Saturday’s regional trout opener was either feast of famine for some anglers.
A friend and his son from Northampton fished the Hokey Creek in the borough and got skunked. A first for them in many trout openers.
Same story at Leaser Lake. After interviewing a half dozen anglers around the lake on the opener, not one caught a trout, and that included a few of the nine boats and one kayak on the lake at that time. The general consensus there varied from the muskies ate all the stocked trout, to the water was too cold, to the recent rain pushed food from the feeder creek into the lake so the trout weren’t hungry. But the main reason voiced by many was that the water was too cold.
If you're going up to Leaser or fishing the upper Jordan Creek and need bait, Bob's Taxidermy on Kernsville Road, a block west of Route 309, offers all the favored trout baits live and artificials.
A couple veteran anglers thought the Mentored Youth Day took out a lot of trout, even though each youngster was only allowed to keep two fish.
Stopping by the Coplay Creek in Egypt, the fishing was slow and one angler said a guy caught a 23-inch palomino that was one of two that was stocked in a particular stretch of the creek. The other was supposedly pulled out during the youth fishing day.
According to Willie Marx, owner of Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Cementon, the Lehigh River produced some sizable 20-inch trout on minnows and night crawlers. Portions of the river were stocked with rainbow and brown trout by the Lehigh River Stocking Association during the morning of the opener.
And while this was all going on, dedicated shad fishermen were finessing shad from the Delaware River. Willie said one customer said he caught six buck shad down around Lambertville. The Delaware River Shad Fishermen’s Hotline reports that despite 48-degree water temperature, shad have been caught from Lambertville upriver to Easton. Some boat anglers have been taking 10-20 shad per outing.
If you’re a striper fisherman, good news. They’re making their way up into the Delaware River during their annual spawning run. Here’s a southern report from Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle in Philadelphia.
“The striper run seems to be all happening down river. From the airport south there have been plenty of 12-20-inch fish being caught with bloodworms. I have only known of a couple fish so far picked up with bunker and clams. I was up to Bristol early in the week to watch a fisherman land two 15-inch fish and then I sent a friend up the next day and he caught two 12 and 17-inch bass. All caught with bloodworms. At the art museum they started to catch a few smaller stripers on shad bodies mixed in with some nice walleyes. Paul has been doing well on smaller stripers in the Delaware section of the river. Several guys back from Salem caught 10-20 fish with a mix of small stripers, white perch and channel catfish.
We’ll have a more in-depth striper report next week.
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.