One thing that I really enjoy doing in the `Yak, is exploring new territory and this past Saturday I did just that.
The challenge of fishing in a new body of water is very appealing to me. However, I sort of got mixed vibes from the various posts that I read on-line about my latest targeted waterway, Budd Lake. As quite a few had posted about having little or no luck at all on the largest natural lake in New Jersey.
A little tid-bit about Budd Lake:
Budd Lake was named after John Budd, who acquired 1,300 acres of land in 1714. Prior to that, it was called Hattacawanna Lake. A glacial lake at an evaluation of 933 feet, Budd Lake has a surface area of 374 acres. making it the largest natural lake in New Jersey. It is 7-12 feet deep, and can have large algal blooms.
Now, the forecast was a chilly 47 degrees, rainy and with a breezy with a very gusty wind at times. “Hmmmmm… “Perfect! More than likely the lake would be deserted on such a “nice” day!” I thought to myself as I smiled while looking out the window. With that thought i mind, I got dressed, loaded up `Yak, grabbed my hat and headed out to Budd Lake. The beauty of where we live(Well….. there are many other ones….. like my “friends” those Bears on the patio! HaHa!) is the fact that there are so many great fishing waters within a ten mile radius of our house. And Budd Lake is exactly ten miles away.
I pulled in the lot a little after 9am and the wind was howling as the cold rain pelted my face. I actually had second thoughts about draggin` the `Yak off the Murano. “Ahhhhhh….I`ll hang along to shoreline as I paddle out” I said aloud trying to convince myself. With the wind blowing out of the north-west, I was in for some tough paddlin`. Not only was I going to have a long paddle, but paddling directly into the wind. And once I reached my destination on the lake, it would be blowing the `Yak across the lake…..and ideally I wanted to work my way back down the edge. In a nutshell, my arms were in for quite a workout fighting the wind while trying to fish as well!
Probably took me a good hour or more fighting the wind, to paddle across the lake. But I finally got there and was ready to have at it!
There were three reasons that I was rather intrigued with Budd Lake; Bass, Pickerel and Northern Pike…… all in the same waters! So being a veteran Esox-chasin`-son-of-a-gun, I started out with a couple of favorite go-too lures from my arsenal that would simply target any of the three species of fish I was after. I attached a blue and black Chatterbait to one rod and a chartreuse and white 3/8oz. Spinnerbait to the other.
I have my Shimano reels spooled with 30lb Power PRO and I run a 30lb. 6 inch wire-leader because I have had more than a couple of those toothy critters slash the line with their razor-like teeth. Personally I want to land my fish not watch them swim away with a big lure in their mouth.
I worked my way along the shore casting into brushy cover along the treeline. “`Ol Esox had to be here as it just looks too good!” I said to myself. Then BAM! Fish on! Felt like a good one at that as the Northern Pike thrashed the top water with his tail! The drag ran as he dove under my `Yak and crashed and shook his head on top of the water on the opposite side! I quickly walked my rod around the front of the `Yak to get the line on the other side. The drag peeled off more line as he dove down into the murky water of the lake! After about ten minutes of fighting, I finally netted the beautiful 35 inch Esox and had my 1st Northern Pike at Budd Lake.
After a couple pictures, I quickly released the `Gator back into the pond unharmed. “I have a feeling things are going to get “interesting” out here” I thought to myself as I made my way back to where I had left off.
After about thirty minutes, I got into this little shallow sort of cove or cut-out among the trees. Quietly I drifted a little closer so I could pin-point some casting into the cover. On the third cast, as the Chatterbait hit the water, a violent wake came towards it immediately! WHAM! Fish on baby! Here we go! Another nice pike thrashed about that I quickly netted. Another nice, colorful Northern indeed. My second of the morning.
Decided to start throwing the Spinnerbait on my second set-up as I have caught many Northern Pike and Pickerel on this color combo in my outings. And it didn`t take too long, as the drag started reeling off line! Fish on again! As my rod doubled over, I knew I had another really nice New Jersey Northern Pike! After a short battle, I netted the tired, fat toothy critter. And I had my 3rd Budd Lake Pike of the day.
