Fishing Report 12/11/02


Mar 11, 2001
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December 11, 2002

Fishing Report

Ice fishing is under way on many Pocono area lakes and ponds

Compiled by Nick Hromiak, Allentown Morning Call

According to most area tackle shops, this is the earliest ice fishing season they've seen in many years. And it's a welcome one since past years produced all too short seasons of a week or two in late January or early February. But the only safe ice is farther north in the Pocono region where consecutive zero degree nights have put a fishable layer of hardwater on many shallow lakes and ponds.

For trout anglers, the best bets appear to be local limestone streams and the Lehigh River where leftover trout and newly stocked fish are being hooked. The latter comes compliments of Lehigh River Stocking Association who, according to their winter newsletter, have stocked 10,000, 6-8 inch brown trout and 250, 11-14 inch browns.

Down at the shore, the deep freeze has put a damper on most inshore angling although stripers, blackfish and occasional winter flounder are still being caught.


Wallenpaupack Sports Shop, Hawley (570-226-4797): Small ponds such as Pecks, Lake Greely, Promised Land Lower & Upper frozen and holding 4-6 inches of ice … anglers pulling up bass and pickerel on shiners, yellow perch on waxworms and Swedish Pimples … Lake Wallenpaupack coves have skim ice and could be fishable in couple days if weather remains cold.

Pecks Pond Store, Pecks Pond (570-775-7237): Pecks and shallower ponds have 4-6 inches of ice … waxworms, spikes and shiners best ice baits … most wooded areas have 4 inches of snow covering.

Four Seasons Sporting Goods, Jim Thorpe (570-325-4364): Ice fishing conditions not favorable in immediate locale … first ice traditionally produces excellent panfishing … icy banks and ice flows limiting Lehigh River access and fishing … Locust and Tuscarora lakes to be stocked next week.

Evening Hatch Fly Shop, White Haven (570-443-0772): Local stream temps dropped into 30s making trout lethargic … fishing spotty … slower moving streams have glaze ice or frozen edges … best bet now is to fish heavy nymphs or weighted buggers … White Haven and downstream stretch of Lehigh River running high due to water releases.

Mike's Bait & Sports Shop, Nazareth (610-759-2905): Some walleye coming from Delaware River for anglers willing to work for them … jigs tipped with medium shiners the preferred offering … Lake Minsi has unsafe skim ice … best early season ice angling is at Goldsboro, Tobyhanna and Minisink lakes … perch and pickerel there receptive to medium shiners on tip-ups and jigged waxworms or mealworms.

Willie's Bait & Tackle, Cementon (610-261-2767): Slush ice prevalent in Lehigh River … water ice-free immediately below Cementon/Northampton falls … Todd Sauerwine, Slatington, used a Blue Fox spinner for a 221/2-inch, 41/2-pound brownie from Slatington stretch … have reports of other fish up to 15 inches caught … worms and mealworms overwhelming trout favorite right now … Upper Promised Land Lake reportedly frozen and producing fish … Leaser Lake has thin coating of ice.

Little Lehigh leftover stocked trout slurping Woolly Buggers in abnormal colors … wild trout in local limestoners falling for midges … because of snow melt, limestoners could chill a bit … as result, fish slow and deep.

Anglers Paradise and Marine, Whitehall (610-433-2500): Local shallow ponds frozen but not safe … Lehigh River trout receptive to blue spinners and crankbaits … area stream fishing quiet.

Pro-Am Fishing Shop, Kuhnsville (610-395-0885): Marginal ice on some Pocono ponds … snow cover preventing ice from thickening … getting reports Goldsboro and Tobyhanna lakes the exception … … skim ice on Leaser Lake … predicted weekend warm-up will likely dim any local ice angling … perch being caught from Kimmets Lock … Leaser Lake to be stocked next week.

Rick's Bait & Tackle, Maiden Creek (610-926-8888): Ontelaunee Reservoir frozen at Peters Creek Cove … earliest freeze-up in 25 years … ice there about 31/2-4 inches … nice crappies, bluegills, couple 4-6 pound bass, pickerel even some northern pike up to 34 inches caught … crappie action should improve particularly at night … white perch coming from deeper water … minnows, waxworms and extra large shiners dominate ice baits … no safe ice reported at Antietam and Kaercher Creek lakes … Blue Marsh Lake spillway producing some walleye in evening hours on crawlers and Rapalas … Antietam and Scotts Run lakes scheduled for stocking next week.


North Jersey: The Tackle Box in Hazlet (732-264-7711) said their charter boat is out of the water for winter but some boats still hauling in decent stripers from Ambrose Channel and the ocean … eels top bass bait … some bass coming from the beaches on eels, clams and Storm lures … bass also being caught by trolling shad rigs … flounder bite slow … blackfishing fair using green crabs or clams.

Brielle Region: Capt. Howard Bogan of the Jamaica (732-528-5014) reported catching big-eye tuna up to 160 pounds from canyons last week … also some longfin and yellowfin … best bite occurred between 4 and 5:30 a.m. … expect to have good tuna catches over entire month … Brielle Tackle reported decent flounder catches from Manasquan River on clams and sandworms … fish running 2-3 pounds … blackfish up to 41/2 pounds coming off the wrecks.

Ship Bottom: Betty & Nicks Bait & Tackle (732-793-2708) reported that several 16-20 pound bass brought in for weighing … bass blitz occurred in Seaside Park in front of bath houses.

Little Egg Inlet: Scott's Bait & Tackle (609-296-1300) said snow and ice made treacherous footing around docks and ramps Saturday morning … despite weather, some stripers located in deeper water and tight to beach in 6-18 feet of water … schooler-size stripers comprised majority of catches … tog provided best weekend action along banks on southeast side of Little Sheepshead Creek on last of incoming tide.

Rehoboth Beach, Del.: Old Inlet Bait & Tackle (302-227-7974) reports first snow of season blanketed lower Delaware … expect striper action to pick up again in inlet and on near-shore shoals … tog should be on the rocks as well.
Copyright © 2002, The Morning Call

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