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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 10-18-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Salmon River</b>

The river’s salmon fishing was winding down, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. But its steelhead fishing was beginning, and he hopes for a good steelhead run. The salmon run was especially good this year for the first time in a while. So maybe the steelheading will be. The biggest news was that weather became cold, cooling the river. The river was 64 degrees, and 57 in the morning. The temperature went from stressfully warm, during the recent heat spell, to comfortable for salmon and steelheads, during this colder weather. Steelheads were crabby or reluctant to bite in the warm water last week. By Monday, they seemed to become aggressive. Weather was warm until becoming cold Monday, and steelheading with Jay that day locked into a rally of catches in the afternoon. A few were netted. He hoped the cool water would keep them aggressive now. Jay has scored well on steelheads when the water was in the low 60 degrees, but the angling’s better in the 50s. More and more steelheads migrated to the river from Lake Ontario, and a fair number swam the lower river. But anglers had to work for them in the heat last week. Seventy-five percent of salmon were spawned out in the upper river. That stretch was like a “zombie apocalypse,” he said, because salmon die after spawning. Steelheads remain in the river through winter, spawn there in spring, and return to the lake for summer. They don’t die after spawning. Jay’s trips hooked steelheads on egg-sucking leach flies in orange or pink, egg flies in orange and, on Monday, Oregon Cheese, and, on one day, black wooly buggers. In other words, the trips mixed it up, trying different flies until one worked. But egg flies were important, because of the salmon eggs in the river. The river ran at 335 cubic feet per second, no different than recently. Rain sometimes fell, but not enough to raise the reservoir. The rain was more like “maintenance.” Salmon fishing began to heat up in rivers farther west in New York around Rochester. Those salmon migrate later than in Salmon River, probably because Salmon River is at a higher elevation that makes the water cooler. A few brown trout arrived in the western New York rivers, but mostly salmon swam those waters. Later this season, Jay fishes for the browns, and they’re huge, because they come from Lake Ontario. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.


Rain raised upper Delaware River a little last week, and the water ran clear, but lots of leaves and grass flowed , Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia wrote in a report on the shop’s website. Still, smallmouth bass fishing was great from Yardley upstream to Delaware Water Gap. Lots of small striped bass, plenty of catfish and sometimes walleyes also bit there. Farther downstream, closer to the store, Bill fished the river Thursday, boating 20 catfish, mostly 1 to 3 pounds, but also a 6-pounder, and missed at least 20. Stripers also swam the local river. Anglers fishing off Linden Avenue bloodwormed five to 10 of the stripers apiece, per afternoon.  The fish were small or 12 to 14 inches. An angler who fished the river downstream from Tacony-Palmyra Bridge bloodwormed and shrimped 25 stripers about the same size and a bunch of catfish. The local river held mostly catfish, stripers and white perch. Bill heard not one thing about largemouth bass fishing on the local river. Schuylkill River shoveled up good fishing for smallmouth bass, walleyes, catfish carp and stripers. Plenty of other details and locations were covered in the report.  


Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> released this musky Saturday on a trip on a lake with friend and outdoor writer Lou Martinez, Dave wrote in an email. The fish bit while Dave worked a lure, a 9-inch jerk bait from the company Sledge, in a figure-eight at boatside at the end of a cast. Sometimes a figure-eight triggers a musky to strike. He also lost a smaller musky on the trip that hit a Pounder Bulldawg lure from Musky Innovations. “Very fun day …,” Dave wrote. The water was 67 degrees, warm for the time of year, and the sky was overcast. Dave will keep fishing for muskies, and as weather becomes colder, begin fishing for hybrid striped bass. When weather really becomes cold, he’ll fish for trout on Round Valley Reservoir in winter. Fishing now should only become better, he thinks.

Trout fishing was pretty good, including on Rockaway and Musconetcong rivers, said Don from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Fall trout stocking began last week on Tuesday and lasts through today, and the Rockaway and Musky were included last week. See the <a href="http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/flstk17.htm" target="_blank">trout stocking schedule</a>. A couple of customers yesterday morning talked about landing big breeders on the Rockaway at Dover that were stocked. Anglers are happy when catching big fish, Don said! He lives near the Rockaway at Denville, and the river seemed to flow at an average level there, about perfect for fishing, not high, not low. Also, a tributary runs through his back yard and was high, and when it is, the Rockaway flows average. Customers during the weekend often fished the Musky at Stephens State Park. Customers fished for trout with PowerBait and garden worms. Those who fly-fished cast midges or other small flies and caddis. Locals reported reeling in largemouth bass from lakes or ponds in afternoons, probably until leaving when the day became too chilly. Don heard nothing about salmon fishing in upstate New York the past couple of days, but could only assume the fishing went well, he said. The fishing was good previously.

Fishing for trout went well at Pequest and Musconetcong rivers and the South Branch of the Raritan River, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. New Jersey seemed to do a good job at the fall stocking. When the trout were first stocked, they were reluctant to bite. But now they chewed. Some big, beautiful trout were caught. Rivers ran a little low. Customers mostly fished Mike’s shrimp eggs for trout. But nearly any usual bait worked, including meal worms and baby nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass were hammered from Delaware River at Belvidere. A customer was buying shiners for the angling and coming right back for more. Keith fished Lake Hopatcong for largemouth bass, and boated plenty every day, but not many sizable. He fished small, shallow-swimming crank baits, blue-and-silver jigs in black-and-blue and spinner baits in white with a little chartreuse. An angler reported scoring well on largemouths at Merrill Creek Reservoir on shiners. Largemouths will go into a fall pattern because of cool weather that just began. These trips fished in warm weather. Nothing was heard about Spruce Run Reservoir.

