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Heavy rains hampered local fishing but will improve by weekend

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Despite the monsoon we had earlier in the week, local creeks have receded somewhat and are fishing fairly good for trout according to our local tackle shop reporters. If anything, the high water from the rains may have moved the trout around somewhat.

And if there was an unusual happening this past week it was the discovery of a 75-inch mature adult Atlantic sturgeon along the banks of the Delaware River in the Easton area. The find, by a local landowner, was deemed a rarity because sturgeon’s are anadromous fish that are born in freshwater rivers but migrate to the ocean before coming back to their native waters as shad do.

Sturgeon don’t usually come this far north as their spawning grounds are normally in the Chester area according to the PF&BC. That’s over a 100 miles from the Delaware Bay. There have been occasions when juveniles travel as far north as Port Jervis in the Delaware, but adult makes don’t. It was estimated that this particular fish weighed around 60-75 pounds when alive.

PF&BC biologists, according to Eric Levis PF&BC press manager, found no signs that it was caught or got hit by a boat. It evidently died of old age.

Atlantic sturgeon are an endangered species in Pennsylvania and have been on the federal list since April 2013. They typically live for up to 60 years and can grow to over eight feet.

As for trout fishing, Bob Danenhower of Bob’s Bait, Tackle and Taxidermy in Orefield, reported that fishing is like a yo-yo. One day it’s up, the next day it’s down. Despite this, fishing should pick up for the weekend as stream levels have lowered and the waters are clearing.

“It’s time, says Danenhower, to be willing to change baits, tackle and possibly deviate your fishing methods.”

Other than trout, Danenhower says panfishing was picking up as attested to by Franklin Hoffman of the Lehigh County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, who brought in an 18-inch hog crappie bass for mounting.

Chris’ Bait & Tackle in Mertztown says his customers have been doing well on the upper Jordan after it was stocked on Monday (4-14) from Route 309 down to MacArthur Road. And in upper Berks County, Sacony Creek will be stocked April 30 as it was supposed to be stocked on the 15th but was postponed because of the heavy rain.

Over at Ontelaunee Reservoir and Blue Marsh Lake, anglers are starting to hit pre-spawn crappies on Skippy Fish, fatheads and Trout Magnets. Chris believes everything is running two weeks behind as far as air and water temperatures are concerned.

Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Cementon reports that the Lehigh River had hot trout action until the rains came and raised and muddied the river. Locals were catching big browns and rainbows from Laury’s down past the Cementon-Northampton dam. Willie said he hasn’t seen the river so high and fast in a long time. But he adds that the Lehigh River Stocking Association will stock the river again in May from Carbon County down to Northampton.

Local streams are clearing and receding and customers are picking up trout on butter worms, crawlers, Trout Magnets and Berkley’s 3-inch scented, floating trout worms in pink, chartreuse and white. Willie reminds anglers that the Hokendauqua Creek is scheduled to be stocked next week.

Mike from Mike’s Sport Shop in Nazareth reports that shad were being picked up in good numbers from below Easton on up to Dingmans Ferry. But then the rains came and the river got high, fast and discolored. In the Easton area, the water temp earlier in the week was running 48-49 degrees. And anglers were catching shad on darts as opposed to flutter spoons, which is customarily the hotter lure.

Lake Minsi, he says, is slow with only a few trout being picked up sporadically.

Fly fishermen have been working pheasant tails and hare’s ears flies on local trout streams to some success. Otherwise butter worms and mealies seem to be attractive to trout right now. Mike too agrees that everything seems to be two weeks late this year.

For shad updates call the Delaware River Shad Fishermen’s Association hotline at 610-954-0577- 0578.

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