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  #1  
Old 01-15-2019, 07:16 PM
TheAnaconda TheAnaconda is offline
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Question New to South Branch Raritan River

Hello everyone,

Glad to be on the boards.

So in the next month or two I will be moving to the Mount Olive area, right near Budd Lake and, more importantly to me, within walking distance of the South Branch Raritan River. I currently only own a 6' Field and Stream Tech-Lite Ultralight Rod with a Shimano Sienna 1000 reel, which I used for some light trout fishing in Rockaway. With the river so close, I wanted to start going after some SMB, as well as some other species in the river (LMB?), and I assume that my setup is too light. I have $100-200 to spend on a new rod (or 2) and would like something that can be used as kind of a base to fish a few different baits or lures with and build upon as I get more gear. I do prefer casting to spinning, however I understand that spinning may be the preferred gear here depending on lure size and other factors.

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated, as well as any other information anyone has about fishing the SBRR in this area. Thanks!!
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:37 PM
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thmyorke1 thmyorke1 is online now
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Default Re: New to South Branch Raritan River

For bass fishing, im only aware of it below clinton falls, it's all good smb fishing downstream, probably good above it too, but I think there's an upward bound and somewhere it turns into trout water.

https://i.postimg.cc/QtcP2Jsy/zone.png

This lil picture featured in the fishing digest demonstrates the type of trout fishing you'll expect on the upper stretches. You'll find trout everywhere in the south branch this time of year, all the way down to the confluence with the North Branch and onward downstream the mainstem Raritan River. However trout arent stocked in the WTS section (pink and blue on the map)

Smallies in the raritan like pretty much any lure. I personally like jigs and grubs and texas rigged worms. Dont overthink lure choice for smb. But some lures will be better for the conditions, such as something weedless once it's summer and the weeds start growing. Try the trout gear on them! Ive caught some big smallies on lures and gear i also use for trout.
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Old 01-15-2019, 09:52 PM
ultimatepredator ultimatepredator is offline
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Default Re: New to South Branch Raritan River

You will most likely find more trout in the south branch where you are moving to. The river is more of a little creek and gets bigger as you head down stream. You will find some smallies in there tho.
Head to budd lake and you will have all kinds of fish to go after. Especially if it's right there, use it.
As for gear, you dont have break the bank on a rod and reel. Get a cheaper 6 to 7ft medium action rod/reel combo to start off with and buy some lures, hooks, plastics,weights, etc.. to get up and going.
Just get started and have fun. Enjoy yourself out there
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  #4  
Old 01-16-2019, 06:57 AM
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Pdog Pdog is offline
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Location: Budd Lake
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Default Re: New to South Branch Raritan River

Welcome to Mount Olive!

Iíve lived here about 5 years now and have reintroduced myself to fishing in the last 2-3 years so still learning the area myself. Iím more of a lake guy and spend lots of time on Hopatcong but plan on branching out to some new lakes this year. Iím an Ohio raised walleye guy at heart but enjoy chasing anything that swims. Give me a yell if your ever interested in going out on the lake.

Steve
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:05 AM
Billfish715 Billfish715 is offline
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Default Re: New to South Branch Raritan River

This may help if you want to fish on the South Branch. If not, a short trip by car up Route 46 towards Hackettstown will put you on the Musconetcong for the trout and SMB that are there. Your new location will put you very close to many popular fishing spots in the headwaters or upper stretches of some historic trout waters. Draw a circle on a map with your house in the center out to a distance you want to travel then get out in your car and explore. You won't be disappointed with what you'll find.

Route 80 will take you to western N.J. trout waters and the Delaware. 206 south will take you to the Black River, South Branch and North Branch as well as many small brooks and streams. You're in a great area. Get out and see if any place interests you. Now is a good time to look. Find the trout stocking signs and with the foliage off the trees, you can see more of the streams and ponds and lakes. Bring along your trout rod and whatever baits or lures you like to use. There are still trout to catch. Shake off your cabin fever, go for a ride and give it a try.
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  #6  
Old 01-16-2019, 09:35 AM
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Hookmanski Hookmanski is online now
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Default Re: New to South Branch Raritan River

That rod should be fine for smallies! I've caught some decent sized smallies out of the south branch with my 4'6" UL and 4lb mono. That being said, if you were going to go bigger, for the price you can go wrong with an Ugly Stick Elite. I just got one, it's a 6'6" Medium and it's awesome. I think its going to be my main smallie rod from here on out. I paired it up with a 1000 sienna i got from a secret santa and its great. I grew up near the south branch, its a great body of water. Agreed with some of the other guys here, your area will probably hold mostly trout, but Budd Lake has everything. Follow the river downstream and you'll find the smallies. Enjoy the new area! Ton's of interesting water to fish up that way.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:35 AM
TheAnaconda TheAnaconda is offline
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Default Re: New to South Branch Raritan River

Thank you everyone the advice is much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimatepredator View Post
You will most likely find more trout in the south branch where you are moving to. The river is more of a little creek and gets bigger as you head down stream. You will find some smallies in there tho.
Head to budd lake and you will have all kinds of fish to go after. Especially if it's right there, use it.
As for gear, you dont have break the bank on a rod and reel. Get a cheaper 6 to 7ft medium action rod/reel combo to start off with and buy some lures, hooks, plastics,weights, etc.. to get up and going.
Just get started and have fun. Enjoy yourself out there

Does Budd Lake have shore fishing? No boat to speak of.
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  #8  
Old 01-16-2019, 10:38 AM
TheAnaconda TheAnaconda is offline
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Default Re: New to South Branch Raritan River

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pdog View Post
Welcome to Mount Olive!

Iíve lived here about 5 years now and have reintroduced myself to fishing in the last 2-3 years so still learning the area myself. Iím more of a lake guy and spend lots of time on Hopatcong but plan on branching out to some new lakes this year. Iím an Ohio raised walleye guy at heart but enjoy chasing anything that swims. Give me a yell if your ever interested in going out on the lake.

Steve
Careful, I may just take you up on that offer!

Have you fished Budd Lake often or just stick to Hopatcong?
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2019, 06:25 PM
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Pdog Pdog is offline
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Default Re: New to South Branch Raritan River

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheAnaconda View Post
Careful, I may just take you up on that offer!

Have you fished Budd Lake often or just stick to Hopatcong?
Iíve just fished it from shore at the beach area before I got a boat. Have only had the boat on Hopatcongs so faras I was getting comfortable operating it and trying to learn the lake some at the same time. Hoping to branch out to some different lakes this year.
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  #10  
Old 01-16-2019, 09:52 PM
ultimatepredator ultimatepredator is offline
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Default Re: New to South Branch Raritan River

Budd lake has some shore access. Get out and wander around. See what you can find. Like someone said, now is a great time to get out and look around without the green on the trees.

Also, keep an eye out for a cheap kayak or canoe. That would open up a whole new world of fishing opportunities for you.
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