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Fishing 2020

JimG.

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9/3-RL with Steve.

Another fishing day that started sunny and quickly clouded up. Tough day, fish were not biting like last week. Worm was useless. The only action was on the surface and the hits were light and hard to see. Small dimples on the water when the lure landed. I had many of these light surface hits and only managed to hook and land 1 fish, a 16" smallmouth that put up a great fight. Steve landed one smallmouth as well. Of course the pressure gradient due to the changing weather had a negative effect.

As I finished my last on water cocktail at 7:30 the ugly looking clouds arrived. As usual it seems lately we just got back to our cars as the rain started.
 

JimG.

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9/11-RL with Steve.

Gorgeous day. Breezy and cool. Decent fishing caught a bunch of fish nothing exceptional. Some surface action, a few fish hit on the retrieve. Floating/diving plugs the ticket, worms might be on the shelf until next year.

As I was finishing my last cocktail I realized bass fishing season is drawing to a close in about a month. May extend the season by doing some trout fishing until skiing starts (mid-November earliest it seems).

As we got off the lake I'm so used to running around putting the boat away to avoid getting drenched by impending downpours Steve actually had to tell me to slow down.
 

JimG.

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9/17-Pepacton reservoir with Steve.

Until today it has been a disappointing bass season. Lot's of small fish but few good sized specimens. A lot of hot dry weather, warm water conditions and much difficulty locating and then hooking big fish. As the season draws to an end Steve and I always make a pilgrimage to Pepacton reservoir in the Catskills. This is a huge reservoir and we have found several good areas to fish with waders. But my last time here was not a good day. So I didn't expect much.

We got to a favorite spot in Arena and the water was low as we expected. But Mill Creek was still running all the way into the reservoir proper. The mouth of the creek enters a bay filled with old roadbeds and foundations (the town of Arena was here before the reservoir). It is possible to follow the road beds and walk out into the water a good distance. So we waded out and started casting into the bay. Within an hour we had landed over a dozen nice bass most of them bigger than any bass we had caught earlier this season. The Big-O (I used silver, Steve the crawdad color) was killing it. So we figured we would check out other spots in this area. And we caught nothing. So we went back to the bay with the creek and caught another 5 or so nice bass. Clearly the fresh moving water and the great structure in that area were the difference.

Then we decided to go to Cat Hollow to another good spot. But we both agreed that if the fishing there didn't immediately produce we would go back to Arena. After 30 minutes we were back on the road to Arena. It's a 20 minute drive but giving the fish a rest seemed like a good idea. We hiked back out to the bay and back out to our fishing spot. But the Big-O was no longer interesting to the fish. Steve decided to switch to a Rapala and in the next 5 casts he landed 4 nice fish. So I followed suit and switched to a Rapala jointed shad rap. It was the best fishing of the season, even better than the morning. At one point I landed 5 nice bass in 5 casts. And they were getting bigger as we approached sundown. First day this year I had to be dragged off the water.

All the difficult fishing and the effort we exerted all season with little reward was paid back in one day. When karma smiles on you the fishing is almost as much fun as skiing. Every fish we caught yesterday came from the same spot and there were plenty to keep 2 fishermen happy. Those days are rare. We hiked/waded about 5 miles total yesterday and it was fairly tiring but we were stoked the whole ride home. Got home at about 9:30 and I was passed out by 10. Didn't even bother to eat dinner.

Great day. A few pics:

Pep1.jpg
Pep3.jpg
Pep4.jpg
Pep2.jpg

That was fishing magic. Considering a return trip next week even though there is little chance we will get a bonanza like yesterday.
 
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JimG.

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9/24-Pepacton with Steve.

After last week's great fishing we did not have unrealistic expectations for a repeat performance. But it turns out we should have started fishing at Pepacton earlier than we did this year.

We repeated last week's effort. My first cast at Arena produced a massive hit by a big smallmouth. I played the fish into shallow water and then lost it. Turns out I grabbed my trout rod instead of my bass rod. The trout rod is very limber with little backbone. Great for trout, not so much for playing bass. But it was too far to go back to the car so I spent a few hours hooking but losing bass because I just couldn't set the hook properly with that noodle rod. No matter, the fish were biting even at some areas they were not last week. Still exciting and fun.

We went back to the car, ate lunch, and drove to Cat Hollow where we caught nothing again. We got back to our fishing spot at Arena by 5pm and this time I made sure I had the correct rod. My first cast again produced a nice smallmouth and away the fishing action went. We would catch 2-3 bass, wait for a few more bass to move into our spot, and then land another 2 or 3 nice bass. This continued until the sun set. The water was a foot or so lower than last week so we had to follow the roadbeds further out into the water to get the correct water depth but once we did it was catching time. We even caught a few largemouths this time, a fat yellow perch, and a fairly big chain pickerel that looked to weigh about 3 pounds. Another great day!

A few pics. Jim with a nice smallie:

Pep6.jpg

The smallmouth smiled for the camera, not sure what the fisherman was doing with that squint and goofy smile! Steve's pickerel:

Pep5.jpg

We got back to the car just before dark. Another awesome day. Hoping for some rain before next Thursday, if we get some rain we will be back at Pepacton next week. We have officially salvaged what was a poor bass fishing season.
 

JimG.

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10/1-Pepacton with Steve.

