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Salmon, Steelhead &
Trout Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 6-28-17

<b>Pennsylvania</b>

Reports became few and far between about fishing on the local Delaware River, a report said on <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia’s website. Most locals seemed to give up on the river’s striper fishing, except a few who traveled north to fish at Trenton. Fishing for 22- to 34-inch stripers went well there, mostly while drifting a boat from the bridges to Route 29. Farther upstream, anglers landed five to eight stripers apiece, 21- to 26-inchers, at Yardley in mornings on small eels. A few anglers eeled 20- to 31-inch stripers at the New Hope wing dam. The river’s smallmouth bass fishing really picked up before rain last week at places including Point Pleasant and Delaware Water Gap. Sometimes walleyes were in the mix. Other fishing and locations were also covered in the report.

<b>New Jersey</b>

Some customers fly-rodded trout on Big Flatbrook, said Dean from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. Blue-winged olives and still lots of nymphs produced, and the Flatbrook was becoming about a normal level, maybe a little low. Smallmouth bass will bite in Delaware River throughout summer. Hybrid striped bass “and that routine” were fished for at lakes. Largemouth bass will bite at local lakes, and a 7-pounder was weighed-in that was eased from a pond on state property on a shiner.

The two anglers aboard Monday night plowed 19 walleyes to 7 ½ pounds from a lake, Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> wrote in an email. That was one of his nighttime trips that top-water plug for walleyes in the dark, when the fish swim shallows to forage on herring and can be hooked on the lures. Six of the fish attacked the lure when the plug stopped being retrieved and was allowed to float up and just sit there 10 seconds. Walleyes are good-eating, and one small was kept. Another one of the trips fished Thursday night, walloping 11 walleyes to 6 pounds, a 40-inch musky and a 2-pound smallmouth bass. The musky smashed the lure and jumped two or three times. Awesome! Dave said. His wife fished aboard a trip during the weekend. “My wife caught a musky all be herself!” he wrote in another email. She cast a Chug Bug for bass along a weed edge, and said she wouldn’t catch anything. Dave told her to keep casting. She chucked the lure, and hooked a small musky, just stocked. Fish don’t have to be big to be special! he said.

Trout were still fly-rodded from streams, said Brian from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Catches were reported from waters including Big Flatbrook and the Pequest and the South Branch of the Raritan rivers. Anglers said streams flowed at about an average level, and hatches included Light Cahills, blue-winged olives and midges. Isonychias are usually heard about now, but none was yet. Nobody mentioned Delaware River, but smallmouth bass should hit there on hellgrammites or crawfish. Good-sized largemouth bass were talked about from Lake Hopatcong. Rapala Shadow Raps in Blue Back Herring were favored for catching them. Nothing specific was heard about fishing for walleyes and hybrid striped bass at places like Hopatcong. But anglers fished at night for them.

Fishing was all good, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. A bunch of trout were banked from streams, though stocking ended a month ago. Nightcrawlers, Mike’s pink salmon eggs and any color of PowerBait were top items bought for trout. A 10-pound trout was weighed-in from Pequest River that was taken on a nightcrawler. The worms can work. Good smallmouth bass fishing was tapped into on Delaware River, and many crawfish were sold for bait for that. Keith’s been fishing Lake Hopatcong for good catches of largemouth bass, mostly on 5-inch Senko worms. Chatter baits will also work, and Keith located the bass under docks. They also swam at weed beds, and were just beginning to push to deeper water or 8- to 10-foot depths for the warm months.  But they could be found shallow, like under the docks. Buddies will compete at Greenwood Lake in a largemouth tournament tomorrow. The fishing there’s been a little tough or many of the bass have been small. Keith fished Candlewood Lake in Connecticut the other week for largemouths and smallmouth bass with shaky heads. The angling wasn’t as good as earlier this year but was phenomenal. Largemouthing could be good at Merrill Creek Reservoir if grass could be found in 8 to 10 feet of water. Customers bought herring from the store to fish Merrill for lake trout and some brown and rainbow trout. Largemouths and muskies are swimming Mountain Lake, but not much was heard about there. Good largemouth and musky fishing came from Oxford Furnace Lake. Big plugs were fished there, but customers mostly bought shiners to fish Oxford. A customer trolled the pants off hybrid striped bass at Spruce Run Reservoir on small, ½-ounce, silver Cleo spoons.

