Ouch E-mail
Sunday, 01 May 2011 06:56

6 pound bass caught near my home

I just filled up my truck and the tab was $83, OUCH! I’m in New Jersey which traditionally has some of the lowest gas prices in the country too. Most places it would have been a C note and before long it will here too. I don’t know about you but it’s affecting how I’m going to approach my fishing days; both where and how I go. I’m sure I’m not alone either. The other day I considered going to Raritan Bay. Reports have been spotty and with all the recent rain I decided to wait until I got more consistent intel. In years past I would have taken the drive just to give it a shot but with the trip running over $30 (gas and tolls) I decided to get some work done. My brother in law went and when I touched base with him he was on the water catching fish. I know I’m going to have to do more planning and combine my trips. My favorite fishery in the NY metro area in the spring is Jamaica Bay. A day trip there is going to run over $50 now! That’s one of the reasons I love the J Bay Tournament. I get to stay there 3 nights which makes it much easier financially. That brings me to another thing I’m looking to do is to go away more and stay over. For instance I’ll be giving a seminar along the central NJ coast next week. I’m staying at a friend’s and from there I’ll head down to Chris’s in Cape May. I’ll probably be away for 3 nights and get a few days of fishing out of it. I’ll be doing less one day trips to the shore and try to stay over more.

The other way I’m going to deal with the gas crunch is to fish closer to home. Hitting the salt will run me at least $30. Fortunately I have lots of good freshwater fishing close to home that won’t cost nearly as much. I live in a private lake community and the lake here has good fishing. It’s not an easy lake to fish but I’ll have more time. Within 20 minutes of me is a lot of water. I have a few rivers and several lakes and ponds. When summer comes I’ll do a lot of fishing at night as freshwater bass fishing is much better once the sun goes down. I’ll fish the rivers in the day as river fish tend to be much more opportunistic. All my local waters are going to see me a lot more. One of the fisheries I’ve wanted to explore is sight fishing for carp on the Passaic River. Now I’ve got my chance. Speaking of the Passaic, besides the carp, I’ll be spending more time there chasing northern pike, smallies and largemouths. It’s a world class fishery with trophy size pike. I know anglers have caught fish over 4 feet. So far my biggest is 38” so I’m looking to top that, hopefully by a foot. I’ve had some excellent fishing in its tributary, the Rockaway, and there’s a couple stretches I’ve never floated before. Also the pike seem to have spread too many parts of the system. I’d like to see where. I love exploring and there’s a lot of water nearby to check out. There’s a pond about 10 minutes away that has huge carp in it. I haven’t had success the couple times I tried it but now I’m motivated as I’ve seen some monsters in there. Again I haven’t caught any largemouths in it but I’ve heard they’re in there too. Just like I have a variety of waters near my home that I haven’t fully explored or even fished yet you probably do to. They’re going to get a lot more attention from me and your local water’s are beckoning you to fish them more too. Speaking of fishing rivers that brings me to another thing I’ll do more of. Obviously a long float trip will require 2 vehicles so that necessitates fishing with someone else and car pooling. Car pooling is another way to lessen the hurt of gas prices.

Danny with a nice Passaic River Pike

Marine fuel will probably hit $6 a gallon before too long. That’s gonna hurt. It’s certainly going to limit range. I think we’ll see more boaters becoming kayak anglers. Fishermen aren’t going to give up fishing; they’ll just change how they fish. That’s why I see fishing from electric kayaks gaining a lot of new anglers. Many boaters will want to still have a motor.

I’m not going to stop fishing the salt or wandering further but my excursions that require any distance are going to see more planning from me. It’s always important to check the weather. I’m not a big fan of being caught in thunderstorms having experienced it a few times. Another often overlooked factor is wind. I usually go to the NOAA site www.erh.noaa.gov and check the anticipated weather of the area I plan on fishing. It is very important to not only check what the weather is doing now but also what it is expected to do. Generally forecasters can only predict what may happen. Surprises happen all the time. Scattered thunderstorms can produce torrential down pours anywhere and result in flash floods. I recall seeing on the Weather Channel one day an isolated part of upstate NY getting hit with over 8” of rain in a few hours. If that happens upriver from where you’re fishing it can be very dangerous. Also if the forecast shows the winds building they can accelerate and ruin the day. For instance I was on the phone this morning with Joey. He and Dee were going fishing and he remarked how calm it was. I checked NOAA and the forecast was W winds 5 to 10 kt...increasing to around 15 kt with gusts up to 25 kt late this morning and afternoon. So things were expected to change and do so abruptly. Sometimes those changes come early, later or as we’ve all seen the weather people blow it. However if the winds start increasing Joey knows there’s some stuff on the way and he’ll be ready to get off the water fast knowing this.

A little bit of planning can go a long way in keeping more money in your pocket and keeping fishing affordable.

 

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