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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 5-10-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

Rain flooded Salmon River, but the water was dropping now, said Jay from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. A few drop-back steelheads, fish that spawned in the river and were returning to Lake Ontario, remained in the Salmon. Smallmouth bass began to bite in the lower river. Four inches of rain fell, and snow even fell Monday. The water temperature dropped 10 degrees, from 55 to 45, recently. But all of that was improving now, and the Salmon was supposed to flow at 750 cubic feet per second today. That’s a good flow for fishing, and the flow had been as much as 3,000. By Monday, that dropped to 1,800, and by Tuesday dropped somewhat more. On Monday, a trip “bumped” a couple of steelheads with Jay. On Tuesday, two were landed. Jay wouldn’t be surprised if steelheading was pretty good during today’s fishing with him. His trips often fished streamers in olive and brown. Some of the flies could imitate crawfish. Once steelheading is finished on the river, Jay will fish for trout on rivers and streams farther west in New York. Probably 2 inches of rain fell there, but those waters were flooded, and were flooded previously, because more rain previously fell there than along Salmon River. On the trout waters, Hendricksons hatched, and so did blue-winged olives and caddis. The waters were becoming “buggy,” and when the water levels drop, the trouting will be happening, and that might begin by the weekend. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.


Delaware River had been high because of rain but dropped a foot yesterday, said Dean from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. Shad fishing had been fantastic -- some said the best-ever -- in the river, until the high, dirty water made the fishing impossible. No reports came in about the angling since the flood, but the catches should start back up. Big Flatbrook ran a little high but was perfect for trout fishing. Most customers who trout fish work the Flatbrook, and lots of trout have been biting there and at other streams, good fishing. Not a lot of dry flies hatched yet.

Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> fished Round Valley Reservoir on Sunday, but weather was rough, he wrote in an email. Weather would clear, but then dark clouds would roll in, wind would blow strongly, and seas would kick up. The lights blinked on the pump house, meaning get off the water. He hooked one small rainbow trout. “Should have stayed home,” he said! But he gave it a try. His buddy Paul Schmidt, a tournament bass angler, has been fishing Connecticut’s Candlewood Lake, while New Jersey’s fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass is limited to catch-and-release through June 15 for spawning. One angler in one of Paul’s tournaments on Candlewood came in with an eight-fish bag of smallmouths that totaled 25 pounds. An almost 6-pounder was the tournament’s biggest smallie. Dave is supposed to run a guided trip this weekend. Dave’s mostly been fishing solo or with friends and family, but soon begins guiding more often for the fishing season.

Rough weather including rainstorms happened in recent days, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. But plenty of water filled trout streams, so fishing for the trout should last through May. “If we ever have a May!” he said about the cool weather. Plenty of trout are swimming the waters, and flies that caught included wooly buggers. Butterworms were the “killer,” and were stocked sporadically at stores. They were on hand currently at Ramsey. Nothing was heard about Delaware River’s shad fishing, because the rain flooded the river. But the angling was great previously. The river should be coming down now. Fishing for largemouth bass was yet to take off because of low temperatures. Release largemouths by law through June 15. Hybrid striped bass and walleyes were hooked at Lake Hopatcong.

 A 6-pound 7-ounce walleye was heaviest in Knee Deep Club’s walleye tournament on the lake this weekend, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Eddie Mackin won the event with the fish, and Jeff Good took second-place with a 6-pound 4-ouncer. His son Hunter won third with a 6-pound 1-ouncer. Several other good-sized were weighed at the shop, including Christopher D’Alauro’s 5-pound 6-ouncer, Alex Stockton’s 4-pound 10-ouncer and Bill Haase’s 4-pound 7-ouncer. Nighttime should give up walleyes in a couple of weeks, when herring begin to spawn. Plenty of Bombers and other top-water lures are stocked for the fishing. Several sizable hybrid striped bass were seen, including Gary Bruzaud’s 8-pound 3-ouncer and Abbey Murphy’s 7-pound 9-ouncer. Lots of yellow perch and crappies were nabbed on small herring. Knee Deep Club will hold a Panfish Challenge tournament on Sunday, May 21, for sunfish, white perch, yellow perch, crappies and rock bass. The three anglers with the most points will win cash. Call a friend and compete. “It should be a good time,” Laurie said.

