Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – Oct. 13, 2017
Anglers are urged to exercise care when wading streams containing wild brown and native brook trout because they have begun their annual spawning ritual. Anglers should avoid stepping on redds (nests) or stressing spawning trout by fishing over them. Streams and lakes are being stocked at this time of year.
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Lake Erie — The perch bite picked up in late September, with big numbers hitting off Walnut towards Ohio. Nice catches were coming in 75 feet off Shade’s Beach, and in 64 feet off Shorewood and Twelve Mile Creek. Walleyes were hitting in about 70 feet off Shade’s and elsewhere around the lake. A slower perch bite was reported out of North East Marina, although the walleye bite was reportedly good in 60 feet over 105 to 110 feet. A few smallmouth bass were reported on tubes and grubs. Steelhead were hitting in the lower parts of the creeks, but water was too low and clear in late September for movement into the streams.
French Creek (Erie, Crawford, Venango, Mercer counties) — Bass were biting in the low water levels of late September, and while conditions were too low and warm for walleyes, prior to a heat wave that ended the month, one angler caught a 20-inch walleye on a large creek chub in a suspended float presentation.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Anglers had to deal with a carp die-off in recent weeks, and warm conditions at the end of September that made for tough walleye fishing. The crappie bite was slow, but some catches were reported by night anglers fishing off the causeway, and crappies and perch were being caught in 9 to 11 feet on the north end. The north end also was yielding largemouth bass on jigger craws from around pads and wood cover. Shore anglers were catching largemouth bass on jigs at the north end. Smallmouths were taking crankbaits. Some large catfish and a 49- inch flathead were reported around the lake, and anglers fishing in the Shenango River below the dam were catching walleyes.
Woodcock Creek (Crawford County) — A few smallmouth bass up to 22 inches were reported by shore anglers, with a Jitterbug successful for one.
Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) — This natural lake was tyielding northern pike and small muskies to boaters trolling spoons. Crappies were biting minnows off brush piles.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Some crappies and a few largemouth bass were reported through the end of September, but conditions made for a poor walleye bite.
Shenango Reservoir, Shenango River (Mercer County) — White bass and hybrid striped bass were feeding on shad in low water in late September, and top-water action was good. Shad-pattern crankbaits either cast or trolled were effective. Numbers of smallmouth and largemouth bass also were hitting, as were catfish. Crappies were scattered, and walleyes were spotty in warm conditions. The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission planned to move the Oct. 2 trout stocking originally scheduled for below the Shenango Dam to the Shenango River upstream of the reservoir, from New Hamburg to upstream of Big Bend. The commission stopped stocking the water immediately below the dam because PCBs were found in the fish there.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — Bass in mixed sizes up to 18-plus inches were hitting in late September, with black Jitterbugs productive for some anglers. Floating weeds were a problem, which some anglers tried to avoid with bottom-crawling baits.
Youghiogheny River (Fayette, Westmoreland counties) — Small-mouth bass were hitting on soft plastic minnows.
Green Lick Reservoir (Fayette County) — Walleyes were hitting on live bait in the shallows as conditions allowed, and some big catfish were reported in recent weeks
Jacob’s Creek (Fayette County) — Panfish and largemouth bass were hitting live bait below Bridgeport Dam. The dam is a special regulation area for bass and panfish.
Acme Dam (Westmoreland County) — Panfish and largemouth bass were biting live bait in recent weeks.
Monongahela River (Greene, Washington counties) — Walleyes were reported in tributaries and lock and dam areas, although numbers were better than sizes as many fish were sub-legal. Channel catfish were reported at Maxwell lock and dam, the mouths of Dunkard Creek and the Cheat River.
Dutch Fork Lake, Cross Creek Lake (Washington County) — A fairly steady bass bite was reported in recent weeks, with largemouths up to 4 pounds hitting at both fisheries. Soft plastics and other lures were effective, especially in the early morning and evening hours.
Canonsburg Lake (Washington County) — Catfish were hitting on live bait and chicken livers, especially in the evening and nighttime hours.
