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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 4-25-18


Delaware River’s striped bass fishing was reportedly improving near Commodore Barry Bridge, <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia’s Facebook page said yesterday. Catches included a 41-pounder, and good-sized were also reported from farther upstream, from Philly airport to Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. Bloodworms, bunker and clams caught most. From New Jersey, the river’s striper fishing is currently closed from Salem River to Trenton for spawning. Anglers release them, and certain circle hooks are required. Pennsylvania’s regulations are different. The river’s shad fishing was improving from Trenton to Lambertville. “Reports of several fish being caught on recent trips (there),” it said.


Shad began to be angled from Delaware River locally beginning last weekend, said Andy from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. The fishing went pretty well and seemed to hook only males. He heard about no roes, and anglers will see how much today’s rain raises the river. Trout fishing was okay on streams. Big Flatbrook, where most customers fish for trout, flowed at a good level for fishing, was in good shape. The Flatbrook had run high and came back down. Rain today might raise the stream. Customers were yet to fish lakes much this season. 

The boat was being serviced, so Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> from Montvale waded a trout stream Sunday, totaling 17 of the fish plugged, he wrote in an email. The fish included this lunker, and he lost an even bigger. All the fish were nabbed on Rapala Countdown lures in size 3 in blue-and-silver and rainbow trout color. Although Dave said he did this fishing because the boat was being serviced, he does often guide trips that fish for trout on streams with lures in spring. The fishing is fun, effective and can attract big trout. Plenty of water usually fills streams in spring, and that’s conducive to the lure fishing, helping to keep the plugs from fouling on debris like logs. The water usually becomes too low in summer to fall. In low water, fly-fishing can be most effective.

Hendricksons hatched on trout streams, said Brian from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. All trout anglers who reported fishing the streams caught on Hendrickson flies, and caught well. The trout streams had run high and were coming down. Maybe rain today would raise them. In Delaware River, the shad migration seemed to reach upstream of the Water Gap. Customers geared up for the angling and landed the shad. Bass fishing seemed to begin picking up on Lake Hopatcong because of warming water. Both largemouth bass and smallmouth bass must be released through June 15 for spawning. Walleye fishing sounded good at Swartswood Lake. Fishing for walleyes is limited to catch-and-release in March and April for spawning. In saltwater, striped bass fishing seemed to keep improving on Raritan Bay for boaters and shore anglers. Any stripers biting in the ocean surf? More bit in the bay’s surf, one of the crew from the store told Brian.

Excellent turnouts showed up for the Knee Deep Club’s trout tournament and pickerel tournament Sunday on the lake, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Those were two separate contests that the club held that day. Winners and their fish and prizes from the trout contest were: Kenny Jastrzebski, 3-pound 7-ounce rainbow, first place, $472; Krzysztof Bak, 3-pound 2-ounce brown, second place, $283; and Lou Marcucci, 2-pound 15-ounce brown, third place, $236. Lou was in the bonus plan that earned him more money than if he hadn’t been. Winners in the pickerel contest were: Greg White, 3-pound 14-ouncer, first place; Rich Everett, 3-pound 13-ouncer, second place; and Dennis Upp, 3-pound 11-ouncer, third place. Laurie’s email listed none of the prize money that the pickerel entrants won. In both tournaments, fourth through sixth places won gift cards to Dick’s Sporting Goods. Knee Deep’s next tournament will be for walleyes May 5 and 6 on the lake. Crappies bit in the lake in shallows on fathead minnows and Rufus jigs.

Lakes or ponds like Verona Park Lake seemed to fish best for trout, said Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Anglers seemed to have difficulty catching trout from streams because streams ran high. Passaic River ran high near the shop, not into the parking lot, but difficult to fish or unfishable. Catches from the river can include northern pike, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass. Both species of bass must be released through June 15 for spawning.  Nothing was heard about bass fishing from places like Lake Hopatcong. A couple of bass tournaments were held at Candlewood Lake in Connecticut, Joe knew. The fishing seemed feast or famine, he said, and most anglers seemed not to score well because of cold water. Tournament anglers from New Jersey sometimes fish Candlewood this time of year because of Jersey’s bass fishing that’s limited to catch-and-release this time of season.

Lots of shiners were sold during the weekend at <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b> in Toms River, Dennis said. Many customers freshwater-fished, and customers showed up to buy killies while Dennis gave this report in a phone call. A couple of customers headed to Manasquan Reservoir, only catching crappies, no largemouth bass, because of cold water. Release largemouths through June 15 by law for spawning. A few largemouths were landed at Pine Lake at Pine Lake Park. That water’s shallower, making the lake warmer. A few tiny bass and mostly crappies were angled at Lake Riviera. Some fished the Toms River at Trilco, fighting pickerel. Trilco is a closed building supply. No sign identifies the building, but locals know the stretch by the name, located near Garden State Parkway. Some reported reeling up a few trout at Metedeconk and Manasquan rivers. All trout baits are stocked. No white perch were reported from Forge Pond yet. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Many striped bass hit up and down Delaware River from Penns Grove to Tacony-Palmyra Bridge, said Jason from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. The fish included lots of big. Lots of big were reported Saturday and Sunday. Mostly bloodworms hooked the river’s stripers, and striper fishing is closed on the Delaware from Salem River to Trenton this time of year. But anglers release them. Certain types of circle hooks are required for the fishing. Largemouth bass seemed in pre-spawn and reluctant to bite in lakes. Largemouth fishing is limited to catch-and-release through June 15 for spawning. A few places kept giving up trout, decent catches, including Harrisonville Lake and Schadler’s Pond.

Fishing was good last week, <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown’s Facebook page said. Largemouth bass, pickerel and trout were tugged from lakes. Largemouth fishing is limited to catch-and-release for spawning through June 15. One angler let go a 6-pound 3-ounce largemouth that smashed a Strike King KVD Sexy Shad crank bait. The page named no location for that catch. Another angler whacked pickerel to 3 pounds at Franklinville Lake on Rooster Tails. The page listed a number of trout catches, including a limit from Iona Lake on meal worms, four trout that another angler totaled at Grenloch Lake on PowerBait, and a 20-inch rainbow that someone took from Grenloch. One angler bloodwormed and released three striped bass to 26 inches on Delaware River. Stripers are required to be released this time of year on the local Delaware, and certain circle hooks are required. Another angler bagged a 44-pound 37-inch striper from Delaware Bay at Madhorse Creek on a bloodworm. That was apparently a catch from shore.

Lots more anglers fished recently in better weather, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Fishing for largemouth bass, restricted to catch-and-release through June 15 for spawning, was spotty at best. But when the bass were angled, chatter baits nailed them well. The bass began to hold in shallower water than before in warming water. Some good reports, pretty darn good, actually, about crappie fishing rolled in from Elmer Lake and Malaga Lake. Many customers fished for trout, buying lots of PowerBait, Mice Tails and Roostertails. The fishing was good, holding up, at Giampetro Park Pond, South Vineland Park Pond and Iona Lake. Steve heard little about striped bass fishing in saltwater along South Jersey’s coast. He mostly heard about small stripers hooked from Delaware and Maurice rivers, including small that anglers tied into while white perch fishing on rivers like the Maurice. No bluefish were heard about yet. Saltwater anglers are waiting for the bluefish migration to slam the coast.

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