Nothing was really heard about trout fishing on streams yet, said Don from Ramsey Outdoor in Succasunna. But fall trout stocking will begin on Tuesday. Some reports talked about low water on the streams. But Burt lives near Rockaway River, and that stream looked a little low, maybe 6 inches, and based on that, low water seemed no problem for stocking. Customers who trout fish are usually excited this time of year. But more seemed to gear up to fish the salmon migration on upstate New York’s rivers like the Salmon River. Maybe 60 or 70 percent of the shop’s anglers did that. A warden and customers said most salmon were yet to migrate up the rivers. Anglers talked about the Knee Deep Club’s King of the Lake Tournament that’s slated to be held on Lake Hopatcong on the weekend of October 11 and 12. That’s a contest for a variety of species. Nothing was heard about smallmouth bass fishing, like on rivers like the Delaware, or largemouth bass fishing on lakes. Don fishes for largemouths, but bow-hunted instead lately. That seemed the case for some anglers.
In the Knee Deep Club’s walleye tournament, on the lake two weekends ago, walleye fishing was somewhat slow, Laurie from Dow’s Boat Rentals in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. But angling was better for other species. In the tournament, Tom Sarnacki, among 51 entrants, won first place with a 4-pound 3-ounce walleye. First through third places won cash, and fourth through sixth won $20 gift certificates apiece to Dow’s. The winning walleyes ranged from 2 pounds 12 ounces to Sarnacki’s 4-pound 3-ouncer. The club will hold its King of the Lake Tournament, for a variety of species, on the weekend of October 11 and 12. In other news, Dan Mazza and Brian Zavistoski on a trip clubbed a 7-pound 3-ounce walleye, a 5-pounder, several smaller ones and some hybrid striped bass to a 6-pound 15-ouncer. Ronald Rosa and son on a trip beat a 5-pound 7-ounce walleye. Anthony D’Acosta and daughter on a trip cracked a walleye the same size. Lots of white perch were snatched up on chicken livers. Chain pickerel hit Mepps spinners along weed lines.
Good walleye fishing was reported from Lake Hopatcong late in the day into night on trolled lures like Rapala Shad Raps, said Nick from Meltzer’s Sporting Goods in Garfield. Largemouth bass were cranked from Pompton Lake, but anglers had to work for the fish, because of so many weeds. Tackle like rubber frogs was fished to deal with the weeds. Nick will compete in a largemouth tournament at Greenwood Lake this weekend, and will see whether his streak of wins will continue. He’s come in first place in several in a row, covered in previous reports. In Passaic River, smallmouth bass and northern pike were fought. Below the falls, anglers put in time, searching for pools that held the fish in low water. Pike were wrestled at Twin Bridges on the river on big spinners or blade baits. Kayakers worked the shoreline for them. A buddy eased in carp, not a lot, but some good-sized, on the river behind Kennedy High School in Paterson, on garlic bagels. Fall trout stocking will begin on Tuesday. One angler banked native brown trout on Pequannock River. Nick was unsure about location, but the angler seemed to sneak into spots on the river through the woods.
Water was low everywhere, including in Passaic River, and even in lakes and reservoirs, said Cheryl from Fairfield Fishing Tackle in Pine Brook. Customers fish the river for northern pike, smallmouth bass, catfish and carp. Saltwater anglers waited for the migration of striped bass, including in the surf. Water wasn’t cold enough for that yet. But bluefish, decent-sized, not large, were yanked from the surf. One customer bagged yellowfin tuna on a 30-hour, party-boat trip.