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Upstate N.Y.
Salmon, Steelhead &
Trout Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 3-22-17


<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

Weather began to warm somewhat during the weekend, and snow began to melt, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. He ran a trip Monday that plucked a few steelheads from Salmon River, and the river was reported to run at 750 cubic feet per second, but appeared to run higher. He expected the river to run higher than that by later this week, because weather is supposed to be warmer than before, and snow should keep melting. That might create a sharp change in fishing conditions by the end of the week. But changes are typical this time of year, because of the changing seasons. The trip caught on stoneflies, and stones crawled everywhere. Steelheading seemed back on schedule, after warm weather in February made the fishing look ahead of schedule. Weather became drastically cold in the past week or so and was somewhat warmer now. Jay expects to do more steelheading at creeks and rivers farther west in New York, around Rochester, now. Water flows were decent for the fishing in the western area, though the water was cold from snow melt. More snow fell there than along Salmon River in last week’s storm that slammed the Northeast. The snow will probably keep melting, raising creeks and rivers. Higher water usually makes the water colder, but during days forecast to be in the 50 degrees, and no ice in rivers, creeks and reservoirs, the sun will probably warm the water. The upper Salmon, where Jay’s trip fished, was 34 degrees or cold that day.  In the western waters, he’ll fish egg flies until water warms to the upper 30s or low 40s. Then he’ll fish streamers like Zonkers and Intruders, because the higher temperatures will make the fish active enough to hit a streamer. Bugs aren’t as abundant in the western waters as along the Salmon, where stonefly fishing is common this time of year. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.

<b>PENNSYLVANIA</b>

The year’s first couple of striped bass were heard about from Delaware River during the weekend at <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia, the store’s Facebook page said. Both were bloodwormed, and one was a 24-pounder hooked just downstream from Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. Bill Brinkman, the store’s owner, fished the river yesterday for the first time this year, bloodworming two catfish 1 to 2 pounds. The water was 39 to 44 degrees at different places he anchored. Anthony from the store fished the river early that day, scoring a good runoff and a few bites. Bill was going to do no fishing today on the river because of wind. Not much was available to report last week because of weather, a report said on the store’s website Friday. Before last week’s snowstorm, rumors said the year’s first few shad were whipped from the Delaware farther upstream at Yardley and Lambertville. But those were only rumors. Good walleye fishing was known about from the river, and Lambertville, Bull’s Island and Point Pleasant were some better areas. A few anglers were known to tackle two to six per trip. Several anglers who fished Schuylkill River lit into a couple of small stripers and some catfish, perch and walleyes. More info about plenty of other locations was included in the report on the store’s site.

<b>NEW JERSEY</b>

Although weather was sometimes warmer in past days, last week’s cold and snow seemed to keep customers from trout fishing, said Brian from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Trout fishing was closed beginning on Monday, until the fishing opens back up beginning at 8 a.m. April 8, on waters the state stocks. That’s because stocking begins to take place during the closure. But some waters are open to catch and release during that period. If anglers trout fish, small, black stoneflies and small flies like zebra midges and RS2’s could catch. Before last week’s blizzard, a couple of anglers talked about landing perch from lakes. They said they began to see largemouth bass in shallows, where water was warmer. What’s happening with all of that since the cold will be seen. Customers occasionally began to buy shad flutter spoons and darts to fish the shad immigration on Delaware River. No shad caught were heard about yet.

Yesterday was the first when boaters could fish, after last week’s cold and snow, said James from <b>Behre Bait & Tackle</b> in Lebanon. But shore anglers kept banking brown trout and rainbow trout from Round Valley Reservoir, and boaters will troll some good-sized lake trout from the reservoir like before, when they return to fishing. From shore, the anglers mostly fished shiners along bottom on Carolina rigs. The boaters will fish Warrior spoons, Rapala lures and Challenger lures on leadcore at one to three colors or on downriggers, like before. Nobody really fished Spruce Run or Merrill Creek reservoirs yet, or that was quiet. But Round Valley produced.

Snow covered Passaic River’s banks near <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook through Monday, at least, Cheryl from the store said. That kept anglers from fishing, and by Tuesday, snow melted around the store. Grass could be seen. Farther west, Lake Musconetcong was white from snow covering skim ice. Probably close to 2 feet of snow fell there in last week’s storm. All of this shut down fishing, for the most part.

Chain pickerel were wrenched from the Toms River at Trilco, said Jeff from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in the town of Toms River. Trilco is a closed building supply, and no sign identifies the building, but locals know the stretch by the name, located near Garden State Parkway. Pickerel and a couple of largemouth bass were picked up from Lake Riviera. A few pickerel were beaten from Ocean County College Pond. In the brackish Toms, small striped bass, an occasional keeper, a few white perch and a couple of winter flounder were pulled in. Mostly bloodworms were fished there, but a few of the stripers seemed to begin swiping small lures. Jeff wasn’t asked the time of day, but the store previously reported that nighttime was the time for the stripers. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Bigger striped bass began to be checked-in from Delaware River at <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown, Bryan said. The year’s first that was larger than 40 inches was brought to the shop just before the cold snap last week. Three sizable were seen at the store Monday. Multiple schools seemed to move in, so far, and a 44-inch striper was biggest seen at the shop from the fishing. This seemed the beginning of the spring migration of large stripers heading up the river to spawn. Small stripers were angled from the river in previous weeks. Those were young fish that live in rivers and creeks year-round until large enough to migrate to the ocean. Catches of the big were heard about as far upstream as Commodore Barry Bridge. A few were reported from Elsinboro, and some came from Penns Grove. But some were also angled at National Park, upstream from the Commodore Barry. Mostly bloodworms were fished for them, but sometimes bunker was. At lakes, fishing seemed to turn on lately, including for fairly good-sized largemouth bass sometimes. Mostly jigs and crank baits connected. But top-water lures worked sometimes.  Jack Turner socked a 4-pounder from Glen Lake. What he caught the fish on was unknown, but he usually fishes artificials, not bait. Some customers bought minnows to land crappies from lakes. The angling was steady at creeks off Delaware River, and yellow perch were often mixed in, they said. Other customers bought smaller bloodworms to fish for white perch at marshes off Delaware Bay. Those catches included double-digits.

Forecasts look warmer than this last cold spell, so fishing should improve, said Andrew from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. For largemouth bass, jerk baits, Rat-L-Traps and small swim baits pretty much were the tackle. Good fishing for them was heard about from Parvin and Rainbow lakes. Fishing for crappies and yellow perch is good at lakes this time of year. White perch could be nabbed from brackish creeks. No customers yet reported reeling striped bass from Delaware River.

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