If you want really big fish, head to the Jersey shore as stripers up to 50 pounds are being caught says our fishing contacts at On the Water Magazine.
According to Capt. Phil Sciartino from the Tackle Box in Hazlet, stripers are hot in the bay. Bunker chunking around the Old Orchard site was producing stripers up to 50 pounds. The Keansburg Pier was also yielding some linesiders with a few bluefish mixed in.
Giglio’s Bait and Tackle in Sea Bright says stripers, weighing in the teens, were coming from the Shrewsbury River mostly at night using chunks and plugs.
The Reel Seat Tackle Shop in Brielle reports monster bass were being caught on the troll between Sandy Hook and Seaside. They also reported the surf bite is improving with stripers, blues, kingfish even a few fluke being hooked on clams, worms and bunker chunks. They suggest trying some shads and metal spoons for bass and blues.
Tackle World in Rochelle reports customers are finding bass and blues in Raritan Bay and fluke in Shark and Manasquan rivers.
Fisherman’s Den in Point Pleasant said sea bass anglers are catching fish as fast as they can unhook one. Boaters are getting two and three at a time.
Gabriel Tackle in Brick says stripers and some bluefish are coming from around the Mantoloking Bridge and from the Manasquan River.
If you don’t want to drive to Jersey, there’s still some decent local angling action.
Mike from Mike’s Bait & Tackle in Nazareth reports shad fishing is winding down in the Delaware River, but catfishing it hot as is the smallmouth bass bite. And just recently he’s been getting some reports of stripers being hooked in the Delaware. As for Minsi Lake, trout fishing there is excellent especially from boats. Boaters are trolling spinners and picking up some decent size trout. Mike recommends boat anglers use the East launch site. Shore anglers are using PowerBait for trout. Also some bluegill and pumpkinseeds are falling for worms and small spinners in the Lehigh Canal in Freemansburg and Bethlehem.
Willie form Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Cementon reports decent trout action on the Lehigh River from Canal Park upriver to the dam. Most action coming on medium shiners and night crawlers. Some catfish, catch-and-release smallmouth bass and some fallfish (chubs) are being hooked while fishing for trout. Willie said he’s already caught fallfish up to 14-15 inches. “They look like a shad and fight like a trout, Willie recalls, but not many anglers keep them.”
Of the local streams, Little Lehigh is the best bet as it’s holding leftover trout from thanks to recent stockings from the Lil-Le-Hi Trout Nursery.
Up at Leaser Lake, Willie says anglers are catching-and-releasing sizable muskies on live bait. Also some catch-release largemouths, a few crappies, sunnies and one walleye was reported. But no trout.
Beltzville Lake and Lake Wallenpaupack are yielding some stripers and bass, but mostly in the evenings.
Chris, from Chris’s Bait & Tackle in Mertztown, says Ontelaunee Reservoir was hot for catch-release largemouths on rubber worms but their spawn is about over and the once hot bite has calmed down. Ontelaunee crappie bite is fairly good there and they’re eagerly hitting fatheads.
Blue Marsh Lake catfishing has been good for anglers throwing large pike shiners. Largemouth action is fair while smallmouths are more active and eager to hit skirted hair jigs and rubber-tipped jigs.
Leaser Lake is on fire for catch-release muskies. One customer had four last week, one was 40 inches. All are falling for large minnows. Mike, a regular customer, fished Leaser last Wednesday and had a phenomenal day from shore by latching onto a few largemouths, crappie, perch and four muskies. But no trout.
Bass season officially opens June 12 on lakes (except for Leaser), ponds and streams. At that time, anglers may keep six of combined species (smallmouths and largemouths).
EVINRUDE BOAT MOTORS TO BE DISCONTINUED
BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products) recently announced it has re-oriented its marine business by focusing on the growth of its boat brands. As such, it will discontinue production of Evinrude E-TEC and E-TEC G2 outboard engines. Its Sturtevant, Wisconsin, facility will be repurposed for new projects to pursue the company’s plan to provide consumers with an unparalleled experience on the water. Evinrude has building outboards for anglers and recreational boaters for 110 years.
In a press release, the company CEO stated, "Our outboard engines business has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, obliging us to discontinue production of our outboard motors immediately,” said BRP President and CEO José Boisjoli. “This business segment had already been facing some challenges, and the impact from the current context has forced our hand. We will concentrate our efforts on new and innovative technologies and on the development of our boat companies, where we continue to see a lot of potential to transform the on-water experience for consumers."
Following BRP’s decision, the company has signed an agreement with Mercury Marine to support boat packages and continue to supply outboard engines to its boat brands. BRP will continue to supply customers and its dealer network service parts, and it will honor manufacturer limited warranties, plus offer select programs to manage inventory. These decisions will impact 650 employees globally.
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.