Sat., Aug. 18, 2018
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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 6-6-18

<b>North Jersey</b>

Streams were loaded with trout, including Big Flatbrook, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. The fish were hooked well everywhere, he said. Musconetcong River’s flow was in good shape for trouting. Pink Power Worms and Trout Magnets were hot on trout. For fly anglers, sulfurs will probably begin to come off. That’s the next hatch. Soft-hackles can work well then. The sulfurs really don’t hatch until dark, but the soft-hackles can imitate emergers and catch if fished at like 8 p.m. Little was heard about Delaware River, and shad fishing might’ve been winding down on the river. The Delaware ran high, though. At lakes, largemouth bass fishing seemed “iffy.” Not much was heard about success on them, maybe because they were spawning, then not spawning, then spawning again, and so on. The bass are required to be released through June 15 for spawning. Walleyes and hybrid striped bass were socked at night at Lake Hopatcong on livelined herring. That was beginning. John from the shop, who surf-fishes along New Jersey’s northern coast, said catches of striped bass and bluefish seemed to shut off from the beach there in lousy weather. He heard that blues were fought on Manasquan River.

The Pequest Hatchery’s annual open house and sportsman’s flea market was held Saturday and Sunday, and kids got to fish the hatchery’s trout-holding pond during the event, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. That was limited to catch-and-release, and the kids bailed some big trout and seemed to have fun. Keith saw a photo of one of the trout that looked 9 pounds. The state will hold the <a href="http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/hofnod_ythchallenge.htm" target="_blank"> Youth Fishing Challenge</a> on Saturday, Keith noted. The event awards prizes to kids for catches, and is held at different locations throughout the state. The event coincides with one of the state’s two free fishing days, when no fishing license is required, each year. Trout fishing was great on rivers including the Pequest, Musconetcong and Pohatcong. Nearly all trout bait and artificials caught including salmon eggs and flies. Striped bass fishing was terrific on Delaware River at Belvidere. Cast Rapala Husky Jerks or any stick baits. Customers also fished for the stripers and caught off the Poxono boat launch at the Delaware Water Gap farther north. Shad fishing seemed about finished on the Delaware. Merrill Creek Reservoir fished well for landlocked salmon and smallmouth bass on livelined herring. Smallmouths and largemouth bass must be released through June 15 because of spawning. Largemouths were hooked at Oxford Lake close to shore. Largemouths loiter in skinny water around spawning season. Some big largemouths were landed at Mountain Lake.

Nighttime catches of hybrid striped bass and walleyes picked up last week on the lake, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Bomber Original Floating Lures, Bomber Badonk-a-Donks, Zara Spooks and Creek Chub Knuckle Heads are stocked for the fishing. The fish are also smacking livelined herring. Walleyes weighed at the shop included Richie King’s 7-pound 7-ouncer and Mike Truglio’s 6-pound 15-ouncer. Perch and crappies bit small herring. Chain pickerel attacked Mepps spinners fished along weed lines. Mike Rastiello weighed-in a 3-pound 14-ounce white catfish that chomped a herring.

Fishing was pretty much the same as before, said Joe at <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Kayakers on Passaic River enjoyed higher water that let them access “back waters” they couldn’t otherwise. They lit into bass and northern pike well. The bass heard about were mostly largemouths, occasionally a smallmouth. Release both species, according to law, through June 15 because of spawning. Yellow perch fishing was picking up on the river. Greenwood Lake and Lake Hopatcong seemed generally to give up good fishing. Walleyes were tied into at Hopatcong and reportedly Monksville Reservoir. In saltwater, striped bass fishing sounded hit or miss, either good or slow. Sea bass fishing seemed productive on party boats, usually.

<b>South Jersey</b>

Lots of striped bass seemed landed at Gloucester Marina along Delaware River, said Jason from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. He was delivering frozen bunker to the marina and the folks at the marina said the bait was in demand for the stripers. Customers tried for snakeheads, the invasive species, at ditches off Delaware River in Gibbstown. Whether they caught was unknown, and the customers just said they were headed for the fishing. Snakeheads are a powerful, aggressive catch. Customers often fish herring for them. But also often fish top-waters like rubber frogs and buzz baits. For largemouth bass at lakes, rubber baits like lizards are often cast this time of year. The idea is that something like a lizard invades spawning beds to feed on eggs, and the spawning bass attack to rid the lizards from the nest. Release largemouths through June 15 for spawning according to law.

Weather sometimes put fishing on hold this past week, a report said on <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown’s Facebook page. But a handful of reports came in. Two anglers landed six largemouth bass apiece at Timber Lakes on minnows. Largemouths must be let go through June 15 for spawning.  Someone else fished Union Lake, tugging in three crappies and a 19-inch pickerel on Roostertails. At Greenwich Lake, a kayaker pasted three largemouths to 4 pounds on black Senko worms. Someone who fished Avis Millpond did-in six largemouths to 3 pounds on a Whopper Plopper. A 9-pound catfish came from Laurel Lake on a green-neon nightcrawler.

Freshwater fishing wasn’t all that hot, but a report rolled in yesterday about largemouth bass and smallmouth bass that were pretty cooperative at Union Lake, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Toss both species back through June 15 by law for spawning. A couple of customers fished Audrey Lake, pulling in fairly good fishing for largemouths. Any smallmouths caught at Audrey these days? Not really – it’s been a while, he said. Audrey was stocked with smallmouths years ago, and then was one of two lakes, along with Union, that held smallmouths in South Jersey. The smallmouth population petered out at Audrey for some reason. Some customers crappie fished pretty heavily at Elmer and Malaga lakes. What do customers fish for crappies? Lots of minnows were sold for the angling. How do they fish the baitfish? Just on a hook under a bobber. Elmer Lake served up fairly good largemouth fishing. For largemouths, fishing with rubber frogs was heating up. Chatter baits were often pitched for the bass. Senko rubber worms were often used. In saltwater, summer flounder fishing was reportedly good on back bays. Nobody mentioned flounder from Delaware Bay. Delaware Bay’s black drum fishing might’ve been slowing for the season, but the drum were picked.   

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