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Opening Day - the Toms River - NJFishing.com Your Best Online Source for Fishing Information in New Jersey



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Old 04-08-2013, 11:27 AM
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Doug Vitale Doug Vitale is offline
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Default Opening Day - the Toms River

On opening day I decided to try out some new trout waters. Unfortunately, in the section of NJ I reside in there are only a few destinations for trout fishing. After putting in a considerable amount of time on the Manasquan River and Hockhockson Brook over the past few years, I went to some place new - the Toms River. What grabbed my attention about this river is that part of it is designated as a Yearlong Trout Conservation Area, or YCTA (like the Lockwood Gorge).

The Toms starts flowing in Clarksburg, making its way south to Lake Hohenstain (next to the Jackson Outlets shopping mall by Great Adventure). From there it flows south under Rt. 195 in Jackson Township, going southeast toward the town of Toms River (formerly known as Dover).

The website of the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife lists two public fishing locations for the Toms:

Quote:
Toms River, Ocean County, Jackson, State Forestry Research & Education Center (FREC) - Rt. 195 (exit 21) to Rt. 527 / Rt. 528 S. (Cedar Swamp Rd.) to entrance of NJ FREC, follow sand road to river and parking.

Toms River, Ocean County, Toms River, Riverwood Park - Rt. 195 (exit 21) to Rts. 527/528 S. (Cedar Swamp Rd./ Veterans Hwy.) to Rt. 527 S. ( Whitesville Rd.) to Riverwood Dr. to entrance of park. Or Rt. 9 (in Dover) to Riverwood Dr. to entrance of park.
My first stop was at the FREC in Jackson. Unfortunately it made a very poor impression on me - the Toms here is very narrow (about 10 - 12 feet across) and shallow (1 - 2 feet). The banks are also very thick with bushes, briars, and tree branches. A very frustrating place to try to trout fish. There were about 15 - 20 guys there on opening day, nobody was catching anything, and everyone I spoke to said it was very slow. I only last one hour here before deciding to leave and I probably won't go back. I recommend avoiding this spot if you want to fish the Toms.

My next stop was at Riverwood Park, and I was happy to find a much more traditional trout stream there, as my photos show. The river is much wider and deeper, with many nice rapids and holes. And unlike the muddy Manasquan, the river bottom is sand and gravel. However, to walk up and down its banks requires a good amount of bushwhacking (same as the Manasquan).

I spent a lot of time exploring and looking for openings on the bank to cast from. As a result, I didn't do as much fishing as I would have liked. I also regrettably did not have enough time to fish the YCTA section of the river. I did get one trout on a spinner.

Something odd I noticed about the Toms is the brownish, bronze-colored tint to the water. I think this is a natural coloration and not the result of pollution (the Toms is spring fed, so maybe it's minerals in the water?)

In any case, I will definitely be heading back to the Toms River to hit up that YCTA.



For more details on trout in the Toms, some other points of reference:

http://theaverageangler.blogspot.com...river-tca.html

http://tomsriver.patch.com/articles/...th-trout-video

http://www.jstu.org/index.php/conser...er-and-fishing

Last edited by Doug Vitale; 05-31-2014 at 10:16 PM..
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:02 PM
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Eskimo Eskimo is offline
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Default Re: Opening Day - the Toms River

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Vitale
Something odd I noticed about the Toms is the brownish, bronze-colored tint to the water. I think this is a natural coloration and not the result of pollution (the Toms is spring fed, so maybe it's minerals in the water?)
I'm not familiar with the Toms, but many rivers in the Pine Barrens are tinted that same tan color. The color comes from tannic acid and iron ore. These are naturally occurring chemicals that leaches from soil and decomposing organic matter.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:30 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Opening Day - the Toms River

Great detailed report, thanx. And to think the Muddysquan is the most heavily trout stocked river in New Jersey, makes me wanna cry.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Opening Day - the Toms River

Great report, and nice pics!! That's a nice stretch of water. Hey no limit on stockers, but looks like a decent brown to put some bend in the rod. Nice!!
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