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New Jersey Freshwater Fishning Report 3-8-17

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Adirondack Mountains</b>

Fishable ice was melted locally, but some remained farther north, like around Indian Lake, said John from <b>FISH307.com</b> in Lake George. Shorelines were broken up locally at Lake George, Glen Lake and ponds. Bait still stocked for ice-fishing includes shiners, hunts and cut bait. Take advantage of clearance sales on ice tackle. <a href="http://www.fish307.com" target="_blank">FISH307.com</a> is both an online store and a brick-and-mortar shop.

Ice-fishing was pretty much finished, said Nancy from <b>Fuel-n-Food</b> in Mayfield. Rain poured yesterday, and ice and snow was melting. Melt recently raised Great Sacandaga Lake eight feet. Customers fish the ice on Sacandaga and a good number of other lakes locally in winter. Fuel-n-Food is a gas station, café and bait and tackle shop. Ice-fishing bait and gear is stocked during the season, and the crew from the store can point anglers in the right direction.

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

Weather became cold during the weekend, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. Saturday night to Sunday morning was as cold as 2 degrees, the lowest temperature of winter so far. But weather is fluctuating between cold and warmth, typical of the time of year. The warmth sometimes melted snow, and the melt made Salmon River run high and cold. It ran at 1,800 cubic feet per second, but could drop this week. If the river dropped to 1,000, pools could be fished for steelheads, and that could be very decent. The cold during the weekend formed some ice along the river. But anglers who know what they’re doing are catching steelheads from the river. Fish slowly and thoroughly when the water is cold. Stoneflies and egg flies will catch on the Salmon. The best steelheading was farther west at creeks and rivers around Rochester. That was the real action, not great, but consistently decent, and Jay is taking advantage. Six of the fish landed in a trip was the best for his anglers there recently. That area had 4 inches of snow that cooled water this past week. But Jay is glad for the cold snaps, because they could prolong steelheading. The fishing ran about two weeks ahead of normal, because of the warm winter. In the western New York waters, wooly buggers and streamers including Zonkers and small Intruders caught.  Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides. Watch a video of spring steelheading on Salmon River. In other news, perch fishing began to set up at lakes. Ice was gone from lakes, and perch are aggressive in the early season. Fishing for them could be the best of the year this time of season.


The cold last weekend wasn’t going to help the impending striped bass migration in Delaware River, a report said on <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia’s website. Bloodworms were stocked now, so customers headed to the river with them, picking up a few catfish, only. Chunks of eels, bunker or shrimp also worked. Bigger catfish came from Schuylkill River, including seven flatheads 13 to 27 pounds that were known about this season. Livelined fish or eels could take cats like that, along with different chunk baits. A few white perch and walleyes also bit in the Schuylkill downstream from the art museum. Customers also fished the bloodworms at rivers and creeks in New Jersey for stripers and white perch. That fishing could be good. Oyster Creek, the warm-water discharge from Forked River power plant, was one of the best places for stripers. Fifteen- to 28-inchers were bloodwormed there. Rubber shads and different Fin-S Fish also caught. On Mullica River, stripers 15 to 24 inches and sizable white perch were whiffed. On Salem Canal, 15- to 20-inch stripers, monster white perch and some catfish were tugged in. Maurice River sometimes turned out stripers 20 to 28 inches. Back on the Delaware, walleye fishing could be great on the upper stretches for 13- to 22-inchers. Washington’s Crossing, Lambertville, Stockton, Point Pleasant and Byram were places. Cast jigs with minnows, rubber shads or twister tails. Or troll spinners with minnows or nightcrawlers. Trolled Storm Hot ‘N Tot lures and Cotton Cordell Wally Diver lures, both in bright colors, also hooked the walleyes. South Jersey’s lakes fished great for chain pickerel, crappies and other catches. The report included details about that and plenty of other fishing and locations.


Much fishing happened last week in warmth, but weather dropped back to the 30 degrees, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Not much was heard since about trout fishing on streams. But water levels were healthy from rains, and a few trout were plucked on zebra midges and all other usual early-season patterns. Early black stoneflies hatched last week, but whether trout were on them was unknown. Wooly buggers could be fished in slow-moving pools. Walleye fishing produced good angling on Delaware River on suspending jerk baits in slower water with sandier bottom. Kevin guessed the fish were getting ready to spawn. Big yellow perch and big crappies had been pasted from Lake Hopatcong in shallows on tackle like small jigs with Mister Twisters or meal worms under bobbers. How that fishing went since the cold was unknown.

Weather that was often windy and ice that re-formed along the shoreline kept anglers from fishing the lake, said Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong. Cold weather lasted through the weekend or so, and weather was warmer during the middle of this week. But forecasts are calling for snow this weekend. The warm winter had looked like fishing would get going early. Some of the store’s rental boats were even splashed. But the shop didn’t rent them in the weekend’s cold, because of water flow in the engines.

Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook worked the Philly outdoor show and the Atlantic City boat show from late last week through the weekend, he said. So he heard little about fishing near the shop. Still, he was pretty sure fishing could go well at Lake Hopatcong for largemouth bass and walleyes. He’s got friends who are fishing the lake, though he heard no results. Surely good fishing was available on Passaic River for northern pike, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, though the river ran a little low. Catches of yellow perch and white perch were reported from the river a few weeks ago. Customers were becoming antsy by this time in winter, and were beginning to fish.

Mostly chain pickerel and a few crappies and largemouth bass hit, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. That included on the Toms River at Trilco and at the lake at Pine Lake Park. Trilco is a closed building supply, and no sign identifies the building, but anglers know the stretch by the name, located near Garden State Parkway. Bluegills were yet to be active much, and that’ll happen a little later in the year. A few anglers banked trout from Spring Lake. Freshwater fishing somewhat slowed because of colder weather. Striped bass were played on the brackish Toms River and Oyster Creek, the warm-water discharge from Forked River power plant. Two keeper stripers were known about from the Toms. A few winter flounder were grabbed from the Toms and Oyster. A 21-inch flounder was the biggest seen from the Toms at the store. White perch fishing dropped off in the Toms, because water became colder. The river was 48 degrees yesterday, compared with 50 to 52 last week. Baits stocked include shiners, killies, nightcrawlers, bloodworms and sandworms. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Fishing was pretty darn good this past week, said Bryan from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. Fish began to feed for the season in local lakes. Largemouth bass seemed to forage on shad, so anglers fished lures to imitate them, like crank baits and buzz baits in shad colors. A couple of bigger largemouths were hung, including Dean Montemore’s 4-1/2-pounder from Greenwich Lake on a Rapala Crankin’ Rap. Crappie fishing was super on minnows. Look for them in moving, oxygenated water at lakes that attracts baitfish, like near spillways. Some good trout fishing was heard about from lakes. That was surprising, because lakes were last stocked with trout in October and November. The fish were holdovers, and one customer and daughters reeled in four on a trip on a combo of PowerBait and meal worms. The customer declined to tell location, but had been told the fish were biting. Striped bass, plenty of throwbacks but sometimes keepers to 30 inches, were bloodwormed from Delaware River from shore. The catches were heard about from Elsinboro to River Winds in West Deptford. Fresh bunker is stocked, but the bunker hooked more catfish than stripers. Once the migration of big stripers arrives this spring, the bunker usually attracts them. The bloods and minnows are also stocked.

A few customers fished for white perch on brackish rivers, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. But windy weather kept anglers from fishing freshwater. If anglers are going to fish fresh, dunking minnows for chain pickerel or crappies should produce. Anglers should get back to fishing for largemouth bass at lakes when the weather straightens out. A few customers fished for striped bass on Delaware River already. They caught, but only small stripers. The migration of large is impending. Bloodworms hooked the small bass, and the bloods and minnows are stocked.

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