Fishing Reports

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Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, it did! This morning, before Joe and his crew got on the boat at 7:00, the boat next to me was hooked up with a Shad. I didn't even have the 3rd rod in the water when we hooked up our own first fish. The guys ended up boating 15 of 24 fish, with a two hour lull in the action being the only slow period. The afternoon crew got there at 2PM and we hooked up pretty quickly. Matt, Dan and Joe got into the groove of rotating the rods in and out of the holder, clearing rods when we hooked up and keeping a running tally of the fish we'd boated. We had numerous doubles, ending the evening boating 33 of 44 Shad. Pretty amazing considering we didn't stay until dark! We are at the peak of the run, with most of the evening fish big, fat roes. Get them now! Water clarity is 4-5', water temp is at June levels with the temp this afternoon at a balmy 65 degrees!!!!!
4-10-10 I'm officially spoiled. The morning crew of Bill and Charlie tried to sneak a banana on board - but I saw it peaking out of the top of their bag and flagged them. Good thing I did as the first fish was on by 7:15AM and the action never stopped until I dropped them at the ramp at 1:30. They boated 18 of 28, with lots of nice roes mixed in, including a monster 7+ pound fish. I had a couple of hours free so I called on neighbors Jim and his daughter Courtney to come and catch some shad, and catch they did. From 2PM until 3:50PM, they caught shad at a ridiculous rate. We ended that blitz boating 15 of 24. The evening shift showed up at 4PM, with Matt, Kelly and Brad boating 10 of 12 fish by the time the dust settled at 7:30PM. This is the peak of the run, with buck and roe shad evenly mixed. The water clarity is 4', and temp is 57. It doesn't get any better than this. I'll be on the river all day tomorrow - Tight Lines!

4-9-10 A good night for Jose and Ed had us boating 8 shad - every one that they had a shot at! The river is perfect and the fishing is nearing its peak.


An incredible evening on the river. Only got out for a couple of hours with my daughter but it was time well spent! We ended the evening boating 13 of 18 Shad and a bonus Smallmouth Bass. All of the boats on the river got at least some fish. Mostly big bucks, with a roe or two thrown in. The peak of the season will probably happen next week, with good fishing for the next two weeks or so. Striper and herring are already in Trenton, and I'll be keeping an eye on that situation. River was at 3.5' at Lambertville, and has stabilized at that level. I look for it to drop very slowly. Visibility was 3-4' and water temp was 58 degrees. Air temp was in the mid 70's. For those of you who want instant reports from the river, please catch me at - I'll be "tweeting" regularly. This is going to be a phenomenal weekend!

Wow, what a difference a night makes. The river dropped a full 12" since last night and the water temp is an almost balmy 57 degrees! The shad are everywhere. Leon and I got out for a short trip (about 2 hours). We tried last night's spot and hooked a couple of fish without landing them, then moved up river. We pulled up next to another boat as they were boating a shad, one of several they had while we anchored up. We ended the night 3 for 8, having gotten there just a little late. The other boat left after 4 hours of fishing with over 25 fish in their boat. The river is going to be perfect this weekend. River level 3.5' at Lambertville, temperature 75, water temp 57, visibility 3-4'.

Even though the river is high, there were still shad to be caught. Big numbers were being reported by those who got into eddies for an early morning bite over the past few days. We saw hundreds of shad jumping tonight, but the bite was tough. We did manage to boat 3 of the 8 or so fish that we hooked. Old fashioned shad darts were the ticket. As the water continues to fall, we'll move into our normal spots and hopefully get some bigger numbers. With this high water, life jackets not optional. Be careful! River 4.2' at Lambertville, temperature in the 70's, water temp in the low 50's, 1-2' of visibility 


It sure was a nice day today. Trout season opens tomorrow, and the Shad are in the river, though we can't really get at them just yet. The river was dropping at a rate of over 1.5' per day until a few hours ago, when they opened a dam somewhere. We should have really nice Shad conditions by the end of the week. I'll be fishing the high water spots early next week in the evenings. Thank you to all who booked Shad trips. I am now completely booked for the season. For those who still want to get in on the Striped Bass fishing, I've got two slots open. Please drop me an email if the afternoon trips on May 1 or May 8 interest you. These trips will go to the first folks who email me to reserve them. I'm starting to accept reservations for Smallmouth/Walleye/Striper trips from June through October. Have a great holiday weekend - find a pond or a lake or a stocked stream and go get some fish!!

Well this is depressing.... The river is just cresting at 7', almost exactly where it crested last Tuesday. In plain english, the river is high and muddy, and about 5 or 6 days away from being even halfway fishable. Keep your fingers crossed that Mother Nature has gotten this out of her system. The Shad, Herring and Striper are all in the river - based on limited catch reports from the few of us who braved the high water just before this last rain. As soon as this water gets down to a decent level we'll know exactly what's going on. Stay tuned - if the weather cooperates, the fishing will get real good, real quick!

