Monster Stripers on the Delaware River

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Fished all day Tuesday in some of the worse wind and tide conditions this year. And that is saying allot for the amount of winds we have been dealing with. But on Tuesday it was blowing 25 mile and hour right up the middle of the river with a dropping tide. Waves ranged 2 to 4 feet depending where you were. Well we only boated 4 stripers all just under the slot limit with about 8 catfish 3 to 5 pounds. Every fish came on bunker. Best part of the day was a monster hooked up but ran off about 50 yards of line before hitting something cutting the line. So Wednesday Helen and I headed back to the same spot. This day turned out to be the best day striper fishing of my life. Now the first couple fish boated were smaller 14 to 19 inch fish. But then Helen hooked up a nice 30-inch bass. Then her rod went down again with a smoking run of. As I’m clearing the rods a second rod hooks up and it was on. Well about 15 minutes later I boated a 40 inch mid 30-pound fish. I turn around and Helen is still in full battle. Well 10 minutes later we get her 42-inch mid 40-pound fish in the boat. Great to look down on the floor of the boat and see 2 monster stripers. The next couple hours brought another 30 inch bass, Helen had a 36 inch bass, a 28 inch bass but happy to put a 24 inch slot fish in the box. Tons of catfish ranging from 3 to 9 pounds mixed in. Well getting late with things to do we started reeling in to head home. Last rod in the holder as I got for it was a screaming drag. Well I held on till there was only 20 yards of line to a panic handing the rod to Helen so I could pull up the anchor. When I got the rod back there was only a couple more feet of line before I started the drift after this fish. 10 minutes later I boated a 39 inch close to 40-pound fish. What a day!!

Now over all the past couple days it has been really hot for stripers all up and down the river. Several great reports from the Burlington Bristol Bridge of 20 to 30 pound fish caught Tuesday night. A couple reports from Trenton of 26 to 25 pound fish caught on Wednesday up in the bridges. These fish were caught on chunked bunker and poppers and crankbaits. One fisherman at Station Avenue said there were a few mid 20 inch fish caught with bunker and bloodworms mid week. At the Tacony one fisherman picked up a 36 and 39 inch fish just above the bridge on Wednesday evening. These fish were also picked up with bunker. Down at Petty’s Island there has been a mix of smaller fish, slot fish and bigger fish with bunker, clams and bloodworms. At the navy yard they have been jigging some bigger bass along the flats. At the Commodore Barry Bridge down to the Delaware Memorial Bridge the fish are still hitting bloodworms best but some bigger fish this past week were caught with chunked bunker. River temperature is 61 degrees and these fish are going to spawn out in the next week or so.

The upper river for shad has also been on fire. Trenton has been very good but it is hard to keep the herring off the spoons. Yardley has been fair but again tons of herring are all over the shad spoons. The best fishing has been Washington’s Crossing up to the Delaware Water Gap. These guys have been catching 10 to 30 fish a day most on spoons but also doing well on smaller darts. They are even now catching shad as far as Callicoon New York. These is also some good numbers of walleyes hitting off the New Hope wing dam with a good mix of stripers. The walleyes have been hitting bigger minnows and grubs with the stripers hitting live eels and crankbaits the best. Up in the rocks above the 202 bridge I had one customer pick up a couple dozen eels catching stripers 10 to 18 pounds fishing at night. He said the bass are also hitting big black poppers.

Trout are being stocked again in the Pennypack creek this week. So if you were heading out on the weekend this would be a great place to head. What trout are still hitting in the creek power baits, mealworms, wax worms and spinners have been working best. I had one great report from the Wissahickon last week with a fisherman picking up 25 trout with a 4-½ pound rainbow. He did best with C.P. Swings. I weighted in a 7-pound rainbow caught in the upper part of the Pennypack. This fish was taken on a spinner. Core Creek has been fair for trout but still has been much better for panfish and bass. The Delaware Canal was restocked and most guys have been catching 3 to 8 trout each trip up. Here mealworms, earthworms, marshmallows, spinners and jigs are working best. Only one person back from Levittown Lake with this fisherman picking up 11 trout this past week with wax worms, power baits and spoons. I seen a few pictures of 3 to 5 pound rainbows and palominos caught in a smaller creek up in Montgomery County. But this fisherman was not giving up which creek it was. But live minnows, trout magnets and spinners were working best.

