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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 10-24-18

<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

Weather was becoming cold in past days, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. That dropped the river’s temperature into the 40 degrees, though the water was a little warmer Monday, when he gave this report. Still, steelhead fishing was alright on the river. His fishing for them that day, for example, was slow during the chilly morning but nailed seven of the fish that afternoon. Some of the steelheads have been big, weighing in the mid-teens. A 17-pounder and a 16-pounder were biggest for him and his guides so far this season. The river’s salmon fishing was pretty much finished. Most salmon spawned and died, though an occasional bit, and an occasional salmon fresh from Lake Ontario was seen. Steelheads were keyed-in on eggs from the salmon. So Jay’s trips caught on egg flies, another pattern named an Egg Beater, and egg-sucking-leach flies. The egg-sucking-leaches worked well. Steelheads swam throughout the river, but fishing for them was best on the lower river for Jay. Steelheads were gorged with salmon eggs in the upper river, making them reluctant to bite a hook. They were less gorged in the lower. The river ran ta 335 cubic feet per second at the dam, and somewhat higher downstream, because of runoff. The gauge at Pineville read about 400. The flow’s been stable, about the same this entire autumn. Spits of lake-effect sleet and rain fell. Jay’s season’s first fishing for brown trout is slated for the first of November farther west in upstate New York on waters like Oak Orchard River. These are huge browns, a chance to land a trophy, because they spend summer in the lake. Forage is more abundant in rivers in winter, so the trout winter in rivers. The trout also spawn in rivers in fall. The Oak currently held plenty of salmon and a few browns and rainbow trout. Waters were low in that area, because of lack of rain. The Oak was about the only that held enough water to fish. That caused abundant anglers to pressure it. Creeks in the area were too low. If too few browns migrate in by the first of November, he’ll probably continue fishing for steelheads instead. The brown-trout fishing only lasts until those waters freeze. Salmon River is a larger river and never completely freezes, and steelhead fishing lasts all winter there. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.


Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> from Montvale fished on two trips, one for trout on rivers by himself, and another on Lake Hopatcong with a father and daughter he guided, he said in a voicemail. For the trout, he fished Paulinskill and Pequest rivers. On each river, he landed one trout and lost another, totaling two landed and two lost. All the fish, all of them rainbow trout, were sizable, apparently big breeders from the fall stocking that just happened. One was dropping eggs. Both rivers ran high from rain, looking like April, and floating leaves made fishing the Paulinskill a little tough. Dave didn’t say what he used to catch, but he usually fishes lures, usually Rapala Countdowns in size 3, for this angling. High water is good for that, helping keep lures from fouling on bottom and debris like logs. The trip on Hopatcong cleaned up on white perch, one after another, a few sunfish and a couple of bullheads. The father and daughter seemed to enjoy all the action. The trip tried for hybrid striped bass but found none. That was Dave’s final trip on Hopatcong this year, because the lake was becoming too low to launch the boat, though the fishing should keep improving. The lake was being lowered for dock repairs like happens every so many years. He tried launching the boat at one ramp and couldn’t, because of low water, and successfully launched at another. Both ramps were mud now. 

Trout streams seemed a little high but good for fishing, said Don from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. But he wasn’t getting reports about good catches. He spoke with anglers who landed no trout in a trip. A customer who fishes Delaware River said fishing was great. Don saw him while Don was doing something else at the store, and asked the angler, how’s fishing, and the angler said great. So Don knew no details, including what fishing the angler was speaking about. But Don assumed the angler probably meant smallmouth bass fishing. Apparently the river was fishable after it was blown out and unfishable because of rain recently. Nobody mentioned fishing on Lake Hopatcong, and low water seemed to affect that. The lake was being lowered for dock repairs, and that might’ve discouraged anglers from fishing there. In saltwater, false albacore rammed into the surf and were hooked from Sandy Hook to Sea Bright on Monday. They’ve been abundant in that area, and plenty have been boated there on the ocean lately. Don saw photos of decent-sized striped bass boated from saltwater, mostly from New York waters.

Passaic River was “way up” near the store because of rain, said Larry from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. But fish were picked from the river, including smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and northern pike, at slow water or pools near shore. Trout fishing seemed decent on Ramapo River. Good reports came from there. Trout were also picked up from Rockaway River. Rain might’ve affected the rivers since. No reports were heard from lakes. Few anglers fished Lake Hopatong, he knew, because the water was being drained to a lower level for dock repairs. In saltwater, false albacore swarmed all over the North Jersey Coast. Porgies could be angled like crazy. Sea bass were around, but fishing for them seemed to need to work through lots of throwbacks. Blackfish seemed bagged here and there.

Trout fishing was good during the first couple of days of the fall stocking, said Virginia from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b> in Toms River. Then rain flooded trout streams. The water flooded into the trees on the Toms River. She fished the Toms Saturday and only caught a chain pickerel. But some anglers nabbed trout well on the Toms and Manasquan River. Pickerel seemed the most abundant fish biting at lakes and ponds. Largemouth bass could still be hooked from lakes, and anglers slowed presentations because of chillier water that slowed the metabolism of the fish. Lures like small jigs and swim baits were more popular than lures that had to be fished faster like spinner baits. Mostly jigs caught. Sometimes anglers cut rubber baits to trim them shorter to fish on jigs. Crappies were plucked from Manasquan Reservoir and Ocean County College Pond on small jigs and small killies. White perch were heard about from the Toms River at Trilco. Yellow perch are always around at some waters. Virginia no longer saw or heard about sunfish. Water seemed too cool. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Fishing was great for trout from the recent fall stocking, a report said on <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown’s Facebook page. One angler netted two breeders to 5 pounds at Oak Pond on Power Bait. The fall stocking features bigger trout than usual, including ones called breeders, mature, sizable trout that spawn in the water this season. Another angler scored a 4-pound trout on a Roostertail. Another reported decent largemouth bass fishing at Laurel Lake on nightcrawlers. Plenty of chain pickerel chomped at lakes. In saltwater, the fall migrations of baitfish schooled the coastline. Plenty of bluefish and occasional striped bass hit in the surf. Fishing for stripers was excellent along sod banks and bridges in back bays. Chuck soft-plastic or top-water lures to them at dawn or dusk. Sea bass fishing was good on the ocean “when the weather cooperates.”

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