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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 4-11-18

<b>NEW YORK</b>

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

A stable, cold weather pattern continued, so water was cold, and that made steelheads crabby or grumpy, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. Cold water made them sluggish, and trips worked to get three to six steelheads to bite in a day. Twelve or fifteen usually chase a hook in a day this time of year. But weather is supposed to become warmer this week, and that might help. When the water warms to the 40 degrees, from temperatures currently in the 30s, the fishing will take off. The best fishing will happen quickly. Water in the 40s will also trigger steelheads to spawn. Spawning usually would be peaking currently in western, upstate New York rivers and streams that Jay fishes around Rochester. So spawning was a little late there. Water levels were probably dropping and becoming clearer on those rivers and streams. Two hours to the east in upstate New York, Salmon River ran high, at 1,500 cubic feet per second, and cold, and that’s typical for this time of season. The Salmon was in the mid to upper 30 degrees, kind of that crabby, grumpy temperature, he said. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides. 


Fishing for smaller striped bass picked up on Delaware River, a report said Friday on <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia’s website. Ten- to 20-inchers, many, were bloodwormed from the river from the Philly airport to Delaware Bay that week. A few small were heard about that bit farther upstream at Trenton that week. Striper fishing is closed on the Delaware in New Jersey from Salem River to Calhoun Street Bridge in Trenton in April and May for spawning. Anglers release them, and certain circle hooks are required by law. Pennsylvania’s regs are different, and be familiar with the laws if doing this fishing. Shad fishing was great last week on the river from Trenton to Lambertville. Fishing the right spot was key. Someone reported tying into the year’s first shad at Milford two weeks ago on the river. Good walleye fishing for 14- to 21-inchers came from the river at Lambertville and Lumberville last week. Walleye fishing was also good on Schuylkill River near the art museum then. Plenty of other details and locations were included in the report.


Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> socked 19 rainbow trout and lost two big ones on a river Sunday, he wrote in an email. That was the second day of trout season, and all were hooked on Rapala Countdown lures in size 3. He fished the lures in both blue-and-silver, and rainbow trout color. Dave usually fishes for trout on streams with Countdowns. On this trip, he also tried a Rebel Tracdown Minnow but didn’t prefer how that lure fished. It spun in swift current, and wouldn’t “get down” like a Countdown. One of the trout he lost leapt from the water, and Dave saw the size. Then it got off. The other was hooked and just spit the hook. The trip’s trout were an intensely reddish color because of cold water. Dave’s now open for business, and began receiving calls. He expects to keep plugging for trout on streams. He also expects to fish lakes for crappies, bass and whatever else bites once lakes warm and boat ramps begin opening on lakes. Dave fishes for trout with lures every spring on streams. The angling’s fun, effective and can attract big trout. In spring, streams are usually high enough to fish lures, helping to keep them from fouling on debris like logs. The water level usually becomes too low for lures in summer and fall.

“It’s cold,” said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna yesterday. But weather is supposed to warm this week. Trout season opened Saturday, and conditions were alright, not great, on trout streams. They ran high and cold, but a few trout were nabbed, including on butter worms and Phoebes. Weather was supposed to become warmer and warmer today through Saturday, so Kevin’s thinking that should be good for fishing by Saturday. A few perch and crappies were plucked from Lake Hopatcong, but again, the water was cold. When more of the fish begin biting when water warms, the angling will probably become good quickly. The fishing could be lit up next week. A few largemouth bass had been winged from lakes during the couple of warm days in February. Not much seemed doing with the bass since. Currently, all fishing was almost in late-winter mode. Customers bought darts to fish for shad on Delaware River, and the shad migration seemed to swim the river, but the water seemed too cold for them to bite much. The river last week also ran high. The warm front beginning today was probably going to generally amp up fishing by the weekend and next week, it seemed.