Slate, Cedar runs (Tioga County) — Anglers were making nice catches of trout in good conditions at the end of September. Grasshoppers, black ants, and beetles were effective patterns, as were Green Weenies and midges.
Cowanesque Lake (Tioga County) — Tiger muskies were hitting large white and orange curly tail jigs, and live bluegills, with early morning hours – midnight to 3 a.m. – productive. The spillway was yielding panfish, brown bullheads, and smallmouth bass along with a few walleyes up to 28 inches and muskies in recent weeks. Most walleyes were running 15 to 22 inches.
Tioga Lake (Tioga County) — Walleyes, catfish, and hybrid striped bass were hitting large live shiners near the dam and connecting channel in recent weeks. The spillway was yielding smallmouth bass and walleyes, and catfish were hitting on livers, cut baits, and large shiners.
Hammond Lake (Tioga County) — Bass were hitting through late September, with mornings and afternoons the best bet for anglers fishing top-water presentations, like whopper ploppers and poppers. Small-profile soft plastics and jigs in black and blue, green pumpkin and blue craw were effective worked around weedbeds.
Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — Water was low and clear and in the 60s in late September. Trout were taking small mayfly, caddis, and stonefly nymphs in the early morning and midday hours. Frenchies (14-16), Gold bead-head Pheasant Tails (12-16), and Green Weenies (12-16) were productive.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — Water was low and clear and in the mid-60s in late September and anglers were catching trout sporadically on tan Caddis (14-16) and Blue-Winged Olive (18-22) dry flies in the afternoon hours. Trout also were hitting nymphs, including Green Weenies, Midge Larvae and Walt’s Worms, as well as dry droppers with a Caddisfly on top and a wet ant underneath.
Susquehanna River (Dauphin County) — The walleye bite was starting to pick up at the end of September. Smallmouth bass were hitting topwater lures, and catfish were taking live minnows, shrimp, and cut bait.
Conodoguinet Creek (Cumberland County) — Panfish were hitting live bait and catfish were biting cut bait in recent weeks.
Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — Trout were hitting spinners and dry flies in recent weeks.
Susquehanna River (York County) — A few walleyes were reported in recent weeks, along with large catfish in the evening hours.
Lake Redman (York County) — Largemouth bass were reported in recent weeks.
Holman Lake (Perry County) — Panfish were hitting on live bait.
Juniata River — Anglers were catching channel catfish and smallmouth bass in recent weeks.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Striped bass up to 12 and 14 pounds were hitting live bait and artificial lures in late September, with the early morning hours productive. Smallmouth bass in mixed sizes, few largemouth bass, some nice pickerel, and crappies and other panfish also were reported, along with walleyes up to 9 pounds.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Anglers were catching largemouth bass up to 5-plus pounds on crankbaits in recent weeks.
Lake Winola (Wyoming County) — Trout were hitting pastebaits fished off the bottom in recent weeks.
North Branch Susquehanna River — The bass bite was mixed through late September, with some anglers catching fish up to 18 inches well on jerk baits, swim baits, topwaters, and grubs. Walleyes up to 27 inches were reported.
Schuylkill River (Berks County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting tubes and plastics in the Birdsboro area in recent weeks.
Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County) — Bluegills and crappies were biting mealworms, wax worms, minnows and small jigs, in and around structure alongshore in recent weeks. The bass bite was mixed, with some hitting jigs, spinners and crankbaits, and large black, purple, dark green or pumpkinseed plastic worms. Live minnows, crayfish and crawlers also were effective.
French, Pickering, East Brandywine, and West Valley creeks — As conditions allowed, trout were biting hoppers, ants and crickets in recent weeks.
Schuylkill River — Smallmouth and largemouth bass were hitting near the Cromby Power Plant outflow. Crankbaits and live bait were productive. Catfishing also was good during September, with anglers taking large flatheads on bluegills and nightcrawlers, and channel catfish on chicken livers. Anglers are reminded to stay clear of the fish ladder when fishing the Black Rock Dam area. Violators caught within 100 feet of the ladder will be cited.
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg