Tue., July 7, 2015
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Freshwater Report

Report from Wednesday, July 1.

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North Jersey
One walleye was landed, and another got off, on one of the nighttime trips that plug for them with Capt. Dave Vollenweider from Live to Fish Guide Service from Montvale, he said. That was on Greenwood Lake on Wednesday, and Dave is a biology teacher, and school now let out for summer. He’ll begin guiding trips more frequently, because of that. He’s already guided some this year, but frequently fished solo, like on this trip, or with friends, until now, this year. These nighttime walleye trips fish when walleyes push into shallows to forage on spawning herring in the dark this season. Then walleyes, big, tasty fish, a member of the perch family, can be smashed on cast lures. Good sport. Fishing at night is unique, too. The fish that was caught hit an orange and gold Rapala Original Floating Lure in size 18. That was at 10 p.m., an hour after dark, and the walleye that got off attacked at 1 a.m. Dave trolled for muskies on Greenwood on Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and none of the fish of 10,000 casts bit. Not many fish have bitten on Greenwood for Dave this year, for unknown reasons. He’s had better catching on Lake Hopatcong, and better reports have rolled in from there. Dave might need to fish Hopatcong or elsewhere more frequently, though Greenwood usually produces. Greenwood was 71 degrees on the musky trip, and is usually 80 degrees or warmer this time of year. The lake had been up to 74 or 75 degrees this year, but weather became cooler and rougher since. Weather felt like spring on the lake, and was 50 degrees in the morning, on the musky trip. Dave’s friend Paul Schmidt’s club the Northeast Bass Masters held a largemouth bass tournament on Lake Hopatcong, and the fishing seemed good. Fifteen pounds for five fish was the winning weight, and Paul landed 10 largemouths in the event, Dave thought.

A customer on Wednesday said trout streams, like the South Branch of the Raritan River, ran high, because of rain, and that cooled the water, said Brian from Ramsey Outdoor in Succasunna. Trout anglers fished mostly small flies, like blue-winged olives, and the rain and high water disrupted bug hatches. Anglers hoped the hatches got back on track, including isonychias or brown drakes. Sulfurs were known to catch trout on the West Branch of the Delaware River. Catskills rivers like that also ran high, because of rain. A customer said the waters were up during the weekend. Not a lot of details were heard about largemouth bass and hybrid striped bass. But both should be chomping well in lakes. Many Zara Spooks, Jitterbugs and top-water lures were sold for the angling.

Though only 28 fish were entered in the Stew Lant Bass Contest on the lake Sunday, some of the fish were big, Laurie from Dow’s Boat Rentals in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. That’s the Knee Deep Club’s largemouth and smallmouth bass tournament, and Ed Mackin won first place with a 5-pound 13-ounce largemouth. Harvey Bank placed second with a 3-pound 11-ounce smallmouth bass, and Dominic Sarinelli came in third with a 3-pound 3-ounce smallmouth. Harvey Bank also tackled two sizable chain pickerel, about 3 pounds each, and two hefty largemouths, not eligible in the tournament. The largemouths weighed 3 pounds and 3 pounds 3 ounces. Lenny Salvatore, who wasn’t in the tournament, hauled in a 6-pound largemouth. “Still some action on topwater,” Laurie wrote, and lots of panfish chewed in the shallows. “Happy 4th of July,” she wrote!

Lake Hopatcong’s largemouth bass fishing was pretty good, said Joe from Fairfield Fishing Tackle in Pine Brook. Hybrid striped bass were socked from Hopatcong on livelined herring. Different ponds served up largemouths, crappies and panfish. Northern pike fishing went well on Passaic River. The river ran somewhat high, because of rain, but wasn’t flooded.