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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 4-19-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

Trips with Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b> switched to fishing Salmon River for steelheads beginning Monday, scoring well, he said. The switch was on schedule, and previously, the trips fished farther west in upstate New York, around Rochester, for steelheads at creeks and rivers. That steelheading’s finished for the season. The fish spawned and returned to Lake Ontario for summer. Salmon River reached the low 40 degrees, and spawning was underway. The fish were on gravel beds, and the river ran high, flowing at 1,650 cubic feet per second at the dam. That was good for the angling, keeping the fish on the gravel. He and one of his guides scouted the river Monday, catching some. Guided trips with Jay hooked seven and landed four on Tuesday and hooked more and landed eight to a 16-pounder today. Tuesday’s skies were beautiful and blue, and today was cloudy and some rain fell. Not a huge concentration of steelheads swam the river, but trips were able to find plenty. Trips caught on streamers like large Wooly Buggers and small Intruders, and spawning will probably last into next week on the Salmon, before some of the fish begin dropping back to the lake. The water will probably stay high a week at least. Once the Salmon’s steelheading is finished, Jay will fish for trout on streams in western New York. The streams ran high, and Hendricksons and maybe some quills began hatching. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides. 


Monster striped bass began to show up in Delaware River last week, a report said on <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia’s website. Tons of smaller stripers were angled up and down the river, often on bloodworms. But a few bigger were socked, like a 44-inch 40-pounder bunker-chunked off Philly’s Station Avenue. A mid-30-incher, probably 20 pounds, was chunked on bunker near Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. Photos were seen of 30- to 45-inchers landed off the Philly Airport. Big were pasted on the river at Salem, too. Be aware about the river’s striper regulations. Certain sizes can be bagged in Pennsylvania, the fishing is closed in New Jersey on much of the river this time of year for spawning, and certain circle hooks are required to be fished. In Jersey, anglers release the fish. On the upper river, shad fishing really picked up last week. Conditions weren’t perfect then, after high, dirty water previously, but were much improved. Shad were fought at Trenton, Washington’s Crossing, Lambertville and Bull’s Island. The herring migration just began to show up at Trenton in the river last week. More news about the striper and shad fishing and plenty of other fishing was included in the report, as usual.


Shad, mostly bucks, flooded Delaware River locally, said Dean from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. They hit like crazy, he said, probably mostly on shad darts. Trout fishing was fantastic on Big Flatbrook, where most customers trout fish. The trout grabbed a variety of salmon eggs, PowerBait, butter worms and Trout Magnets. Conditions were ideal at both places, after the waters ran high previously.

Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> plugged for trout Saturday on Paulinskill River, he wrote in an email. He landed 56 rainbows, none big, “all stockies,” he said, on a blue and silver Rapala Countdown lure in size 3. The fish were aggressive, current ran strong “and (the) river was running perfect,” he said. Dave fishes for trout with lures, usually the Rapala CD3’s, as they’re called, in spring. The lures are effective, can attract large trout and are fun. Spring’s high water is conducive, helping to keep the lures from snagging on debris like logs.

Trout streams dropped a little, after flooding from rain last week, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. “It’s really nice,” he said, and not much was heard about bugs on the waters yet. But Hendricksons should hatch, providing dry-fly fishing, by the weekend, if they hadn’t already. That should happen on nearly all the streams like Musconetcong and Rockaway rivers and Big Flatbrook. If anglers fish no Hendricksons, bead-headed hares ear nymphs in sizes 12 and 14 should catch. Customers geared up for shad fishing on Delaware River, but no reports about catches came in. Dogwoods began to bloom, and the migration usually coincides. Walleyes and hybrid striped bass were crushed at Lake Hopatcong on suspending crank baits and livelined herring off Brady Bridge. Walleyes must be released through April 30 for spawning. Nothing was heard about crappies in some time. They had been angled off Brady Bridge, too.

A few good-sized trout were brought from the lake, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. They included Jim Salerno’s 3-pound 7-ounce rainbow trolled on a Phoebe, and Rich Giessuebel’s 3-pound 6-ounce rainbow hooked on a spinner cast from a dock. A few smaller trout were trolled in shallow water on Phoebes and small Rapalas. Hybrid striped bass just began to bite in shallows. Eddie Mackin weighed-in a 7-pound 3-ouncer caught on a Bomber. Mackin also checked-in a 1-pound 12-ounce crappie, and Spencer McLaughlin and Max Hughen, Junior Members of the Knee Deep Club, stopped by with a 1-pound 3-ounce crappie. Crappies and perch were angled from shallows on small Rapala Husky Jerks and, under a bobber, Mighty Mite jigs. Several largemouth bass and smallmouth bass were weighed at the shop before fishing for both became limited to catch and release from April 15 through June 15 for spawning. Mackin hung one of the largemouths, a 5-pound 3-ouncer. Stan Culp showed off a 4-pound 13-ounce largemouth. John Moran came in with two smallmouths that weighed 4 pounds 9 ounces – that’s big! – and 2 pounds 15 ounces. The Knee Deep Club will hold a pickerel tournament and a trout tournament, the year’s first tournaments for the club, on Sunday, April 23, on the lake. Those are two separate contests and will award cash prizes and gift certificates. More info is available on the club’s website, or anglers can telephone Dow’s for further info: 973-663-3826.

