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The Ice is Gone and the Fishing Heats Up!

The ice is finally gone from the lakes after a long and productive ice fishing season and the open water fishing is heating up.

Just after ice out is a good time to target pre-spawned and post-spawned northern pike. At this time of the year pike move into the shallows near shore and the mouths of creeks entering lakes to search for spawning areas.

This lucky youngster took advantage of this pattern to catch this 33-inch, 10lb. northern pike at the mouth of Spruce Run Creek in Spruce Run Reservoir the first weekend of March. American shadThe young angler was using a bobber and hook baited with a large shiner. It took him 15 minutes to play and land his trophy fish.

Another location that's heating up in early spring is the Delaware River as American shad begin their annual migration up river. You can follow the action in the Reports from the Delaware River as the weather warms and the fishing begins to get hot.

Youngster with northern pike
Photo courtesy of Tom Pagliaroli
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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2005
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: August 18, 2004