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Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – September 23rd, 2016

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission fall trout stockings soon will get underway at select fisheries statewide.

For a schedule, visit www.fishand boat.com

NORTHWEST REGION

Lake Erie (Erie County) — Lake water was still very warm as of Sept. 10, and tributaries were low and clear. A few pre-dawn anglers were catching the occasional steelhead at the lake shore, and walleye boats were picking up a few steelhead in the Second Trench, according to Dan Seaman at Elk Creek Sports Store. Walleyes were still hitting in 65 to 70 feet, but the bite was not as good as it was earlier this summer. Perch were hitting in 52 feet for anglers lucky enough to get them to turn on. Seaman said there were a lot of fish, but they were finding plenty to feed on, whether freshwater shrimp, gobies or sand fleas. One perch angler caught a 20-pound catfish. The fall perch bite can be good in Erie. From now into October is typically a good time to catch smallmouth bass, with minnows and plugs productive. Some anglers reported incidental catches of white bass and freshwater drum.

Presque Isle Bay — The habitat was too warm and weedy through early September for much of a bite on anything, according to Elk Creek Sports Shop. As fall approaches, fishing should improve.

French Creek (Erie, Crawford, Venango, Mercer counties) — Smallmouth bass in various sizes were reported in recent weeks on soft jerkbaits, 4-inch tubes, crankbaits, and jigs.

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — This large, natural lake was yielding largemouth bass and smallmouth bass up to 3 pounds in recent weeks. One angler did well drop-shotting or using a deep water flick-shake presentation. Nice-size bluegills were hitting on the weedlines, along with a fair number of crappies. The crappies were in mixed sizes from 7 to 11 inches, with the occasional 12-incher reported, all on soft plastic shad patterns or slider grubs.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Warm water temperatures slowed the bite for most species except catfish, which have dominated in recent weeks. A few muskies also were reported. The walleye bite was mixed, with some anglers doing okay fishing deep water. One angler reported a limit by anchoring in 18 feet and fishing crawlers on the bottom. A few crappies were reported off the causeway in the early morning hours. Largemouth bass were reported on topwater lures on the weedbeds. A few bluegills, perch and rock bass also were reported, with soft plastics fished over brush in 7 to 13 feet effective.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — The bite was generally slow through early September, but some anglers were catching bluegills and crappie between Launch No. 4 and the marina. One angler caught a 6-pound largemouth bass, and while walleyes were generally quiet, one angler caught a 25-incher.

Shenango River Reservoir (Mercer County) — Large white bass were active in recent weeks, with minnows, jigs and crankbaits productive. Fish were averaging 15 inches for at least one angler. Channel catfish up to 25 inches were active on live bait and crankbaits. Crappies were generally quiet with a few small ones reported, but largemouth bass in nice sizes were active. The hybrid striper bite was spotty but expected to improve as weather cools and the fish start targeting shad.

Justus Lake (Venango County) — A few muskie follows were reported in recent weeks, but there were few hook-ups. One angler did release a 46-inch, 30-pound muskie. Largemouth bass, including a 3-pound, 17-plus incher, were reported on chubs.

Sugar Creek (Venango County) — Rainbow trout and smallmouth bass were reported on crawlers and spinners.

Allegheny River (Venango County) — Nice smallmouth bass up to 19 inches were reported by anglers targeting the faster current areas on crayfish patterns, tubes, or flukes drifted through riffles. One angler released a small northern pike from a weedbed and a 27-inch walleye on a swimbait.

Allegheny River (Clarion County) — A few walleyes and smallmouth bass were reported near the Parker Islands and the mouth of the Clarion River. Channel catfish were hitting in numbers after dark.

Kahle Lake (Clarion County) — Bluegills, yellow perch and a few largemouth bass were reported in recent weeks.

Beaver Creek Ponds Project (Clarion County) — Numbers of panfish and largemouth bass were reported in this series of small lakes.

Upper Clarion River (Clarion County) — Nice numbers of smallmouth bass and some trout were reported in recent weeks.

Piney Dam (Clarion County) — Numbers of channel catfish and smallmouth bass, and a few walleyes were reported. The lake continues to be drawn-down, at about 6 feet below normal pool.

Redbank Creek (Clarion County) — Walleyes, smallmouth bass and trout were reported near the dam in New Bethlehem.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Nice catches of walleyes and channel catfish were reported on the old 422 roadbed in front of Crescent Bay and next to Crescent Bay Island. Jigging a crawler or drift-fishing the bottom was effective.

SOUTHWEST REGION

Ohio River — Walleyes, sauger and smallmouth bass were reported. Anglers also were catching big catfish from boat and shore. One shore angler released a 20-pound catfish on a live bluegill at the Kilbuck access.

Youghiogheny River Lake (Somerset County) — A nice smallmouth bass bite was reported in the low water levels of early September.