Wasn`t long after that I had another strike……… but it felt a little different than the past three. A tad more sluggish. More of a pull and run. I had a good idea what it was as I set the hook. Yep….. I was right! A decent “Snot-Rocket!”…. Not quite the fight of the Northerns, but all and all a good one. A nice 22” Chainside Pickerel was quickly scooped into my net.
After a few hours, I had made my way almost along the entire edge and it started raining pretty hard. “Ahhhhhh…….. `bout time to call it a day” I said aloud as I was pretty chilled(which I get pretty easily nowadays because of the blood thinners I have to take) – I figured I`d make a couple more casts and get the heck out of there……….. And I went back to throwing the black and blue chatterbait…….
Ohhhhhhhh boy! What an explosion!! As a Monster Largemouth Bass attacked the Chatterbait! Making several sporadic jumps and flips before I could finally net her! A beautiful 5.8lb female full of eggs! I quickly took a picture of and gently released the “Mama Bass” back into the pond unharmed.
So I guess you could say I hit my Budd Lake Trifecta that day…… Pike, Bass and Pickerel!
Definitely enjoyed my 1st time out on Budd Lake. Quite the Adventure indeed. I`ll be back. And if you happen to recognize my `Yak or my hat, pull up and say “Hi” ………always enjoy talkin` to Friends out on the water.
Last Saturday I had made plans to chase some Shad up north, with a buddy & his son. Was really looking forward to wranglin` up a few fiesty Shad. But that didn`t happen. We called it a day around 10am as a steady rain stated to fall. Now I`m definitely not one to call it quits because of a little rain, but hell, when the fishin` sucks, I ain`t getting a wet ass & not catching anything!
So we said our goodbyes & parted ways for another day.
But I was still locked in that “fishing-mode” as I pulled into Dunkin` Donuts & grabbed a coffee.
As I headed back towards the house, they were calling for the rain to blow out by early afternoon. “Perfect” I thought to myself. Time to get my `Yak & head out to the Passaic River as I had some “New Territory” to scout out in the Great Swamp.
Got home, changed my gear, loaded up the `Yak & away I went. Forty-five miles to my destination to be exact. By the time I arrived, The rain had stopped & the sun burned off the clouds & it was turning out to be a beautiful Spring day in Jersey.
Tied down all of my gear in the `Yak & made my way slowly down-river working my Chartreuse Spinner-Bait among the blow-downs & submerged brush. As I diligently searched for those toothy river-Wolves lurking in the murky waters of the Passaic.
I was using my left-handed Gold Calcutta Spinner Bait Reel paired with an Ugly Stick Rod tossing the spinner-bait accurately in precise spots that I knew would hold a Pike……sooner or later.
Then……BAM! Pike on! And a nice at that, as my pole doubled over. As Esox thrashed on top of the water, I estimated it to be about three feet long.
Here`s the Go PRO Video I shot that day:
He was a dandy as he was 34″ & a little over eight pounds. Definitely a nice way to start the fishing season eh?
Had a little time to head on out to the Passaic River last Sunday August 2nd, to chase those Jersey “River Wolves” in the Passaic. Obviously as you all can tell by now, the Northern Pike is one of my favorite fish to go after and my goal is to hopefully, to wrangle up a 40 incher to hang in my office.
There are a few reasons I keep coming back to this river. 1.) I like the terrain,….. you have to work for the fish and getting around with the `Yak in some pretty heavy cover/obstacles, is certainly challenging. 2.) You never quite know what you may catch or come across in that mysteriously murky river. Hell just a couple weeks ago, they pulled an alligator out of it down around Elmwood Park! 3.) I know that there are River Monster Pike in there! Gotta keep tryin`!
Figured I`s start at around 8:30 and work my way down river for two or three hours. The river was lower than I had anticipated and it`s usual murky self. I worked the river ever so slowly. Casting with pin-point accuracy in various pockets and around submerged brush and logs as I head down stream.
