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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 9-12-18

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Salmon River</b>

The year’s first two substantial runs of salmon shot up the river the past two days, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. He’d see how the migration unfolds the rest of the week. The river, running at 335 cubic feet per second, became cooler, and was 63 degrees Tuesday morning. That’s probably why the fish, mostly Chinooks or kings, a few, not many, Cohos, came in. That day was warm, so the water warmed to the high 60s later in the day. That ended the migration for the day, and this was all normal. Jags of salmon will probably swim up in mornings in the cooler water for now, and the migration will probably build steadily. Jay’s trips caught salmon on black-and-olive wooly buggers in size 4 the first day and black-and-silver buggers in size 6 the second. The different colors and sizes probably had to do with the places fished. The flies were allowed to sink deep, and the salmon bit when the flies just began to swing. A little rain fell in the past week, and that helped the river’s level okay. If 3 or 4 inches of rain falls in remnants of the coming hurricane, that could be a game-changer, a positive one. 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> from Montvale, the New Jersey freshwater fishing guide, was telling clients to wait a moment to fish until water cools, he said. This week’s stormy weather might do the job. In the meantime, he spent a few days fishing for striped bass at the Cape Cod Canal on his first-ever trip there. The angling was slow for everybody on those days, and that happens. The fishing lit up the previous two mornings, anglers said. It was one of those, you should have been here yesterday, he said. He caught one small striper, and saw photos of 50- and 60-pounders from the canal. Big stripers can be angled from shore there. Dave saw a few small bonito caught, and saw peanut bunker leap onto shore that bonito apparently chased. The canal reportedly fished well in July for stripers. August through now can also fish well for them, and the bass migrate away by late October. Many anglers fished Polaris poppers. They were trying to imitate mackerel that the stripers forage on. Some anglers fished Al Gag’s Whip-It Fish. The canal, a 4-hour drive from Jersey for Dave, is as deep as 32 feet, and the current cranks. Dave saw big ships sail passed. He had 150 yards of braid on his reel, but a tackle shop got him to put 300 yards on, saying he’d need that if a big striper bites and peels off line in the current. Walking down the rocks to the canal was slippery and took care.

One customer banked a landlocked salmon from Lake Aeroflex from shore this week on a spoon, said Don from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. The angler seemed thrilled because reaching deep-enough water usually made catching one difficult from shore. Customers seemed to be gearing up for largemouth bass fishing at lakes, expecting the fishing to improve in cooling water. Kids who stop at the shop seemed to begin catching largemouths better than before at local lakes and ponds. The water seemed somewhat cooler already. They bought nightcrawlers, garden worms and Rapala plugs. Another angler showed a photo of a huge, 10-pound rainbow trout that the customer nailed from Musconetcong River on a spinner. Not a lot of news rolled in, because of the long stretch of stormy weather. Saltwater anglers complained that the storm prevented fishing.

Finally, the lake became cooler because of rain, and lots of good catches began to be made, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Hybrid striped bass 4 to 6 pounds began to bite chicken livers off Chestnut Point. But livelined herring also hooked them. Jim Welsh weighed-in a 9-pound 4-ounce hybrid and also caught several walleyes 3 to 4 pounds and many crappies, catfish and white perch. Lou Marcucci reeled in a 6-pound 2-ounce walleye and also tugged up a mix of species. Jack Dziduch hung a 4-pound 8-ounce smallmouth bass from shallow water on a Rapala Rippin’ Rap. The lake will begin to be lowered late this month for dock repairs, but the store’s rental boats will be available until November sometime.

Weather was rough, and anglers were also concerned about the impending weather, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. The weather until now was from remnants of the tropical storm, and the impending weather is from the hurricane forecast to slam the East Coast farther south. Not a lot of fishing happened during all of this. But Passaic River near the store currently ran at a normal level, after high water previously. Anglers on the river last week tied into smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and catfish. One lit into a small northern pike on the river, and anglers are anticipating the pike fishing picking up soon.

News was scarce from South Jersey. One store was apparently closed in the rough weather. Phone calls for reports were unanswered. Another shop gave no reply to an email asking for a report, and that seemed because of weather. And so on. Another was jammed with business from bow hunters. Still, not a lot of anglers probably fished because of thunderstorms and wind. This stretch of weather could cool the season and improve fishing after sometimes oppressive heat previously.

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