Last night I had the opportunity to experience fishing on Lake Hopatcong for the first time and finally meet up with one of my on-line fishing friends Wil “CatDaddy” Rowe. Now I have ice fished on the lake in the wintertime a few years back with tip-ups, but had never actually been in a boat
Until last night.
Got a text from Wil the previous week asking if I`d be interested in having a go at some Walleye and Hybrid Stripers on a Saturday night……… all night. Well it certainly doesn`t take all that much to entice me especially when the opportunity for a new adventure arises! Told him to count me in and plans were made to meet up at his house.
I met him around 10pm and we got everything together and made our way over to the lake. Wil quickly launched the boat and shortly, we were on our way across the lake into the darkness.
As we were going out, `ol CatDaddy said, “Hey Ken if you want, just use one of my set-ups, rather than setting yours up”…..””Grab that one right there” ——- I was like, “Ohhhhh…..ok …. thanks” —– “Hey just don`t throw it over-board…… that set-up ran me $850! HaHa!”……. I immediately put the rod back in the holder laughing and said, “Holy cow!….Uhhhhhhh…….. I think I`ll pass on using that pal! Haha! And grabbbed one of my three “A lot less expensive rigs” and set it up! If there`s one thing about me, I don`t have the fanciest, most expensive gear when it comes to a `Yak or rod and reel set-ups……….but I certainly respect anyone that does. (And I`m better off not as I tend to break a lot of things……..HaHa!)
At out first stop, we began casting top-water lures, I was using a Skitter-Walker while Wil started casting Bill Dance Spitting Image lure. Wasn`t long before Wil hooked into the first `Eye of the night;
CatDaddy told me that we wouldn`t be sitting long in one spot, especially if we were having little to no action. So it wasn`t long and we were on the move to area number two in that cool, night time Spring air. Wil explained that the herring are spawning this time of year and that he was listening for them as they surfaced. “Find the herring and we`ll find our fish” he told me.
Eventually at one point we got into a feeding frenzy and fish were breaking water all around us as they fed on herring!
CatDaddy Wil with a beast of a Hydrid Striper! We forgot to weigh this one…had to go 6 or 7 pounds!
After a little advice, I started getting the retrieve down with these top-water lures and wrangled up a few real nice fish as well – including this monster Walleye that weighed in at 7lbs 10oz!
From around midnight on, the action got really consistent as we landed nice fish right up till dawn;
As I drove back home at daybreak, the sun was rising over the hill,…..
I smiled as I had enjoyed an incredible night of fishing and excellent company as well.
Quite the night indeed……..
Good fishing and good friends…….. You can`t beat that combination in my book.
**NOTE – If you enjoy fishing at Lake Hopatcong, please consider joining the Knee Deep Fishing Club. It`s a wonderful organization that not only strives to preserve and promote the natural resources of New Jersey`s Largest Lake, but also contributes to the community endeavors of Lake Hopatcong as well. The website is below;