2013-2014 Journal

Reports and forum for New Jersey ice fishing.

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2013-2014 Journal

Postby fishgalore » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:49 am

11/26/13- Past few days have been cold with some wind. Wind lessened a day or 2 ago and some areas have skim ice.
Today's forecast:- ice pellets and flurries then warmer temps with 1-2" of rain. Rain into Wednesday with a warming trend mid-upper 50's. Currently mid- upper 30's and overcast with light snow.

11/27/13:-Temps reached into the mid 50's early today but are dropping fast. Currently (4:30pm) 37 and dropping. Rainfall overnight through today is over 2.5" and still raining. Slippery conditions will begin as the temps continue to drop. Slight snow is forecast with little accumulation and clearing later tonight.
Forecast:- Remaining cold for the next few days. Tomorrow's high is only posted as 28 with wind 10-20 mph.

11/28/13:- Happy Thanksgiving! Sunny, windy and cold today with highs in the upper 20's . Currently 27 in my area.

11/29 & 11/30:- Sunny and above freezing on Friday the 29 for about 9 hrs. 37 was the high. Saturday, partly sunny and above freezing for about 5 hrs. High of 35

12/1/013:- Sunny in the am then overcast with a high in the mid to upper 40's. 47 was the high and it was above freezing for more than 14 hrs. total. There was skim ice on some ponds.

12/02 & 12/3/13:-Sunny with temps above 35 for 12 hrs yesterday and above freezing essentially all day. Temperature dropped to upper 20's after midnight for about 8 hrs. Currently 50 degrees which is above the forecast of a high of 47. There will be a mix of clouds and sun today.

12/04 into 12/05........almost 8 am 12/05 and temps have been well over freezing now for about 24 hrs. Yesterdays high was 51 but it was above 45 for most of the day. It has been hovering around 45 since early afternoon yesterday with some light rain overnight and fog this morning. Forecast is calling for a high of 56 today with overcast skies and light & intermittent rain developing. Any ice that was forming will likely be gone later today & into tomorrow.

12/06:- Temps hit near 60 in the AM but began to drop thru the rest of the day but never reached the freezing mark. The AM had light rain on and off and then heavier rain late pm hours. Total rainfall was near .75" and much needed as many water bodies were effected by the lack of rain lately. The Pequest flows went from about 52 cfs to 113 cfs at the present which is still below normal average flows for this time of year.

12/07:- Temps dropped but seemed to stabilize above freezing most of the day. It was mostly sunny but became overcast as the day progressed and temps didn't hit the freezing mark locally until after dark about 6 pm. Winds were calm for 2 (1) hr periods, Otherwise, they were 5-10 mph. Overnight, into Sunday the wind was 5 mph or less with a slight period b/t 3-4 am with little wind which may have allowed lakes to skim over.

12/08:- Overcast and below freezing essentially the whole day. Temps hovered around freezing as the snow began to fall about 3 pm then dropped into the upper 20's overnight and rising above 30 by daybreak on Monday, the 9th. Little more than 1" of accumulation fell and a layer of ice is forming as the snow changed to rain into Monday morning. There was NO skim ice on the 3 places I checked yesterday.

12/09:- Temps slowly climbed to just above freezing for most of the day with light and intermittent precipitation. The high for the day was about 35 between 2-3 pm where it remained for most of the remainder of the day. The temperature stabilized in this range into Tuesday, the 10th, and at 5 am was about 34 degrees. Heavy snow is in the forecast for today with accumulations 2-4 or 4-6 depending upon location. The high is forecast to be 30 today with 5-10 mph wind but it has not dropped that low yet.

12/10:- Temperature hovered just above freezing all day while getting 2-4" of snow in many Morris County areas. It dropped below freezing at dusk and trended downward to 25 by midnight. Some skim ice was evident but nothing locked.

12/11:- It was freezing (32 was the high) for 4 of the 24 hrs today, otherwise, it was below freezing. Ice should be forming and one would think it would lock the lakes but not from what I saw. There was open water on my hometown haunts.

