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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 4-26-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

Salmon River was dropped to 750 cubic feet per second on Monday from 1,650 the previous night, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. That’s a big drop, and the water was supposed to be dropped to 500 now. A more gradual drop is ideal for the river’s steelhead fishing, but the fish, scattered throughout the river, gave up catches. The population was probably mid-way through spawning. Jay’s fishing on Monday landed a couple of steelheads that were finished spawning and a couple that were yet to spawn, full of eggs. Lots of spawning was yet to happen, and Jay expects to fish for spawning steelheads this week and next. He expects that in the following week he’ll fish mostly for steelheads that already spawned and are dropping back to Lake Ontario. Steelheads spawn in the river in spring and return to the lake afterward to spend summer. The spawn is prime time to fish for them on the river. Trips caught on wooly buggers, especially in a muddy olive color. That worked in past days, and big stoneflies in size 6 also connected. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides. Once the river’s steelheading is finished, Jay fishes for trout on creeks and rivers farther west in upstate New York. Those waters were currently flooded from rain that missed Salmon River. But they should be fishable by the weekend. All sorts of bugs will probably begin to hatch next week along waters like those.


Striped bass and shad were smashed on Delaware River last week, a report said on <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia’s website. Bill from the store hammered a bunch of 12- to 19-inch stripers on the river. Bloodworms were usual bait for that size, and the worms were scarce lately. Bigger stripers were walloped on chunks of bunker on the river. A few 30- to 40-inchers were banked from shore at Station Avenue, downstream from Tacony-Palmyra Bridge and near Burlington-Bristol Bridge. But most of the big last week came from farther downstream at Salem and near the DOD on bunker and clams. Several 30- to 44-inchers were reported. Bigger than before began to be found last week farther upstream at Trenton, and even at Fireman’s Eddy, in evenings. At Trenton most of the bass were 25 to 36 inches and were hooked on popper lures, crank baits and shad bodies. At Fireman’s Eddy they were somewhat smaller: 22 to 24 inches. Be aware about striper regulations on the river. The fishing is closed in New Jersey this time of year for spawning, and anglers release them. Certain circle hooks are required to be fished from Jersey. Certain sizes of stripers are allowed to be bagged from Pennsylvania on the river. Shad fishing was fair on the river at Trenton last week, and anglers there worked through herring to hook shad. Shad fishing was hot from Washington’s Crossing to Lambertville and at Bull’s Island, Byram, Upper Black Eddy, Portland and Delaware Water Gap last week, to name some places. Evenings gave them up best. Plenty of other fishing was also talked about in the shop’s report.


Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> and nephew plugged 34 trout from Paulinskill River on Saturday, he wrote in an email. Dave fishes lures like Rapala Countdowns in size 3 for trout in spring. Water’s usually high enough then to keep the plugs from fouling on bottom, logs and weeds.

Rain raised trout streams yesterday, said John from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Previously, the streams ran high but clear, giving up plenty of trout. Meal worms caught well, and fly anglers hooked up on nymphs. Nothing was heard about dry flies yet. Crappies and perch were angled from Lake Hopatcong’s shallows, often on Crappie Magnets. A few largemouth bass were eased from the lake. Release largemouths by law through June 15 for spawning. A customer and buddy boated 31 shad on Delaware River a little upstream from Columbia on Friday.

The Knee Deep Club held a chain pickerel contest and a trout contest, two separate tournaments, on the lake Sunday, said Joe from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong. The biggest pickerel were John O’Neill’s 3.9-pounder, Lou Marcucci’s 3.6-pounder and Bob Smith’s 3.1-pounder. Small trout, though a bunch, were taken in that contest. Big, beautiful trout were stocked privately in the lake this season. But only the small that the state stocked were caught. Those were the club’s first tournaments this year. Fishing for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass is limited to catch-and-release through June 15 for spawning. So nobody mentioned fishing for them. Walleye season will be opened Monday, and anglers whacked and released some good-sized near bridges on Bomber lures. Perch, crappies and catfish were nabbed near bridges.

Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook was away during the weekend, fishing Potomac River in a largemouth bass tournament, he said afterward. He was yet to hear much about local fishing when he returned, but the Potomac fished well for the bass. That was despite air temperature that dropped to 57 degrees that day from 80 previously. The day was chilly and rainy. But nearly all entrants limited out on the bass, and most fished with swim baits on jigs and chatter baits. He saw lots of Z-Mans fished. Near the store, Passaic River was muddy and becoming higher but not flooded in yesterday’s train. Previously, anglers began fishing for the river’s northern pike from shore, after the river had been flooded this season. The lakes at Verona and Grover Cleveland parks produced stocked trout. Customers yesterday reported catching trout from Rockaway River. A couple of others reeled largemouth bass from the lakes at Ramapo Reservation. Release largemouths through June 15, according to law.

