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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 7-26-17


Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia fished Delaware River from Hankins to Callicoon, along the Pennsylvania and New York border, on vacation, he wrote in a report on the store’s website. He canoed 15 smallmouth bass and a rock bass in 4 hours. He saw hundreds of dead, buck shad along the river bottom. That happens every year after spawning. The river’s smallmouth fishing has been great from Washington’s Crossing to upstream. On the lower river near the store, mid-sized catfish gave up great catches. Farther upstream, terrific striped bass fishing was had from Trenton to Delaware Water Gap. One angler was honking 10 to 15 of the 24- to 32-inchers per trip at Fireman’s Eddy in Lambertville. Eels caught them best. White perch could also be livelined. At Trenton, popper lures and crank baits also zapped the fish at bridges. Schuylkill River fished pretty well, including for carp 20 and 30 pounds. A group fishing the Schuylkill at Gladwyne bailed 10 to 30 smaller catfish at night per trip, and four flathead catfish 23 to 27 pounds this past week. Upstream from Norrisville, catches included smallmouth bass. Farther downstream, at Grey’s Ferry and below center city, plenty of small stripers swam the Schuylkill. So did catfish and white perch, and soak baits like bloodworms, nightcrawlers, chicken livers and bagels in this area. Lots more fishing and locations were covered in the report.

<b>New Jersey</b>

Trips have been tying into good catches of bass on Lake Hopatcong aboard, Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> from Montvale said in a voicemail. One of the trips Thursday boated “6 bass … a 2.5 smallmouth and a couple of largies,” he wrote in an email that day. The trips have been catching on jigs with craw trailers or rubber crawfish at weeds in deep water in the 82-degree lake. Dave during the trips watched 25,000 4-inch hybrid striped bass get stocked at the lake.

Trout streams still fished well, said Brian from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Rain kept water in the streams, even making them a little high, though the water is often low this time of season. Hatches were “a little sporadic and off.” But light Cahills caught, and isonychias came off. Tricos should hatch like crazy on Big Flatbrook next month, like they do every year. Trout waters are often very warm this season, and many anglers avoid trout fishing then, because trout can die during a fight because of the heat. Not much was heard about Delaware River, except that smallmouth bass bit there. Crawfish and hellgrammite imitations are popular for the angling. At Lake Hopatcong, hybrid striped bass were socked in evenings. Largemouth bass were also landed there, during hours like late afternoons. Lures like rubber frogs and Whopper Ploppers could clock them.

Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington knew a couple of anglers who loaded up on largemouth bass, lots, at private lakes in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, he said. They hooked up on 5-inch Senko rubber worms in green-pumpkin and blue-flake. But catching largemouths at places like those can be easier than at spots like Lake Hopatcong. Keith will compete in largemouth tournaments at Hopatcong on Saturday and Sunday, and might also fish Thursday for the bucketmouths there. Anglers are fishing Hopatcong for hybrid striped bass and walleyes. Keith spoke with someone who lives along the lake who reported pounding the hybrids well in mornings near Bed Bug Island off a point in 12 feet of water. A couple of anglers bought herring from the store to liveline at Merrill Creek Reservoir for lake trout near bottom. Keith was yet to hear results. Hybrid striped bass and catfish smacked live herring at Spruce Run Reservoir. Herring are big this time of year that are carried at the shop. Spruce was probably somewhat dirty from rain, but Merrill was probably clear. Friends last weekend reeled in smallmouth bass from Delaware River during a canoe trip with 26 people. The anglers weren’t as serious about the fishing as they’d be if not socializing on a trip like this. No matter, they reported good angling for the bass, mostly on Rebel crawfish lures.  The trip ended at the Kittatiny boat launch downstream from Delaware Water Gap, and the river’s smallmouths are small. But the fight in the currents and the propensity for smallmouths to jump and raise heck is fun. Trout were banked on Musconetcong River at Penwell Mill Dam that oxygenated the water, a great spot. Mostly salmon eggs and baby nightcrawlers were dunked for them.

Off any of the lake’s points gave up hybrid striped bass on livelined herring, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Off Sharp’s Rock and Pine Tree Point were quite productive. Hybrids 6 and 7 pounds from the lake were seen at the shop. Lou Marcucci whacked walleyes to a 7-pound 5-ouncer on the lake on live herring. Crappies and lots of smallmouth bass and chain pickerel were hung from the lake. The crappies swiped small jigs with rubber tails. Largemouth bass were sometimes cranked from the lake, and Dylan Dunn weighed-in a 4-pound 6-ouncer. “Lots of panfish action in the shallower water,” Laurie wrote. Worms under bobbers nabbed them.

Boating for trout was a little slower but still produced on Round Valley Reservoir, said James from <b>Behre Bait & Tackle</b> in Lebanon. Rainbow trout were mostly trolled on Warrior spoons in past weeks at the reservoir. Lake trout were hooked at the impoundment including on trolled live shiners on a plain hook, dodgers or meat heads, and on bait dunked down to the depths. Spruce Run Reservoir’s hybrid striped bass fishing was fully broken open. The fish were slow-trolled on herring or shiners 10 to 15 feet down with downriggers, egg sinkers or whatever worked. An electric motor was probably best, because the trolling was just fast enough to keep the boat straight.

Largemouth bass and hybrid striped bass were cracked at Lake Hopatcong, said Larry at <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Smallmouth bass were also hooked there, and fishing was similar at Swartswood Lake. On Passaic River, carp and big catfish were angled, and smallmouth bass and crappies were hit farther upstream. Nothing was heard about northern pike fishing on the river. Just nothing was heard. In saltwater, fluke catches picked up a little. A new body of the fish seemed to move in. Bluefish 7 or 8 pounds were sometimes run into, from the Point Pleasant area to farther north.

Lester’s Lake near Ocean County Mall served up some good catches of chain pickerel and plenty of sunnies, all on killies or nightcrawlers, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. Not as many largemouth bass were picked up from the lake lately. Crappies were yanked from Ocean County College Pond in early mornings and evenings on small killies and nightcrawlers. A couple of catfish came from the pond, and largemouths hit in the pond in evenings. Some good-sized largemouths were pounded at Manasquan Reservoir, including on spinner baits, rubber frogs, Senkos and nightcrawlers under bobbers. When the store stocks shiners, the baitfish are most popular for the reservoir’s largemouths. But none was stocked in past weeks, because the shiners were too small that were available. Nothing was heard about hybrid striped bass from the reservoir, though the peak heat of summer can fish best for them. Good catches of catfish were claimed from Lake Shenandoah. Two anglers actually plucked trout from Shenandoah off the dock. A couple of deep holes are there, and one angler caught on Powerbait, and the other connected on a nightcrawler. Both baits were fished along bottom with split shots and small hooks. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Rain dirtied lakes and slowed largemouth bass fishing in past days, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. But anglers still targeted largemouths, and one, John, landed four of the fish to 4 ½ pounds on shaky-head worms in green-pumpkin and chatter baits. A mess of minnows were sold for crappie fishing at lakes. Crappies must’ve been tugged in. Lots of small striped bass had been played on Delaware River like usual this time of season, covered in recent reports here from the shop. But rainstorms caused debris in the water recently, and boaters avoided the fishing because of that. Snakeheads, the invasive species, were spawning but willing to grab hooks in creeks and ditches off the Delaware, including along Crown Point Road. Many dead snakeheads littered the banks, because the government encourages anglers to kill them. But that showed that the fish chewed. Loads of baby snakeheads filled the water. People also castnetted them to kill them. Liveline the babies for bait, Bryan told anglers.

Very good fishing was mugged, a report said on <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> from Williamstown’s Facebook page. Catches were made including at Oak Pond, Franklinville Lake and Alcyon Lake. At Oak, one angler fought chain pickerel to 23 inches on minnows. At Alcyon, another lit into largemouth bass to 3 pounds on a Senko. But catches were also tackled elsewhere. At Wilson Lake, Jim Sullivan from Franklinville totaled four largemouths to 4 pounds on a black Zoom Trick Worm, and Ryan Kerznowski from Williamstown winged largemouths to 3 pounds on the same Zoom worms. An angler kayaked largemouths to 3 pounds at Malaga Lake on a Live Target frog. Another angler traveled north to Mullica River, landing two largemouths to 4 pounds on neon-green nightcrawlers. 

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