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Upstate N.Y.
Salmon, Steelhead &
Trout Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 3-29-17


<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

Along creeks and rivers in western, upstate New York, rain fell, snow melted and “surf’s up,” said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. Water was high and dirty for steelhead fishing on the creeks and small rivers. On Oak Orchard River, a bigger river in the area, water was high and not as dirty. But the Oak was probably muddy by yesterday. Still, all the waters were probably cresting, and when the water level drops and becomes fishable, steelheading there should be “popping” or on, he said. The water should be 40 or 42 degrees, an ideal temperature. Streamers will catch, including Zonkers, wooly buggers and small Intruders in bright colors like orange, chartreuse and pink, because of the dirty water. “All the fun stuff,” Jay said about fishing streamers. His trips were going to fish the area today and the rest of the week. His fishing in the area during the weekend scored alright on steelheads, and that was despite high, cold water, so he was fairly happy about that. These are rivers and creeks in the Rochester area. To the east a couple of hours, Salmon River flowed at 500 cubic feet per second, fishing well for steelheads, especially on stoneflies and a few egg flies. That was a surprisingly low water level, because authorities maybe released too much water from the reservoir previously. The level will probably be increased soon, because rain is supposed to fall, and snow remains along the headwaters at Tug Hill that will keep melting. Trips that one of Jay’s guides ran caught steelheads pretty well on the Salmon: six to eight per trip on the lower river on streamers. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.

<b>PENNSYLVANIA</b>

Cold, windy weather kept many from fishing last week, Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia wrote in a report on the store’s website. He tried for striped bass on Delaware River a few hours on a trip, fishing bloodworms. The water was 39 degrees near Rancocas Creek. One fish bit and wasn’t hooked there for him, and Bill moved to deeper water. The river was 42 degrees there, and he landed two catfish. Anthony from the store that morning “had one good run off and several smaller hits,” Bill wrote. Another angler caught six stripers, mostly small but one keeper, near Delaware Memorial Bridge on the river. He also scored “a couple good run offs,” Bill wrote. Someone else showed photos of 45-inch stripers that anglers hung from the river farther downstream at Salem. That person knew about five big like that. That angler’s been catching 22- to 30-inchers there. Anglers at Salem mostly pulled in 15- to 28-inch stripers, some white perch and plenty of 1- to 3-pound catfish. Only one angler reported fishing for walleyes farther upstream at Point Pleasant, tackling seven of the fish 15 to 21 inches and a couple of smallmouth bass. Shad, all bucks, were pasted from the river at Yardley and Lambertville. One angler fished the river farther upstream at Delaware Water Gap, saying the water was cold, so nothing bit. On Schuylkill River, a few small stripers and some white and yellow perch and small catfish were nabbed. A few walleyes and some small stripers came from the Schuylkill just downstream from the art museum.

<b>NEW JERSEY</b>

Boating for trout was slow on Round Valley Reservoir on a trip that Capt. Dave Vollenweider took Saturday with his nephew and the nephew’s buddy, he wrote in an email. One rainbow trout was trolled on a Kinchou Minnow on a planer board. The trip trolled deep and shallow, and Dave was sure that trout saw the lures. But they didn’t seem to be biting anywhere in the 36- to 38-degree reservoir on the raw, chilly, rainy day. “In fact,” Dave wrote, “didn’t even see the hit on the board with the one fish … we saw a fish jumping behind the board and decided to investigate … lucky we did! You don’t see many fish jumping in 35 degree water temps.” The trout’s head and eyes looked blue, and the fish looked spawned out or had an empty stomach. The Round Valley Trout Association was supposed to stock large trout at Round Valley this past week. Water was being pumped into Round Valley during the trip, and the reservoir was slowly filling recently. But that will take time after severely low water in the drought this past year.

Trout streams ran high, because of rain in past days and snow previously that was melting, said Brian from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Musconetcong River was up to the banks when he saw the water Monday. Not a lot of people fished for trout, because of high water and because many trout waters are closed for stocking until opening day of trout season on April 8. But some waters remain open, and customers fished Ken Lockwood Gorge and Pequest River for trout. Customers bought small flies for trouting including black stoneflies, blue-winged olives and midges. Lake anglers will land fish like yellow perch on waters like Lake Hopatcong this time of year. If anglers hook largemouth bass currently at lakes, that will probably be in shallows on warm days, because of warmer water there. Customers just began buying tackle for shad fishing on Delaware River, like shad darts and flutter spoons. Nothing was heard about the shad migration in the river yet.

Most trout waters were closed to fishing, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. Those places will be opened beginning April 8, opening day of trout streams. But a few places were open for trouting, and most customers who fished there used flies like small nymphs. A few anglers fished Lake Hopatcong, boating great catches of big crappies. “Beauties,” he said. A buddy’s been boating Spruce Run Reservoir, picking up some largemouth bass. Keith was unsure what the buddy fished but thought probably hair jigs.

Anglers just began to fish the lake, and boats could be launched at a couple of ramps, said Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong. Mostly perch and crappies were reeled in. That was off Landing and Brady Bridge on Cubby Mini Mites, other rubber jigs and small Rapala Husky Jerks. A few chain pickerel were angled, and nothing was reported about bass or other catches. Snow was just about melted, and a few piles remained. More anglers should begin to work the lake this weekend, depending on weather.

An angler shared a photo of a 6-pound 3-ounce largemouth bass on <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> from Toms River’s Facebook page this week, Dennis from the store said. Dennis didn’t know which lake the angler fished, but the angler’s been fishing almost daily, and has been catching largemouths on shiners. Fishing’s been pretty good, including for chain pickerel at ponds on shiners and killies. Crappies bit a little. The state’s been stocking trout in the Toms River. Rivers are mostly closed to fishing for stocking until April 8, opening day of trout season. But Trout Conservation Areas are open for catch and release, including on the Toms, and customers picked a few of the fish there. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Numerous 40-inch striped bass were reported banked from Delaware River, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. But compared to the number of anglers fishing, not a lot of stripers that size were. Maybe 1 in 10 anglers hooked a striper that big. Throwback stripers were landed up and down the river’s shore. Near the DOD was a prime spot. Water temperature rose 3 degrees in past days. A friend read the water at 45 degrees yesterday at low tide on the river. A couple of the bass were weighed-in at the store. Anglers fished bloodworms for the river’s stripers. But customers also bought bunker for the fish, and bunker worked near the Salem nuclear plant. Snakeheads seemed to begin biting. Numerous were reported fought, and near High Hill Road and Crown Point Road were top spots for them. Snakeheads are an invasive species that the government encourages to kill when caught. But snakeheads are aggressive and can be sizable, and anglers like to catch them. Customers said snakeheads were really aggressive right now. Anglers usually hooked snakeheads while trying for largemouth bass. Any usual lures for largemouths could attract snakeheads, like crank baits. Some largemouths were angled at lakes, often on jigs or while drop-shotting. Crappies were grabbed at lakes on minnows.

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