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Trout, shad, stripers and turkeys are on the weekend menu

The Easton area of the Delaware River will be hopping with boats and anglers this weekend
The Easton area of the Delaware River will be hopping with boats and anglers this weekend
by Nick Hromiak

Now that the rains have subsided, local streams and rivers have also receded and cleared to make fishing tolerable again.

Bob’s Bait, Tackle and Taxidermy in Orefield reports that the Jordan Creek has come down and trout fishing has once again picked up. Anglers are picking up good numbers of trout throughout the State Game Lands stretch of the Jordan as well as at Wehr’s Dam and the Orefield Road Dam. “The Jordan has cleared and the trout seem to want meat in the form of fathead minnows, shiners and nightcrawlers,” Danenhowers opines. Since Bob’s is also a taxidermist, a few hunters have brought in their spring gobblers for mounting. The largest birds so far, he reports, are a 22 pounder with 10.5-inch beard and a 19 pounder with a 10.5-inch beard. “Spring gobbler hunting is either hot or cold. One day they’ll be gobbling like crazy, the next day at the same spot, they’re quiet. I had two jakes and a hen come into my calls but the jakes didn’t respond with any callbacks. They came in quietly,” said Danenhower.

Willie’s Bait and Tackle in Cementon reports the Lehigh River has receded and cleared somewhat and locals are picking up smallmouth bass and trout mostly on minnows. The Hokendauqua Creek has resumed producing trout but few anglers are fishing. Willie also reports the Delaware River is fishing good for shad. Willie talked to the Joe Casper, the voice of the Delaware River Shad Fisherman’s Hotline, and Joe said he’s nailing doubles on a high/low rig. Casper rigs a large dart on the tag end of his line with a barrel swivel and extends a six-inch piece of line from the swivel and attaches a smaller dart, both tipped with a Twister tail.

The Delaware River Fisherman’s’ Shad Hotline says the river temperature has risen to 55 degree’s and should be getting close to 60 with predicted warm temperatures for the weekend. Shad are being caught from Yardley on up to the Delaware Water Gap stretch of the river.

Mike’s Bait and Tackle in Nazareth echoes the Hotline report but goes one further by saying there are few anglers fishing. The shad being caught, Mike reports, range from 2 to 2.5 pounds. “The days of the 5-pounders seem to be over,” he opines. Over at Lake Minsi, Mike says fishing is picking up with a few anglers finding panfish, some trout and pickerel, mostly on minnows and mealies.

Mark at Archery at the Glen, says trout action has been picking up since the heavy rains moved the fish around when they sought cover from the heavy flows. Live bait seems to be the ticket right now and the gamut runs from nightcrawlers to minnows and every thing in between. Mark also reminds anglers that the Lehigh County Fish and Game Protective Association is again hosting their Little Lehigh Fishing Derby that takes place for juniors on Saturday, May 17 starting at 10 a.m., and Sunday, May 18, for adults starting at 9 a.m. There’s a $5 entry fee for kids and $10 for adults. Tickets may be purchased at the shop on Auburn St., in Allentown.

Chris’ Bait & Tackle in Mertztown reports good trout action on the Swabia and Spring creeks as well as the Little Lehigh, all of which were stocked last Saturday. Crappie action has begun at Ontelaunee Reservoir in upper Berks County where locals are picking them up on minnows, Skippy Fish and Trout Magnet lures.
Down at Blue Marsh Lake, crappie there have awaken since the water calmed down and warmed. A few old timers are nailing them around downed timber along the shoreline. Chris also hears good reports of crappie and catch-and-release bass action at Beltzville Lake where pre-spawn bass are falling for white spinnerbaits and smoke blue tube baits.

Saltwater anglers are finally bringing in stripers from all along the Jersey coast. Capt. Bogan of the Jamaica charter in Brielle, NJ, said his customers are picking them off with jigs and croc spoons.

Scott’s Bait & Tackle in Little Egg Harbor said striper action is good one day, slow the next. Most anglers are using bloodworms and clams with clam chum. Some folks have been getting crabs in their traps and the store has frozen bunker available for them.

BASS PRO SHOPS
If you don’t mind driving to Harrisburg, Bass Pro Shops there is hosting a “Go Outdoors” week that runs May 16-26. The event is intended for families who want to expand their outdoor adventures beyond the local parks and pools and features how-to seminars, free giveaways, hot buys and a chance to win an Ultimate Outdoors Giveaway.
On May 17-18 outdoor experts will be on hand to teach “Pack, Pitch and Play, a basic guide to camping and survival. The first 25 customers over the age of 18 attending the workshop will receive a blue insulated tumbler.
There’s also a “Wear It Right” seminar that details the five important steps when choosing and wearing a life jacket.
In addition, there are cooking demos planned and survival seminars (wherein the first 25 customers over 18 to attend the workshop will receive a survival multi-tool that includes a whistle, compass, flint to start a fire and dry compartment for matches).

On May 24-25, kids can enjoy a Daisy BB gun shooting range, a Metal Detector Hunt with prizes, an Adventure Scavenger Hunt, free photo downloads, free crafts, Kids’ Adventures in Camping workshop, safe passage around water, and more. For exact times go to www.basspro.com/gooutdoors.

CABELA’S RAPTOR WEEKEND

On May 24-25, Cabela’s Hamburg is hosting an Extreme Raptor Weekend featuring live raptors from the Raptor Project led by Master Falconer Jonathan Wood. His live birds range from small owls to eagles. Joining Wood will be representatives from Nikon Birding pro staff and optics education department. Admission is free.

For more information check www.cabelas.com/hamburg.