12/12:- Through 8 pm today it didn't get out of the mid 20's. The high thus far was 25 today with some breezy conditions. Checked some local haunts and still not locked where on Thanksgiving Sunday (12/01) the place was locked and had up to 1" thick. The warm trend screwed it up a bit.

12/13 & 12/14 Barely hit freezing on Friday the 13th, mostly overcast with some sun peeking through. It was in the 20's for all but about 5 hrs. There is a Winter storm warning for Saturday, the 14th into Sunday. Saturday's high was only 28 while it remained in the 20's all day except for about 3 hrs when it dropped down into the upper teens. Snow in my area was in the 3" range (the wife corrected me, she said she shoveled at least 6" yesterday before I got home) but just north of me got 6-6 1/2". (e.g. Oak Ridge & Butler, likely Green pond and Marcella parts of Rockaway too). Last I checked on Thursday night my haunts were not completely locked yet. Maybe I'll get a chance to look later today. See my post about our "ice" fishing trip to the river thread.

12/15 & 12/16:- The high for the 15th was 37 and it was above freezing for the major part of the day. Temps never hit 30 on the 16th and whatever ice exists should be thickening even with the snow on top of it. MHP has been locked since Friday and had as much as 2" last Thursday in the 3 places I checked. About 5% was open water then but on Sunday it was no longer open. 12BINGO17!

*12/17:- Another snow storm brought 3 more inches of snow while temps remained well below freezing all day. That makes 4 out of 5 days of good ice making weather. The high touched 27 degrees then dropped again. In the teens for about 1/2 the day. Total snow on the ground is over 12" at my house and it's not even winter yet. There has to be ice locally to fish but with the snow on top & a warming trend coming this weekend it might be short lived or dangerous to venture out.

*12/18:- It was above freezing from about 11 am to 5 pm otherwise we were making ice. Touched the upper teens at times with a high of 36. Mostly sunny in the am when it was cold then overcast in the pm when it warmed with a good amount of wind to keep things cool with little snow/ice melt from what I saw.

*12/19:- Stayed below freezing (even dropped down into the teens from about 4am-9am) this morning and went above freezing about 11 am and has stayed there the remainder of the day to now (7:15 pm). High of 44 today and the hourly forecast shows a low for tonight into tomorrow at 35 then it's forecast to warm to the mid 40's tomorrow. That will put the ice making on the melt setting. It was warm enough, especially where the sun hit today, to start melting the snow. Tomorrow should bear an increase in snow/ice melt and with temps forecast to be in the 50's on Saturday and 60's on Sunday it's starting to look like my day on the ice for xmas eve will be shelved for some stream fishing. Tuesday is the next forecast day to have temps at or below the freezing mark. Bye, bye ice!

*12/20:- The benefit of the doubt says there was safe ice this morning but they became very wet conditions by early afternoon. The first 8 hrs of the day saw temps at or just below freezing but then they rose steadily to 1 pm when the high for the day was hit @ 51. The remainder of the day saw temps drop slowly to the 38 degree range.

12/21:- On the 1st day of winter we said bye to safe ice. Temps started at about 38 degrees and slowly dipped to 35 for the 1st 8 hrs of the day then they rose sharply to 55 degrees by 11 am. Temps then stabilized til about 4 pm when they dropped into the low 40's by 9 pm. only to trend back up to the low 50's by midnight. A local pond had ice that was covered with inches of water this afternoon when I drove by. If there was safe ice to be fished it was a fisherman's wet nightmare, can't kneel & standing in several inches of water on slippery wet ice is an accident waiting to happen. Even with cleats walking on "water" is not what I would call "fun" conditions.

12/22:- It's already 60+ degrees this morning and it's just passed 6 am. If it wasn't for piles of snow the snow would be gone, woohoo! It stayed above 60 for most of the day today and there is no safe ice IMO in North Jersey worth risking to fish on. The local pond that had 5" doesn't anymore.

12/23:-Stayed above 50 for 18 hrs then dropped fast to the mid 30's the last 6 hrs of the day. No ice is being made the past few days.

