Sun., March 24, 2019
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Freshwater Report

Report from Wednesday, March 20.

| New York | New Jersey | Last Week's Report |
THIS REPORT IS UPDATED EVERY WEDNESDAY
New Jersey
Capt. Dave Vollenweider from Live to Fish Guide Service from Montvale attempted to boat for pre-spawn muskies Sunday at Monksville Reservoir, he wrote in an email. But ice locked up the water surface, and boating was impossible.

Trout fishing was closed on streams that are being stocked, said Don from Ramsey Outdoor in Succasunna. That happened beginning on Monday, and they’ll be reopened on opening day of trout season, April 6. But some waters, including Trout Conservation Areas, remain open. The TCA’s are open to catch-and-release. But some spring fishing began to happen, Kevin from the shop said. Yellow perch and crappies began to be plucked from Lake Hopatcong’s shallow water, like happens this time of year. Small hair jigs can be fished for them with a light presentation. So can Trout Magnets or, for the perch, a meal worm under a bobber. The water’s cold, so the fish can act delicately, and can be skittish after being in dark water under ice. One angler whacked a 5-pound largemouth bass at Hopatcong. At streams where trout fishing is open, Kevin said, early black stoneflies sometimes hatched. Look for them during the warmer part of the day, like around noon or 1 p.m. Someone on Facebook reported getting into a hatch an hour or two. Nothing was heard about landlocked salmon caught from shore at reservoirs that hold those fish. But this is about the time of year when the salmon can be clocked from land on lures like Binsky baits and Cleos. Years ago, fishing like that for lake trout was popular at Round Valley Reservoir. Maybe those fish can still be hooked.

A few anglers fished the lake’s shallow water, reeling in yellow perch and crappies, said Laurie from Dow’s Boat Rentals in Lake Hopatcong. So that fishing was starting, and not much ice remained on the lake. For the perch and crappies, anglers can fish small fathead minnows or tackle including Cubby Mini Mite Jigs, Rufus Jr. Jigs, hair jigs and Trout Magnets under a bobber.

A couple of customers fished Passaic River, picking up crappies and perch here and there, said Larry from Fairfield Fishing Tackle in Pine Brook. But the river currently ran very high. Some fished for trout, including on Pequest River, before many waters became closed to fishing for trout stocking beginning Monday. When the anglers fished the Pequest, they caught nothing in high, fast water.

A few customers left to go chain pickerel fishing, said Dennis from Hook House Bait & Tackle in Toms River. Mostly pickerel and some crappies will be angled now. A token largemouth bass, not many, was hooked. Shiners, killies, nightcrawlers and garden worms are stocked. So are bloodworms for brackish and saltwater. In the brackish Toms River, plenty of striped bass bit, mostly at night and at daybreak. A few were keepers. The fishing was slow during daytime. White perch fishing slowed in the river, probably because the stripers beat the perch to the hook. Winter flounder fishing began to improve in the river. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns Go Fish Bait & Tackle on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Chain pickerel, yellow perch and a few largemouth bass were grabbed from lakes, said Mike from Sportsman’s Outpost in Williamstown. Wilson Lake was one place reported to give up the pickerel and perch. Fish a Roostertail for the picks and a jig with a grub for the perch. Some of the bass were reported from Franklinville Lake. They jumped on a Whopper Plopper in the black Loon color.

Pickerel and crappies were hammered away in better weather lately, said Steve from Blackwater Sports Center in Vineland. Malaga and Elmer lakes were some places where. Largemouth bass fishing was spotty at best in lakes. When a stretch of warmer days happened, a few began to be reported caught. When weather became cold again, the fishing dropped off. The bass were taken on jerk baits, spinner baits, drop-shots and Rat-L-Traps.