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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 11-22-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

Lots of steelheads filled the upper Salmon River, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. His guides reported that to him. Reports from farther downstream, at the Douglaston stretch, sounded like the fish gave up pretty consistent catches, not crazy. The reports from Douglaston tell Jay and his guides that the steelhead migration is steadily trickling into the river. The upper river usually holds most of the fish this time of year. If anglers made a good presentation on the Salmon, they’d catch steelheads well. Just because lots of steelheads swam the river didn’t mean any angler would catch. Anglers had to fish for them. His guides’ trips scored incredibly well Sunday and Monday, and not everybody probably fared so well. Flies that caught varied, and anglers needed to experiment on a given day. Pink eggs worked well on Monday, when Jay gave this report. On some days chartreuse eggs did, or nymphs did, and so on. The river flowed at 335 cubic feet per second, and would probably continue like that through early next week. That’s low but very fishable, and seemed surprising, because the water was much higher previously, and some rain and snow fell. Nine inches of snow fell Monday, and would probably melt the next day in warming weather. Because of the low flow in those conditions, authorities seemed to be refilling the reservoir, instead of releasing more water at the dam. Jay had questioned why so much water was released previously. There seemed an overabundance then. Surrounding creeks also fished well for steelheads, pretty much on egg flies. About 2 hours west in upstate New York, Jay is fishing for huge brown trout in rivers and creeks around Rochester, like Oak Orchard River, while that angling’s good. The Oak ran high but in Jay’s opinion excellent for the trout fishing. The creeks ran high and were a mess, but would probably settle down in a day or so, he said Monday. The high water surely made the creeks cold. A fair number of browns and a few rainbow trout swam the rivers and creeks. They’re trophy-size because they migrate from Lake Ontario. They spend winter in the rivers and creeks because forage is more abundant there in the cold months. Egg flies tied into them. Fishing for the browns will probably last until the first of the year. Then the waters will ice over, preventing the angling. The fishing will probably begin to slow down in two or three weeks, because many anglers will have bagged the fish. Once the fishing slows, Jay fishes for steelheads on Salmon River throughout winter. Monday was cold, with a high in the low 30 degrees. The next couple of days were supposed to be in the 40s, and this was all seasonable. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.

<b>PENNSYLVANIA</b>

Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia was going to winterize his boat this week, he wrote in a report on the shop’s website. That’ll end his fishing on Delaware River until spring. The store’s been up for sale and was now sold. The new owner is supposed to keep the shop open, and Bill is supposed to help with that a while. The upper Delaware’s smallmouth bass fishing slowed quite a bit. But some people still angled them well, including at Byram, Stockton and New Hope. At Byram, anglers boated 12- to 15-inchers on minnows or rubber grubs. At Stockton, good catches of smallmouths and walleyes were made at the fast water below the bridge on minnows. At New Hope, several good-sized smallmouths could be had at the wing dam on minnows. The lower Delaware near the store pretty much tossed up catfish 2 to 5 pounds. Some great carp fishing was reported from Schuylkill River. Anglers heaved in as many as five of the 15- to 28-pounders in a trip. Catfish 2 o 5 pounds also bit in the Schuylkill. No bigger cats, flatheads, were reported from the river. Yellow and white perch and small stripers hit, along with the cats, farther downstream in the Schuylkill. Lots more details and locations were also covered in the report on the store’s website.   

<b>NEW JERSEY</b>

Lakes were supposed to be stocked with trout this week, said Andy from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. New Jersey’s winter trout stocking, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of this week, stocks lakes each year. The fall trout stocking in October mostly stocks streams. Anyway, the trout from the winter stocking should be available now. Big Flatbrook, where most customers who trout fish target trout, ran a little low. Nymphs or flies like wooly buggers should catch there. Delaware River also ran a little low, and no consistent catches of walleyes were heard about yet from the Delaware. That usually begins in early December. Not a lot of anglers fished, typical for this time of year. When the day begins in the 30 degrees, and autumn wind is howling, that’ll happen.

Trout streams ran low, said Brian from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Musconetcong River seemed the only that flowed at a better rate. That was because Lake Hopatcong that feeds the Musky was being lowered for dock repairs this season. The water was dumped into the Musky. Brian would fish the streams for trout with small flies like Griffith’s gnats, RS2’s, zebra midges and maybe blue-winged olives.

