Jul 25, 2010

Smallmouth fishing on the Delaware River

Well it seems the like the summer heatwave we are having here in Connecticut has surely put a damper on my outdoor activities this past month so I finally have something outdoors related to write about.  My daughter spent the past week visiting family in New Jersy and Pennsylvania and I had to pick her up from my dad's house and decided to take a a couple of extra days to visit with m y dad and step mom and partake in some smallmouth bass fishing on the Delaware river.  I love river smallies because it doesn't matter how small they are they all have attitudes and fight like a bluefish.

When I was growing up , many of my summer visits to to see my dad would usually include a fishing trip on the Delaware River in the Delaware Water Gap which always meant a new adventure.  My dad doesn't believe in going to a bait and tackle shop to buy some bait when you can get all the free bait you need right from mother nature.  If we weren't turning over leaves on the side hills looking for worms, we were turning over rocks in the river looking for some smallmouth candy, Mr. Helgramite.   ofcourse when you are little and you get a chance to play around in the water on a hot summer day you take it, but see we weren't supposed to be playing but picking bait.  The rule was simple, no fishing was allowed until we had enough bait for everyone and as we did with many of my dad's rules we would ignore them and splash around in the water or start fishing.  At some point my dad would have filled the bait pail with enough helgramites, crayfish and stone cats foreveryone.

The nice thing about this trip is that Dad is retired and can pick bait every day if he wants so I didn't have to pick any bait, just use the bait he had already picked for us.  My brother Steve joined us for the Friday trip which started off with a stop at a local general store along the river for some Taylor Ham, Egg and Chess sandwhiches.  Can't get taylor ham in CT so this is always a treat.  We launched out of the Smithfield ramp on the PA side and motored up river up to the top of the Poxono Island were we started our drifts.  Our setups were some  6 foot Shakespeare ugly stiks, which are my dad's favorite, a size 2 circle hook and some small split shots. Yes it's true, i actually used spinning gear instead of my fly rod, yup I was old schooling it for sure. Basically we just drift our offerings along the bottom as we drift down river.  ofcourse depending on the bite we might throw a little hardware as well. 

The river was low and clear with water temps in the high 70s and we had storms on the horizon but the cloud cover was nice to have.  Fishing was slow for sure but I picked up 6 fish with the best being about 13 inches.  I won't tell you how my dad and brother did because i don't want to sound like I'm gloating or anything like that.  We did get a good dumping of rain about 10:30am and I still made them do another drift or two during the deluge of rain before we headed back to the launch.  On the ride back to the house the rain had stopped and the animals were out.  We had seen over a dozen deer and two real nice bucks, along with some turkeys.  I took a picture of one of the bucks and as you can see he is a beauty for sure.

We decided to hit the river again on Saturday even though they were forecasting sunny and super hot with temps hitting 90s.  The game plan was the same except this time my daughter would join my dad and i and we would meet up with some friends as well.  Ray and Raymond were already on their first drift as we were launching but we caught up with them and started at the same spot along the Poxono island.  Fishing was even slower today and it took about 3 or 4 dirfts before I got hooked up.   My daughter finally got a nice smallie and then another and I knew that I was in for a fight.  Well neither of us did super great but she bested me with catching more fish and the biggest of the day.  I keep forgetting why I ate to take her fishing....It's because it usually ends up with her catching more fish and the biggest fish.  Oh well, she gets bragging rights until the next trip.  In the summer it doesn't take long for the Big D to get crowded with swimmers, tubers and canoes so we were off the water about 11:30am and head home to some air conditioning.

The Delaware Water Gap is one of my favorite places and it's always great to get back out there and share it with friends and family but even better when you can throw in a couple of those Big D smallies.

A few more pictures from the trip.

My dad and Daughter

A beautiful PA buck

The Big D after the rain

Jul 9, 2010


I know we are in the middle of a heat wave up here in the Northeast and you probably think I'm crazy for even thinking about ducks right now but it's not too early to start making the lists of things to get done prior to the seasons starting.  Boat repairs, decoy repairs, blind repairs, some dog work, working on some new spots, etc.

One thing for certain is the Annual DEP waterfowl meeting coming the end of this Month and I'm sure this will be occurring in other states as well and it probably flies under most of our radars thanks to the beautiful summer weather.

Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations Meeting

Will be held from 7:00 PM-9:00 PM on Friday, July 30, 2010, in the rear conference room at the DEP Marine Headquarters, 333 Ferry Road, in Old Lyme.

This meeting provides interested parties an opportunity to comment on the proposed hunting season regulations for the 2010-2011 migratory bird seasons.

The DEP will present proposed regulations and take all public comments. Final hunting season dates will be formulated shortly after the comments are compiled and evaluated.

Check your state to see when they have their annual meeting schedule and add it to your calendar.

Enjoy the weekend.

Jul 1, 2010

Looking forward to the long wekend

Sorry I haven't posted in a while but I've been jsut a little busy.  I've been tied up at work and looking into buying a boat so fishing as been on the back burner expect for fooling around in the ponds for Largemouths.

I did buy a boat.  She is a used 17' Center Console Sunbird with a 90hp Evinrude that should allow me to get started running my own boat down the shore for fluke and stripers and ofcourse a little fun on the lake.  In haven't owned a boat in probably 10+ years and even then it was just small aluminum boats so this is a little new to me.   So I am working on getting comfortable with her and cleaning up the odds and ends that need to be addressed before heading down to the shore.  Overall it is a nice clean and usable boat and a great way to start for me but controlling the itch to just go is tough.  I plan on playing in my local lake for another week before heading down to the shore for a lesson.

I will be out chasing stripers and fluke with the boys this weekend on my friends boat and the weather looks great, seas are going to be flat and ofcourse Ernie will be all charged up about the shark trip he was on last week so it should be for a fun time.

Don't forget to take some time to reflect about what Independnce day means to you in between all the great outdoor activities and BBQs.

Happy 4th of July everyone!