Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – Oct. 27, 2017
Fall trout stockings continued this month, although some were postponed during spates of unseasonably warm weather.
For a schedule, visit www.fishandboat.com.
Anglers are urged to take extra care on wild trout streams to avoid disturbing brook and brown trout redds.
Boaters are reminded that the mandatory cold weather PFD requirement takes effect Nov. 1 and continues through April 30. Boaters in vessels less than 16 feet in length or in kayaks or canoes must wear a life jacket.
Lake Erie and tributaries — The lake was yielding a few walleyes in mid-October, with the water off Shade’s beach, about 50 feet down and 65 to 85 feet productive. Perch were also hitting off Shade’s, about 73 feet down. Perch also were reported off the Border Patrol dock. The first substantial run of steelhead into the tributaries occurred in mid-October, sending fish into the upper reaches of most streams. Steelhead about 6 to 8 pounds were reported, along with the occasional 12-plus pounder.
French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Crawford, Venango counties) — Some walleyes were reported on jigs in mid-October, despite low water. One angler caught smallmouth bass by drifting creek minnows along a current shoot that ran into a deeper pool.
Woodcock Creek Lake (Crawford County) — A few walleyes were reported in recent weeks
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Some nice crappies were reported on minnows and soft plastic shad patterns in early October, but walleyes were scarce, although a few catches were reported off the causeway at night. A 28-inch walleye was reported. Some small perch and catfish also were reported.
Justus Lake (Venango County) — Largemouth and smallmouth bass were reported in early October, with fish hitting on large creek minnows drifted outside weedlines and around coves.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Some nice walleyes were reported around Launch 2, and crappies were hitting in the marina in recent weeks. A few bass up to 5-plus pounds were reported on spinnerbaits.
Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — A spate of warm weather in mid-October kept hybrid striped bass and white bass active, and feeding on baitfish. Crankbaits and shad-patterned lures were taking fish both deep and shallow waters. Nice-size smallmouth bass were starting to move to shallower water in mid-October. Channel catfish were hitting and chasing schools of hybrid stripers. White and black crappies were reported in shallow water, with fish taking soft-plastic shad patterns in various colors. A few perch were reported. Walleyes were hit or miss.
Allegheny River — Smallmouth bass were becoming active in mid-October, with one angler catching nice ones over 16 inches just before dusk. Some fish were hitting in shallow water around structure, while others were coming on soft swim baits on 1⁄8-ounce jigheads at the tail end of the larger pools in about three to four feet. Still others were hitting along shallow riffles in the late-afternoon hours. Crankbaits and soft jerkbaits were productive. With floating weeds becoming a hassle, some anglers were recommending weedless-rigged 4-inch soft plastics. Two anglers caught nice numbers of smallmouths on tubes in the Oil City pool.
Dunlap Creek Lake, Dunlap Creek, Virgin Run Dam (Fayette County) — In mid-October, anglers were catching recently-stocked trout in the lakes and in the catch-and-release, fly-fishing-only section of the creek.
Meadow Run (Fayette County) — The Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section was yielding recently stocked trout in mid-October.
Keystone Lake, Northmoreland Lake, Loyalhanna Creek (Westmoreland County) — Anglers were catching stocked trout in early October, Loyalhanna Creek is a Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters stream, so it received a larger-than-normal allotment of big fish.
North Park Lake (Allegheny County) — Anglers were catching catfish on crawlers and other baits in early October.
Allegheny River (Allegheny County) — Smallmouth bass and channel catfish were reported around the mouth of Deer Creek in early October.
Ohio River — Walleyes and smallmouth bass were beginning to hit in early October on minnows, crawlers, and soft plastics bounced off the bottom.
Youghiogheny River (Fayette County) — Smallmouth bass, freshwater drum, trout, and rock bass were reported in recent weeks.
Monongahela River (Washington County) — Walleyes were beginning to bite along with smallmouth bass, channel catfish and a few hybrid striped bass in recent weeks, with live minnows, jerkbaits, and soft plastic minnow-patterned lures effective.
