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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 5-30-18


Two anglers jumped aboard to fish for walleyes at night Friday on Greenwood Lake with Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> from Montvale, Dave said. They plugged four of the fish 3 ½ to 5 ½ pounds on size-18 Original Floating Rapala Lures, mostly in a chartreuse top with a sliver bottom. That’s the biggest size of that lure, and the trips hunt walleyes with surface lures like that at night, when the walleyes push into shallows to feed on spawning herring this time of year. It’s good sport, and the fishing at night is interesting. Plus, walleyes are big and good-eating, a member of the perch family. The angler kept a couple to eat. The walleyes were pretty full of herring. They fished until 2 a.m., and on the next day, Dave joined an angler on the angler’s boat on Lake Hopatcong. The angler wanted to learn about the lake, so Dave tried to show him what Dave knew. They did some trolling and hooked a largemouth bass, a crappie and a pickerel. They saw balls of largemouth fry. So some of the lake’s bass spawned, and the fry were hatching. Largemouths are required to be released through June 15 for spawning. They saw a tremendous area of carp spawning. By noontime, boat traffic began to be crazy on that holiday weekend. Boat traffic is an issue on big, recreational lakes like this on weekends during the warm months. The traffic is less on weekdays, better for fishing. The traffic also disappears on the night trips for walleyes. At Greenwood, on Friday night’s trip, the main lake was 66 degrees. At Hopatcong on the next day’s trip, the main lake was 65 to 66 degrees, and the coves were 70. The walleye fishing should last into July, and was just beginning. Coming up, Dave will probably do more musky fishing than he’s done this season. He saw photos of muskies caught from Greenwood recently, and muskies are finished spawning.

Not a lot was heard about fishing because of weather, said Brian from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Weather was rough during this Memorial Day weekend. When anglers fished anyway, they caught. Flies were hatching on trout streams. One angler said every fly from Quill Gordons to Light Cahills hatched on the South Branch of the Raritan River. A variety of flies seemed to hatch on different streams. Trout streams ran high because of rain. Largemouth bass were hooked on Lake Hopatcong on Senko rubber worms and Keitech soft-plastic baits. Few details were heard. Release largemouths by law through June 15 for spawning.

Pequest and Musconetcong rivers were absolutely loaded with trout, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. No giant trout were weighed-in, but fishing for trout was great on streams including those. Striped bass fishing became terrific on Delaware River at Belvidere, where the Pequest enters the Delaware. The stripers weren’t huge but were 24 to 28 inches, and Keith thinks bigger might arrive. The stripers were hooked on live shiners and herring. They were also hooked on trout bought from the store. Keith thought that high, muddy water this spring might’ve kept the striper fishing from lighting up.  But it didn’t. Fishing for hybrid striped bass was super at Spruce Run Reservoir on livelined herring. Herring are schooling. One angler tackled largemouth bass at Oxford Lake every day on baby nightcrawlers. Let largemouths go through June 15, required by law because of spawning.

The lake’s fishing was pretty good last week, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> wrote in an email. Lots of hybrid striped bass swiped livelined herring and, at night, Bomber lures. Walleyes hit the same things. Off the yacht club on Bertand’s Island and off Bed Bug Island were good places for the fishing. So were Davis Cove and Byram Cove. A few trout were trolled on Phoebes or caught on small, livelined herring. Pete Pantelis weighed-in a 3-pound 2-ounce rainbow trout. Lots of yellow perch and some crappies nibbled small jigs, worms or fathead minnows. Ethan Orlando reeled a 3-pound 2-ounce pickerel from the lake while fishing with dad. The Knee Deep Club will hold a tournament for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass on Sunday, June 24, on the lake. Cash will be awarded.

Kayakers caught rather well on Passaic River, said Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. They winged northern pike and smallmouth bass, and the river ran high. Smallmouth bass and largemouth bass must be let go through June 15 for spawning. Lake Hopatcong fished normally for spring, including producing largemouths and walleyes. Chain pickerel fishing was supposedly phenomenal on Hopatcong, though anglers usually target other species. Largemouths bit at the Ramapo Reservation. Walleyes were hit from Monksville Reservoir. Landlocked salmon were angled from Lake Waywayanda. Greenwood Lake produced catches. Joe wasn’t asked the species the lake produced.

<b>South Jersey</b>

Lots of customers fished freshwater during this Memorial Day weekend, said Abby from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b> in Toms River. Many fished for largemouth bass at lakes with Senko rubber worms and with rubber frogs. Lots targeted catfish at lakes with nightcrawlers or killies. Abundant worms were sold for kids who angled lots of sunfish and crappies. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Most customers fished saltwater during the holiday weekend, said Jason from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. They got after summer flounder and black drum. The flounder fishing was good on back bays. The drum fishing was also good, if anglers could obtain fresh clams that were scarce. That’s the favorite bait for the drum. In freshwater, largemouth bass might still be spawning. But they’ve been hooked throughout the spawn. The shop reported the catches including on rubber Senko worms, lizards and crawfish previously. The bass are required to be released through June 15 for spawning.

Fishing was excellent at local lakes and ponds last week, a report said on <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown’s Facebook page. One angler bailed six largemouth bass and four pickerel at Wilson Lake on Senko rubber worms. The law requires largemouths to be tossed back through June 15 because of spawning. Another who fished Wilson picked up three pickerel to 4 pounds. Malaga Lake put out two pickerel on the shop’s minnows for a 10-year-old. Malaga produced a 21-inch pickerel and three largemouths on Ribbit Frogs for another angler. An angler who fished Franklinville Lake let go two largemouths to 4 pounds on minnows. Bridgeton’s Sunset Lake gave up two largemouths and some crappies and catfish on nightcrawlers for another angler. Someone who fished the Maurice River reported catching catfish to 5 pounds on nightcrawlers.

Not much was heard about freshwater fishing, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Reports sounded like largemouth bass were in a post-spawn funk at lakes. But some were reeled in, including on Senko worms and other soft-plastic baits. Plenty of chain pickerel were on a tear at lakes. A couple of customers beat them up at the Menantico Ponds. Sunnies and bluegills always turn out lots of catches at lakes by this time of year. The water warmed enough. In saltwater, catches included striped bass, including good-sized, from South Jersey’s surf. Summer flounder fishing sounded good on back bays when flounder season first opened Friday. The fishing might’ve become a little tougher as the holiday weekend went on. But lots of flounder held in back bays. Black drum fishing was great on Delaware Bay.

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