Well this is depressing.... The river is just cresting at 7', almost exactly where it crested last Tuesday. In plain english, the river is high and muddy, and about 5 or 6 days away from being even halfway fishable. Keep your fingers crossed that Mother Nature has gotten this out of her system. The Shad, Herring and Striper are all in the river - based on limited catch reports from the few of us who braved the high water just before this last rain. As soon as this water gets down to a decent level we'll know exactly what's going on. Stay tuned - if the weather cooperates, the fishing will get real good, real quick!

Archie pulled into my driveway at 5AM sharp and we made the run down to the saltwater. A good friend shared a secret spot with me and told me there were Striper to be had. We got to the spot at a little after sunrise on a beautiful morning. Tough conditions again, with the wind and tide and most everything working against us, but my mojo was working for me again and I connected with a nice 30" Striped Bass! Of the 6 guys fishing that area, mine was the only fish caught. Overall, a great weekend." width="800"/>


Got out on the river with Joe Cermele, Field & Stream's Associate Online Editor. Joe is currently being considered for an International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences "Webby Award" for his series of online videos "Hook Shots". For those of you who haven't seen his videos, I think you'll find them very entertaining (turn down the sound on your computer first, though).

The first episode was shot on my boat last spring and can viewed here, along with his other vids:

The latest episode, which makes me want to take the trip up to Pulaski, NY, can be viewed here:

Joe and I were looking for Walleye on Saturday morning, though we never found them. What I did find though, was a nice 30" Muskie, my first of the year and my first from the Delaware River! The river was extremely low and extremely clear and 35 degrees, and a strong downriver wind and high pressure didn't help much, either. The Walleye just weren't in their normal holes. Can't beat a fish in the net in February, though!" width="800"/>

Hello! It's the middle of January and most folks are getting out to the sportsman's shows or fishing flea markets. A few of us are out there fishing, as were Archie and I on Saturday for a few hours. The Lehigh looked perfect, with the bottom visible in 10' and low water. I was sure we'd see a Muskie or Walleye but all we managed again were Carp. I'm not complaining though, since the bruiser I caught went over 25lbs and possibly closer to 30. We boated two and hooked but lost a bunch. At this gauge height, my jet almost didn't make it through the riffles, some of which were on the skinny side of 6" - yikes!  As you can see, the risk was worth the reward. Weather - Sunny & 45 degrees " target="_blank">,258&outquality=90&squareoutput=255,255,255&ext=.jpg&iconifyVideo=true&wm=1"/>
Gauge at Bethlehem - 2.03'             
Water Temp - 35 degrees
Clarity - very clear, with a light green tint


A great way to get the New Year started! Archie and I got out on the Lehigh for a few hours today. The water was a little high, but clear with that typical Lehigh green tint. Primary species targeted was Muskie, and we spent a few hours casting crankbaits, tubes, and hybrid baits, with no sucess.

Went downriver to our favorite deep water jigging spot and Arch hooked into a monster Muskie, fighting him for 3-4 minutes before the fish came unbuttoned. I hooked up next, with a big Carp sucking in my jig and giving me a good run before we got him in the net. Arch hooked up a couple more times, bringing a decent Carp to the net.

Temperature - mid-30'sWater Temp - about 40 degreesGauge at Bethlehem - 2.9' and dropping slightlyClarity - clear, with a green/brown tint - water from the Jordan was a jade green color


Epic night of fishing! Dave, John, Josh and Mark have been fishing with me for over 5 years. We've had some good nights on the river, and some great ones, too. Tonight, we took it to a whole different level. Knowing we only had about 3 hours to fish, my plan was to get the guys on fish as soon as possible. Live bait was the ticket, as the shad and herring fry are making their way down to the ocean. After 40 minutes, we figured we were averaging better than a fish every 3 minutes - and then the fishing got really good! We had doubles and triples all night, and at one point we had a triple where all the fish were over 14". These guys are hard core fishermen. Not only was there a pool for the most fish (Dave & Josh vs. Mark & John), there was a pool for the biggest fish. There was never really any doubt as to who would have the most fish, since Josh caught almost 30 fish by himself. The big fish of the night was a nice 16" fish that John boated, though Mark's 15 1/4" fish outweighed the longer fish by a good 1/2 pound. As I said, these guys are hard core. They didn't lose many fish, even though all the action was on little ultralight gear and #4 hooks. The total fish boated was 69 fish - in exactly 180 minute of fishing. An average of one fish every 2.5 minutes. Not only was this the best night ever for numbers of fish, it was also the best night for average size. The average Smallie boated tonight was over 13". An epic night in every way. Temperature - mid-70'sWater Temp - mid 60'sGauge at Lambertville - negative .30' (lowest level of the season) and rising, likely as the result of a dam releaseClarity - gin clear, you could see the bottom in 6'


Classic late summer fishing!!! The bite is on - the Smallies know they've only got a few weeks to bulk up. Hanne and I went out on the river last night for an hour or so. The action was immediate and constant, with plenty of Smallies for both of us. There was a triple hatch, with Sulfurs, Tricos and Caddis all hatching and laying eggs. I tied on a popper for a couple of minutes and had some strikes, but then had to get back to un-hooking fish for my daughter. I've got an afternoon/evening slot open on Sunday, if you'd like to get in on it. The water is as low and clear as its been all season, and the fish are hungry.

