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North Western Pennsylvania Fishing Reports

Northwest Pennsylvania Fish Report - October 9th, 2015

Lake Erie  — Perch were hitting in nice numbers and some jumbo sizes in 58 feet near the Ohio line in mid-September. One angler reported catching a 7-pound smallmouth bass. Earlier in September, one angler caught some nice walleyes and steelhead in 105 feet near the Canadian line. Lots of smelt and shiners were spotted. Blue-green sunfish-color plugs were productive in the morning, and a willow-blade crawler harness trolled behind a Dipsy diver worked better in the afternoon, with pink colors effective. A few steelhead and brown trout anglers were catching fish near shore and at the mouths of the creeks in mid-September, with spoons and PowerBait productive. Rainfall and cool temperatures drive the steelhead runs. 

Presque Isle Bay — Perch fishing was starting to pick up in recent weeks, with smaller shiners effective. Crappies and bluegills were reported on grubs and small red worms near the Borders Dock. 

Lake LeBoeuf (Erie County) —Largemouth bass were reported on soft plastics. Crappies also were reported.

French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Crawford, Venango counties) —Smallmouth bass and walleyes were reported on spinners and tubes and jigs, with anglers targeting riffles during low water. One walleye angler reported catching 25 fish – more than half over 15 inches and two that measured over 30 inches, on crankbaits during six days in late August. The 30-plus inchers hit just before and on the night of a full moon. In September, he caught a couple of 20-inch walleyes at the mouth of the creek where it meets the Allegheny River. A catfish angler caught a northern pike, a smallmouth bass, and a 20-inch flathead on live bait in late September. Muskies and pike were reported on spinnerbaits and stick baits near Cambridge Springs in late September.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — As weather conditions allowed, anglers reported a few walleyes in about 5 feet of water. Low water in much of September made boat-launching a challenge, but made for nice catches of perch on crawlers in 10 feet off one of the islands. Stumps and humps also were yielding some nice panfish.

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) —Largemouth bass were hitting around weed beds, with some fish reported on slow-sinking plastic worms on this 925-acre natural lake. Big bluegills and pumpkinseeds were hitting in 14 to 20 feet on hard-bottom points and humps, with 1/32nd-ounce jigheads and tiny tubes, or drop-shot rigs, drifted.

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Crappies were biting on jigs, but sizes were running smaller than in past years, according to some anglers. Most were under 9 inches, but a few were 10 to 13 inches.

Shenango River (Mercer County) — The stretch from Sharpsville to Wheatland yielded a couple of channel catfish and some flatheads in recent weeks.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) —The walleye bite tapered off in September. Some anglers were catching a few largemouths and some panfish. 

Justus Lake (Venango County) — Reports on largemouth bass were mixed with swimbaits less productive than live bait. Anglers also reported smallmouth bass, perch and bluegills, but not in any numbers. 

Sugar Creek (Venango County) — A 15-inch brown trout was reported on a yellow spinner, and a 17-plus inch brown on a red worm in recent weeks. Rainbow trout also were reported. 

Allegheny River (Venango County) — Walleyes and smallmouth bass were reported on plastic worms, flukes, and spinnerbaits from Franklin to Fisherman’s Cove through late September. The lunker in a recent tournament was a 4.25-pound smallmouth. One participant caught a 6-plus pound walleye, jigging. The winning weight was five bass totaling 13.54 pounds. Uprooted weeds were becoming a problem for some anglers. During low-water conditions, smallmouths were hitting in shallow, fast-moving riffles and in the three-to-five feet transitions between riffles and deeper pools. Some smallies were in the 17- to 19-inch range. Soft plastics were productive. Catfish, including channel cats up to 22 inches, and flatheads up to 34-plus inches and 15 pounds, were hitting at night.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) —Some nice largemouth bass up to 3 pounds were reported in recent weeks.

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North Central Pennsylvania Fishing Reports

North Central Pennsylvania Fish Report - September 25th, 2015

Cowanesque Lake (Tioga County) — Don’s Tackle Shack reported Sept. 10 that largemouth bass up to 5 pounds and a few smallmouth bass were hitting crankbaits and various soft plastics in green pumpkin. Water was low and clear. 

Hamilton Lake (Tioga County) — Panfish and pickerel were biting, with the bluegills, sunfish and perch hitting chunks of crawlers and other live bait. Pickerel were hitting white spinnerbaits.

East Branch Dam (Elk County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting on nightcrawlers in recent weeks. 

Bald Eagle Creek (Centre County) — Fly-anglers were catching trout on a variety of nymphs, such as Caddis Larvae (16-18), Bead-head Pheasant Tail (12-16), and Stoneflies (6-12) during the day. During the evening hatches, dry flies worked well, including Tan Caddis (14-18), Slate Drakes (10-12), and Blue-Winged Olives (16-22) in the water between Milesburg and Sayers Lake in recent weeks. A few anglers also were catching smallmouth bass. 

Black Moshannon Lake (Centre County) — Bass and pickerel were hitting rubber worms as well as nightcrawlers and minnows in recent weeks. 

Foster Joseph Sayers Lake (Centre County) — Sunfish were biting near Hunter Run Cut in recent weeks, with crawlers and minnows productive. Crappies are hitting minnows and twistertails near the causeway and the fishing pier near Lower Greens Run. The Upper Greens Access is closed for park road construction.

Spring Creek (Centre County) ­— Trout were released on nymphs, including Pheasant Tails (14-18) and Brown Zebra Midges (18-22) in recent weeks. Unweighted nymphs and caddis emergers were productive. Tricos were hatching early in the day and spinners around 9 to 11 a.m. Terrestrials, including beetles and grasshoppers, also were effective. 

Fishing Creek (Clinton County) ­ —Trout were reported on Bead-head Green Weenies on the lower and upper reaches through early September. Water was low, but the deeper holes were holding trout. Some surface action was reported in the evenings, with trout taking Caddis, Cahills, and Slate Drakes, but nymphing remained the most productive in the mornings and afternoons.

Pine Creek (Lycoming County) ­­ ­— The deeper pools were yielding trout to Slate Drakes, Yellow Sallies, Yellow Cahills, Blue-Winged Olivers, Sulphurs, Stoneflies, and Yellow Midges through early September. Rusty spinners and dry-dropper systems also were productive. 

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North Eastern Pennsylvania Fishing Reports

Northeast Pennsylvania Fish Report - October 9th, 2015

Prompton Dam, Duck Harbor Pond (Wayne County) — Some sizeable smallmouth bass were reported in late September, with heavy jigs fished slow and deep the ticket. Crappies and bluegills were hitting on small jigs or crawlers below bobbers in the late afternoon to evening hours.

Lehigh River — Smallmouth bass were biting medium shiners and crawlers through

Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) —Willie’s Bait & Tackle reported Sept. 27 that largemouth bass and striped bass, including some in keeper sizes, were hitting. The largemouth bass were reported on shiners, and the stripers were biting stickbaits.  

Pohopoco Creek (Carbon County) —Trout were hitting on fathead minnows and flies in this bottom-release outflow of Beltzville Lake through Sept. 27.

Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Largemouth bass and a few smallmouth bass were reported on this Big Bass Program fishery, where 15 inches is the minimum creel size. Catfish, a few crappies, and a few perch also were reported. 

Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — The smallmouth bass bite picked up in recent weeks, with anglers finding fish in cover in shallower coves.

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South Western Pennsylvania Fishing Reports

Southwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report - October 9th, 2015

Deer Lakes (Allegheny County) — Some anglers were catching panfish, but bluegills were running small. 

Allegheny River — Catfish were hitting at night around Harmar and Cheswick. One angler lost two sizeable muskies on large shiners just before dark in late September.