 Hybrid striped bass to 8 pounds were bombed on livelined herring on the lake, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Frank LoSautro socked a 10-pound 8-ounce walleye from the lake on a live herring while fishing with his dad. Chain pickerel and yellow perch were pasted from the lake. The Knee Deep Club’s Stew Lant Bass Contest was held on the lake Sunday, and John Moran won with a 3-pound 13-ounce largemouth bass, taking $216 and a rod-and-reel combo for prizes. Alex Narrise came in second with a 3-pound 8-ounce largemouth, winning $129 and a combo. William Rowe scored third with a 3-pound 1-ounce largemouth, winning $87 and a combo. Lou Marcucci showed up with the contest’s only smallmouth bass, a 2-pound 3-ouncer, but won no prize. The club’s next tournament will be for hybrids on Saturday and Sunday, July 15 and 16, on the lake.

At Round Valley Reservoir, lake trout were trolled toward bottom in 75 to 100 feet of water, said James from <b>Behre Bait & Tackle</b> in Lebanon. Lures including glow-in-the-dark Warrior spoons, Meat Heads, daisy chains and more hooked them. Rainbow trout were trolled 20 to 35 feet down in 75 to 100 feet of water, including on Warrior spoons and Rapala and Challenger lures.  James likes to fish where both lakers and rainbows can be caught, and that’s where they can. For shore anglers at Round Valley, trout fishing mostly dried up, except at Ranger’s Cove, where a few bit PowerBait and shiners. Catches from shore at the boat launch could include smallmouth bass, not big, rock bass and a few yellow perch. At Merrill Creek Reservoir, good-sized lake trout, many of them 6 to 10 pounds, bit on the same tackle as at Round Valley, except not as deep. In 80 to 90 feet of water, they suspended 40 feet down. Bait apparently held them there. Rainbow trout bit higher up at Merrill. Anglers fishing Merrill from shore lit into smallmouth bass to 5 pounds and crappies. For the crappies, fish shiners or nightcrawlers around structure. Spruce Run Reservoir tossed up a mix of fish including hybrid striped bass, largemouth bass, crappies and catfish. Hybrids to 9 pounds were trolled there on spoons. Sometimes a brown trout hit during the hybrid trolling. For the largemouths, a variety of tackle was cast, including top-water lures, soft-plastic lures and live bait.  

Largemouth and smallmouth bass were cranked in, for sure, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. That included at Lake Hopatcong and smaller lakes. Definitely out there, biting. A couple of customers headed for northern pike on Passaic River, but not much was heard about catches of the pike. The river ran a little low, and anglers were also seen sitting, fishing the river, and what they targeted was unknown. Maybe they just fished for whatever would bite. In saltwater, customers fished for fluke with Spros, S&S bucktails and Tsunami Glass Minnow teasers. A couple still fished for striped bass on private boats. Customers complained that surf fishing became slow.

Striped bass to 26 inches were played on Delaware River under Commodore Barry Bridge at night, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. Some boaters landed 30 per trip, casing lures like Sassy Shads and Rat-L-Traps into the rocks and along pylons, making two cranks of the reel, and hooking up. Customers Joe Warren and Wes Killie won the Cabela’s King Kat Tournament on the Delaware, and customer Anthony Fisler won second. They said catfish bit all day for them. So the river’s cats were active, if you want action. Cody Mann heaved in a 5.4-pound largemouth bass at Greenwich Lake on a chartreuse Booyah buzz bait. Alloway Lake, a pay lake for $10, was very productive for largemouthing. Most boats totaled five or six in a trip, and anglers say the next state record largemouth bass will be nailed there. They think some 10-pounders are haunting the lake. A 10-pound 14-ouncer is the current record, hauled from the Menantico Sand Wash Ponds in 1980. Not many reports rolled in about snakeheads and bowfins this week. Crabs were working their way up Delaware River. People who fished from shore talked about seeing them at Penns Grove.

Fishing for largemouth bass was fair, and weather that was more stable than before helped, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Top-water fishing was good for them. Whopper Poppers sold like nuts for that. Rubber frogs began to come into place. Chatter baits locked into the bass pretty well. Rainbow Lake’s been consistently hot for largemouth fishing. Union Lake fished okay for largemouths and smallmouths. In saltwater, summer flounder fishing was slowing in back bays but still produced keepers. Flounder catches were picking up at ocean reefs, and not much was heard about flounder from Delaware Bay. Catches seemed lean there. Kingfish and sharks began to be beached from the ocean surf.

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