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Trout fishing's good in cold-water creeks

Gary Blockus

9:27 PM EDT, September 5, 2013

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The cooler weather and water temperatures have most waterways turning to fall patterning for our freshwater fish. Trout action isn't back on full bore in the rivers just yet, but sizable smallmouth bass are being reported. The area's cold-water creeks are still a solid bet for trout fishing.

As we begin to transition to the hunting time of year, with doves opening up last week, getting your shooting skills in gear is critical. Two sporting-clays benefit shoots are taking place this month at Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays in Coplay.

The Exchange Club of Western Lehigh's 2013 Charity Clay Shoot will take place at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 13 to support the child-abuse prevention. Clays, shells, breakfast, a barbecue lunch and more are included in the entry fee.

The Valley Youth House Sporting Clays event will take place Sept. 27.

Entry information for both events is included in the Outdoor Calendar. The deadline for entry into the Western Lehigh shoot is Friday, so please call if you plan to enter.

Also, don't forget to submit your fish photos to our online Outdoor Photo Gallery at http://www.mcall.com/outdoors.

Have fun out there, but respect the water and be safe.

FRESHWATER REPORT

2013 Pennsylvania Fishing Regulations: http://fishinpa.com/

2013 Pennsylvania Trout Stocking Schedule: http://pfbc.state.pa.us/pfbc_webgis/TroutStockingDetails.aspx

Pecks Pond Boat Rentals, Tackle & Bait, Dingmans Ferry (570-775-7237) peckspondrentals@yahoo.com; http://www.peckspond.com: Charlie says Mary Ellen Holmes used a dead minnow to catch-and-release a 21-inch, 5.5-pound largemouth bass in Shohola. Bass are hitting dead minnows, floating silver Rapalas, soft plastic jerk baits in natural minnow shades, and 10-inch black plastic worms. Bluegills were going after nightcrawlers and 3-inch curl tail grubs. At Pecks Pond, pickerel were chasing small in-line spinners with silver blades, and Zara spooks. Perch were attacking red worms and 2-inch red curl tail grubs. Some walleyes of decent size were reported at White Deer Lake.

Sportsman's Outlet, 205 Applegate Road and Route 611, Stroudsburg (570-424-5450): Ron says with fall fast approaching, fishing is at its best; the water temperatures are ideal and the air temperatures favor the anglers. Customers are reporting nice catches in quantity and size of bass and pickerel. Lakes like Beltzville, Minsi and Shohola are the hot spots with lures and live bait working. The Delaware River is still producing good smallmouth bass. Trout fishing is picking up with some nice-size fish being caught in the Bushkill and McMichael creeks.

Willie's Bait & Tackle, 5105 Main St., Cementon (610-261-2767): Willie says the Lehigh River is still good for smallmouth bass, but the trout action hasn't turned to fall patterns just yet. Treichlers and Laurys Station areas are great for 16-inch smallies. The Monocacy is still good for trout. The Little Lehigh and Pohopoco behind the River Walck are still hot. Crappy and bluegill action was good at White Deer Lake. Bluegills were biting in Greeley.

Archery @ the Glenn, 7 Auburn St., Allentown (610-791-7665): Brian says area streams are in good shape and customers are enjoying the pleasant weather and catching some nice trout that have been scattered around from the storms. The Lehigh River is giving up catfish, carp and plenty of smallmouth bass. Good reports from area lakes and ponds have come in from holiday weekend anglers that caught lots of fish with the kids. It's looking as if we'll have a nice fall fishing season as water levels and temps are primed. The same goes for the reports from the field, as deer numbers look good and food sources should be plentiful. Archers, remember to shoot your broadheads before going afield.

Mike's Bait & Sports Shop, 328 East Lawn Road, Nazareth (610-759-2905): Mike says bluegills are biting at Minsi. Bluegills and smallmouth bass are biting at Mauch Chunk. Catfish and small stripers are being caught on the Delaware. Smallmouth action is sporadic but surprisingly good when it does occur on the Delaware.

Klotz's Bait Shop, 216 Hess Ave., Hellertown (610-838-7970): Caroline says John Bauer of Bethlehem caught six bass on nightcrawlers; the largest was 16 inches in the Appalachian Campground.

Cabela's, 100 Cabela Drive, Hamburg (610-929-7000): Jon Reilly, the fishing and fly fishing department manager at Cabela's, says that salmon activity has tapered off in the Salmon River for now. Fish are still being caught in fairly deep water in the lake, so the next big run should arrive in the next few weeks. A steady pick of bluefish is still being caught from the New Jersey beaches and party boats. The fish size can vary day by day from small cocktail blues to big chompers. Diamond jigs and spoons have been producing well. Local bass activity continued to be good, with some reports of deeper water (5 to 15 feet) drop-shot rigs being effective. This technique can be very productive on deep water or sluggish bass. Fishing should continue to improve as water temperatures continue to drop.

SALTWATER REPORT

NEW JERSEY

2013 Marine Regulations for New Jersey:

http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/saltwater.htm

The Tackle Box, 1134 State Route 36, Hazlet (732-264-7711) http://www.striperspecial.com: Phil says croakers are still all over the place. Boats are still catching fluke, but in the deeper water like Ambrose Channel. Weakfish are in Raritan Bay.

BARNEGAT BAY

Brielle Tackle, 800 Ashley Ave., Brielle (732-528-5720) http://www.brielletackle.com: Greg says the fluke are still off the beach in about 40 feet of water in the Manasquan and Point Pleasant area. They're in the 4- to 6-pound range and still close to shore. Blues in the 1- to 3-pound range are in the same area along the beach. The Manasquan River has gone into fall patterns early, with spot and porgys providing the action.

LITTLE EGG INLET

Scott's Bait & Tackle, 945 Radio Road, Little Egg Harbor Township (609-296-1300) http://www.scottsbt.com: Scott says the reasonable weather has allowed people to get out on the ocean around both local reefs. Fluke action is hot. The bay has smaller fish. The blowfish haven't materialized, but there are a lot of smaller croakers and spots.

2013 Delaware Fishing Guide: http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Fisheries/Documents/2013%20Fishing%20Guide.pdf

REHOBOTH BEACH

Old Inlet Bait & Tackle, Highway One, Rehoboth (302-227-7974) http://www.oldinlet.com: Jim says the surf is good for spot and nice croakers. An occasional rockfish and trout are also being caught, but a good number of snapper-size bluefish are being caught in the inlet.

gary.blockus@mcall.com

610-820-6782