Core Creek other than trout has been great for some monster largemouth bass. These guys have been fishing spinner baits, plastic worms and Spro crankbaits to catch bass 3 to 6 pounds. Nockamixon has been one of the best bass spots the past couple weeks. John is still fishing the deeper water along the edges with spinner baits, suspended crankbaits and jig and pigs. Last weekend he only landed 6 fish but over all weight was 24 pounds. Biggest was 6.1 pounds. Ron headed out to Stubble Lake having a pretty good day with 12 to 13 inch crappies. Small twister tails, trout magnets and small tube tails were working best. The Schuylkill guys had a pretty good week on smaller catfish fishing the Gladwin section of the river. Chicken livers, shrimp and nightcrawlers were working best. Several baits out all night long looking for flatheads with no luck. FDR Park has still been fair for snakeheads, bluegills and smaller bass. Small jigs and minnows working best for the panfish, plastic worms and poppers for the bass with the snakeheads hitting larger jerk baits and Zara Spooks. A couple guys up at Green Lane said some nice bass are being picked up along the roadways with jigs, plastic worms and lizards. These fish have been 3 to 4 pounds. And fishing the Perkiomen from Route 29 down to the Skippack has been very good for smaller bass, rock bass and bluegills. Fishing spinners, smaller twister tails and shallow crankbaits.

Saltwater action has really picked up this past week. Bluefish all over the Manasquan Inlet section of Jersey. These fish have been hitting metal spoons the best but guys have been catching fish with poppers, crankbaits, and shad bodies. Problem here is they are just eating them up. Striper fishing in the Raritan has been fantastic. I seen lots of pictures of fish 30 to 50 pounds taken this past week. Bunker spoons, umbrella rigs, shad bodies, live and chunked bunkers, live eels have been working best. Long Beach Island jetties have also been good for some 15 to 25 pound stripers. These fish have been hitting live eels the best. Brigantine was real good for smaller blues with spoons and jigs the past couple days. Lots of good reports from Barnegat for off shore black fishing. Reports of fish 5 to 12 pounds were taken the past week. The further south you head the slower the fishing gets. Cape May has been still pretty good for some drum fish. These fish are being picked up with clams off the beach. The Delaware Bay is starting to pick up for 20 to 50 pound drum fish with clams. Fortescue has still been a pretty good spot for stripers in the 24 to 35 inch range. These fish are hitting bloodworms and clams the best. Up at Salem several guys are still doing well on bigger white perch mixed in with some 20 to 28 inch stripers and catfish in the 3 to 6 pound range. Bloodworms, bunker, clams, minnows and nightcrawlers working the best. Another fisherman just back from Brigantine saying a school of bluefish and stripers have pushed a ton of bunker right up on the beach. Using spoons or chunks of bunker they are catching 6 to 10 pound bluefish with a few 15 to 25 pound stripers mixed in.

Only got 2 reports back from my Jersey freshwater guys. Jerry still doing very good on pickerel, crappies and perch fishing several different lakes in south jersey. He has been doing best with live minnows but twister tails, sassy shads, spoons and plastic worms are working best. Richie said the pickerel are driving him crazy eating up his Senko worms while fishing for largemouth bass. He did land 4 fish between 3 and 4 pounds. His buddies are crushing stripers in the lower Egg Harbor with shad bodies, bucktails tipped with Gulp mullet, chunked bunker and live eels. They had over 25 legal fish this past week. Further up the river at Collins cove they are catching smaller stripers mix in with bigger white perch. Bloodworms and grass shrimp working best.

Well I have just run out of time. Big stripers tournament this coming weekend so I hope to see a bunch of big striper pictures to post on the gallery. Good luck and I hope everyone gets a day like Helen and I had this past week. Bill

 

I made it out both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Fished the  Rancocas both days. Saturday was a challenge with the wind and I only caught 1 small striper. I did manage to catch my first catfish of the year off of bunker. It was about 8lbs.

 

Sunday we got out just before noon and fished for about 5 hours. My buddy was dead set on using night crawlers and I dont think he landed one all day. I used blood worms catching 8 shorts and one 21″ striper. Probably would have stayed out longer if not for running out of bait. James

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