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Salmon, Steelhead &
Trout Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 2-15-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Adirondack Mountains</b>

Two snowstorms during the weekend kept customers from ice-fishing, said Mark from <b></b> in Lake George. Ten to 14 inches of snow fell in 24 hours, adding to snow in the previous week. The snow ended Monday, but Monday was windy, and not much was heard about ice-fishing through Tuesday morning, when he gave this report. He was probably going to wait until today to post a report about ice conditions on the shop’s Facebook page, because he probably would have too little info until then. But anglers fished the ice last week. Many of the smaller lakes in the Adirondacks held 11 to 14 inches last week. Bays were beginning to freeze on Lake George, a large lake that’s always the final to freeze in winter. At George last week, the bay at the village held 4 inches, and Harris and Warner bays held 5. Mark was yet to know what the ice on the bays was like after the weekend’s snow, when he gave this report.  The <a href="" target="_blank">Lake George Steamboat Company’s web cam</a> shows a real-time view of George. A complete supply of ice-fishing baits is stocked, including icicles, hunts, three sizes of shiners, spikes, wax worms and nightcrawlers. Catch sales the store is running on ice gear, including power augurs, electronics, shelters and sleds. <a href="" target="_blank"></a> is both an online store and a brick-and-mortar shop.

Lakes held plenty of ice locally, including 17 inches on Great Sacandaga, said Lou from <b>Fuel-n-Food</b> in Mayfield. Most waters held 8 to 11 inches, and a good amount of snow covered the ice now. Ice-fishing entered somewhat of the mid-winter lull that happens. Snow darkening the water underneath seems to affect that.  Yellow perch fishing was the most decent angling from the ice. Friends fished Indian Lake on the ice, and a few brown trout and a couple of lake trout that were socked were about the only action. Not many lake trout bit there, but all that did were big. Though snow covered ice, not much slush did. Ice thickness and no slush made for good conditions. Baits stocked for ice-fishing include small and large suckers, hunts, medium and large shiners, and spikes. Gear stocked for the angling includes tip-ups, augurs, all terminal tackle, lures and jigs. Fuel-n-Food is a gas station and café and includes a good supply of bait and tackle. The crew at the store can point anglers in the right direction for ice-fishing.

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

Just plugging away, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. Steelheading on Salmon River was typical for winter, except for the relatively warm winter. During some winters, Jay might just say “frozen” for a report this time of year. Lots of snow fell along the river, and sometimes that shut down any fishing, typical for the season. That happened during a blast of snow during the weekend. But the river flowed at a decent level for steelheading, 750 cubic feet per second at the beginning of the week. That was up from 500 previously, and the river’s been having pulses of higher water like that, and that helps. The pulses attract more steelheads to migrate into the river from Lake Ontario. In March, when snow and ice begin to melt, more pulses will happen. Stoneflies hooked the steelheads. A few stoneflies crawled around the snow, and more bugs will come out in a couple of weeks. Farther west in New York, around Rochester, where Jay fishes for big brown trout in creeks and rivers this season, 3 or 4 inches of snow fell. The area doesn’t get the lake-effect snow that Salmon River does. A little rain also fell along the trout waters, and some of the trout creeks were frozen. But that varied, and the water flows were decent. White rabbit-strip streamers 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. In other news, ice-fishing was very sketchy locally. Much ice was unsafe, and stories circulated about anglers breaking through and about ice they fished breaking off from land and floating away. Lower elevation makes the area warmer than in the Adirondack Mountains.


A few anglers catfished on Delaware River, cranking in a couple per trip, a report said on <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> from Philadelphia’s website. Chunks of eels, nightcrawlers and shrimp caught best.  A few anglers hauled in 10- to 20-pound carp from the Delaware and Schuylkill River. Carp baits, corn and boilies worked best. A customer sent a photo of a 10- to 15-pound flathead catfish landed from the Schuylkill early last week. Farther upstream on the Delaware, a few walleyes were nipped from New Hope to Lambertville. The shop’s owner knew anglers who picked occasional trout from Pennypack Creek. A few of the stocked fish remained.  An angler beat four bluegills and an 8-inch smallmouth bass from Perkiomen Creek on small minnows. For two anglers who fished the private lakes at the Penn Warner Club, fishing slowed a few days at the end of the week, giving up only a few perch and crappies. A customer fished Levittown Lake four days last week without a bite. Another’s been fishing South Jersey lakes, scoring great on pickerel, perch and crappies on minnows. Two buddies smashed pickerel well at Lake Lenape just below the dam two weekends ago. Another smoked good angling for white perch and small striped bass on Mullica River, downstream from Crowley’s Landing. Striper fishing is closed in rivers and bays in New Jersey until opening beginning March 1.


