As we’re in the midst of small game and archery hunting seasons, there’s very little freshwater fishing going on. The rainy weather hasn’t helped either. But for die-hard anglers, there is some trout action according to Willie from Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Cementon.
According to Willie, the fish commission reportedly stocked a portion of the Little Lehigh Creek last week with a limited number of trout, mostly in the Lehigh Parkway stretch.
Willie added that the Lehigh River, on the Northampton and Cementon side, was fishing good for brown trout in the 20-inch range. Trout were hitting Kastmasters, Blue Fox and Weaver spinners. One river angler did good on trout by drifting night crawlers with the current. Those trout were stocked in spring by the Lehigh River Stocking Association.
He also received reports of continued Musky action at Leaser Lake plus a few bass up to 4-pounds. One customer brought in a picture of a pickerel he caught-and-released there.
But the really big fish action now is at New Jersey shore where sizable stripers are being caught.
In their latest fishing report, On the Water Magazine reported jumbo stripers in the 40-50-pound range are being caught offshore and on the beach, especially in Raritan Bay.
The fall striper run is on and stripers are feasting on large amounts of bunker. Big fish are also making it to the beaches and are receptive to poppers, shads, metal and swimming plugs. You just have to be there when they show up.
Linesiders are being taken by snagging and dropping when the fish are in the bunker pods. They’re also falling for Nichols spoons, big shads, jigs and on the troll.
Capt. Phil Sciortino of the Tackle Box in Hazlet, says the bass bite is on fire on the back of Raritan Bay, at West Bank, by Breezy Point and near the Statue of Liberty. Live eels, bunker spoons, Mojos along with dropping and snagging, have all lured fish to hook.
Other hot areas are Sea Bright and Island Beach State Park, a popular fishing spot for Lehigh Valley anglers. Fish up to 40 inches there are favoring poppers, shads, bombers and SP minnows.
Charlie’s Bait & Tackle in Normandy Beach reports a good bass bite on the beach for anglers throwing top-water swimmers. Island Beach State Park and beaches north have also seen some nice fish in recent days.
Jillian’s Bait & Tackle in Atlantic Highlands said the bass bite is hot and they’re feeding on live eels mainly at Flynn’s Knoll.
Capt. Bill’s Landing in Point Pleasant Beach reports stripers up to 50 pounds were falling for sand eels off Long Branch. And offshore, the tuna bite was hot at the Triple Wrecks.
Capt. Bogan, of the 125-foot Jamaica, says his offshore runs have been producing limits of blue fin tuna, and good catches of yellow fin up to 90 pounds, predominately on bait and jigs.
NRA’S GREAT AMERICAN OUTDOOR SHOW
The Great American Outdoor Show held annually at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, has been cancelled for 2021 due to the pandemic. The announcement came from the National Shooting Sports Foundation who hosts the show along with NRA sponsorship.
NJ STOCKS ATLANTIC SALMON
New Jersey’s DEP Salmon Stocking Program has just stocked 4,325 Landlocked Atlantic Salmon in four state waters. The fish range from 12-16 inches and were stocked in Wawayanda Lake (2,103); Lake Aeroflex (810); Tilcon Lake with 12-inch size limit, (762); and Merrill Creek Reservoir (650) with a 15-inch size limit. The daily limit is two per day and anglers are urged to report their catches to the Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries (firstname.lastname@example.org). These salmon came from New Jersey’s Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery.
Ed. Note: If they haven’t done so already, perhaps the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission should consider raising and stocking Atlantic Salmon as a supplement to trout.
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.