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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 9-26-18

<b>Note</b>: News was scarce in relentless weather this week. Some shops simply reported no news.

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Salmon River</b>

Salmon strongly migrated up the river five days in the past week, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. “We’ve got fish,” he said, and fishing for the salmon, mostly Chinooks or kings, a few Cohos, was getting going. The fish were spread throughout the river. The kings averaged 22 to 24 pounds, on the fat side of average, and the big thing is that they were strong, in their physically best shape. They were sporty when hooked, and “wanted to break things.” The river ran at 335 cubic feet per second, and rain could be used to raise the water. Weather was dry. Jay’s trips caught mostly on wooly buggers in earth tones like black, brown or olive. Black with yellow worked well. Sometimes white caught. Sometimes pink did, but when pink connected, that was only for a short time in morning. Then earth tones worked again. Mornings and afternoons fished best, and the run will only last some weeks more. Afterward, steelheads will become the migration. 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 and a friend tried fishing for hybrid striped bass with chicken livers on Lake Hopatcong on Sunday, Dave wrote in an email. They hooked no stripers, only tons of white perch and sunnies. But Dave also landed a small musky on the livers, a surprise. Then they trolled on the lake, tackling two small hybrids and a small smallmouth bass on the jointed plugs that were fished. The lake was 69 degrees. On Saturday, Dave fished for muskies on Mountain Lake, losing two and scoring two follows. The two that were lost bit Flashers, a lure with two blades and a marabou tail, that the company Shumway makes. One of those fish dropped the lure when Dave worked it in a figure-eight near the boat that sometimes draws a strike. The other grabbed a Flasher, pulled line from the drag, and got off. The two follows were on a Ducktail lure and a Baby Beaver lure from Beaver Lures.

Not a lot was heard about fishing because of rough weather, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. But the fairly consistent rainstorms in past weeks have been a boon to fishing on trout streams. The water level, usually low this time of year after summer’s dry warmth, has been the best in years for fall, sometimes high, but coming back down and fishable after a couple of days. The healthy water levels should be good for fall trout stocking that begins Oct. 9. Streams are usually low for that. But trout leftover from past stockings are still swimming streams, too. South Branch of the Raritan River was one that gave up the catches. Kevin would fish terrestrial flies like beetles or ants, small bead-heads or sizes 18 or 20 RS2’s in olive. Delaware River ran high most of the past weeks, and nothing was heard about fishing there. News was scarce from Lake Hopatcong in unsettled weather. But largemouth bass could surely be slugged there, like on jigs-and-pigs or Senko rubber worms under docks. Salmon began to be caught from upstate New York’s Salmon River. Customers geared up for that fishing at the store.

At <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook, Cheryl was unsure about Passaic River’s water level yesterday, hadn’t checked, but rain fell the whole day, she said. Customers lately were trying for northern pike on the river. But more perch bit than pike reportedly. Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass should be able to be tugged from the river when the water level’s fishable. That was about all the news in rough weather. In saltwater, fluke season closed beginning Sunday. Porgies that were bagged were some of the only news from the salt, and were some of the only fish in-season currently there. Sometimes false albacore shot into the surf and were mentioned. The tough fighters do that for a brief time this time of year.

Mike from <b>Creek Road Bait & Tackle</b> in Brooklawn had been away at the Norwalk boat show in Connecticut, he wrote in an email. But fishing seemed slow in dirty water from the weather. To catch largemouth bass, livelining a shiner was the way to score in the water clarity. White perch fishing was good on Delaware River and Big Timber and Raccoon creeks. Bloodworms were the preferred bait.

Reports were scarce, but Union Lake produced largemouth bass fairly steadily, the same as the lake did for weeks now, even in the current rough weather, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Union turned out a good bite on them this week, and many anglers fished spinner baits or chatter baits to hook the bass. Salem Canal fished well last weekend for largemouths and also snakeheads, the invasive species. Lots of resident striped bass chomped in Maurice River and some other tidal, brackish rivers or creeks. Plugs and swim baits caught. Plenty of white perch nibbled in brackish rivers and creeks along Delaware Bay. The Maurice is a tributary of the bay. Resident stripers were also reported biting in back bays. The stripers seemed to be getting fired up in somewhat cooler water and the change of seasons.   

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