The Lehigh Valley’s Best and Most Complete
By GARY R. BLOCKUS of ASPORTINGLIFE.NET
It’s about time Pennsylvania!
No, that’s not a reference to the legalization of medicinal marijuana in the Commonwealth, but to the start of the statewide trout season.
Anglers in the Lehigh Valley and other areas of Southeastern Pennsylvania have been legally fishing for trout in the local waters since April 2. The rest of the state anglers who weren’t willing to travel here – and many were – get to cast their first lines 8 a.m. Saturday, April 16 with the
statewide trout season opener.
Trout must be a minimum of seven inches in length to be considered a “keeper” for your creel, and there is a five-trout limit (brook, brown, rainbow, golden rainbow, lake trout combined) through Sept. 5.
The Lehigh Valley streams are already in the process of receiving their second set of trout stockings with the Hokendauqua and Indian Creeks, along with the Jordan and some others, having received their second rounds this past week. The Bushkill is slated for its second round on Monday.
After some truly wicked weekend weather the past two weekends, it finally looks as though this weekend will provide a comfortable setting for anglers with warm temperatures and low winds. Rain and high winds marred the opening weekend for local anglers, and last weekend’s cold and snow-rain combo made the time equally as miserable. This weekend is predicted (by every weather service) to be more enjoyable for everyone.
If you’re an experienced angler, do our sport a favor and take a kid, or a neighbor, fishing. It’s going to be a great weekend. Enjoy!
One of the newer tackle bags on the market can help organize your day much easier. The Plano A-Series Tackle Bag ($49.99 at www.planomolding.com/fishing/2016-new-products/a-series-tackle-bag-3600-series-497 ) includes four StowAway Utility Boxes and holds space for a fifth. The interior lid, from zipper-free main compartment entrance, has one large zippered pocket and four small regular pockets to provide both secure and easy access.
2016 Pennsylvania Fishing Regulations: http://fishinpa.com/
2016 Pennsylvania Trout Stocking Schedule:
Wallenpaupack Sports Shop, Route 6, Hawley (570-226-4797): Mark says the Lake Wallenpaupack smallmouth bass are in 12-15 feet of water and taking the old stand-by Kai-tech lures along with the new hot bait, . Quick Limit double tail grubs The Quick Limits have been producing phenomenally. Stripers are around the islands and taking big shiners and live herring drifting. Calico activity has bene sporadic, but one customer brought in a 36-inch channel catfish. Walleye are moving into the shore lines for the spawn. Big pickerel are taking live bait along the shore lines. The streams look great for the statewide trout season opener. For hunters, spring gobbler season looks like it will be very productive. The lake is literally being surrounded with a good number of turkeys.
Willie’s Bait & Tackle, 5105 Main St., Cementon (610-261-2767): Willie says that fishing in the Lehigh River has been really productive for brown trout and rainbow trout. All the local creeks are fully stocked and there are plenty of fish because of the harsh weather the last two weeks. The lower part of the Hokendauqua and Indian Creeks a were stocked on Wednesday. The Jordan has been productive as well. A few stripers are being caught at Beltzville Lake already, but there’s not much action at Mauch Chunk as of yet. Fishing has been good overall.
Bob’s Wildlife Taxidermy, 4642 Kernsville Road, Orefield (610-398-7609): Bob says the he’s getting a new minnow tank running and his shop is fully stocked for all your fishing needs this season. More and more catch-and-release angler are reporting in. The Jordan Creek is still a bit on the low side, but the fish are in the holes. Fathead minnows seem to be the most productive bait butter and wax worms have been hot bait as well. Not much information has been coming in from Leaser Lake shore anglers. Angler pressure has been fairly light in the region. The weekend weather looks beautiful, so the streams may be crowded. Bob predicts midday and toward evening as the best fishing time.
Heritage Fly Shop, 2643 Fish Hatchery Road, Allentown (610-248-8836): Dave says the Little Lehigh the trout are biting. The nice weather will make midges and crane flies the main ticket. Subsurface nymphs size 18 and smaller should also be a good bet.
Indian Creek Farm, 3479 Mango Drive, Danielsville (610-760-0739): Barry says Indian Creek is open seven days a week through July 4.
Mike’s Bait & Sports Shop, 328 East Lawn Rd., Nazareth, (610-759-2905): Mike says the shad run has started Darts and flutters are working best. The trout streams are already getting restocked The Bushkill gets restocked on Monday, Customers are anxious for the statewide trout opener to fish the Poconos. Turkeys are gobbling, which is getting the spring hunters excited.
Klotz’s Bait Shop, 216 Hess Ave., Hellertown (610-838-7970): Caroline says there haven’t been a lot of reports coming in, but plenty of people are going out. The new shop hours for the spring and summer are 7 a.m.-7 p.m. in the spring, closed Wednesdays, and Sundays at 2 p.m. George had a lot of luck catch-and-release fly fishing. The most popular casting bait is butterworms.
2016 Marine Regulations for New Jersey:
N.J. Saltwater Recreational Registry Program:
The Tackle Box, 1134 State Route 36, Hazlet (732-264-7711) www.striperspecial.com: Phil says striped bass fishing is off the charts fright now for the boats in the Raritan Bay. Lots of 25- and 30-pound fish are being caught by throwing out shad, jigging, chunking bunker and tossing out top water stuff. It’d been s super good early season for three weeks now.
Brielle Tackle, 800 Ashley Ave., Brielle (732-528-5720) www.brielletackle.com: Greg says the fishing is slow. Some winter flounder are in the river, but not a lot. Ling never developed in the ocean. There are some back fish in the inlet. Stripers are north in Raritan Bay and taking bunker.
LITTLE EGG INLET
Scott’s Bait & Tackle, 945 Radio Rd., Little Egg Harbor Twp. (609-296-1300) www.scottsbt.com: It’s been all stripers and drum fish for Scott’s clientele. Stripers art at Graveling Point, and the action is primarily shorts with an occasional 30-inch keeper. If you like catching, now’s the time but you won’t be taking much meat home just yet. Drum fish in the 15-30-pound rang are being caught as well. No real action reports from the trolling boats as of yet, and no word on any bluefish.
— Gary R. Blockus