Probably 15 walleyes were bombed on one of the overnight trips for them last Wednesday with two anglers with <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> from Montvale, Capt. Dave Vollenweider said. So the fishing was great, and the walleyes, caught on Original Floating Rapala lures in size F18, probably weighed 2 ½ to 6 ½ pounds. Many were 3 to 5 pounds, sizeable. Live to Fish this time of year stalks walleyes on lakes in the middle of the night, when the fish move to shallows, smashing surface lures. Walleyes then forage on spawning herring in the skinny waters. The trip got on the waters from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., and the fish bit throughout the time. Herring flipped around the surface, though not as abundantly as Dave’s sometimes seen. Sometimes walleyes were heard popping on the bait. The lake was 78 degrees and beginning to stratify. When lakes stratify in warmth, the surface might reach the 80s. But waters 20 feet down will be cooler, and walleyes will swim there during daytime. The fish are trolled in daytime. But Dave, looking in his log book, noticed that he caught walleyes at night in the shallows into August in past years. The fish still moved to shallows then, though herring were finished spawning by that time of year. Still, the current time of year was prime for the walleye fishing at night. Another trip with Dave with two anglers on Saturday tried for muskies on Echo Lake. Catching a musky, the fish of 10,000 casts, is never a guarantee, and none was hooked on the trip. No muskies were seen, and no follows were scored. In musky fishing, a follow is half the battle. That’s musky fishing, and the anglers said they knew what they were in for, Dave said. The anglers drilled a couple of smallmouth bass and a large yellow perch, so the trip wasn’t a complete loss, and the anglers had a good time, Dave said. That was during the heat wave, and the lake was brown and full of algae. Anglers fish for muskies because a catch can be the biggest of a lifetime. Dave on Tuesday competed in the Gone Fishing Bass Tournament with a friend on Greenwood Lake, though Dave hadn’t competed in some time. They managed six largemouths, not many, totaling 9 pounds, on Power Bait Tequila Sunrise 7-inch worms Texas-rigged. The winning weight was 19 pounds. Gone Fishing Bass Tournaments, on Greenwood Lake, are new and looking for anglers. Anglers can contact Norm Izzi at 973-998-1931 or Pete Planer at 973-479-9948. Dave believed they were going to hold two tournaments a month on the lake. Also, the friend Dave competed with said the <a href="http://www.northeastbassmasters.com/" target="_blank">Northeast Bassmasters</a>’ first open-buddy tournament will be held Saturday on Greenwood. Live to Fish Guide Service guides trips for trout, muskies, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleyes, crappies, chain pickerel, panfish, yellow perch, white perch, carp and more. Lakes fished include Greenwood Lake, Lake Hopatcong, Monksville Reservoir, Echo Lake, Mountain Lake and Furnace Lake. Rivers fished include the Flatbrook, Pequest, Paulinskill and Ramapo.
Two muskies were reported caught from the lake during the weekend, said Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong. Jim Bocchino beat a 43-inch 20-pounder, and Clint Myers pummeled a 47-incher. Both fish smacked livelined herring on light tackle by chance. Fishing was good on the lake, and several walleyes were weighed in: Gary Bruzaud’s 5-pound 7-ouncer, Bob Gilmore’s 4-pound 14-ouncer and Hunter Good’s 4-pound 5-ouncer. Hybrid striped bass to 8 pounds were swiped on live herring off the points, “with still some nighttime activity,” Laurie said. Bob Haggerty weighed in hybrids 7 pounds 4 ounces and 6 pounds 9 ounces. Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass 2 to 4 pounds jumped on lures and live bait. Chain pickerel to 3 pounds punched live herring or Mepps spinners. Good catches of crappies were jigged or landed on fathead minnows.
In a tournament on Swartswood Lake during the weekend, largemouth bass fishing wasn’t great, but all the anglers caught them, mostly on Senkos, said Nick from <b>Meltzer’s Sporting Goods</b> in Garfield. He competed in the event, losing a 6-pounder at boat side that would’ve made him win. He scored better on the bass when practicing on the lake a couple of weeks ago, landing two 4-pounders. Nick and Al from the shop on a trip at Greenwood Lake reeled in 20 largemouths 3 to 4 pounds, all from along the docks. A buddy was nabbing a few good-sized largemouths at Lake Musconetcong in very weedy waters on rubber frogs and rats. Frogs and rats or mice were reportedly knocking around largemouths in the weeds at Lake Hopatcong. A friend’s son was hammering walleyes at Hopatcong at night on trolled Shad Raps off the deep points. Hybrid striped bass were hitting at Hopatcong at night. The Passaic River was on fire with all different catches including smallmouth bass and northern pike. A couple of muskies were nailed on the river at Twin Bridges.
