Tue., Nov. 21, 2017
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Upstate N.Y.
Salmon, Steelhead &
Trout Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 3-1-17


<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Adirondack Mountains</b>

Much of the fishable ice melted in the Adirondacks, said Mike from <b>FISH307.com</b> in Lake George. The season was early for that, but weather was warmer than usual. Today was supposed to be 62 degrees, and thunderstorms were forecast. Yesterday was 42. Maybe some of the lakes farther north and in the heart of the Adirondacks were fished on the ice. But fishable ice disappeared from Lake George a week ago. That’s a big lake and is always the first to lose ice. Boaters scored okay on landlocked salmon on George. Ice tackle would still be carried at the store, and open-water tackle was slowly replacing it. <a href="http://www.fish307.com" target="_blank">FISH307.com</a> is both an online store and a brick-and-mortar shop. Take advantage of clearance sales on ice gear.

Fishable ice melted at many places, said Lou from <b>Fuel-n-Food</b> in Mayfield. But some lakes still held the ice, and the fishing might be the best of the season for the next week or longer. The changing ice seems to trigger better fishing. Big fish were nailed. Ice shanties were removed, and anglers became cautious about where they walked onto ice and off. Great Sacandaga Lake was mostly no longer fished on the ice. That loses ice quickly because the lake is a reservoir. But big northern pike had really begun to bite at Sacandaga. Walleyes bit well at lakes, and big perch 14 inches hit. The best reports about ice-fishing were about lake trout and brown trout taken farther north at Piseco, Indian and Raquette lakes. Pike and walleye seasons close beginning March 16, and ice-fishing is wrapped up by then, if not earlier. Fuel-n-Food is a gas station, café and bait and tackle shop. Bait and tackle includes a full supply for ice, and the crew from the store can point anglers in the right direction.  

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

Warm weather melted snow, raising and chilling Salmon River, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. The water ran at 1,700 cubic feet per second, and that’s high. A steelhead or two could be picked from the river on stoneflies in a trip. Not so many stones were seen along the high, cold river. Weather was colder during the weekend, and could be become colder again. The water level was dropping by Monday. But Jay concentrated on steelheading 2 hours farther west at creeks and rivers around Rochester. That angling was better, and the waters were lower. The area doesn’t get the lake-effect snow from Lake Ontario that the Salmon River does. In those western New York waters, Jay’s trips caught on Zonker streamers and egg-sucking leach flies. Steelheads could begin spawning any time, though that was early. Spring conditions could be starting early, but that could change. Steelhead waters were fishable in both western New York and on the Salmon. Anglers just needed to “get after it,” he said. Jay also fishes for big brown trout in the creeks and rivers in western New York. A good dose of precipitation was needed to pick up that angling. Steelheads and the trout winter in creeks and rivers and return to Lake Ontario for summer. Forage is most abundant in rivers and creeks in winter, the reason that’s where the fish are located that season. The trout are huge because of summering in the lake. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.  

<b>PENNSYLVANIA</b>

Plenty of anglers fished in the warm weather, a report said on <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia’s website Friday. No striped bass were reported hooked from the river though then at the store, but that was only a matter time, it said. Striper season was opened in rivers and bays from New Jersey today, after being closed there since the first of the year. Pennsylvania’s striper fishing was already open on the river. Check regulations for both states for open and closed seasons and other laws for the angling. Catfishing was best in the river. Most customers who catfished on the river pasted one or two on chunks of eels or bunker or nightcrawlers or shrimp in a trip. Fair walleye fishing was tied into farther upstream on the river. A few walleyes were whipped from Schuylkill River downstream from the art museum. A 13-pound flathead catfish was hauled from the Schuylkill off Kelly Drive. A 27-pounder was heaved from the river farther upstream. The private Penn Warner Club’s lakes were a “hot spot for … (crappies), perch, bass, pickerel and pike,” it said. Fishing went well in South Jersey’s lakes for crappies, largemouth bass, yellow perch and chain pickerel. An angler fishing Cooper River socked a few small largemouths, four catfish and a 21-pound carp. The report mentioned plenty of other waters and catches in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

<b>NEW JERSEY</b>

Anglers fished more than usual because of warmth, said Brian from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Customers mostly fished trout streams, casting small flies including small pheasant-tail nymphs, hare’s ear nymphs and black stoneflies. They fished blue-winged olives “if something’s hatching,” he said. Was the fishing good? Brian was asked. One customer said he landed a couple, and a few customers said the fish keyed in on the stoneflies, he answered. Nothing was heard about fishing Delaware River for smallmouth bass or walleyes. Some anglers tried for largemouth bass at Lake Hopatcong, but whether they caught was unknown. Not much was talked about from saltwater. That fishing was sort of in-between seasons. But striped bass season was opened in bays and rivers today, and winter flounder season began today.

A few anglers fished from bridges, reeling in a few crappies and small perch from the lake, said Joe from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong. A few bass boats were seen on the lake during the weekend, but how the anglers fared was unknown. The store now has rental boats in the water. Fishing mostly was just beginning again on the lake, after skim ice had prevented boat launching. The lake’s ice was hardly ever thick enough to fish atop this winter. 

Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook was at the boat launch at Lake Hopatcong, he said. Anglers launching said they’d been cranking largemouth bass and walleyes from the lake. Closer to the store, anglers fished Passaic River, walking the banks, tackling northern pike and occasional smallmouth bass and largemouth bass. They fished small swim baits and small spinners. The spinners were mostly in-line, like Blue Foxes, CP Swings or Swiss Swings

The Toms River at Trilco gave up great fishing for chain pickerel, a few largemouth bass and a couple of yellow perch, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in the town of Toms River. Not many of the perch, hooked along the river’s bottom, moved in yet. Trilco is a closed building supply, and no sign identifies it, but locals know the stretch by the name, located near Garden State Parkway. Farther downstream, in the brackish Toms, many striped bass swam, and striper season opened today in rivers and bays. Anglers before today hooked them by accident and released the fish. Someone yesterday hooked a 10-inch winter from that area of the river, the year’s first flounder heard about from the Toms. Flounder season opened today. Two or three bunker were known to be hooked by mistake in the Toms this past week, and the baitfish always show up in the river in February. A few customers attempted fishing for trout farther upstream on the Toms but caught none. But a customer on Sunday said he’d been grabbing trout at Spring Lake on PowerBait. Trout leftover from stocking seemed to remain in the lake because of the warm winter. Pickerel were tugged from the pond at Pineland Park. A few anglers fished Ocean County College Pond, picking one or two bluegills, not many.  Killies, shiners, nightcrawlers and garden worms are stocked. The store’s also been stocking bloodworms that now will be fished for stripers. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Fishing was picking up, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. Striped bass season opened in rivers and bays today, and the fish were active in Delaware River. Anglers who catfished hooked stripers by mistake and released them in the river before today. Reports were heard about that from Salem to National Park, and one angler released six in a day. Bloodworms and nightcrawlers attracted the bass and are stocked. The river was reportedly 48 degrees near Salem yesterday. That was relatively warm and seemed to bode well for the impending spawning migration of bigger stripers up the river. The smaller stripers already biting seemed to bode well, too. Yellow perch also arrived in the river, shore anglers pulling in a fair share. Crappies bit at pretty much all lakes, including in the ditches along Crown Point Road in West Deptford.  A customer winged five largemouth bass from Alcyon Lake in Pitman on top-waters, the year’s first that he beat on top-waters. He never said the type of top-waters, but probably buzz baits, Bryan guessed. Those were top-waters most customers bought. Matt Gigz scored good fishing for largemouths at Newton Lake in Collingswood Saturday, his most productive day on largemouths this year, on wacky-rigged Senkos, saying the fish couldn’t resist them.

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