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New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Report 3-7-18

<b>Adirondack Mountains</b>

Ice fishing was winding down for the season, said Logan from <b>FISH307.com</b> in the village of Lake George. Harris Bay and off Million Dollar Beach might’ve still been fished from the ice on Lake George, but he wouldn’t take the risk. Ice-fishing tournaments were held on Schroon and Colby lakes last weekend, and anglers might’ve had to use planks for a bridge over soft ice along shore to reach thicker, farther ice out on the lake. Logan fished Paradox Lake recently, and the middle of the lake held 12 inches of ice, but a buddy’s foot went through the ice near shore. Some of the next fishing will be for trout when New York’s trout season opens beginning April 1. Many customers were getting ready to fish for them. Fishing for landlocked salmon will be popular soon, because the smelt migration will attract the fish. Anglers will troll for them on lakes or cast lures like crank baits near creek mouths on lakes. Baits that are still stocked for ice fishing include icicles and three sizes of shiners. The store usually blows out ice-fishing tackle at discount prices at the end of the ice season, so look for that. <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 and supplies for whatever angling is in season. The physical store is located near the New York State Thruway at the entrance to the Adirondacks, when driving from south.

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

The nor’easter that pounded the Northeast Coast late last week was less dramatic in upstate New York, said Jay Peck from <b>Jay Peck Guide Service</b>. The next nor’easter that was happening today in the Northeast wasn’t supposed to affect upstate New York so much. Twelve to 14 inches of wet, heavy snow fell in upstate New York in last week’s storm, but the area is equipped to deal with that quickly. Most of that fell at night, too, so the snow was cleared quickly from roads, and locals carried on with everyday routines. Fishing was pretty decent, too. Rivers and streams or creeks around Rochester gave up steelheads and a few brown trout. Most of the browns migrated to Lake Ontario to spend summer. Ice melted from all those waters and also from reservoirs. Ice fishing was finished. The creeks were 42 or 43 degrees, and Oak Orchard River in that area was 38. Those are usual temperatures for the time of year. Water levels were dropping at those locations, and were in good shape. Egg flies and white streamers caught. The creeks turned out steelheads and occasional browns, and the Oak held steelheads scattered about. These waters in western New York were a little easier to fish than Salmon River, two hours east in upstate New York, because the Salmon ran higher. The Salmon had run at 2,200 cubic feet per second. Then it dropped to 1,600 and was supposed to remain at that flow through yesterday. Jay guessed that the water would be dropped further today or tomorrow. Melting snow had raised the river, but weather became chillier again, slowing the melting. Fourteen or 15 inches of snow fell along the Salmon in last week’s storm. Lots of stoneflies crawled around the upper river, and the fish were keyed in on them. Stoneflies were fished for steelheads there. Streamer flies clocked them on the lower river. Like in western New York, the angling was about on schedule and pretty good. The fishing slowed on a trip Monday on the Salmon because of a sharp temperature drop overnight that stunned the fish. A steelhead was hooked on a trip with Jay that day, for example, and looked like the fly was hung up on a rock. When the fish was landed, it barely fought. Jay specializes in fly-fishing and catch-and-release, and books trips that fish with conventional tackle with his other guides. Jay posted on his <a href="http://blog.jaypeckguides.com/" target="_blank"><b>blog</b></a> on Sunday and intends to post about once a week. Click the link and check it out.


“Hearing of some (striped bass) bite in Delaware Bay,” a post from <b>Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle</b> in Philadelphia said on the store’s Facebook page.  Customers are anticipating fishing for the bass when they migrate to Delaware River soon. Bloodworms were stocked for the fishing. The store last year reported the first couple of stripers, including a 24-pounder, nailed during the weekend of March 18 from the river. The store last year also reported the first rumors of shad in the river the week before that.


Many locals were still without electricity yesterday because of Friday’s nor’easter, said Don from <b>Ramsey Outdoor</b> in Succasunna. Ninety-percent of the people probably had none. That was a problem including all around Lake Hopatcong. Three-quarters of the shop’s staff had no electricity at home. Few locals fished, because they were dealing with this, and another nor’easter was barreling in today. Ice-fishing probably ended for the season, Don would think. Trout streams ran high. He lives near Rockaway River and saw the river flowing pretty high. Most trout waters that are stocked will be closed for stocking beginning on March 19 until April 7, opening day of trout season. Customers were gearing up for the opener. Some anglers bought fishing licenses for the year. If weather will ever calm, fishing for yellow perch and crappies is usually good at lakes soon after ice-out. They thrive this time of year, and Don would rather fish for them than many other fish, because he likes to keep them to eat. When he fishes, he wants fish to eat, and gets after fish like these at reservoirs with clean, clear water that seems to provide healthy fish to eat. Weather will probably improve in a couple of weeks and make more anglers fish.

Not much was doing because of weather, said Keith from <b>Hi-Way Sports Shop</b> in Washington. Many people had no electricity because of Friday’s nor’easter. Wind blew strongly, knocking down trees and power lines. During the storm, snow failed to fall too badly at the shop, but a foot fell farther north. After the storm, weather was mostly windy and chilly. When weather calms, this time of year fishes well for northern pike and muskies at lakes. Crappie fishing should light up at lakes when weather becomes a little warmer. Trout fishing at streams should be good currently, when the water doesn’t run too high from rain or snow melt. Trout fishing will be closed at most stocked waters for stocking from March 19 until April 7, opening day of trout season. For the pike locally, Oxford, Mountain and Budd lakes and Spruce Run Reservoir are fished. For the muskies, Oxford and Mountain are. Lake Hopatcong and Greenwood Lake also give up muskies but can be more difficult to fish for them because those are big lakes. Oxford and Mountain are smaller.   

High water and power outages, said Cheryl from <b>Fairfield Fishing Tackle</b> in Pine Brook. Not a lot of people fished, but they were excited about fishing, because weather was warming. Those who fished for largemouth bass at lakes did catch, including on blade baits. Snow 12 to 18 inches deep was forecast for today for the store’s area. Another nor’easter. But when weather clears, fish like the bass seem to be biting. Catch the shop’s exhibit of Do-It Molds, do-it-yourself molds for fishing tackle, at the Saltwater Fishing Expo from March 16 to 18 at the New Jersey Convention and Expo Center in Edison.

Customers fished freshwater a bit, said Dennis from <b>Murphy’s Hook House</b> in Toms River. That was mostly for crappies and chain pickerel, cold-water fish, at spots including Ocean County College Pond and Lake Riviera. One angler reported tackling trout at Lake Shenandoah from the dock near the dam. Those were apparently holdovers from the winter stocking. Spring Lake fished well for trout on spinners and Powerbait. The Shark River Surf Anglers club stocked trout there in January. Baits stocked include killies, shiners and nightcrawlers. Murphy’s, located on Route 37, also owns <b>Go Fish Bait & Tackle</b> on Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

A few anglers checked out Delaware River to see whether migrating striped bass showed up yet, said Jason from <b>STC Sports</b> in Gibbstown. But they apparently found none, and the first usually begin to be located on about March 15. Bloodworms are expected to be stocked for the angling tomorrow, after today’s nor’easter and possible snow. Since the last nor’easter on Friday, weather was mostly cold and windy, and there were electric outages. That kept most from fishing.

Lakes were high and muddy from last week’s nor’easter, said Steve from <b>Blackwater Sports Center</b> in Vineland. Weather was usually rough since, but a few anglers braved the elements, reeling in largemouth bass from lakes, decent-sized ones at that. Chatter baits, swim baits and suspending jerk baits caught them well. The fishing sounded decent at Elmer Lake and seemed to be holding up at Rainbow Lake. White perch fishing was decent or good at brackish rivers. Anglers are waiting for the impending spawning migration of big striped bass up Delaware River. The season is slightly early for that. Smaller, resident stripers that the white-perch anglers hooked were the only stripers heard about. Those are younger fish that are yet to migrate.

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