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Upstate N.Y.
Salmon, Steelhead &
Trout Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 12-6-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

The season’s first lake-effect snow is supposed to slam the area in the next couple of days, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. That will drop water temperatures into the mid 30 degrees, probably making fishing for steelheads and trout tough a moment. But the fish should acclimate after a few days. The upper Salmon River’s steelhead fishing’s been good to excellent. Most of the fish held in the upper stretches, and the migration kept trickling into the river from Lake Ontario. The angling was off Sunday and Monday, for unknown reasons. That was probably just one of those periods. The river ran at 450 cubic feet per second, a good, normal flow for fishing. Egg flies caught well, and sometimes trips fished streamer flies on the lower river to connect. Fewer steelheads held in the lower river, and the streamers covered ground. About two hours west, in rivers and streams or creeks around Rochester, fishing for huge brown trout was okay. The browns, growing large because they spend summer in Lake Ontario, just finished spawning. So they were a little crabby but were beginning to feed. They remain in the rivers and creeks throughout winter, because forage is more abundant there than in the lake during the cold months. Jay is concentrating on the browns before ice covers the waters, preventing fishing. Afterward, he fishes for steelheads on Salmon River throughout winter. The Salmon is a large river that never completely freezes. Because the browns finished spawning, they began to chase streamers. But egg flies also hooked them. Only larger waters provide room to fish streamers. The trout waters were a little low, could use precipitation. So the snow will cool waters, making all these fish somewhat more sluggish. Fly presentations will have to become slower or more deliberate, and that’s typical as winter approaches. In other news, no lakes or ponds were frozen yet for ice fishing. That usually happens at Christmas at the earliest. Monday was 50 degrees, and that night was supposed to be in the 40s. Rain was supposed to fall the next day. Weather was going to become colder afterward, when the snow was forecast. 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> from Montvale boated two rainbow trout, two lake trout and a brown trout on Round Valley Reservoir on Saturday, he wrote in an email. The water was 47 degrees, and the brown had a tag from the Round Valley Trout Association.

Anglers did a little trout fishing on streams, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Water was low, but they picked the fish, like at Ken Lockwood Gorge, where they caught on flies like disco midges, small bead-heads and, in deeper holes, wooly buggers. Trout hit at lakes like Spruce Run Reservoir and Round Valley Reservoir. Cool water was conducive to that, and the fish foraged near the water surface including on herring. One customer consistently hooked trout at Spruce on shiners. He couldn’t find herring to buy. Landlocked salmon bit at lakes including Aeroflex on Cleo and Krocodile spoons and blade baits. The state recently stocked the salmon at Aeroflex, Waywayanda Lake and Tilcon Lake. Another customer reported landing smallmouth bass, nothing crazy but consistently, on Delaware River at Trenton. Lots of catfish swarmed around the Delaware. A few anglers were dialed into large flathead cats 20 pounds in the river. That’s been a thing lately, and is expected to give up good fishing next year. Largemouth bass catches seemed to drop off at lakes, or few tried for them. News about the angling quieted. Any that were reeled in seemed to be while anglers fished for crappies or perch.

A few trout were banked from shore at Round Valley Reservoir on shiners and PowerBait, said James from <b>Behre Bait & Tackle</b> in Lebanon. The fishing had up and down days, but the trout swam the shallows, now that water cooled. The reservoir’s lake trout could be kept beginning Friday, so boaters tried for them. The lakers were scattered top to bottom or held in no established depth. Particularly cold weather is forecast for next week, so maybe ice-fishing will happen before long.

Passaic River ran pretty high, said Larry from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Few fished the river, or nothing was heard about angling there. But northern pike and maybe yellow perch and chain pickerel could likely be hooked from the water. A customer had thought Verona Park Pond was supposed to be included in the recent winter trout stocking, but apparently the pond wasn’t. The pond was included in the fall stocking. No waters in Essex County and adjacent Morris County were included in the winter stocking, but some were included in the fall stocking. In saltwater, water temperatures were kind of “in between.” The water was becoming cool enough for some of the striped bass migration to have departed the Sandy Hook area. Lots of small, throwback stripers swam the water, and that happens at the end of the run. But the water was warm for the best blackfishing. Some were hooked, and often they were throwbacks. But fishing for the tautog typically improves when water becomes colder.

Freshwater fishing was actually good this past week, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River.  Especially at Spring Lake for trout from the winter stocking. Good-sized were hung there on trout magnets under floats, switched along. Or they were pasted on dough balls or moldable PowerBait in garlic, yellow or the pinkish color named sherbet. Cold water kept the fish from chasing spinners. She tugged in a 22-inch female trout from the lake, and her son caught a male that was stockier. The female was longer or more slender looking. Trout from the winter stocking also hit at Lake Shenandoah. A friend nabbed them from the dock on nightcrawlers and PowerBait, and also picked up yellow perch at the lake. Largemouth bass were still eased from lakes, but on nightcrawlers. Again, cold water had them less willing to chase a lure. Chain pickerel were on the bite at lakes. Lester’s Lake gave up largemouths and the picks. Pickerel fishing was good on the Toms River. Crappies chewed in the tributary to Lake Riviera off Old Hooper Avenue. Again, nightcrawlers drew them to pounce, because of cold water. Bait and wait, she said. Waters in the shop’s area weren’t as low as earlier this season. Not a lot of rain fell, but some did, replenishing them.  Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Largemouth bass could be angled at lakes but with a slow presentation and small lures, said Mike from <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown. A couple of customers fished 3-inch Senko worms slowly for them. They talked about rounding up yellow perch, too. Trout fishing had been going well at lakes included in the winter stocking in November. Good-sized, 18-inchers were nailed. Mostly trout worms and PowerBait caught. The big trout love those worms.

Lakes were cooling, but largemouth bass fishing was pretty good in them, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Very much a jerk-bait bite, he said. Fishing for crappies was decent at lakes including Union, Malaga and Alloway on minnows and jigs. Chain pickerel were more than willing to bite at lakes. Minnows, jerk baits and spinners could catch them. Striped bass fishing in saltwater was the big word. The migration arrived in the ocean off South Jersey, turning out the fish, good catches, on trolled Mojos and on bunker snagged for bait and livelined. Nothing was really heard about stripers from Delaware Bay. Fishing for blackfish and sea bass sounded productive at ocean reefs and wrecks. Sizable blackfish and limits of sea bass were reported caught.

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