12/24:- Hit the stream for some fly fishing but it was much cooler today. It dropped from 35ish to 30 by 8am then it trended up to a high of 38 by 1 pm. Slowly trending down and the forecast is calling for snow squalls this evening with light accumulation. The local pond was skimmed over 80% but at least 20% was now open water. It looks like it may be a while for safe ice. The streams are in better condition because of the run off from the snow melt and the rain we received. It's been a long time coming as streams have been low for a good long while, at least 3 months.

12/25:- One would think that with the cold temps on Christmas day the ice would be forming. However, my local spot had plenty of open water and it didn't appear to be locking up. The temps never got out of the 20's so what little wind we had must have come into play although it appeared, on the water, that there was no wind. But the wind gauge did register some measure of wind. It looks like overnight might have been very calm though. Time will tell but to me the hope of any ice for this weekend is slim to none.

12/26:- The temps remained below freezing for most of the day. Between 1pm to about 4:30 pm it rose above freezing but that was it otherwise we have been making ice. Still open water.

12/27:- Today was another matter. Almost half the day was over freezing with a high of 39 and sunny most of the day.

* means safe ice (means 4-5") somewhere (in 2010 I ice fished on 12/17 a week before xmas eve)

3/7/14: The season remains unique. Ice remains unseasonably thick. I fished after work this week and had about 18" of ice on a local haunt, only my 7th time out this year. I know of some spots with over 20", others, like Split Rocks north end close to 24". Although the sun is higher in the sky with a brief warming trend next week, nights will remain cold and then the subsequent extended forecast looks like more cold and possibly more snow (although little accumulation is noted). The cold winter will likely have an effect on the spring open water bite to boot. It has been one of the worst winters for extreme cold and lingering snow that I can remember. I believe in 2010-2011 we had 2 ft of snow on the ground in January-February but come March it was mostly gone. Not this year. A good foot or more (many giant snow piles remain) can be seen in much of North Jersey. The Knee Deep club has scheduled another Ice Fishing tourney for March 16th! I'm not sure, but this may be a first in their history. For ice lovers this is a treat but for me it's been a brutal winter. Much of which required way to much effort to enjoy it and therefore I stayed home instead. There were no other options either. Stream fishing was nearly non existent and if you did go ICE was a problem and or definitely risky safety wise. There are a few spots (not really suitable for more than a few persons) where the water temp is relatively constant and trout fishing is likely productive but IMO not really worth the effort. The ice will start to be less stable in the coming weeks but ice out may not actually happen til April this year. That is a major disappointment to me. Even portions of large rivers such as the Delaware in NJ show ice as the flow at the present time. Obviously, moving water doesn't really freeze over entirely but the flow chart is NOT registering the flows. The Belvidere gauge for the Big D currently shows a constant blue line and the reported cfs is "ICE". No numerical number is noted. The Shad run will be late if you ask me and it will be interesting to see the reports this year, both from individual fishermen and other organizations like NJDFW & Lewis Fishery. It'll be an interesting opening day for Trout this year as well. The boat MAY not be an option. A unique winter for sure with a bit of uncertainty as to how it will all pan out. I think it will test even the more successful fisherman's skills this year and those who have consecutive days at their disposal will likely figure things out more so than those who are the weekend warriors.

One last note:- snowfall in the Catskills is above the ytd average by nearly 20". How the runoff will affect local waterways and the Delaware remains to be seen. Lets hope the warming trends slowly or it's gonna blow out the flows and hope the rain this Spring is not overwhelmingly excessive. Normal historical range for NJ is a little above 4.2" for March. April's normal range is a tad below the March data.

3/19/14:- Only .35" of rain month to date in March so far. Forecast says about .5" tonight so we are below the normal thus far this month. The thaw has remained very sloooooooooow. Not much left except bigger piles that accumulated during snow removal or where the sunlight isn't as pronounced or affected. Ice remains on most lakes in north Jersey to the tune of 12" or more still from many reports. There are few with less ice than that and NO major bodies of water are usable by boat. Maybe the Delaware river down in south Jersey but mostly down below Trenton otherwise, ice and ice dams remain an issue up north. Definitely affecting the Shad run in so far as fishing for them up north is concerned. They are in the river but not many reports of location, although some have suggested few are near Easton.

I saw pics taken today of a frozen Lake Ontario. It looks like a desert with small knolls and mountains. All the Great Lakes are apparently frozen this year. I believe first time in over a decade. Many of the tribs remain completely iced over at the present and are not fishable. There is some fishing happening in the LO tribs but I'm not reporting any details except to say I'm hearing it's hot where they are being found. I hope to get up there soon but not in the cold! This winter will definitely impact fishing this season up there. Giant ice slabs will be floating down the Niagra and other tribs by mid April like in 1985 when I was there with my wife, 6 mos. after being married. The pics we have of that are incredible.

Since mid November I don't believe that we have had 10 days that hit the 50 degree mark or better. If you can paste this link it proves the last comment for my area but starting with Dec. not mid Nov. :- http://www.wunderground.com/weatherstat ... arend=2014

It's been a grueling winter if you don't like the cold. Many ice fishermen love it but not all of them. It's definitely the longest ice season I've ever experienced and I mostly sat on the sidelines. Lots of reasons, not just one. I think I got out 8 x's and most of those were not full days like in the past, from sun up to near sundown. Mostly half days. Lots of nice fish have been caught by others as seen on the forums. My best this year was the 17" trout and some low 20 something pickerel. A few nice LM Bass too and a nice Crappie. It's gonna be an interesting Spring and it starts tomorrow. Old man winter is gonna be hanging around though a little while longer. I'm thinking about selling most of my ice fishing equipment in the near future or at the beginning of next season. I'm thinking about it for sure, way to much work for me anymore.

3/31/14: Safe fishing ice is gone and if anyone is venturing out the risks out weigh the gains. However, Lake Hopatcong was mostly iced over on Saturday and any possibility of boating will be on hold for several more days at least. Split Rock remained ice covered with some shoreline fading on the south and south east shores. But as far as the eye could see it remained essentially covered. I'd guess 6-8" remain there and any fishing will have to wait til the ice is gone. There is NO shoreline fishing allowed but there isn't much shoreline that is fishable anyway. MHP is essentially open water and good to go for opening day. While the Big D got a boost in gage height and cfs flow because of snow melt and about 1-3" of rain over the weekend depending upon the location it will be tough fishing for a few days. Although some, few, shad have been caught, one near Easton and one further south. Water temps varied for each one caught. One was 39 degrees the other 42 degrees. C'mon Spring!

11/08/14: Wildcat Ridge was 25 this morning. Old man winter is coming.

11/13/14: About an inch of wet snow fell last night. Temps in the low 30's. F'in winter is coming early this year.

11/15-16/14: It remained cold for the weekend and there were traces of snow remaining. On MHP there was a thin layer of ice in the SE corner and the beavers are busy getting ready for they know what's coming!

11/19/14: January like temps the past 2 days have brought with it single digit windchill factors. Temps yesterday dropped after midnight from around 40 down into the 20's where it stayed for most of the day. Today's high was about 32 in the local region but started in the teens, again, with single digit windchill factors. Yesterday's wind forecast had gusts to 40 mph and today had some 20 mph gusts but not a steady blow like yesterday. Much more tolerable winds today. Lake P had skim ice in multiple spots today.
Looks like old man winter came early this year for a piece anyway. The longer range forecast has temps moderating early next week before dipping again to below average temps for this time of year. But I will be basking in the warm sun some other place! Thank God.

11/27/14: The past week has seen up and down temps with warmth setting in late Sunday, the 23rd, into Tuesday before a cold front hit bringing rain then Wednesday turning to snow. About 7" fell in our area, a prelude to a cool Thanksgiving day. Light snow with no accumulation will fall this morning with just below freezing temps. While down in the Southeastern most part of the country also turned cool today with temps in the upper 40's. Not good tanning weather. We will come home to a winter like wonderland of white.

