Category Archives: Boat Fishing

September Fishing Report

The Sunday weather was mild, hooded sweatshirt weather in the early morning hours for sure. A fog covered the late and we parked ourselves under a light to help us see what we were doing while setting up our gear…well, Zach’s gear…the dude has everything. Our plan was to troll for Rainbow Trout and Lake Trout on Zach’s boat using 8 planer boards and 2 downriggers. So with this in mind, we hit the water at 6:30am for a day of fishing Round Valley Reservoir. Surface water temperature was 70.5 in the morning.

Zach Merchant fishing boat set up for trolling
Zach Merchant’s fishing boat, set up for trolling trout at Round Valley.

Trolling Setup

We started trolling with the planer boards higher in the water column, most of our marks on the fishfinder indicated fish hanging out in 20-30feet of water. If you’ve ever fished Round Valley in the early morning fog, it’s not uncommon to see fish feeding at the surface so don’t hesitate to put out a couple lines right on the surface. We also put a couple spoons down deep for the lake trout which we were marking at or near the bottom. Trolling speed was 1.5mph.


Lures consisted of various Warrior spoons 2 to 4 inch in size, single and treble hook, as well as jointed J-7 Rapalas. We used darker colors in the early hours and brighter colors after about 10am when the sun was up and the fog was gone. Be sure to attach your spoons to snap swivels or you will get terrible line twist.

Robert Ivan holding a Rainbow Trout
Author, Robert Ivan with a 17inch rainbow trout showing red spawn colors.
Zach Merchant holding a Lake Trout
Zach Merchant holding one of two Lake Trout caught during the day’s fishing trip.
Zach Merchant holding Rainbow Trout
Zach Merchant showing off one of the larger Rainbow Trout caught on this trip.

The Fishing

From 6:30am to about 9:30am the action was steady. We picked up about 15 rainbow, two lakers and one yellow perch. Once the sun burned off all the fog the bite turned off and for the next 3 hours we picked up only 3 more rainbows, though one of them was the fatty Zach is holding in the image above. All fish were released successfully. Note too that we are in Lake Trout spawning season so any Lake Trout caught 16 September to 30 November must be returned to the water. Read this article to learn more about fishing for trout with a downrigger at Round Valley. Check out this older post with video if you want to learn more about trolling with planer boards and lead core line.

Combating the Negative Effects of Ethanol in your Outboard Motor’s Fuel System

Summer is upon us here in NJ and that means, hot & humid days ahead. A little preventative maintenance will help combat the negative effects of Ethanol in your Outboard Motor and fuel system.

What is Ethanol?

Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from corn and other plant materials. Ethanol is a renewable, domestically produced transportation fuel.

What is Ethanol blended fuel?

E10 fuel is a low-level blend composed of 10% ethanol and 90% gasoline. It is classified as “substantially similar” to gasoline by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is legal for use in any gasoline-powered vehicle. Fun Fact! The use of E10 was spurred by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (and subsequent laws), which mandated the sale of oxygenated fuels in areas with unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide. This kicked off the modern U.S. ethanol industry growth. Today, E10 is sold in every state. Nearly 97% of U.S. gasoline contains up to 10% ethanol to boost octane, meet air quality requirements, or satisfy the Renewable Fuel Standard. E10 doesn’t qualify as an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct).

Negative Effects of Ethanol

Basically, if you have a full 3 gallon fuel tank on your boat, 2.7 gallons is actually gasoline and 0.3 gallons is Ethanol. This is isn’t an issue by itself, however Ethanol has a nasty characteristic of attracting and bonding to water. Most small-boat fuel systems are vented directly into the atmosphere and because of this, ethanol can easily pull in moisture from the atmosphere and bond to it in your fuel tank, fuel lines, and carburetor. As we all know, water doesn’t burn so good and it tends to make engines like a 9.9 hp outboard run rough, hard to start and even stall at idle.

Combating Negative Effects of Ethanol

Consider the following preventative maintenance tips to keep you outboard engine running smooth year-round at every outing:

  • Add a fuel stabilizer like Sea Foam Motor Treatment or Sta-Bil Marine Formula to your fuel tank at each fill up.
  • When buying gas, only get what you think you’ll need for the day’s trip. You can also ask the attendant if they have any gas without ethanol blended in…I think I found a Sunoco once that offered non blended gasoline.
  • If you have old gas (over a month old) in your boat’s fuel tank, consider running that in your lawnmower instead and buying fresh gas for your day’s trip.

That’s it. Happy Fishing and Tight Lines!

Night Fishing Report

Night fishing report from Dave Quaglia and friends who went fishing at Round Valley Reservoir after the hot September sun had gone down. They caught two nice rainbows and a bunch of bluegill anchored in roughly 50 feet of water off the East beacon near the campsites. Corn and shrimp were the baits of choice. Notice the jacket, it’s getting cooler out there at night now that we are almost in October.

Dave Quaglia Rainbow Trout
Dave Quaglia holds one of two Rainbow Trout caught while night fishing at Round Valley.

Thanks for sharing the report Dave! Everyone can send in reports to