Union Lake is southern New Jersey’s largest freshwater physique of water. It’s thought-about the premier lake on this space for angling. It has had a historical past of offering good fishing for a wide range of species. The lake was constructed within the 1790s, and later in 1868, it was offered to the Millville Manufacturing Firm, and a brand new dam was constructed downstream of the unique, and it considerably elevated the scale of the lake. Union Lake is positioned in Millville, New Jersey, proper off Route 49, about 45 minutes from the Delaware Memorial Bridge. It’s a part of the Union Lake Wild life Administration space, and is positioned on the Maurice River Drainage.
The lake and it is surrounding properties have been bought by the New Jersey Fish Recreation and Wildlife in 1982, and the Division reconstructed the dam in 1989, and constructed a fish ladder in 1990. This enabled anadromous fish to spawn above Union Lake.
Union Lake is 898 acres, with a median depth of 9 ft, with a most depth of 27 ft. The water in Union is very productive because of the excessive fertility of the soil across the lake. It has a brown humic shade, and is topic to algal blooms in the summertime. The lake develops a thermocline in the summertime at about 10 ft, and there’s a lack of dissolved oxygen at about 15 ft. There may be a wide range of vegetation, each emergent and submerged, with some laydowns, and islands with lily pads all through the lake.
There have been synthetic constructions added additionally, comparable to Christmas tree reefs and tire reefs at numerous areas all through the lake. There are two boat launches at Union which are out there to the general public.
The ramp positioned on the Southeast finish of the lake is owned by the town of Millville. The opposite ramp positioned on the West shore of the lake, has parking out there for 50 automobile and trailer rigs, and is owned by the Division of Fish Recreation and Wildlife. The parking zone and ramp are unbelievable, and it’s lighted for evening time fishing additionally. There’s a 10 hp most on the lake. There are additionally shoreline angling areas across the lake.
The primary forage base in Union Lake are Alewife and Gizzard Shad, and the inhabitants within the lake is excellent. There are additionally a very good inhabitants of panfish, together with Crappies and Bluegill. Whereas a lot of the Crappie and Bluegill which are caught are of common measurement, there are a number of trophy class fish caught annually by expert anglers. There are additionally some Channel Catfish and Pirate Perch, together with some Swamp Darters.
Fish species discovered within the lake are Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Black Crappie, White Perch, Striped Bass, Chain Pickerel, Channel Catfish, and Sunfish of a number of varieties. The Smallmouth Bass inhabitants in Union was small, so the State has been performing some stocking to extend the inhabitants, however they’re nonetheless drastically outnumbered by the Largemouth Bass, though previously few years the scale of a number of the smallmouth caught has been good, with some anglers reporting catches of Smallmouth that exceeded four kilos.
The Stripers which are in Union come from anglers releasing them from the Maurice River inhabitants into the lake. There may be at present an advisory on Largemouth Bass and Chain Pickerel, as a result of they exceed the extent of Mercury allowed.
The most effective areas for Smallmouth Bass are across the dam and adjoining sandy shoreline, and throughout the lake by the Millville ramp across the rip-rap and close to the stumps and deep water construction. Among the Smallmouth I caught in Union have been round Three kilos, which is a pleasant measurement smallmouth for this space. The Largemouth Bass will maintain on conventional construction within the decrease finish of the lake, such because the brushy areas alongside the shore close to the Dam, and within the coves on each side. The Smallmouth that have been above three ponds have been hitting Rapala jerkbaits and Yamamoto “IKA” tubes.
There are additionally three synthetic constructions on this space, and so they maintain baitfish and Crappies, and subsequently bass. A very good fish locator is required to seek out them now. One is positioned about forty yards off shore by the Millville ramp, the opposite one is about thirty yards up from the dam off the rip-rap financial institution. The third is on the adjoining shore by the sandy cliffs after the primary cove by the dam. The most effective lures for smallmouth bass in these areas embrace a wide range of tubes, small hair jigs in Brown and Black, and small crankbaits by Fortunate Craft in crawfish colours. The largemouth right here will hit a wide range of comfortable plastics, however we’ve got had the very best luck on small worms and Senkos by Gary Yamamoto baits. The 4 and 5 inch fashions have been taking large Largemouth Bass from these areas.
A few third of the way in which up the lake from the dam, close to the state boat ramp, there are two different synthetic attractors product of Christmas timber and tire models. These areas additionally maintain bass. a very good tactic is utilizing medium to deep diving crankbaits on this space, and bumping the construction as a lot as attainable. Small straight tail worms and Senko’s additionally produce when solid to the construction and shoreline cowl on this space. Within the early mornings and late afternoon till night, Largemouth Bass have been hitting strolling kind baits comparable to Fortunate Craft “Sammys”, jerkbaits, and Terminator “Ball Buster” buzzbaits on this space.
The subsequent space to strive can be close to the higher finish of the lake on the West shore. There are marsh reeds and lily pad fields on this space and so they maintain a great deal of giant bass and Pickerel. The most effective baits for right here can be weedless topwaters comparable to a Prime-Prop and different buzzbaits labored across the edges of the duvet. Small worms in 4 inch sizes, and Senkos solid to the sides of the deep weedlines right here will produce within the daytime. Additionally, this yr we’ve got had a great deal of bass hit Spider Grubs on a light-weight Tungsten weight and even rigged Texas type and solid to the sides of canopy rigged weightless. There are a selection of Spider Grubs, however I like those made by Gary Yamamoto the very best. The earth tone colours are simple to match to the forage and water shade.
The final place it is best to strive is within the higher finish of the lake on the best hand facet proper earlier than it turns right into a slim, winding, swamplike space. There’s a Christmas tree reef on this space blended with different vegetation that it is best to work with 5 inch Jerkbaits in Gold/Black colours and different comfortable plastics in Pumpkin and Purple.
The pads on the left facet on this space additionally maintain a great deal of bass that go to 5 – 6 kilos. Many largemouth have been taken right here by working the pads with a “Snag Proof Event Frog” in Black and Brown and a “Terminator T-1” spinnerbait in 3/eight ounce with Tandem blades with a Golden Shiner skirt. Buzzbaits took some largemouth as nicely from this space that exceeded six kilos. Different good baits to strive in Union are lipless crankbaits like a Rattlin’ Rapala or Fortunate Craft, and numerous sorts of spoons within the reedy areas for each Chain Pickerel and bass.
I prefer to have a pair spinning rods with a very good reel comparable to a Shimano Maintain or Daiwa, spooled with six and eight pound take a look at Stren. These are good for small grubs and the smaller Senkos. I additionally prefer to have a few good baitcasters comparable to a 6 half to 7 foot G.Loomis with a medium and a medium/heavy motion, with a Shimano Chronarch, spooled with twenty pound take a look at Stren and a separate rod for cranking. I take advantage of a Lews Crankin’ Stick and a G.Loomis Cranking Stick for this with a Lews reel, spooled with ten pound take a look at line. These reels are essential to current the crankbaits correctly and scale back angler fatigue.
Use these ways at Union this coming yr and you’ll enhance your catch fee in addition to your enjoyable. Union has number of surroundings and wildlife and may present an ideal day trip for the entire household.