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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 5-17-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

Salmon River’s steelhead fishing was about finished for the season, and trout streams were beginning to “come into conditions,” said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. Trout streams ran high and were cold, so the fishing was behind schedule, but that was good. The water level should drop to a good flow for fishing within days, because forecasts are calling for a dry week. Hendricksons and blue quills still hatched, and trouting should be “bug on.” Places Jay trout fishes this time of year include spring-fed, free-stone streams near Caledonia, home of New York’s oldest trout hatchery, southwest of Rochester. Later this month, he’ll fish Genesee River near the Pennsylvania border for trout. In a month Jay will fish for brook trout on waters at Tug Hill, where Salmon River’s headwaters are located. Those streams feature light fishing pressure and not much brush. He fished Salmon River on Monday, first looking for Atlantic salmon. But none was moved, and a 5- to 6-degree change in water temperature, because of weather, was no good for the angling. In the afternoon, the trip landed big smallmouth bass 4 or 4 ½ pounds on the lower river on large wooly buggers. That trip also reeled in two juvenile steelheads 14 and 22 inches on the lower river. Wasn’t unusual to see them there. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.


Trips scored a couple of good days of striped bass fishing on Delaware River last week with Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia, a report said on the store’s website. One trip boated small stripers near Rancocas Creek. The trip moved to the flats downstream from Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, and landed a 23-inch striper and four 16- to 19-inchers. The next trip, the next day, boated a 30-incher, quite fat, a 29-incher, a 25-incher and a few smaller, including downstream from the Tacony. The trip also lost a striper that was in the upper 30 inches or larger. Plenty of catfish including 4- to 9-pounders were also pasted on the trips. Know the striper regulations for the river, including because striper fishing is currently closed from New Jersey on the river, and certain circle hooks are required there. Anglers release the fish. Pennsylvania’s regs are different and allow certain sizes to be kept. Farther upstream last week, stripers 20 to 28 inches were pulled in at Trenton on popper lures, shad bodies and shallow crank baits. An angler said some big stripers showed up much farther upstream at Delaware Water Gap last week. That angler crushed shad, boating 25 to 50 per trip, at the Gap last week. Shad anglers downstream at Lambertville caught shad that week but fewer than before. The report also talked about lots of other fishing.


Shad began to be angled from Delaware River again, after high, dirty water turned them off, said Dean from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. Stormy weather during the weekend raised the river, and the level now was “not too bad,” and the water was clearing. For trout fishing, streams seemed at a perfect level, including on Big Flatbrook and Paulinskill River. Trout were going nuts for some reason this season, terrific fishing. The water remained cool, but a couple of 90-degree days could change that. Butterworms and pink salmon eggs caught best. But PowerBait, Trout Magnets and lures also hooked up.  

Trout streams ran somewhat high and were cold after stormy weather last weekend, said John from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. The cold water slowed the trout fishing, but some were hooked on small wet flies and Trout Magnets. Though weather now was much improved, it was rough through Monday, shutting down most fishing, including on lakes. It kept anglers from fishing. Landlocked salmon were caught at Tilcon Lake on live bait, though. In saltwater, striped bass seemed to become more abundant in Sandy Hooks surf yesterday. A friend beached six keeper stripers and one bluefish there, at the last parking lot, John thought, on clams that day. On a trip last week there, John and the friend scored almost the opposite: seven bluefish and one striper, a keeper. On that trip, John fished a diamond jig, and the friend fished bunker, and both worked. On the trip when the friend fished alone, he saw a clam boat working a distance from shore. So he began fishing clams, though he had bunker, and the clams worked. Customers bought darts for shad fishing on Delaware River upstream from Columbia. The angling seemed good.

Outstanding trout fishing was the main news, said Josh from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. Trout streams flowed somewhat high but perfect for the fishing. Yellow PowerBait and shrimp-flavored salmon eggs were fished for them most. Delaware River’s shad fishing slowed a tad. Hybrid striped bass fishing should be picking up at Spruce Run Reservoir. Anglers began fishing for hybrids at lakes like that because herring became available to liveline.

