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Upstate N.Y.
Salmon, Steelhead &
Trout Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 11-23-16


<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Salmon River and Western N.Y. Rivers</b>

Weather was in the 60 degrees Saturday morning and plunged to freezing temperatures by the end of the day, a sharp change, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. Snow fell, and wind blew. “Winter is here,” he said. That shut down fishing early this week for steelheads on Salmon River and big brown trout in rivers and creeks farther west in upstate New York, around Rochester. The fish were stunned, and even guides struggled to catch. Salmon River’s steelheading became “technically demanding.” Jay went deer hunting, and waited for the fishing to rebound. This was a good time to hunt and tie flies. He hoped the fishing would kick back in later this week, and weather was supposed to become warmer. This is the time of year when weather can shut down the fishing at moments. More snow fell along Salmon River than at the western New York creeks and rivers. A few inches fell in the western area, but those creeks and rivers were very low, because of a drought. They could use any precipitation. Five to six inches of snow fell on the lower Salmon, but a whopping 5 to 6 feet fell on the upper! Northwest wind this season can turn Lake Ontario into a snow pump for the Salmon. Jay will keep after the steelheads and browns. Steelheads live in Salmon River throughout winter, a world-class fishery. Fishing for the browns will last a moment longer this season, until the creeks and rivers freeze. They grow huge because they summer in the lake, spending winter in creeks and rivers because forage is more abundant there then. Salmon River never completely freezes, because of its size. So the steelheading continues throughout winter. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.    

<b>NEW JERSEY</b>

A few trout were banked, when anglers could find water high enough on trout streams, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Streams were low in the drought, so the fish were pooled-up. Catches of them were heard about from Musconetcong River at Point Mountain Reservation. The Musky’s been higher than water elsewhere this season because Lake Hopatcong, draining into the river, was being lowered for winter for dock repairs like every year. Small flies like size-18 midges and small scuds caught. The <a href="http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/trtinfo_winter.htm" target="_blank">winter trout stocking</a> was supposed to take place Monday and Tuesday of this week. In the northern state, that stocking is mostly at lakes, compared with the fall stocking that’s mostly at streams. In the southern state, all the year’s trout stockings are mostly at lakes, because most of the area’s steams are inhabitable for trout. Walleyes were angled from Delaware River at the Water Gap last week. Suspending jerk baits will catch them this time of year. So will a jighead with a Gulp worm. Use a lightweight jighead, like ¼-ounce, because the river is low. Some anglers began to jig for landlocked salmon at lakes that harbor them like Tilcon and Aeroflex with Binsky blade baits. Some of the fish are big or 5 to 8 pounds. The jigging connects just before weather turns cold for the season.

Trout usually cruise Round Valley Reservoir’s shoreline in fall and spring, and shore anglers usually begin to lock into them now, but the fishing was slow, said James from <b>Behre Bait & Tackle</b> in Lebanon. The reason was unknown, but warm weather this season, including 75 degrees sometimes this month, was probably a cause. The reservoir was low, and so were Spruce Run Reservoir and most waters. That made news scarce about catches locally. A gravel boat-launching ramp had been constructed at Round Valley to launch boats during low water. That became muddy, but boats could still be launched at the reservoir’s usual ramps before the gravel one was installed. Boaters just needed to be patient and careful. If they buried wheels in mud, that was because they rushed.

Three inches of snow fell locally, and strong wind blew in past days, said Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. But anglers sometimes walked Passaic River’s banks, reeling in yellow and white perch and northern pike. The river was lower than usual but not extremely. Rain the other day raised the water considerably a moment. Those catches were almost all that was heard about freshwater fishing. Largemouth bass anglers that Joe knows did no fishing in the weather in past days. Many lakes were low, including Round Valley and Spruce Run reservoirs. Merrill Creek Reservoir will be drained soon for the season. Lakes in the Newark Watershed were closed because of low water, Joe thought. One boat-launching ramp, built for high water, was closed at Lake Hopatcong, because the drop-off at the end became dangerous in the shallow water. That’s one of three ramps at the lake. In brackish and saltwater, striped bass fishing was very good on Hackensack River and in New York Harbor. At places like the harbor, boaters were “trolling up a storm,” he said.

