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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 9-19-18

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Salmon River</b>

Fairly decent squirts of salmon bit in mornings, during the lowest temperatures of day, in the river, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. The bites and migration should pick up as the season cools in the next weeks. Weather remained warm, but the river was cooler than previously. Cooler water helps encourage the salmon, currently mostly Chinooks or kings, a few Cohos and Atlantics, to migrate from Lake Ontario to spawn in the river. The lower river was 67 or 68 degrees in mornings and 74 or 75 at the end of day. The upper river held around 70 or 71. The Atlantic salmon are typically seen until more kings arrive. Atlantics seem not to like kings. The kings in the river were beautiful-sized, averaging 22 pounds, give or take a pound or two.  Rain could be used to raise the river, running at 335 cubic feet per second. The area was dry. Fishing for the salmon was mostly about persistence, a good presentation and taking advantage of the morning bite. Jay’s trips caught mostly on wooly buggers. They worked well, and he specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release. He books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides. The migration will peak soon.


Delaware River ran high and muddy, and few anglers fished because of rain, said Andy from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. On the river currently customers would usually fish for smallmouth bass and channel catfish. Some now begin to try for walleyes on the river, but the walleye fishing is more of a cold-weather thing. Big Flatbrook ran somewhat high, and the stream’s trout fishing should pick up when weather cools a little. That’s because the Flatbrook is holding water, and is usually low this time of year because of summer.

Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> from Montvale fished with his wife at Furnace Lake on Monday, he said. The fishing was slow. He tried trolling for muskies, and saw one porpoising. Muskies kind of hold their snout along the water surface, moving it left and right, seeming to look around, for some reason. But his wife cast a Chug Bug behind the boat when the vessel was almost back at the ramp, trying for a largemouth bass. A musky slammed the lure but broke off! The fish was too big for the light bass tackle. The lake was 74 degrees, cooler than before. That was good news, and musky fishing should improve as waters cool. One end of the lake was 80 degrees, surprisingly. The wind direction blew toward that end, and Dave guessed the wind blew the warm water there. He heard that Greenwood Lake was 75. Lake Hopatcong was 74 degrees during Dave’s friend Paul Schmidt’s club the Northeast Bassmasters tournament there Saturday. Fishing was tough during the event, and the winning weight was only 10 pounds. The weight, according to the club’s website, was exactly 10.77 pounds for five largemouth bass. The lunker was a 3.16-pound largemouth, and only two smallmouth bass were entered, according to the site. The rest of the bass were largemouths. Paul guessed that maybe the fish needed to acclimate to the recently dropping water temperature, Dave said. Maybe the fishing will pick up as the bass get used to the change. Dave’s been waiting for water to cool before taking clients fishing again. The water’s beginning to cool, and clients are booked to fish with him soon.

 Water levels were “up” in Delaware River and trout streams because of rain, said Don from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. A trout angler who fished Rockaway River at Jefferson, who fished in sneakers and shorts like he usually does, said he wouldn’t wade much into the river, because the water was moving. A kayaker reported landing a couple of smallmouth bass, not a great catch, on the Delaware upstream from Milford. Another Delaware River angler showed a photo of a 5-pound flathead catfish he pulled in near the Interstate 80 Bridge. The same angler was catching snakeheads, the invasive species, somewhere in Central Jersey. Don didn’t know where. Don himself was interested in snakehead fishing. Snakeheads fight well and can be large. When Don fishes, he fishes for catches to eat. He heard snakeheads might be good-tasting. That was unconfirmed. For largemouth bass at lakes, top-water lures, a summertime plug, were still sold often. Weather was yet to substantially cool. Largemouth fishing is expected to improve when temperatures begin to drop.  Most business was from kids or parents with kids who bought nightcrawlers and garden worms to catch panfish like perch or catches like chain pickerel at lakes. “Usual stuff,” Don said. 

Near <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington, trout streams were in great shape, not running too high or low, Keith from the shop said. Awesome. Customers who trout fished often worked Musconetcong River near Asbury, catching on worms like nightcrawlers. At conservation areas, they cast flies or artificials like Trout Magnets or Phoebes. Delaware River became fishable again, after high water, for smallmouth bass and catfish that hit this time of year. The smallmouth fishing should become even better as weather cools some. At lakes, largemouth bass still bit summertime patterns like top-water lures and Senko worms. Weather was yet to cool substantially. Spruce Run Reservoir tossed up good catches of hybrid striped bass on livelined herring. The herring were still stocked, and maybe one more batch will be available, before suppliers can no longer catch the baitfish for the season.

Wasn’t much doing in the stormy weather, said Larry from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. In limbo, pretty much. Passaic River near store ran a little high, and if no rain falls, should come down in a couple of days. Before this stretch of storms, one angler yanked yellow and white perch and channel and bullhead catfish from the river. Northern pike were willing to bite in the river now when the water ran at a reasonable flow and clear enough. This weather even seemed to slow fluke fishing in saltwater. Some of the party boats in saltwater ran for porgies and caught.

Fishing was poor in the weather in South Jersey, Mike from <b>Creek Road Bait & Tackle</b> in Brooklawn wrote in an email.

New Brooklyn, Franklinville and Wilson lakes gave up catches, were hot spots, for those who fished in the weather, a report said on <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown’s Facebook page. At New Brooklyn, an angler tackled chain pickerel to 4 pounds on minnows. At  Franklinville Lake,  another scored excellent fishing for yellow perch on nightcrawlers and minnows.

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