Eighteen fish, including six lake trout 19 to 21 inches and two rainbow trout 18 to 19 inches, were totaled on a trip Mike Roman took on Round Valley Reservoir two Sundays ago, Jody from <b>Lebanon Bait & Sport</b> said in an e-mail. On the previous day he pulled in 18 lakers and two rainbows from the reservoir in 2 hours. Art Berkman and friend tugged in three lakers to 21 inches from Round Valley. Art Bermann and friend fished Merrill Creek Reservoir, boating three lakers and a few brown trout. Steve Mastrian Sr. and Jr. put the brakes on three hybrid striped bass at Spruce Run Reservoir. Also at Spruce, Zach Merchant grabbed a 5-pound 2-ounce largemouth bass. Steve Welgoss, fishing Ho-Ho-Kus Brook, banked a healthy sized rainbow trout and quite a few sunnies. On the South Branch of the Raritan River at Three Bridges, one angler bailed six smallmouth bass, a largemouth, a brown trout and a couple of sunnies and had tons of blow ups, on a trip.
Lots of anglers smallmouth bass fished, said Braden from <b>Efinger Sporting Goods</b> in Bound Brook. On Raritan River at the second Route 287 Bridge downstream, smallmouth fishing slowed a little, and the fish were small, but were caught, on worms, minnows, Roostertails and Wooly Buggers. Rainbow trout were toggled in from Round Valley Reservoir at night on shiners, worms or cooked shrimp. Hybrid striped bass fishing was very good at night on Spruce Run Reservoir and Lake Hopatcong on top-water lures like Zara Spooks. Largemouth bass began to turn on at night at the different lakes, pouncing on rubber rats or frogs. Northern pike fishing was excellent on Passaic River, mostly on spinner baits or Dare Devils. Not much was heard about trout.
Heat took a toll on fishing, but a couple of boaters copped a few hybrid striped bass at Manasquan Reservoir on shiners drifted to the center, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. They also claimed a few crappies and smallmouth bass at the overflow in 18-foot depths on small, ¼-ounce jigs along bottom. That’s where waters were coolest and most productive. Chain pickerel were pasted on the Toms River upstream from the Parkway Bridge, near Trilco, the closed down building supply. Carp swam all over the river, directly off Trilco. No sign identifies the building as Trilco, but locals know the stretch by the name, near the Parkway. Anglers at Lake Riviera picked a few largemouth bass and crappies on shiners and killies. At Lake Horicon a few small pickerel 12 or 18 inches were kayaked on spinners. Picks there tend to be smaller, but the lake is cool cedar waters that help the fishing. Kids and families banged away at bluegills at Ocean County College Pond on nightcrawlers under bobbers. A few catfish, not many, could be scraped from the pond along bottom. Abundant turtles were bait stealers there. Shiners, killies and nightcrawlers are stocked.
Largemouth bass were turned on just about on all lakes and ponds, said Chris from <b>Harry’s Army and Navy</b> in Robbinsville. Lots of Senkos and spinner baits were sold for the fishing. The bigmouths started to respond well at night, too. Fishing for nearly everything from sunnies to catfish went well. Smallmouth bass fishing was good on Delaware River.
When Delaware River’s flow wasn’t high, plenty of smallmouth bass were socked from the waters on Mister Twisters on small jigs, said Tom P. from <b>Sportsmen’s Center</b> in Bordentown. Fly anglers Wooly Buggered them farther upstream around Frenchtown and Milford. Channel catfish 6 to 15 pounds, lots, prowled the river all the way up to Bulls Island. Chicken livers, Power Bait and dead shiners scarfed them up. Smallmouths went wild on the South Branch of the Raritan River around Neshanic and Three Bridges and parts of the North Branch. In South Jersey, lots of smallies were sacked from Union Lake and Lake Audrey. Trout fishing remained off the charts on North Jersey’s streams, and hardly anyone fished for them. Those who did usually fished the fly-only or conservation stretches. But Tom was hitting the rest of the rivers, pounding the fish. Waters including Musconetcong, Paulinskill and Pequest rivers put up trout. Fishing for walleyes and hybrid striped bass was great at night on Lake Hopatcong. Lots of largemouth bass were slugged from lakes including Hopatcong, Greenwood and Budd. Good fishing for northern pike was axed from Budd, too.
Lots of big catfish milled around Delaware River, and white perch, good-sized or 12 and 14 inches, schooled the river around West Deptford, said Rick from <b>Big Timber Bait & Tackle</b> in Brooklawn. Small, throwback striped bass could be found nearly anywhere along the river. They were popper-plugged in mornings or evenings or were clammed or bloodwormed. Largemouth bass were zinged on chatter baits, rubber frogs, other top-waters and spinner baits, and many anglers began to fish soft-plastic lures for them a lot. Newton Lake produced largemouths and crappies. Sand washes at Penns Grove, Greenwich Lake and the DOD ponds were some of the other waters known for largemouths. Big snakeheads, the invasive species, were fought on many waters. Snakeheads should be killed, but anglers started fishing for them. Big Timber stocks bait and tackle for fishing on all waters from lakes to offshore.
Union Lake turned out outstanding fishing for chain pickerel and good angling for a mix of largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Only a little was heard about Lake Audrey’s largemouths and smallmouths. Rainbow Lake gave up decent largemouthing. Rubber frogs walloped largemouths well. Other top-waters were also popular, and Senkos were a best seller for the bigmouth anglers.