gellfex

What should I know about mid december Pocono lake fishing?

20 posts in this topic

My wife has decided we need to take a weekend away with the kids in the Poconos. The house is on a large deep lake. I've not been a big freshwater guy, certainly not in winter, and rarely for anything but LMB & SMB. I kayak and have a drysuit etc. I'm not much on hiking like the rest of the family so I'll have some time for this.  So what should I do there? Jig the deeps? Paddle around looking to mark suspended fish? Fish the shallows during the warmest part of the day?  I understand it's stocked with walleye, never caught one but I heard they're fun and good eating.  Any pointers would be appreciated! 

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Just now, Justinj said:

Usually by mid December, yes

Wow, I saw a reference to february ice fishing, and assumed it would still be open around now. The average temps during the day are still in the mid 30s. Does size of the lake make a difference? It's big!

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I am here in the Pocono region.  No ice on any lake at all.  No way your gonna get safe ice by next week.

 

Trout and pickerel seem to be the only thing active right now.  Bass are way hunkered down

 

I would suggest trying for trout if your lake holds those.  Otherwise fish for crappie as those size jigs are gonna get you not only crappie but any other species as well.  Pickerel and yellow perch are usually abundant and bite in the cold 

 

You may want to forgo the big lake and try streams for better action.  Lots of class A trout streams around 

 

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i fish PA lakes all winter on the kayak, most south of the Poconos but not too far. Panfish jigging will be your best bet but pike, pickerel and muskie bit all year round. 

 

For panfish I like 2" white grubtails on a small jig head.

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14 hours ago, Captain Ahab said:

I am here in the Pocono region.  No ice on any lake at all.  No way your gonna get safe ice by next week.

 

Trout and pickerel seem to be the only thing active right now.  Bass are way hunkered down

 

I would suggest trying for trout if your lake holds those.  Otherwise fish for crappie as those size jigs are gonna get you not only crappie but any other species as well.  Pickerel and yellow perch are usually abundant and bite in the cold 

 

You may want to forgo the big lake and try streams for better action.  Lots of class A trout streams around 

 

Thanks. It's a big deep stocked lake, I'm sure it holds them. I'd name it but I'm respecting the guys that get upset about that. How would I target trout in a lake? Soft jigs?

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1 hour ago, gellfex said:

Thanks. It's a big deep stocked lake, I'm sure it holds them. I'd name it but I'm respecting the guys that get upset about that. How would I target trout in a lake? Soft jigs?

Small jigs with soft plastics, suspending jerk baits, spoons, inline spinners all in tiny sizes

 

I resorted to live minnows today and managed a few browns in the 20" range.   I usually shy away from live bait but I have been having the trout follow but not commit to the artificials and could not take it anymore.  

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2 mins ago, Captain Ahab said:

Small jigs with soft plastics, suspending jerk baits, spoons, inline spinners all in tiny sizes

 

I resorted to live minnows today and managed a few browns in the 20" range.   I usually shy away from live bait but I have been having the trout follow but not commit to the artificials and could not take it anymore.  

How did you fish them, small hook on a dropper?

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I was fishing off a dam from shore.  Water goes from 0 to 25 feet  in about 15 yards and a deeper drop after that.

 

Fine wire hook and 3 feet of 8 lb floro leader to 10 lb braid.  All weightless.

 

I tail hook the minnow so it swims down.  The fish pounce as the bait heads to the bottom.  If not, cast and repeat.  I am not a sit and wait guy,  I will let the bait swim for maybe 5 min tops and I am moving it and then recasting at a different angle or 20 feet down the bank

 

 

Edited by Captain Ahab

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Just now, Captain Ahab said:

I was fishing off a dam from shore.  Water goes from 0 to 25 feet  in about 25 yards and a deeper drop after that.

 

Fine wire hook and 3 feet of 8 lb floro leader to 10 lb braid.  All weightless.

 

I tail hook the minnow so it swims down.  The fish pounce as the bait heads to the bottom.  If not, cast a repeat.

I've got 10lb floro and 10lb braid. Like a #4 hook? Minnows on a kayak are a huge PITA, but not insurmountable. Do you need an aerator this time of year?

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7 hours ago, gellfex said:

I've got 10lb floro and 10lb braid. Like a #4 hook? Minnows on a kayak are a huge PITA, but not insurmountable. Do you need an aerator this time of year?

I did not.  

 

 

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By then there may be enough ice in the shallows to keep you from getting out on the yak, but not enough to safely fish on....depends on the lake. I'd try to find some running water and maybe catch a few trout. Make sure to get a license, there is plenty of enforcement.

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4 hours ago, C.Robin said:

Make sure to get a license, there is plenty of enforcement.

I'll second that.  We're up in the Poconos at least 2 weeks every year and I get checked out by the Game Warden more times there than fishing the rest of the year in NJ. 

Also, bring a fluorescent orange hat or something if you'll be in the woods,,  I was just up there in early November and a lot of hunting was going on.  I went <100 ft off a road, fishing along a stream, happened to look up and there was a bow hunter up in a tree stand.  I gave him a wave and got out of there.

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