Sat., Dec. 15, 2018
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Upstate N.Y.
Salmon, Steelhead &
Trout Fishing

New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 1-3-18

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Adirondack Mountains</b>

Ice anglers fished Lake George now, said Luke from <b>FISH307.com</b> in the village of Lake George. The big, deep lake is the final to freeze each winter in the Adirondacks, and was currently freezing earlier than in recent years, because of this stretch of cold. Most of the lake’s south end was locked up, he thought. Harris Bay on the lake held 7 inches of ice, and gave up great yellow perch fishing. One-and-a-half inches of ice built per night in the area. All other lakes were frozen in the mountains. Lake Champlain turned out good northern pike fishing. Brant Lake served up fairly good fishing for yellow perch and rainbow trout. Great Sacandaga Lake tossed up a few walleyes. Ice-fishing baits stocked include three sizes of shiners, a mix of fatheads and rosy reds that are sold together, medium suckers and small hunts. <a href="http://www.fish307.com" target="_blank">FISH307.com</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>

Salmon River was the only fishable river locally, because the rest of rivers and streams were iced over in the cold, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. The Salmon is a big river that never completely freezes. And he actually fished the river yesterday on a trip that landed a few steelheads in the cold, because he had a group coming in today to fish the water. If anglers could stand the cold and find open water, steelheads were around. Winter is a time for steelheading on the river, but this period of cold was colder than usual. He caught on light-colored, size-8 nymphs. The lower river held lots of ledge ice and ice on the shore, but the upper river was fine, he said. Snow 1 ½ to 2 feet deep lay along the banks, “which is good,” he said. “I call that steelhead water.”  Two hours to the west, around Rochester, rivers and creeks were pretty much frozen that he fished previously for large brown trout. This is the time of year when ice begins to prevent the angling. Genesee River in that area held slush and dangerous shelf ice, and Jay wouldn’t recommend fishing there. Ice-fishing began on lakes and ponds. The waters held 6 to 10 inches and dished up yellow perch, other panfish and northern pike. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides. 

<b>PENNSYLVANIA</b>

News was scarce because of the cold, Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia wrote in a report on the store’s website. But ice-fishing began, and the “best ice,” he wrote, was at Pocono Lake. Good catches of chain pickerel, yellow perch and crappies came from there. Closer to the store, the ponds at the private Penn Warner Club produced the same species through the ice. In New Jersey, ice was fished at Stone Tavern Lake in the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area. Good catches of yellow perch and pickerel were pasted there. The upper Delaware River had fished well for walleyes, but ice now kept boats from being launched along the river. Susquehanna River had fished great for smallmouth bass, but ice might’ve ended that angling. 

<b>NEW JERSEY</b>

Most lakes held 4 inches of ice or thicker in the northern state, said Brian from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Up to seven inches covered coves at Lake Hopatcong, he thought. Hopatcong was fished on the ice, and so were Budd Lake and Lake Musconetcong. Yellow perch and chain pickerel were reeled in. Mousies and wax worms are stocked for ice-fishing. Trout streams and Delaware River probably weren’t frozen over but were probably frozen pretty well.

Probably 5 or 6 inches of ice to 8 or 9 could be found on the lake, said Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong. Anglers fished on the ice, and the entire lake was frozen over. She was yet to hear a lot of detailed reports, but yellow perch and chain pickerel were plucked through the ice during the weekend. A good supply of ice-fishing bait is stocked, and the shop is open full-time.

Budd Lake was reportedly fished through the ice, said Larry from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. No first-hand reports rolled in yet about ice-fishing, but a few customers were looking for tackle for the angling. Practically no other fishing was possible in freshwater because of ice. The cold even seemed to keep people from saltwater fishing.

At Collins Cove on the brackish Mullica River, ice was too thin and slushy on top Monday for ice-fishing for white perch, someone wrote on <b>Absecon Bay Sportsman Center</b> from Absecon’s Facebook page. The person wrote that in a comment on a post from Capt. Dave, the store’s owner, yesterday. In the post, he asked readers to comment if they knew the conditions. Weather seemed cold enough, Dave wrote, and he expected anglers to make exploratory trips. He scoped out catching grass shrimp to stock for bait for the fishing. Good numbers of the shrimp seemed around, and he netted three half-pints. If anglers show interest, he’ll catch more. Yesterday was too cold, and too much ice had formed, for him to grab more. Another comment on the post asked how Dave catches the shrimp. He uses a dip net along bottom, he answered. Bloodworms are also stocked that can be fished for the perch. The shop is open for no set hours this time of year, but Dave is usually there during business hours. Telephone to confirm.

Nobody mentioned ice-fishing for white perch on Collins Cove on the brackish Mullica River, said Scott from <b>Scott’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Mystic Island. The store is closed for a winter break, but usually anglers telephone and ask about the ice conditions, and he hears news. But nobody did. Scott would think the fishing was possible currently. The perch gather in the cove, located just upriver from Garden State Parkway, in winter to escape the cold current from the main river. The brackish water hasn’t always frozen enough to be fished in winters lately. But this was some period of cold.  See a <a href=" http://www.scottsbt.com/mapchart/collins.htm" target="_blank">Collins Cove map</a> and other info about the location on the shop’s website. The store will be reopened on March 1. <a href="http://www.PennParts.com" target="_blank">PennParts.com</a> is still open. That’s Scott’s online store featuring parts for Penn Reels and other supplies.

Stone Tavern Lake, in the Colliers Mills Wildlife Management Area, was fished from the ice, a report said from Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle in Philadelphia. See that report above, under Pennsylvania.

Local lakes were all locked up, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. So fishing was at a standstill in freshwater. The ice prevented casting, and ice-fishing is uncommon this far south in New Jersey. Fishable ice fails to form long enough to cause interest. In saltwater, the cold probably kept most anglers from fishing. But a few party boats and charter boats are sailing for blackfish on the ocean.

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