Was a good opening weekend of trout season, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. Reports were typical of the opener: Some anglers complained about catching none, and some said they bailed the trout. Some good-sized were seen that were landed. Customers fished for trout including on Pequest, Musconetcong and South Branch of the Raritan rivers and Pohatcong Creek. Trout were hooked on butter worms, baby nightcrawlers and super meal worms. But some were angled on lures like Rapala Countdowns and Panther Martin spinners. Someone who volunteered for trout stocking said that if anglers don’t’ catch trout, that’s not because not enough of the fish were stocked. He helped stock the Musconetcong and said loads of the fish were stocked. Weather was rough during the opening weekend and the next days, but at least snow didn’t fall on Saturday that was forecast. Not a lot of people fished because of the weather, but Keith expects business and fishing to be hopping in the next days, because of warm weather that’s coming. This week was all about trout, and not much other fishing. Someone bought shiners from the store to try for pike and muskies at Spruce Run Reservoir. Delaware River’s shad fishing will blow open this weekend if a couple of days reach the 70 degrees this week, Keith thinks. Shad are in the river, and the water is 45 degrees. If the river reaches 50, they’ll bite. Largemouth bass were picked up here and there at ponds, mostly on swim baits. Ponds only need one sunny, warm day to raise the water temperature 2 or 3 degrees and get the bass chewing. Fishing for crappies, a cold-water fish, should be good everywhere that holds them.

When is spring coming? asked Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook.  Water was cold in cool weather, but fish were somewhat active. A bunch of customers trout fished, mostly at Verona Park Lake, and caught. But weather kept more from fishing. At Verona, trout were mostly taken on bait like salmon eggs. The fish might’ve been too sluggish in cold water to chase lures like spinners. But bait caught. Trout streams ran high. Passaic River near the shop ran high but not into the parking lot. A couple of customers kayaked smallmouth bass on the Passaic, taking their time, looking for holes. Largemouth bass anglers often bought 2- and 4-inch Keitech swim baits. The baits worked on the bass at lakes. Cheryl woke up to snow about three times in the past week. A dusting fell yesterday, and that was April 10. But fish were active, began to be. They weren’t “dead.”

Trout fishing was on fire at Spring Lake, said Dennis from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b> in Toms River. Trout season opened Saturday, and trout at the lake included big monsters. Shark River Surf Anglers stock trout, including big, at the lake each year for a contest on opening day of trout season. That’s in addition to New Jersey stocking the lake. Trout fishing might’ve been a little slow in mornings at the lake, but it was pretty terrific by mid-day. On the Toms River, some anglers banked trout, and some didn’t. Trout Magnets probably fished best there. Trout fishing was slow on Metedeconk River, and is always tough there. Other freshwater fishing was mostly slow in cold water. Crappies, pickerel and a few yellow perch were yanked in. Trout supplies are stocked including baby nightcrawlers and meal worms. Baits stocked for other fishing include shiners and killies. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Some throwback striped bass and a few bigger mixed in were slid from Delaware River, said Jason from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. The bigger ones – several caught here and there – seemed to show up beginning last week on Tuesday. Reports about the fish came from Elsinboro to National Park at Beach Hill Road, and not really from farther upstream. Jason saw a photo of a 38-incher that was landed Monday. A customer, when Jason was giving this report in a phone call yesterday, reported reeling in a 44-incher from the river near the DOD ponds on Friday. Striper fishing is closed on the river from Salem River to Trenton this time of year for spawning, but anglers release them. Certain circle hooks are required for the fishing by law. Be familiar with regulations. Mostly bloodworms caught, and bloods and lugworms, similar to bloodworms, are stocked. Harrisonville Lake and Iona Lake seemed the places to fish for trout since trout season opened Saturday. Someone said only about 15 were managed at Greenwich Lake on the opener, though lots of anglers fished for trout at the lake that day. A 2-1/2-pound 16-incher from Schadler’s Pond won the store’s trout tournament. Customers concentrated on stripers and trout, and little was heard about other fishing.

Angelo Teti from Elk Township picked off four largemouth bass at Malaga Lake on a Mepps Comet Mino, said Mike from <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown. Rex Davis subdued four at Union Lake on a Senko rubber worm. Jody and Beth Crenshaw from Pitman also racked up largemouths, three of them to 3 pounds at Parvin Lake on a Swim Senko. Also reporting largemouths, Eric Fordyce from Mantua copped two to 2 pounds at Elmer Lake on a KVD crank bait. Jason Ottavio from Franklinville reported catching a big pickerel, a 4-pound 9-ouncer, at Collins Lakes on a Storm Wildeye Swim Shad in Baby Bass color. Another angler hung four trout at Harrisonville Lake.

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