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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 4-5-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

Rivers and creeks in western, upstate New York, around Rochester, were flooded probably the highest in several years during the weekend, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. The water was in the trees at some places, but the water temperature is about ideal for steelhead fishing. It was 41 degrees the last time Jay checked, before the flood, and the temp would probably be slightly higher when he returned to fishing. The temp was nearly prime for steelhead spawning, so lots of the fish were expected to swim the water, ideal for the angling. He was probably going to fish yesterday, and the water level would probably keep dropping, improving fishing conditions, into this weekend. High water, and therefore dirty water, is typical in spring, because of rain and runoff from melting snow. The flooding was good for the area, and the long drought this past year was probably finished. Ground water seemed a healthy level. During high water this week, anglers would need to be careful and not wade unless intimately familiar with the creeks and rivers. Even then, wading is dangerous, potentially sucking an angler into the water. Anglers need to know the water for fishing in the conditions. Jay expected to fish big flies like Intruder streamers, egg-sucking leeches and wooly buggers in bright colors like orange, chartreuse or white in the high, dirty water this week. The fun stuff, he said, and black and purple can also work in the dirty water. Photos of big brown trout were also posted on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Jay-Peck-Guides-236626819805449/" target="_blank">Jay’s Facebook page</a>. They also swam the rivers and creeks but would probably migrate to Lake Ontario to spend summer soon. A couple of hours east in upstate New York, the Salmon River was high but not as much. It ran at 1,250 cubic feet per second, and the upper river fished reasonably well for steelheads. The water temperature wasn’t perfect, ranging from 34 degrees to 37, depending on location. “That’s just the mood of the fish,” he said, and catching them seems easier in 33-degree water than in 38. But that’ll change, and Jay expects to concentrate on the Salmon’s steelheading just after Easter, a usual time. The water will probably hit the ideal spawning temperature around then. Currently, stoneflies caught steelheads well on the upper Salmon, not bailing them, but consistent. On the lower Salmon, small wet flies like Intruders could connect, and fewer anglers pressured the lower river. After steelhead fishing, Jay will trout fish on rivers and streams. The year’s first mayflies, including Hendricksons and, at various locations, some others, first appear about April 20 for that angling. Currently midges and sometimes scuds clocked trout. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.


Upstream from Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, striped bass fishing was picking up on Delaware River, <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia’s Facebook page said. Bill from the shop boated 11 of the bass to 18 inches there yesterday. Another angler banked four small stripers downstream from the Tacony from shore recently. Most of the river’s stripers were bloodwormed, but a few began to bite bunker. Larger stripers to 40 pounds were heaved from the river around Salem this past week, a report said on the store’s website last Wednesday. Be aware about regulations for striper fishing on the river. Pennsylvania allows certain sizes and numbers to be bagged. In New Jersey, the fishing is closed this time of year from Trenton to Salem, and certain types of circle hooks are required. New Jersey anglers release the fish. Farther upstream, shad fishing somewhat improved from Trenton to Lambertville on the river last week. The water was cold because of snow melt farther north. One angler nailed three shad, small bucks, at Washington’s Crossing last week on Tuesday. Another angler drilled three walleyes from the river at Point Pleasant last week at rocks on minnows. Pennsylvania’s trout season opened Saturday.


Anglers hunted muskies Sunday at Monksville Reservoir aboard, Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> wrote in an email. But rain fell all day Friday and part of Saturday, and weather was like winter on the trip: cold, windy, choppy, gray and misty. No muskies bit, but a 4-pound largemouth bass was reeled in. The bass surprisingly swiped a Spro jig with a chartreuse Gulp trailer like would be fished for striped bass in saltwater. One of the anglers rigged up the jig and cast. The largemouth looked semi-comatose in the cold, 39- to 42-degree water. Water needs to warm “before we can start seeing some life,” Dave wrote. “I’m sure there are pods of walleyes up in the mouth of the Wanaque River waiting for a cue to spawn.” Dave’s been seeing reports about crappies and perch biting. Trout season will open beginning Saturday, and Dave casts lures, usually Rapala Countdowns in size 3, for trout in streams in spring on guided trips. The angling is fun and effective, and can attract large trout. High water in spring is conducive to fishing lures in streams, helping prevent them from hanging up on logs and other debris.