Gauge at Lambertville - .40'
Clarity - gin clear


In last night's report I told you I'd let you know what was catching fish today. The answer, plain and simply, was NOTHING!!! Oh, we caught some fish. John, Lou and Ron fished hard for the few Smallies, Stripers and the one Catfish we did boat. But nothing, and I mean nothing, really worked this afternoon and evening. We caught a few fish on the troll, a couple of fish on Senkos, and a couple of fish on live bait. Overall, it was a tough afternoon and evening - the fish just weren't biting. With no rain in the forecast, the next few days will see the river drop dramatically and clear up completely. Live bait and Senkos will be the key by mid-week. River Level on the gauge at Lambertville 1.5 (and dropping at a rate of 1" every 3 hours - hey, maybe that's why the fish weren't biting) Visibility 12-16" I still haven't seen any sign of Herring or Shad fry coming down the river. This is not good, they should be here by now. I'm hoping that the 10 weeks of flooding we had from mid-May to late July didn't wipe out an entire year class of both fish

9-12-09River Slam!! Got out with Helio, Roberto, Alex and Felipe for the afternoon. I really didn't know what to expect, other than the river would be higher and muddier than it was a couple of days ago. In fact, the river had just gone up over 1.5' (in 24 hours) on the Lambertville gauge and was just starting to drop, when we got out. Our first stop yielded a beautiful 21" Walleye that came on a Rattle. We caught a few little Smallies before Felipe snagged his bait on a rock, handed me the rod and asked me to get the lure back. As soon as I got the rod, it went back into Felipe's hand because the "rock" was giving tail kicks and moving down river! Another beautiful golden 21" Walleye! Felipe rounded out his river slam with a nice 18" catfish and 15" Striped Bass. We ended the afternoon's trip with some trolling, catching another nice Striper and a Smallie. I've included a picture of the group with one of the Walleyes. This river is constantly changing, and I can't even guess what the hot bait will be tomorrow. Shiners? Rattles? Spinnerbaits? Senkos? Tubes & Jigs? Could be any one of them. I'll let you know what worked after tomorrow's charter. River 1.75' at Lambertville and falling. Visibility about 5".

Strange, cool evening on the river. Got out with Al and Tom this evening for a run up the river. The wind was blowing 10-15 up the river when we left Lambertville. By the time we got to Frenchtown, it was blowing 5-10 downriver! Then, in spite of the weatherman's prediction of steadily increasing winds, the wind died completely for 2 hours. The changing weather definitely affected the fishing. We started just south of Frenchtown, and the first fish was a nice chunky Smallie out of Riker's hole. This was another of those nights where we couldn't put a pattern together. We tried it all, cranks, plastics, shiners - they all caught a few fish, but nothing consistent. We ended the night with a nice 18" Striped Bass, before heading back for the dock in total darkness and a light drizzle. On the way back down the river from Frenchtown, we got to witness one of the coolest things I've ever seen on the river. As we were going through Point Pleasant, we saw two Bald Eagles, a full adult and a young adult (most of his white had grown in, but not all). They were playing over the river as we got near them and then we could see what the game was. The younger Eagle had a nice fish in its talons and the older one was trying to take the fish. As we got next to them, the older bird actually flew on its back under the younger bird and took the fish, proving once again that "old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill".

Gauge at Lambertville - .2'
Clarity - gin clear


Gauge at Lambertville - .2'Clarity - gin clear9-8-09I got out on the river with Kyle last night for a short trip up the river. We didn't have to go far - the Smallies were biting. That topwater bite that I've been anticipating the last couple of weeks materialized last night, with the fish hitting poppers all over the river. Mickey was out on the river today and says the fish were practically jumping in his boat, including his new personal best fish! He even had 3 Walleye today. The conditions don't get any better than this, and a little rain may even turn the fish on more (if that's possible). Now is the time to get out on the river. I'll be fishing all or parts of the next 5 days.