Shore anglers banked trout at Round Valley Reservoir, said James from <b>Behre Bait & Tackle</b>. They landed a few lake trout during the weekend, exclusively on shiners. They’ve also been reeling in rainbow trout on PowerBait in yellow, orange or chartreuse. Many of the rainbows were small that the state stocked. Keep only the legal size: 15 inches or longer. Boaters at Round Valley trolled rainbow and brown trout 20 feet down, in 80 feet of water, on Warrior and Sutton spoons and Rapala and Challenger lures. Boaters hooked lakers along bottom on different tackle, including starting to catch on Meat Heads. At Spruce Run Reservoir, hybrid striped bass bit, currently on both herring and shiners. Herring became available last week. A few northern pike were wrestled from Spruce, and the water was yet to be too warm. Crappies and largemouth bass were picked from Spruce. Release largemouths through June 15. Catches at Spruce also included catfish. Both shore anglers and boaters caught at Spruce. Merrill Creek Reservoir finally began to produce lakers down 30 to 40 feet and rainbows down 15 to 20 feet. The laker fishing will slow soon. James had plenty of good suggestions about what to catch on, and this writer missed some of them. Ask him at the shop.

Largemouth bass were cranked from ponds including on natural worms, Senko rubber worms, chatter baits, spinner baits and, at dusk and dawn, sometimes on top-waters, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Toss back the largemouths through June 15. News about trout was scarce, and rough weather could be a reason. Passaic River near the store ran a little high during the weekend. Anglers fished the river – definitely activity – but what they caught was unknown. Catches including northern pike that are stocked, smallmouth bass, largemouths and carp can chew in the river at different times of year. Smallmouths must be let go through the same date. Striped bass trolled from saltwater, including on Mojos, was the big thing. Bluefish showed up, and some anglers were happy about that. Others thought the blues got in the way of catching stripers.

The Toms River ran somewhat high because of rain, but the river’s trout began to bite, for some reason, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in the town of Toms River. The fishing was slower before. She and family fished the river at Jackson off Bowman Road, scoring well. Other places reportedly also produced on the river, including Riverwood Park and the Trout Conservation Area. The fishing went well Sunday. Monday was stocking day, and all anglers seemed to limit out. Off Bowman Road, she’s found the fishing better if she works her way downstream, away from the first section of the river there. Trout Magnets and PowerBait caught. Her son landed 15 on Trout Magnets on a trip off Bowman. She prefers relaxing with PowerBait. Anglers at Lake Shenandoah picked trout and a few good-sized catfish. They reeled chain pickerel from the shallows. Some big pickerel were had on the Toms at Trilco, and shiners worked best there. Crappies could be picked at Ocean County College Pond toward dusk on earthworms and small killies. A group of anglers showed photos of 30-pound carp they heaved from Spring Lake on corn along bottom while chumming with corn. Not much was heard from Manasquan Reservoir, but a few customers headed there for largemouth bass. Top-waters including big spinners and rubber frogs seemed to connect better than bait. Largemouths must be released through June 15. No crappies were heard about from the reservoir. 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 slowed, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. Some anglers saw the fish spawning. Be aware about regulations, because much of the river is closed to striper fishing this time of year, and certain circle hooks are required to fished when dunking bait. Anglers release the stripers. Largemouth bass were beaten at many ponds, and must be released through June 15. Bait including minnows and nightcrawlers could hook them. But many of the bass were spawning, and anglers try for a reaction strike then, something like tossing a jig in the spawning bed, making the bass attack to prevent the invader from eating eggs. The shop will provide free tackle and bait for a Cub Scout fishing tournament Saturday at Greenwich Lake that the Elks hold annually. All kids will reportedly receive a prize.

Trout were meal-wormed at Grenloch Lake, said Ed from <b>Creek Keepers Bait & Tackle</b> in Blackwood. Chain pickerel chomped at the lake on minnows and shiners. Ed and wife released largemouth bass at Pitman’s Alcyon Lake on shiners. Set largemouths free through June 15, and he and wife also landed calico bass or crappies at the lake on the trip. Small striped bass, none big anymore this season, were bloodwormed on Delaware River. Striper fishing is closed on the local river this time of season, and certain circle hooks are required. Release the fish. A group of kids whaled big catfish on the Delaware at National Park on chicken livers and bloodworms. Most news was about big bluefish tackled at Atlantic City’s surf and back bays on bunker and mackerel in saltwater.

Sometimes the past week was a washout in rain and wind, but the few who fished smoked good angling for largemouth bass, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Let them go through June 15. The bass already went through one round of spawning and maybe would go through another on this week’s full moon. Usual places produced the bass, including Elmer and Parvin lakes. A couple of good reports came from Union Lake about largemouths. Lots of rubber Senko worms and rubber lizards were sold for the fishing. Spinner baits worked great on largemouths. Trout fishing was fairly good on PowerBait and meal worms, and more began to be reported about spinners catching them. Maurice River, Iona Lake and South Vineland Park Pond gave up trout. In saltwater, good-sized striped bass were still caught on Delaware Bay, and the bay’s black drum fishing amped up in past days. Tons of big bluefish seemed to swim every back bay along the coast.

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