Somerset Lake (Somerset County) — Channel catfish were active in early September. All seasons, sizes and creel limits were lifted during the draw-down, which is expected to be completed in 2017.

Quemahoning Reservoir (Somerset County) — Northern pike and largemouth bass were reported in early September, although angling pressure was light.

Cranberry Glade Lake (Somerset County) — Largemouth bass were biting in early September, although heavy weed growth made shore-fishing next to impossible.

Cross Creek Lake (Washington County) — Bass and panfish were active in early September. Larger crappies were reported on mealworms.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

Bald Eagle Creek (Centre County) — Bass were hitting crankbaits and top water lures.

Black Moshannon Lake (Centre County) — Bass were hitting near the fishing pier in early September, with weedless-rigged topwater lures effective. Yellow perch and pickerel were hitting on minnows.

Foster Joseph Sayers Lake (Centre County) — Crappies were reported on minnows and small twister-tails rigged under bobbers under the causeway. Channel catfish were hitting chicken livers in the evening hours near Hunter Run Cut.

Spring Creek (Centre County) — Trout were reported on beetles, ants, grasshoppers and other terrestrials, as well as adult midge patterns. Nymphs such as Green Weenies also were productive.

Hammond, Cowanesque lakes (Tioga County) — Bass were reported on crankbaits, with shad colors and patterns working best. The points at Hammond were productive.

Tioga Lake (Tioga County) — Yellow perch, walleyes, and hybrid striped bass were hitting crawler harnesses in purple, blue, silver and natural baitfish patterns in early September. Walleyes were holding tight to the bottom, while hybrid stripers were hitting higher in the water column. The spillway was yielding numbers of catfish, including a few 30-plus inchers, on crawlers, shiners and stinkbaits.

Hamilton Lake (Tioga County)  — Bass were reported along shorelines on poppers, plastics and live shiners. Brown bullheads were hitting in the evening hours.

West Branch Susquehanna River (Lycoming County) — Anglers were catching smallmouth bass near Williamsport, with tube jigs, small spinners, crankbaits, and hellgrammites productive.

Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — Anglers were catching trout on nymphs in low clear conditions in the early morning and late evening hours of early September. Rising trout were taking Blue-Winged Olives, Midges, and Caddis patterns.

West Branch Susquehanna River (Clinton County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting on crankbaits, hellgrammites, and streamers just below Lock Haven.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

Susquehanna River (York County) — The night bite for catfish was productive in early September, with fish hitting shrimp, crawlers, and commercial catfish baits on the bottom. Bass also were reported from York Haven to Conowingo.

Susquehanna River (Juniata County) — Nice-size smallmouth bass were reported on stonecats, hellgrammites, tube baits and twisters.  Fish were in deeper pockets and areas with large rocks.

Susquehanna River (Dauphin County) — Bass were hitting on topwater lures in early September.

Gifford Pinchot Lake (York County) — Largemouth bass were reported in recent weeks, with fish hitting under bridges and other shady spots.

NORTHEAST REGION

Moon Lake (Luzerne County)  — Shore anglers were catching panfish while boaters reported largemouth bass and pickerel in early September.

Susquehanna River — The deeper holes and the mouths of the tributaries were yielding smallmouth bass on soft plastics and crankbaits in early September.

Lily Lake, Francis E. Walter Reservoir — Some nice crappies were reported in early September, while trout were hitting in the deeper water.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Octoraro Lake (Lancaster County) — As of Sept. 11, the largemouth bass bite had slowed but some bass were hitting on plastic crawlers. Jim Neary’s Bait & Tackle reported anglers were slaying white perch on a variety of baits from crawlers to crankbaits. The catfish bite was good and getting better, with one bass angler releasing a 15-pound channel cat on a spinnerbait. The crappie bite was tough, with anglers having to fish as deep as 22 to 36 feet off suspended trees. Striped bass were hitting by the covered bridge.

Chambers Lake (Chester County) — Catfish were hitting in early September, with early morning and nighttime hours productive. Anglers were doing well with crawlers on slip sinkers fished on the bottom.

Schuylkill River (Chester County) — Bass fishing from around Cromby Power Plant down to the Black Rock Dam was yielding fair catches of smallmouth bass on plastic crawlers and crayfish patterns around weedbeds. Flathead catfish were reported on live bluegills and crawlers.

Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County) — A few bass and panfish were reported, with the bass hitting on jerkbaits and large plastic worms, or jigs fishing around weed beds. Black and purple were the best lure colors. Bluegills and crappies were hitting minnows, mealworms, and waxworms.

Galena Lake (Bucks County) — Shore and boat anglers reported nice catches of catfish on cut bait, chicken livers and other traditional baits fished low in the water column or on the bottom.

Delaware River — Tubes, diving minnows and creature baits in dark colors were catching smallmouth bass in recent weeks. A few muskies and walleyes were reported on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits at bridge piers and deeper-water structure..

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