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Salmon, Steelhead &
Trout Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 5-24-17

<b>PENNSYLVANIA</b>

Smaller striped bass, lots, still filled Delaware River last week, Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia wrote in a report on the store’s website. He tackled 15- to 25-inchers while anchored at several spots on the river, fishing with bloodworms, bunker and clams. “… had a really good day,” he wrote. Catfish, 10 of them from 5 to 10 pounds, made up the best angling on the trip. They mostly chewed the bunker. Be aware about striper regulations on the river. In New Jersey, striper fishing is closed on the river from roughly Salem to Trenton until reopening on June 1, and certain circle hooks are required. Anglers release the fish when the angling is closed, and Pennsylvania’s regs are different. Plenty of stripers were socked that week farther upstream, including at Trenton. The fish might’ve been somewhat bigger upstream. An angler fishing at Lambertville plugged six stripers 24 to 31 inches on Tuesday that week on top-water poppers and darts. An angler who was fishing at Delaware Water Gap said 24- to 38-inch stripers pounced on live eels and trout there. This writer is unaware whether fishing with trout is legal, finding nothing about that in the regulations. If in doubt, don’t fish them. That angler crushed shad in the river at the Gap that week. The river’s shad fishing went well at Narrowsburg to Callicoon late in the day that week. Plenty of other fishing and details were included in the report.

<b>NEW JERSEY</b>

Fishing was about the same as before, and trout stream levels were great, and the water was staying cool, said Dean from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. Been a terrific season for trout angling. Shad bit well in Delaware River, and the river rose 1 ½ weeks ago or so, but was no longer so high.

Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> from Montvale released an estimated 30-pound musky on Greenwood Lake on Sunday, he said. He was letting out a Savage Gear crank bait during trolling for muskies, when the 48-incher smashed the lure. The water was 63 degrees during the beautiful day. This can be a good time of year for musky fishing. The fish are in post-spawn and should be feeding, and the water is cool enough not to tire muskies during the fight. On Saturday Dave joined a friend on a striped bass charter that fished the ocean off Monmouth Beach. Strong northeast wind caused rough seas, but a striper in the 20 pounds and two big blues were trolled on bunker spoons on wire line. The striper was full of eggs, and the trip was potentially going to fish near Verrazano Bridge. But reports about striper fishing were slow there at the moment, so the trip motored to the ocean, despite rough conditions. Dave will soon begin nighttime charters for walleyes that he runs each year on Lake Hopatcong and Greenwood. The trips fish with cast top-water lures, and walleyes move into shallows, where they can be hooked on the lures, at night this time of year to forage on spawning herring. Walleyes are big fish, and catching them on top-waters is good sport. Walleyes already bit at Hopatcong, he knew, and Dave was unsure whether they hit at Greenwood. A friend telephoned to ask about walleye news, and Dave told him that. The friend’s two trips then landed 10 walleyes, a hybrid and a muskie at Hopatcong and, the next night, nine walleyes at Greenwood. Dave currently will also guide for whatever fish that anglers want.   

Trout streams should fish well, said Brian from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Rain fell recently, but the streams should flow at a normal level now. Whether they’ll rise later in the week because of rain that’s forecast will be seen. The streams seemed to run at a normal, average level for the time of season. The ground’s beginning to dry, but isn’t dusty. Rain isn’t affecting them severely, and the streams aren’t low either. Somebody said Light Cahills hatched last week during warmer weather. Brian wondered whether those were Light Hendricksons that are more likely to be seen currently. Blue-winged olives are around. San Juan worms and terrestrials like ants should work because of the rain that washes forage like that into streams. Shad migrated Delaware River at least as far upstream as Delaware Water Gap, the last Brian heard. No details were mentioned recently, but shad fishing’s been good this year. Customers began to fish for hybrid striped bass and walleyes at lakes. They also hooked and released largemouth bass at lakes, and the bass are required to be let go through June 15 because of spawning. In saltwater, boaters caught more bluefish than striped bass, but the stripers were big. Surf anglers definitely beached more blues than stripers.

Walleyes began to be plugged at night on the lake, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Lots of 3- to 4-pounders were pasted, and Kris Bak weighed-in a 7-pound 6-ouncer that was the largest he beaned recently. A 6-pound 2-ouncer was also checked-in. The store is well-stocked with Bombers, including all the new colors, Zara Spooks and Knuckle-Heads for the fishing. Hybrid striped bass, lots and good-sized, were whacked on livelined herring. Dick Pedati grabbed a 7-pound 6-ouncer on the bait and trolled an 8-pound 2-ouncer. Pete Pantelis and Chris Baldino clocked several big hybrids including an 8-pound 8-ouncer and a 7-pound 12-ouncer, and also a 4-pound 5-ounce walleye. Jim Welsh’s 8-pound 10-pounce striper was his largest during the week, and Dominic Sarinelli weighed in an 8-pounder and a 7-pound 12-ouncer. Jerry Freeman stopped in with a 6-pound 10-ounce hybrid. The Knee Deep Club held a panfish tournament Sunday on the lake. Among the 37 entrants, Max Hughen won $295 for first place for 10 points, and John Moran took $178 for second for 8 points. Al Tuorinsky claimed $119 for third for 5 points. The club will next hold a tournament for largemouth and smallmouth bass Sunday, June 25, on the lake.

