Tag Archives: sunfish

Night Fishing for Lake Trout?

Fishing NJ for Lake Trout...at night

On August 30th, myself, Zach, and my buddy Chris headed out to Round Valley to do some night fishing for rainbow trout. At our first drop, we caught a dinner-plate sized sunfish in 65 feet of water so we moved deeper in search of rainbows…chasing rainbows? Heh #dadjokes.

At our second drop, we doubled anchored in 85feet, surface water temp. measured 74.5F. After a few hours of soaking cut shrimp without success, I finally get a no-doubter of a hit on my line, set the hook, and start fighting a nice size fish on my light spinning outfit which has 6lb test mono all the way to the size 8 baitholder hook.

The fish wasn’t fighting like a rainbow trout, it was sounding like a damn tuna, what the heck is this thing? I call for Zack to get his fancy rubberized net ready just in case I’ve got a new state record sunfish on my line… Slowly I start gaining line on the fish and as it comes up we see that it’s a lake trout! Zach snapped a quick pic and back into the drink went the fish. I got another solid hit about 15 minutes later but it snapped my line. My fault. I should have checked it for damage after the first fish, what a stupid mistake on my part. You’d think after fishing for twenty something years I’d have some of this stuff memorized but nope, live and learn.

We bobbed around for a few more hours without a hit or a fish and I think we finally packed it in around 3:30am. It was a beautiful night even though the fish were few and far between. A more ambitious group of anglers would have pulled up anchors and kept trying locations, but that’s hard work with double anchors and honestly the part I love most about night fishing is how peaceful and relaxing it is. If you’ve never tried it, I strongly suggest going out with a friend or two, you’ll have a blast I guarantee it.

Night Fishing Report

I’ll keep it short. The near full moon shut down the night fishing. We fished in 5 different locations (45 to 60 feet depths) from 10:30pm to 4am and caught…one sunfish. Met a fella at the concrete ramp on the way in, he caught…two sunfish. Another boat near us had one Rainbow Trout and 4 small bass before calling it quits. It was a nice night to be out but a terrible night for catching fish.

There will be no moon (aka New Moon) Friday August 17th. I recommend you fish that night, weekend or the handful of nights before or after the 17th.

Night Fishing Report

Got out fishing Saturday night with a full boat. Chris D., Chris F. and Jay joined me for a night of fishing on Round Valley Reservoir. I was especially excited because I built a couple of night fishing lights and was eager to try them. The weather and moon phase were great too. 1/4 moon so our lights weren’t competing with the big light in the sky.

Night Fishing for Rainbow Trout

We fished from 9:30pm to 3:30am in 3 different locations throughout the night, the red x’s above indicate our approximate locations. The reason we moved the first two times was because we didn’t like our depth and bottom structure. The last time was just on a whim to shoot over to the other side of the lake.

Night fishing at Round Valley Using surface lights
It’s really peaceful at night on the valley.

We double anchored as best we could. I don’t have nearly enough anchor line to set the boat right so that was a challenge. We were using some lights I made from 12volt 55watt marine “deck” lights I got at West Marine for $29. A trip to home depot got me 2 extension cords, two dowels and some zip ties. The lights worked 5.5 hours and never killed my battery.

Chris from Hillsborough started strong with 2 Rainbows.

We were using cooked shrimp for bait and whole kernel corn for chum. The fishing was a slow pick all night but we all had fun and everyone caught fish, also the four rainbows we caught were taken home and eaten and they were delicious! If you’d like to learn more about the technique we used to catch these fish at night, check out our night fishing for Rainbow Trout article. If you’re looking for a way to beat the heat the next few weeks, I suggest a night fishing trip on Round Valley Reservoir.

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?

Fishing Bluegill Spawning Beds

Bluegill, Bream, Brim whatever you call them are members of the Sunfish family. There are also among the most abundant fish in Round Valley Reservoir AND they are spawning right now. The two weeks before and after memorial day usually correspond with the height of Bluegill spawning which occurs at 75deg. water temp.

During the spawn, males are aggressively guarding their nests or beds while the females hang out close by. Something like 95% of Bluegills caught on spawning beds will be males, so don’t worry too much if you are keeping your catch.

Locating Bluegill Beds: Bluegill beds can be found by sight from shore and boat. Look for areas with a hard sandy or rocky bottom and of course the tell-tale spawning beds that look like closely packed craters on the moon. See below pic.

Bluegill Spawning Beds

Bluegill tackle: The world record bluegill weighs 4 pounds 12 ounces and was caught in 1950. The big takeaway here is… use light tackle or ultralight tackle and have a blast catching 1 pounders all day. To say 6lb monofilament is overkill would be an understatement.

Bluegill Terminal Tackle: small, small, small. Small bobbers, small long shank hooks (size 8), small splitshot. I use long shank hooks because Bluegills have tiny mouths and are crazy aggressive so the long shank makes it easier to remove hooks and minimizes deep hook sets.

Bluegill Bait: small, small, small or nothing at all! Waxwoms, garden worms cut in half, small pieces of cheese or dough molded around a hook or heck even an empty hook!

Catching Bluegills: Cast your baited hook on top of a bed and wait… that’s it! Adjust the distance from your bobber to your hook. The closer you can get your bait to the bed, the better. you can also cast past the bed and real slowly to drag your bait (or bare hook) across a bed. The guarding male will attack it.

Bluegill Size and Creel Limit: in Round Valley Reservoir there is no size limit however you can only keep 25 combined sunfish (Rock Bass, White Bass, White Perch, Yellow Perch, Sunfish (except Banded Sunfish, Blackbanded Sunfish, Bluespotted Sunfish, and Mud Sunfish which are all protected), Bullheads, White Catfish, Suckers, Carp, Bowfin). Yep… only 25.

So get out there with your light gear and bring your kids, right now is a great time to catch lots of scrappy Bluegill.