Got on the river for less than an hour this evening and caught some Smallmouth Bass with my daughter. The bite seemed slow, but Hanne nailed a real nice fish to end the evening. The river is late summer low and clear, having dropped a full 6" since Saturday morning. A look at the river gauge shows that someone is opening floodgates on the river at 24 hour intervals, raising the river a full 3-4" each time, and dropping the water temperature dramatically. The crest of each release reaches Lambertville at about noon each day. As soon as they get those reservoirs up in NY state down to where they want them, we'll have our river back. Right now we'll have to deal with the dam releases - the river will be hot and cold, both literally and figuratively.

The fish were verrrrry picky today. George and Riley were out with me for a full day run from Lambertville up past Frenchtown. We caught 1 fish here and 3 fish there but couldn't really put together any kind of pattern. Even shiners swam unmolested through the nicest boulders and ledges. This went on for seven hours, with us catching a couple of fish on Shiners, then a couple on Senkos, then 3 on Shiners, then 2 on tubes, then a couple on a Rapala, then a couple on Shiners again. Nothing consistent and nothing to write home about. Then, George missed a couple of nice hits (which I got to see) on his tube, and he decided he wanted to drift the hole again, this time with Shiners. Boom! 2 13" fish in the boat and back for another pass and, Boom! Doubles! 2 14" fish in the boat... It continued like that for over an hour, going back for drift after drift on a 100 yd. stretch that earned the name Riker's Hole. The biggest fish we caught was 15", with half it's tale freshly bitten off by a Muskie or Pike. We caught a couple of other fish on our way back to Lambertville, and dodged a few hundred tubers as well. An awesome day on the river!

Wow! We went from flooded and muddy to low and clear in less than a week! Matt, Sara and Chris joined me on the boat this morning for a shot at some great late summer Smallmouth fishing. The fish did not disappoint with fish chowing down on live lined Shiners and Senkos. We boated about 45 fish and the action was non-stop. Sara caught the biggest fish of the day, and Matt was high hook. John and Bruce got on the river with me for an afternoon/evening trip. We had some hot drifts, with the fish again keying on Shiners and Senkos. We covered a lot of water and ended a great evening catching some schoolie Stripers and Channel Catfish. Still no shad and herring coming down the river. The fish are definitely hot and cold, with the bite totally shutting down at times only to get ripping again 15 minutes later. Still no real topwater bite, and Spinnerbaits, Cranks and Rattles are not what you want to have tied on right now!

The river cleared up incredibly overnight, going from less that 1' visibility to almost 2'. As I said in last night's report, the weekend conditions should be spectacular. The fishing was good this evening, though the shallow flats were deserted. Most fish were found in water over 2' deep, with schoolie Stripers, Smallies and Catfish all making an appearance this evening. Liam caught an absolute monster Channel Catfish on one of my ultralight poles. The cat made several drag screaming runs before finally being netted and taping out at over 26". Fly guys take note: we had a nice caddis fly hatch just as the sun was going down, and the Smallies were feeding on top.

Beautiful night out on the river, which is slowly getting down to early summer levels. Water clarity is finally to the point where we can use some sight only baits, which the Smallies seemed to key into tonight. A couple more days and we should finally be into real late summer and early fall type fishing. We saw some topwater feeding tonight, and that should increase exponentially in the next few days. Cool nights, clear water and a need to feed heavily over the next 6 weeks should give us some incredible Smallmouth Bass fishing. The schoolie Stripers and Catfish were biting as well tonight. 8-30-09

After the rains we had on Friday night and Saturday, I wasn't too hopeful about tonight's trip. After looking at the river gauge on the computer, I called Matt to tell him that we were going, in spite of the higher water. Matt, Will and Ken were itching to get out on the water, and I was looking forward to putting them on some nice fish. We hit the river at 4:30 and hooked up on Smallies immediately. 8" of visibility and high water have become something we work around this season. It's not preferred, but it's all we've got.  If it had rattles, it was getting attention and if not, no fish. The Smallmouth Bass were nice and chunky and we had about 2 dozen up to 16". Throw in an 18" Walleye and some schoolie Stripers, and the night was nothing short of fantastic! Will came one catfish short of a slam, so he'll have to get that the next time. As this water continues to clear up and drop, the fishing should get even better.

Seriously, this is getting sooooooo old... Got out on the river tonight with Mickey. I got a bad feeling just driving over the river, which was so reddish brown that the whole valley was tinted in that color. Weird. We fished a mile or so of river with the Rattletraps and I managed one Smallie, with Mickey getting a hit at the boat - and that was it. Visibility was only 3 inches or so. Even the catfish took the evening off tonight... My next trip is Sunday - I'm sure that I won't miss a thing between now and then. Sometimes it's the simple pleasures that keep us from going insane. The Neshaminy is giving up Smallies, Rock Bass and Sunfish. 3" Senkos, wacky rigged with 1/0 wide gap finesse hook, are doing the job quite nicely. Was out on Tuesday night, wading, and had a blast with a couple of friends. I'm hoping to have better news on Sunday evening. Till then, PS -I just checked the river level history for the summer (June, July & August) and it shows that we had a total of 6 days of normal summer river level this year. Compare that to the last 20 years when we've averaged 6-8 weeks of clear, low (and, by the way, fishable) water by the end of August!


