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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 11-15-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

Cold weather put the whammy on some fishing a moment this past week, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. But weather was warming since and was supposed to be in the mid-40 degrees yesterday. One morning dipped to 21 degrees, record cold for the time of year. That dropped water temperature to 34 degrees in western New York rivers and streams, around Rochester, where Jay is fishing for large brown trout that migrate from Lake Ontario. Water that cold put the trout into a “funk,” and fishing for them was tough a few days. His trips had to work for the catches but scored okay. One of the trips Monday banked a 17-pounder. The trout were there, and the cold just stunned them. The angling should pick back up and seemed set to be good this week. The water was higher than usual. Trips often caught on chartreuse egg flies. About 2 hours east in upstate New York, Salmon River was supposed to be dropped to 1,300 cubic feet per second yesterday. That’s high, but the river had been higher, because of rain. Jay was surprised the river wasn’t going to be dropped more, because no rain fell in a while, and massive amounts of water were released from the reservoir recently. A little snow fell recently, but that fails to affect the river. A good bunch of steelheads swam the upper river, and a steady trickle of the fish kept migrating to the river from Lake Ontario. Fishing for the steelheads was pretty consistent. It wasn’t great, only because of the volume of water. Jay’s guides are steelheading the river. One of his guides was fishing smaller rivers north of the Salmon, and reported catching well. This whole area seemed to hold healthy populations of steelheads. Streamers like Intruders and other wet flies, swung quartered across current, are catching well on the Salmon. Jay predicts that if the river is dropped to 750 to 1,000 CFS, it’s going to fish great. The high water, both in western New York and Salmon River, seemed good, because that should set up healthy water levels into the next month. So fishing in both western New York and on the Salmon dealt with conditions, but that’s part of fishing, and the populations of steelheads and brown trout in the rivers and streams were a healthy number. This has been a good season for all the fishing so far. Jay concentrates on the browns until the waters freeze for winter, preventing the angling. Then he’ll steelhead fish on the Salmon throughout winter until early spring. Salmon River, a big river, never freezes, except along edges. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.

<b>PENNSYLVANIA</b>

Upper Delaware River’s smallmouth bass fishing slowed last week after rain, but good numbers were still angled, Bill Brinkman from Philadelphia’s <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> wrote in a report on the shop’s website. The river was full of leaves, so a good part of fishing was spent cleaning leaves off the fishing line. The smallmouths weren’t monsters, but many were 14 to 17 inches. A few 17- to 22-inch walleyes were mixed in. Farther upstream, an angler who fishes the river at the Water Gap said smallmouthing dropped off quickly but some decent walleyes were hooked there. Gulp minnows on bucktails winged them. A 37-inch musky was even fought from the river at the Gap, on a livelined chub from the river. On the lower river near the store, fishing for catfish 1 to 4 pounds and small striped bass was great. The catfish bit bunker, shrimp, chicken livers or bagels. The stripers hit chicken livers, silver crank baits or Rat-L-Traps. In the Schuylkill River, plenty of catfish and small stripers chomped downstream from the Fairmount dam. Along the dam, walleye fishing picked up on rubber shads, Walleye Divers and shallow-swimming Rapala Shad Raps.

<b>NEW JERSEY</b>

Weather kept some anglers from fishing, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Weather was windy and cold. But trout were angled from streams. The <a href=" http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/trtinfo_winter.htm " target="_blank"> winter trout stocking</a> will take place Monday and Tuesday. That stocking is at lakes, and the fall trout stocking is mostly in rivers or streams and takes place in October. Nobody was heard about who fished for largemouth bass at lakes. Boaters had been jigging rainbow trout and lake trout on Round Valley Reservoir with lures like Rapala ice-fishing jigs and Binsky Blade Baits. One customer reported landing five or six every morning. Fishing for landlocked salmon should be happening now at Lake Aeroflex and Tilcon, and should last until ice. A buddy was gearing up for the landlockeds. The lakes are stocked with them, and big spoons like Cleos or Phoebes are chucked to the fish. Kevin would think Delaware River’s smallmouth bass fishing is on fire, but nobody reported the angling, and one never knows. Most customers surf-fished for striped bass in saltwater. The fish were beached here and there, and boaters began to really Mohawk the bass. If weather holds like currently, this next week will probably be the big to-do for the angling.

Trout were still angled from the fall trout stocking in October, including big breeders, said Irene from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. Customers fish for them at places including Pequest and Musconetong rivers and Pohatcong Creek. Not much largemouth bass fishing happened at lakes. But anglers got after muskies they caught at places including Furnace Lake. They fished large plugs like from LiveTarget and a bunch of Calcutta soft baits the store stocks.

A handful of anglers still fished the lake, said Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong. The fishing was slow yesterday, but the anglers have been catching plenty. Lots of hybrid striped bass to 7 ½ pounds swiped chicken livers, live bait or jigs. Walleyes 3 to 6 pounds and good-sized chain pickerel attacked Mepps spinners. Crappies pounced on small herring. Marcin Supinski limited out on crappies to a 1-pound 12-ouncer and a 1-pound 6-ouncer. Jim Welsh weighed-in a 2-pounder. Yellow perch were nabbed on jigs, live bait or worms. The shop will be open until the end of the month, depending on weather. The store is always closed then for a moment, until reopening for ice-fishing. A small number of herring are stocked. Telephone to confirm: 973-663-3826. 

Passaic River ran high and fast, said Larry from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. If the water calms, anglers will probably be able to fight northern pike from the river. The river is one of a few places where the state stocks pike. One angler mentioned reeling yellow perch from the lower Passaic. That was about all the news from freshwater, and windy weather kept anglers from doing the fishing. Saltwater anglers were all about striped bass. Fishing for the stripers went well. Also in salt, the blackfish bag limit will be increased beginning tomorrow. That will draw interest. Blackfishing so far, before the limit was increased, seemed good.

A couple of customers were fishing Manasquan Reservoir but weren’t seen at the shop in two weeks, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. Not much was reported about freshwater fishing. The anglers at the reservoir back then were picking up largemouth bass on killies under bobbers drifted around the trees. A couple of customers fished for trout last week at streams. People seemed to fish for trout the first few days once the fall stocking took place in October at waters including the Toms River. Few seemed to fish for them since, but the trout are there. Winter trout stocking is slated for Monday and Tuesday, including at Lake Shenandoah and Spring Lake on Monday. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Largemouth bass fishing was heating up pretty well at lakes, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Lots of good reports rolled in. The fishing was productive at Rainbow Lake during the weekend, he knew. Elmer Lake turned out pretty good reports. When wind failed to howl, Union Lake put out a mix of largemouths, smallmouth bass and crappies. Jerk baits and Rat-L-Traps were often fished for largemouths. Drop-shots still caught them. Trout fishing seemed to fizzle a little, after the fall trout stocking in October got anglers fishing for them. Winter trout stocking will take place Monday and Tuesday, including at South Vineland Park Pond and Shaw’s Mill Pond on Tuesday. In saltwater, back bays fished fairly strong for striped bass. The southern migration of larger stripers seemed to linger in the northern state still.  

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