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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 8-23-17


Smallmouth bass, lots, were smashed on the upper Delaware River, Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia wrote in a report on the shop’s website. Two anglers mugged more than 30, a bunch of catfish and five striped bass at Upper Black Eddy on the river in a trip. Another two totaled more than 50 at Lambertville. Several anglers kayaked 75 and plenty of other species at Frenchtown in a trip. They also fished at Washington’s Crossing on the river and kayaked only 11 smallmouths, but a bunch of small stripers and 19 catfish. The report also mentioned plenty of smallmouths angled farther upstream at Delaware Water Gap and Long Eddy. Farther downstream, the river near the store fished great for catfish 1 to 4 pounds. An angler on the river at Tacony-Palmyra Bridge plugged abundant, small striped bass on small Rat-L-Traps, white grubs, and shad bodies. Another eeled and bloodwormed four keeper stripers 31 to 34 inches at Raccoon Creek, a tributary of the Delaware. The report also mentioned many other locations, including lakes and streams, and details about fishing.

<b>New Jersey</b>

Delaware River anglers rounded up smallmouth bass and channel catfish, said Andy from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. The river flowed not low and not high, a “decent” level, he’d say. Big Flatbrook flowed a little “slow,” but flowed, “which never happens this time of year,” he said. The water’s usually lower in summer than currently. Fishing for trout was pretty good in the catch-and-release section. Sulfurs hatched sometimes. Anglers fished for the trout with sulfur flies, midges, small nymphs and terrestrials. Tiny flies were popular. Most customers who trout fish hit the Flatbrook. Weather was hot and muggy, and not a lot of customers fished.

A father and son cranked in largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and chain pickerel from Lake Hopatcong on Thursday aboard, said Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> from Montvale. After the trip, Dave headed back on the lake and hooked what he thought was a musky at first. The fish turned out to be a 6-pound walleye that he landed. The fish bit a crank bait trolled at 4.5 m.p.h. That was fast, but some anglers troll for muskies up to 7 m.p.h. A trip with another father and son fished on Mountain Lake aboard Saturday. Dave figured boat traffic would be too heavy on Hopatcong. The son boated two good-sized largemouths and hooked but lost a 12- to 15-pound musky that jumped from the water and threw the spinnerbait meant for bass. Dave motored back onto the lake when they left and pulled in five largemouths to 3 ½ pounds on jigs with crawlers fished at deep weeds. The lake was 74 degrees early in the day and 80 degrees later in the day. Water temperatures began to drop a little. The next two or three trips look like they’ll fish for muskies. But anglers booked for Saturday want to fish overnight on a lake. Dave will see whether hybrid striped bass or walleyes will hit. 

Customers still targeted hybrid striped bass on Lake Hopatcong in evenings and after dark, said Don from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. The fish were hooked, but fewer than before, and anglers said the stripers bit like an hour, then disappeared. Earlier this season, the hybrids bit for periods like that repeatedly, throughout the night. Not much was heard about trout fishing, but a few customers left to fish Pequest River for trout. How they fared was unknown. Customers fished saltwater somewhat more than fresh. They boated for fluke, catching lots but almost all throwbacks. Some surf-fished for fluke at Sea Bright, Monmouth Beach and Long Beach Island, dragging in more throwback stripers than fluke. Lots of the bass, about 24 inches, jumped on the fluke rigs.

A largemouth bass tournament was held at Spruce Run Reservoir from Saturday to Sunday, but the fishing was slow, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. The reasons were unknown, like maybe atmospheric pressure or the new moon. A buddy on Saturday afternoon said the 75 entrants totaled three largemouths so far. That’s not many. Live herring were scarce or unavailable for bait, and when that happens, few customers fish Spruce or Merrill Creek Reservoir. They’re reluctant to use shiners or lures instead, but Keith wonders why, because both can be effective, and he uses lures. Largemouthing was good at many other lakes and ponds. Good catches of smallmouth bass were made on Delaware River, and the fishing should become even better by late September, when baby shad swim down the river from the springtime spawn. Some already swam down, he thought. That makes the fishing better. Anglers often catfished on the river with success. Lots of small, throwback striped bass like 20 inches were played on the river. Some of this fishing can be good at night, and that helps anglers beat the heat.   

