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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys: I have a 5 year-old son who is crazy for fishing. I haven't had him out since the summer but I would like to take him out for crappie (or similar) soon. It seems like most of the lakes down here are free of ice. Nearby Springton Reservoir would be ideal except I don't think fishing is permitted anymore.

Could anybody suggest a place to go where we would have a decent shot at crappies casting from shore? I am thinking maybe Ontelaunee bit it is a bit of a long ride and I am not sure if the crappies are near shore this time of year. Thanks
 

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They are probably schooled up off shore now.
 

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Fish Commission reports mention Blue Marsh and Ontelaunee for shore line Crappies. Hopewell Lake usually produces but I've never caught many big ones.

Probably is still a little early, but my best day ever was in Feb 2004. I remember my son and I were wearing t shirts.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. I have caught a few in the past on Ontelaunee through the ice but I doubt there is ice now (at least not anywhere close to thick enough to consider taking a child on). I didn't know they schooled offshore. I guess I need to wait for things to warm up. I get tired of watching him shoot his Rocket Fishing Rod all around my house. If I venture out I will post a report. I have never tried Hopewell but I'll look into it.

wstrouse: I went out a few years ago in the early spring - early March, I think. I was casting fatheads under bobbers at Lake Ontelaunee with a friend just for some fun. I ended up catching a brown trout that had to have weighed 5 pounds. It was about 26-28" long. I couldn't believe it. I didn't have a camera, unfortunately. It was before the trout season had opened and I released it. I guess it swam to the lake from the feeder creek and grew big in there. It was quite a surprise.
 

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You could also try Marsh Creek and Chambers lake. Shorter drive and the crappies are there, they don't get top billing like the Reading area lakes.
 

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x2 marsh creek, deep water by the dam, although they are currently working on the overflow so it may not be very peaceful out there...bring the heavy weight tackle too, I've seen several musky cruising around there
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the suggestions and private messages. It looks like things are going to warm up this weekend so I hope to take him out. I'll post results. Thanks again.
 

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BTW if I was fishing from shore this time of year I would use small shiners under a bobber.
 

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Springer - if you come up here and want bait..... bring it the only thing around here is "vending machines" anymore .... I don't buy bait unless I can look at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks. That is the one problem with having Cabelas around. I think they drove some of the small shops out of business. That place on Rt. 222 used to have great bait. Now, going into Cabelas for bait is a 20-30 minute ordeal. If I was the Cabelas CEO, I would build a small bait and tackle shop on the other end of the parking lot for people who just need to run in and grab bait.
 

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Rick's Bait and Tackle....great shop and not far from my childhood home.

Man, I haven't fished Ontelaunee and YEARS. We used to haul a lot of crappies out of there, then it got overfished and was kind of pointless for a while. I've never gone back, but I should.
 

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You can get rosie reds at an aquarium store, they are a strain of fat head minnow bread for they're color. Some sell the silver ones too.
 

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Rick's closed 3-4years ago. There was a guy(Fink's) in Blandon but he closed last spring - There are NO local tackle/bait shops left .

Don't know about pet shops in the area.
 

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Yeah, I know Rick's closed. Was pretty much inevitable when it relocated a while back. Was a neat shop, though. Sure miss the old shop in the original building. Walked in and all you could smell were twisters and other soft lures.....creaky floor boards....was a pretty cool shop. I'm assuming Russ's up in Pricetown closed, too...? I haven't been out there in YEARS.
 

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tdd - Sorry I somehow missed Springer's post after mine about no shops and thought you were sending him to Rick's.

Yes.... Rick's was a great shop back in the early 80's when Rick actually owned it - after his nephew took over(86{?} Rick got a "real" job selling cars at Bayliss Olds) it started to go down hill. Around that time - FishinPoles also on 222 closer to Temple opened and was the better shop until he went out of business shortly after they built Walmart across the highway. Russ Blouch's closed a couple of years earlier due to family drama. While they were a great tackle shop they had very little "live bait". Rick's was the last one standing when Kieth bought it and moved to the new location, he did OK even had a bit of resurgence in business.....till Cabela's opened and internet shopping became mainstream. Kieth sold out to the owner of R+R (a daughter - both R's had died) who put her husband in charge of Rick's - nice guy but NOT a people person. Soon after that they sold the R+R location and maybe a year later they closed Rick's too. It was after that that Fink's opened his shop(more like a shed out back) in Blandon and he closed up last spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks guys. I remember Ricks. They had great minnows. I ended up going out yesterday. I stopped at Cabelas for bait and all they had were wax worms. We went to Ontelaunee but didn't catch anything. It might be a bit too early.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Last Minute Advice Requested: I am planning to take my kids fishing tomorrow for crappie. I have a small boat with a 15 hp outboard. I am trying to decide between Nockamixon and Blue Marsh. What do you think? Any pointers?

I have fished Nox before but have not caught many crappies. I have never fished Blue Marsh because I have heard it is very tough to find fish.
 

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I think Blue Marsh could be a bit of a nightmere on a nice Saturday with the pleasure boats. I know at times they won't let more boats on the water until some come off.

I saw the largest school of Crappies of my life in the Nock near the launch closest to 611 on the east side of the lake. Large school of nice fish cruising fast in shallow water. Strange sight, a friend and I managed to pick up a few chasing the school before they went deep.
 
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