Nice night out on the river with Kyle and Madison. We fished hard, with everything from live bait to crankbaits, topwaters, spinnerbaits, senkos and the rattlebaits which worked so well just 36 hours ago. We managed a dozen or so Smallies and a nice schoolie Striper (on a crankbait, no less) but couldn't put together a real pattern. The water still has about a foot to drop, and the visibility is still only about 8". The hot, dry weather of the coming week will clear things up and give us the bite we're looking for. Interestingly, the fish we did catch spit up dozens of little freshwater shrimp. I'm sure that there's a fly fisherman somewhere on the river that had a phenomenal night using a sinking line with a 1/2" long shrimp imitation!

As my customer Chris said, today was one for the books.  Rattlebaits were all the fish wanted, and that's what we gave them. Chris got his River Slam, though the Striped Bass were not the sure thing they normally are. The real news was the average size of the fish. Chris started with a 17 1/2" Smallie and Joe quickly bested him with a 19 1/2" pig of a Smallmouth that he landed on an ultralight outfit. We had a steady pick of fish and caught them everywhere we went, from Lambertville all the way to Frenchtown. The Walleye didn't disappoint, with us hooking one in Stockton and one in Frenchtown. The afternoon trip was something else altogether. Suddenly, the Smallies were smaller and harder to find. They didn't bite on any one bait consistently, with X-Raps, Rattlebaits and Shad Raps each catching fish. The Striped Bass which had been so hard to find in the morning gave us some great action, with Rich, Chase and Josh catching a good number of them along with a couple of nice 5lb catfish. Our answer on the different bite came with a phone call that severe weather was headed our way. We ran back to Lambertville and got into the cars just before the heavy thunderstorm hit. The river is still stained, but is dropping at a steady rate. There was some topwater feeding going on just before the rain, and I expect that this week will see more great fishing. I'm booked next weekend, but I've got a few nights free. Call if you'd like to get in on the action!


Sometimes, it all just falls into place. Joe and his son Nick joined me on the river this morning for an early morning trip. I was more than a little concerned when the water was muddier than I'd expected and had actually gone up a couple of inches over night. I was not optimistic. After stopping and surveying the situation at a couple of different eddies, a plan started to come together. We would fish rattle baits up tight to the shore and if that didn't work, we'd move on to plan B. We started pitching rattles in 2' of water with about 6-8" of visibility and began catching fish almost immediately. I caught an 18"(!) Smallmouth on the first or second drift and we knew we were on to something good. Nick caught a fat 18" Walleye on the 3rd or 4th drift, which gave him two fish of the 4 needed for the "River Slam". Up to my favorite Striper spot and Nick caught one. He now had 3 of the 4 fish needed. We took a break from the quest for the Slam and did a few drifts, catching even more quality Smallies and Walleye. Back to another hole that is sometimes frequented by Channel Catfish. Within 10 minutes Nick had his River Slam with a nice, fat Channel Cat. A couple of dozen Smallies caught and many more lost, 4 Walleye, 2 Striped Bass and some nice Channel Catfish up to 23". The river is on fire!!!! Watch video of Nick catching his fat, 15" Smallmouth Bass at:  Scroll down to the 3rd video down to catch the bite!


Just a quick report on fishing in the area. Yesterday, the river was still chocolate milk and over 3 feet. Since we like it at less than a foot on the gauge in Lambertville, it was pretty much unfishable. My buddy and I hit the Neshaminy Creek just a couple of miles from my house and wet waded about a 1/2 mile of the creek. The fishing was good, and we landed Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Rock Bass and Sunfish on Senkos. Small waters are definitely the way to go when the bigger ones are flooded out. I expect the river to be in prime condition by Monday, and my boat will be back on the river on Saturday. Hopefully that was the last big rain we'll see for a while...