Four rainbow trout and two lake trout were trolled from Round Valley Reservoir on stick baits on Saturday aboard, Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> wrote in an email. He took the trip with friend Phil DelZotto from Mahwah, and the crystal-clear water was “holding at 34 degrees,” Dave wrote. The day was beautiful, with little wind, and snow covered banks, but fish bit. An angler from another boat caught a 24-inch brown trout from the reservoir that day. The brown had a tag from the Round Valley Trout Association.

Anglers banked trout from streams, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Customers nabbed them at Big Flatbrook and Pequest River on midges and sometimes, in deeper holes, wooly buggers. The streams held plenty of water, and some good-sized trout. Maybe early black stoneflies will hatch next week. Saturday to Monday are supposed to be in the 60 degrees. Nobody reported fishing lakes, but surely some will fish for perch on lakes before next week’s report. Perch are active in the early season. Fishing might pick up early this year, because of the mild weather. Delaware River surely ran high because of snow from locally to upstream. Maybe the water will be lower for good walleye fishing by the weekend. Try casting Husky Jerks or crank baits in deeper holes or pockets.

If any ice was fished on the lake, it was 2 ½ inches thick, said Joe from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong. Two customers during the weekend said they were headed to fish the ice that thick, but that’s unsafe. No fishing was really possible on the lake, because the ice was too thin for safety. Yet the ice covered coves at boat ramps, preventing launching. Nine or 10 inches of snow fell in the storm Thursday, and afterward, three-quarters of an inch of ice covered the ground one day this week. Weather’s supposed to be in the 50 degrees Saturday through Monday at Lake Hopatcong, according to forecasts.

Lake trout were boated on Round Valley Reservoir, said James from <b>Behre Bait & Tackle</b> in Lebanon. The fish were trolled on Warrior spoons and Rapala lures in scattered depths from near the water surface on down. But lakers swam from 5 to 90 feet down, and finding a school and then vertical-jigging could be best for catching. One angler whacked a 20-pound 14-ounce laker Sunday while jigging. Some lakers were sizable, and a few large brown trout roamed the reservoir. Shore anglers at Round Valley pulled in rainbow trout here and there and a couple of lakers. But the shore angling was considerably slower than usual, because low water eliminated steep drop-offs that shore casters usually fish. Winter was winding down, and James hopes fishing will pick up in the next weeks. The store’s been open for limited hours and will be open daily beginning March 1.       

Not much happened except customers swamping the store with rod and reel repairs and maintenance, said Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> from Pine Brook. They waited until the last minute, instead of bringing in the tackle in October, when they stopped fishing for the season. No ice was available to fish. Passaic River ran high from snow and rain. “It’s full,” he said, but this is a good time to get after the northern pike that swim the river. The fish are there, and will smack “moving” lures including spinner baits and buzz baits. Chatter baits work well, and swim baits can work. Six or 8 inches of snow fell locally in Thursday’s storm. Then slush and hail fell and turned into an inch of ice on the ground the other day.

Shiners, nightcrawlers and garden worms are stocked at <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River, Dennis said. He was now at the store not every day but on most days, for a few hours, beginning around 9 a.m. He’s been leaving messages on the phone recorder sometimes about the store’s hours, and has been posting hours on the shop’s Facebook page sometimes. The store will resume being opened daily on Saturday, Feb. 25. Dennis hopes to stock bloodworms Friday. The worms were supposed to arrive yesterday, but New England, where the worms are from, was pounded with a snowstorm that prevented that. Another storm was coming, so Dennis hoped the worms will arrive Friday like planned. Bloods can be fished at Oyster Creek, the warm-water discharge from the Forked River power plant. A photo of an angler with a big white perch from the creek was posted on Murphy’s Facebook page in past days. Striped bass, sea trout and bluefish swam the creek. Striper fishing is closed in back waters like that until opening beginning March 1. Hardly anybody fished the Toms River, except a few anglers tugging in an occasional white perch. Photos were also posted on the Facebook page of a customer with two large chain pickerel and a healthy-sized largemouth bass. The angler’s been nailing pickerel and largemouths on killies. No waters were frozen locally. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland had been away from the store this past week, he said. But warming weather looks promising for fishing in the next week. The weekend’s weather looks awesome, in the 60 degrees. Largemouth bass anglers are expected to be seen at the shop because of that. Steve would fish jerk baits or jigs for the bass at lakes. Sometimes the bass are swiping crank baits, and a few were heard about that are even jumping on swim baits like Keitechs. Minnows are stocked again, after none was available until now this season. If anglers want to fish the minnows for chain pickerel or crappies at lakes, that’s a good bet for catching.

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