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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 12-5-18

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Salmon River and Western N.Y. Rivers and Streams</b>

Weather became warmer and wet through early this week, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. Rain blew out the streams or creeks he’s fishing for brown trout in western, upstate New York. But Oak Orchard River in that area, near Rochester, was an okay level for the fishing, and the creeks would probably be fishable by now, at mid-week. His trips caught the browns, some rainbow trout and a few steelheads, often on egg flies but also on wooly buggers and Zonkers. Some of the browns began to home in on minnows, so the buggers and Zonkers worked. This was after they were on an egg bite because of eggs from spawning salmon earlier this season. The browns are large, because they summer in Lake Ontario, and that’s the reason to fish for them. When the lake becomes cold for the season, the fish migrate to rivers and streams for more abundant forage there. Two hours east, Jay’s guides are fishing for steelheads on Salmon River. The Salmon became high from precipitation. It flowed at 2,250 cubic feet per second at Pineville and 1,500 farther downstream. Probably 2 feet of snow had covered the ground at the reservoir, and by early this week, probably 4 inches did, because of melting. Both the trout waters farther west and the Salmon were cold because of snow melting. Even the 1,500 flow on the lower river as a little high for flies, but a friend had just caught okay there. The fishing was dead in the morning, and picked up in the afternoon, when the water became warmer. Egg flies and nymphs caught for anglers on the upper river, and streamers began to catch the steelheads on the lower. On the upper, a clean, precise drift of the fly began to be necessary, and that’s a typical winter pattern. The nymphs were traditional trout ones with no flash, like for winter trout. Jay focuses on the browns until those waters freeze over. Then he returns to steelhead fishing on the Salmon through winter. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.

<b>NEW JERSEY</b>

Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> from Montvale decided to troll Monksville Reservoir on a trip last weekend like he does at Round Valley Reservoir, he said. He landed two healthy-sized walleyes. Dave trolls Round Valley this time of year through winter for trout. At Monksville, he figured he might catch trout or walleyes. One of the walleyes smacked a Sebile Magic Swimmer, and the other pounced on a Thomas Speedy Shiner Spoon. Both were trolled on leadcore line, and one was flat-lined and the other was fished off a planer board. Dave also hooked a fish that got off that was apparently sizable. Lots of fish were marked off points. The water was 39 to 40 degrees, very cold. Some of those fish that were read might’ve refused to bite because of that. But Round Valley’s trout fishing should only become better, the colder the weather, because the impoundment’s fishing usually does for the cold-water fish. Dave looks forward to that, and he’ll keep after Round Valley’s trout, as long as the water doesn’t freeze. He’s willing to guide anglers at that fishing. Round Valley is deep and takes a lot of cold to freeze. A friend recently boated 10 trout there. Dave didn’t know what kind, but most trout there are rainbows and lakers. Some browns and goldens also swim that water. So do other fish including bass, perch and channel cats. Dave might also fish trout streams this time of year through winter when weather makes that possible. He had been fishing for muskies until cold water seemed to make that tough. He thought he read about a musky caught recently.

Water levels were decent, though news about fishing was scarce, said Andy from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. Delaware River’s level was decent, and walleyes and smallmouth bass should be able to be tugged from the river, certainly. The Delaware’s been flooded most of this season from rain. Big Flatbrook should fish well for trout, including because of the fall stocking in October and the good water level.

Trout streams ran high, said Don from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. He lives near Rockaway River, and a stream near his house was the highest it’s been all year. A customer who fished Musconetcong River reported high water on a trip, but banked a trout. That angler usually fishes pink Gulp worms, so he probably caught on that. Nobody mentioned lake fishing. A customer who fished the surf in saltwater said many throwback striped bass bit around Seaside Heights or Seaside Park.

Passaic River near the store ran very high, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. A couple of customers still fished for largemouth bass at private lakes and caught. Blade baits like a Johnson ThinFisher were popular for that angling. Not a lot of anglers got after the bass this late in the season. In saltwater, small striped bass were heard about from the surf from Sandy Hook to Deal. Boaters seemed to troll small stripers but a few large on the ocean. Boating for the bass might’ve been winding down for the year but wasn’t over.

A couple of customers talked about maybe heading to Spring Lake for trout, said Dennis from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b> in Toms River. The lake was included in the winter trout stocking. That was about all that was heard about freshwater, but killies, nightcrawlers and garden worms are still stocked for trout. Most customers fished the surf for small stripers that were on a bite. Others shopped for the holidays. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Chain pickerel were some of the only catches, said Mike from <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown. They bite in cool water, and Roostertails will hook them. But trout were angled at South Vineland Park Pond and Shaw’s Mill Pond that were included in the winter stocking recently. The trout are good-sized in that stocking. In saltwater, a few striped bass were trolled on the ocean. Sometimes one was plugged in the surf.

If anglers want to fish, chain pickerel and maybe crappies should cooperate, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. They’re willing in cold water, and a new batch of minnows was just stocked that will clock them. Trout from the winter stocking earlier this month should be available including at South Vineland Park and Shaw’s Mill Pond. Not a lot of anglers fished in windy weather. A few headed out on Friday in better weather and fished saltwater, trolling striped bass on the ocean.

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