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Upstate N.Y.
Salmon, Steelhead &
Trout Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 9-20-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Salmon River</b>

Weather was warm or in the 80 degrees and sunny, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. So the river warmed to the 60 degrees. But salmon fishing was good on the river. The river flowed at a healthy level, 500 cubic feet per second, and the level’s been stable. Migrations of salmon up the river were on and off, from Lake Ontario. On one day, a good trickle shot up. On another, not many of the fish did. On those days, Jay’s trips just fished the holes where salmon held that already migrated in. The trickle was slower yesterday, and the fishing with Jay probably scored seven or eight bites, and landed two salmon. On the day before, the migration was busy, and the fishing hooked 1 ½ to 2 dozen salmon and landed 7 or 8. Chinook or king salmon were the catch this week. A great shot of cohos migrated up last week, and cohos probably made up half the catches with Jay then. Cohos are schooling the lake near the river, so more should enter the river. Many salmon filled the estuary, at the bottom of the river. But salmon currently were spread throughout the river, and for Sept. 20, that was good. Only the first run has usually arrived by this date, but the migration currently is well underway. A cool, rainy summer provided cool water and a good flow of the river for the migration this year. Jay hopes weather becomes cool and rainy again. His trips caught on a variety of flies including olive and black wooly buggers that worked well. But he’s had to keep trying different flies to see what works at that moment. Usually he’d have four patterns that work by now. Some of the flies that caught currently were surprising, like bright chartreuse on a clear, sunny day. In any fishing, an angler might expect bright colors to fish best on darker days or in discolored water, because fish can see the colors better in those conditions. Bright colors including pink and white worked well at moments currently. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides. The season is early for brown trout and steelheads to swim the river. A few browns were hooked last week, but the trout seemed scarce this week. One of Jay’s guides’ trips landed a steelhead a couple of days ago on the river.

<b>PENNSYLVANIA</b>

Delaware River’s smallmouth bass fishing was great from Delaware Water Gap to Yardley, Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia wrote in a report on the shop’s website. One angler was landing 15 to 27 per trip at the Gap. Farther downstream, lots of anglers smoked 20 to 40 per trip at Lambertville. Walleyes, striped bass and catfish were also winged from the river throughout this stretch, at some places more than others. On the lower river near the store, mostly catfish were angled. But striped bass were, too, and the lower river’s fishing for largemouth bass 10 to 13 inches picked up. Schuylkill River’s catfishing was terrific in the weather with cool nights and warm afternoons. Plenty of other locations, details and fishing were included in the report.

<b>NEW JERSEY</b>

Big Flat Brook ran low, said Andy from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. Customers mostly fish there when fishing for trout, and the river ran low because of lack of rain that’s typical by late summer. Although some of New Jersey had cloudy, rainy weather this week because of the offshore hurricane, weather along the Flat Brook and near the shop was sunny. No rain was forecast until the middle of next week. When anglers fished the Flat Brook currently, they cast midges and blue-winged olives to catch. The upcoming fall trout stocking will include Paulinskill River on Oct. 10 and the Flat Brook on Oct. 12. Delaware River probably flowed low, too. Smallmouth bass and channel catfish are usually cranked from the river this time of year. Anglers Andy knows fish Rapalas for the smallmouths and chicken liver for the cats.

Largemouth bass were hit at Lake Hopatcong along docks at deep water on jigs-n-pigs, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Nothing was heard about Delaware River’s smallmouth bass fishing. Little was heard about trout, but this was a good time to fish for trout, before autumn leaves fouled fishing lines. Cool weather kept trout streams cooler than sometimes so was good for the angling. Fish beetle and ant flies. Customers just began to travel to upstate New York for salmon fishing on rivers like Salmon River. The fishing was reportedly good. 

