Lake Erie tributaries — Anglers were catching steelhead up until Jan. 6 when frigid weather moved in and locked up the tribs. Steelhead had been hitting in open water at the new year, with nice catches reported on Elk Creek, north of Route 98. Walnut Creek also was yielding steelhead but not in the same numbers as Elk. Crooked Creek was fishing well north of Route 5 and above the nursery waters on Abel Road.
Presque Isle Bay — As of Jan. 7, ice was forming but wasn’t thick enough to support hard-water angling, according to Poor Richard’s Bait & Tackle.
Fairview Gravel Pits (Erie County) — Mild weather before the new year also made for good fishing at this recently stocked spot, up until Jan. 6, when cold temperatures moved in.
French Creek (Erie, Crawford, Venango, Mercer counties) — Walleyes were hitting through the new year for anglers throwing floating jig heads tipped shiners on this Allegheny River tributary. Targeting the current breaks on various parts of the stream was productive.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Poff’s Place reported ice was forming Jan. 6, and a few anglers had begun venturing onto the lake. Anglers were catching bluegills from the Jamestown docks.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Ice anglers fishing the bays in early January caught bass, including a 22½-inch largemouth that weighed 5½ pounds on a shiner, according to Appalachian Trails bait and tackle shop. Crappies were reported on minnows, maggots and waxworms. A nearly 2-pound crappie was iced around the new year. Several northern pike also were reported, including once close to 30 inches. Muddy Creek is typically the first arm to freeze, followed by Shannon Run, and then Swamp Run. As of Jan. 6, more than two dozen anglers were fishing the lake, which is located in Moraine State Park.
Brady’s Run Lake (Beaver County) — When skim ice wasn’t a problem in recent weeks, open-water anglers were catching trout on soft plastics and pastebaits.
Beaver, Ohio rivers — Although fishing pressure has been low, anglers were targeting walleyes near the dams as conditions allowed.
Quemahoning Reservoir (Somerset County) — This 900-acre reservoir is closed to ice fishing. As open water allowed in late January, shore anglers were catching legal-size walleyes and northern pike in the channels. Yellow perch up to 13 inches were reported, with live minnows the ticket. Brown trout also were reported, but anglers are reminded that this fishery is not open to trout harvest in the extended season.
Laurel Hill Lake (Somerset County) — Trout were hitting at the top end of the lake in early January.
Youghiogheny River (Fayette County) — As conditions allowed, smallmouth bass were hitting from Connellsville to Dawson for anglers targeting the deep, slow pools with a live or salted minnow, retrieved slowly.
Dunlap Creek Lake, Virgin Run Dam (Fayette County) — Anglers continued to catch stocked trout in recent weeks.
Hills Creek, Hamilton, Beechwood lakes (Tioga County) — Don’s Tackle Shack reported heavy ice-angling pressure as of Jan. 7. Perch and bluegills were hitting on jigs tipped with maggots and waxworms on all three lakes, as were bass and chain pickerel on medium shiners and fatheads on tip-ups. Hamilton was also yielding trout. Perch on Hills Creek averaged 7 to 9 inches, with the occasional 12- to 13-incher reported. Nearby Hammond and Cowanesque lakes hadn’t formed fishable ice as of Jan. 7, but were expected to within days.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — Snowmelt and rainfall left water off-color and high on this limestone fishery in early January, but anglers were catching trout on streamers (6-10) in olive and black, and on standard nymphs, such as Bead-head Pheasant Tails. The lower reaches were yielding trout on small streamers (6-10) and spinners, with morning and midafternoon the best times to fish.
Susquehanna River (Juniata County) — As conditions allowed, smallmouth bass were reported on hair jigs along the rivers’ edges, with minnow-sized jerkbaits effective for some anglers.
Holman Lake (Perry County) — Panfish were reported on redworms, waxworms, and other small baits at this Little Buffalo State Park impoundment in early January. Anglers were doing well targeting fish around structure.
Stoever’s Lake (Lebanon County) — Coble’s Bait Shop reported anglers were catching fall-stocked trout and some nice bluegills and other panfish as ice allowed in recent weeks. Bass also were being iced.
Lions Lake (Lebanon County) — No ice fishing is allowed on this township-owned 13-acre lake.
Memorial Lake (Lebanon County) — As ice conditions allowed, anglers were catching bass and crappies and other panfish in recent weeks.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Hunter’s Gallery reported Jan. 8 that anglers were catching big numbers of perch on jigs and pinhead minnows in the coves.
Peck’s Pond (Pike County) — Perch, sunfish and numbers of pickerel were being iced on jigs as of Jan. 7.
Prompton Dam (Wayne County) — Sunfish, perch and pickerel were being iced as of Jan. 7.
Duck Harbor Pond (Wayne County) — Hunter’s Gallery reported that nice perch were being iced on grub-tipped jigs on this 210-acre lake as of Jan. 8. Anglers fishing larger live bait were catching largemouth bass.
Susquehanna River (Wyoming County) — Walleyes and muskies were reported around Whites Ferry as conditions allowed in recent weeks.
Mauch Chunk (Carbon County) — Wacky Worm tackle shop reported that ice angling was in full swing Jan. 7, and anglers were making nice catches of chain pickerel up to 24 inches, decent sunfish, perch and a few crappies, and a few bass 12 to 14 inches. The perch and panfish were hitting small jigs tipped with waxworms or mealworms, and the pickerel were reported on tip-ups with minnows.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — The drawdown made for difficult conditions as shore ice was forming as of Jan. 6.
Tobyhanna Lake (Monroe County) — Ice anglers were catching chain pickerel, perch and sunfish and a few bass as of Jan. 7.
Brady’s Lake (Monroe County) — Wacky Worm tackle shop reported anglers were catching sunfish and perch on small grub-tipped jigs, as well as pickerel up to 22 inches on tip-ups with minnows.
Delaware River (Bucks County) — Walleyes were biting jigs and creature baits around structure in deep water in recent weeks.
Nockamixon Lake (Bucks County) — Crappies were schooled up around submerged timber in recent weeks.
Marsh Creek Lake (Bucks County) — Gordon’s Sports Supply reported Jan. 7 that ice was still forming but wasn’t thick enough for fishing. In the open water of the previous week, some anglers were getting into some nice perch whole others targeting muskies were releasing fish measuring in the range of 30-plus inches.
Struble Lake (Chester County) — Ice was forming but unfishable as of Jan. 7, but in the open water of prior days, anglers were reporting good perch action.
Delaware/Susquehanna rivers — Anglers were targeting smallmouth bass on the Delaware the weekend of Jan. 7 but the Susquehanna was seeing little action.
Reports compiled by Deborah Weisberg