Conemaugh River Lake (Westmoreland, Indiana counties) — Nice catches of yellow perch and carp were reported around the Livermore and Altmans Run access areas.

NorthCENTRAL Region

Cowanesque Reservoir (Tioga County) — Water was low at the end of September and fishing was tough, according to Don’s Tackle Shack. The top weight in a recent tournament was five fish totaling 12 pounds, and the lunker was 5 pounds. 

Hamilton Lake (Tioga County) —Perch and bluegills will hitting crawlers and meal worms. Some brown bullheads also were reported. 

Beechwood Lake (Tioga County) — Anglers were catching nice crappies on small jigs and trout through the end of September.

Penns Creek (Centre County) —As of late September, water had cooled to the lower 60s and a few blue-winged olives were hatching. Nymphing was productive, with Caddis and Stonefly tandem rigs working well. Tan Caddis, Hare’s Ear, and bead-head Prince nymphs also were productive.

Spring Creek (Centre County) — Nymphing was productive through late September. Most hatches were done for the year, although a few tricos were spotted in the mornings, and caddis and midges at dusk. Pheasant Tails, tan or olive Bird of Prey Caddis, brown Zebra midge patterns, Walt’s Worms, and olive scud patterns were effective, as were streamers fished along the banks in early morning and late evening.  

Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — Rainfall turned water a little higher and off-color in late September, and trout were feeding on top during evening hours. Caddis (14-16), Slate Drakes (10-12), and Midges (20-22) were productive. Nymphing with bead-head Green Weenies, Pheasant Tails, and Stoneflies was still the best bet during the day.  

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South Central Pennsylvania Fishing Reports

South Central Pennsylvania Fishing Report - October 9th, 2015

Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumber-land County) —Anglers were catching trout in the early mornings and evenings through the end of September.

Swatara Creek (Dauphin County) — Some nice fallfish were reported on spinners. 

Susquehanna River — Smallmouth bass were reported through the end of September, with some anglers releasing nice numbers of fish in the mornings and evenings.

Pinchot Lake (York County) — Largemouth bass were reported on floating and spinnerbaits.

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South Eastern Pennsylvania Fishing Reports

Southeast Pennsylvania Fishing Report - October 9th, 2015

Octararo Lake (Lancaster County) — Jim Neary’s Bait and Tackle reported Sept. 26 that the bass bite was average but improving, with plastic worms Texas- or wacky-rigged in black with red flecks productive. Chatterbaits with trailers also were working. The white perch bite was fantastic on chunks of crawler, downsized crankbaits, or two- to three-inch curly tail jigs. Catfish catch rates were better than average on chicken livers, green crawlers or stinkbaits. A 15-pound 5 ounce channel cat was the winning weight in Neary’s recent tournament. Walleyes and hybrid striped bass were hitting at the covered bridge. 

Lake Luxembourg (Bucks County) — Largemouth bass were hitting crankbaits and spinnerbaits on the upper end through late September. White perch and crappies were biting minnows.

Delaware River — Smallmouth bass were reported around Bulls Island and below Frenchtown on minnows, tubes and grubs.

Falls Township Lake (Bucks County) — A few small-size largemouth bass and walleyes were reported in recent weeks.


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Archive »Fishing Tips

Fishing tips: Catching fish around the challenging “fall turnover”

The turnover is a big change that especially affects deeper lakes, but remember that fish still need to eat!

Eat, hide, repeat: Walleyes in the weeds

Rigging for weed walleyes demands nuance and the right tackle, but properly prepared anglers can expect dynamite action the entire open water season.

Fishing for fall bass? Don’t forget the docks

Docks draw baitfish on sunny days; baitfish draw bass

Fishing tips: Upsize your baits to catch more and bigger fall walleyes

Hit the water now to enjoy comfortable autumn fishing conditions and catch active walleyes.

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