Customers socked smallmouth bass from Merrill Creek Reservoir, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. One hooked the fish on shiners, and others clocked them on artificials including 4-inch rubber worms. At Spruce Run Reservoir, catches of hybrid striped bass slowed, because herring became unavailable to liveline. Suppliers had difficulty finding herring at Lake Hopatcong, where they catch the baitfish. But catfish, lots, were angled at Spruce. A buddy nailed an 8-pound 8-ounce largemouth bass at Hopatcong on Saturday on a spinner bait. That’s giant at Hopatcong. A few giants are usually creamed at the lake in spring, but that size is uncommon this time of year at the lake. Keith, who competes in largemouth tournaments, will compete next in 1 ½ weeks. He likes to fish with jigs, and could fish them. But if weather is cool, he could fish spinner baits, chatter baits or even jerk baits. Many anglers worked Delaware River for great smallmouth bass fishing. Baby shad schooled the river that hatched from the spring spawn. That was making the bass feed. Top-water lures could be fished, especially when the shad made the bass active. Hellgrammites were just re-stocked and also work well on the smallmouths.

Lots of good-sized crappies were beaned from the lake on small jigs, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Two customers, Marcin Supinski and Stanley M., limited out on the fish two weekends ago with no problem. Many hybrid striped bass were honked from the lake on chicken livers and livelined herring. Knee Deep Club will hold a hybrid striper tournament Saturday to Sunday, Sept. 23 to 24, on the lake that will award cash prizes. Mike McMahon released an 8-pound 7-ounce largemouth that smacked a spinner bait in the lake. Jimmy Welsh put up a 6-pound 8-ounce walleye from the water. 

Passaic River’s fishing was pretty good for smallmouth bass, said Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Some northern pike and yellow perch also came from the river. Fewer catfish were slugged from the river than before. They tend to bite after rain and flooding that stirs up forage. Lake Hopatcong’s largemouth bass fishing seemed pretty good along grass beds and docks. Joe assumed jigs and rubber worms like Senkos caught. He heard about a couple of good catches of hybrid striped bass from the lake on livelined herring. No much was heard from saltwater in rough weather during the offshore hurricane this week.

A few customers fished Manasquan Reservoir, tying into some good catches of largemouth bass, mostly on top-water lures, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. A few crappies were plucked from the reservoir, mostly on killies. Killies and shiners are stocked. A few largemouths and crappies were eased from Lake Riviera, nothing special. Chain pickerel and small largemouths were lit into on the Toms River at Trilco, near Garden State Parkway. That’s s a closed building supply, and no sign identifies the building, but locals know the stretch by the name. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Ed from <b>Creek Keepers Bait & Tackle</b> had been away, stuck in the hurricane in Florida, he said. But largemouth bass should still bite in lakes. Most customers fish shiners or minnows for them. Nightcrawlers will also catch. Chain pickerel will definitely hit in lakes. Minnows and shiners will whip them, too. Ed did know that catfish were banked from Delaware River at RiverWinds in West Deptford. Fish nightcrawlers or chicken liver for them. Nearby Grenloch Lake will be included in the fall trout stocking Oct. 17. A number of lakes in the area are included in the stocking, taking place in October. Others in the area, including Rowand’s Pond, are included in the winter stocking in November. From saltwater, Ed was unsure whether kingfish still nibbled in the surf. But a tournament two weekends ago produced the kings.

Fishing was good for largemouth bass, panfish and catfish this past week, a report said on <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown’s Facebook page. Mornings and evenings fished best. At Wilson Lake, a father and young son nightcrawlered a handful of healthy-sized largemouths, and another angler plugged a 24-inch chain pickerel on a jointed Rapala lure. Also at Wilson, an angler reeled in nine yellow perch on minnows. A customer who fished Greenwich Lake smashed a 7-pound largemouth on a LiveTarget frog. At Daretown Lake, a couple eased in largemouths to 4 pounds on Senko rubber worms. On Delaware River, a customer tackled catfish to 9 pounds on nightcrawlers colored green. In saltwater, schoolie striped bass were played in back bays at docks, bridges and sod banks on clams, top-water lures like Smack-Its and Skitter Walks and soft-plastic lures like Storm Swim Shads. Snapper blues and a few kingfish swam the surf. Customers reported great crabbing.

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