After a an hour or so of fishing, nothing. Then I cam upon this stretch that just really looked “Pikey” with a nice deep pocket at the end of the pool. On the second cast a Pike swiped at the Bomber Lure. Two more casts…… and nothing. Then the next cast BAM! Pike on!
Turn up your speakers and enjoy this short clip I shot of the day`s adventure on the river;
That young Pike was the only one I found that morning. That`s ok……….. I`ll be back in my quest for that
Passaic River Monster 40″ Northern Pike!
Well the title alone ought to give ya an idea as to how this day panned out! ha! ha!
So turn those speakers up and watch this Video of the day`s as I do a little NJ Pike Fishing on foot!
So for those of you that have written to me asking if it was possible to catch Pike on foot, well here`s your answer. I did manage to wrangle up one Pike this morning and had another one swat at and miss my lure.
So yes, you don`t need a `Yak to get the job done.
Took a vacation day yesterday as I was planning to venture way down South Jersey, to have a go at some
Snakeheads and Bowfins. Well with all of the torrential rain storms the last few nights, I decided not to chance it, because of possible high/ muddy waters in the Delaware River tributaries that I wanted to target.
So I decided to head east rather than south for a new fishing adventure.
Loaded up my `Yak, gear and gassed up the truck and made my way up Rte. 80 to head to my targeted destination about forty five miles away. I mapped out a spot on my Passaic River map, Googled a general street in the area(As you can`t just Google “Spots on the River”! ha! ha!) got my directions and was on my way.
Got the `Yak on the water and made my way upstream
The river was definitely a bit on the muddy side, but I did indeed like the looks of this part of the Passaic River. It seems to split in various directions. As a matter of fact, so many different directions, I`m not positive where it becomes one main river-artery. As I said, this trip was really about scouting new fishing territory and that is exactly what I was doing.
Did manage however, to wrangle up a decent Smallmouth Bass in the muddy water.
The sky`s started getting dark and threatening as a storm seemed to be brewing on the horizon with thunder in the distance, I did manage to catch a young Northern Pike also.
Turn up those speakers(a little louder towards the end, as I had the protective cover on the Go PRO so it muffled me a bit) and watch this short clip of the day`s adventure:
Turned out to be a really nice scoutin` adventure and got to give advice to a very enthusiastic, younger fellow-fisherman. Which is something I enjoy doing when I`m out and about.
I`ll have a go at those `ol Snakeheads another day down in South Jersey.
To be continued……
Yesterday definitely wasn`t the best afternoon weather-wise, as the forecast was calling for severe thunderstorms late in the day. It was really a little too late of a start, but I threw the `Yak and gear in my truck, got some gas, a couple cold drinks and decided to roll the dice for a little NJ Pike Fishing on the Passaic River.
Decided to try some new territory, which again, I wasn`t sure how this was all going to pan out as I was hearing thunder rumble the further east I went down Route 80.
I arrived at my new spot at 4p.m. and figured I`d fish and be back at the truck by 6:30 at the very latest, that is if the weather would hold out that long. My plan was to paddle up river and estimate roughly how long it would take my to drift back down to my starting point, as I worked the murky waters of the Passaic River for those razor-toothed NJ Pike.
I had just got the `Yak in the River and it really began to rumble. Thought for sure this would more than likely be a very short trip as lightning was flashing more frequently and the thunder was rumbling much quicker and closer now.
Every now and then though, the sun would peek through momentarily as I began to work some deep pools as I drifted downstream.
Then it happened…….. A strike! Fish on! And a good fish at that!
The Jersey Pike dove quickly under my `Yak as I set the hook and the fight was on!
Then the mighty Pike danced in the air, showing his acrobatic moves!
The water boiled around the `Yak as I got the Pike closer!
A very nice NJ Pike indeed!
Enjoy the short Video below I shot of my latest adventure;
Only fished for an hour and a half and managed to wrangle up that one nice NJ Pike before the sky started getting a little too dark as a flash-flood warning was out.
All in all, a mighty fine fast-action, NJ Pike Fishin` Adventure in some new territory!
Well our NJ Pike Fishing Adventure this past weekend was nothing short of yet another excellent fishing excursion with a gentleman by the name of Nathan Robinson from New Brunswick Canada.
