Boaters are reminded that from now through April 30, they are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket at all times while in vessels of less than 16 feet in length and in all kayaks and canoes.
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission’s fall/winter trout stocking schedule is posted at www.
Lake Erie — Poor Richard’s Bait & Tackle said perch were hitting in 30 to 35 feet out of Walnut Creek in mid-November, although most anglers had put away their boats for winter, so reports were minimal.
Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — Crappies and bluegills were reported off the marina docks in recent weeks, although the crappies were running small. Perch migrated into the bay in early November and were hitting in mixed sizes in about 15 feet of water at known spots such as the east and west piers, waterworks, Dobbins Landing, and border patrol dock. Golden shiners were effective, followed by emerald shiners. The north pier also was yielding some walleyes.
Lake Erie tributaries — As of Nov. 19, streams had gone more than a week without rainfall and were low and clear. On west-side streams, steelhead had spread out and were as far up Elk Creek as McKean, while on Walnut Creek, not many had made it above the waterfall, because the pool there has gotten so deep. Anglers seemed to be doing best in low-light conditions, such as early in the morning and late in the afternoon. On the east side streams, Four Mile and Seven Mile were yielding decent numbers of steelhead. The marina basin at Walnut Creek opened to shoreline fishing in early November, but the north wall on the stream remained closed.
French Creek (Erie, Venango, Crawford, Mercer counties) — Walleyes up to 25 inches were reported during the high, muddy waters of early November, with red and black-shad patterned crankbaits effective for one angler.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Surface water temperatures were about 53 degrees Nov. 9, and the walleye bite was generally slow, although one angler reported catching an 8-pound walleye on a Silver Buddy. Crappie action was mixed, although anglers were catching keepers from the Jamestown Marina docks, where bluegills also were hitting. Catfish were biting.
Woodcock Creek Lake (Crawford County) — Walleyes were reported in recent weeks from the deeper sections of the lake, which is being drawn down for the winter.
Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — This 925-acre natural lake was yielding largemouth bass in 55-degree, dark coffee-colored water in early November. Most fish were under 2 ½ pounds, although a 20-incher was reported on a shaky worm. Smallmouth bass up to 3 pounds were reported, with one angler doing well on shaky worms dragged on the bottom.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — The panfish bite was slow, but fishing pressure was light. The docks opened to fishing in early November, and some panfish were hitting there.
Shenango River Reservoir (Crawford County) — Crappies up to 14 inches were hitting on live minnows in about 15 feet of water in recent weeks, with the late afternoon hours until dark productive. Some anglers did well jigging around the deep stumps. White bass and hybrid stripers were schooling in recent weeks and actively feeding. Smallmouth bass and largemouth bass were feeding on shad that were moving to deeper water. A few walleyes also were reported.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — High water in early November moved smallmouth bass to late-fall locations. They were hitting in shoreline pockets near deeper runs and pools. Rabbit fur jigs, tube jigs, flukes and grubs were effective for some anglers, while others did well on spinnerbaits and chatterbaits. Smallies were running between 14 and 19 inches. A few walleyes and northern pike also were reported. Leaves on the surface of the water were vexing some anglers.
Kahle Lake (Clarion County) — Yellow perch, bluegills, crappies and a few largemouth bass were reported in recent weeks.
Upper Clarion River (Clarion County) — Nice smallmouth bass and walleyes were reported in recent weeks.
Piney Dam (Clarion County) — Some nice walleyes, yellow perch and a few crappies were reported on this fishery, which has been drawn down to about 6 feet below normal pool.
Allegheny River (Clarion County) — Walleyes, muskies, and northern pike were reported from Emlenton to East Brady in recent weeks.
Allegheny River (Forest County) — Walleyes and northern pike were reported in the Tionesta pool in recent weeks. Boat and shore anglers were doing well on live minnows.
Tionesta Lake (Forest County) — Muskies were reported by boaters, trolling the lake. Anglers fishing the outflow were catching yellow perch, channel catfish, and muskies.
Yellow Creek Lake (Indiana County) — Legal-sized northern pike were reported by shore anglers in recent weeks. Juvenile muskies and numbers of panfish also were reported.
Blue Spruce Lake (Indiana County) — Trout were reported in recent weeks, with live bait, such as waxworms and crawlers, the ticket.
Keystone Power Dam (Armstrong County) — Amid light fishing pressure, anglers were reporting nice numbers of panfish. The courtesy docks were removed for the season.
