Despite the potentially heavy rains forecasted for today, this weekend's fishing forecast looks exceptional for trout because of annual contests in the Lehigh River in the Bowmanstown–Slatington area and the Little Lehigh Creek in Allentown.
The Lehigh River Stocking Association kicks off its Lunkerfest 2014 trout contest from the East Penn Township Boat Launch across from Bowmanstown 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday. On-site registration is $20 and begins 7 a.m. Kids under 12 can enter the contest for free.
The LRSA, the only organization that stocks legal-size trout in the Lehigh, stocks 500 trout in the 14-30-inch range the morning of the contest, with 100 tagged for special prizes. The non-profit LRSA completed its regular stocking session last Sunday with approximately 1,800 pounds of rainbow and brown trout put into the river from Lehighton through Northampton.
No alcohol is allowed. Bait and club memberships are available for purchase.
Prizes for tagged fish not awarded on the day of Lunkerfest will be awarded during the extended contest, which goes until June 25. All rules for the contest are available at registration.
The group has been monitoring the rain situation because there is a high-water date of May 31 if the water is flowing at greater than 1,000 cfs from Frances E. Walter Dam on the date of the contest.
To check on the contest's status, go online to http://www.LRSA.org on Saturday morning.
The Lehigh County Fish & Game Protective Association's 78th annual Little Lehigh Fishing Derby takes place Saturday and Sunday. The junior contest will be held 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, and the adult contest 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sunday.
Fishing will take place between the Iron Bridge and Robin Hood Bridge in Allentown's picturesque Little Lehigh Parkway. Memberships, food, refreshments, bait and tackle will be available in the contest's Main Tent.
Finally, Pecks Pond Boat Rentals, Tackle and Bait has closed for good. Roger Wirth and staff say good-bye and thank you to all their friend-customers.
2014 Pennsylvania Fishing Regulations: http://fishinpa.com/
Willie's Bait & Tackle, 5105 Main St., Cementon (610-261-2767): Willie says two nice walleyes were caught out of Lake Nockamixon. Peggy Steacher of Catasauqua caught a 27-inch, 8.5-pound walleye on a ThunderStick lure, and her husband Joe caught a 24.5,-inch, 5.5-pound walleye on the same lure. Two other customers fishing by the Haycock bridge said the crappie fishing is equally as good. The Lehigh River fishing has been good for trout, smallmouth and rock bass. Smallmouth action turned on in the last few weeks. The Cementon falls and River Road in Laurys are producing lots of fish. The shad run is on hot and heavy in the Delaware River. The fishing has been great, but the angler numbers seem to be down based on what Willie's hearing. The Hokendauqua was stocked with trout this week. The Jordan Creek is still producing well.
Bob's Wildlife Taxidermy, 4642 Kernsville Road, Orefield (610-398-7609): Bob says the anglers coming in are still catching lots of trout, and action at the lakes and ponds is good. The heavy rains last week slowed the angler activity, but the hard core fishermen are still having success every time out. Panfishing is picking up and the crappie action is on at the lakes and ponds. Fathead minnows are still the top bait. Spring gobbler season has been productive in the area. It's spotty from one place to another with gobbles. The frequent rains are messing up the nesting situations that are normally close to water. Bob had four birds gobbling the other morning, but only one within 80 yards, which was too far for any type of ethical shot. The season extends until one-half hour after sundown next week, so the gobblers should be out and about in the afternoon and a bit easier to call. Bob has had several birds with 10-inch beards brought into the shop for mounting.
Archery @ the Glenn, 7 Auburn St., Allentown, (610-791-7665): Brian says inconsistent weather patterns have made for like fishing results on area lakes. You have to be willing to change things up. Local streams have plenty of trout, and folks seem to be doing better using live bait with the exception of a few spinners. Dick Adams from the shop had the only reported big fish last week, a 21-inch brownie and a 22-inch rainbow, while Marc and Terry caught and released 5-pound largemouth and a 4-pound smallmouth.
Heritage Fly Shop, 2643 Fish Hatchery Road, Allentown (610-248-8836): Dave says the sulphurs are starting to show up on the Little Lehigh. Size 18 comparaduns are the fly to use 6:30-8 p.m. as the evening hatch gets more intense. This week, caddis pupae have been an effective fly. There is not much activity on the surface, but crane flies are a good fly to start.
Indian Creek Farm, 3479 Mango Drive, Danielsville (610-760-0739): Barry and Corina say the Lehigh River is producing nice trout and smallmouth bass on large shiners.
Mike's Bait & Sports Shop, 328 East Lawn Road, Nazareth, (610-759-2905): Mike says shad fishing in the Delaware River has been phenomenal, but the angler pressure hasn't been that heavy. The Bushkill Creek near Jacobsburg has been producing some nice trout, and PFBC just restocked the Little Bushkill near Stockertown. The bass are starting to take off at Lake Wallenpaupack. The pickerel bite is on at Pecks Pond.
Klotz's Bait Shop, 216 Hess Ave., Hellertown (610-838-7970): Caroline says her hours have changed. She's open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays 7 a.m.-3 p.m., and is closed Wednesdays. Scott Hyland of Bethlehem caught a 26-inch rainbow trout on a minnow at Illicks Mill. Fred Balliet of Coplay caught a 19-inch rainbow on a minnow in the Lackawaxen River. Matt Fritz of Hellertown caught a 24-inch brown trout on a minnow in the Monocacy. Robert Coney of Hellertown caught a 28-inch channel catfish on chicken liver.
Cabela's, 100 Cabela Drive Hamburg, (610-929-7000): Jon Reilly, the fishing and fly fishing department manager at Cabela's, says that New Jersey striped bass action has really turned on. Bunker and clams are the hot baits, with fish also going after trolling plugs. Bluefish of various sizes are in, following big schools of baitfish that are traveling up the East Coast and by the Raritan Bay. Pencil poppers and a variety of metal spoons are good bets for these toothy critters. Locally, largemouth bass in impoundments have moved up shallow to feed and spawn. Look for fish near the shorelines, and don't be surprised if you spot some on beds. Wacky style worms, Gulp! minnows and soft jerk baits are all great shallow water bass lure choices. Trout are still biting, and most spring stockings wrapping up this week.
2014 Stocking Schedule
2014 Marine Regulations for New Jersey:
N.J. Saltwater Recreational Registry Program:
Avalon Hodge Podge Bait & Tackle, 2389 Ocean Drive, Avalon (609-967-3274) http://avalonhp.com: Dave and Tammie say keeper stripers are in the surf. Some are being caught before first light on bombers while others after sunrise are still being caught on clam or plastics on bucktails. The blues and weakfish are still in the bay and are getting bigger and better. Bloodworms and plastics are working well.
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