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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 8-29-18

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Salmon River</b>

The river’s salmon migration will begin at 6 a.m. Saturday, Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b> said! Don’t laugh, he said. Salmon were already trickling into the river, water levels and temperatures were normal, and an annual release of water from the dam is expected this weekend. That release usually raises the river from a summertime mean level of 185 cubic feet per second – the current level – to a fall mean level of 335. He expects the river to rise to 335 at midnight Friday and 750 on Saturday, and then drop back down on Sunday until a flow of 335 on Monday. He’s got a group of anglers coming Saturday that fish that first larger shot of salmon each year. The higher water, 750, usually triggers a slug of salmon to migrate into the river from Lake Ontario for that day or so. By Monday, the migration will probably be back to a few of the fish heading in, biting mostly in mornings, and the number should increase for two weeks. By mid-month, fishing for the salmon should be game on. The salmon migrate to the river to spawn in late summer to early fall. The river’s salmon are mostly Chinooks, also called kings, and a few Cohos. Jay was headed to the river yesterday to begin focusing on the fishing, after trout fishing previously on streams. He talked with one of his guides who saw salmon in the river including at Pineville and the Trestle. That’s upstream, and the guide talked with people who hooked an occasional salmon there. Farther downstream at the Douglaston Salmon Run, 10 to 20 salmon were landed per day. The fishing was just getting started. The river ran at 300 CFS at Douglaston. Some rain fell and raised the water. Salmon were staged in Lake Ontario off the mouth of the river, getting ready to shoot in. The river was low, and weather’s been dry, but that’s not unusual in late summer. Weather was hot when Jay gave this report this week. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.


Delaware River began to recede, and quite a few catfish were tugged from the water, said Andy from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. Chicken livers and dough baits were fished for them. The water was a little high, but not bad, and a few smallmouth bass were also reeled from the river. Tackle fished for them includes Rapala Countdown Lures. Not a lot of anglers tried for the smallmouths, apparently because many assumed the river was still very high from rain like previously. But the water receded quite a bit. While receding water was good for the Delaware’s fishing, it made Big Flatbrook awfully low for trout fishing, though that’s normal for summer. Maybe if flies like midges were fished, an angler could pull a couple of trout from the Flatbrook. That’s the popular trout stream locally. High water previously made the Flatbrook fishable for the trout, though that’s unusual in summer.

Fishing was slow in warm water, said Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> from Montvale. On one trip, the full moon seemed to make fishing slow. That was at night on Lake Hopatcong. Nothing bit. On another trip this past week, Dave trolled for trout at Round Valley Reservoir with friend and outdoor writer Lou Martinez. Nothing bit, and Dave was sure that the leadcore line, fished 20 to 40 feet down, got the lures in front of trout. They just weren’t biting this time of season, it seemed, and other anglers seemed to experience the same. Lots of fish were marked on Dave’s trip. Those included apparently lake trout 80 to 120 feet down. The leadcore won’t fish that deep. Downriggers will. Dave was maybe going to fish today, and the waning moon might help, though this was supposed to be the hottest day of a short heat wave, feeling like 100 degrees. But better days are coming soon, and September will bring lower temperatures. Dave’s friend Paul Schmidt’s club the Northeast Bassmasters held a tournament on Lake Hopatcong on Thursday. Almost 13 pounds was the winning weight. That was for five largemouths. That’s not a heavy weight, but that’s not uncommon in summer. A 5-pound largemouth was the lunker. Some of the participants seemed to struggle at catching, but some caught. The heaviest weights are usually in spring, when some of the fish are pregnant. One of the lakes Dave fished was 78 to 80 degrees along the surface. He knew that algae were broken out badly at Greenwood Lake.

Customers fished Lake Hopatcong for largemouth bass mostly after dark at docks or lighted areas or places like that, said Don from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. They caught okay, not killing them. Top-water lures for largemouths were really what was selling. That included Hula Poppers, Jitterbugs and especially the different frogs and poppers, all of them, from Livingstone Lures. Kids bought worms for panfishing at local lakes recently. Horseshoe Lake supposedly fished well for those small catches. Otherwise, not much fishing happened in this heat spell that was lasting a few days. Not one customer bought live bait yesterday.

Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington won a bass tournament on Lake Hopatcong on Thursday with his tournament partner, Keith said. They won with almost 13 pounds for five largemouths. The fishing was decent, a little tough, and Keith’s trip caught with jigs with trailers and with 4-inch Senkos rigged weedless. He and partner caught mostly at docks, but nailed a couple in weeds or a grass bed in 10 feet of water. That tournament has usually been won by about 16 pounds. But weather was cooler back then. Swartswood Lake’s hybrid striped bass fishing slowed a little but still connected. Customers have been buying the shop’s live herring on weekends first thing in the morning and heading right out to fish for the stripers. Kids fished local lakes or ponds for sunnies and small largemouths. Delaware River locally was starting to recede after high water. Anglers will probably especially resume fishing the river this weekend. A father and son pasted 29 trout on Pequest River. Maybe trout streams were becoming lower and warmer now, though Keith wasn’t asked for this report. But the streams fished well, he said when he gave this report this week. Baby nightcrawlers, other worms and salmon eggs hooked up.

Weather became more stable, and that helped fishing, said Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Passaic River’s angling was improving as the water receded, after rain. The water was still high and dirty, but not flooded like before. Kayakers hooked largemouth bass and smallmouth bass from the river near Two Bridges Road. Anglers tied into good catfishing on the river behind the shop. Bass tournaments were held at Lake Hopatcong this past week, and fished okay for largemouths. Some smallmouths were caught, too. Some of the local lakes fished well for largemouths and panfish. A couple of the lakes gave up good smallmouth fishing. In saltwater, fluke fishing was like it was previously. It improved, and fluking usually seems feast or famine. Keepers seem either to be caught or not, and when not, throwbacks or junk fish like skates hit.

Largemouth bass fishing was actually good, even in the heat, said Virginia from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b> in Toms River. Her son lit into 2-pounders well at Stafford Forge Wildlife Management Area yesterday, a hot day. He fished buzz baits and Senkos, slowly in the high temperature. Fishing should be good when September brings somewhat cooler weather. Most water levels were good at local lakes because of rain. Many anglers fished bait, and that seemed effective in the heat. Lots of killies were sold that worked well. Lakes that fished fairly well included Shenandoah. Some deeper spots are located there, including off the dock. Somebody reported catching chain pickerel and crappies there. Lake Carasaljo, probably more in the back of the lake, was another place for catches, mostly panfish. Occasional good-sized pickerel will be landed there. A couple of sizable, 12-inch yellow perch were heard about from Carasaljo. Lots of yellow perch were heard about this week. Sunfishing was good at lakes. Evenings fished well for crappies at Ocean County College Pond. The Toms River at Trilco gave up a little of all different catches. Those included schoolie striped bass. No trout were heard about at all. Trout probably hid in deep, cool water, Virginia guessed. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

The heat stagnated some water, said Mike from <b>Creek Road Bait & Tackle</b> in Brooklawn. But some good catches of largemouth bass were made in deep water. Shiners caught better than lures. But 3/8-ounce Eco Pro jigs were a trick. Those could be allowed to sink. Catfish bit well in the heat, though.

Fishing was good, a report said on <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> from Williamstown’s Facebook page. Elmer Lake fished great for largemouth bass, many of them heavier than 3 pounds. Salem Canal gave up some good-sized largemouths. Fish KVD Sexy Shads or Yamamoto worms there. New Brooklyn Lake held large pickerel to 6 pounds that swiped large Roostertails, Jitterbugs and minnows.

Good largemouth bass fishing was reported from Wilson Lake, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Union Lake kept producing good angling for largemouths and smallmouth bass, like it’s been doing. For largemouths at lakes, Senkos worked well. Top-waters like frogs axed the fish. Many anglers fished for catfish on Maurice River. Sunnies and bluegills always give up a reliable fishery in summer at lakes. In saltwater, anglers kept after summer flounder on the ocean and back bays. Many of the fish were throwbacks in the back bays. Delaware Bay produced flounder pretty darn well. A little kingfishing turned out catches in the ocean surf.

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