Trout fishing picked up at local streams that were stocked including the Toms River, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in the town of Toms River. Maybe that was because the water became a bit warmer, fewer anglers pressured the fish or another reason. Some streams including Manasquan River had been dirty from high water from rain. A couple of big breeders were seen at the shop. Trout Magnets locked into trout well on streams. Trout were plucked from Spring Lake, and so were catfish and carp, while anglers tried for trout. The cats and carp made some good catches. At Spring Lake, PowerBait hooked rainbow, and spinners hooked brown and brook trout. Virginia heard about no tiger trout from the lake, though tigers were also stocked. Many customers began heading to Manasquan Reservoir for crappies and largemouth bass. Whether they caught was unknown. A couple of customers frequently headed for that fishing last year at this time. Largemouths are limited to catch-and-release through June 15 throughout the state. A couple of customers reported good chain pickerel fishing at Lake Shenandoah. Sunfish, small but abundant, began biting well at lakes. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Delaware River’s striped bass fishing nailed the catches this past week, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. Big were clocked, mostly on clams and bunker. Smaller were mostly bloodwormed. The catches were reported from up and down the local river, including at Elsinboro, and supposedly also migrated upstream to Trenton by now. Some anglers said the river around Tacony-Palmyra Bridge was a good spot. Kevin Logue boated and released a 47-incher near Chester Island, probably on bloodworm, because he buys the worms from the shop. Ryan Minter boated and released a 44-incher near Tinicum Island on clam. A customer tried for largemouth bass on the river at River Winds, hooking a schoolie striper on a Whopper Plopper. Stripers must be released on much of the river this time of year, and certain types of circle hooks must be fished. Know the regulations. Largemouths are required to be tossed back through June 15 throughout New Jersey. White perch hit more and more in the river. Anglers used mesh bags, available at the shop, to keep them from tearing bloodworms from hooks. Largemouth fishing seemed steady at lakes. Some were known to be hooked at Swedesboro Lake, and crappies also bit there. Trout fishing was as good as it gets at stocked waters including Shadler’s Pond in Penns Grove and Harrisonville Lake. Meal worms under bobbers caught best. Snakeheads, the invasive species, bit well at the waters off High Hill Road and Route 130 in Logan Township. The state encourages anglers to kill snakeheads.

A few trout caught were heard about from Grenloch and Blackwood lakes, said Ed from <b>Creek Keepers Bait & Tackle</b> in Blackwood. A 6-pounder was weighed-in that was hauled from Grenloch on PowerBait. A kid landed an 8-pound largemouth bass that grabbed a trout the kid was reeling in at Grenloch. Release largemouths through June 15 by law.  Not many largemouth catches were reported, and mostly small seemed to be angled. That was mostly on shiners, some on minnows. Ed and wife picked up a couple at Alcyon Lake in Pitman. Striped bass, including a couple of 30-some-inchers that were reported, were caught and released, by law, along Delaware River. Some 40-inchers were known about from near Commodore Barry Bridge. Tons of bloodworms were sold for bait for the river’s stripers. Certain circle hooks are required to be fished for them, and know the regs. In saltwater, anglers in the surf and back bays tackled big bluefish at Atlantic City. Bunker and mackerel were sold for bait for them.

Largemouth bass were eased from lakes on KVD and Yamamoto soft-plastic lures, mostly in dark colors like black with silver flake, said Mike from <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown. Let them go through June 15 according to law. Lots of yellow perch were heard about that were hung from lakes. Nothing was heard about crappies. Plenty of chain pickerel were pulled in. Brackish water fished terrific for white perch, supposedly including Maurice River’s mouth. A customer this morning said he beached quite a few keeper striped bass from shore at Fortescue on Delaware Bay. He caught on bloodworms but, during mornings and at night, also on lures. Big bluefish raced around Atlantic’s surf and back bays and Sea Isle City’s back bays. Quite a number of small, throwback stripers but a couple of keepers were reported from Atlantic City’s surf.

Fishing was still good, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b>. Largemouth bass, required to be released through June 15, gave up very good fishing. That was at usual places including Parvin, Rainbow and Elmer Lake, and South Vineland Park Pond. Soft-plastic lures were often pitched to them. So were Senko worms, rubber lizards and a few chatter baits. Good trout fishing was tied into at Maurice River, Iona Lake and South Vineland Park. Some decent crappie fishing was turned up at Parvin and Malaga Lake. Small jigs with minnows were often thrown for them. In saltwater, striped bass fishing seemed to gain steam at Fortescue for shore anglers. Some better-sized were banked. Stripers were also slid from the ocean surf. They might’ve been smaller, but sometimes they were keepers. Sizable bluefish tore around coastal waters including back bays, sometimes the surf in certain areas. Blackfishing seemed fair in saltwater.

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