An angler with Live to Fish Guide Service from Montvale boated several smallmouth bass from a lake Saturday on Keitech grubs on a ball-head jig, Capt. Dave Vollenweider said. Dave also cranked in a couple on a drop-shot with Gulp minnows. Weather was windy, pushing the boat around. But Dave headed back out on the lake, when the angler left, and trolled a musky in the 40-inch class, releasing the fish. The fish bit a spoon plug trolled along bottom in 14 feet of water. Muskies seemed to swim shallow, maybe because water was cooling. The water was 60 degrees, and anglers will see whether this week’s cold, that began Sunday, will dip the temperature further. Dave thinks that when the water drops to the 50 degrees, fishing’s really going to amp up. The fish will know to feed to prepare for winter. The lake didn’t seem to turn over yet. Weather was unsettled lately, and fishing slowed, but two muskies were released the past two weekends aboard, and Dave couldn’t complain. He cancelled fishing on Sunday, because of 20- or 30-knot wind. Upcoming trips include ones booked this weekend and the first two weekends in November.
Lake Hopatcong was beautiful this time of year, and few anglers fished the water, but angling was great, said Kevin from Ramsey Outdoor in Succasunna. The next weeks are definitely time to fish, a last shot for the year. On Hopatcong, walleyes were jigged on lures like small Kastmasters and Crippled Herrings. They were also plugged on crank baits like Rapala Husky Jerks. Chain pickerel were active, gave up solid fishing, at the different lakes. Launch lures to them like silver Husky Jerks or large spinners. Trout streams ran low, but trout were caught. Plus, rain has been falling, and nights have been colder, and that could help. But trouting definitely happened on some of the lower sections of streams and on freestone streams. Salmon eggs and meal worms were fished for trout. Water was low, but anglers could try casting lures or spinners to trout. Gulp makes small maggots and grubs that can be fished on small jigheads, like 1/32-ounce, for trout, and that’s all stocked at the store.
A largemouth bass tournament was cancelled that Nick from Meltzer’s Sporting Goods in Garfield was going to compete in during the weekend, he said. That was because of wind to 30 m.p.h. and stronger. But a few of the anglers fished the lake anyway that day, all saying they hooked a few largemouths on the outside edges of docks. But they didn’t fish long, because of the wind. The tournament was going to be Nick’s final this season, and he’ll compete in no more this year. A friend that day then fished at Monksville Reservoir, more protected from wind, in the mountains, landing a 48-inch musky and some walleyes. The musky hit a cowbell lure, and the walleyes were jigged. A largemouth tournament was held on Hudson River on Sunday, and the fishing was tough in horrible wind. Nobody limited out, and many of the entrants were skunked. Though the fall trout stocking recently took place, not much was heard about trout. A few small trout were reported that were plucked from Ramapo River. Customers bought trout bait, not as much as in spring, but not many results were mentioned. A few striped bass were tugged from Passaic River, because the water rose somewhat. Northern pike were fought from the river below the falls. A handful of smallmouth bass were reported from the Passaic.
A few customers eased catfish from Passaic River, said Cheryl from Fairfield Fishing Tackle in Pine Brook. Northern pike were fought from the river. A few customers trout fished last week, once the fall trout stocking happened this month. They landed a few, but said the fish seemed hook-shy. The anglers kept changing tactics to try to draw a bite. Saltwater anglers mostly waited for the striped bass migration. But plenty of bluefish swam around, and sea bass fishing seemed okay, since sea bass season was opened Saturday.