Shoreline anglers banked rainbow trout at Round Valley Reservoir, said James from <b>Behre Bait & Tackle</b> in Lebanon. The fish finally moved into shallows, and some days fished better than others. Mornings will probably fish best for them, he imagined, and anglers fished for the trout with M&M combos or marshmallows with meal worms, shiners under slip-bobbers and Carolina-rigged PowerBait. Don’t fish braided line, he said. The trout shy away from that. Use a light leader. Boaters even trolled rainbow and brown trout along the shore in 20 to 50 feet of water at Round Valley, mostly on Challenger lures and small Warrior spoons. At Spruce Run Reservoir, crappies and still some hybrid striped bass were angled, mostly from boats. A few hybrids were cranked-in from shore. The crappies swam 8 to 15 feet down in 20 feet of water.

Northern pike and catfish were sacked from Passaic River, said Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Big Flatbrook supposedly fished well for trout. Ramapo River sounded good for trout, too, and Joe assumed that was at Mahwah. Not much was heard about largemouth bass fishing. Someone headed to Greenwood Lake for largemouths, but reported no results. In saltwater, a few striped bass, not big, began to be beached from the surf. So that was good, because anglers are waiting for the fall migration of stripers.

The Toms River’s trout fishing went well this week, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in the town of Toms River. That included near the tree farm and at Riverwood Park and the Trout Conservation Area. A bunch of breeders were taken. The water was low but held good holes. If anglers are serious about the fishing, wear waders to tramp through bushes to locate the holes. Tackle that hooked the fish included mostly PowerBait in yellow, pink or garlic but sometimes spinners near the tree farm, and Trout Magnets but sometimes No. 1 or 2 spinners at the conservation area. Virginia saw big breeders chasing sunnies, so she’s going to try for them with large killies. The Toms at Trilco off Route 9 gave up good chain pickerel fishing. Pickerel were also rustled-up from Winding River. Ocean County College Pond turned up good angling for yellow perch, lots of sunnies and some largemouth bass in the back. The front of the pond near the road failed to fish well. Good fishing for largemouths was whipped at Forge Pond on rubber frogs, spinner baits and Senko rubber worms. Shiners and killies will also clock the bass there but attract pickerel. Lake Shenandoah will be included in the winter trout stocking in November, but currently offered-up yellow perch and crappies. Fish nightcrawlers or killies. Nobody mentioned Lake Riviera recently, but if anglers put in effort, nearly all species could bite there. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Fishing was excellent at lakes and ponds in weather that kept anglers fishing, a report said on <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown’s Facebook page Sunday. Weather was warm last week. Catches included a youngster’s 4-1/4-pound largemouth bass from Wilson Lake “on live bait.” Another angler reported good largemouthing at Wilson on minnows. At Iona Lake, an angler pulled in three largemouths to 3 pounds on 4-inch, black Senko rubber worms. At Elmer Lake, someone totaled four largemouths to 2 pounds on minnows. A kayaker smoked excellent largemouthing at Lake Audrey, landing six of the fish to 3 pounds on a Live Target mouse. Two anglers fished Union Lake, combining for five largemouths to 4 pounds on KVD Sexy Shads. Someone from Alloway fished Alloway Lake, doing-in 3 largemouths to 5 pounds on minnows. Local lakes were going to be included in the fall trout stocking this week.      

Grenloch Lake was stocked with trout at 12 noon yesterday, and the fish were angled, said Ed from <b>Creek Keepers Bait & Tackle</b> in Blackwood. The catches included a couple of 2-pounders about 14 inches, good-sized. PowerBait and spinners nabbed trout from the lake. Ed thought someone said meal worms worked for that angler. Iona Lake was supposed to be stocked today. Ed fished with his wife at Stewart Lake in Woodbury yesterday. She put up 11 largemouth bass on minnows, and he managed none. A customer beat a couple of chain pickerel at New Brooklyn Lake. The lake is known for pickerel. No reports were heard about saltwater fishing, but customers bought bloodworms and frozen finger mullet to head for the angling. Baits stocked also include minnows and frozen bunker.

Fishing began to improve in cooler weather, said Andrew from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Lots more largemouth bass were hit than before. The previous warm weather seemed to toughen fishing for them. The bass began to move to shallow water, like in the back of lakes toward creeks. They also gathered off secondary points. Throw buzz baits or top-water lures including Zara Spooks or any walk-the-dog type of lure. Or in the shallows fish Senko rubber worms or jigs. No particular lakes seemed hot spots, but all that held the bass seemed to produce better than previously. Fishing was good for crappies and panfish at lakes. Chain pickerel fishing was good at lakes, like it usually is. Lakes including Giampetro Park Pond, Iona Lake and Swedesboro Lake were scheduled to be included in the fall trout stocking this week. So was Maurice River. Saltwater fishing was fairly quiet. The striped bass migration held far north, yet to slide south to the local coast. Sea bass season will open beginning Sunday.

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