Outdoors: Rain puts a halt on productive fishing
With all the recent rain, productive fishing came to a halt as fishermen had to wait for local streams to clear and recede. When that happens most die-hard anglers hit the lakes as they’re generally not as affected by rain.
But with cooling temperatures, fishing picked up over the weekend and may continue barring any hurricane remnants. Our fishing reporters have this to say:
Willie from Willie’s Bait and Tackle in Cementon says the Lehigh River cleared quickly but is still on the high side. Trout, smallmouth bass and rockfish are being caught at the Cementon/Northampton dam area. And they’re being caught mostly on worms. One customer fished the Lehigh near Bowmanstown where Lizard Creek enters and caught over 20 trout, mainly rainbows. And believe it or not, he was using Chinook salmon eggs.
Another angler told Willie he was catching loads of fallfish by wading the lower section of the Lehigh near Hokendauqua. In between fallfish bites, he had what he estimated to be a 30-inch musky on, but lost it.
A few lucky anglers discovered that Trout Creek in Slatington has been producing leftover trout from the deep holes in this small stream.
As for lake fishing, Leaser Lake seems to continually produce Muskie, panfish and small largemouth bass. But no trout. Speculation has it the stocked trout there became a dining delight for the muskies. Maybe that’s why they’re getting so large so quick.
Willie added that Mauch Chunk Lake was fishing fairly good for largemouths and panfish and a few local anglers have been hitting Pocono lakes like Shohola for anything that bites during local high-water times.
Mike from Mike’s Bait and Tackle in Nazareth said once the Delaware River cleared locals were picking up good numbers of smallmouths and a few walleyes, all on medium shiners.
Mike was getting good trout reports from the Big Bushkill Creek, where guys have been picking off leftovers from spring-summer stockings.
One customer, who primarily fishes small lakes in the Poconos, said he was catching 12-15 inch crappies up there, but wouldn’t divulge what lake.
And for those who heard Shohola was weed-choked earlier in the season, Mike said the lake has reportedly cleared up somewhat and is more fishable now that the weeds died off.
Bill Brinkman of Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle in Philadelphia, says Kevin, a regular customer, evening-fished the Water Gap on the Delaware River for four hours with Zara Spooks, Tiny Torpedo’s, 3 and 4-inch Fin-S and Senko worms and caught 20-30 smallies. Another angler fished from Long Eddy to Callicoon and picked up 47 smallmouths, one striper, four bluegills and a bunch of river chubs.
On the saltwater scene, Brinkman said several surf fishermen hooked-up some kingfish and croakers from Cape May and Wildwood with bloodworms and Fish Bites. Up at Atlantic City in the Back Bay, one customer hooked a few blackfish and sea bass on squid and clams along the rocks.
Off the jetties at Island State Park, a few smaller bluefish where being caught with mullet and metal spoons.
From The Fisherman magazine comes reports that ocean swells of 4-7 feet are building to 6-10 feet, so forget offshore. But inshore striper action has come alive with live eels scoring fish in the northern region as well as to the Mullica River.
Big Blues, they say, are on the prowl down into Cape May County. And coastal party boats are mixing it up with catches of bluefish, ling, bonito and porgies.
Anglers should keep their fingers crossed that hurricane remnants are minor, as fish generally go on-the-feed once water temperatures dip.