March Fishing Sessions: 03/16 - Scoping Linden and Kirkwood Lakes in Lindenwold (NJ)

Hello, Blog Readers! 

Before anything else, I've added a nice photo of my friend Mike M. on Facebook's Public Fishing Album. And yes -- he strikes once again, this time with a beautiful Linear Koi (Cyprinus carpio mutation) from the Delaware Canal. As a reminder, if you want to submit your photos for the folder, you may click here for more information.

Today I'll be talking about my first 2015 trip to the Linden and Kirkwood Lakes in Lindenwold, NJ. If you are not familiar with them, you may want to check the following YouTube videos for a general idea:

Part 1 of my introductory video on the Kirkwood Lake in Lindenwold, NJ. As you will read further below, I fished mainly in the pipe.

Part 2 of the video above. In this video, I walk a little bit deeper into the Lake, quickly stopping at some productive spots.

A nice video of me fishing Linden Lake for Black Crappies (Pomoxis nigromaculatus). The Lake is also known for producing nice Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) and a few Chain Pickerel (Esox niger) and Largemouth Bass (Micropterus salmoides)
Now, here is my fishing report for March 16th:

--- March 16th, 2015 ---

Location: Linden Lake/Kirkwood Lake
Time: 1:00-1:30 p.m./2:15-4:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

-- 20 Bluegill (Lepomis Macrochirus)

With all the ice meltdown and water temperatures around 40F in small Lakes and Ponds, I decided to scope out two Lakes in Lindenwold, NJ: the Kirkwood Lake and Linden Lake. As always, I left home with a solid game plan for the day! My plan was short and simple: try for Black Crappie at Linden Lake first, and then move to Kirkwood Lake in case of no fish bites. The fact is that I can always avoid getting skunked with the golden pipe in that Lake! If you watched the first video in this post, you know where I am talking about.  

Here is a nice shot of Linden Lake that I took just after arriving there. Note that there was still a thin layer of ice covering ~10% of the Lake! This is good empirical evidence that Lakes and Ponds tend to defrost last when it comes to the transition of Winter to Spring (recall: moving water is a big factor in the ice melting process). 

I arrived at the Linden Lake around 1:00 p.m.. I immediately setup a high-low rig with nightcrawlers for still-fishing. Then, with my second rod, I setup a 0.5oz. weighted float with a 1/64 oz. golden jighead and 1" minnow imitation (exact setup as in the third video above). Since there was a new piece of cover in the lake, I started by jigging around the edges.

As any veteran angler would be aware, that board is perfect cover for game fish!  

I jigged the edges of that board for a good 10 minutes and ended up not getting a single bite! It was quite a disappointment, since that type of cover is really enticing and hard to pass while fishing. As a matter of fact, cover like that is golden for lie-in-wait predators to strike (i.e. Chain Pickerel). Therefore, if that board remains in that spot, it will be a hot place to fish for during the Summer months.

After jigging all the edges, I started to cast my bait out in the open (just like in the third video). At that point, I was specifically targeting Black Crappie. Note that the two major points in Crappie fishing is to "find" where the school is located at, and at what "depth" they are located at. Once those two factors are taken care of, the angler usually walks home with plenty of fish for dinner! Since water temperatures were still quite brutal (~40F), I setup up my float high; therefore, my bait was just barely touching the bottom. That took care of the "depth." My challenge then was to "find" them. Unfortunately, after casting in a range of 180 degrees, I was still unable to locate them. That's when I changed my game plan and moved to the Kirkwood Lake.

A scenery shot of Kirkwood Lake. Note that in this bigger lake, there was no presence of ice (not even a thin layer). 
After a quick lunch grub, I arrived at the Kirkwood Lake around 2 p.m.. Upon arrival, I spotted a kayak angler fishing for Largemouth Bass using a blade spinner! That was a good sign. Heh. At that point, I didn't really waste any time: I took a quick look at the spillway; came to the conclusion that the water flow over there was too fast for fishing; moved to the pipe! 

Here is a nice shot that portrays the consequences of rain and ice meltdown: faster current. The regular Kirkwood water level would not have water flowing down from the sides of that spillway.

Nothing changed after arriving at "the pipe." I stayed with the same setup as Linden Lake. As I cast my still-fishing rod into the water, another angler came by. The more the merrier, right?! I immediately noticed that he was using a very similar setup to mine: a little football jig with a 2" minnow imitation, no float. And guess what? After a few catches, he actually caught a very neat baby Largemouth:

The pipe and its surprises! Here is Rob F. with the results of his Micro-Fishing: a very nice colored Largemouth Bass.
The difference between Linden and Kirkwood Lakes became very apparent when I was still setting up my second rod. And I can tell you this, folks: there ain't a lot of better feelings than getting a hit on one rod while setting the other one! And that's exactly what happened. I landed my first Bluegill of the day then! 

A healthy Bluegill came up on a piece of nightcrawler. Signs of life are always good signs, right? :)
After watching my rod bend on a piece of nightcrawler, I decided to go Multi-Species with my second rod as well. Instead of a 1/64 oz. jig with a minnow immitation, I decided to tie on a regular #6 j-hook. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to pull out anything besides Bluegills for the day. On the other hand, I was more than satisfied with all the bites that I got. For a Multi-Species angler, every and each bite is very exciting! Recall the beautiful quote by Robert Altman: "I love fishing. You put that line in the water and you don't know what's on the other end. Your imagination is under there." I had 20 Bluegill by 4 p.m. and decided to call it a day. Overall, very productive day with plenty of "imagination" in it. Heh.

Best of luck for all of us,

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,


Leo S.


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