Mon., Feb. 18, 2019
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It's Cold:
Upstate N.Y.
Ice Fishing
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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 2-6-19

<b>NEW YORK</b>

<b>Adirondack Mountains</b>

Weather warmed then became colder again, said Renee from <b>FISH307.com</b> in the village of Lake George. But George was still fished from the ice. Anglers fish at places including Harris Bay and off Million Dollar Beach and Vets’ Beach on George. But really they fish anywhere they can get on the ice. Renee had been away a couple of days during the warm spell. She heard about ice thicknesses ranging from 12 inches to 7 inches to 4 inches on George, depending on location. But she was uncomfortable specifically stating current thicknesses, because she had been away. Yellow perch and lake trout were heard about that were caught from the ice on the lake. George is a large, deep lake that’s the final to freeze in the Adirondacks in winter. So ice was fished all over the mountains now. All ice-fishing baits were currently stocked except mousies, suckers and wax worms. Mousies are scarce this year and won’t likely be stocked. Suckers and wax worms will probably be re-stocked, Renee thought.  <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.

Eighteen to 20 inches of ice covered Great Sacandaga Lake, said Lou from <b>Fuel-n-Food</b> in Mayfield. Warm weather melted most snow from atop the ice, so the ice was mostly clear of snow. Weather was extreme, ranging from minus 20 degrees Saturday morning to 57 Monday, a 77-degree difference! Walleyes landed from the ice on Sacandaga were a little smaller than before, many of them measuring 16 to 18 inches. More yellow perch began to be pulled from the lake’s ice than before, and were big or 14 to 16 inches. The northern pike taken from the ice on Sacandaga were 30 inches, and few topped 40 inches the past couple of weeks. Trout fishing was slow on Sacandaga. Lake trout fishing was decent on Piseco Lake, but many were just under keeper-sized. Canada Lake’s lake trout fishing was decent. Baits stocked include large hunts, suckers, medium shiners and jumbo golden shiners. Fuel-n-Food is a gas station and café, and stocks a full selection of ice-fishing gear. The crew from the store can point you in the right direction for the fishing.

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

Weather warmed at the beginning of this week, causing rivers to flood, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. The warmth melted snow and ice, and the high water was making the rivers unfishable. They’ll probably be fishable late in the week. Jay ran a trip on Oak Orchard River, near Rochester, on Monday, when the water was high but fishable. Two steelheads were reeled in on the trip, on egg flies, and the Oak was probably going to become too high and muddy for fishing soon afterward. Two hours east, Salmon River ran at 1,500 cubic feet per second and higher. That’s high, and the upper river could be fished effectively for steelheads with nymphs on strike indicators along the soft seams. Jay didn’t know whether the lower river was blown out. There could be ice jams, and that happens this time of year, when freezing weather is followed by warmth. When all of this settles, steelhead fishing will be good again. Everything will moderate by the end of the week, Jay thinks. In other news, ice-fishing seemed fully underway. Ice anglers fished the bays of Lake Ontario, mostly for yellow perch and northern pike. When warm spells hit like recently, ice anglers especially need to be careful about ice thickness, of course. Day to day, he said. 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>

The edges of ice on lakes and ponds showed water because of the recent warmth, said Don from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. He wouldn’t fish the ice like that. Previously, much ice-fishing happened, mostly catching yellow perch and chain pickerel. One angler stopped in who nailed trout from the ice at one of the lakes just outside of Franklin near Route 23. Don forgot the name of the lake. The trout had beautiful, orange flesh, so they weren’t trout that had just been stocked in fall. The same angler the next day jigged three landlocked salmon at Lake Aeroflex on Swedish Pimples. The salmon bit just underneath the ice, though Don would’ve thought the salmon would be swimming deep. Don didn’t know the ice conditions on Lake Hopatcong currently. A customer who lives near the River Styx Bridge on Hopatcong said the edges were watery there. Trout streams ran high, and whether anybody fished the streams was unknown. Don heard no customers talk about fishing them.

Muskies were hauled from Mountain and Oxford lakes from the ice, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. The fish included a 37-incher and a 40-incher that two friends whacked at Mountain. Ice-fishing was finally heard about from Spruce Run Reservoir this past week. Crappies were jigged there. Big yellow perch came from Lake Aeroflex on jigs and tip-ups from the ice last weekend. Delaware Lake near Interstate 80 gave up largemouth bass and catfish from the ice during the weekend. Lake Hopatcong had fished well from the ice for the usual perch and pickerel. Many customers headed for trout fishing on streams early this week in warmer weather.

The ice was still fished on the lake, said John from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in the village of Lake Hopatcong. Rain is forecast, and he didn’t know what that would do to the ice. Weather’s not supposed to be freezing again until Friday or sometime. But weather’s supposed to be freezing during the weekend. So ice-fishing might continue. Ice anglers tugged in pickerel, perch, bass and good-sized crappies, including off the state park and off the post office at Woodport.

Many anglers ice-fished during the weekend, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. They traveled north to places like Lake Hopatcong, and ice isn’t really fished near the store. Weather reached 65 degrees yesterday. Passaic River near the store ran a little high but not flooded into the parking lot like before. Nobody was heard about who fished the river. Nobody reported fishing saltwater. It’s February, Cheryl agreed.

A couple of customers left to fish for chain pickerel on the Toms River at Trilco with killies yesterday, said Dennis from <b>Hook House Bait & Tackle</b> in Toms River. Trilco is a closed building supply, and no sign identifies the building. But locals know the stretch by the name, located near Garden State Parkway. That’s a known hole for pickerel. Someone else left to try for white perch farther south at Tuckerton. One angler bought frozen clams to fish for striped bass in the surf Sunday. But Dennis didn’t think he’d catch. The water was cold at 40 or 41 degrees. Killies, nightcrawlers and garden worms are stocked. Dennis will try to stock shiners beginning in the third week of February. He might stock bloodworms next week, depending on the weather. Hook House, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Lakes and ponds were all frozen last week, said Mike from <b>Sportsman’s Outpost</b> in Williamstown. Daytime highs were in the teens for a moment that week. Nobody fished, and Mike saw people ice-skating. A couple of customers said they were going to fish for yellow perch that week. Ice-fishing? Mike asked. Maybe, they said. A fair amount of ice was yet to thaw on the waters during the first days of this week. But when the waters clear, surely anglers will resume fishing for chain pickerel. Pickerel bite in the cold water of winter.

Open water began to appear on lakes, Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland said yesterday. But a couple of days probably remained before the waters became clear of ice. Nobody really fished because of the ice. But customers began to get the bug to fish. They’ll probably go when weather is better than last week’s bitter cold. Nothing was heard about saltwater fishing.

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