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Salmon, Steelhead &
Trout Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 1-18-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Adirondack Mountains</b>

It’s cold, said Jeff from <b></b> in Lake George. Weather was relatively warm elsewhere, and ice anglers would prefer colder weather in the Adirondacks, but weather was cold there, and fishable ice was everywhere in the mountains. Everywhere except on Lake George, where a few of the bays were frozen, and a few ice anglers, not many, fished them. But George, a big lake, is always the final to freeze. All other smaller lakes and all ponds were in good shape for ice fishing. Conditions were good for the angling, too, with no snow on top of the ice. Jeff had just spoken with an angler who said Schroon Lake held 11 inches from the boat launch to farther south, and 5 or 6 inches on the northern lake. Four-wheelers were driven atop Schroon, and anglers fished the ice all over the lake. The angler pulled in three lake trout and a landlocked salmon from Schroon on Monday. Lake Champlain gave up crappies and perch from the ice. Brant Lake turned out perch, crappies and a couple of brown trout from the ice. Perch were plucked from many lakes through the ice. Some of the lakes in the northern mountains produced trout through the hard water. All ice-fishing baits, the full supply, are now stocked. That includes icicles, suckers, three sizes of shiners, fatheads and rosy reds. is both an online store, carrying all ice gear, and a brick-and-mortar store, stocking all the gear and bait.

<b>Salmon River and Western N.Y. Rivers</b>

Salmon River had risen, and now water levels dropped back down there and in rivers and creeks everywhere, and the higher water did pull in fresh steelheads and trout, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. He’s fishing for steelheads on the Salmon and for huge brown trout in creeks and rivers a couple of hours farther west, around Rochester. A pile of fresh steelheads held in the upper Salmon. Fishing for the river’s steelheads was nothing hot and heavy, but was consistent. Steelheads consistently trickled into the river from Lake Ontario, and if anglers fished for them well, they banked a few. Was good to see the bright, fresh fish. The creeks that hold the trout were frozen, but warmer weather now will rip open the ice. Oak Orchard River, a bigger body of water in the area, was open, and the higher water tugged fresh trout into the river from Lake Ontario. The Oak was becoming lower now. But precipitation will raise it, and that will cause more of the trout to enter. Nymphs hooked the steelheads, and egg flies clocked the trout. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides. Anglers had been ice-fishing locally, but weather became warmer, probably shutting that down at least for the moment. Meet Jay at his exhibit at The Fly Fishing Show from Jan. 27-29 at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset.


Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> from Montvale trolled two lake trout and a rainbow trout Sunday on Round Valley Reservoir, he wrote in an email. The fish were hooked 40 feet down in 80 feet of water on stick baits from the 35-degree water.

Trout are everywhere, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. They’re good-sized, too – 18 or 19 inches – and anglers are scoring well on them, including on Pequest and Musconetcong rivers and Big Flatbrook. Few fished for trout after the fall and winter trout stockings, including because of low water and the holidays. Water levels were great now, “as a matter of fact,” he said. Whenever rain fell on a day lately, the water cleared quickly for good fishing. The angling should be outstanding on the relatively warm days that are arriving, including today through Friday. The fish were caught including on San Juan worms, small, weighted wooly buggers, and midges like disco midges. Surely Kastmasters, Phoebes and other typical trout lures would work, too. Before the warmth this week, some lakes held ice that was fished, including coves at Lake Hopatcong. But ice fishing ended for now, because of the warmth and rain, including rain yesterday. Nothing was heard about fishing on Delaware River, Kevin said when asked. Catch Ramsey’s exhibit at The Fly Fishing Show from Jan. 27-29 at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset.

Anglers ice-fished on Budd Lake, said Irene from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington during the weekend. But she wondered how long the ice would last, because forecasts called for 50-degree weather this week. They also ice-fished at Mountain Lake a little. That was about all she heard about fishing, and she’d been away from the store previously. Customers fish trout streams year-round, but she heard nothing specific about the angling recently.

The lake was losing any ice that was fished, said Joe from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong. The ice was last fished on Monday. Thin ice covered the whole lake through Tuesday, and by that day, none was fishable. The ice then also prevented casting from shore or boating to fish. Any fishable ice had only been 3 or 4 inches thick. Forecasts are calling for above-freezing temperatures day and night in the next week. To form fishable ice, nights need to be cold enough, at least.

Not enough ice remained for ice-fishing, unless anglers traveled north, said Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. He saw a couple of anglers jon-boating Passaic River. Catches including northern pike and catfish could certainly be targeted there, and the river ran a little low. In saltwater, anglers blackfished, sometimes catching, sometimes not, sometimes on green crabs, sometimes on white crabs, and so on. Typical blackfishing.

At <b>Harry’s Army Navy</b> in Robbinsville, Matt knew a couple of anglers who were catching largemouth bass, chain pickerel and perch from lakes, he said. If anglers this past week could find lakes with no skim ice, catches like that were possible. Lakes this past week were freezing at night, thawing during daytime. Weather became warmer this week, reaching the upper 40 degrees and low 50s. Whether fishable ice will form in New Jersey the rest of this season will be seen. So far, a couple of cold snaps happened a moment apiece, then temperatures shot back up. That might look like no sustained period of ice-fishing will happen, or the prospect didn’t look good. Maybe fishable ice will only form briefly, if at all, the rest of the winter. But that will be seen. Delaware River was iced-over at Trenton and Bordentown a few days ago. The river is in the lower 30 degrees, and that’s not “do-able.” Smallmouth bass could still be landed from the river in those temps. But the fishing would be slow, not worthwhile. In saltwater, anglers mostly blackfished. A couple of striped bass, not many at all, could surely be picked from the surf. But stripers mostly migrated away for the season from the surf and ocean to 3 miles from shore, the only place where fishing for them is legal currently. Stripers swam waters like back bays currently, but fishing back waters like that for stripers is closed from January through February.

Customers bought live bait – minnows and nightcrawlers – to fish for largemouth bass and crappies at lakes like Greenwich and Swedesboro, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. Ice thawed at lakes, and mostly crappies were targeted. Crappies are active in cool water. Customers also frequented lakes in lower Alloway County for yellow perch and white perch. They call that LAC or Lower Alloway. Still, anglers trying for largemouths bought jigs. That’s what they fished for the bass this time of year.

Most lakes had been iced over, said Andrew from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Only bigger lakes like Union held open water. So that slowed participation in fishing. The ice was too thin to fish on, but ice-fishing isn’t popular locally anyway. South Jersey’s lakes freeze too infrequently for that, unlike in North Jersey. The lakes should be thawed now, including because of rain yesterday. When anglers fished for largemouth bass this season, they tossed tackle including jerk baits and fished with extreme finesse. Largemouths become sluggish in cold water, so a delicate presentation can be required. Crappies can be active in these water temperatures, so maybe anglers could target them. Chain pickerel and yellow perch can also be aggressive in cool water.

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