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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 12-27-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Adirondack Mountains</b>

The next 10 days are supposed to be frigid, and that makes Jeff from <b>FISH307.com</b> in Lake George smile, he said. Ice-fishing season was off to a good start in the Adirondacks. Fishable ice was beginning to form on smaller lakes and on ponds to the north, including Lake Eaton and Lake Durant. Weather in past days was in the 20 degrees. In the next 10 days, weather’s supposed to drop below zero at night and be in the single digits during daytime. Ice anglers were waiting for the shop to open yesterday morning for the first time this season. All ice-fishing baits are stocked, and Jeff’s looking forward to a super season, he said. <a href="http://www.fish307.com" target="_blank">FISH307.com</a> is both an online store and a brick-and-mortar shop, carrying all ice-fishing gear from tip-ups, rods and lures to augurs, shelters and everything between.

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

Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b> was definitely not fishing at the moment, he said yesterday afternoon. Weather was 16 degrees then, and this week will be iced-up, he said. This will be a good week to tie flies for him. The streams or creeks he was fishing for big brown and rainbow trout will become frozen in western, upstate New York, around Rochester. Big waters that won’t freeze, like Oak Orchard River there and, two hours to the east, Salmon River will be where he fishes now. The Oak will produce the trout, and the Salmon will give up steelheads. The steelhead fishing will last all winter long, and that’s a time for the angling. Last week before the cold, if anglers fished for the trout and steelheads smartly and worked, they caught surprisingly well. This has been a good season for the angling. Egg flies and a few nymphs, wooly buggers and Zonkers caught all these fish. Jay will try to resume fishing next week. In other news, ponds were freezing quickly and would probably be fishable from the ice by the end of the week. The ice was really yet to be fishable, and he likes 6 inches and has broken through 4 inches too often. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.

<b>PENNSYLVANIA</b>

Upper Delaware River’s smallmouth bass fishing slowed, Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia wrote in a report on the shop’s website. But a few anglers on the upper river last week clocked great catches of walleyes. Minnows or shiners on jigheads hooked most, but some were trolled on crank baits in bright colors. The lower river fished fairly well for catfish 1 to 3 pounds. Largemouth bass, yellow perch and crappies could be plucked from coves or at marinas along the lower river last week. That was at places including Dredge Harbor, Neshaminy Marina and Tullytown and Warner’s coves. Schuylkill River’s fishing slowed. Few anglers fished for catfish on the Schuylkill anymore this year. No flathead cats were heard about from the river in a month. But carp 10 to 25 pounds were still angled from the Schuylkill last week. Plenty of walleyes 12 to 15 inches were winged from the river at the dam on 2- to 4-inch rubber shads last week. A few trout were eased from Pennypack Creek. From New Jersey’s lakes, the shop reported mostly chain pickerel grabbed. A few largemouth bass, crappies and yellow perch were mixed in. Plenty of other locations and details were included in the report.

<b>NEW JERSEY</b>

Anglers fished the ice on Lake Kittatinny yesterday, said Alex from <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston. They found 3 to 5 inches of ice on the lake, but Alex was unsure if that was only in the coves or was throughout the lake. No other fishing was reported in cold weather and because of this past Christmas weekend. Alex heard nothing about how Big Flatbrook fished for trout and what the stream’s water level was like. The stream had been running low, according to the store’s previous reports. Most customers who fish streams or rivers for trout concentrate on the Flatbrook.

A couple of customers fished for trout on rivers, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. They cast small spinners, Trout Magnets or small flies like midges. Lakes were beginning to freeze this week, and maybe some will be fishable from the ice this weekend, if wind fails to blow too strongly. Temperatures are supposed to be in the 20 degrees this week. Kevin expects to report about the angling next week.

The backs of coves began to freeze on the lake, said Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong. Nobody fished the ice yet, and the main lake was pretty open, including because of windy weather. But maybe ice will be fished in the next week on the lake. Shiners, fatheads and mousies are stocked, and wax worms will arrive this afternoon. Ice-fishing tackle is in good supply. We’re ready, she said.

<b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook was mostly busy with people returning gifts yesterday, Cheryl said. That was the day after Christmas, and she heard about no ice-fishing yet, but some anglers anticipated or hoped for fishable ice before long. Blackfishing in saltwater was about the only angling talked about. Nobody mentioned striped bass from saltwater, but the holiday weekend seemed to keep some anglers from fishing.

A little ice formed on lakes last week, said Mike from <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown. That was a warmer period between cold weather before and now. When open water was available last week, chain pickerel and yellow perch could be pasted from lakes. Some other fish, including largemouth bass, stop feeding in the cold or at least become sluggish. Pickerel can be hooked including on Roostertails, and worms can tie into the perch. Minnows can also land either, but minnows are becoming scarce for the season. Only a dozen were left at the shop this weekend, and they’d surely sell out. In saltwater, good catches of striped bass were boated on the ocean last week. Stripers were also heard about from the surf last week. One angler banked quite a number, mostly throwbacks but sometimes a keeper, from shore at night at Long Beach Island on bucktails.

Much water on lakes thawed last week, but lakes should freeze pretty tight now, said Jeff from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. That will probably limit fishing, preventing casting. Maybe open water at spillways or dams could be fished. Ice-fishing never really happens this far south in New Jersey, because lakes never freeze long enough to draw interest. When the water was open last week, chain pickerel could be wrestled from lakes. If anglers tried for largemouth bass that late in the year at lakes, jerk baits or drop shots might’ve worked. Or maybe a jig or a Rat-L-Trap would have. Steve from the store said that for last week’s report, but heard about nobody fishing for the bass then.

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