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Freshwater Report

Report from Wednesday, June 22.

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North Jersey
A trip fished Greenwood Lake with an angler and grandson Saturday aboard, but boat traffic was horrendous, said Capt. Dave Vollenweider from Live to Fish Guide Service. A couple of white perch, a couple of small smallmouth bass and a tiny largemouth bass were reeled in. Soft-plastic baits and stick baits were fished in the 70- to 75-degree water. The lake warmed as the day went on. Dave trolled for muskies solo on the lake 3 or 4 hours afterward without a bite. The traffic was from pleasure boaters, water skiers and jet skiers, and fishing lakes at night, avoiding all of that, could be good now. Dave, a school teacher, hopes to do that this week, because school is letting out for summer break. A client is supposed to fish for walleyes at night aboard next week on a lake. That angling should be good, Dave expects, and walleyes seem still to be moving to lake shallows at night to forage on spawning herring. Then walleyes can be fought on cast surface lures, good sport. On a previous trip to Greenwood, Dave found abundant, dead weeds that had been killed for a boat race and made fishing difficult. But the weeds disappeared now, and the water looked attractive for angling. Though Dave will keep musky fishing, another angler who’s a musky sharpie has been saying Lake Hopatcong’s musky fishing’s been slow or off. Dave might fish Echo Lake for muskies in the next days. Dave’s friend, largemouth bass tournament angler Paul Schmidt, competed in Schmidt’s club, the Northeast Bassmasters’, tournament on Hopatcong Saturday. He won fourth place and caught the lunker, a 5-pound 14-ounce largemouth, and lost another that probably weighed 6 pounds. About a 16-pound bag won first place, and Schmidt fished rubber frogs and Senkos. The frogs scored quite a few blow ups.

Matt from Ramsey Outdoor in Succasunna fished for hybrid striped bass at night at Lake Hopatcong a few times recently, he said. Two of the trips fished until 3 a.m., and the angling hammered nearly all usual catches in the lake, including hybrids, walleyes including an 8-pounder, crappies and perch. It was crazy, he said, and even a herring was hooked. Plenty of herring schooled, and crappies especially bit. Crappies hit on every other cast. He also fished for largemouth bass on the lake on weekend trips during daytime with his dad, who could only fish then. The angling was slow in extreme pleasure-boat traffic, and each angler landed one or two largemouths per outing. But Matt thinks the fishing could be better early in morning. Anglers who were getting off the lake when Matt and dad were arriving reported catching four or five largemouths apiece, early in morning. Matt’s got a couple of places he likes to fish rubber frogs on the lake. If he had been reporting two or three weeks ago, he said, he would’ve said the frogging was great. But during the mid-day trips in boat traffic, only some chain pickerel bit the frogs. He did no fly-fishing for trout recently and couldn’t say how trout fishing’s been.

A 50-inch muskie, probably 35 pounds, was fought from the lake, Laurie from Dow’s Boat Rentals in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. Danny Kane landed the fish while casting at Henderson Cove. Walleyes and hybrid striped bass smashed cast top-water lures at night. Those were plugs like Bombers, Badonk-a-Donks, Yo-Zuris, Zara Spooks and Knuckle-Heads that are stocked abundantly. Tony D’Alaurio weighed-in an 8-pound hybrid striped bass that swiped a cast lure in evening. Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass bit. For the largemouths, fairly shallow water in weeds was fished with rubber frogs, rubber worms, shiners and live herring. For the smallmouths, live herring were swum off Nolan’s Point, Henderson Cove and around the islands, and the herring are stocked. Lots of yellow perch hit, “if you’re just looking to do some panfishing,” Laurie said. Brandon Wood, a Junior Member of the Knee Deep Club, tackled a 1-pound 2-ounce crappie. The club will hold the annual Stew Lant Challenge, the tournament for largemouths and smallmouths, Sunday on the lake. Sign-up is available until 8 a.m. that morning at Dow’s and Lake’s End Marina.

Customers headed to Lake Hopatcong for largemouth bass and seemed to score pretty decent, said Larry from Fairfield Fishing Tackle in Pine Brook. Passaic River gave up northern pike, carp and catfish. Anglers needed to look for deeper holes, because the river began to run a little low. An angler yesterday was on the way to Pequest River to fish for trout, catching them well last week there, though the water was becoming low.