Monongahela, Cheat rivers, Ten Mile Creek (Greene, Washington counties) — Walleyes were reported from both rivers in recent weeks. Medium and large minnows, soft plastics, and large jigs topped with twister tails were the ticket. White bass were biting sporadically. Ten Mile Creek on the Mon River around Marianna and Clarksville was yielding trout stocked by local clubs.
Pine Creek (Tioga County) — Anglers were catching trout on Caddis Pupa patterns and streamers in good water levels in mid-November.
Beechwood Lake (Tioga County) — Anglers were catching trout, a few crappies and a few walleyes in recent weeks.
Hamilton Lake (Tioga County) — Trout were hitting on a variety of baits and flies.
Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — Anglers were catching trout on nymphs, such as small Mayfly and Stonefly nymphs, in the low, clear water of mid-November. A few anglers were fishing streamers along the stream banks and in the deeper pools.
West Branch Susquehanna River — Walleyes were hitting live bait and responded to trolling techniques in recent weeks.
Bald Eagle Creek (Centre County) — Trout holding tight to the bottom of the streambed or along stream banks were hitting nymphs, such as beadhead Pheasant Tails and Greene Weenies in recent weeks. Olive streamer patterns, spinners, and live minnows were productive in the deeper pools and along the banks. The water just below Milesburg was yielding bass on spinners and streamers.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — Trout were hitting Pheasant Tail nymphs, Green Weenies, and other nymphs in recent weeks. Small streamers (6-10) in olive or black also were productive. Spin fishermen were doing well on the lower reaches.
Susquehanna River — Koinonia Guide Service reported Nov. 19 that bass up to 20 inches were released, with a variety of baits from tubes and other soft plastics to jigs and minnows productive. Walleyes up to 17 inches were hitting. Flathead catfish and a 39-inch muskie were released.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Hunter’s Gallery reported Nov. 20 that numbers of perch, including jumbos, were hitting on fathead minnows and grubs. Some striped bass also were reported on extra-large minnows and deep-diving crankbaits. Walleyes were scattered.
Delaware, Susquehanna rivers — Smallmouth bass were active in recent weeks and biting 2½-inch tubes.
Prompton Dam, Gouldsboro Lake (Wayne, Monroe counties) — Hunter’s Gallery reported a nice smallmouth bass bite in recent weeks, with anglers doing well on tubes.
North Branch Susquehanna River (Columbia, Luzerne counties) — Smith’s Outdoor Connection reported Nov. 19 that anglers were catching nice numbers of smallmouth bass on soft plastics, and walleyes, including keepers up to 20 inches, on minnows. The shop also reported that some big bucks were taken by archers in recent weeks, including a 153-inch, 8-point buck that weighed 280 pounds field-dressed, and a 173-inch buck.
Lake Took-a-While (Luzerne County) — Anglers were catching nice numbers of stocked trout in recent weeks.
Briar Creek Lake (Columbia County) — Nice numbers of trout were reported in recent weeks.
Susquehanna River (Susquehanna County) — Muskies were hitting large crankbaits in the Hallstead area.
Susquehanna River (Bradford County) — Much-needed rainfall raised water levels in mid-November, spurring the smallmouth bass bite. Black jigs were effective in murky water.
Levittown Lake (Bucks County) —Anglers were picking up some trout and panfish in recent weeks.
Delaware River — Catfish and perch were hitting in recent weeks.
Falls Township Community Park Lake (Bucks County) — Panfish and largemouth bass were hitting on live minnows through mid-November.
Susquehanna River (Dauphin County) — Walleyes and muskies were hitting from Millersburg to Harrisburg in recent weeks.
Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) — An angler released a 35-inch tiger muskie on a fire-tiger patterned crankbait in recent weeks.
Delaware River — Smallmouth bass, walleyes, catfish and small striped bass were reported around New Hope in recent weeks. The striped bass were hitting live eels. Other effective baits included live minnows, grubs, stickbaits and tubes.
Lake Galena (Bucks County) — Crappies were hitting minnows in recent weeks.
Lake Luxembourg (Bucks County) — This Core Creek Park lake was yielding white perch on mealworms, small minnows and grubs in recent weeks.
Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County) — Anglers were picking up yellow perch, smallmouth bass, and chain pickerel in the deeper water in recent weeks.
Pennypack Creek (Philadelphia County) — Fly-anglers were catching trout on nymphs, fishing pastebait and waxworms, while bass and sunfish were hitting minnows and small twister tails.
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg