Fall walleye bite coming on big time across state
Fall came late in many parts of the state, and so did the fall
walleye bite. Anglers continue to catch trout on stocked streams
and lakes statewide. While temperatures and flow were reported good
in most places, fallen leaves were becoming a challenge. For
trout-stocked waters, visit www.fish.state.pa.us.
Erie — Joe Smith, of Eighty Four, landed an 18-pound, 37-inch
steelhead on a single egg at the Elk Creek access area. Zack
Pilarski, of Baldwin, landed a 13-pound, 12-ounce steelhead on Elk
Creek days later. James Thornton Jr., of Bellefonte, landed a
10-pound brown trout on Walnut Creek on a Crystal Meth fly. Leaf
covered creeks were becoming a challenge early this month, and
there still hadn’t been enough heavy rains to increase flow, which
meant runs so far this year have been light to moderate. But
angling pressure remained high.
Kinzua Reservoir/Allegheny River (Warren County) — Brown trout
around 20 inches are being taken on emerald shiners in the
tailwaters, down to Glade Bridge. Legal-size walleyes also are
hitting on shiners being drifted down through the current. In the
lake, walleyes are coming on 1/2 to 3/8th ounce jigs tipped with
shiners in 38 to 50 feet off the points at Sugar and Willow bays
and the Hodge. A few average size northern pike are reported, along
with big white bass.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Large yellow perch and
crappies, 11 and 12 inches, are being caught on minnows around
structure. Walleyes up to 24 inches are coming on Sonars around the
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Good panfishing continues. The
docks are a hotspot for crappies and perch. Sheakleyville Bridge,
after dark, is also yielding nice crappies and bluegills.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Anglers are still targeting hybrid
stripers, with one angler catching a 27-incher one recent
afternoon. Dave Marko of Valencia released a 4-pound ‘wiper’ and
reported seeing an angler catch a 10-pounder. Chris Zeiglers
released a 39-inch muskie while fishing with Harry Marfin of Butler
in late October.
Allegheny River — Big numbers of saugers up to 17 inches are
hitting on bucktail jigs of all colors, plain or tipped with
fatheads, or curly tail jigs. One angler released 40 saugers in one
day. Bob Prenter of Penn Hills caught a limit of walleyes, half
over 15 inches and the rest over 20 inches, all on a 3-inch Sassy
Shad at Lock Three Dam, one evening. Some hybrid striped bass up to
3 pounds and white bass are being released.
Youghiogheny Dam (Somerset, Fayette counties) — Anglers are
crushing walleyes on spoons in 25 to 30 feet. Mike Kalafut of
Hopwood limited out on two successive days. His smallest walleye
was 23 inches.
Highpoint Lake (Somerset County) — Panfish, a few largemouth
bass and northern pike are reported taking minnows.
Loyalhanna Creek (Westmoreland County) — R. J. Kacsuta landed a
16 -inch tiger trout on a red Glow Bug in the delayed-harvest
section. Anglers report nice catches from the October stocking on
Black Ants and Hare’s Ear nymphs, although leaves are building in
the stream. Spin anglers are using 1/8th ounce white Rooster
Indian Lake (Westmoreland County) — Good trout fishing is
reported following the recent stocking. Powerbait and meal worems
are reportedly producing.
Beaver River (Beaver County) — Walleyes are being caught on
white Twisters around the Townsend Dam.
Hereford Manor Lake (Beaver County) — Bass anglers report nice
catches in this trout-stocked lake that also has been yielding a
few saugeye to trollers.
Twin Lakes (Westmoreland County) — Both the Pennsylvania Fish
& Boat Commission and the Twin Lakes Fishing Club stocked trout
in recent weeks, providing steady action in mild weather.
Deep Creek Lake (Maryland) — Many southwestern Pennsylvanians
were heading to this popular lake for excellent catches of
walleyes, bass and big perch off the points.
Pine Creek, Little Pine Creek (Lycoming County) — The October
stocking is still yielding trout, whether anglers are fishing bait,
spin tackle or flies. Fly anglers report doing best on caddis
larvae patterns, midge emergers and midge larvae, such as
Serendipity in various colors. Pheasant Tail nymphs and Hare’s Ear
nymphs also are working.
