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New Jersey & Delaware Bay


Posted By Jim Hutchinson, Jr., January 20, 2020
Josh Taylor shows off a chunky quillback taken in windy conditions on the Delaware River up above Washington’s Crossing on Sunday while fishing with George “The Pocono Outdoors Guy” and local guide Kevin Coolahan. Photo by Jim Hutchinson, Jr.
A dose of actual winter arrived this week, good news for those folks hoping to find some safe ice (possibly!) Could be a difficult endeavor for much of the Garden State at this point, though upstate New York and northern Pocono region may prove productive in the coming days. White perch bite remains solid in the brackish stuff in rivers like the Great Egg, Mullica and Toms; meanwhile boats heading out of Jersey Shore ports continue to focus on tautog, ling and some cod. When weather conditions allow, many folks are turning to the Delaware for a fresh fix of walleye; a team of The Fisherman’s Jim Hutchinson along with George “The Pocono Outdoors Guy” Schauer and buddy Josh Taylor hit the Delaware above Washington Crossing on Sunday in search of walleye with local guide, Kevin Coolahan. Regrettably, the 15 mph winds forecast never materialized, replaced instead by gusts upwards of 20 to 30 which made conditions difficult. Coolahan said the key to this fishery this time of year is finding pools and holes where fish stack in advance of the spawn. Often that location will be much the same as where other species like carp or quillback are stacked as well. After jigging up a couple of scales, Josh Taylor tied into a couple of quillbacks but the crew just couldn’t get the walleye to bite on Sunday. Found throughout much of North America, the quillback (Carpiodes cyprinus, also known as quillback carpsucker) is commonly found in the Hudson Bay, the Mississippi River basin, the Great Lakes, and drainages from the Delaware, Apalachicola, and Pearl rivers. Quillbacks usually feed in schools, and classified as omnivores, these bottom feeders move slowly over sandy or gravel bottom in search of food. Their typical diet consists of insect larvae, crustaceans, and various vegetation like algae and leaves. As an aside, folks looking for a tug on the line this week might consider hunting big carp on local ponds throughout New Jersey. Even waters like Spring Lake along the coast, better known for some of the hefty trout deposited there every trout season, hold a good number of feisty carp. Local tackle shop on their winter hours? Try potato bread!
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