Spruce Run Reservoir began to give up hybrid striped bass, in 10 feet of water or shallower, said James from <b>Behre Bait & Tackle</b> in Lebanon. Spruce tossed up lots of fish including crappies, northern pike, largemouth bass and catfish, offering phenomenal fishing. Release the largemouths by law through June 15 for spawning. Merrill Creek Reservoir finally began to serve up lake trout on the troll. Round Valley Reservoir continued to fish strongly. Shore anglers there banked brown trout on shiners and rainbow trout on PowerBait. Boaters decked rainbows down 15 to 20 feet and lake trout along bottom in 70 to 90 feet of water. Round Valley rose about 15 feet in the past week, after the severe drought this past year. The water was 10 to 15 feet from the bottom of the concrete, and probably wasn’t going to touch the docks anytime soon, but water was still pumping into the impoundment. Trout fishing was also good on streams including South Branch of the Raritan River and Musconetcong River.

Passaic River ran high but was going down, said Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Anglers began to fish from the banks again, tackling northern pike on spinners and Keitechs. Trout were plucked from stocked ponds. Largemouth bass became limited to catch and release from April 15 through June 15 for spawning. Fishing for the bass had been spotty on Lake Hopatcong. Many anglers landed none in tournaments held there recently. A 20-pound bag for five fish won one of the contests. The fishing seemed like that: if anglers got dialed in, they could catch well. But they could catch none, too. Feast or famine. In saltwater, striped bass fishing seemed spotty on bays including Raritan. The stripers were tied into here and there. Stripers were also landed on Newark Bay, Hackensack River and Hudson River. 

Carp bit at Deal Lake and Spring Lake, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. Jeff from the shop heaved in a 20-pounder. Corn was chummed for the carp at the lakes, and the fish chomped nearly any bait fished along bottom then. Trout fishing was good on the Toms River. Manasquan River began to clear at the pump station off Route 95 for trout fishing, after the water was dirty previously from rain. Fishing for trout was better on non-stocking days. The fish seemed reluctant to bite on stocking days.  Ocean County College Pond was a place for good crappie fishing in late afternoons to evenings. Small killies and nightcrawlers nabbed them. Largemouth bass fishing lit into good catches at lakes in Jackson and Lake Shenandoah in Lakewood. Fewer but some were reeled from Lake Riviera in Brick. Release largemouths by law through June 15 for spawning. Chain pickerel also chewed at Riviera and in the Toms River at Trilco. That’s a closed building supply, and no sign identifies the building. But locals know the stretch by the name, located near Garden State Parkway. Customers headed for white perch fishing at brackish waters farther south, like at Forked River and Manahawkin. The angling seems better to the south, though a few perch swim the Toms and other local waters. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

“It’s time … now!” Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown said about fishing for striped bass on Delaware River. Big stripers were caught and released up and down the river in past days. Photos of the fish to 40 and 50 pounds were seen. Striper fishing is closed on the local river this time of year for spawning. Anglers release the fish, and certain types of circle hooks are required. Know the regs. Hot spots seemed off the DOD Ponds, River Winds in National Park and Floodgate Road in Bridgeport.  The bigger stripers seemed to prefer bunker or clams. Bloodworms caught, but seemed to attract smaller stripers. If anglers wanted more action, though, bloods could be a choice. Kevin Logue released a 47-incher near the Salem nuclear plant on a bunker head. Trout fishing seemed “pretty darn good” lately, and meal worms seemed the bait to dunk. Limits were made daily at Harrisonville Lake. Swedesboro Lake gave anglers success on largemouth bass. Release largemouths through June 15 according to law, for spawning. Minnows especially caught largemouths. The fish began to take swim baits. A buddy scored well on Keitech Fat Swing Impact swim baits in white and chartreuse on chatter baits. Snakeheads fed strongly, and the first couple of reports about bowfin catches were heard. The waters off High Hill Road in Logan Township held snakeheads. Those waters are good to fish for a variety of catches including sunnies and crappies. Snapper turtles are trapped there, too. Snakeheads are an invasive species that New Jersey encourages anglers to kill if caught. But they can be big – up to 7-pounders were talked about from High Hill – and are strong fighters. The waters off Route 130 in Logan Township were a place for bowfins. That’s a similar-looking, primitive fish but a native species.     

Tiffany Pyle from Franklinville smashed five largemouth bass to a 5-pound 2-ouncer at Wilson Lake, said Mike from <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown. Robert DiPietro mugged six chain pickerel and a 4-pound largemouth at Deptford Lake. Both anglers caught on rubber frogs, and make sure to release largemouths. That’s required through June 15 for spawning. Trout were picked up from all the local stocked waters. Striped bass were bloodwormed from Delaware River at the DOD and Elsinboro. Be aware about those regs, too, because striper fishing is closed on most of the river currently, and certain circle hooks are required to be fished. Anglers let go the stripers. In saltwater, big bluefish and puppy drum were cranked in at Atlantic City.

Largemouth bass fishing was especially good in the past week, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Let them go by law through June 15 for spawning. But great reports about the bass came from Rainbow, Parvin and Elmer lakes and South Vineland Park Pond. Chatter baits caught largemouths well. The fish began to swipe soft-plastic lures often. They even started to hit top-water lures. Trout fishing held steady, and customers bought lots of PowerBait for trout. Shaws Mill Pond, Iona Lake and Maurice River were “popping” for trout. Reports were mixed about striped bass fishing on Delaware River and Delaware Bay, and that’s typical. On one day the fishing went well, and on another, not. Anglers fished bloodworms on the river and bunker on the bay. Striper fishing is closed on the local river for spawning. Anglers release them. Be aware that certain circle hooks are required for the angling. The bluefish migration arrived at the shore. Some customers boated for blackfish on the ocean.

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