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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 6-21-17


Weather was warming, but some good striped bass fishing was still sacked from Delaware River, Bill Brinkman from Philadelphia’s <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> wrote in a report on the shop’s website. He fished on a trip that boated six stripers 15 to 26 inches and 15 catfish 2 to 6 pounds from the river. A 19-pound striper was angled from the river downstream from Tacony-Palmyra Bridge from shore on a bunker head. Lots of small stripers 12 to 17 inches could be angled on the lower Schuylkill River. Farther upstream on the Delaware, an angler fished at Trenton on a guided trip, landing more than 70 stripers on plugs, bunker and livelined perch. Another angler fished just downstream from Trenton, catching 14 stripers 5 to 24 inches on live perch. Even farther upstream, smallmouth bass fishing was good. A couple of anglers lit into 10 to 25 smallmouths per trip at Lambertville on shallow crank baits, minnows and grubs on the Delaware. Another at the New Hope wing dam grabbed a few smallmouths but also stripers 24 to 30 inches on the river. Stripers in that area bit levelined perch and eels in the rocks, decent catches, late in the day. After dark, the fish smacked popper lures and Daiwa SP Minnows.  Walleyes were also wrangled from the upper Delaware. Lots of other fishing and locations were covered in the report.

<b>New Jersey</b>

Delaware River’s shad fishing was about finished, said Andy <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. One or two were hooked on occasion. Trout fishing remained good on Big Flatbrook, especially at the catch-and-release stretch. Rain kept the stream at a better level than usual. The water is usually low by this time of year. Most customers fly-rodded for the trout. Sulfurs, blue-winged olives, midges and a few caddis hatched. Some fished Trout Magnets or spinners. Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass could be kept beginning Friday, after the fishing was limited to catch-and-release for spawning. So anglers were just beginning to target them. Customers fish for them at spots including Swartswood Lake. Delaware River is a place for smallmouths.

A father and son aboard Sunday, Fathers’ Day, tried for muskies with <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> on Mountain Lake, Capt. Dave Vollenweider wrote in an email. This was their first musky fishing, and they had one follow. “… that’s 50 percent of the deal,” Dave wrote. Catching a musky, the fish of 10,000 casts, is never a guarantee. But anglers fish for them including because the catch can be the biggest of a lifetime. They fished from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the 72-degree lake, and once they left, Dave headed back on the lake. Four hours later, a musky crushed his cast Shumway Flasher in Martian Green, while the lure was swimming across cabbage. Dave landed and released the fish, probably 40 inches, and also had another follow on the trip. The day before, on Saturday, he hosted two other anglers on Lake Hopatcong that was also about 72 degrees. They reeled in a good-sized largemouth bass and some chain pickerel, and lost a sizable largemouth and a big pickerel. The largemouth that was landed bit one of the new LiveTarget herring swim baits. The lures look and swim like the real thing, Dave said.  He’ll guide nighttime trips for walleyes that fish with top-water lures on lakes Friday, Monday and the following Thursday. Walleyes push into shallows at night to feed on herring and can be hooked on the top-waters then, good sport and big fish. Walleyes are also good-eating. Dave’s buddy Paul Schmidt from the Northeast Bassmasters held the club’s first tournament back in New Jersey on Saturday at Hopatcong. He held the tournaments at Candlewood Lake in Connecticut while Jersey’s bass fishing was limited to catch-and-release for spawning from April 1 through June 15. In Saturday’s tournament at Hopatcong, the winning weight totaled more than 13 pounds, and a 5-1/2-pounder was the lunker. The buddy tournaments are held every Thursday and Saturday, and the club is welcoming new competitors, both boaters and those without boats. 

Trout fishing improved because trout streams dropped and cleared after rain had raised and dirtied the water, said John from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. He didn’t know how rain that fell Monday affected them, he added. Trout bit light Cahills and caddis, and a customer scored well on smallmouth bass and chain pickerel at Lake Hopatcong. The same angler whacked a big walleye at the lake at night on a Whopper Popper. Anglers had been talking about shad caught on Delaware River but not recently. They had also talked about smallmouth bass socked from the river but not lately. John surf fished at Sandy Hook on Thursday, banking nine bluefish 3 to 8 pounds on metal. The fish seemed to be feeding on sand eels, so he tied on a Deadly Dick and began catching.