A little trout fishing was happening, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. Pequest River fished great for trout, and customers angled the fish on pink shrimp eggs Monday. Walleyes began to be hooked from Delaware River on jigs with minnows and on suspending jerk baits. Largemouth bass anglers mostly no longer fished for the season. But the bass surely could still be reeled in, because surely lakes were no cooler than the 50 degrees. Once the water dips below 50, the fishing becomes tough, until largemouths hit again once ice covers lakes, for some reason. Suspending jerk baits catch largemouths well this time of year. Rat-L-Traps or jigs should work. Shore anglers banked rainbow trout pretty well at Round Valley Reservoir. A combo of PowerBait and a meal worm on a hook mostly grabbed them. The trout move into shallows this season.

A couple of kayakers on Passaic River scored okay on northern pike and also landed smallmouth bass and one largemouth bass, said Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. He was unaware what they fished, but assumed spinner baits or Z-Man chatter baits that the store is stocking. A couple of customers fished Lake Hopatcong last week, picking up good angling for largemouth bass, skipping soft-plastics under docks, probably Senko worms, Joe thought. In saltwater, party boats had been tackling good striped bass catches. Wind sometimes kept the boats docked lately.

Mostly chain pickerel seemed angled, said Jeff from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. He fought them from the Toms River and Winding River. Farther upstream on the Toms, trout, not a lot but some, were plucked near the tree farm in Jackson and off Route 571. PowerBait, mostly in garlic, was popular for that. Lake Shenandoah was supposed to be included Monday in New Jersey’s winter trout stocking. A few sunnies were nabbed at lakes. Nothing was heard about largemouth bass fishing, except a friend clocked largemouths at Lester’s Lake at night. Jeff didn’t tell customers about the fishing, because they weren’t interested in fishing at night. But the friend reported the catches on top-water frog, mouse and duck lures. He also talked about catching on a surprisingly large, metal-lipped, custom-made lure that Jeff thought looked like a saltwater plug.

Here’s a report from Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle in Philadelphia’s website that also has a report above, under Pennsylvania. But this news is being included here, because it’s about South Jersey. One customer who fishes Union Lake in Millville had wrapped up his fishing there for the year. But he couldn’t resist a window of better weather a week or so ago, and cranked in 11 chain pickerel and two bass in a 4-hour trip on the lake. That was on rubber twister tails on jigheads, spinner baits and rubber frogs. The report didn’t specify whether the bass were largemouths or smallmouths. A customer said plenty of pickerel chomped in Lake Lenape. That’s the headwaters of the Great Egg Harbor River. Below the lake’s dam, a decent number of yellow perch chewed in the river. Farther north in the Pine Barrens, on Mullica River at Sweetwater Casino, an angler tugged in 20 pickerel 15 to 21 inches and a few largemouth bass and some crappies on a trip. The largemouths were small.

Trout from October’s fall trout stocking were still pulled in, said Jason from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. Greenwich Lake fished pretty hot for them. Some 14- and 15-inchers came in there. The winter trout stocking took place this week, including on Tuesday at: Haddon Lake and Rowand’s Pond in Camden County; Birch Grove Park Pond in Atlantic County; Shaw’s Mill Pond and South Vineland Park Pond in Cumberland County; and Ponderlodge Pond in Cape May County at the Cox Hall Wildlife Management Area. That’s the southernmost water stocked with trout in Jersey. Back in the local area, news was quiet about fishing for Delaware River’s schoolie striped bass. Maybe few people fished the river because of weather like 20- and 30-knot wind lately. But the schoolies do still get landed this time of year, including from shore. Largemouth bass could probably be hooked from lakes, if anglers fished slowly. The bass become lethargic in cool water, and they’ll eventually stop biting until weather warms. But kids at the shop this weekend talked about pasting largemouths on 3-inch Senko rubber worms. In saltwater, the striped bass migration held from Belmar to maybe as far south as Atlantic City. They were yet to reach South Jersey, for the most part, but could at any moment. Boaters caught them to the north. Brigantine was as far south as any surf anglers seemed to beach the stripers, a few.

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