Had to cancel another couple of charters this weekend due to the weather. The river went up 4' on Friday on the gauge in Lambertville. The water actually dropped a foot before going straight back up late this afternoon. At this point it is 42" higher than it was on Thursday at noon. It's a mess and will be for a few days, at least. This year has been incredible, weather wise. The fish (especially the Smallies) in the river are bigger than in recent memory, with not one but two 20" fish caught early last week between Lambertville and Bull's Island. Hopefully the weather, and the river, settle down so that August gives us a shot at these monsters. The major hatches just haven't happened on the river yet, so August and early September should give us some amazing topwater and fly fishing. I've got a charter on Friday evening and some open slots on the coming weekend. Call me if you'd like to get out, and we'll see if the weather cooperates. 7-26-08

As I reported last evening, the river is beginning to settle into its summertime groove. Those of you who've fished with me know that means that the Smallmouth Bass action is hot! This morning I got out on the river with my daughter for a few hours of "Daddy 'n Me" time. We fished our normal spots and, at 10:30AM, and on the last cast of the morning, I hooked into a pretty good fish. It was about 100' away when it first jumped' and didn't look like anything too special, though I knew it was a nice fish. The drag kept peeling off, and the fish got wrapped around some rocks. My daughter jumped into action and pulled 50' of anchor line and the anchor and chain, and then helped me get to a point where we could extract the line from the rocks. It was then that I got my first look at the fish - HOLY SCHMIDT!!! Again, my daughter jumped into action and grabbed the net, netting the monster quickly and cleanly. All this took a solid 7 or 8 minutes and the result was my biggest river Smallmouth ever, at 20+ inches and over 5lbs. I've attached a picture, though it really doesn't do the fish justice. If you fish with me this summer, I guarantee that you'll have a shot at this fish. She was released right where I caught her, and I know exactly what her favorite meal is! The evening trip saw Kelly, her dad Bill, and Jose and Marisol get on the boat for some Smallmouth action. We covered a lot of water, heading all the way up to Frenchtown and bagging Smallies (and one big Channel Catfish!) all along the way. We dodged some impressive storms, though we didn't know it at the time. As I write this, heavy thunderstorms are rolling through the area, with high winds, hail and driving rain. These typical summer storms refresh the river and wash all manner of bait in. As long as there's no prolonged heavy rain, the fishing will continue to be great.


A full day on the river with Mike and Keri. We covered a lot of ground, going north almost to Milford and finding Channel Catfish, Smallmouth Bass, Stripers and Walleye. The Smallie action was red hot on one of our drifts but the wind made the drifts challenging. The run south, through hundreds and hundreds of tubers was interesting, to say the least! Real summertime Smallmouth fishing is here, and it's only going to get better from here.


River was a little dirty tonight but that didn't stop us from catching fish. We covered a lot of river, getting most of the way to Frenchtown. Kelly caught 2 nice Walleyes (they're back!) and we had some nice Smallies and chunky Stripers. Dr. Bill had a really nice Striper, and Matt closed out the evening with another nice Walleye.


A quick couple of hours on the river and the Walleye seem to have left the pockets that they were in. Maybe it was just  tonight, but I'm guessing that we'll be seeing less and less of them as the water warms up and they go back to their nocturnal feeding habit. Sure was nice to have them eating at three in the afternoon! I caught a real nice Smallie that put on a nice aerial display. Had some hits on topwaters, too.


A nice evening trip with Matt and Kelly and their crew. The fish are in transition again, going to their true summer holding/feeding areas. We hooked Stripers, Smallies and a Walleye that threw the hook at the boat.


Out on the water at 6AM with Blake, Neil and Chip. We had a slow pick of Smallies and Stripers until 10AM, when all hell broke loose. By the time the dust settled, we had over 30 fish. Chip and Neil both got the coveted "River Slam" - at least one each of Striped Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Channel Catfish and Walleye. The fish were big, too, with Walleye and Striper to 23". It's going to be a great summer on the river!


Got out for some nighttime, topwater Walleye fishing on a NJ lake. Yes, you read that correctly. It was surreal listening to big fish feeding on the surface and watching herring getting chased out of the water every 5-10 seconds, for hours at a time!!


Out on the river for a short trip. A decent amount of Smallies on crank baits. River is still quite stained and high. Water level dropped almost 4" since yesterday morning.


The river was finally fishable today, though it is about a month or more behind. Stained water and about 18" higher than optimal. The fish are acting like it's early June. Gary and his party were out for a morning of Smallmouth Bass and Striper fishing and we put together a few fish, though nothing consistant. A couple on live bait, and couple on cranks - like I said, like early June, rather than early July.


River is coming down nicely, though it is still high and brown. Hail, thunderstorms and a forecast for more of the same  will keep me off the water a couple more days.
6-13-09 Up to 5" of rain this afternoon raised the level of the river almost 3'. There is debris coming down, zero visibility and chocolate soup conditions. I won't be fishing the river for at least 2 or 3 days.

Cape May, 6-13-09 Went out with Eric, John and Joe looking for Fluke. It was a real slow pick for most of the morning, and then we hit paydirt. Of the 15 Fluke we landed, 5 were keepers from 18.5" to 23". The edge of the shipping channel was what did it for us, and we had the best luck on bare hooks with spearing or squid strips. Thank you to Eric and his 24' Scout - what a boat!!

