Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report — March 17, 2017

Anglers are reminded that all approved trout waters are closed to fishing from March 1 to 8 a.m. on the opening day of trout season, which is April 1 in the southeast region, and April 15 in the rest of the state.

For a schedule of Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission trout stockings, visit www.fishandboat.com.

Anglers also are reminded that the closed season on walleyes began March 14 and will continue until May 6.

Boaters are advised that the mandatory life jacket requirement remains in effect until April 30 for anyone in a vessel less than 16 feet long and in all kayaks and canoes.

NORTHWEST REGION

Lake Erie tributaries — The steelhead bite picked up during the warm weather and snow melt of late February. Upper Elk Creek was yielding steelhead on minnows under floats. Fly-fishermen were doing well on natural egg patterns and other light presentations. Anglers are advised that state hatchery staff stocked steelhead smolts in several area streams and they should exercise care when handling fish that accidentally are hooked.

Kahle Lake (Clarion County) — Mild temperatures in late February spurred the yellow perch and bluegill bites on this drawn-down lake.

Piney Dam (Clarion County) — Some anglers were catching yellow perch at the end of February. The water remains drawn down to about 6 feet below normal pool.

Allegheny River (Clarion County) — Smallmouth bass and a few walleyes were reported in the Foxburg pool in recent weeks.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Anglers are reminded that new creel limits took effect March 1, requiring a minimum of 9 inches on black and white crappies, and a maximum harvest allowance of 20 of either species. A few walleyes were reported near shore and at the spillway. During periods of warm weather, some walleyes were moving to their pre-spawn locations.

Bessemer Lake (Lawrence County)  — Rainbow trout were reported on various baits, including maggots, pastebaits, waxworms and trout magnet jigs.

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — A few boaters took advantage of mild weather in late February and reported nice catches of crappies and white bass.

SOUTHWEST REGION

Glendale Lake (Cambria County) — Crappies and bluegills were being caught from shore through late February.

Monongahela River (Greene, Washington counties) — Anglers were catching walleyes, saugers, and saugeyes through early March, with 3- to 5-inch chubs productive in the lock and dam spillways. Anglers also reported perch on smaller live minnows. The Monessen/Charleroi area was yielding nice numbers of walleyes on stickbaits and white-colored tailed jigs. The Bridgeport area was yielding largemouth bass on crankbaits.

Twin Lakes (Westmoreland County) — Panfish and trout were reported in recent weeks, with salmon eggs and minnows effective for some anglers.

Buffalo Creek (Armstrong County) — The delayed-harvest, artificial- lures-only section was producing trout through late February.

Allegheny River — A muskie bite was reported around the Rosston access area.

Yellow Creek Lake (Indiana County) — Numbers of panfish were reported through late February. Some anglers also were releasing largemouth bass and northern pike.

Two-Lick Reservoir (Indiana County) — Anglers were catching chain pickerel and rainbow trout off Allen Bridge Road.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

Hills Creek Lake (Tioga County) — Don’s Tackle Shack reported March 4 that some area lakes finally lost slush ice. Perch in mixed sizes were hitting live minnows on this fishery.

Hamilton, Beechwood lakes (Tioga County) — Trout anglers were releasing nice catches on waxworms, mealworms, and other live baits, and spinners.

Lyman Lake (Potter County) — Anglers were releasing trout on pastebaits, wax worms, and minnows.

Pine Creek (Lycoming, Tioga counties) — Trout were holding to the bottom and hitting streamers (6-10) in olive and black colors, and nymphs such as Green Weenies and Black Stoneflies in the delayed-harvest, artificial-lures-only sections of this stream.

Bald Eagle Creek (Centre County) — Trout were reported on a variety of baits and spinners from Milesburg to Sayers Lake through the end of February.

Foster Joseph Sayers Lake (Centre County) — Yellow perch and crappies were reported near the Hunter Run Cut area, with live minnows and small plastic jigs under bobbers productive. There were numbers of panfish in areas below the dam.

