The Winter Trout Stocked Lakes Program began in November, 2000. The program provides additional opportunities during the late fall and winter months by providing trout outside the regular spring and fall stocking seasons. The program is designed to ensure that at least one lake is within easy driving distance of anyone interested in trying their luck on a beautiful winter's day.
Beginning in November, 2006, anglers who fish the winter trout stocked lakes could look forward to catching much larger trout. This exciting change consisted of the stocking of two-year old trout averaging 14 to 18 inches. Although the number stocked is approximately half of what was stocked the first five years of the program, these larger trout weigh about three times as much and provide the quality experience that most anglers desire. Plus, there are trout left from fall stocking still in the streams awaiting anglers.
Although much of the winter trout fishing activity occurs during open water or unfrozen periods, many anglers look forward to the opportunity to catch trout through the ice. In North Jersey, safe ice is usually present on most of the stocked water bodies during the winter. However, some of the parks where trout are stocked, particularly in the urban areas, prohibit ice fishing. Anglers should check with the individual park office regarding their regulations on ice fishing. Anglers must always be aware of ice thickness and condition for their safety.
Proven methods for catching trout through the ice are using tip-ups with powerbait or fathead minnows, and jigging with small jigs or ice jigging flies. Traditional baits like worms, fathead minnows, meal worms and powerbait fished on the bottom during open water work well for those fishing from shore.
WINTER TROUT ARTICLES
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