Passaic River ran very high, said Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. The water was flooded into trees and actually looked good for fishing, like for kayaking. The river near the store meanders, isn’t fast-flowing, and is known for catches including northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and carp. Largemouth bass were angled from Lake Hopatcong along docks. Release largemouths by law through June 15. Weeds began to build in the lake for the season. Customers headed to local ponds stocked with trout, but not much was heard about catching the fish. Mostly panfish and bass were angled from the water. Saltwater anglers tried for striped bass and mostly fought bluefish at Raritan and Hudson bays and the area. Stripers were boated, but not great catches.

Largemouth bass served up good fishing, including at Purple Heart Trail Lake in Jackson, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. Release them through June 15 by law, and some quality catches of the fish came from Lake Shenandoah. Shiners worked there, and top-water lures banged out the bass well at Lake Assunpink. Crappies and sunfish, not so much largemouths, bit at Ocean County College Pond. The lake across from the college turned out a mixed bag including largemouths, sunnies and yellow perch. Lake Riviera fished well for sunnies and chain pickerel. Trout fishing was terrible on the Toms River the past two weeks. The water was high but was cedar water, so it wasn’t dirty. She and two anglers fished there Monday, and she questioned whether trout were even stocked. The river was slated to be stocked that day, but the three anglers banked only one trout in 3 hours of fishing. The water was high but not over the banks. Otherwise, freshwater fishing was good, even if anglers had to work around rough weather like rainstorms. In brackish water, white perch fishing reportedly caught well to the south of Toms River. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in the town.

Fishing for largemouth bass caught steady, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. The angling is limited to catch and release through June 15, and Mike Jeffers let go three 2-pounders at Greenwich Lake that swiped a minnow-colored Keitech swim bait. He also landed a 26-inch bowfin that jumped on a white and chartreuse chatter bait at one of the lake’s feeder creeks on the trip. More than 80 kids competed in the kids’ fishing tournament that the Deptford Elks held Saturday at Greenwich.  STC donated tackle and bait, and Ray McGill, 9, won first place with 57 fish. Jake Stone, 14, won second with 36, and Kevin Mulholland, 13, came in third with 33. Austin Wood, 9, nailed the biggest largemouth, a 17-1/2-incher. Kassidy Drummond, 8, and Jake Stone tied for second and third places in that division, each catching a 13-inch largemouth. But the tie was decided by the anglers’ next biggest fish, and Kassidy won second. In the category for biggest fish other than bass, Veronica Wowk, 9, won first with a 14-inch catfish. Brayden McKenna, 3, and Chase Grubb, 9, won second and third for a 13-inch cat and a 9-incher, respectively. In Delaware River, big striped bass departed for the season, but plenty of throwbacks chomped bait like clams and bloodworms for shore anglers from Penns Grove to West Deptford at usual places where anglers locked into the big earlier this season.

Wind kept many from fishing lakes and ponds this past week, but those who got out, reported some good catches, <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown’s Facebook page said. One angler talked about scoring largemouth bass to 3 pounds at Silver Lake on Yamamoto worms in black and blue. Set largemouths free through June 15, according to law. Another angler yanked a 2-pound largemouth from Grenloch Lake on a Zoom finesse worm in watermelon and black. A 4-year-old reeled a 12-inch rainbow trout from Grenloch on a trout worm. Another angler tied into carp at tributaries off Delaware River on corn on a size-6 octopus hook.

Weather was often rough, including windy and sometimes rainy, in the past week, and lakes were muddy, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. But largemouth bass fishing was actually decent at lakes on spinner baits and chatter baits. Top-waters began to catch, and largemouthing is restricted to catch and release through June 15. Trout fishing seemed to be winding down for the season. Not much was heard about catches. In saltwater, a decent number of blues still swam the surf and back bays. A few striped bass were eased from the surf. That was all in the ocean surf, but a few stripers were also beached from Delaware Bay’s surf at Fortescue. Weakfish began to be reported from the southern bay’s surf around Cape May. Boating for black drum on the bay sounded slower this past week. Anglers hoped the drum would begin to bite better around the new moon this week.    

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