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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 9-6-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Salmon River</b>

Fishing last weekend on the river went as Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b> predicted, he said. The river was raised to 750 cubic feet per second Friday night like it was scheduled to be, and that triggered a solid trickle of Chinook or king salmon to migrate into the river from Lake Ontario. The river fished well for the salmon Saturday. The angling became slower Sunday, and the river was dropped to 335 Monday, and the angling dropped off substantially. That was all normal, and the salmon become “crabby” a moment after a sharp change like that. This was one of the year’s first migrations of salmon into the river, and Jay now expects the fish to steadily trickle up the river in mornings. He expects to pick a few during the day. He anticipates very good fishing for them for September in the next couple of days, landing two to six in a day. The fish are “hot” or aggressive when first arriving from the lake. They’re challenging to land. The migration should keep increasing in the next weeks. The river’s temperature and flow are good for the salmon migration. The water was 62 degrees at the bottom of the river Monday morning. Salmon are scattered throughout the lower river, Jay thinks. Rain was expected this week, and that should be good for the fishing. Jay also knew about a few coho salmon angled on the river this weekend. Summer was cool and rainy, creating ideal conditions in the river for the migration. Salmon migrate to the river to spawn in the next month or so, creating a world-class fishery. They die after spawning, and steelheads migrate into the river next from the lake, also creating a stellar fishery.  Steelheads winter in the river and return to the lake in spring, after spawning in spring in the river. Steelheads don’t die after spawning. His trips hooked the salmon on black and olive wooly buggers to size 4 on Saturday to Sunday morning. Next, his trips hooked the fish on smaller, size-6 wet flies in black-and-gold and black-and-orange through Monday, as the water became lower and skies became clear or sunny. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.


The upper Delaware River dropped to a perfect level for fishing last week, Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia wrote in a report on the shop’s website. Good smallmouth bass catches were reported from up and down the stretch. At the shop, anglers mostly talked about the fishing from Bull’s Island to Lambertville. Trips there winged 20 to 40 of the fish apiece, tons of small but lots of 12- to 16-inchers. The bass swam north and south of there, too. Minnows, rubber grubs, tubes, spinners and Senko worms were some of things that caught. Other catches from the upper river included walleyes, small striped bass, rock bass and bluegills. Nearer to the store, the lower river shoveled up good catfishing. Plenty of small stripers and white perch nibbled there. Schuylkill River fished well for catfish, carp, smallmouths, small stripers, white perch, yellow perch a few walleyes and more, at different locations. Many more details and locations were covered in the report.


Whenever rain fell, replenishing Big Flatbrook, rainbow trout were reeled in there, said Dean from <b>Stokes Forest Sports Shop</b> in Sandyston. Rain fell this morning when he gave this report. Nymphs nabbed the trout, and whenever dry flies attracted the trout, they were small, so sizes 20 or 22 needed to be fished. Whether the current rain was making Delaware River too high or dirty to fish was unknown. But good fishing for smallmouth bass had been happening on the river. Catfish bit well in the river and lakes. Plenty of hybrid striped bass hit in lakes. 

Muskies were on the bucket list for a father and son from Manhattan aboard Friday, Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> wrote in an email. Before the trip, Dave showed the anglers how to fish a top-water lure for muskies at the dock. He cast the lure, and a musky blew up on the plug but missed it. “That never happens!” Dave wrote. Ten minutes later, on the boat, the son scored another blow up from a musky that missed a top-water. Afterward, the son worked the lure in a figure-eight at the end of a cast. That sometimes draws muskies to strike. A musky incredibly came up on the lure three or four times but failed to bite. Dave quickly guided the angler’s arm, beginning to work the lure in another figure-eight, and the fish hit! The musky was landed. Wind began to blow, so Dave attached bucktails to the lines, replacing the top-waters. The bucktails were Andy Meyers Lodge’s Custom Select Double 10s. Then Jake hooked up again! A musky slammed his cast bucktail, jumped 6 feet into the air, and rocketed underneath the boat, ripping off drag like it was nothing. But the 40-incher was netted and, like the other musky, was released. Was an incredible day of musky fishing.

Water cooled in the past week, and largemouth bass fishing was good on lakes, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Plastics or tackle like a jig-n-pig will hook them. Blade baits might catch, if anglers can avoid weeds. But the season might be early for blade baits. Chain pickerel bit at Lake Hopatcong. Trout streams also cooled, and flowed well, were in good shape for trout fishing. Terrestrials like ants and beetles catch trout well this time of year.

Delaware River tossed up very good smallmouth bass fishing, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. The bass will swipe small top-water lures, small swim baits, live crawfish and live hellgrammites. Live hellgrammites worked well, were stocked and ran out. But more might be carried this week, depending on rain. Catfishing was also great on the river. Lakes including Oxford Furnace gave up good largemouth bass fishing. Spruce Run Reservoir served up good catches of hybrid striped bass. Live herring, popular for bait for hybrids, were stocked. Suppliers were able to catch them, after having difficulty a moment. Those who trout fished scored at Pequest and Musconetcong rivers, mostly on worms or salmon eggs. Fall trout stocking will begin on Oct. 10.

Definitely some smallmouth action on Passaic River, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Small Senko or Z-Man TRD rubber worms could clock them. Not a lot of northern pike were fought from the river. If anglers found the holes where the pike held, the pike bit. But the fish weren’t everywhere in the river. Saltwater anglers made last-ditch efforts at fluke, before fluke season closed beginning today. They reported lots of throwbacks.

Despite rain and rough weather, chain pickerel bit at places including the Toms River at Trilco, Bamber Lake in Lacey Township and Stanley’s Pond across from Ocean County Mall, said Virginia from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. Big yellow perch were cranked from the river in downtown Toms River. Not much was heard about hybrid striped bass from Manasquan Reservoir this season, though the heat of summer is when they’re usually most active. But one angler reported trolling two about 7 pounds apiece this past week. Good sunfishing was tied into at Ocean County College Pond, not so much at Lake Riviera. A little more than a month is left before fall trout stocking begins on Oct. 10. Virginia looks forward to fishing for the trout. Local waters stocked include the Toms, Metedeconk and Manasquan rivers. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Striped bass were boated and angled from shore on Delaware River, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. The fish are usually small, but a 31-inch keeper was the biggest seen at the shop. That was banked from shore at Penn’s Grove on blueclaw crab. Chartreuse Sassy Shads were favorites to fish, though, for boaters and shore casters. Hot spots included the Raccoon Creek train bridge and any rock pile or structure a boat could be pulled up to. The striper angling slowed underneath Commodore Barry Bridge, but trips still totaled 20 a night there sometimes. The fish were reeled in at night and during daytime. They foraged on peanut bunker that were plentiful. Find the peanuts, and stripers could be on them. Customer Matt G. was into decent largemouth bass fishing at Salem Canal on crank baits and, along bottom, jigs in peanut butter and jelly color. Largemouths were yanked from Swedesboro Lake from the dock on minnows. The ditches off Crown Point Road dished up crappies and other panfish including yellow and white perch, fairly good catches.

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