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Upstate N.Y.
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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 12-19-18

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Adirondack Mountains</b>

<b>FISH307.com</b> in Lake George will be fully loaded with ice-fishing baits beginning tomorrow, Jeff said. All the ponds and lakes began being ice-fished in the interior Adirondacks that usually are. Even South Bay of Lake Champlain was fished on the ice. Lake George is usually fishable from the ice beginning in January’s third week, and that’s what’s anticipated for this winter. That’s a deeper lake that freezes later. Weather looks good for the ice season so far. The ice conditions are good in the interior Adirondacks. Weather was 11 degrees at the store at 6 a.m. today, when Jeff gave this report. The store is currently open at 7 a.m. but will be open earlier as the ice-fishing season kicks in. Baits stocked tomorrow will include icicles, hunts, regular shiners, golden shiners, rosy reds, fathead minnows and the whole gamut. Mousies are the only bait expected not to be available this year. The supplier had a kill. Talk circulated that ice bait was scarce, and that’s untrue. Suppliers get the baits according to demand. So the baits hadn’t been available, but are now. <a href="http://www.fish307.com" target="_blank"> FISH307.com</a> is both an online store and a brick-and-mortar one, located near the southern entrance of the Adirondacks, on the way to the bite. It’s the ice-fishing super store.

<b>***Update, Thursday, 12/20:***</b> Ice formed on lakes earlier than usual, said Louie from <b>Fuel-n-Food</b> in Mayfield near Great Sacandaga Lake. Six inches formed on the northern end of Sacandaga, and walleye fishing was great there. Indian Lake held 6 inches and tossed up lake trout well. Mayfield Lake had 6, and Caroga Lake had 7. Fuel-n-Food includes a gas station, a café and a full selection of ice-fishing bait and tackle. Baits stocked include big, golden pike shiners, suckers and spikes. Tackle includes tip-ups and everything, including augurs. The store’s crew can give advice about where and how to fish locally.

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

Fishing actually picked up, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. He’s fishing for large brown trout and a few steelheads mixed in at rivers and creeks near Rochester. And his guides are fishing for steelheads on Salmon River, two hours to the east in upstate New York.  Both types of fishing were productive. Jay’s trips landed double-digits of the trout and steelheads. A trip with him Monday, the day he gave this report, netted 10 browns and two steelheads. Water levels on the creeks he’s fishing are lowish, and the water is very clear. A bit of rain and snow has fallen, and the ground is wet but not excessively. He’d like more precipitation. Those trips are fishing egg flies and streamers, specifically a type of estaz egg and Zonker streamers. Browns are predatory and will chase streamers well. From Salmon River, anglers will hear a wide range of reports about steelheading. But the fact is, good “sticks” will catch well. Fishing pressure was moderate, and the water ran at 335 cubic feet per second and was 34 to 36 degrees. So no snow, ice or slush flowed in the river. One of Jay’s guides copped some really good days of steelheading on the Salmon, six to 10 landed per day.  That guide’s trips often caught on small stoneflies and at times small streamers. In other news, no real ice-fishing was underway in this area. Some ponds were covered with ice, but Jay wouldn’t step on it. Dangerous. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.

<b>NEW JERSEY</b>

Capt. Dave Vollenweider from <b>Live to Fish Guide Service</b> from Montvale in the last report here said he’d like to try jigging for lake trout at Round Valley Reservoir. So he gave it a shot this past week, according to an email he sent. He scored one hit, on a Binsky blade bait he jigged, on the trip, but missed the fish, never hooked it. He had been trolling plenty of the lakers and sometimes a rainbow trout at the impoundment on trips, and will keep doing that. During the jigging, he could actually watch on the fish-finder the jig descend toward bottom and the laker rise up to bite it. Very cool, he said, and that’s one way to do the fishing. Many off the lakers hold flat to bottom. But he trolls lakers at Round Valley, too. So those fish are swimming higher up in the water column, obviously.

Lakes and ponds have had ice on and off, and anglers actually ice-fished, but that seemed crazy, said Don from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. It seemed dangerous, and reports were heard about the angling from the coves at Lake Hopatcong and from Budd, Musconetcong and Longwood lakes. But don’t go! Very dangerous. Wait for thicker ice, and save your life. Trout streams ran at medium to high levels, and nothing was heard about fishing them. In saltwater, a customer fished on a sea bass trip offshore from Brielle. Six hours out, eight hours back, and all the anglers seemed seasick. But they caught. The fishing was good.

Walleyes were jigged from Delaware River, said Irene from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. Shiners or nightcrawlers, both in stock, were fished on the jigs. Keitech 3.8-inch swim baits also hit the walleyes. Plenty of trout were angled from streams yesterday. Trout were still around from the fall stocking, and streams weren’t too high. She saw some. But rain is forecast.

A little bit of ice formed on the lake last week, said Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b>. A little, tiny bit, she said, and a couple of anglers actually ventured onto it. But any ice is melted now. But ice-fishing seems impending, and is weather stays cold, and wind fails to prevent freezing. The shop is all stocked for ice-fishing. No boaters really fished the lake because of the low water. The lake was lowered for dock repairs earlier this fall, like is done every so often.

Just skim ice formed at nearby lakes, said Larry from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Passaic River near the store was flooded over the banks. Nobody fished the river because of that. Not much was heard about freshwater fishing, including about trout fishing on streams, despite trout that were stocked in the waters in the fall trout stocking earlier this fall. In saltwater, striped bass fishing seemed almost ended for the year. Throwbacks seemed beached from the surf here and there. Those who boated for blackfish on the ocean bagged the fish if they got in the right place. Some sizable were around, though anglers had to work through throwbacks. Offshore sea bass fishing was great. A couple of customers bailed the fish on 12-hour runs. Sea bass, some ling and sometimes a cod were cranked up.

No customers headed for freshwater fishing, said Dennis from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b> in Toms River. Chain pickerel will bite straight through winter, and killies are stocked that can be fished for them. Nightcrawlers and garden worms are also carried for freshwater. A couple of customers fished the surf for oddball throwback striped bass that bit. Customers also geared up for blackfishing from boats on the ocean, buying tackle like jigs from the store. That angling went well. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Trout were still tugged in from the winter stocking, said Mike from <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown. Roostertails, Phoebes and nightcrawlers grabbed them, and Shaw’s Mill Pond and South Vineland Park Pond were included in that stocking. But mostly chain pickerel were the catch this time of year. The pickerel and yellow perch were reported from Elmer and Franklinville lakes. Smallmouth bass were picked up from Union Lake on Zoom Salty Super Tubes in Rootbeer Pepper Green and on Strike King tubes in Pearl Pepper.

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