Chain pickerel and yellow perch were rustled up, and not many largemouth bass were, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. Pickerel and perch remain active in cool water, but largemouths begin to stop biting when the temperature drops. Anglers who fished private lakes in retirement villages cracked some of the bass. But few of the bass were reported from public waters. Most customers focused on the striped bass migration in saltwater. But regular customers stopped in every weekend to gear up for freshwater fishing, including at the retirement villages and places like Winding River. Pickerel could be fought at Lake Riviera. Anglers picked away at a few crappies, not a lot, at Ocean County College Pond. The boat-launching ramp was supposed to be closed soon at Manasquan Reservoir for the season. Nothing was heard about trout fishing in a couple of weeks. Two-hundred-thirty trout were slated to be stocked at Lake Shenandoah this past Monday in the winter trout stocking. Spring Lake and Topenemus Lake were supposed to receive 190 trout apiece that day in the stocking. The stocking was only supposed to take place Monday and Tuesday of this week throughout New Jersey. Some word rolled in about white perch nabbed on Toms River at Trilco and other brackish waters to the south, probably in Forked River. Trilco is a closed building supply. No sign identifies the building, but locals know the stretch by the name, located near Garden State Parkway. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Some lakes might toss up panfish, said Matt from <b>Harry’s Army Navy</b> in Robbinsville. Or they might give up chain pickerel. An angler might reel in one or two fish like that, here and there, at lakes. If largemouth bass are going to be caught, live bait is probably best. Lots of shiners are sold at the store right into winter. Avid largemouth anglers are unlikely to use bait, but the live bait gives the most chance of catching in the season’s cool water. Matt’s an avid freshwater angler, and he’s found this fall’s fishing to be slower than usual on the waters. Conditions just weren’t right, including low water, and lakes don’t seem to be turning over like they should for the season. Lots of leaves now covered waters, fouling fishing lines. The winter trout stocking was supposed to take place this week, and nothing was heard about fishing for the trout yet. Matt was thinking about trout fishing on streams farther north in New Jersey, once saltwater’s striped bass migration departs. He’d assume the streams ran low, because Delaware River ran low locally. That could hinder the trouting. The striper fishing was great, including in the surf. Wind probably prevented boating for the bass in past days. But when boaters got the conditions to sail, the fishing was great for them, too. In the surf, the stripers bit from the state’s northern to central coast. But the area toward Seaside Heights and Island Beach State Park served up the catches. Many good catches were slid-in, if anglers hit the right spot at the right time in the surf. The fish were definitely migrating south in the state, after being parked along the state’s northern coast until now.   

Wind hampered the ability to fish during the weekend and beginning of the week, said Brian from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. But customers bought bloodworms to fish for striped bass from shore that schooled Delaware River from Penns Grove to Ben Franklin Bridge. Most of the stripers, plentiful, were 16 to 24 inches. But a customer lost a fairly big one that almost spooled the reel Saturday. Anglers still trout fished, and the cooler the weather, the better for trouting, probably. They caught at Greenwich Lake and bought PowerBait for the angling, and yellow seemed best color. No largemouth bass were weighed-in and no customers showed photos of the bass this week. Maybe chillier weather slowed the angling or caused the bass to move to deeper water where anglers were yet to find them. A buddy yanked a sizable crappie from a lake on a Strike King KVD square-billed crank bait and no other fish on the trip. That was all that was heard about crappies.

Rowand’s Pond was included Tuesday in the winter trout stocking, so good-sized should be plucked from there, said Ed Jr. from <b>Creek Keepers Bait & Tackle</b> in Blackwood. PowerBait should catch them, and a couple of largemouth bass and a couple of chain pickerel were waxed from Grenloch Lake last week. Big pickerel chewed in Goshen Pond in Atco. Many anglers headed there for them. The store is open Wednesdays through Sundays when weather is fair and anglers are likely to show up. The shop last year was closed for the season soon. But Ed will try to keep the doors open as long as possible. Shiners, minnows, bloodworms and all frozen baits, including for saltwater, are stocked. From the shore, a few striped bass were reported caught at Brigantine this past week.

Although crazy wind was tough sometimes this week, largemouth bass fishing gave up a pretty fair pick, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Union Lake tossed up good catches. Parvin Lake and South Vineland Park Pond produced. Jerk baits lit into the bass well, and Rat-L-Traps worked decent to clock them. Not much was reported about crappies yet, though cooler weather can trigger them to bite. The shop had customers through the door to go trout fishing yesterday. The winter trout stocking was supposed to take place that day locally, including at South Vineland Park Pond, Shaw’s Mill Pond, Rowand’s Pond and Haddon Lake. From saltwater, reports about striped bass began to come in. The southern migration seemed to start arriving.

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