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Make Time to Chase Rumors and Fish Unfamiliar Waters

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April 09, 2013

Make Time to Chase Rumors and Fish Unfamiliar Waters

By Joe Cermele

How many times have you or one of your buddies said something to this effect: I hear there's good INSERT SPECIES HERE fishing over at INSERT BODY OF WATER HERE. We should go check that out one of these days. Now, how often does the day you actually go come? When you have limited time to fish on weekends, or skip out on work here and there, it's very easy to talk yourself out of trips to unfamiliar places and opt for the waters you know well. I'm just as guilty of doing it, but I was reminded last week how important it is to roll the dice every once in a while, because you're bound to learn one of two things. Either you'll know never to try it again, or you'll discover something worth revisiting. In my case, I found a pretty great northern pike fly fishery close to home.

I had been hearing about pike stockings in New Jersey's Passaic River for years, but had no idea where to find access points, or even whether there were enough pike in there to make it a viable fishery. This winter, while sitting at a bar with friend and guide Joe Demalderis, he let it slip that he's been toying with a Passaic pike exploration as well. Four months later, we found ourselves driving 2 hours to a stretch of river we weren't even sure would have a sufficient launch for Joe's drift boat or be navigable once we got underway. We just decided to go instead of talking about it, and whatever happened happened.

What happened was we wasted the first few hours looking for a launch, but we eventually found one right next to what I'm certain was a meth lab in a full production run. The owner of what I'm sure was a meth lab kindly told us we wouldn't have any problems parking and launching at this spot--he seemed trustworthy--and off we went, rowing up the meandering, chemical-filled Passaic. 

By the end of the day, Joe and I couldn't get over how many pike we turned on flies, and we both agreed we need to get back there and do it again soon. If we had kept debating the launching issue over the phone and scouring Google Maps trying to figure out if the float was even feasible, we may never have gone. 

Comments (4)

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from Wiege wrote 1 year 1 week ago

Years back, a friend and I decided our normal fishing places were too populated. Used a lake book to pick four new places to fish. He did a two hour selection process. Me, hungry and lacking a beer, flipped to the overall map, closed my eyes and blindly picked two spots. Three spot were duds. Fourth a pain to get to, but a real gem for hungry, hand-sized bluegill. It was a spot I blindly picked, and it was only 6 minutes from cabin. We don't get up there much to fish it, but do talk about it a lot.

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from Koldkut wrote 1 year 1 week ago

I spend way too much of my varied fishing speak uttering "Ya know, I really want to get down to lakeX and chase some of those fish", and I for some reason always go back to the same old haunts.

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from canvasbackhunter wrote 1 year 1 week ago

Last summer a friend and I fished a small lake with every fish hungry and big. The only way to get to it was to hike down through the woods with a canoe about a half mile. I saw huge pike, gar and dog fish. I caught some of the biggest bass and crappie of my life. I was using 10 in worms, and I caught a fish every cast. I don't think anybody had ever fished it. On the way out, a guy stopped us and said it was illegal to fish that lake. We apologized then asked a dnr officer. The guy, as we suspected, was just protecting his favorite fishing spot. In his respect, we won't go to the lake too often, once a year.

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from ffsnuffy wrote 1 year 6 days ago

I have had a lot of success fishing the Lehigh Canal. There is such a variety of different fish species in it from the Lehigh River. It pays to fish waters people don't think about. Tight lines my friends.

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from Wiege wrote 1 year 1 week ago

Years back, a friend and I decided our normal fishing places were too populated. Used a lake book to pick four new places to fish. He did a two hour selection process. Me, hungry and lacking a beer, flipped to the overall map, closed my eyes and blindly picked two spots. Three spot were duds. Fourth a pain to get to, but a real gem for hungry, hand-sized bluegill. It was a spot I blindly picked, and it was only 6 minutes from cabin. We don't get up there much to fish it, but do talk about it a lot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 1 week ago

I spend way too much of my varied fishing speak uttering "Ya know, I really want to get down to lakeX and chase some of those fish", and I for some reason always go back to the same old haunts.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from canvasbackhunter wrote 1 year 1 week ago

Last summer a friend and I fished a small lake with every fish hungry and big. The only way to get to it was to hike down through the woods with a canoe about a half mile. I saw huge pike, gar and dog fish. I caught some of the biggest bass and crappie of my life. I was using 10 in worms, and I caught a fish every cast. I don't think anybody had ever fished it. On the way out, a guy stopped us and said it was illegal to fish that lake. We apologized then asked a dnr officer. The guy, as we suspected, was just protecting his favorite fishing spot. In his respect, we won't go to the lake too often, once a year.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ffsnuffy wrote 1 year 6 days ago

I have had a lot of success fishing the Lehigh Canal. There is such a variety of different fish species in it from the Lehigh River. It pays to fish waters people don't think about. Tight lines my friends.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment