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Freshwater Report

Report from Wednesday, August 20.

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North Jersey
Capt. Dave Vollenweider from Live to Fish Guide Service from Montvale, after returning from a vacation to the Galapagos Islands, took two anglers on a lake two Sundays ago, he said. But boat terrific was terrible, and nothing bit. Another woman telephoned to ask about fishing this coming weekend, but Dave declined, saying fishing was likely to be no good in the traffic. After Labor Day, weekend traffic should drop off. An angler and son joined Dave aboard on Thursday on a lake. They landed five or six smallmouth bass, and waited until dark to try for walleyes on top-water lures. Dave never top-water plugged walleyes this late in summer before, but waters are cooler this year, in cooler weather. Two good-sized walleyes were nailed that night, and the anglers only stayed until 10 p.m. More might’ve been hooked if they had stayed longer. The lake was 74 or 75 degrees, and usually would be in the 80s now. Nighttime air temperatures were dipping into the 50s. Both trips also trolled for muskies, and none bit. But Dave returned to the lake on Monday with a friend for the friend’s birthday, and the trip trolled a 42- to 45-inch musky, about 20 pounds, quickly releasing the fish. They took a dinner break to allow dark to fall, then headed back out for walleyes. Three walleyes were socked: two 5-pounders and a 3-pounder. Two or three walleyes also blew up on the lures beside the boat and were missed. Walleyes are apparently still swimming the shallows, where they can be top-water plugged, at night, because of the cool water. Both trips zonked them on Rapala Original Floating Lures in size F18, a 7-incher, the largest. The plugging is great sport, drawing vicious attacks along the surface. Dave’s been trolling the muskies this season, including the one on this trip, on Joe Bucher Depth Raider Lures.

Don from Ramsey Outdoor in Succasunna fished for largemouth bass on Lake Hopatcong with a rep from Shimano on a trip last week, Don said. Weather was rough, and fishing was slow, and they totaled about seven largemouths landed, fishing from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fishing along the whole western shore, they tossed drop-shots, pigs-and-jigs and wacky worms. All drew one or two bites apiece, and nothing worked best. A customer who fishes avidly for hybrid striped bass at Hopatcong had been complaining about little success. But he got into the fish on Monday night, he reported to the shop, and he fishes around Raccoon Island. Few anglers probably trout fished yet, because of warm water. But trout streams reportedly ran a little low.

Lots of hybrid striped bass were tackled from the lake, Laurie from
Dow’s Boat Rentals wrote in an email. The fish 5 to 8 pounds were hooked off any points, just off bottom, in 20 to 30 feet of water, on chicken livers, live or dead herring and worms. Several 2- to 3-pound walleyes and some smallmouth bass were winged from the lake. The Knee Deep Club will hold a walleye tournament on Saturday to Sunday, September 20 to 21.

Carp were latched into on smaller lakes, said Cheryl from Fairfield Fishing Tackle in Pine Brook. Largemouth bass were axed from smaller lakes on Senkos and Keitechs. On Passaic River, carp and catfish were cranked in, if anglers could find water that wasn’t too low. The river ran low locally, and seemed a little higher toward Rockaway, but whether fishing was better there was unknown. The river’s northern pike fishing was spotty but comes and goes. Sometimes a bunch will bite, and sometimes not so many will.