Spring Creek (Centre County) — Water was in the low 40s and had some color as of March 3, and blue-winged olives (18-22) and midges 22-26) were hatching on milder days. TCO Fly Shop reported that scuds, sowbugs, and small mayfly nymphs were effective, as were small streamers. Hot patterns included Pheasant Tail nymphs (14-18) and Black Zebra midges (18-22).

Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — TCO Fly Shop reported March 3 that water was a good level, had some color and was in the low 40s. Blue-winged olives (18-22) and midges (22-26) were hatching on milder days. Nymphing was the ticket.

Penns Creek (Clinton County) — Water was a little low as of March 3 and in the upper 30s to low 40s, with some color. Slow and deep was the ticket for trout, which were holding in slower water, according to TCO Fly Shop. Nymphs and streamers were productive. Midges (20-24) and blue-winged olives (18-22) were hatching. Effective fly patterns included Hare’s Ear nymphs (14-18), Pheasant Tails (14-20) and Bead-head Prince nymphs (8-12).

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

Little Juniata River (Huntingdon, Blair counties) — Good conditions were reported March 3, when water was in the low 40s and had some color. Fish were holding in slower water and nymphing was consistent during the day. Blue-winged olives (18-22) and midges (20-24) were occasionally hatching on milder days. Green Weenies (12-14) and Blue-Winged Olive Sparkle Duns (18-20) were effective.

Juniata River  — High, off-color conditions were reported March 3 and bass were in deeper water. Crayfish and minnows were hatching. Large streamers were effective.

Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — Water was clear and in the upper 30s to low 40s as of March 3. The Allenberry section was open again after a brief closure. Subsurface presentations with flies such as Zebra midges (18-22) were the ticket.

Holman Lake (Perry County) — This 88-acre Little Buffalo State Park lake was yielding bluegills and crappies on the upper end through late February, with waxworms and small tubes on 1⁄64-ounce jigs the ticket.

Falling Springs Branch (Franklin County) — Anglers were catching recently-stocked trout on trout magnets and flies in the delayed-harvest, artificial-lures-only section.

East Branch Antietam Creek (Franklin County) — The fly-fishing-only section was yielding recently stocked brown and rainbow trout through the end of February.

Big Cove Creek (Fulton County) — The new Keystone Select/delayed-harvest, artificial-lures-only section was providing plenty of action on large trout in recent weeks. Keystone Select waters receive above-average numbers of large trout.

Susquehanna River — Koinonia Guide service reported Feb. 26 that anglers were catching bass up to 16 inches, numbers of walleyes in mixed sizes from sublegal to 20 inches and muskies up to 28 inches in 54-degree water.

NORTHEAST REGION

Delaware River (Pike, Wayne counties) — High water was reported as of March 1, and walleyes were hitting around the Zane Gray PFish & Boat Access area and the confluence of the Lackawaxen River.

Lehigh River (Carbon County) — Anglers were catching trout through the end of February around the Bowmanstown pool.

Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Anglers were catching perch, fall fish and brown trout on a day of record-setting warmth Feb. 28. Just a week earlier, with air temperatures in the 40s, anglers took advantage of last ice by catching smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, sunfish, bluegills, and perch.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County) — Gordon’s Sports Supply reported March 5 that crappies were hitting on jigs and minnows until a cold front moved in March 4. Some bluegills and smaller perch also were reported, along with one largemouth bass approaching 6 pounds.

Monocacy, Saucon creeks (Northampton County) — Milder days at the end of February generated hatches of blue-winged olives on lower sections of both fisheries.

Tulpehocken Creek (Berks County) — Anglers were catching trout on nymph rigs or streamers through late February. Hatches included black caddisflies (18-20), blue-winged olives (18-20), and midges (18-28). Effective fly patterns were Pheasant Tails (16-22), Woolly Buggers, and Cream Midges (20-28).

Reports compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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