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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 5-16-18

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Salmon River</b>

Fishing was terrific for drop-back steelheads on Salmon River, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. Those are steelheads that spawned in the river and are returning to Lake Ontario to spend summer. The river’s flow dropped to 350 cubic feet per second, and the water warmed to the mid to upper 50 degrees. The steelheads were on the feed and strong, running a fly down, hitting hard and fighting. Jay had to check whether one angler was still in his boots when a steelhead hit! he joked. The flow was a good level for fishing for the time of year, and is usually at 185, the summer minimum, at this time of season. The fish were “comfortable,” and the river could be drift-boated when Jay wanted. Trips covered water and swung streamer flies quartered across current at mid-depth on sinking tips. Size-4 brown-and-copper wooly buggers worked well. Olive woolys caught. So did a black-and-white Intruder that Jay fishes, and a fly he calls a “black mess,” a black pattern with a little pink. Trips will fish for steelheads at least another week or two with Jay. Once most of the fish return to the lake, he fishes for trout on streams through summer. Trout streams began to fish well, and some dry-fly fishing was underway. Hendricksons hatched, and some blue-winged olives and caddis began to come off. 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> trolled a lake trout and a rainbow trout at Round Valley Reservoir on a trip Sunday, he wrote in an email. He also lost a laker and a rainbow that were hooked one after the other. He was reeling in one when the other bit, and had one rod in hand, the other between his legs. “I like that kind of pandemonium,” he said. The trip’s fish were hooked on a size-11, jointed Rapala in orange and gold, and a Rapala Husky Jerk in clown color. The water was 56 degrees, and rain fell throughout the trip.

Fishing for trout wasn’t bad on streams, said Don from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. The streams ran high, and torrential rain fell for the past hour when he gave this report last evening. One of the crew from the shop banked a 22-inch trout and some smaller on a trip somewhere in Mendham on pink Trout Magnets. Don didn’t know exactly where. Delaware River’s shad fishing seemed to be slowing down, but still produced. A customer who fishes for them at Dingman’s Ferry from shore said the fishing began to slow there. Another customer winged crappies and perch at Lake Hopatcong on the Jefferson side. Another tied into walleyes at the state park at night while fishing from shore.

Lot of big trout came from streams, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. One kid fished Pequest River and pasted an 8-pound rainbow trout in the evening and a 7-pounder the next morning, both on Phoebes. Another angler hung a 29-incher from the Pequest. A few 6-pound trout were seen from Musconetcong River at the store. Trout were hooked on a variety of lures and bait. Delaware River’s shad fishing produced fewer of the catches than before but still steadily caught. Customers fished for the shad at Belvidere and the Poxono boat launch. Spruce Run Reservoir’s fishing really picked up for a whole variety of catches. Hybrid striped bass began to attack  there. Crappies and largemouth bass bit well at the impoundment. Release the largemouths through June 15 by law for spawning. Largemouths were moving into shallows and spawning. Largemouths and a couple of muskies, not huge, 32 inches, were heard about that were caught at Oxford Furnace Lake.

Several sizable fish were weighed from the lake at <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong, Laurie wrote in an email. They included hybrid striped bass and walleyes, and livelined herring caught them best. The hybrids included Dan McErlean’s good-sized ones that weighed up to a 7-pound 14-ouncer, Marcin Puzio’s 8-pound 7-ouncer and Kenny Stelmack’s 8-pounder. Jerry Freeman stopped in with a 5-pound 14-ounce walleye. Joe Orlando trolled a walleye, his first-ever, that weighed 6 pounds 3 ounces. That fish smacked a jointed Bomber at Great Cove. The store is stocked with lures for top-water plugging for walleyes that will be popular soon. Those include Bombers, Creek Chub Knuckleheads and Cotton Cordell Redfins. Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass is limited to catch and release through June 15 for spawning, but several-good-sized were reported angled. Chain pickerel were fought along weed lines on trolled Mepps spinners or stick baits. Lots of yellow perch and some crappies were nabbed in shallows. Knee Deep Club will hold a panfish tournament Sunday on the lake. That’s a point-based contest for five categories: sunfish, rock bass, yellow and white perch and crappies. Money will be awarded for the three anglers with the most points.

Two anglers worked the Toms River for trout, one catching two, the other banking one, said Dennis from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b> in the town of Toms River. Not a lot of customers fished for trout. Farther downstream on the river, chain pickerel, some white perch and a couple of yellow perch bit. Fishing for largemouth bass began to improve at lakes in warming water. Let the bass go through June 15 by law for spawning, and the bass were in pre-spawn. A few were released at Pine Lake Park. One angler who fished Lake Riviera reeled in three largemouths and a catfish.  Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Delaware River’s striped bass fishing slowed, said Jason from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. Largemouth bass were spawning, and must be released through June 15 because of that. But they bit. Good catches of them were played, often on rubber worms like Senkos and rubber lizards and crawfish. Lizards are popular when the bass are on spawning beds. The baits can attract a reaction bite, the largemouths trying to remove a threat that might eat the eggs. A few anglers tangled with snakeheads, the invasive species, at Mantua Creek. The government asks anglers to kill snakeheads. The fish can grow big, like 3 feet long, and fight aggressively. Top-water lures including frogs are often fished for snakeheads. Trout fishing slowed. In saltwater, a buddy boated two small black drum on Delaware Bay on Sunday. Customers kept gearing up for bluefishing at the shore.

Largemouth bass, chain pickerel, crappies and more gave up good fishing, a report said on <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown’s Facebook page. Toss the bass back through June 15, according to law, because of spawning. One angler tugged a mix of largemouths, picks and bluegills from Wilson Lake on a Rapala lure. Another scooped up a mix of pickerel, yellow perch and catfish from Woodbury Lake on nightcrawlers. A 4-pound largemouth was socked at Oak Pond on a Senko worm. An angler fishing Grenloch Lake rustled up two trout and two crappies.

Largemouth bass were the hot ticket, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. They turned out good fishing and must be let go through June 15 for spawning by law. They were kind of coming off the spawn, and might go through another round on the next full moon, Steve thought. Usual places served up the good fishing for the bass, like Parvin and Union lakes. At Union, smallmouth bass were also mugged, and smallmouths must also be released through that date for the same reason. For the largemouths, rubber Senko worms, lizards and creature baits were popular. Trout fishing was winding down, and a couple of customers still fished for them. A few striped bass were still angled on Delaware River, and the fishing was no longer peaking. In saltwater, black drum started biting in Delaware Bay, and bluefish moved in at places like the surf and back bays at Atlantic City, Corson’s Inlet or back waters at Sea Isle City. They might’ve been more scattered than in recent years. Anglers began to prepare for the opening of summer flounder season on May 25.

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