Its looking a little Crappie with a chance of Trout and Yellow Perch.
March is a good month for freshwater hot spots to keep you warm in the outdoors. In past years, the month of march has seen some of the best freshwater fishing with everything from crappie and pickerel to yellow perch and trout. Now local lakes and streams may have these fish year round but march ,for some reason, with milder temperatures in the 30s to 40s and cloudy days produce good solid fishing.
Panfish, like crappie and blue gill, love a simple hook and worm. ultra-lite tackle with a little Johnson beetle jig with or without the spinner always seems to create a good buzz under the water for these fish. These fish will also fall for small crank baits or small colorful top water lures, such as Rapala's. Casting them out and reeling in nice and slow, to allow a small wobble to take effect, and let the fish do the rest. Yellow perch will follow in suit to all these techniques but they will feed more towards the bottom of lakes and ponds.
Pickerel are more of a tricky species to target. While they are super aggressive, they can also spook very easily. You will need to walk around the shore lines carefully. They tend to sit in little holes in the weed beds and wait for their next bait to fall to there ever sharp teeth and strong jaw. Top water baits slowly coming throw the nest works the best, but that doesn't mean you can land one of these fish with just that. They will take down small spoons or plastic swimming baits. Live sinners will produce the best fish if you can sneak one by their little weed homes, but regardless like anything else you can tackle these fish like most, on any ponds or lakes on the island .
Now on to Long Islands most wanted cold water fish. TROUT!!. All non tidal lakes and ponds are open to target these fish, expect for East lake in Patchogue. Most anglers love to target these fish with light tackle rods and reels, using little jigs such as small 1/16oz trout magnets, or Acme gold or silver kastmaster lures. Another go to lure I like to throw would be a vibrex blue fox spinner in 1/16th oz. or 1/8oz. Gold and silver typically produce better fish, but that does not mean other colors or lures wont work. Other anglers like to throw a small size 8 or 10 hook with a worm on it. Local DEC typically sock these lakes late March in preparation for the opening day with healthy Brown and Rainbow trout, and if you are there when this happens you may just land yourself some nice fish.
With all of that said, you still can head down to Connetquot River State Park with your fly rod and give that a try. Some local guys have been reporting nice Rainbow trout coming out of its river. We have also been told with the increase in fly fishermen the park administrators have opened and stocked more of the river and pond.
The Park has several fishing sessions per day. 8AM-12PM and 12PM-4PM. Fishermen are having a blast down there at either session. Tackle Tip: Typically we recommend an 7 to 8 foot rod with 4 to 6 weight line, and flies with a little flash in them to target the bigger fish.
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Another type of local and easy fishing would be for White Perch. All the local tidal creeks have fish in them. The key to finding them is to fish different tides and figure out when they will show up at certain areas. I like to fish the end of the incoming and the beginning of the outgoing. Some "go to baits" for white Perch are a piece of night crawler on a jig head or even a grass shrimp on a jig head. Another good method to catch white perch is using small soft plastic grubs on a jig head. Ill carry 1/16oz and 1/8oz; they'll do fine in most conditions. For rod and reel, use any ultralight setup with 4lb test line.
March is still a cold month for outdoor activities. However, we have the products to fend off the cold so you may enjoy one of Long Islands favorite activity. A pair of warm socks and a neoprene glove will keep you warm. Glacier Gloves have a great line of warm fishing gloves to fit every anglers hands and needs.
On a closing note:
In past years March is a month of change, winter becomes spring, frozen water becomes thawed out, flowers start their spring bloom and fishing regulations start to be published. Here at J&J sports keep a close ear and eye out for theses Changes.