Trout season is under way; shad run begins
With the regional trout season underway, and with portions of the Lehigh River getting stocked April 2 by the Lehigh River Stocking Association, there should be lots of leftover trout in area streams and lakes, especially since the rainy weather made for a light turnout on the opener.
With predicted cold weather, it will make the fish lethargic, as well as the angler. Best fishing then is in the afternoons when air and water temperatures rise.
If you’re fishing the upper Jordan Creek or Leaser Lake for trout, and are in need of live bait, Bob’s Taxidermy on Kernsville Road in Orefield, has reopened his seasonal bait shop. The shop offers the gamut of fathead minnows, rosy reds, medium shiners, night crawlers, baby night crawlers, red worms, waxworms, butter worms, power bait and basic tackle items.
It has been said that when the forsythias bloom the shad run begins in the Delaware River. Well, they’re here but not in great numbers as yet. According to the Delaware River Shad Fisherman’s Hotline, some shad were being caught at Lambertville, Lumberville, Riegelsville and Easton were the water temperature was 51 last week.
Bill Brinkman from Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle Shop in Philly, said shad have been caught at the bridges in the Trenton area on shad spoons with some anglers landing 5-20 fish a day. Many of the fish are in the 4-6 pound range (with some roe), so it seems they are somewhat larger than in recent years.
Then at Washington’s Crossing, customer Frank fished all day last Monday and managed to catch 40 shad, all on pink and chartreuse shad spoons. One bank fisherman, Brinkman reported, fished the walk bridge at Bull’s Island and picked up nine shad last Sunday on 1/8-ounce darts fished on a teaser rig with a spoon fished above it. Brinkman said he even heard of some shad being hooked at the Water Gap where a few anglers were picking up 3-8 fish an evening. At New Hope’s wing dam, one customer said he caught two legal walleyes, an 18-inch smallmouth bass and one 24-inch striper, which brings up another report. Stripers!
Yes, the linesiders have returned with most being found in the Philadelphia area as they make their way up from the Delaware Bay into the Delaware River. Again, Brinkman said the lower part of the Delaware yielded a 40-inch striper near the Philly airport. This same stretch saw several 28-32 inch linesiders, with most caught on bloodworms while others fell for bunker. Derek, another customer, managed to take a 28-inch striper on bunker at the confluence with Neshaminy Creek. Tim, nailed a 43-incher at the Tacony Bridge last Wednesday on bunker. Another fisherman throwing bloodworms, picked up several smaller bass but the perch were driving him nuts meaning they were molesting his bait. At Trenton, stripers averaging 20-24 inches were hitting poppers, crankbaits and shad bodies.
If you’re a saltwater angler, blackfish season is now open and some small stripers have shown up at Oyster Creek Cove in Jersey. There they’re eating clams, bloodworms and shad bodies. Raritan Bay too was also producing some striper action, but most of the fish are small. Then up at the Mullica River and at Crowley’s Landing Cove, bloodworms and strips of clams were luring small stripers to hook.
From here on, fishing should turn on as more trout will be stocked along with trout opener in other portions of the state. Plus, shad and stripers will be making their appearance in the Upper Bucks, Northampton County stretch of the Delaware River.