Hybrid striped bass weighed from the lake this week included Adam Kasica’s 7-pound 13-ouncer, Dan McErlean’s 7-pounder and Jerry Freeman’s 6-pound 13-ouncer, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Each was pasted on livelined herring, and the Knee Deep Club will hold a hybrid tournament Sept. 23-24 on the lake. The club will hold a walleye tournament Oct. 7-8 on the lake. Charly Lodato, his grandpop and Lou Marcucci angled several sizable smallmouth bass from the lake on a trip. Charly’s weighed up to 3 pounds. The store’s hours will change to 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily after Labor Day. The shop is usually open until November, depending on weather. Then the doors are closed for a moment, until Dow’s is opened back up for ice-fishing.

Northern pike were reported fought from Passaic River, but farther downstream, like at Garfield, not locally, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Anglers are fishing for largemouth bass on lakes. They’re interested in new tackle at the shop for the fishing, like Z-Man rubber worms for Ned rigs, the Missile Baits 48 Stick Worm and the Rapala Ripstop lure. Some of those were mentioned in the last report here. Whether the Ripstop caught was unknown, but anglers were excited about the lure.

Manasquan Reservoir’s largemouth bass fishing went pretty well this past week on lures and nightcrawlers, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. Lures were fished like Booyah spinner baits and wacky-rigged Senko worms. The reservoir probably was less weeded than some lakes. She heard about no hybrid striped bass from the lake, though the heat of summer can fish best for them. Jeff and Abigail from the store scored a good catch of yellow perch, catfish, sunnies and a couple of largemouths at Spring Lake in a trip. Other lakes mostly fished best for catches like sunnies and yellow perch. Local lakes are shallow, and that’s not so conducive to largemoulth fishing in the heat. The Toms River at Trilco fished well for big chain pickerel. Yellow and white perch also chomped there. Crabs were also trapped there, and Trilco is a closed building supply. No sign identifies the building, but locals know the stretch by the name, located near Garden State Parkway. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

One customer, Tom D., socked four largemouth bass to 2 pounds in an hour along High Hill Road at the feeder creek off Raccoon Creek there, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. The angler fished a black-and-blue Booyah jig in the evening. Another customer, Ruth D., plucked panfish like sunnies, bluegills and yellow perch, a good catch, from Daretown Lake on nightcrawlers under a bobber. Nothing was heard about throwback striped bass that bit well in Delaware River previously. The catches were mentioned in previous reports here. Crabbing was picking up at the mouths of creeks like Oldman’s, Raccoon and Mantua off Delaware River. The blueclaws were caught from boats, and water less than 10 feet gave them up best. Frozen bunker especially nabbed them.

A 6-pound largemouth bass was tackled at Grenloch Lake, said Ed from <b>Creek Keepers Bait & Tackle</b> in Blackwood. Chain pickerel pounced at Grenloch on minnows. A couple of snakeheads, the invasive species, were drilled at Blackwood Lake. One was on a rubber frog, and the other was on a spinnerbait.

Fishing was fair the past couple of weeks, a report said on <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> from Williamstown’s Facebook page. Mornings – early mornings – and evenings fished best, and places to go included Oak Pond, Iona Lake, Avis Millpond and Union Lake. At Oak, an angler picked up largemouth bass to 5 pounds on pink Senko rubber worms. At Iona, another cracked two largemouths to 5 pounds on a Senko in Greenie Weenie color. At Union, one angler clocked a 5-pound largemouth bass on a Live Target mouse. The report also mentioned other lakes. Silver Lake gave up largemouths to 4 pounds for an angler fishing Senkos. Wilson Lake turned up largemouths to 2 pounds on chatter baits and a 19-inch chain pickerel on a minnow for one angler, and a 1-pound crappie on a minnow for another. Another customer hung a 3-1/2-pound largemouth from Lake Gillman on a purple-and-pearl Senko. Cooper River at Cooper River Park produced catfish, including 17 for one customer who fished dip baits. Two other anglers banked dozens of cats to 4 pounds on the river on minnows under bobbers. An angler wrestled a few snakeheads from the DOD Ponds on KVD swim baits on jigs. Snakeheads are an invasive species that New Jersey tells anglers to kill if caught.

Fishing for largemouth bass became a little better this past week, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Good angling for largemouths and smallmouth bass was often reported from Union Lake. Malaga Lake produced some numbers of largemouths. Good news was heard about largemouthing at Menantico Ponds. To catch largemouths, soft-plastics like Senkos or drop-shots and chatter baits were top-producers. Panfishing for catches like bluegills is always good in the heat. Anglers tied into them on nightcrawlers under bobbers. In saltwater, summer flounder fishing slowed a little in an ocean’s swell last week. But the fishing was fairly good now, and ocean reefs held plenty. Delaware Bay’s flounder fishing was alright but catching. Kingfish and spots beached from the surf were heard about a little. Snapper blues schooled back bays.

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