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Freshwater Report

Report from Wednesday, April 27.

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North Jersey
Capt. Dave Vollenweider from Live to Fish Guide Service took a trip to Round Valley Reservoir on Sunday with his wife, trolling one rainbow trout, he said. He’s been experimenting at fishing Round Valley, and is new to angling the impoundment. Five trout was the most he boated in a trip there, so far. He’s been catching rainbows and lake trout. This trip’s rainbow was hooked on a Rapala lure fished on a planer, probably 25 feet down. His tackle’s been limiting him from fishing too deep, and he’s gotten some new tackle to fish deeper. An angler who’s been trolling with downriggers told Dave he’s been catching lakers along bottom, and had to keep changing the ball depths to keep from hitting bottom. Depths seem to change a lot at Round Valley. Dave saw photos of sizable lakers to 12 and 15 pounds from the reservoir this past week. The water surface on the trip was 51 degrees, and the day was sunny. Maybe a cloudy day would fish better, because of the reservoir’s unusually clear, blue water. The water was still cold, and the surface can reach 75 to 80 degrees in summer. Dave messed around a little on Greenwood Lake on Saturday, trolling for muskies, but none bit. The season was early for musky fishing, but muskies have been caught this season. The water was stained at Greenwood, and whether that was algae or something was unknown. The marina said hardly anybody fished Greenwood yet. Greenwood’s angling lags behind the fishing at some lakes. Walleyes were already caught at Lake Hopatcong, and must be released through Saturday, because of spawning. Walleyes were probably finished spawning, and the walleye fishing really kicks in during later May, when herring spawn. Walleyes then especially move into shallows at night to forage on the herring, and the walleyes can be clocked on cast surface lures then. Dave does that fishing, running trips at night. An angler is booked to fish for bass with Dave this weekend. Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass must be released through June 15 for spawning. Smallmouths spawn in water in the 50 degrees, and largemouths spawn in water probably 60 to 65. Bass are being caught, Dave knows.

Trout were reeled in everywhere, said Kevin from Ramsey Outdoor in Succasunna. Lots were landed on Rockaway River and on Black River in Hacklebarney. One angler talked about catching on yellow Roostertails on Black River. Trout streams were low, and rain, not a lot, was finally falling this week, and anglers hoped more of the rain falls in the next days. Walleyes bit in Lake Hopatcong, and must be released through Saturday, because of spawning. The walleyes were jigged deeper down during daytime and were fought on suspending crank baits at night. Not a lot was heard about largemouth bass, and largemouths and smallmouth bass must be released through June 15, because of spawning. Largemouths were probably about to be in pre-spawn, and will probably begin spawning next week or the week after. Now was probably the last feed for largemouths, and they were hooked from Lake Hopatcong and Lake Musconetcong. That was on white spinner baits or chrome-and-blue Rat-L-Traps or chrome-and-black Rat-L-Traps, fished right over top weeds.

Good fishing was angled from Passaic River, said Larry from Fairfield Fishing Tackle in Pine Brook. But anglers needed to find the holes where fish held, because of low water, even after rain yesterday. Northern pike were fought on big spinner baits, and carp were heaved in on carp bait and nightcrawlers, on the river. Trout fishing was similar: anglers needed to find the holes in low water, but when they found the fish, the catches were on. Largemouth bass fishing was reportedly excellent on Lake Hopatcong, and a few smallmouth bass were supposedly hung there. Anglers said the bass weren’t quite spawning yet. Soft-plastic baits and jerk baits connected, and both bass species must be released through June 15 for spawning. From saltwater, Raritan Bay’s striped bass fishing sounded hit and miss, and not peaked yet. Boaters marked tons, but whether the fish bit was day to day.