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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 1-10-18

<b>Adirondack Mountains</b>

Ice-fishing conditions were probably perfect now, and were probably some of the best in a long time, said Jeff from <b></b> in Lake George. That should continue this weekend. Weather is warming, after the severe cold the past couple of weeks. A few days this week were supposed to climb above freezing. But nighttime will be cold, and cold days are forecast for afterward. Not a lot of snow, none to be concerned about, covered the ice. Most of Lake George was frozen, except parts of the center. Places including bays and off Million Dollar Beach were fished from the ice on George. That’s a big, deep lake that in recent years hasn’t frozen this much until January’s third week. As much as 14 inches of ice currently covered some places on the lake. All other lakes and ponds were frozen in the Adirondacks. Ice anglers limited out on yellow perch. Jeff saw some sizable lake trout and landlocked salmon, and a few big northern pike, from the ice. All ice-fishing bait will be stocked this weekend, including fatheads, rosy reds, all sizes of shiners – medium, medium heavy and pike – hunts and suckers. Suckers were out of stock currently but will be carried by the weekend.  <a href="" target="_blank"></a> is both an online store and a brick-and-mortar shop, carrying a large supply of ice-fishing supplies.

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

Trips fished for steelheads early last week on Salmon River with Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>, he said. The cold snap was underway, but the fishing was good. If anglers could find open water to fish, and if they could deal with the cold, they could score well. Afterward, weather only became colder, through last weekend. One of Jay’s guides fished on Sunday for the steelheads in 10-degree weather. He spent a lot of time sitting in the truck! But the cold snap is finished, and Jay expects to fish today. Warmer weather currently will probably melt some snow, causing runoff to drop the river’s temperature. About 2 ½ feet of snow lay along Salmon River. Six or 7 feet covered Tug Hill at the headwaters of the river. That’s somewhat deeper than usual for this time of year, and is terrific. Anglers hope for plenty of snow there that can promise a good water level for the river in spring, when the snow melts and flows into the river. Steelheads currently are biting nymph flies and sometimes egg flies on a careful, slow presentation along bottom. That’s typical for winter. The lower Salmon held lots of ice, so Jay and his guides are fishing the upper. The gauge at Pineville said the river flowed at 900 cubic feet per second, but Jay questioned whether that was accurate. Maybe the gauge was frozen or something. The upper river seemed to flow at 500. These are all very fishable levels. Farther west in upstate New York, Oak Orchard, Oswego and Genesee rivers probably held some open water. Jay was probably going to check out the Oak later this week. But ice including shelf ice probably made fishing dangerous on the Oswego and Genesee. Jay would warn anglers not to fish there. Waters like these three can hold steelheads and large trout that Jay also targets in winter. Streams or creeks, smaller waters, in this area are frozen that Jay fished earlier this season for the trout. Salmon River is a large river and never completely freezes. In other news, plenty of fishable ice covered lakes. Jay cautions anglers to check spot by spot to confirm any ice is thick enough. Good fishing for yellow perch and other panfish was pasted from the ice. Good ice-fishing for northern pike was sometimes heard about. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.


Lakes in the Pocono Mountains held 8 to 10 inches of ice last week, Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia wrote in a report on the store’s website. Lakes that week in the Philadelphia area held 4 to 6 inches and in South Jersey held 3 to 6. Ice-fishing was great at the lakes at the private Penn Warner Club, in Pennsylvania across Delaware River from Bordentown. Lots of yellow perch, white perch, chain pickerel and northern pike were yanked in. A customer walloped a 19-pound 37-inch northern there. In Jersey between Bordentown and Jackson, Stone Tavern Lake fished super from the ice. One angler tugged in 25 to 50 yellow perch, big ones, per trip there. He said pickerel fishing was also good there. Stone Tavern is in the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area. Other waters fished on the ice in Jersey included Batsto Lake. The angling was good for pickerel and bluegills. In North Jersey, an angler tried for lake trout at Round Valley Reservoir from the ice several days but hooked none. He said a few anglers winged perch from the impoundment’s ice. Upper Delaware River and Susquehanna River were full of ice, preventing fishing. On Schuylkill River a customer heaved in six carp at Gray’s Ferry. Downstream from the dam, some good numbers of walleyes were axed on 2- and 3-inch PowerBait rubber shads. Anglers needed to be extremely careful about ice covering rocks along the Schuylkill at low tide.


Ice was fished on lakes all around <b>Stokes Forest Sport Shop</b> in Sandyston, Dean from the shop said. That included on Kittatinny, Culver and Ashroe lakes, Lake Owassa and lakes at High Point State Park. The ice averaged 8 to 10 inches. Nobody really trout fished on streams in the cold. But weather began to warm yesterday, when the temperature was supposed to reach 36 degrees. If a week of relatively high temperatures happens, the trout fishing will be back in action. Big Flatbrook never completely freezes. But ice makes fishing the stream difficult in weather like the cold that just passed. Most customers who fish trout streams work the Flatbrook.

Lakes were fished from the ice including Hopatcong, Musconetcong and Budd, said Brian from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Mostly yellow perch and chain pickerel were hooked. Others lakes that were probably ice-fished included Waywayanda, Aeroflex and Tilcon. Aeroflex and Tilcon hold landlocked salmon. Tilcon can also be a place for largemouth bass. Customers mostly seemed to fish the ice with live bait on tip-ups or mousies on jigs. Mousies and wax worms are stocked. Nobody reported fishing trout streams. Much ice formed on them, too, though weather this week was becoming warmer. He saw Musconetcong River near the headwaters, and it was frozen across. That surprised him, because water is being released into the river, because Lake Hopatcong is being kept low for dock repairs this season. But this was a severe cold spell that just ended.

Good catches from the ice were heard about from Spruce Run Reservoir, said John from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. Other spots fished from the ice included Oxford Furnace Lake. Fishing is always hot and cold there, or good on one day, slow on another. The catches reported from the ice included yellow perch. Anglers did land largemouth bass from the ice. Keith from the shop in a report earlier this season noted that largemouths become reluctant to bite when open water becomes chilly but bite again when ice forms across lakes, for some reason. John heard about no especially large northern pike from the ice, he noted. He even knew about walleyes angled from Delaware River through the ice on heavy Rapala ice-fishing jigs. Some of the river was surely open water, but some was frozen over. All other fishing was pretty much on hold because of ice. A few diehard trout anglers fished near the hatchery at the spillway.

<b>***Update, Wednesday, 1/10:***</b> Ten to 12 inches of ice covered the lake, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email today. Chain pickerel and yellow perch were tackled at Great Cove and off Nolan’s Point on shiners on tip-ups or on hooked grubs, small Rapala ice-fishing jigs with grubs or small tungsten jigs with grubs. Reports from off the state park sounded similar. The Knee Deep Club will hold an ice-fishing derby on Sunday, Jan. 21, on the lake. Cash will be awarded for the three heaviest fish in each of three categories: perch/crappies, pickerel and all-other-species. For more info, visit or call Dow’s at 973-663-3826.

Anglers ice-fished including on Budd Lake, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. “And some of us are just hiding!” she said. The fishing at Budd was about the only fishing heard about in the cold. But weather has begun to warm. Catch the store’s booth at the <a href="" target="_blank">Garden State Outdoor Sport Show</a> from Thursday through Sunday at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center in Edison. Grab discounts on select items.

Nobody reported fishing the ice at Collins Cove on Mullica River, said Capt. Dave from <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b> in Absecon during the weekend. The cove was surely iced over, but snow was surely piled up along the dirt road to access the water. That was from Thursday’s snowstorm. At Port Republic, near the cove, the snow was 8 ½ inches, according to an article on Anglers ice-fish for white perch at the cove, just upstream from Garden State Parkway, during winters that become cold enough. The perch school the cove to escape cold currents from the main river in winter.

Local lakes were locked up with ice, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. That prevented casting, so no fishing happened, really. Ice-fishing is uncommon this far south in New Jersey, because usually ice that’s fishable fails to form long enough to make the sport popular in the area. Anglers hope the current warmer weather will thaw the ice. “We can hope,” he said. Until then, not much fishing takes place in freshwater locally.

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