With the continuous rain storms we’ve had and are having, it has created flooding and muddy stream and river conditions that are not conducive to fishing. So dog days of summer anglers have but two choices. Either fish lakes that haven’t been too affected or head down to the Jersey shore for some saltwater action.
According to Willie from Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Cementon, local lakes are producing decent action. He reports that Leaser Lake is doing well on catch-and-release muskies, perch, crappies and small bass. But no trout, which are legal to keep. Mauch Chunk is producing some bass as is Beltzville Lake. “A buddy was at Brady’s Lake and took some nice crappies and another friend hit Lake Wallenpaupack and took a bunch of 9-11-inch bluegills from there. A few die-hards are also using worms to catch eels on the Cementon side of the Lehigh River,” said Willie.
Chris at Chris’s Outdoor Sports shop in Mertztown says Ontelaunee Reservoir in upper Berks County has been fishing good for largemouths on bait and lures, particularly Jacko Chunk Craw plastic baits. At Blue Marsh in Berks, which Chris says he fishes at least twice a week, it’s been producing good catch-and-release bass action with fish up to five pounds on black/blue, green pumpkin and blue/black flake Chunk Craw’s and Senko worms. “Up at Leaser, customers have been buying predominately shiners and pike shiners for muskies. The largest I saw so far on a photo weighed 28 pounds. They’re catching some real bruisers up there,” he reports. But again, no trout.
Down at Nockamixon Lake in upper Bucks County, catfish are hot and hitting chicken livers, cut bait and commercial catfish bait in water less than 20 foot depths and from on the bottom. A few anglers are taking them with top water lures and swim baits, believe it or not.
Down at the Jersey shore and from On the Water magazine comes reports of good fluke action out of Atlantic Highlands with one weighed at 12-pounds, 2-ounces. Others ranged from 8-10 pounds on party and charter boats.
Bluefish too are numerous along the beaches from Sandy Hook to Manasquan. Spanish mackerel also showed up off the beaches as did bonito. Even a few mahi-mahi in midshore areas. Anglers can expect false albacore to be soon joining the party.
Capt. Phil at the Tackle Box in Hazlet said fluking is getting better in deeper water with some fish being caught at the Scotland Grounds and in Ambrose Channel. Other fluke brought in weighed from 10-pounds, 6-ounces to a flurry of 4-6 pounders.
Giglio’s Bait & Tackle reported good fluking from the beaches on pink and white Gulp baits and live snappers. They too have reports of Spanish mackerel being caught from the beach and mahi-mahi have appeared at the Barnegat Ridge.
Fishermen’s Den in Belmar reports fluke up to 9 pounds, some sea bass, small blues, Spanish mackerel even cow nose rays are showing up.
The 125-foot Jamaica charter out of Brielle says they’ve been hitting bluefish near shore mixed in with some bonito. Offshore it’s been mackerel, sea bass and fluke. Recent Tilefish trips produced a 50.2 pounder for one customer. Capt. Bogan says he’s taking reservations now for canyon tuna trips beginning Sept. 6.
When trout fishing season starts up again, there’s a new trout lure coming to market that is quite different from most other trout lures. And it comes from Australia.
Pradco Fishing has received the distribution rights for the unique Tasmanian Devil winged lure. Tasmanian Devils are the brainchild of Eddie Wigston, who owned an outdoors store in New Norfolk on Tasmanian’s Derwent River.
According to Pradco, Wigston began making the hollow, weighted lures with curved wings in 1979. It quickly became one of the most popular lures for rainbow and brown trout in Australia and New Zealand. It comes in 22 color combinations and in 7g, 13g, 20g and 26g weights. They can be trolled or cast for any freshwater species, and are especially effective on trout.
Look for them at better tackle shops when you want to give trout a different lure look.
Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.