Slate Run/Cedar Run (Lycoming County) — Good fly fishing is
reported on caddis and stonefly patterns, and when the sun comes
out, Little Blue-winged Olive emergers.
Rose Valley Lake (Lycoming County) — Nice catches of chain
pickerel and largemouth bass are reported on rust- and gray-color
crayfish imitations. This 389-acre reservoir is Big Bass Program
water and also is stocked with walleyes and muskies.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — Very good angling was reported
mid-month on this limestone stream, where temperatures and flow
remain pretty constant. The best flies are Cressbugs, Pheasant
Tails and any other small nymphs, such as Blue-winged Olives and
Baetis patterns. Glenn McConnell guided a customer earlier this
month, who landed more than 20 fish, including an 18-inch brown
Black Moshannon Lake (Centre County) — Good panfishing is
reported in this shallow, 250-acre , spring-fed state park
impoundment that is surrounded by bogs. Black Moshannon Creek’s
delayed-harvest section was stocked with trout last month, though
fishing pressure has remained low.
North Branch of Susquehanna River (Northumberland County) — Good
walleye fishing is reported this month. Fish minnow slow and
Susquehanna River (Northum-berland County) — The fabridam and
PPL dam areas have been yielding nice catches of walleyes on soft
plastics, and bass in the 5-pound range on black and yellow
Hamilton Lake (Tioga County) — This lake in the Pennsylvania
wilds received a bonus batch of 500 rainbow trout from the federal
hatchery, November 7.
Cowanesque Lake (Tioga County) — The Fish & Noat Commission
reports that anglers are catching tiger muskies while bass fishing.
The commission has named this 1,085-acre impoundment near
Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon near the New York border one of the
best tiger muskie lakes in the state. There are 17 miles of shore
Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — Caddis larvae,
mostly green, are profuse and productive when fished on the bottom.
Early black stonefly and sulphur nymphs also work well fished on
the bottom. Sculpins are abundant. Cressbugs and shrimp (scuds)
have washed from the Children’s Lake in Boiling Springs into the
run that connects the lake and the stream, but are not as profuse
in the main stream. Midges hatch year-round, with trout feeing on
the adults and larvae. For more, visit www.coldspring-anglers.com.
Anglers also are catching rainbows and browns on black wooly
buggers or terrestrials, above and below Boiling Springs.
Clarks Creek (Cumberland County) — Clarks Creek is a tail-water
fishery below the DeHart Dam, with good flow and temperatures
year-round. The stream below the dam tends to drop and clear up
quickly after a heavy rain. Midges hatch year-round, with trout
feeding on adults and larvae. Fish Early Black Stoneflies and
Sulphur nymphs off the bottom. For more, visit
Yellow Creek (Blair County) — Three Trout Unlimited chapters
(Blair County, Mountain Laurel and Fort Bedford) built a new bridge
and parking lot near the delayed-harvest , fly-fishing-only section
of this popular trout stream.
Shawnee Lake (Bedford County) — A draw-down in effect until
December has all but eliminated boating, although anglers can still
fish from shore on the 451-acre reservoir off historic Route
Koon Lake/Gordon Lake (Bedford County) — Nice bluegills were
being caught on Koon earlier this month, despite low water from
lack of rain. Bass, bluegills and crappies were coming on nearby
Gordon. Try mealworms.
Susquehanna River (Dauphin County) — Cold Spring Anglers reports
bass are on structure in the middle of the river and in the
shallows in the morning and evening, and anglers are doing well on
brown and orange streamers on sunny days. A good walleye bite is
reported on minnow-tipped jigs near Red Hill Dam. Boaters should be
cautious around Highspire, where the turnpike bridge is being
Juniata River (Huntingdon County) — Smallmouth bass have been
hitting on live bait and artificials. Rock bass have been coming in
big numbers around the Raystown Dam spillway. Try minnows
Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) — Striped bass were being
caught near James Creek earlier this month. Good crappie and yellow
perch bites also are reported.
Juniata River (Mifflin County) — Good walleye and smallmouth
bass fishing are reported on tube and curly tail jigs, small minnow
plugs and live bait.
