Tue., May 31, 2016
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Waning Crescent
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Freshwater Report

Report from Wednesday, May 25.

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North Jersey
Capt. Dave Vollenweider from Live to Fish Guide Service took his season’s first nighttime trip for walleyes, on Greenwood Lake with a friend, Dave said. But the angling was slow, maybe because of the full moon. One walleye 5 or 5 ½ pounds was boated, and the friend had another blow up on a lure at the boat that failed to be hooked. Two smallmouth bass were reeled in. The walleye fishing’s often slow on the moon, Dave’s found, for unknown reasons. But he took the trip anyway, and has another slated to sail for the fish this weekend with a client. When Dave saw just how much the moon brightened the night, on arrival, he felt foreboding. When the one walleye was landed, he thought the fishing might become good. But it didn’t. When the second walleye blew up near the boat for the friend but was missed, that reminded Dave that he always lets the lure sit in the water a moment at the end of the retrieve, and is careful about the end. Walleyes sometimes attack just when the lure arrives at the vessel. The water was surprisingly cold or 58 degrees, and this was almost June! Dave has caught the walleyes when the water has been 80 degrees. The trip fished big Original Floating Rapala Lures in size 18 or the F18. These trips target walleyes in the middle of the night with cast lures for great sport. Walleyes push into shallows, where they can be plugged, at night to forage on herring that spawn there this time of year. No herring were heard flipping around on the trip, and that wasn’t a good sign. Walleyes smash the lures along the surface, when the fishing’s on. When they’re foraging on the herring, they can also be heard smashing the baitfish. None of that was heard. Sometimes the fishing kicks in during the small hours of the night, like 1 a.m. or later. The trip fished from 9 p.m. to 3:30 a.m. Walleye catches were already heard about from Lake Hopatcong at night this season. Greenwood’s catches of all species seem to lag behind Hopatcong, maybe because Greenwood’s farther north, but reasons are unknown. Dave also attempted to catch a musky from Greenwood the other day, but none bit during the trolling. That’s not surprising for the fish of 10,000 casts. He landed a 30-pound musky at Hopatcong last year at this time. Dave also plugged for trout on Paulinskill River, reeling up six or seven, on Sunday. The river was surprisingly low, after the river had risen from rain previously. The low water had trout rising to dry flies. Dave saw the rises. He plugs for trout on streams with Rapala Countdown lures in size 3, and the angling can be fun and effective, and can attract large trout. Spring’s usually the time for that, because streams usually flow higher then, and fishing the lures requires some water to avoid snagging on bottom or debris like logs.

Hatches came off trout streams, and sulfurs might’ve been more abundant than March browns now, said Brian from Ramsey Outdoor in Succasunna. Trout anglers caught, including on South Branch of the Raritan River, Musconetcong River, Pequest River and Big Flat Brook. Someone just talked about the Flat Brook yesterday. Trout streams seemed to flow about normal, maybe a little low. Largemouth bass are limited to catch and release through Tuesday for spawning, but bit in Lake Hopatcong. The fish were spawning a while now, and subsurface artificials like chatter baits, Yamamoto worms and Keitech soft-plastic lures hooked them. Not much was heard about hybrid striped bass and walleyes from lakes, but those were probably picked or caught. Walleye fishing had been pretty good at Swartswood Lake. That’s all usually evening, dusk or nighttime fishing. Whether many anglers still fished for shad on Delaware River was unknown, but tackle like darts were sold last week for the angling. In saltwater, striped bass had been mostly caught, and mostly bluefish were now. Fluke and sea bass seasons opened this past week.

Lots of fish were hooked from the lake, “from perch and crappie to hybrids, walleye, pickerel, bass and trout,” Laurie from Dow’s Boat Rentals in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Lures and livelined herring worked to catch all in 12 to 13 feet of water. Fish seen at the shop included Lou Marcucci’s 8-pound 10-ounce walleye, Grygorii Kharlmov’s 8-pound 2-ounce walleye, Miroslav Zahorsky Jr.’s 8-pound walleye, Peter Romain’s 6-pound 2-ounce walleye, Rich Everest’s 7-pound 14-ounce hybrid striped bass and John O’Neill’s 1-pound 9-ounce crappie. Dave Sauerteig, fishing with live herring, rounded up a mixed bag of fish, including hybrids, walleyes, perch, crappies, trout and bass. James Cartier, Jonathan Newfield and Tyler Holowach on a trip “had their share of fish.” That included their limits of walleyes that each weighed 3 ½ pounds, and a number of hybrids to 5 pounds. The Knee Deep Club will hold the Stu Lant Contest on Sunday, June 26, for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.

Northern pike were fought from Passaic River, said Cheryl from Fairfield Fishing Tackle in Pine Brook. The fish kept stealing one angler’s carp bait, and the river currently flowed at a normal level. Mixed reports were heard about largemouth bass fishing from lakes, because some were spawning. Largemouths must be released through Tuesday, because of spawning. Nobody mentioned trout fishing, and weather was rough this past week, until about now. The weekend was cold. In saltwater, Larry from the shop fished for sea bass on a party boat on opening day of sea bass season Monday. The angling was slow, but he bagged some.