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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 8-30-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Salmon River</b>

Summer’s been wet and cool, and that might bode well for Salmon River’s fishing for king or Chinook salmon, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. Labor Day weekend, this weekend, is traditionally when anglers begin looking for the salmon migration in the river. Some of the fish already trickled in, and Jay expects a slug of them to shoot in Saturday from Lake Ontario, because the river is supposed to be raised to 750 cubic feet per second at midnight Friday for a moment, from the current flow of 185. The higher water should draw some in. The water temperature, in the low to mid 60 degrees, is comfortable for salmon, and is lower than during some summers. Jay thinks he can count how many times the warmer, bottom of the river reached 70 degrees this summer. Air temperature reached 90 degrees on only one day this summer locally. A dozen days were 85, and most never became warmer than the 70s. More than 10 inches of rain fell in June. Six-and-a-half fell in July, he thought. Vegetation was green and lush, currently. Boaters on the lake are nailing good catches of salmon. Rain and debris in the water because of rain kept most boaters from fishing the lake until July. Boaters got all over the lake’s salmon beginning in July, but the fish might’ve been less pressured than during some summers, because most boaters avoided the angling at first this summer. Cool weather and water and maybe less pressure could add up to a good salmon run in the river in the coming weeks. The river’s minimum flow is increased to 385 from the previous 185 each Labor Day weekend to help with the angling. This year a few squirts of salmon first migrated into the river in the first week of August, and that’s early. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides. Jay’s trips will probably fish large flies for the salmon at first this season. The fish should respond to large, because the fish are coming from the lake. Afterward, he’ll experiment and see what catches.  Jay’s trips had good trout fishing on streams this summer because of healthy water levels because of the weather. Salmon River’s current good water level and lower temperature is different from low, warm water in recent summers. Watch a great video from Jay about fall fishing, including for salmon, steelheads and brown trout on the river.


Delaware River’s smallmouth bass fishing was on, Bill Brinkman from Philadelphia’s <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> wrote in a report on the store’s website. He fished the river at Lambertville one day last week and boated 33. Took him a couple of hours to find the smallmouths, but then he did. He mostly hooked them on rubber grubs, but also caught them great on minnows. Anglers in another boat told him they reeled in 25 smallmouths, two walleyes and a few small striped bass at Stockton on the river. Another angler was landing five to 10 of the bass per trip at Delaware Water Gap last week, saying rain caused the fishing to be hit or miss. Farther downstream near the store, fishing was fair for catfish, carp, white perch and small stripers on the river. Largemouth bass were pulled from the river at Dredge Harbor, Tullytown and Warner Cove on rubber worms and lizards and small jigs. Schuylkill River fished well, up and down. Catches there included catfish, yellow perch, white perch and plenty of stripers just below the dam. An angler fishing immediately below the dam tackled a few small walleyes and stripers on Sassy Shads. Catfish, including a few flatheads, chomped farther upstream at Gladwyne. One group angled more than 100 channel cats and a 24-pound flathead last week there. In the same area, another angler winged a few carp 15 to 22 pounds on homemade carp bait. Another angler fishing just upstream from Gladwyne whipped 16 smallmouth bass, 14 cats and a 17-inch walleye in an afternoon. Another person was pasting smallmouths, good catches, at Norristown and Reading on the Schuylkill. Plenty of additional details and locations were covered in the report.


Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> fished a lake yesterday in the rain with friend and outdoor writer Lou Martinez, Dave wrote in an email. Two muskies followed lures but never struck. One was on a spinner bait, and the other, a big fish, was on a Lee Lures top-water. Then Dave and Lou switched to largemouth bass fishing, totaling four including a 4-pounder and a 3-pounder, on Jersey Riggs rubber worms and Strike King Bitsy Bug jigs with craw trailers. That was along a weed edge in deep water 10 to 13 feet. The bass looked fat, plump and healthy. On Saturday, Dave guided two repeat customers who wanted to fish at night. They landed a couple of respectable walleyes and a good-sized largemouth at Lake Hopatcong. No herring were seen or heard that schooled the water at night earlier in summer. The lake was 74 degrees, and a chill was in the air.

Hybrid striped bass and smallmouth bass were yanked-in off the lake’s points on livelined herring, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Jeremy Hughen weighed-in a largemouth bass just heavier than 5 pounds that he socked on a spinner bait. Lots of catfish were cranked up. Crappies and white perch were nabbed on small jigs. Panfish got licked in shallows on worms under bobbers.

Round Valley Reservoir’s fishing was a little slow, and August is always one of the toughest months for angling there, said James from <b>Behr Bait & Tackle</b> in Lebanon. But boaters on the reservoir made good catches of rainbow trout while trolling mostly small stick baits 2 ½ or 3 inches from Challenger, Rapala or Rebel. Not many were hooked on spoons. The lures were fished 20 to 40 feet down in 70 to 100 feet of water. Sometimes lake trout were boated from the impoundment. The shallower the water in those depths, the bigger the fish, and fish seemed small beyond 100 feet.  Shore anglers at Round Valley waited for trout fishing to turn back on for them. They banked a few brown trout, and the shore fishing will probably pick up in a couple of weeks. At Merrill Creek Reservoir, lakers turned on. They were trolled along bottom in 80 to 90 feet on herring on meatheads or on daisy chains. Lakers like fresh meat. Rainbow trout at Merrill were suspended 40 feet down in 60 to 100 feet of water. Sometimes lakers were suspended there, too. Boaters fishing for the rainbows with lures trolled mostly Warrior or Spoonman spoons or Rapalas. So Merrill’s fishing was decent. At Spruce Run Reservoir, hybrid striped bass kept biting, including on slow-trolled herring or extra-large or jumbo shiners with like a single split shot. The boat was just moving, like power-drifting. Other boaters used planer boards to fish desired depths. The shop held a tournament on Spruce and the 100 anglers entered 30 hybrids, releasing the rest. A variety of fish bit at Spruce, including lots of channel catfish, a few crappies, lots of white perch, white bass and more. Look for catches near shore in 20 to 30 feet of water.

Good fishing for large smallmouth bass was reported from Rockaway River north of Route 46, said Larry from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. “They’re doing real good,” he said. Fishing for big carp was excellent on Passaic River. The river ran somewhat low, so Larry guessed anglers could see the carp. Northern pike were fought from the river a little north of Route 46. That was around Denville, he guessed. Lots of largemouth bass, not lots of big, hit at Lake Hopatcong. A few walleyes and hybrid striped bass were angled at Hopatcong in evenings or at night. In saltwater, fluke seemed to begin migrating toward the ocean. Many were throwbacks, but big were also crushed. The fishing was spotty or good one day and not on others. The blow this week didn’t help. Many sea bass, many shorts, but also good-sized keepers, were around. Tomorrow is the final day of sea bass season. Anglers hope to fluke before fluke season closes beginning Wednesday.

A couple of customers worked Manasquan Reservoir for largemouth bass, catching some and token smallmouth bass, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. They mostly fished top-water lures, and a couple of customers fished Lake Riviera from the dock, mostly hooking bluegills. Most other fish, including a few chain pickerel and crappies, moved to deeper water. Pickerel were tugged from the Toms River at Trilco. So were striped bass 12 to 18 inches that gather there in summer. Trilco is a closed building supply, and 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.

A couple of good-sized largemouth bass were clocked at Wilson Lake on shiners, said Ed from <b>Creek Keepers Bait & Tackle</b> in Blackwood. A couple were also beaten at Hammonton Lake. One customer rubber-frogged small largemouths at Lakeland Pond. Not much was heard from saltwater, except that crabbing was good. Anglers can seem to lose a little interest in saltwater just before Labor Day.

Largemouth bass fishing was fair at lakes, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Rainbow Lake produced many. Good catches of largemouths and smallmouth bass came from Union Lake. Largemouth fishing began to change a little for the season, because of cooler weather. Though fishing for them with top-water lures like rubber frogs could still be decent, that might’ve slowed a bit. The fish seemed to begin preferring “moving” baits. Spinner baits and chatter baits worked well. But finesse worms – “slow” fishing – also worked. Customers often bought supplies for Ned rigs for that the past couple of weeks.  Saltwater fishing was a little slow, and windy weather was difficult for the angling.

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