Cape May, 6-12-09 Went out with Eric, Matt and Tim looking for Black Drum. We hit a number of areas, including some where we marked what most certainly were Drum, but they were not eating. It was garbage fish central but we made the most of it catching Dogfish and Rays, including a big Cownose Ray. The bay was like a pond, and the bio-luminescent jellyfish put on a real show for us on the way back in.

6-7-09 Got out on the river this evening for a couple of hours with Kyle and Alan. The action was hot with spinnerbaits, jerk baits and live bait all producing fish. We had Stripers up to 18" and some really nice chunky Smallmouth Bass, along with a nice Walleye and Channel Cat to round out the evening. I expect to have some nice Walleye mixed in for the next 2 or 3 weeks, and had actually predicted that we'd see one on the boat this evening prior to Kyle catching his. It's that time of the year and I'm looking forward to red hot Smallmouth Bass fishing for the next 4-5 months with some nice Striped Bass mixed in. With the river temps going up and the levels going down, topwater action should really start heating up very soon. The muddy water we had for the last 3 weeks is gone, hopefully for good. Water level is down about 2 feet from last Monday, and will drop at least another foot as long as heavy rains stay away.


Fished Lake Nockamixon today with a bunch of the guys from MI50 (, looking for Muskies. This lake always looks great, with big flats, weed beds, abundant bait fish and deep water. The Muskies were nowhere to be found, as is usually the case here. My new side imaging sonar is incredible, and my Minn-Kota Riptide AutoPilot/Co-Pilot works as well as I'd hoped it would.
Got out on the river for an hour or so at the end of the day (life really is good!) and found the Smallies transitioning from muddy water mode to clear water mode. River has dropped significantly.


We haven't had rain in a number of days but that is apparently not the case up in New York! A short run up the river, dodging tree limps and other flotsam, took us to a favorite eddy. Visibility was about 3" in nearly chocolate milk conditions. My first cast produced a nice Smallie, and my second a nice Walleye. After a short while, with the river still rising, we packed up and headed back downriver. The fish are there, it just takes some work to get them!


I ventured north to fish the Muskies, Inc. Chapter 22 Spring Tournament today with Joe T.. A beautiful day to be on the lake, with temps starting in the mid 50's and ending in the mid 70's. We fished the weed beds and had a Largemouth and a Smallmouth Bass before Joe had a hit from a nice mid-40's Muskie which then followed the bait to the boat and went after it again on the eight. Twenty minutes later Joe had an even bigger fish come in hot on the same Spinner and miss the bait at the boat. Of the 21 anglers in the tournament, only 1 legal (30" or bigger) fish was caught, though several were seen. Tomorrow I'll be on the river for Smallies!

The river was quite a bit more muddy this morning than it was yesterday. There was a nice Brown Caddis hatch going, with a little surface action in spite of the mud. Hanne and I went out to our Smallmouth spots and hooked a few on rattlebaits. Thanks to Captains Chris and Mickey for the tip.

The Smallmouth bite, which started a couple of weeks ago, will continue to heat up. The Herring/Striper fishing will probably still be good for another week, though I'm sure there will be hot and cold times as there was yesterday.


Striper fishing in Trenton.

On the river this morning at 6AM with Sonya, Lyndon, Bob (85 years young!!) and Joe. The weather was perfect - it felt like a great fishing day! We had the livewell loaded with Herring by 7AM and went north to look for Stripers. We found them in the shallow water. By 8:30 we had 4 nice fish in the boat and the bite stopped cold. After a few different spots (and a tide change), we found them again. Lots of bites and runoffs, and 10 fish in the boat.

The afternoon trip with Steve and Kory started out with a slow Herring bite. It took a while but we were able to fill the well prior to heading north. Kory caught a fat, beautiful 25" female that hadn't yet spawned, and decided to release in spite of her being a slot fish. This was Kory's first Striped Bass (he caught the first Herring of the afternoon as well!). Steve hooked and lost a nice fish in the 30" range, and we had a lot of runoffs. Mostly, the Stripers were just playing with their food. All in all, still plenty of Herring and Striped Bass in the river, though the biggest of them have probably headed back to the salt.


I wanted to get Hanne on the river one more time for Herring and Striper and tonight was the night.

We put in close to Trenton and had a quick, 5 minute run to the Herring. Loading up didn't take long, we only needed 20 or so for the short night. Ran back up to a favorite spot in the rocks and Hanne hooked up on a 32" fat Striper - her biggest fish so far! We ended the night with 3 Stripers and a big Catfish. Not bad for a couple of hours of Daddy and me time.


Striper fishing in Trenton.

We were on the river this morning by 5:30AM, heading fir the Herring in Trenton. Loaded up, it didn't take too long. Jared, Joe and Mark were ready to catch 'em and a 24" Striped Bass hit within the first 5 minutes. We had lots of fish that played with our baits, but hardly any takers. We lost nice 32+" fish that snapped 20lb. test 10 feet from the boat - first time thats happened to me. Ended up with two fish in the boat.

