Trout streams ran high and cold, slowing down trout fishing, said Brian from Ramsey Outdoor in Succasunna. Nothing was heard about nabbing trout on flies, and customers hooked them on butter worms. Perch and crappies were rustled up from Lake Hopatcong, and little was reported about largemouth bass from lakes. But plenty of panfish like the perch and crappies nipped. Fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass became catch and release by law on Tuesday through June 15 for spawning. Fishing was two weeks behind, Brian said. Fish will be found in the shallows in lakes, because of warmth. Largemouths 4 pounds could be seen in shallows in the lake where Brian lives. Lots of sizeable chain pickerel could be wrestled at lakes on C.P. Swing spinners or silver Rapala lures. Unconfirmed reports said a few shad reached Belvidere in the Delaware River. The season was somewhat early for shad fishing that far upstream, and if the shad were in, the high river this week would probably make the fishing a little slow. But anglers during high water catch them in the shallows close to shore.
Lots of crappies, beaten from the lake’s shallows on fathead minnows or small jigs under bobbers, were seen in the past week, Laurie from Dow’s Boat Rentals in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email. The slabs could also be swiped on cast or trolled, small Husky Jerks. Pete Pellegrino checked in two that weighed 1 pound 5 ounces and 1 pound 4 ounces. His wife Darlene axed a 1-pound 13-ouncer and a 2-pound 14-ounce largemouth bass. Fishing for largemouths and smallmouth bass is catch and release through June 15, according to law. Brandon Schmidt showed up with a 1-pound 6-ounce crappie. Several walleyes were whacked, and fishing for them is catch and release by regulation through April 30. Stephen Ness weighed in a 2-pound 7-ounce chain pickerel. The Knee Deep Club will stock trout in the lake on April 26, and the Lake Hopatcong Foundation will make a matching grant to the club to stock extra trout if the club raises $5,000 by that time for that. That’s because the state stocked fewer trout than usual in the lake this year, because of diseased trout at the hatchery. “Remember, there’s still time to make a donation,” Laurie said. The club’s trout and chain pickerel contests will be held May 4 on the lake.
Passaic River ran high, so the river’s northern pike fishing wasn’t talked about much, said Cheryl from Fairfield Fishing Tackle in Pine Brook. Trout, from the spring stocking, were claimed from streams and lakes. Yellow PowerBait and meal worms were popular to catch them. But spinners tackled some.