It looked like a carbon copy of the past 2 Thursdays sunny and pleasant but windy. The fishing would not play out that way though. At Arena two things were clear...the creek was up and running strong after the rain Wednesday and the reservoir was about a foot lower than last week. We got out to our fishing spot out on the roadbeds and hooked nothing. Out to the pan fishing spot and we landed a bunch of yellow perch. No bass. So we headed back to the car to eat lunch. We stopped and fished the creek a bit. Lo and behold I land a decent 12" brown trout and Steve landed a pretty nice brown:
Pep9.jpg
So the creek has the fish that are biting. Anyway we ate and headed to Cat Hollow...where we got skunked again.
Back to Arena for the last fishing session this season most likely. We decided to go to the mouth of the creek and fish in that area instead of following the roadbeds. Turns out we might have walked right by the fish in the early session. Steve goes on a tear and lands 3 nice smallmouths in 15 minutes:
Pep8.jpg
These were big smallmouths. Turns out the creek water is 10 degrees cooler than the reservoir in general so the water in that area was cooler than the relatively warm reservoir and this specific temperature gradient was attracting the fish. Now I'm wondering where my fish are. I threw my next cast to the middle of the mouth of the creek and got a huge hit followed by 3 drag pulling runs. This was a nice fish. I got it to shore and realized it was a big trout but its' markings puzzled me:
Pep7.jpg
Steve saw the battle and came over to see. He identified it as a tiger trout but he says he's never seen one this big. It's a hybrid trout the result of a cross between a brown and a brook trout. This one was 4.5 to 5 lbs. And then my fishing day went nuts. Within another 5 casts I land another tiger trout not as big. Then Steve lands a rainbow trout. We have about 45 minutes left and still no bass for me. From that point until we stopped fishing at sunset I landed 5 smallmouths just like the ones Steve, who was also landing smallmouths, had landed earlier.
Pep10.jpg
We had to work for those fish we hiked a total of 7 miles for the day, but that last 2 hours was totally worth it. A trip to the EB next week and bass fishing mostly done for me.
 
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JimG.

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10/8-EB with Steve.

Went out for a last day on the East Branch. Sunny and pleasant but very windy. Water pretty low too.

Fished from 1:30 to sunset and neither of us caught anything. We did enjoy several cocktails and I got a great workout rowing against the wind most of the day.

An obvious period marking the end of bass fishing season. Switching over to trout fishing until skiing starts, whenever that is.
 

JimG.

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10/25-solo at EB.

Went to the controlled river section below the dam. All parking areas packed with cars and people. Even Brady's bend was a disaster. Watched from the riverbank as 2 fly fishermen shouted at each other over who was at a particular beat first. Never even put my waders on. Not sure what possessed me to try to fish on a weekend.

Went to the reservoir which was very low. But no other fishermen. So I put my waders on and walked out to the first island and fished around the entire shoreline. Caught nothing.

Been trying to get a decent day to go out this week but it just isn't happening. Now snow is on the way. I'll keep looking out for a weekday to hit the river again but if that doesn't happen soon Fishing 2020 is over.
 

JimG.

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Looks like some trout fishing weather coming up later this week.

Thursday will probably be my last day of fishing in 2020.
 

hiking346

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So since ski season 19-20 got shut down I decided to do some wading and fishing on 3/21. After passing the main parking area which was packed and seeing fly fishermen fishing shoulder to shoulder near the spillway of the East Branch in the bathtub I drove to my more secluded spot at Brady's bend. Nobody there. Parked and wadered up. Had to bushwack downstream to my favorite pool there has been no trimming of pathways yet so it was more like bramble busting and getting to the water required planning.
View attachment 26622
Once I got in to the pool I had targeted it had of course changed over the winter with many snags and logs moved around. My favorite cast was very difficult to line up with a fallen tree guarding the shoreline area I was aiming at. So of course I lost a spinner snagging it on the tree. There are few spots to wade out to the best casts; most of this pool is very deep.
View attachment 26624
This is downstream from the pool. I casted and casted a variety of spinners and Rapalas and didn't get a bite. Nothing has been stocked yet but I was glad for that because if I had gotten a bite it would probably have been a nice fish. Anyway after 3 hours I worked my way back to my pool. And of course I had to push it lining that cast up. I kept walking out towards the center of the pool on a spit of hard bottom...and my next step was into mud quicksand and I was in up to my knees in a flash. So without hesitation I became a swimmer and was lucky that enough of my torso was above water still and my buoyancy popped my legs out from the mud and I swam to shore.
My neoprene waders are tight so very little water got in and my legs, upper torso and in fact my waders were still dry. But my arms and shoulders got soaked and man that water was COLD. Thusly my fishing day ended.

Always an adventure and I had a great time.

great
 

JimG.

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11/8-EB solo

Can't remember the last time I fished this late into November usually I'm skiing around now. But the great weather demanded I get out and do some wading. I had no expectations and after bushwacking into my favorite deep pools I was actually starting to sweat. After an hour of casting various lures into the deepest water I could find I decided the fish were not in deep water.
So I moved upstream from Brady's Bend and fished the faster moving riffles and eddies up to the Phoebe Hole. The first fast water run I cast into got me my first fish of the day, a brown trout. After landing another brown I got to a great stretch of water lined with downed trees. I cast upstream right into a fast running chute and soon landed my fish of the day, a fine 15" brown:
croton2.jpg
My next cast landed another brown almost as nice, about an inch smaller. My last two trout, a brown and a brook trout were caught in the riffle just downstream of the Phoebe Hole:
croton1.jpg
At that point it was heading towards dark so I hiked back to the car. It was good to end fishing 2020 with a 6 fish day and some nice trout.
 
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Nick

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I've been debating signing up for a boat club here in FL. The fishing near me is obviously amazing, but in the 3 yrs I've been here i've only boated like 3 times. Need more friends w boats !

Pic from Key West -
1605128511854.png
 
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