The afternoon trip was marked by a tough Herring bite and an even tougher Striper bite. The increasing wind made drifting difficult, so we anchored. Several runoffs and a fish lost 5' from the boat, along with a big catfish, were all we had to show for the afternoon.


Another great day on the river - in spite of the weather! I left Yardley at 6AM with Matthew and Kelly and loaded up with Herring in Trenton - 30 Herring in about 15 minutes. We went up river and fished some very picky Stripers for a few hours, boating 3 fish up to 30 inches. We had dozens of runoffs, but these fish were playing with their food, not eating it. At 11AM I was back at Yardley to drop off Matt and Kelly and pick up Jeff, Jessie and John. Our trip together was wet and cool, though the action was hot. The fish continued the same behavior as earlier in the day, with lots of runoffs and hits, but few fish willing to commit. We got a fat 38" Striper, our largest to date, along with a 28" Striper and a 27" Channel Catfish (a big fat slob!). As they did last Sunday, a bunch of our hits came with the Stripers actually chasing our baits out of the water and banging them, sometimes 7 to 10 times, before either eating or finding another Herring to go beat up on. Topwater action in 3 feet of water, exciting to say the least!


Hit the river this morning at 5:30 and went south to Trenton. The Herring were very cooperative and we filled our well with about 30 of them in short order. Went south to a hotspot we had heard of and managed a runoff and a 26" fish before the tide went slack. We headed back up to Trenton and loaded up on Herring again, plus an additional 50 or so fish for the frying pan. Back up the river, where we found the Stripers were very hungry! Plenty of runoffs and 3 nice fish in little more than an hour, then it was time to get back to the ramp. Over 80% of the Herring were bucks, so I'm guessing we've got some good fishing left for this run. I've still got a couple of openings, but they're filling fast.

You can see video of today's action at - be sure to look at all the videos by clicking on the "qik" in the lower left hand corner.


Well, it had to happen. We got a visit from the skunk tonight when the one fish we hooked didn't stay that way. The water temperature was way up, probably in the mid 60's, and a guy in a kayak was banging the Smallies. I'll be out for shad after the rains cool things off tomorrow. The bite should be a lot better then. If you can get out on the water in the morning, the bite has been happening between 7 and 9AM, before it gets hot. In Trenton and below, the Stripers are going absolutely nuts. When fished correctly (and with a little luck), each herring is bringing at least a run off, if not a hook up. The guys down south are still using blood worms (at about $90./lb. - yikes!!) and hammering 'em as well. I'll be fishing for Stripers on Saturday and Sunday. I'm open on Saturday afternoon for a late day/evening trip. This is the best Striper fishing of the year, and it'll be gone in a couple of weeks, especially with this warm weather.


What a day!!! It's not even the end of April and the temp got over 90 degrees. A nice breeze on the river and 55 degree water helped keep it bearable. 

Jerry and Mark rang my doorbell at 5AM and we were on the river, heading for Trenton by 5:40. The herring cooperated, and we were hooked up to our first Striper by about 7:30. We fished hard, working the area between the bridges until low tide, and then up to the flats for more action. By the time the dust had settled, we had boated 8 Stripers between 26" and 30" and one really fat momma that measured 36". We had a nice double of 30" fish!

You can see video of the action at - be sure to look at all the videos by clicking on the "qik" in the lower left hand corner.


Shad Fest Saturday. 85 degrees and sunny, the people showed up by the thousands and some shad made their presence felt, also. Joe C. was out on the boat early, shooting pictures for an article. We had the first shad on at 7:40AM, and went 4 for 5 on a nice morning for shad fishing!


Wow - today was a tough/great/beautiful day!

You can't go wrong with a sunny, 75 degree April day (even when it starts out at 32 degrees). Bran, Taugh and Bill fished hard for 6 hours to catch the 10 herring we finally put in the live well. They were well rewarded with two beautiful Striped Bass that we caught in the bridges in Trenton. This fishery is just starting and the fish should get more plentiful in the upcoming weeks.


Daniel and Matthew joined me again this evening for another go at some shad. Matthew brought his friend Finley and the three of them each caught their first shad this evening. Last week the story was a slow pick with some fish lost - tonight was much different. We had a Shad on before I even had all of the lines in the water and the action never really slowed. By the time we were done we'd boated 9 of the 18 fish we hooked, including a couple of monster roes. We are just at or past the peak of this run and could still have a week or two of good fishing!! This is going to be the best year we've had in at least 10 or 15 years. My "Captain's Cam" is now live and I'll be shooting video on most of the trips I take. Go to so you can watch us Catch the Bite!

Wasn't going to fish tonight but a call from the river made