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Panfishing has been
productive. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are coming on plastic
worms, tubes and live bait. For more, call Four Seasons Tackle at
Mauch Chunk, Pohopoco, Lizard, Mahoning creeks (Carbon County) —
The right combination of factors have made for good fall trout
fishing on these creeks. Flow is good, pressure is low and recent
stockings have made for nice numbers of active fish.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Walleyes are being caught near
the south shore and the Preachers Camp boat access on the north
shore. Striped bass were still coming on stickbaits in the
evenings, earlier this month. Big smallmouths have been coming
early in the morning on crawdad color crankbaits along the shore
and, later in the day, in 15 to 18 feet of water. A good largemouth
bite also is reported.
Lackawanna Lake (Lackawanna County) Big largemouth bass have
been hitting along with panfish and perch. One or two muskies have
been reported on big shiners and on stickbaits. Crappies have
provided some action this month, with bigger ones going to deeper
water on sunny days and smaller ones being caught under the bridge.
Though Ray Cichocki is closing his bait shop after 27 years, he
will continue to guide. Call (570) 510-9219.
Susquehanna River (Luzerne County) — A lot of smallmouth bass
and walleyes are reported, along with the occasional big muskie,.
Walleyes, 15 to 21 inches, have been coming on bucktail hair jigs
with crawlers or rubber twister trailers. The smallmouths are
coming on tubes in brown, pumpkin seed and other dark colors in 10
to 15 feet.
Harveys Lake (Luzerne County) — Nice size largemouth bass are
coming in front of the yacht club to anglers drop-shotting 4-inch
plastic worms. Smallmouth bass are coming on crankbaits. This is a
big stocked trout lake, and anglers report success trolling
Lake Wallenpaupack (Wayne County) — A lot of smallmouth bass,
walleyes and stripers are being caught on shiners. The bass are
hitting on crankbaits, such as Cordells or any little humpbacks, in
10 to 15 foot. If weather and clear water sends them deeper, in 18
to 30 feet, anglers are getting them on spoons or drop-shotting
plastics. Perch are coming on little jigs and fathead minnows.
Walleyes are coming on stickbaits and spoons in deep water.
Tobyhanna Lake (Monroe County) — Big largemouth bass, 3 to 4
pounds, are coming in this deep lake in 10 to 12 feet to anglers
drop-shotting Senko worms.
Duck Harbor (Wayne, Pike counties) — Anglers are catching nice
size trout, and reporting largemouth bass up to 4 pounds and
smallmouth bass on plastic worms and crankbaits.
Little Lehigh River (Lehigh County) — Orville Fine of Bucks
County landed a 23-inch brown trout and two smaller ones on
waxworms. This is a good time of year to catch big trout. Try
waxworms, small stickbaits or crankbaits. In addition to recent
stockings, flooding last year sent trout into the open water and
holdovers are still being landed. The lower section downstream of
the Queen City Coop Nursery and heritage angling area in the
Allentown park area has been fishing well. The Lehigh River
Stocking Association and the Northampton Lehigh Carbon Sportsmen’s
Association stockings earlier this fall are still providing plenty
of action to anglers fishing live bait.
Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) — The crappie bite is on
big-time. Anglers report finding schools around structure, such as
stump fields, ledges and downed trees. A number of slab crappies
have been caught. The best bet is a jig and a fathead minnow or a
minnow hooked through the back. Fatheads also could hook a walleye,
though the walleye bite was pretty quiet earlier this month. The
bass front also has been quiet. This lake is known to yield some
very big pickerel, which should start coming on with colder
Galena Lake (Bucks County) — This smaller impoundment has better
panfish than Nockamixon. Nice catches of sunfish have been
reported. A good walleye population also exists in the lake. The
water around the dam is often a productive spot.
Delaware River — This is a good time of year to target big
walleyes. Smallmouths also should be biting.
Schuylkill River (Berks County) — Good smallmouth bass action is
Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) — A fair largemouth bass bite is
Ontelaunee Lake (Berks County) — Anglers are catching crappies,
and targeting pickerel and muskie in the weed beds. Try big
Valley Creek (Chester County) — Anglers report some success
nymphing for wild brown trout in this catch-and-release stream near
Valley Forge National Historic Park.
Schuylkill River (Chester County) — The Cromby power plant warm-
water discharge upstream of Phoenixville can provide good angling
for smallmouth bass and channel catfish as weather turns cold.
Susquehanna River (Lancaster County) — The slower pools are
yielding good catches of smallmouth bass on shiners and fathead
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg