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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 3-21-18

<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

Steelhead fishing was kind of stalled, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. Weather was cold, and in western, upstate New York’s rivers and streams or creeks, near Rochester, the fish were “crabby.” The water was cold, low and clear. The fish think this is still January, he said, and he doesn’t expect much to change until weather warms. That said, weather will warm soon, snow will melt, waters will rise and that should be good for the angling. Trips caught, but had to work for the catches. Trips during the weekend picked steelheads here and there, including large, with him. He was going to fish next today. Salmon River, though, was raised to 750 cubic feet per second, from 500 before, and that could help quickly. A flow of 500 can fish well, but so can 750, and the raised water can cause steelheads to be more active. The Salmon is two hours east in upstate New York.  The same flies as before hooked steelheads. In the western New York waters, egg flies worked well, and sometimes streamers connected. On the Salmon, stoneflies scored on the upper river, and streamers did on the lower. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides. Jay recently posted an update on his <a href="http://blog.jaypeckguides.com/" target="_blank"><b>blog</b></a>. Check it out for more perspective.


Five anglers reported fighting shad from Delaware River at Trenton last week, Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia wrote in a report on the shop’s website. The water was cold at 39 degrees, but they picked off three to eight apiece on shad darts and spoons. The fish were 2- to 3-pound bucks, and two different groups of anglers whacked walleyes from the river farther upstream at Lambertville on minnows, shiners and nightcrawlers. Each group caught five to eight apiece, and another angler trolled 11 walleyes in three trips at Bull’s Island on the river on Wally Divers. Three of the walleyes were larger than 20 inches. The river ran high last week, so some of the anglers fished from bigger bass boats. A few 15- to 20-inch striped bass were plugged from the river at Trenton on crank baits. Farther downstream, a few small stripers were hooked among white perch and catfish near Rancocas Creek. Near the store, the river was cold and “rough,” Bill wrote. From this lower stretch of the river, he heard about a few 12- to 15-inch stripers and some catfish that were bloodwormed near Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. One angler reported bloodworming all his stripers south of the Philly Airport on the river. Quite a number of 12- to 18-inch stripers were nabbed downstream from the Commodore Barry Bridge. Bill wished the cold, snowy, windy weather would end. The river’s striper fishing will kick off quickly with a little good weather.  A few anglers copped fair fishing for largemouth bass on the river including at Dredge Harbor and Tullytown Cove. Good numbers of sizable carp came from Schuylkill River from Gray’s Ferry to Gladwyne. Plenty of other details and locations were covered in the report. 


Nobody fished since last week’s storm, said Alex from <b>Stokes Forest Sports Shop</b> in Sandyston. Locally, that was a snowstorm, and another snowstorm was forecast for today. Before the last storm, walleye fishing was good on Delaware River. Anglers said the walleyes included 20-inchers and a few 24-inchers. Seven-and-a-half-inch, chartreuse Culprit rubber worms lit into them on chartreuse or orange jig heads bounced along bottom. Rapala jerk baits also beaned the fish. Trout fishing had been good on Big Flatbrook. The Flatbrook currently ran a little high. Many trout waters became closed to fishing beginning Monday for stocking, and will be reopened April 7, opening day of trout season.

Cold and ice along waters kept many customers from fishing, said John from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. A nor’easter, the fourth in three weeks, was supposed to dump a substantial amount of snow today. One customer on Monday reported angling trout on Pequest River. Many trout waters became closed to fishing beginning Monday for stocking. Fishing for yellow perch and crappies usually picks up after ice-out on lakes. Anglers talked about that fishing when weather was warmer a moment, but that talk dried up when weather became cold again. People will jump on that fishing as soon as weather improves. Another angler during the weekend reported nabbing small striped bass on Raritan Bay from shore, and saw bunker in the water.

Muskies were pounded from lakes, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. He knew about three or four, including a couple of big, that were bashed from Furnace Lake in the past 10 days. Two big ones, like 35 pounds apiece, were hung from Lake Hopatcong. All these muskies were busted on lures, not on bait. Trout fishing was very good at Round Valley Reservoir from shore, because the Round Valley Trout Association stocked a mess of trout there Sunday. All different species were reportedly stocked, and a customer reported talking a big palomino and a brown. Anglers were catching on nightcrawlers that they blew air into with Lindy Worm Blowers that the store stocks. They fished the worms on a leader behind an egg sinker with a hole in the middle that the line goes through. The air floats the worm up off bottom a little, behind the sinker. A few customers fished for trout on streams on Sunday, before many trout waters like that were closed beginning Monday for stocking. They seemed to catch alright, and weather was relatively good on Sunday, between rough weather on most days. Customers headed to Spruce Run Reservoir to fish a couple of times. One reported catching hybrid striped bass Saturday in shallow water near the shore. Hybrids gather in shallows like 2 or 3 feet for warmer water this time of year at Spruce. Other customers bought shiners to fish for walleyes on Delaware River, but no results were heard. People claimed shad migrated to the river but refused to bite in cold water.  The Pequest Trout Hatchery Open House and Sportsmen’s Flea Market is postponed to the weekend of June 2 and 3 because of the snowstorm. That was originally slated for this coming Saturday and Sunday. Kids can fish the pond there for free during the event, Keith thought, and the pond is loaded with huge trout.

Anglers reeled walleyes from Delaware River at Dingman’s Ferry last week, said Larry from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. They threw rubber tails like Mister Twisters on small jigheads like 1/8-ounce. Nothing was heard about fishing since because of weather. A pile of snow was forecast locally in today’s storm.

Chain pickerel and crappies were picked up from lakes during the weekend, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. A couple of customers reported that. Forge Pond was a place that gave up pickerel. Fishing slowed at Ocean County College Pond because of cold water. A few crappies bit there, and that’s about all. A few trout were tugged from Lake Shenandoah that were held-over from previous stocking. Shiners, killies, nightcrawlers and bloodworms are stocked. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Throwback striped bass to 26 inches were nabbed from Delaware River, but the migration of big stripers was yet to give up catches from the river, said Jason from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. That spawning migration should arrive any moment, and usually already arrives by now. A little fishing for crappies was about the only angling on lakes that was heard about.  Snow was falling at the shop when Jason gave this report yesterday morning. That would turn into ice that fell later in the day, and the storm today and yesterday was actually two different, consecutive nor’easters. Today’s was supposed to bring inches of snow. Jason hoped this was the last of these wintry storms for this time of year.

Anything to report? “I wish there was,” said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Been pretty dead, he said. Nothing was heard about striped bass from saltwater or brackish water either.  Large stripers should be heard about soon that migrate up Delaware Bay to Delaware River to spawn. Previously, white perch anglers sometimes ran into small stripers in brackish rivers. Those were younger stripers that live in those waters until they begin to migrate seasonally. But nothing was reported about white perch fishing lately because of weather. Anglers are “itching” to fish, though, he said.

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