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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 7-5-17


The only great striped bass reports came from Trenton on Delaware River, Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia wrote in a report on the shop’s website. The few anglers fishing for them landed 12 to 25 of the 22- to 34-inch stripers apiece. That was at the bridges down to Route 29 on small eels and livelined white perch. In the middle of the night, they caught on popper lures, crank baits and shad bodies. On the river closer to the shop, Bill and another angler boated 20 to 30 catfish, two white perch and a striper on a trip from the Tacony to the Burlington-Bristol bridges. Farther upstream, the river held good smallmouth bass fishing from Washington’s Crossing to Delaware Water Gap. Anglers eased in 10 to 40 per trip, and minnows worked best, but rubber grubs, spinners and top-water lures also tied into the fish. Plenty of other fishing and locations were covered in the report.

<b>New Jersey</b>

Trout are angled all summer at Big Flatbrook, said Dean from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. Fish in early mornings and evenings when the day is coolest. The river ran somewhat low, and sulfurs, blue-winged olives and small caddis came off.  On Delaware River, smallmouth bass fishing is usually steady throughout summer. The fish are usually found just below rapids. Hellgrammites or black, rubber hellgrammite imitations on a jighead will catch them. So will a nightcrawler on a jighead.

The two anglers aboard Thursday night whacked 10 walleyes to 6 pounds and four smallmouth bass, including two 3-pounders, on a lake with <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> from Montvale, Capt. Dave Vollenweider wrote in an email. That was one of his trips that cast plugs for walleyes at night, when the fish move into lake shallows, where they can be hooked on the lures. One of the trips with another two anglers Monday night beat six walleyes and two smallmouths on Rapala lures and Reef Runner Ripsticks, he wrote in another email. The water was 78 degrees and held “quite a bit of bait activity,” he said. Walleyes move to shallows in the dark to forage on herring.   

Practically all freshwater fishing went well, said Brian from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Good largemouth bass fishing came from lakes, and he fished for them at small lakes or ponds. Senkos, Keitechs and usual rubber worms or baits clocked largemouths, and top-water lures began to work well on them, like Scum Frogs or rubber frogs from Spro. Top-waters connected with the bass at Lake Hopatcong in evenings. Walleye fishing slowed at lakes like Hopatcong, he heard, but hybrid striped bass reportedly still bit in waters like that, late at night like 1 a.m. until daybreak, on lures like Heddon Zara Spooks or Spit’n Images, while the fish foraged on herring. Trout streams were still in “fairly good shape” or weren’t too low and warm yet, like they can become in summer. Trout were nabbed in morning and evenings, when the water was cool. Sulfurs probably still hatched. Small, bead-headed nymphs caught, and so did terrestrials including beetles and ants, especially after rain washed forage like that into the water. Not much was heard about Delaware River. Shad that died after spawning flowed along the river.

Anglers complained about the closure of Spruce Run Reservoir and Round Valley Reservoir because of the state’s budget fight, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. They fished Merrill Creek Reservoir, only because of the closures, but scored well on largemouth bass there. He’ll compete in a largemouth tournament tomorrow at Lake Hopatcong, and that angling’s been good.  A crowd hit Oxford Furnace Lake during this holiday weekend. But an angler landed a whopper 28-pound, 46-inch musky there Saturday morning on a top-water. Delaware River was popular with recreationals around the holiday, and not much was heard about fishing the river. But smallmouth bass fishing’s been good on the Delaware. Trout streams still tossed up trout, including Pequest and Musconetcong rivers, better in mornings and evenings because of heat and sun. Anglers told stories of seeing like five trout in the middle of the day, but the fish refused to bite. When you can see a fish, the fish can usually see you, anyway. That can keep them from biting, no matter whether heat or sun makes them reluctant to expend the energy.

Notable catches from the lake included walleyes and hybrid striped bass, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Jason Tate swam a livelined herring to sack his personal-best walleye, a 5-pound 9-ouncer. Tom Sarnacki weighed-in a 6-pound 12-ounce hybrid. Alex Estok rounded up hybrids to 8 pounds. Hunter Good and brother Logan put up a 6-pound 14-ounce walleye and a 7-pound 14-ounce hybrid, respectively. Ken Tice smoked a hybrid that weighed 6 pounds 10 ounces. Jim Macaluso put the brakes on a 3-pound 10-ounce smallmouth bass, and Jack Tener yanked-in a largemouth bass estimated to weigh about 3 pounds.  The Knee Deep Club will hold a hybrid striper tournament Saturday and Sunday, July 15 and 16, on the lake. Info is on the club’s website, or anglers can telephone the shop for info: 973-663-3825.

New Jersey’s shutdown of state parks, because of the budget fight, during the Fourth of July weekend caused news to be scarce, said James from <b>Behre Bait & Tackle</b> in Lebanon. Waters including Round Valley Reservoir and Spruce Run Reservoir were closed.

Any lakes that were open produced largemouth bass during the closure of state waters, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. The store was closed Tuesday for the Fourth of July, but lots of customers Saturday to Monday bought Senkos and Z-Man TRD’s. All the soft-plastic or rubber baits like that drew bites from largemouths. Tons of sunnies schooled lakes and could be nabbed. Saltwater spots like Liberty State Park were also closed. But saltwater was wall-to-wall anglers, where access was allowed. Boat traffic was often heavy. How anglers fared in crowds like that was unknown. 

Jeff from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River pulled trout, big carp, catfish and a few yellow perch from Spring Lake, all on garlic PowerBait, he said. At Lake Riviera, chain pickerel and a few largemouth bass were socked on killies. On worms at the lake, sunnies and catfish were grabbed. Ocean County College Pond gave up largemouth bass that weighed 1 to 2 pounds or were decent-sized, pickerel and a few crappies. That was on killies. On nightcrawlers at the pond, sunnies and a few catfish were picked up. At Winding River, sunnies were wormed. Just a few pickerel were taken on the river, on killies. Only pickerel were heard about from the Toms River at Trilco and from Lester’s Lake. A few customers headed to Manasquan Reservoir last week, but Jeff was yet to see them again. The impoundment’s fishing for hybrid striped bass can be best when summer’s hottest. The season might be a little early for that. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Freshwater fishing was outstanding last week, <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown’s Facebook page said Sunday.  Garrison Lake, Bells Lake, Oak Pond and Lake Lenape were just a few spots that turned out catches. At Garrison, one angler landed six largemouth bass to 5 pounds on Senko worms. At Bells Lake, an 8-year-old subdued a 7-pound largemouth on a minnow. At Oak Pond, another angler did-in five largemouths to 3 pounds on LiveTarget frogs. “Gotta love those Live Target Frogs!” the page said. Two other anglers at Oak kayaked a total of seven largemouths to 4 pounds. “They tell us Zoom Fat Albert twin tail grubs are hard to beat,” it said. Also at Oak, an angler cracked four largemouths to 3 pounds, saying Zoom California 420 Finesse Worms were the go-to bait. An angler who fished Heritage Park Pond used Senko worms to mug four catfish to 6 pounds. Another whipped eight bullhead cats on Delaware River on nightcrawlers.

Weather was hot and dry, but customers fished, said Jeff from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Lots of minnows and other supplies were sold. Rainbow Lake fished well for largemouth bass the past couple of weeks. Some big were heard about from there. Buzz baits, rubber frogs and other top-water lures will smash largemouths this time of year. The old, faithful Senko worms will, too. Summer’s always a decent time to play warm-water-loving panfish like bluegills. If you want to fight crappies, fish minnows where the calico bass swim. In saltwater, catches of summer flounder were talked about from back bays. The ocean’s flounder fishing seemed hit and miss. Not much was heard about Delaware Bay’s flounder, but should be within the next couple of weeks. That fishing’s probably about to amp up.

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