11/30/14: MHP has skim ice on the major portion of the lake but it's a warming trend today so we will lose ice. Some crazies on the other forum have talked about being on just over 2" of ice already this year over a week ago. Ice fishing should be for sound minded not crazy folk! I will get on the ice when it's safe to do so. Eager and stupid are interchangeable terms these days. The high is forecast to be in the mid to upper 40's today and into the low 50's tomorrow. I hope this snow melts for it sucks! Overnight temps will remain normal for this time of year though while daytime temps are just below normal for the most part. 47/28 are average norms.
Last edited by fishgalore on Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:18 am, edited 39 times in total.
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Re: 2013-2014 Journal

Postby dylan8351 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:22 pm

fishgalore wrote:11/26/13- Past few days have been cold with some wind. Wind lessened a day or 2 ago and some areas have skim ice.
Today's forecast:- ice pellets and flurries then warmer temps with 1-2" of rain. Rain into Wednesday with a warming trend mid-upper 50's. Currently mid- upper 30's and overcast with light snow.

we have some fishable ice up here but I'm not sure what this rain will do to it. Heading out in the morning with my girlfriend to see if theres any bucks still kicking around. Looking forward to to your posts this winter!
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Re: 2013-2014 Journal

Postby fishgalore » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:42 pm

dylan8351 wrote:
fishgalore wrote:11/26/13- Past few days have been cold with some wind. Wind lessened a day or 2 ago and some areas have skim ice.
Today's forecast:- ice pellets and flurries then warmer temps with 1-2" of rain. Rain into Wednesday with a warming trend mid-upper 50's. Currently mid- upper 30's and overcast with light snow.

we have some fishable ice up here but I'm not sure what this rain will do to it. Heading out in the morning with my girlfriend to see if theres any bucks still kicking around. Looking forward to to your posts this winter!

Good luck with the buck! I know there's some in the Lake George area that have been recently taken! Now that I'm older the cold is not my favorite thing. Fishable ice before December 1st !!!! BRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! I used to ski and wanted snow made for Thanksgiving weekend but those days are OVER for me. Ironically, it wouldn't bother me at all if I didn't see ice at all this year. So you might be saying why would you be on Ice chat? Good question........one answer is because it's less crowded than iceshanty and it's the place I first started posting when the kids got older and I got to get on the ice more than in previous years. Now I'm likely transitioning (prefer) to more stream fishing than ice fishing. Jigging provides some movement to keep warm on the ice but moving on a stream while fly fishing keeps you warmer. At least if you're not belly deep in cold water! ha ha. Also not many guys stream fishing in the middle of the winter! One more reason is all the stuff you have to lug out on the ice. In NJ the season isn't long enough to justify the expense of a quad and another problem is the ice has a 50/50 chance of being able to hold the weight of a quad safely. In the past 4 yrs, maybe 2 were good for a quad on a lake safely for a reasonable period of time. No way would I spend that kind of dough for a couple of weeks and I'm not wasting time travelling to upstate NY just for ice fishing. Yet another expense! I'm getting to old for all the lugging I want the easy way now!

I'll post pics and reports for this winter of both, my ice capades and stream capades! Your website looks cool.........a real outdoorsman! NICE!
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Re: 2013-2014 Journal

Postby fishgalore » Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:20 pm

12/04/16 no ice in sight but possible snow tonight, little accumulation predicted, less than 1". The temps are average for this time of year. Overnight temps the next 7-10 days could produce ice but there is some rain in the extended forecast so the likelihood is slim. The 90 day outlook on temps is EC meaning chances are equal for above, below or normal temp range.

12/10/2016 ice on the pool cover about one day now. 21 this morning and a cold spell on the way. Temps for the next 3 days will be low 40's at best. Overnight temps for the next 7-8 days are all below freezing with single digits forecast for Thursday night, 12/15. At this rate it could shake out for a start the weekend of Christmas eve or sooner on local smaller lakes and ponds. My preferred choice though would be that temps stay on the warmer side, especially near Lake Ontario for a New Year trip to the Salmon river for more Steelhead on the driftboat! If its to cold for that a local frozen pond with no snow on it works.
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