Memorable fishing trips often begin with a calendar, map and targeted species. Game & Fish editors and writers have done you a good solid with our 2018 Fishing Calendars, which outlines 5-star fishing hot spots in your region. Whether it’s bass, walleye, trout, crappie, muskie, or saltwater species (and many others), we pinpoint when and where the fish bite best all across the East this year.
JANUARY – BROOK TROUT: MOOSEHEAD LAKE – Maine’s sprawling Moosehead Lake has been the premier destination for winter brook trout anglers for well over 100 years, and the fishing remains some of the best in the Northeast. While 10-pound-plus brook trout are a thing of the past, modern anglers who are persistent should boat a 5-pounder occasionally. Most of Moosehead’s brook trout average 2 or 3 pounds but there are much bigger fish. Big brookies may be found anywhere on the lake but it’s a good idea to join the crowds. Conversations with local experts should reveal a good depth and bait or lure to start the day. Other Options: In Vermont anglers go after Seymour Lake’s lake trout by fishing live or dead suckers directly on the bottom and checking baits frequently for subtle hits. In Connecticut, Mona’s Pond has been a prolific producer of… Read the entire 2018 outlook
JANUARY – LAKE ONTARIO TRIBUTARIES – January is steelheading time in New York and it’s known worldwide that the Lake Ontario tributaries are the place to be during the annual spawning run. This is cold-season fishing at its best (or worst), so come prepared to brave wind, cold, ice and boiling currents where steelhead trout in the 10-pound class are considered commonplace. Successful tactics include pool-jumping (moving from pool to pool in search of fish) or camping out at one spot and casting repeatedly (all day if necessary) until a fish decides to take your offering of salmon eggs, bright lures or flashy flies. The larger tributaries are the most popular destination for January steelhead anglers but don’t discount the smaller streams where some surprisingly big fish may be found. Other Options: Wait for safe ice and then head for Cayuga Lake where perch in the 12-inch class are the norm. Bashakill Marsh is open year-round for pickerel fishing. Three-inch live shiners fished just below the ice will keep the flags flying all day. … Read the entire 2018 outlook
JANUARY – WALLEYES: LOWER ALLEGHENY RIVER – In all but the most severe winters there’s open-water walleye fishing within the 72 miles of the lower Allegheny River. This section features eight lock and dam systems. Walleyes begin collecting in the stretches a half-mile or so below these dams in late fall. While some areas of the river will likely have ice cover, hardy anglers who locate access areas close to the dam tailrace areas can often reach these fish. A good example is the area below Lock and Dam 7 in Kittanning, where a boat ramp within the town’s riverside park is found nearby. The action isn’t limited to boat fishing. Shore anglers also score, and sometimes have access to areas below the dams that are restricted to boats. Other Options: If there’s safe ice behind Kinzua Dam, a trip to this massive Allegheny River reservoir might turn up some big northern pike. Another option is to try Monongahela River Sauger — if January is relatively mild, tailraces below Mon River locks and dams … Read the entire 2018 outlook