Sun., Dec. 9, 2018
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Salmon, Steelhead &
Trout Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 11-9-16

<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

Salmon River’s fishing for steelheads and salmon was about the same as before, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. His trips are chasing the steelheads, and are beginning to fish for brown trout in rivers and creeks farther west in New York. The trips concentrated more on the huge trout, like usual this time of year. This was the season for them. But first, Salmon River. Steelhead fishing on the Salmon, running at 500 cubic feet per second, not low, not high, was on the tough side, for whatever reasons. “Steelheads being steelheads,” he said. Some of the fish held in the upper river, but angler pressure was heavy there. Many anglers worked the river. On the lower to mid-river, trips swung streamer flies – Jay uses Intruders – for the steelheads, covering as much water as possible. Egg flies and nymphs could be fished for them on the upper, but high water some weekends ago, because of a deluge of rain, flushed most salmon eggs out of the river. Nymph fishing, common in winter, might’ve been starting early this year. Occasional salmon remained in the river, but most spawned and died. Steelheads migrate to the river in fall, spend winter there, and spawn in the river in spring. They return to Lake Ontario for summer, and don’t die after spawning, like salmon do. Anglers had different theories about why the steelheading was slower than they’d prefer. They can speculate, he said, but the best thing to do is fish for the steelheads and adjust. Anglers cried the blues about steelheads last fall, and a massive run flooded the river in December. Fishing for the brown trout, farther west, around Rochester, was currently affected by low water. Those creeks and rivers never got the deluge of rain that Salmon River did, and were in a drought. Oak Orchard River held a decent level of water, but anglers highly pressured the Oak for the trout. Jay sought other waters to fish for them, and a trip Monday with him landed six of the big trout, but walked 5 miles of creeks to do that, because the creeks were low. They held fewer trout than usual. But the trip tackled six, and these are unusually large trout, because they summer in the lake. They migrate to rivers and creeks in fall, spawn there that season, remain in the waters in winter, because forage is most abundant there that season, and return to the lake for summer. At some point in early winter, the trout waters freeze on the surface, ending fishing for them until the thaw in late winter. Jay’s trips concentrate on steelheads in Salmon River once the trout fishing ends for winter, and the Salmon, a large river, never completely freezes. For the trout, his trips currently fished egg flies, mostly. The trout creeks were cold in mornings, so the fishing was best from late mornings until afternoons, like 8 or 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., typical for the time of year. Monday’s trip’s fishing rallied well toward the end of the day. So sleep late, and don’t knock off from the fishing early. The same was true for Salmon River. Air temperature was probably 29 or 30 degrees Monday morning, and frost covered the ground. This was the time of year for that.  Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.


Rainbow trout, lots, filled “the brooks,” said Dean from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. Customers mostly fish for trout at Big Flatbrook. But the fish failed to bite much, and the streams ran low. Some were caught, but not like they should be. Anglers mostly fished salmon eggs and butter worms for them. Customers mostly concentrated on trout fishing.

Not a lot was reported about trout fishing, but trout anglers caught, including decent-sized, said Brian from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Customers mostly fished Musconetcong River, because of higher water than elsewhere, because Lake Hopatcong was being drawn down a couple of feet for the season, dumping water into the Musky. The Musky actually ran a little high a moment. Trout streams had run low earlier this season, and Brian didn’t hear much about the levels lately. But trout anglers did fish deeper pools. Not much was heard about the fishing elsewhere. But South Branch of the Raritan River and Big Flatbrook should fish okay, he figured. He considers trout fishing to be about the same on both.  One customer fished for trout on the Musky with Trout Magnets and, when the water was high, Rapala lures. Customers bought typical late-fall flies for trouting, including nymphs and midges – small flies – including hares ear nymphs, Prince nymphs, Zug Bugs and RS2’s. Lake Hopatcong’s anglers probably boated hybrid striped bass late in the day or toward dark. Muskies were sometimes fought from the lake, he thought. Customers traveled to upstate New York for steelhead fishing on Lake Ontario’s tributaries like Salmon River. The fishing didn’t seem stellar, but caught, according to the last reports Brian heard. 