Some action was still locked into with walleyes and hybrid striped bass at night on top-water lures on the lake, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> wrote in an email. An 8-pound 2-ounce hybrid was Roman Pera’s largest striper from the fishing. A mixed bag of fish including hybrids, chain pickerel, bass and yellow perch were hooked on livelined herring. A few trout were yanked from the lake still. The Knee Deep Club’s Stew Lant Bass Contest will be held Sunday on the lake. Cash will be awarded to the top-three finishers, and the top-six will win rod-and-reel combos that Ramsey Outdoor donated.

Several customers tied into smallmouth bass at small lakes, mostly private, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. They also hooked largemouth bass at the same waters, but complained a little about that fishing. Guess that depended on where an angler fished, Cheryl said. Senko worms often hooked both fish. Smallmouths were beaten at Rockaway River on Keitech swim baits or Senko worms. Some anglers clocked crappies at lakes on small jigheads with rubber tails like Mister Twisters.

Catches of largemouth bass picked up on lakes, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. Largemouth tournaments began, and tournament anglers often bought spinner baits. Senko worms were often bought for largemouthing, too. Many tournaments are limited to lures, but most largemouth anglers, who weren’t competing in tournaments, bought shiners. An aerator is really needed to keep shiners alive in a bait bucket. Nightcrawlers could also catch largemouths well. Largemouth anglers fished lakes including Manasquan Reservoir and, in Jackson, Purple Heart Trail Lake and Prospertown Lake. A variety of smaller fish could be nabbed at Lake Riviera, including largemouths, chain pickerel, yellow perch, sunnies and crappies. Most of the crappies came from Riviera’s lower lake. Riviera can be a place to spend an evening, including with kids, to catch something. Good carp fishing was had at Spring and Deal lakes. Sizable catfish chewed in the Toms River at Trilco. That was in the extension of the river across from Trilco that can only be reached from a kayak or a canoe. Crappies also hit there, and Trilco is a closed building supply. No sign identifies the building, but locals know the stretch of river by the name, located near Garden State Parkway. White perch were claimed from Forge Pond. Chain pickerel were biting at different waters. Typical for the time of year, nearly all species could be angled. The summer doldrums weren’t quite here yet. Murphy’s, located on Rouge 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Fishing was consistent, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. Some good catches of largemouth bass averaging 3 pounds were creamed at Swedesboro Lake on the side with the fishing dock. The bass pounced white chatter baits with white Gambler Little EZ’s: white on white. This was largemouth tournament time, so some anglers were reluctant to share info. But news sounded like largemouths fed. A buddy joined two boats that fished Alcyon Lake in Pitman. One totaled six largemouths, and the other landed two. Fishing for snakeheads, the invasive species, was very consistent at feeder creeks off Delaware River, especially off Crown Point Road in West Deptford at the railroad tracks. Fishing for crappies was excellent at lakes currently. Catches of sunnies and bluegills were pretty much consistent at all lakes that held them.

Largemouth bass fishing was sluggish, and anglers slowed presentations for them because of the heat, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Anglers often chucked Neco worms and Ned rigs to the bass. For top-water fishing for largemouths, the Whopper Popper worked super. Places fished for largemouths included Rainbow Lake, a steady producer, week in and out. Union Lake fished fairly well for largemouths and a few smallmouth bass. Elmer Lake’s largemouthing held steady. Panfishing was “popping” for catches like bluegills. They’re active in the warmth, and a ton of nightcrawlers were sold for the angling. In saltwater, lots of summer flounder were cranked from back bays. They began to be pulled from ocean reefs. Nothing was heard about Delaware Bay’s flounder fishing, but that was expected to be heard about any day.

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