Nathan found my website three months ago, as he was “Googling” NJ Pike Fishing and reached out to me me through the site. He explained that he was coming down to New Jersey the first week in May and wanted to fish for northern pike, as he had never caught one simply because there aren`t any pike in New Brunswick. Quite frankly I was surprised that there aren`t Pike up there. Heck my Step-Father & I traveled up to northern Ontario for eight years fishing for smallmouth bass, walleye and of course, northern pike. I really thought they were everywhere in Canada. Hey you learn something new everyday right?
Being an experienced kayak fisherman, Nathan liked the idea of chasing those pike in the Passaic in the `Yaks. He has quite the kayak set-up(see pics below) at his home in New Brunswick.
Notice it`s a Pedal-Driven Kayak. An extremely well-equipped, very professional-looking vessel, I must say.
Quite the `Yak indeed!
Initially he planned on bringing this elaborate kayak to New Jersey, but decided not too, as it probably wasn`t a good idea to have it sit on top his vehicle all week as it might`ve “grown legs” and disappeared. So the next option was to rent one while he was down here. I myself, wasn`t really sure where to rent a kayak, as everything I found on-line was in South Jersey. I thought, “Ahhhhh what the hell……I`ll ask the question, where to rent a kayak on the NewJerseyHunter.com forum. Well what happened the next day was incredible………. I got a response and the subject said, “Ken…why rent?” I thought, “Great….someone wants to sell me their kayak”. I read the message and was shocked at what it said, “Hey Ken…don`t rent one, I`ve got a kayak that you can use”….WOW! I thought. This gentleman who is a complete stranger to me, graciously offered to let Nate use his kayak! He proceeded to give me his address and said it would be out by the pond and to help myself to it and no rush to bring it back. Wasn`t this an incredibly nice offer? An act of pure kindness…….The kind of gesture that restores one`s faith in humanity as my friend Lisa put it.
I threw the `Yaks in the bed and loaded up my gear and headed east to meet up with Nate on Friday. Nate was pretty darn excited to have a `Yak to fish the river in and my goal was to hopefully get him into a few pike out there.
Nate caught his first pike that afternoon. He said, “Well this is what I came for,….at least I caught a pike….I`m satisfied” –
But I wasn`t,…… as I wanted to get him into a decent size pike. With paddled back to the lot at dark that night and talked about where to fish on Saturday. We decided to meet twenty miles away from this location, at 7am the next morning.
Then it was Saturday………. and then the Adventure kicked in!
Wasn`t long until we were into some nice-size pike on the Passaic on the cool, cloudy day!
Nathan caught two beautiful pike that afternoon! One was a tad over seven pounds!
Watch the Video of our Pike Fishing Adventure on the Passaic River! You`ll enjoy this one!
I do indeed believe this Pike Fishing Adventure left quite an impression on my new Friend from New Brunswick Canada.
NJ Pike Fishing – “Had the day off of work, so I loaded up my `Yak the night before in my truck and made my way to the Passaic River at daybreak today, to see if I could wrangle up a Northern Pike or two for my first outing of the season” –
“When I arrived at the river, I was a bit disappointed as the river was actually quite muddy. Nevertheless, I was here and wanted to have a go at it as the forecast was calling for an absolutely beautiful Spring day.”
“I double-checked the arsenal of Pike lures in my knapsack, Bombers _Check…..Spinner baits_Check…..Mepps Piker Kit_Check/Spare Reel _Check/Extra Line _Check……All set. Good to go!”
I untied my `Yak and carried it to the river`s edge. Went back to the truck to slip on my neoprene waders, grabbed my pole and headed back to the `Yak.
Turn up your speakers and watch the short Pike Fishing Video I shot while fishing that day.
I fished for about five and a half hours that day on the Passaic River. While it wasn`t one of my better days
Pike Fishing, I did indeed manage to wrangle up my first Northern Pike of 2015, and hell, a day doesn`t get much better than this, especially when you`re out and about enjoying the Springtime air while fishing in the great New Jersey Outdoors.
