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NJ: July's Bounty: Bass & Panfish

With the warm summer days of July upon us here in New Jersey, catch and release angling for trout is now a marginal proposition as waters regularly warm past the 70 degree mark. Yes, there will likely be some "Summer Windows" for safe trout fishing but we will need a cool snap to make that possible. I've noticed a substantial change in the trout's behavior when the water temps drop to 68 degrees but I would caution anglers that I also believe that these sub-seventy degree temps should be in place for a large majority of the 24 hour period immediately prior to fishing for trout. It is also vital that the trout be played very quickly and not be removed from the water. This practice will limit the stress on the trout and reduce mortality. So to sum up. there may be some limited opportunities to fish locally for trout as weather improves briefly during a "Summer Window" but we should otherwise strictly leave them alone. So far, rain has been consistent and flows are respectable.When the weather brings us lower humidity and evening lows in the mid to upper fifties on multiple nights the trout will be there waiting to test us once again. There are options close to home where cool water is the rule year round on spring fed creeks and streams in Pennsylvania like fishing the Trico hatch in the morning on the Little Lehigh or the Bushkill Creek or an afternoon Sulphur hatch on the Catskill tail waters like the West Branch of the Delaware.