Cowanesque Lake (Tioga County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting plastics in a drop-shot presentation in mid-October. A few muskies also were reported.
Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — Low clear water at times in October made for challenging fishing. Some anglers were using Caddis Stonefly and Mayfly nymphs and Green Weenies (12-16) Gold-bead Pheasant Tails (12-18) and Princes (12-16) in the early morning hours.
West Branch Susquehanna River — Bass and panfish were hitting live baits, crankbaits, and streamers through mid-October.
Bald Eagle Creek (Centre County) — Trout were hitting Tan Caddis-pattern dry flies and nymphs, and as Green Weenies as conditions allowed in recent weeks.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — This limestone stream was yielding trout on nymphs, including midge larvae patterns, Green Weenies, and Walt’s Worms, as conditions allowed in recent weeks. Dry-dropper presentations with caddis on top and a wet ant underneath were effective. Trout were rising periodically to Blue-Winged Olives (18-22) and Tan Caddis (14-16).
Foster Joseph Sayers Lake (Centre County) — Crappies were reported near the causeway on minnows and twister tails, and bass were hitting near old road beds and in the upper parts of the lake. Crappies were hitting at the spillway, as were yellow perch, with crawlers and minnows the tickets.
Stevenson, Bush dams (Cameron County) — Panfish and bass were hitting various lures and live baits in recent weeks.
Juniata River (Juniata County) — Some nice smallmouth bass were reported on shiners, mad toms, and hellgrammites during low-flow conditions in October.
Juniata River (Huntingdon, counties) — Low conditions at times in October made for tough fishing. Some anglers were catching smallmouth bass in the morning and evening hours.
Holman Lake (Perry County) — Nice numbers of bluegills were hitting on this Little Buffalo State Park impoundment in recent weeks. Some largemouth bass and catfish also were reported. Because the lake is drawn down, there are good opportunities for shoreline fishing.
Susquehanna River (York County) — The night-time catfish bite was productive in recent weeks with numbers and sizes reported on shrimp and other baits, including crawlers fished off the bottom. As temperatures cooled, bass fishing picked up from Yorkhaven to Conowingo.
Hunters Lake, Mountain Lake (Sullivan County) — Recently stocked trout were hitting on various baits, including gold spinners and spoons, in recent weeks.
Pohopoco, Aquashicola, Buckwa, Mauch Chunk creeks (Carbon County) — Nice catches of trout were reported in recent weeks.
Lehigh River — Smallmouth bass and trout were reported from Jim Thorpe downstream to the Lehigh Gap in recent weeks, with stickbaits and spinners particularly effective.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — The bass bite was mixed in recent weeks – slow for most anglers but okay for others. Striped bass and walleyes were hitting in the evening and early morning hours.
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Perch, crappies and other panfish were biting in recent weeks, with boaters doing well near the swimming area. Micro jigs tipped with fathead minnows or waxworms were productive. Catfish were hitting off the shoreline area of boat launch A in recent weeks. Pickerel and bass were active on this Big Bass Program water, where the minimum creel size is 15 inches.
Susquehanna River (Luzerne, Columbia counties) — As conditions allowed, walleyes and smallmouth bass were reported.
Lily Lake (Luzerne County) — Some bass were reported on this 160-acre impoundment in early October.
Schuylkill River (Montgomery County) — Bass, catfish and carp were reported in recent weeks.
Delaware River (Bucks County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting throughout the river in early October, with anglers doing well on various baits, including minnows, poppers, soft plastic grubs, and spinners. Striped bass and walleyes also were reported.
Chambers Lake (Chester County) — Perch were hitting off the rock wall near the dam earlier this month, with minnows under bobbers effective for some anglers. On this Panfish Enhancement Program lake, the minimum creel size for perch is nine inches.
Leaser Lake (Lehigh County) — Periods of cooler weather earlier this month made muskies active.
Delaware River (Philadelphia County) — Catfish were reported on the lower reaches. Bunkers, clams, crawlers, chicken livers, and bagels were taking fish. Small striped bass were hitting bloodworms, chicken livers, crankbaits and poppers.
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg