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Upstate N.Y.
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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 1-23-19

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Adirondack Mountains</b>

Two feet of snow fell Sunday, said Luke from <b>FISH307.com</b> in the village of Lake George. That certainly cut down on the number of ice-anglers. But before the storm, 5 inches of ice had formed at Million Dollar Beach and Harris Bay on Lake George. Mostly yellow perch were reported hooked from the ice, and not much was heard about lake trout from George yet. George, a big, deep lake, only locked up with ice last week for the first time this winter. The lake is always the final to freeze in the Adirondacks in winter. Thickness of the ice there now was unknown, because of few anglers. Glen Lake had been fishing especially well, and had been covered with 10 inches. Several particularly large rainbow trout came from there. Brant Lake held 8 to 10 inches before the snow and fished well. Perch, brown trout and rainbows were tugged in there. The full supply of ice-fishing baits is stocked except mousies. Mousies are scarce everywhere this winter. <a href="http://www.fish307.com" target="_blank"> FISH307.com</a> is both an online store and a brick-and-mortar one. It’s the Ice Fishing Super Store, located near the south entrance to the Adirondacks.

Twelve inches was the minimum amount of ice now, Ashley from <b>Fuel-n-Food</b> in Mayfield said. She wasn’t asked whether that was the minimum on nearby Great Sacandaga Lake or on all local lakes. She was getting this report from one of the crew at Fuel-n-Food while on the phone, conveying the info to this writer. Walleye fishing was good on Sacandaga. The water level dropped, so there were “a couple of high-pressure ridges,” the crew member told her. The lake had frozen with higher water than usual. Fuel-n-Food is a gas station and a café, and the store includes bait and tackle for ice-fishing and all fishing locally. A good variety of lakes in the area are fished from the ice, and the crew can point you in the right direction. 

<b>Salmon River and Western New York Streams</b>

Frozen out, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. The air temperature was sub-zero when he gave this report Monday night. But that was an exceptionally cold day, even in New Jersey. Still, 2 feet of snow fell in Jay’s area on Saturday to Sunday, and this all put fishing on hold for the moment. Plenty of steelheads swam Salmon River, and fishing for them would resume with Jay and his guides as soon as weather mellowed a little. Some slush had formed in the cold, but that would clear up in better weather. Some shelf-ice formed, and anglers will have to be careful about that throughout winter. Officials kept fluctuating the river’s level, for reasons Jay didn’t know. The river ran at 750 cubic feet per second on Monday, and was supposed to be dropped to 335 next. Both levels are very fishable. When Jay last fished before the snow, he worked Oak Orchard River, 2 hours to the west, near Rochester. A few big brown trout and a few steelheads bit in the lower Oak then. The Oak’s level was stable. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides. Come meet Jay! Visit his booth at The Fly Fishing Show on Friday through Sunday in Edison at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Center.

<b>NEW JERSEY</b>

No customers were fishing trout streams because of frozen water, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. But they all fished the ice on lakes, including at Lake Hopatcong, Budd Lake and Lake Musconetcong. He heard no reports from the angling yet, but forecasts looked like ice will be around for the foreseeable future. Thursday was supposed to reach 51 degrees, but other days were supposed to be colder, and nights were supposed to be in the teens. Spikes are stocked for ice-fishing bait, and mousies are apparently scarce everywhere this winter. Catch Ramsey’s exhibit at The Fly Fishing Show on Friday through Sunday in Edison at the New Jersey Convention & Expo Center.

About a half-dozen muskies were hauled through the ice at Oxford Lake, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. Those were all hooked on shiners, and large and medium shiners and wax worms are stocked. Customers pulled crappies through the ice at Delaware Lake. That was on small minnows and on jigs tipped with wax worms. Before dark seemed to fish best for the crappies. Other customers left to fish for trout yesterday at Pequest River. Results were yet to roll in, but the anglers said the water level was good.

Probably 8 or 9 inches of ice formed in the lake’s coves, said Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong. The main lake had open water, but anglers ice-fished on the lake. Catches included perch, pickerel and sometimes largemouth bass. Medium and large shiners, fathead minnows, spikes and wax worms are stocked.

A couple of customers headed for ice-fishing on lakes, and none reported back yet, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Passaic River near the store was pretty much flooded into the parking lot. Cheryl didn’t know how Pine Brook fared in the weekend’s storm. But farther west where she lives, snow fell at first and then turned wet. “We kind of had everything,” she said about the precipitation. No news came in from saltwater, and saltwater boats were probably weathered out in past days.

Nobody really reported fishing freshwater, said Dennis from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b> in Toms River. But killies, garden worms and nightcrawlers are stocked. The store is open for no scheduled hours this time of year. But if Dennis’s truck is in the parking lot, the doors are open, and he was there a few hours daily last week. Sometimes the hours and also sales were being posted on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/hookhouse/" target="_blank">the shop’s Facebook page</a>. If open water is available at lakes, chain pickerel and crappies will bite throughout winter. Winter is often perfect weather for trout to bite, too. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.  

A few trout were heard about from Greenwich Lake, said Mike from <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown. A few pickerel were axed at Malaga Lake on large, ¼-ounce Roostertails, mostly on brown ones. Pickerel can absolutely be caught at lakes in winter. Lakes were clear of ice last week before the frigid cold early this week. Nothing was heard about saltwater fishing recently. Maybe blackfishing slowed in saltwater.

Lakes were all frozen now, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Anglers could try fishing open water at spillways, if weather wasn’t brutally cold. Back bays even froze from the cold snap early this week. Minnows just sold out, and Steve was unsure when more will be carried. Maybe they’ll be able to be stocked during the next warm-up.

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