Lake Hopatcong Fishing Report: Now Open Water – Fish biting in the Shallows

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The first Fishing Report for Lake Hopatcong has come in from Dow's Boat Rental, and while the ice has just vanished over the last week, the report provides several tips and very encouraging information on the early season of fishing.

Report from Dow's Boat Rental:

  • Open Water season has begun … Dow's Boat Rental is now open for boat rentals, along with bait & tackle.

  • logobigtransTrout season is closed now but will open early on April 1st for catch and release only until April 10th.

  • Water temps range from 46 degrees in the main lake to 58 degrees in the shallows.

  • Focus your efforts on sandy bottoms and structure in the backs of the coves where you will find the warmer waters.

  • Aaron Graybill of Lake Hopatcong Guide Service reported great fishing all week for crappie and yellow perch.

  • Fatheads, small shiners, mini mites, rufus junior hair jigs, and small Rapala husky jerks will work well.

  • Plenty of chain pickerel are being caught and some of the first largemouth bass were landed this week.

  • Max Hughen of Hopatcong NJ is catching his fair share of nice yellow perch and pickerel.

The Knee Deep Club will be stocking their trout in the next week or so and will be holding their Trout & Pickerel Contests on Sunday, April 18th, 2021.

Event Information:

Sunday, April 18, 2021, the Knee Deep Club will hold a Pickerel contest on Lake Hopatcong.

PickerelContestThe contest will begin at 5:00 AM and conclude at 4:00 PM. The entry fee is $20.00 for Knee Deep Club members and $25.00 ($20.00 entry + $5.00 non-member fee) and must be submitted with the official contest entry form.

 A payout of 80% of entry fees will go to the anglers weighing in the three (3) heaviest fish. The anglers catching the 4th, 5th, and 6th heaviest Pickerel will each receive a $20 gift certificate.

Top finishers will be based on weight and any ties will be broken by which fish was entered first. Entry forms are available online at;, or at the Club's official weigh stations: Dow’s Boat Rental, Nolan’s Point, Lake Hopatcong, and Lake’s End Marina, Lakeside Blvd., Landing.

Mail-in entries must be received by Friday, April 12, 2019, in-person entries can be made until 8:00 AM Sunday, April 14, 2019. Please see the contest entry form for complete contest rules. For additional information, please call 973-663-3826.

Did You Know:

  • The all-time record Pickerel is 6 lb. 9 oz. and the current Knee Deep Club record is 5 lb. 12oz. * The Knee Deep Club website is and is full of information about the club and fishing Lake Hopatcong – bring it up and check us out.
  • The Knee Deep club has been supporting fishing on Lake Hopatcong since August 30, 1946, and currently has a membership of over 800 members.

The Knee Deep Club trusts you enjoy the excellent fishing Lake Hopatcong has to offer.

Event Properties

Event Date

04-18-2021 5:00 am

Individual Price



Lake Hopatcong


About Dow's Boat Rental

We are a small, family-owned boat rental, bait, and tackle shop located on Lake Hopatcong since 1971.

We rent a 14 ft fiberglass rowboat, either with or without a motor, sell live bait and tackle and issue NJ State fishing and hunting licenses.

Address: 145 Nolans Point Rd, Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849

Phone: (973) 663-3826


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