Tue., Nov. 21, 2017
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Upstate N.Y.
Salmon, Steelhead &
Trout Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 12-14-16


<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Adirondack Mountains</b>

Some anglers began to look for fishable ice, said John from <b>FISH307.com</b> in Lake George. No fishable ice was heard about yet, but temperatures are supposed to drop to the teens during daytime and single digits at night late this week. Anglers hoped that maybe some of the smaller ponds and lakes would hold fishable ice in the northern Adirondacks by the weekend. That might not happen, but they hoped. Farther south, a few anglers might’ve boated Lake George for yellow perch, though no customers mentioned doing that. Still, the perch fishing was known to be good, and lake trout and landlocked salmon could certainly be boated on the lake, though no reports came in about the fishing. The lakers and landlockeds will be scattered in the water column, because there’s no thermocline during the colder seasons. FISH307.com is both an online store and a brick-and-mortar bait and tackle shop.

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

A couple of nice steelheads, fresh from Lake Ontario, were banked Monday from the lower Salmon River on a trip with Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>, he said. A nice, steady trickle of the fish, he said, migrated into the river from the lake. If anglers worked for the catches, they’d land a couple or three in a trip. The steelhead population began to build in the upper river, but more anglers worked the water there, pressuring the fish. Fewer steelheads swam the lower, but fewer anglers fished there. The river ran at 500 cubic feet per second, a good flow for the fishing this season. The minimum flow is 285. The level will stay about the same in the foreseeable future, Jay thinks. It might drop to 335, still a fine flow for the fishing. A potential storm was on the news that was supposed to dump lots of snow along the river last week, but only 1 ½ inches fell. Six more inches fell Monday. Weather became cold late last week and during the weekend, warmed beginning Monday and was supposed to be cold again later this week. The river’s steelheading was beginning to be in a winter pattern, and that’s usually a steady pattern this time of year, a good thing. Jay concentrated on steelheads on the Salmon, and previously fished for the huge trout that migrate to rivers and creeks farther west in New York, around Rochester. But those waters have been low in a drought, and never get the lake-effect snow that Salmon River does, though the 6 inches of snow Monday also fell on the western waters. Still, trips would work for one or two trout in a day, and the steelheading was better, so Jay stuck with that. The western New York rivers and creeks flowed at a low to, at best, medium level. Oak Orchard River there had held some of the best water level, but now became so pressured by anglers that the trout wouldn’t bite. Trout in the creeks were also pressured, and some even seemed to migrate back to the lake to escape. They usually winter in rivers and creeks because forage is most abundant there that season. On Salmon River, Jay’s trips caught the steelheads on egg and nymph flies. But his trips kept switching patterns each day until something worked. 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>

Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> trolled seven rainbow trout at Round Valley Reservoir on Sunday on stick baits 20 feet down, he wrote in an email. He attached photos to the email, and some were posted on this website’s photo pages. The trout looked beautiful and good-sized. He also nailed two yellow perch 12 ½ and 13 ½ inches, jumbos. He wished he caught more of those, because the perch are good-eating. “Nice to get out in the cold and have the fish cooperate,” he wrote. The day was 34 degrees, and snow fell in the afternoon fairly heavily. The water was 43 degrees. The boat launch ramp was closed, taped off, because of the drought. To launch, the boat had to be trailered onto the gravel below the ramp and simply launched from shore. See a <a href="http://fishingreportsnow.com/NJ_Fishing_Photos_View.cfm/PhotoID/19426/desc/Those-used-to-be-br-boat-launc.html" target="_blank">photo of the ramp</a> from the trip. Dave plans to keep fishing until weather prevents him. “If the Valley is open, I’ll be there,” he wrote.

Some of the smaller lakes or ponds began to form ice, said Don from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. A customer a few days ago reported 1 inch of ice on a pond in a hollow between two mountains. Few anglers boated lakes this late in the year. News was scarce from lakes, except last week mostly kids talked about angling for panfish or whatever they could catch on foot from lakes. If any customers boated Lake Hopatcong, Don heard from none. Walleyes should bite in the lake. He’d expect walleyes to swim shallow, because when he lived in the Midwest, this was the only time of year shore anglers could land walleyes. Trout streams held better levels of water than before, after recent rains. They ran lower than they should still, but not extremely low like earlier this season. He lives near Rockaway River, and that flowed much better than before. A brook where he lives had been bone dry and now ran at full flow. Nobody talked about trout fishing on streams. But customers this season often buy Gulp trout worms for the angling. Trout fly anglers seemed scarce. Customers who bought flies seemed to buy for holiday gifts, not for current fishing. So they bought a variety of patterns. Customers geared up for saltwater fishing, and blackfishing seemed popular for them. One customer reported chasing a pod of tuna he couldn’t keep up with on the ocean just off Raritan Bay. Bluefin tuna migrate south near the coast this season and are notoriously difficult to coax to bite a hook, for unknown reasons. Anglers still try for them, sometimes successfully.

