Had used a shiner the other day and today felt rushed to get out the door, so I reverted to marshmallow & mealworm. But the two guys I spoke to, one of them with a Cabelas reel that lost the finger grip, used spinners, one of them nailing an 18-inch brown that hit hard yesterday on two-pound test line.
That excited me. A hard hit in water that must not be above 40 degrees. A month ago I met a man who uses Redfin floater divers fully four or five-inches long. He had been nailing browns in 30-degree weather.
Those are the sort of conditions that force you to shake the ice out of the guides. That didn't pique my interest, but now with temperatures on the incline, I guess I'm in the mood and may cast a spinner soon. But next time out I'm trying another shiner. I have enough--if they survive in the aerated bucket--to try the Delaware and Raritan Canal on a day auspicious to walking, also. Pickerel there, maybe bass.
The pickerel behave like little devils you meet in the submerged brush right along the bank. They streak out and grab the shiner in full view with water clear enough. Then they turn and dash out of sight all in a blur of quickness.
Another man came along excited about driving out--to Cabelas. He had made the stop here at Round Valley to get two hours of trout fishing in before driving all the way out there in Pennsylvania to browse. Nothing. But he filled me in on a spot.
The implication of his story is that I should have fished there all winter. He also said Lake Wawayanda had 10 inches of ice over the weekend, but that it was second hand information and I doubt it, but Wawayanda is way north and elevated so I can't say for certain. All I know is that ice thickness during the season certainly does vary in New Jersey; in the northern counties alone it does. It does on a single lake too.