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 dam.
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 Tails.
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 trout.
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 deep.
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 crankbaits.
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 access.
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 www.coldspringanglers.com
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 30.
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 constructed.
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 (570)325-4364.
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 Rapalas.
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 weather.
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 reported.
Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) — A fair largemouth bass bite is reported
Ontelaunee Lake (Berks County) — Anglers are catching crappies, and targeting pickerel and muskie in the weed beds. Try big minnows.
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 minnows.
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg