Fishing doesn’t have to take a break when winter arrives! If you’re a keen New Jersey angler in the summer months, why not try something new and spend a few hours doing some winter fishing instead of staying home?
Sure it’s cold and dark, but you may be surprised at the reward you get for venturing out onto the ice or lake during the winter months.
Here are our choices of the 4 best holes for winter fishing in New Jersey.
Round Valley Reservoir
Round Valley Reservoir can be fished year-round, but it’s best to wait until the ice is 4 inches thick before attempting ice fishing. In the summer months bass is abundant, but the winter season is known for muskellunges, or muskies.
If you’re planning on bagging yourself a lunker while ice fishing, this is the place to be. Muskies can grow to upwards of 50 inches in length and weigh 30 pounds or more.
You’ll need a lot of patience and a strong reel to catch a trophy like that, but while you’re waiting there’s plenty of opportunity to pull in Northern pike, yellow perch, bluegill, crappies and trout.
Green Turtle Pond
Green Turtle Pond can be a good haul whether you’re fly fishing, baitcasting, or spinning. However you’re doing it, you have a high chance of bringing in pickerel, perch, crappie, smallmouth bass, and brown and rainbow trout.
The winter-stocked trout are the biggest draw in the colder months. Remember that the winter trout won’t be hanging around all the way at the bottom. Try your luck at different depths, and if you’re lucky enough to have a fish finder, this would be the place to use it.
Big Flat Brook
If you’re looking for a favorite spot you can fish most of the year, the Flat Brook could be it. It’s a beautiful piece of nature, and there’s plenty to look at even if the fish aren’t biting. But bite they will, as it’s the perfect home for a variety of species of trout. You’ll find wild brown trout and brook trout, as well as stocked rainbow trout.
One of the things that makes this spot so great for trout is its many different types of water. The upper areas of the brook consist of fast-flowing water, and as the stream flows you’ll find sections of deep, slower moving pools. You’ll need to vary your techniques and lures to make the most of it.
In late January, the lake may freeze over for a few weeks.
Lake Iona offers some interesting fishing experiences that you can do from the safety of the shore, or if you’re feeling adventurous, in a kayak or canoe.
Winter-stocked rainbow trout are the most abundant fish in these waters, but you’ll also have a chance of catching largemouth bass, bluegill, carp, yellow perch, pickerel and occasionally a flathead catfish or bullhead.
Don’t forget to obtain your fishing licence before casting into any of these waters. It’s quick and easy to do - just hop onto the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s website and apply online. You can print it out immediately and you’ll be good to go.
Stay warm and have fun!