The weather forecast was suppose to be warm one more day before a cold-front was upon us. I was getting itchy to take advantage of the short-warm trend so I text my boss at 8pm the night before asking if it would be ok to burn a half-day of vacation. He said, “Sure”……. so I loaded up my `Yak that night & drove my truck to work the next morning, all prepared to get a little NJ Pike Fishing in the next afternoon.
Now that day-light saving time was over, I had to strategically plan out my time that afternoon as I only would have decent light till 5:30.
So at 1pm I changed my clothes & headed for the river with the idea that I would attempt to film this adventure as I worked the Passaic River in my `Yak. I don`t have a Go-Pro Camera yet, so I
bought this head-band that actually holds Canon Powershot Cameras from eBay. As I put it on my head the night before at the house, Sharon said, “Are you really going to wear that thing on your head while you fish?”…………… ha! ha! I said, “Sure…..why not? No one will see me!”
Now I only caught one Pike that day & lost another, but I think you`ll enjoy watching my little NJ Pike
Fishing Video as I explain what I use & how I fish for Pike in the Passaic River.
Last Sunday was suppose to be my day to work around the house & my one focus was going to be to bag leaves as our yard is covered. It was a picture-perfect Fall Day. Except for one thing……… the wind.
So at around 10am I went out to give it a go with my leaf blower and climbed up on my roof to blow out my leaf-packed gutters. After this was done I decided to tackle the yard figuring it was perfect as the leaves where bone-dry & easy to blow around. Yea……well that was true. Those leaves started blowing everywhere as the wind was picking up.
This was useless I thought.
Well…….. no sense wastin` this gorgeous Fall Day right? So let`s load up the `Yak & hit the river to do a little NJ Pike Fishing for a few hours! Now the problem with that statement is simply this,…….. Ken Beam + Fishin…RARELY = just a “Few Hours!” ha! ha!
So I did a few more odds & ends around the house loaded up my truck with my gear & `Yak & headed to the river.
I got on the river at 1pm and by 1:20 I landed my first young Pike! I figured, “Wow…… this might just be a good day despite the very windy conditions similar to last weekend.”
My plan was to fish till 4:30 as I told Sharon I`d be home for supper by 5:30. So I strategically figured how much time I could spend between fishin` & paddlin` at each of my three spots. Startin` out backwards, out of order, I was at spot number 3 first and had to be out and back at my truck by 2pm if I was to stay on course in order to hit all three spots.
At 2pm I was right on schedule and driving to spot number 2. I launched the `Yak & decided to give it a shot upstream first. As I paddled under the bridge, I actually had to duck my head a bit……… “Ahhhhhhh…….. The recent rains made the river rise.”
As I worked the spot thoroughly with my accurate casts, I couldn`t believe I hadn`t had a strike. “Time to head downstream”, I thought……
As I worked my way downriver, a Pike jumped right alongside my `Yak! Casting in that direction, brought a swirl then a strike! Fish on! Another young Pike. Wasn`t long after that I caught another Pike casting in the debris in the river. It seemed to me that the Pike that were normally in those other spots, were now downstream, hovering around brush & other debris as the higher water apparently moved them down the river.
Now it was 3:30…….. “Heck….. might as well stay right here at spot number 2 and finish up the day here. Why not? I`m catchin` fish!”……………… Then it became 4:15………. “Fifteen more minutes……ahhhhhh…….I can get back to truck by 4:45″ I said to myself.
Then at 4:40 I was still fishin` as I was gettin` a lot of action. Up to that point I had landed four & lost two others right at the `Yak!
At 4:45 I set the hook again on a slighly heavier Pike! Yes! A decent one that made number five on the day! As I netted him & took a few pictures, I could see that the spinnerbait hook had come out high up towards his eye. So I gingerly worked the hook out of his mouth bare-handed, rather than use pliers. As I did this, he chomped down on my finger with those razor-like teeth!
Needless to say, I did indeed get the hook out of him & returned him safely to the murky waters….
Another great Adventure on the River! (But boy oh boy…….did I ever catch hell walkin` in the door an hour late! -ha! ha!)