A couple of boats sailed during the weekend, reeling up walleyes from the lake on Rapala ice-fishing jigs, said Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong. Few anglers were around, and the shop’s rental boats were no longer available for the season. Weather was becoming cold. But anglers chomped at the bit for ice-fishing to begin, and kept telephoning to ask about conditions. Shallower water on the northern end of the lake held skim ice a few days ago. Weather warmed in past days but will be cold again in the next days. The shop’s currently open for no set hours, but Laurie is usually there in mornings. The store will be open full time when ice-fishing begins.

A few customers bought worms to head fishing, but what they fished for or where they went  was unknown, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. “It’s kind of Decemberish,” she said! Passaic River near the store ran low but not as low as earlier this season. Fish including northern pike and smallmouth bass certainly still swam the river. But anglers who wanted to fish waters like that were scarce this time of season. Anglers jumped on party boats for blackfishing on the ocean. This was a time for blackfish. A few striped still seemed around in saltwater.

Anglers still fished freshwater on sunny days sometimes, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. Chain pickerel and yellow perch, fish that are active in cool water, bit more than anything. But customers also headed to Spring Lake for trout from the state’s winter trout stocking this past month. They caught, mostly on dough balls on a 12-inch leader with split shot. No particular color seemed best. Holdover trout from previous stockings also swim the lake. The lake can be a pleasant place to fish this time of year, when no strong wind is blowing from the ocean. Take a couple of poles, and the fish should bite. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Winter’s coming – that’s all I can say, said Jeff from <b>Harry’s Army and Navy</b> in Robbinsville! Little news came in from lakes or rivers. But if anglers wanted to fish for crappies on lakes, the fish school up and bite this time of year. Fish tackle like a Trout Magnet under a slip-bobber. Delaware River ran low and clear again, after rains raised the river last week. The rains had no lasting effect on the low water that the drought is causing. Jeff’s been surf fishing for striped bass along the ocean, and still picking them. He banked two throwbacks on Monday morning. Metal-lipped swimming lures that look like peanut bunker and white rubber shads have been clocking the fish. Stripers might’ve been smaller than two weeks ago, and were roughly up to 25 to 34 inches currently. But they were there. Northern Monmouth County around Belmar fished best for now. But he’s caught from Asbury Park to Long Beach Island the past two weeks.

Largemouth bass seemed to feed periodically, said Jack from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. Two weeks ago he crushed them on Rat-L-Traps dragged along bottom. But now the fish seemed either to shut off or feed. None of the bass had bitten for him a moment, for instance. Then the last cold front moved through, and they bit heavily. He landed seven or eight in an hour or 45 minutes one day. On Monday, he fished a jerk bait very slowly, but nothing hit. He’s been fishing Rat-L-Traps, jerk baits and blade baits, “sort of switching between them,” he said, and fishing them “sort of deep.” Jack does no crappie fishing usually, but customers a few days ago bought small worms and tackle like Beetle Spins, saying they were bailing crappies. In saltwater, Jack worked the deck on a charter boat that fished for striped bass on the ocean off Atlantic City on Thursday. Stripers last week seemed to feed or not feed, like largemouth bass did currently. The trip trolled but hooked no stripers. Lots of baitfish were seen, and a couple of bunker and a herring were snagged and then livelined. But no stripers grabbed them either. The trip also motored south to lumps off Sea Isle City and Corson’s Inlet, and marks were read that looked like big stripers. But nothing was hooked, and the fish seemed not to feed. But Jack knew about another charter boat that landed 13 stripers from the ocean the next day, Friday. The fishing seemed on and off.

Fishing jerk baits for largemouth bass was steady, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Parvin, Rainbow and Elmer lakes were all places that produced that anglers talked about.  No other catches including crappies and trout were mentioned. But definitely chain pickerel should bite that are active in chilly weather at lakes. In saltwater, boating for striped bass was good on the ocean last week, mostly on the troll. Not much was reported about blackfish from the ocean, but anglers concentrated on stripers while the bass were in.

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