Few fished during the weekend’s rain and wind, but some good catches were seen from those who got out, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Dave Sauerteg reeled in several walleyes to 4 pounds, several hybrid striped bass, some chain pickerel, crappies and a good-sized smallmouth bass, all on livelined herring. Hybrids to 8 pounds have been hitting livelined herring. Nighttime fishing is beginning to produce mostly walleyes and sometimes hybrids. The store is well stocked with Bomber plugs, including new colors, for the angling. Dave Smith trolled rainbow trout to a 2-pound 1-ouncer on Phoebes. Pete Cusick smashed a 25-pound musky released while trolling for trout with Phoebes. Marcin Supinski limited out on sizable crappies to a 1-pound 5-ouncer while casting small jigs.

Good fishing came from rivers and streams before the rain built the water up over the banks, said Larry from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Northern pike were fought from Passaic River, and Pequest and Rockaway Rivers showed trout. Largemouth bass lay on spawning beds at Lake Hopatcong, and largemouths are required to be released through June 15 throughout the state for spawning. But anglers hooked the bass at Hopatcong. In saltwater, bluefish swam abundant, and better numbers of striped bass seemed to appear than before. They seemed to depart Hudson and Delaware rivers after spawning.

A bunch of chain pickerel bit at Lake Riviera, said Jeff from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. So did a few small largemouth bass and some crappies and sunfish. Ocean County College Pond gave up quite a few pickerel, some crappies and other fish. Pickerel could be lit into on the Toms River at Trilco and on Winding River. Trout were tugged from Spring Lake, mostly on PowerBait, but the fish seemed to prefer different bait on different days. Jeff hooked them on corn one day and garlic PowerBait another. He saw a couple of 5- and 10-pound carp fished from the lake on corn. Trout fishing seemed fairly good on the Toms River near the tree farm in Jackson. Nothing was heard about Manasquan Reservoir. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

 Largemouth bass seemed to be spawning at Greenwich Lake, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. The fish were seen near the lake’s edges, probably bedding down, and were reluctant to bite. Largemouths are required to be released through June 15 because of spawning. Jessie Ferguson boated and released two largemouths and a chain pickerel at Pitman’s Alcyon Lake. One of the largemouths jumped on a wacky worm, and the other swiped a white chatter bait with a Havoc Beat Shad.  A customer worked through four dozen worms catching crappies at Elmer Lake in a trip. Trout fishing began to slow at stocked waters like Swedesboro Lake. A few largemouths were angled at the lake. Snakeheads, the invasive species, turned out steady catches at ditches and streams off Delaware River. Small striped bass were reported caught from the Delaware. No large were mentioned. Weather is much improved, including warmer, this week. That should get anglers fishing more.

A ton of yellow perch were nabbed from Grenloch Lake the past two weeks, said Ed from <b>Creek Keepers Bait & Tackle</b> in Blackwood. That was unusual, and he didn’t know where all the perch came from. Trout were still picked up from Grenloch sometimes. Ed and wife totaled 15 to 20 largemouth bass to his wife’s 4-pounder hooked and released at Glen Lake on shiners Sunday. At the shore, lots of bluefish schooled at Atlantic City and Long Beach Island.

One angler Senko-wormed five largemouth bass to 2 pounds at Collins Lakes, <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown’s Facebook page said. Another fly-rodded six largemouths to 3 pounds and a dozen crappies at Greenwich Lake. Plenty of chain pickerel hit at Franklinville Lake for another angler, who fished minnows. Delaware River’s striped bass fishing seemed to slow last week, but the river served up good catfishing. Two anglers totaled six cats to 7 pounds on the river at Paulsboro on nightcrawlers. Bluefish tore up saltwater. A customer kayaked a stringer of large blues on the back bay at North Wildwood. Weakfish began to be plucked from the surf along jetties on bucktails and pink Zooms or Fin-S Fish. Black drum and sometimes striped bass were boated on Delaware Bay.

The weather around the weekend put a damper on fishing, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. But largemouth bass fishing was fair at lakes on soft-plastics like Senkos or a Ned rig. Trout fishing seemed to be petering out, and not much was reported about them.  More of a crowd began to fish for bluegills and other panfish. That angling could be great on worms. In saltwater, plenty of bluefish schooled inlets and back bays. Striped bass were angled from the same waters at night. A few weakfish began to be reported from jetties and back bays. Good fishing for black drum and stripers was boated on lower Delaware Bay.

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