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Freshwater Report

Report from Wednesday, July 16.

| North Jersey | Central Jersey | South Jersey | Last Week's Report |
North Jersey
An angler fished on one of the nighttime trips that plug for walleyes on a lake last Wednesday with Live to Fish Guide Service from Montvale, Capt. Dave Vollenweider said. The client nailed a 9-pounder, his biggest-ever walleye, and a 4-pounder, both on a large Rapala lure. He released the 9-pounder and kept the 4-pounder to eat. Dave hasn’t had bang-up nights with walleyes this year, like nights when 10 or 12 were landed, but the angler was tickled with the fishing and the size of the 9-pounder, Dave said, and one never knows if double-digits are suddenly going to bite. Dave’s got anglers who still want to walleye fish, and he’s telling them the season is becoming late, but he’ll go and see what happens. Walleyes push into shallows at night this time of year to feed on spawning herring. Then walleyes can be caught on top-water lures, good sport. The big fish smash the plugs along the surface. In the morning, after the angler departed, Dave headed back out on the lake, trolling and releasing a 22- or 25-pound musky on a jointed Joe Bucher Depth Raider Lure. Muskies have been biting the lures trolled down 15 feet at 3.6 m.p.h. Another angler jumped aboard Saturday on the lake, and fishing was tough, for unknown reasons, but white perch and large sunfish were boated. A musky was seen trolled on another vessel. The lake’s been 76 to 77 degrees, approaching 80 when the sun becomes high.

Brian from Ramsey Outdoor in Succasunna fished for smallmouth bass on Delaware River with two anglers on Sunday from 3 to 8:30 p.m., he said. They probably landed four or five smallies apiece and some rock bass while wading. The smallmouths measured up to 17 inches, and were hooked on Senko rubber worms and Keitech swim shads. The river ran a little high and discolored, but was very fishable, and only two other anglers were seen the whole time. Customers seemed finished with trout fishing on streams for the season in the heat. Many anglers prefer not to fish for trout in high temperatures, avoiding stressing or killing the fish. A few trout could probably be hooked in mornings or evenings, when weather’s cooler, on streams that remain cooler, like Ken Lockwood Gorge, on flies like pheasant-tail nymphs or terrestrials. Sinking ants should catch especially well. Hybrid striped bass bit at Lake Hopatcong, and chicken livers were a top bait. Largemouth bass fishing was good at the different lakes, and many anglers threw Scatter Raps to them. A new lure in the line, the Scatter Rap Crank Shallow, seemed deadly, and will arrive at the shop next week.

The Knee Deep Club held a hybrid striped bass tournament on the lake during the weekend, and Kenny Stelmack from Hackettstown won with a 6-pound 12-ouncer, Laurie from Dow’s Boat Rentals wrote in an email. He was awarded $440, and all the hybrids entered weighed 5 to 6 pounds. Fifty-five anglers entered, and the club will next hold a catfish tournament on the lake on the weekend of August 9 to 10. Hybrids seen earlier in the week included Chris Anderson’s two that weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces and 7 pounds. Trout were tugged from the lake at Byram Cove during the week. Several sizeable walleyes were winged, including John White’s 6-pound 14-ouncer and Kenny Stelmack’s 5-pound 1-ouncer. Lots of smallmouth bass were creamed, including Jim Welsh’s 3-pound 2-ouncer.

Customers basically fished Passaic River for northern pike and catfish, said Larry from Fairfield Fishing Tackle in Pine Brook. They fought pike, big ones, like crazy on anything from live bait to large spinners, like a Blue Fox in silver. For the cats, most anglers fished nightcrawlers. But some dunked chunks of bunker, usually a saltwater bait. But the oily baitfish attracted the cats.