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Freshwater Report

Report from Wednesday, November 15.

| New York | Pennsylvania | New Jersey | Last Week's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED EVERY WEDNESDAY
Last Week's Report
NEW YORK

Salmon River and Western N.Y. Rivers and Streams

It’s wet, said Jay Peck from Jay Peck Guide Service. Lots of rain fell in the past week and previously, and creeks and rivers ran high and dirty but marginally fishable for the large brown trout his trips began targeting. That’s in western New York around Rochester. He’s familiar with the area, a reason his trips could deal with the high water. About 2 hours east in upstate New York, the Salmon River was dropping after running especially high because of the rain. The river at Pineville dropped to 2,200 cubic feet per second, the last time Jay looked. His guides expected to get back on the Salmon yesterday to scout for steelheads, and hadn’t fished the river in 1 ½ weeks because of high water. All of this high water was good, though, because it probably promised good water levels for fishing this winter and into spring. That’s after low water in recent years. Creeks along Salmon River were blown out, flowing at levels like 1,000 or 2,000 CFS. A flow of 300 to 500 is when anglers begin to fish the creeks. Jay is concentrating on the brown trout for a moment, while fishing for them is peaking, and will return to the steelheading afterward though winter and early spring. A trip for the trout with him Monday, on Oak Orchard River, found high water that was stained a heavy-gray color, looking like spring run-off, but scored okay, landing six or seven browns and a steelhead. Egg flies in Oregon Cheese color caught. The trout and steelhead waters should become more and more fishable, because drier weather is forecast. Forecasts were predicting snow by this weekend, and that affects rivers and creeks less than rain does. Much of the snow lays on the grown instead of flowing into the rivers and creeks. Monday reached 53 degrees but dropped to 45, and the next days were supposed to be 45. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.

PENNSYLVANIA

Weather was cooler, but Delaware River was still in the upper 60 degrees last week, Bill Brinkman from Philadelphia’s Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle wrote in a report on the shop’s website. The ocean was in the low 60s that week. This was all warm for the time of year. The river was up and off-color last week because of rain the previous weekend. But smallmouth bass fishing was decent on the river a ways upstream from the store. Plenty of catfish sniffed out baits throughout the river near the shop. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers, shrimp, bagels, chunked eels and live eels drew them to chomp. Most of the cats weighed 1 to 4 pounds, but sometimes live eels nailed 6- to 10-pounders. In South Jersey, a couple of customers crushed bowfins and occasionally snakeheads at quarries around Salem on minnows. Someone who fished Union Lake wrestled all the chain pickerel he wanted. He’d been hoping for largemouth bass but had little success with them. Still, good fishing for largemouths was known about. Pickerel, crappies and yellow perch were also turned on at lakes in South Jersey. Plenty of pickerel stalked ponds in the Pine Barrens around Batsto. Plenty of other details and news was included in the report.

NEW JERSEY

Big Flatbrook’s trout fishing was okay, said Andy from Stokes Forest Sport Shop in Sandyston. The stream rose because of rain last week, and dropped back down and was low yesterday. But a mix of snow and rain fell yesterday, so anglers would see whether that affected the water level. Anglers fished for the trout with bead-headed nymphs and streamers. A customer yesterday bought a bunch of streamers to fish the river that day. Customers who trout fish usually work the Flatbrook that’s located near the store. Not much was heard about Delaware River, but smallmouth bass should certainly be able to be yanked from the river. No customers mentioned angling walleyes from the river yet. The Delaware flowed lower than usual but not as low as previously this season. The river rose in last week’s rain but came down.

Kevin from Ramsey Outdoor in Succasunna guessed that trout streams fished alright, he said. Weather was cool, and rain replenished the streams. Conditions seemed in good shape for places like Pequest and Musconetcong rivers, Big Flatbrook and Ken Lockwood Gorge. Small egg flies, small bead-headed nymphs, and San Juan worms should catch. Nobody mentioned Delaware River, but the river’s smallmouth bass fishing should be off the hook. This is a time of year for that. A customer talked about pulling small chain pickerel and big yellow perch from Lake Aeroflex. Customers said they hooked largemouth bass well at private lakes on tackle like chatter baits, large swim baits, lures in bright colors, Rat-L-Traps and Binsky Blade Baits jigged deep. The season’s disappearance of weeds in lakes helped lure fishing. Largemouths seemed on the feed in this season of transition and before lakes iced over.

In all the rain last week, not much was doing with fishing, said Larry from Fairfield Fishing Tackle in Pine Brook. Waters were flooded and dirty, including Passaic River. This time of year can be productive for the river’s northern pike fishing, when the water’s not flooded. Big spinners are popular to fish for them. When the water’s off color, copper blades or bright-colored buzz baits are chucked to the pike. When the water’s clear, silver or chrome are popular. In saltwater, striped bass seemed yet to migrate south out of Raritan Bay. But the bay’s fishing for them was crazy. Big stripers to 35 or 40 pounds were tackled. Porgy fishing was good. Nothing was heard about sea bass. Many boats seemed weathered out, cutting back on news.

From Murphy’s Hook House in Toms River, Jeff clocked chain pickerel and largemouth bass at Lester’s Lake on rubber frogs, he said. At Lake Riviera, he pasted a couple of small pickerel and one largemouth on Jitterbugs. Small pickerel hit in Winding River, and pickerel, largemouths and a few yellow perch did in the Toms River. Farther upstream on the Toms, trout were bagged from the fall stocking on PowerBait. But Jeff fished the river near the tree farm in Jackson, only scoring the trout on Trout Magnets. None seemed interested in PowerBait he fished. The Toms flowed very high when he fished. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Schoolie striped bass were banked from Delaware River from shore from West Deptford to Salem, said Bryan from STC Sports in Gibbstown. A 30-incher was biggest seen at the shop during the weekend and was hooked at the bulkhead in Penns Grove at 6th Street on a jumbo bloodworm. Most customers who fished for the stripers bought bloodworms for bait for the bass from the shop. Eels could be a nuisance for the striper anglers. Five eels grabbed the bait in 2 hours for one customer. Largemouth bass anglers seemed to begin fishing crank baits and jigs in lakes because of cooling water. Greenwich Lake produced 20-inch trout from the fall trout stocking. PowerBait in chartreuse or Peach Garlic were most popular.

Fishing for largemouth bass was picking up at lakes, said Steve from Blackwater Sports Center in Vineland. Anglers were seen shifting to crank baits to toss to the bass in cooling water. Jerk baits also worked well. Good reports were heard from Parvin Lake about largemouths. A little was heard from South Vineland Park Pond. Chain pickerel fishing was picking up big time. Pickerel are aggressive in cool water, and jumped all over minnows and spinners fished. Crappie fishing was pretty good at lakes, picking away on minnows or small rubber grubs. The calico bass thrive in cool water, too. A few anglers still chased trout from the fall stocking that took place in October, including at Maurice River and South Vineland Park Pond, scoring okay. In brackish rivers and creeks along Delaware Bay, white perch bit well. In saltwater, striped bass fishing was good on back bays. Many were fought on soft-plastic or top-water lures. None of the season’s big, migrating stripers seemed to arrive yet in the local ocean and Delaware Bay.