag peeling runs, and not one, not two, but five jumps where it went completely airborne, we were able to net it.  That Smallmouth was definitely a nice surprise for the day, especially seeing as it took a dead Herring that was meant for catfish.

After that the action slowed down for a little bit again, with the occasional hit here and there.   Though just as we got used to the lull in the action, Zach B. was into another fish that took another dead Herring.  We weren’t sure what exactly it was that he had hooked since it wasn’t fighting too much, but after we got it in closer we were able to identify it as a Northern Pike.  While it wasn’t anything huge, it was still a nicely sized and beautifully colored 25+ inch Pike.  We were definitely making out with a good mixed bag of fish up until this point with one Channel Catfish, one Smallmouth Bass, and now one Pike landed, though we released the Smallmouth as well as the Pike.

Spruce Run Pike
Zach B. with his 25+ inch Northern Pike that took a dead Herring

After that the action really slowed down for the next few hours, other than a few more hits we got but the hook didn’t set well so we lost the fish, as well as a snapping turtle I reeled in.  Our next landed fish was a little while later after dark.  Zach B. hooked into something just as the sun slipped under the horizon, and he was able to wrestle in another nice Channel Catfish; almost identical in size to the one i landed when we first started fishing.  A few minutes after we finished up with netting and unhooking that fish and Zach got his line back out into the water, I was into another fish which ended up being another Channel Catfish, a little smaller than our other two.  Maybe about a half an hour after that, I got a hit on one of my lines and my line snapped right after I set the hook, which was another disappointment on top of all the missed hits we had earlier in the day.  After that I got my line back into the water, and about an hour after that Zach was into another fish.  Now landing this fish started off normal, but ended up being one of the weirdest and most confusing ways to land a fish I’ve had all year.  At first we weren’t sure what he had on the line, and at one point Zach thought he had lost the fish, but luckily it was only swimming towards him.  Anyways, once we got it close enough we were able to see it was a nice big 31-inch Northern Pike with a good amount of girth to him.

Spruce Run Northern Pike
Zach B. and I with our surprise 31-inch Northern Pike

But the weirdest part came after we landed it and realized that Zach’s hook wasn’t in the fish at all, but about 10-feet away tangled in another fishing line which had the hook attached to the fish, and we decided was definitely one of mine since it was the same exact line, swivel, leader, and hook I was using.  So we assumed that the Pike had somehow taken one of my other lines without us noticing and gone right over to Zach’s line and his hook snagged my line.  But I then reeled in my lines to see which one it was, and it wasn’t any of mine that I had out, which means that it was the line I had that broke off an hour earlier after setting the hook.  This in turn meant that the same fish that my line had broken off on was in the same area for one whole hour, and Zach’s hook had somehow managed to snag my line trailing behind the fish while it was going by.  Now what are the chances of that?!  Definitely was one of the weirdest coincidences I’ve ever had happen while fishing to this day.  I think it’s only fair to give Zach B. the credit for the catch, but I came in with the assist and we both get to add another crazy fish story to our collection!

Spruce Run Northern Pike
Zach B. showing off the business end of his Pike!

A little while after that, we decided to call it a night at 8:30 p.m. after getting two Northern Pike up to 31-inches, one 17-inch Smallmouth Bass, three Channel Catfish to 4-lbs, and missing countless other fish that hit our lines.  As usual, both the Pike and the Bass were all released.  But as for the catfish, those were dinner!  Definitely one of the weirder days I’ve had fishing in a while, but we definitely got some nice fish and despite the amount of missed hits we can’t really complain one bit about the outcome of our day.

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!

August 6, 2011 Shore Fishing Report

This is somewhat of a special shore fishing report in that it was our first Round Valley Fishing Meetup.

Big BobberI got to meet Tom from Bridgewater for the first time in person (we’ve exchanged messages on Round Valley’s Facebook Page), thanks to him for coming out. I look forward to fishing more with him. Also on the scene were Frank and his son Nicholas from Manville. Nicholas kept us all on point with his quick wit and encyclopedic knowledge of all things fishing. Frank should be given a father of the year award for ALWAYS having the time to take his son fishing. I can’t remember the last time I was at Round Valley and didn’t see Frank and Nicholas! My friend Chris from Raritan joined us as well and even though he thinks he’s some kind of jinx when it comes to fishing, he caught the only bass and had a great time.

We fished the shore, east of the dirt boat ramp and got our lines wet at around 7am (I was 30 minutes late, sorry). I started by showing everyone how to rig a slip bobber and all the equipment involved, then we quickly got to fishing. We set out rods with bobbers set to 4,8,12 and 16 foot depths.

Right away we were catching – first a smallmouth bass on live herring at 8 feet down, then a couple of sunfish on garden worms, but about 30 minutes later, the bite died and the wind started picking up. We toughed it out until about 1pm but no one caught anything except sunfish and a perch.

Round Valley Fishing meetup 1

I’d like to thank Chris, Tom, Frank and Nick for coming out. Visit our image gallery for more pictures of this trip and many others. Our next meetup will be in September sometime. Maybe we’ll do an evening trip to ranger’s cove? Any Suggestions?