Northern pike were wrestled from Passaic River, and anglers just needed to find the holes where the fish lay, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Or one angler’s been saying that, at least. The river ran low, and most waters were low. Largemouth bass fishing on Lake Hopatcong sounded spotty. One customer reported getting into largemouths at Echo Lake. Nothing was heard about trout fishing. No anglers seemed excited about trout, despite the fall trout stocking recently. The spring stocking is popular. In saltwater, striped bass and blues were boated. The stripers came from places including Raritan and Hudson bays. Anglers often trolled for the bass with Mojos, bunker spoons and umbrella rigs, and caught! Not much was mentioned about surf fishing. A customer landed an enormous striper from Connecticut River in the past two weeks.

Trout remained in rivers including Toms and Metedeconk rivers from the fall trout stocking weeks ago, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in the town of Toms River. She fished for them, and the trout seemed yet to spawn. One was full of roe. Rain could be used to move trout around in the low rivers. The fish held in some of the pools. If anglers could find deeper water, the trout chased spinners. Otherwise, smelly PowerBait hooked them. The fish seemed not interested in bait like worms. Chain pickerel and crappies bit in Toms River at Trilco, the closed building supply. No sign identifies the building, but anglers know the stretch by the name, located near Garden State Parkway. Yellow perch also hit at Trilco and Huddy Park in the river. A few crappies, not a lot, chomped in Manasquan Reservoir. Customers also bought worms who just wanted to sit and fish. They gave no reports about the angling, but must’ve hooked up, because they kept returning for worms.

Fish were picked off at lakes here and there, but much fishing became slower than before, said Matt from <b>Harry’s Army and Navy</b> in Robbinsville. Largemouth bass were hooked from lakes on tackle including Rat-L-Traps and crank baits. Any crappies? he was asked. Crappies were sometimes nabbed on small jigs at spots including Mercer Lake and Stone Tavern Lake, he said. Nobody reported trout fishing, and some of the trout streams farther north surely ran low. Locally, Delaware River ran low, and the river’s fishing wasn’t good. Matt fishes the river, and had been working the river for smallmouth bass in summer and earlier in fall. Walleye fishing can pick up in the river farther upstream, like toward Frenchtown, as weather cools. Matt doesn’t usually target the walleyes. He catches many on the river, but during smallmouth bass fishing. In saltwater, boating for striped bass was decent on the ocean, like from Belmar to Island Beach State Park, but seemed slower in the past week or so. Surf-fishing for the bass had been okay, but also seemed slower in the past week or so. Some anglers beached the fish at night at specific places in past days.

Fishing’s been good at many lakes and ponds for largemouth bass, chain pickerel, crappies and trout for many anglers the past few weeks, <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown’s Facebook page said. One angler nailed an 8-pound largemouth at Flood Gate Pond on a Rooster Tail in Yellow Coach Dog. Another picked up three largemouths at Iona Lake on Yamamoto rubber worms. A customer heaved in two largemouths weighing 3 pounds apiece at Franklinville Lake on Yamamoto worms. Also at Franklinville Lake, an angler totaled five largemouths on Yamamoto worms. Another whacked a 3.2-pounder at Oak Pond. Three pickerel on minnows was the catch for a customer who fished Wilson Lake. At Greenwich Lake, a kayaker reeled in six crappies on PowerBait grubs. A 5.2-pound rainbow trout was hung at Grenloch Lake on PowerBait.  Another angler eased in three sizable trout at Oak Pond on trout worms and minnows.

Union Lake anglers picked away at largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. For largemouths on lakes, jerk baits began to connect. Jigs and spinner baits picked the fish, and Rat-L-Traps were yet to clock them much, but should soon. A 5-pound 3-ounce trout was weighed-in, and Steve didn’t know from where. But he’d guess Maurice River or Iona Lake, because that’s where the big were coming from. Trout, from the fall trout stocking last month, were still angled there. Lots of chain pickerel were active in lakes. Pickerel were claimed from Malaga, Parvin and Rainbow lakes. In brackish water off Delaware Bay, white perch fishing went pretty well. A few anglers kept after them. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean. A few striped bass were played on back bays, and anglers waited for fall’s southern migration of big stripers to arrive along South Jersey’s coast.  

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