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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 2-14-18

<b>Adirondack Mountains</b>

Lots of snow fell on ice on lakes this past week in the Adirondacks, said Logan from <b>FISH307.com</b> in Lake George. But warmer weather, like 50 degrees the other night, and a little rain, along with usual cold in between, probably froze up the snow, making it easier for ice-anglers to walk on. Logan was sure that lakes neither lost ice, because of the snow on top, nor gained ice, because of relative warmth. The snow was heavy on the ice, and anglers needed to be careful about places where the ice might be dangerously thin. Seeing how thick ice is could be difficult because of snow. Still, ice-fishing remained good on Lake George’s bays for catches including yellow perch. Logan wasn’t asked whether the lake’s center held open water, but it did previously, so must’ve currently. George is a big lake that isn’t always frozen across in winter, while smaller lakes are, in the Adirondacks. A post from the shop today on the store’s Facebook page listed ice thicknesses on many waters in the mountains, and almost all that were listed held more than 12 inches, including bays on George. Lakes that held more than 12 included Glen, Brant, Long, Loon, southern Schroon and Lake Champlain’s South Bay. Northern Schroon held 14, and Saratoga Lake held 12. The shop posts a list of ice thicknesses every so many days on the page. Also on George’s ice, lake trout fishing was especially good this winter, and not a ton of landlocked salmon were hooked this season. Catches from the ice can slow by this time in winter, the middle of the season, for reasons including that smaller lakes can become depleted of oxygen because of the ice cover. But the angling seemed no slower on George, maybe because of the lake’s size and springs or something. All ice-fishing baits, a full supply, are stocked, including suckers that the shop last week reported were scarce. Jumbo and super-jumbo suckers were stocked currently. The shop frequently posts what baits are stocked on its Facebook page. The store will hold a sale this Presidents’ Day weekend. <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 selection of ice-fishing supplies. The physical store is near the New York State Thruway in the southern Adirondacks.

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

Salmon River, running at 500 cubic feet per second, actually fished well for steelheads, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. Some of his people, he said, fished the river Sunday and Monday, and landed multiple steelheads apiece. Jay will fish the river later this week. The upper river harbored healthy numbers of steelheads. Good runs of the fish swam the river at Douglaston on those two days when his people fished. Jay wouldn’t be surprised if the numbers of steelheads began to increase in the river, because they usually do in late February and in March. The bug population should increase, too. More stoneflies should appear on snow and ice than before. Stoneflies currently hooked the steelheads. Pink eggs did, too, and that was unusual. Eggs usually work during the salmon spawn in fall in the river and a while afterward. Probably a foot to 1 ½ feet of snow covered ground surrounding the Salmon. The trails along the river were trampled, making walking no problem. Two hours to the west in upstate in New York, Jay fished for brown trout in Oak Orchard River Monday, reeling in a couple on streamer flies. The Oak fished a little slow in water that was a little low, and was clear. If the Oak gets a shot of higher water, the angling will pick up. Jay also guides for the brown trout in creeks in this area, when the creeks have open water in winter. They were packed with ice early this week but could break open later this week. Weather was warming. The trout are huge, because they summer in Lake Ontario, spending winter in creeks and rivers, where forage is most abundant during the cold. In other news, Jay spoke with a buddy who ice-fished and caught a couple of dozen sizable perch during the weekend. Ice-fishing and conditions for the angling seemed decent. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides.


Ice that was in good shape for fishing remained from the Poconos to the north, Bill Brinkman from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia wrote in a report on the shop’s website. Along Delaware River, one angler clocked crappies well at Tullytown Cove on jigs with wax worms. Another nabbed a few yellow perch along the docks at Neshaminy Marina off the river on small minnows. The lakes at the private Penn Warner Club gave up fair fishing for perch, crappies and pickerel. Whether the perch were yellow or white wasn’t mentioned in the report. A 32-inch chain pickerel was also tackled there. An angler took his year’s first trip to Union Lake in South Jersey, but strong wind kept him from launching the boat. He fished from shore instead, only pulling in a few bluegills on jigs. Friends of that angler scored great on yellow perch and crappies “around the dam with minnows, shiners and marabou jigs,” Bill wrote. Some of the best fishing came from South Jersey. Pickerel turned out decent catches in Batsto Lake’s spillway. An angler fought a bunch of pickerel “(farther) down the road past the boat ramp … under a small bridge,” Bill wrote, on minnows. Pickerel, crappies and largemouth bass were picked up from Mullica River at Crowley’s Landing. A customer spent a couple of days fishing Lake Lenape, the Great Egg Harbor River’s head waters, but only pasted small pickerel, on Rapala Shad Raps. More details and locations were covered in the report.


Most ice-fishing might’ve been finished, because of warmth, said Kevin from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. He got a report about ice that was fished on Lake Hopatcong yesterday, but most lakes were probably becoming difficult to ice-fish. Edges were probably thawing, and temperatures in the 50s are predicted most of the week. “That’ll be the end of that,” he said. If anglers can find open water on lakes, yellow perch can begin to be active. Fish tackle for them like small Mister Twisters under bobbers. In waters with stocked trout like Round Valley Reservoir during ice-out, trout that are cruising shallows might be able to be hooked from shore on big spoons or lures like Phoebes on light line like 6-pound test on light, long rods that can cast far. On trout streams, anglers could begin to see early black stoneflies in the next two weeks, like in afternoons on days that reach 50 to 55 degrees. Fly-fishing with imitations, usually sizes 14 and 16, can be nice, and few anglers pressure the trout this time of year. The store’s annual Cast and Blast Cabin Fever Day will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24. The event will include seminars, demonstrations, exhibitors, tackle reps, clubs, a chili cook-off, sales, giveaways, raffles and more. Seminars will include ones on fluke, springtime bass and musky fishing. Tackle reps will include those from Abu Garcia, Shimano, Penn, St. Croix, Eagle Claw and Daiwa.

Most fishable ice seemed gone locally, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. The ice reportedly became too thin at places like Budd and Oxford lakes. But ice still covered the waters, preventing casting a line. Rain poured throughout the weekend, and that made trout streams high. That prevented fishing, too. If weather stays free of rain, anglers will fish the streams.

 Some fishable ice remained on the lake Monday, Laurie from <b>Dow’s Boat Rentals</b> in Lake Hopatcong wrote in an email Tuesday. Anglers needed to be careful about some of the lake’s edges. Ice was just under 8 inches at Great Cove and just under 6 on the main lake that day, “with access off the front of the dock,” she wrote. The Knee Deep Club’s ice-fishing tournament was canceled that was supposed to be held last Sunday on the lake, because of heavy rain. Anglers could still be seen fishing the ice that day in rain and fog. The club has another ice-contest scheduled for Sunday, March 4, on the lake. Warm weather is forecast for the next week, and whether ice will be fishable for that date could be questionable. But anglers will see. Catches from the ice included lots of yellow perch and chain pickerel, and some walleyes and hybrid striped bass. The walleyes were both jigged and caught on bait. Laurie heard about several muskies nailed through the ice that measured in the low 40 inches. Telephone Dow’s for the latest ice conditions: 973-663-3826.

Passaic River nearly flowed into the parking lot, said Joe from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. The river was flooded, and so were trout streams, because of much rain that fell during the weekend. None of these waters could be fished, really. The rain opened ice on some lakes. Maybe some lakes were ice-fished. That angling might be coming to an end for the season, but nights were still cold.   

Killies, shiners and, if available, bloodworms will be stocked beginning next week at <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River, the shop’s Facebook page said. The store currently is open for no steady hours, but was open Saturday morning. Mario from the store heard nothing about fishing, he said in a phone call at the shop that morning. News might begin to be heard next week.

At <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland, Steve really could report no fishing from the past week, he said. Ice covered lakes on one morning and was clear on another. Rain sometimes poured, too. Forecasts look like better weather. Keep fingers crossed, he said, and maybe action will happen.

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