Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Open Water in the Midst of Frozen Lakes and Ponds

Coldest I've fished Round Valley today at 15 degrees. As you can see in the photo below, there's some ice forming in pockets and in the far cove as well, but generally, the reservoir remains free of ice as yet. In recent memory, ice fishermen caught trout through seven inches of ice. I noticed one angler fishing on the Round Valley Pond, which must have at least 10 inches of ice by now. It never quite thawed with the milder weather we had after ice had thickened well past the safe point.

I would get out and ice fish. Here in Hunterdon County, NJ, the reservoir is the only open water around. Even the riffles of nearby South Branch Raritan River, many of them, have frozen over. My power auger is on my porch. But the L-4 nerves in my thighs and legs just won't give up making the likes of that impossible. It's one thing to have the car yards from where I fish at the reservoir, another to undergo the stresses of walking out on ice and fishing, even with fold out chairs. Laurie Murphy of Dow's Boat Rentals reports that Lake Hopatcong has six to 10 inches of ice throughout. Plenty of bait of a variety of kinds is available at Dow's.

No trout today, or on Friday at 16 and 17 degrees, or the Monday prior to the big snow storm, when it was 43 degrees. Another guy was fishing on the Monday and had no hits. He had been fishing regularly and in a slump. I'm still using marshmallow and mealworm. I thought the reservoir might be frozen and balked at buying shiners, which I may turn to after the threat of a freeze breaks.

I've heard of no lake trout caught this winter, but a lot of rainbows especially were caught a couple of weeks ago and backwards from that time.


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