Hook, Line & Sinker: July 15, 2009

By Judy Van Put
Al Carpenter of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville reported that Pepacton Reservoir fishing has been good if you are out at the right time. One fisherman caught ‘a fair number of fish’ during the late afternoon, while his buddies were not at all successful fishing all morning. Al said that with a full moon, things change - and while the best fishing is traditionally early morning and late evening, fishing has been spotty during the full moon period. He predicted that conditions should be getting more predictable and improved this next week coming up; that a new moon fishes better than a full moon.
The Pepacton Trout Derby sponsored by Al’s Sports Store is in full swing. Entries can be made right up until July 31 for just $5. Leading the derby so far this month is John Rutkowski of New Jersey who was using a sawbelly when he caught a whopper of a brown trout that tipped the scales at 11 pounds, five ounces. The big fish measured 28 inches.
In second place is Joe McGuire from Verplanck with a nice brown that weighed eight and three-quarters pounds and went 28 inches.
Holding third place is Helmut Laemmle from New Jersey who bagged an eight-pound, one-ounce brown that measured 27 inches. Helmut’s fish was just a bit longer than the eight-pound, one-ounce brown taken by George Wilkes Jr., which measured 26 inches. So far all fish that have been entered have been taken on sawbellies. The contest runs through Friday, July 31, and ends at 6 p.m.
Sonny Somelofski of the Tremperskill Country Store was happy to report that the good weather has brought out a lot of fishermen, who in turn brought in “a bunch of fish” over the past week and weekend, all caught on shiners. A group of fishermen from Pennsylvania caught and released several nice trout; one was hooked badly and so they kept it, a nice 28-inch brown. Sonny said the group came in on Friday for three-dozen bait fish, then on Saturday, returned for two dozen more. The men reported that their bait was getting “slammed, hit, really hard” early in the morning, from about 4-5 a.m. Good action was seen down along the middle of the reservoir, below Beech Hill, with most fish found down about 28 to 30 feet. Along with the slew of brown trout, the Pennsylvania trout fishers caught two or three rainbows.
In addition to live bait, trout fishermen are still using Krocodiles (always the ‘hot lure’ and pretty standard) as well as trolling with Thundersticks and Sutton Spoons. Pepacton Reservoir anglers are catching lots of bass and Rooster Tails seem to be the favorite bass lure of choice.