Trout season will open beginning Saturday, and trout streams ran high, but that’s good, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. “It’s spring,” he said. “It’s healthy,” this writer said to him. Yes, he agreed. The streams are high from recent rain and snow melt, and more rain was supposed to fall locally the next couple of days. Water was cold everywhere, including at lakes. Some places held snow a week ago. Crappies bit at lakes. A few largemouth bass, none big, were managed at lakes where water was warm, like in shallows and at dark bottom. Small, suspending crank baits caught most species at lakes, including largemouths. But try small jigs like 1/16-ounce with a trailer when the bass are in the shallows. Sometimes the fish are spooky in the skinny water. But the crank baits could work in open water on the bass. Nothing was heard from Delaware River, and the river surely ran high. Previously, the river tossed up good walleye fishing sometimes. No shad were reported landed from the river yet.  Catch a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1055775027900138/" target="_blank">seminar on the ins and outs of kayak fishing</a> at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, at the store with a Hobie rep. Click the link for more details.

Not much was reported from the lake, said Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong. She hoped more news will roll around once the recent rains end. But perch and crappies nibbled in shallows off Landing and Brady Bridge. No customers mentioned bass fishing on the lake. “(But) there were guys out over the weekend,” she said. Sunday was the only practical day to fish during the weekend, after rain throughout the day Friday and part of Saturday. Trout were stocked in the lake, and news should come in about trout once trout season is opened beginning Saturday.

Rain fell, and rivers and streams ran over banks, said Larry from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. They couldn’t really be fished, and trout season will be open beginning Saturday, after the state stocked the fish the past several weeks. Any trout that were stocked “are going to have to wear life preservers to survive,” he said! But fishing was beginning to pick up for the season, before the rain. Some anglers fished lakes like Hopatcong before the wet. Some targeted crappies, and some tried for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Lake fishing will probably be good once the rain passes. Saltwater fishing was yet to pick up much. Striped bass were grabbed from saltwater now and then. Rain affected saltwater, too, including making the water cold.

Anglers geared up for the opening of trout season this coming Saturday, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. Artificial baits like Gulps, lures and natural baits are stocked for trout, including garden worms, meal worms, wax worms and baby nightcrawlers. Customers fish for trout including on the Toms, Metedeconk and Manasquan rivers, and have been picking trout on the Toms from the Trout Conservation Area, where catch-and-release fishing was allowed while many trout waters were closed to fishing for stocking currently. Chain pickerel fishing was great at Trilco on the Toms, farther downstream, on killies and shiners. 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. Virginia from the shop and daughter landed crappies and bluegills at Ocean County College Pond. Water was becoming warm enough for bluegills to chew.  Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Water was warming, and striped bass fishing improved on Delaware River, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. Some big stripers to 47 inches were reported angled from the river this past week. Some anglers hooked double-digits of throwback-sized stripers on the river. Bryan saw a photo of probably a 47-inch striper, a huge fish, from Elsinboro yesterday. The fish was released, and stripers can be bagged at Elsinboro, because that’s on Delaware Bay. But striper fishing is closed along the river this time of year for spawning. Anglers release the fish. Be aware about the regulations, including about circle hooks required to be fished along the river. Bloodworms, clams and bunker were sold to anglers fishing for the river’s stripers. The bloods probably hooked mostly throwbacks. Clams and bunker are usually fished for the bigger. In other news, largemouth bass tournaments began for the season, and largemouth fishing was picking up. The bass were active. Mark Gigz boated a 4.4-pound largemouth at Elmer Lake on a square-billed lure in shad color. Lots of crappies were winged at lakes. Minnows were preferred for them, but crappies also smacked lures meant for largemouths. In brackish water, white perch bit pretty heavily at feeder creeks off the Delaware. Most reports came from Salem County.

Weather was sometimes lousy this past week, but anglers were fishing, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. “Things are definitely turning around,” he said. Rainbow Lake fished well for largemouth bass during a tournament for the fish last weekend. Union Lake fished fairly consistently for largemouths and smallmouth bass. For largemouths at lakes, jigs, Keitech swim baits, jerk baits and even some cranks baits were fished.  Fishing for crappies began to amp up at lakes, mostly on minnows. White perch fishing kept improving in brackish rivers and creeks. Delaware River’s striped bass fishing became much better. Lots more were angled, and large weren’t abundant yet, but a few were large. Striper fishing is closed on the river currently for spawning, and circle hooks are required to be fished there. Know the regs. Anglers release the stripers. Customers began to be fired up about this coming Saturday’s opening of trout season. Even a few saltwater anglers talked about blackfish biting. A variety of fishing was beginning to turn on.

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