Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – April 13, 2018

Trout season opened in Pennsylvania’s southeastern counties March 31 and will open in the rest of the state April 14.

For a schedule of in-season and pre-season stockings, visit www.fishandboat.com.

Anglers are reminded that walleyes are out of season until May 5. The catch and immediate release of bass season runs from April 14 to June 15.

Boaters are reminded that the cold weather rule for life jackets is in effect through April 30. For more, visit www.fishandboat.com.

NORTHWEST REGION

Presque Isle Bay — A good perch bite was reported in recent weeks. Although rough weather hampered boating at times, dock anglers, including those on the North Pier, were catching nice numbers of fish.  Boaters, when they could get out, tended to catch bigger perch. Perch rigs tipped with orange minnows were productive. Some small steelhead also were taken by boaters. A few steelhead were hitting Water Puppets and Shimmerlings.

Lake Erie Tributaries — A nice number of steelhead were reported in upper and lower Twenty Mile Creek, in Sixteen Mile Creek below the water plant, and in lower Four Mile Creek. Sizes were running small. Anglers are reminded to be extra-careful when handling smolts, which are the future steelhead fishery.

French Creek (Erie, Crawford, Venango, Mercer counties) — Some nice walleyes were reported before the season closed in mid-March. One 20-inch walleye was released on a Road Runner with a piece of live bait.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — An occasional walleye was reported at the spillway on this fishery that straddles Pennsylvania and Ohio. Crappies and perch were hit or miss, with some anglers reporting success on medium-size shiners, minnows, or 2-inch twister grubs in recent weeks. Some crappies were running 12 and 13 inches, with a few 15 and 16 inchers. A few nice smallmouth bass were released on tubes, skirted jigs and grubs.

Shenango River Reservoir (Mercer County) — During periods of milder weather in recent weeks, bass and crappies were reported.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Some nice bluegills were reported around Launch No. 1.

Kahle Lake (Clarion County) — Largemouth bass, bluegills, crappies and some yellow perch were reported in recent weeks.

Piney Dam (Clarion County) — Walleyes, yellow perch and a few crappies were reported in recent weeks.

Redbank Creek (Clarion County) — Northern pike and a few walleyes (before the season closed) were reported near the dam in New Bethlehem. Pike and a few muskies were hitting at the confluence with the Allegheny River.

Allegheny River (Venango County) — Some smallmouth bass were becoming active on tubes in late March.

Keystone Dam (Armstrong County) — Some nice white crappies were released in recent weeks.

Allegheny River (Armstrong County) — Walleyes up to 26 inches were reported before the season closed in mid-March. Some smallmouth bass and northern pike also were released. Bass were hitting 2.5-inch pumpkin tubes on ¼-ounce jigheads and small ¼-ounce olive hair jigs fished slowly on the bottom in 28 to 20 feet for one angler.

SOUTHWEST REGION

Monongahela River (Greene, Washington counties) — Walleyes were reported on live minnows before the season ended. An occasional muskie was released. Privately-stocked waters on 10 Mile near Jefferson and Clarksville and Daniels Run near Marianna were yielding releases of trout in recent weeks.

Buffalo Creek (Armstrong County) — Anglers were catching trout in the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO)/Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters section in recent weeks.

Allegheny River — Releases of muskies were reported around Templeton in recent weeks. Releases of walleyes were reported before the season ended. Yellow perch were reported near lock #6 at Kelley Station.

Little Mahoning Creek (Indiana County) — Anglers were catching recently stocked brook and rainbow trout in the Catch and Release Fly Fishing Only section in recent weeks.

Pike Run, Dutch Fork Creek (Washington County) — The DHALO sections were yielding some nice trout in recent weeks for anglers targeting deep pools. Plastic crawler patterns were the ticket.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

Pine Creek (Tioga County) — The DHALO/Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters section was yielding trout to nymphs and streamers.

Spring Creek (Centre County) — TCO Fly Shop reported excellent conditions March 30. Water was clear and in the 40s. Hatches included blue-winged olives (18-22) and midges (22-26). Effective patterns included Baetis Emerger (18-22), Walt’s Worm (12-16), Hot Spot Sow Bug (14-16), and Olive and Black Slumpbusters (6-10).

Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — Water levels and color in mid-March were good, and temperatures were in the mid-40s. Trout were hitting black or olive streamers and nymphs, such as Frenchies (14-16), and Princes (12-16). A few anglers were catching trout on Blue-Winged Olives (18-22).  Bass also were biting.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

Little Juniata River (Huntingdon County) — Conditions were blown out March 30, and water was in the high 30s, according to TCO Fly Shop. Blue-winged olives (18-22) were expected to hatch in milder weather. Midges (20-24) were hatching. Effective patterns included Blue-Winged Olive, Bird of Prey Caddis (14-18), Green Weenie (12-14), Bead-Head Pheasant Tail (14-18) and Olive Slumpbuster (6-10).

Juniata River (Perry County)  — Smallmouth bass were hitting near the confluence with the Susquehanna River in recent weeks.

Quittapahilla Creek (Lebanon County) — Anglers were catching nice trout in the DHALO/Keystone Select Trout Waters Program stretch on nymphs and spinners in recent weeks.

Lehigh Canal (Northampton County) — Anglers taking part in the recent Mentored Youth Day caught trout near Walnutport.

Bushkill Creek (Northampton County) — Some nice rainbow trout were reported on butterworms, and golden trout and rainbows were released within Jacobsburg State Park.

Lehigh River (Northampton County) — Chain pickerel around 12 inches were reported in mid-March.

Monacacy Creek (Northampton County) — Nice numbers of brown and rainbow trout were reported on the recent Mentored Youth Day.

NORTHEAST REGION

Beltzville Lake (Carbon County)  — Wacky Worm Tackle Shop reported March 31 that in a recent tournament of 20 anglers, just two bass were weighed – a 2¼-pounder and a 2 ½-pounder. Another angler reported catching a 4-pound, 18-inch largemouth.

Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Wacky Worm reported that perch, crappies and bass were hitting, with the bass biting on bladebaits in the deeper channels.

Mahoning Creek, Lizard Creek, Lehigh River — Trout were reported on all three when the season opened March 31.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

Delaware River — Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle Shop reported March 29 that good weather boosted the striper run mostly downriver, with numbers of 12- to 20-inch fish being taken on bloodworms from the airport south. Bunker and clams were less effective baits. Salem was yielding small stripers, white perch and channel catfish. Walleyes were hitting on minnows at Lamberville.

Schuylkill River — Brinkman’s reported that at the art museum, smaller stripers and some walleyes were hitting on shad bodied baits. Carp were reported on boilies from the art museum to Gladwyne. A few flathead catfish also were reported.

Marsh Creek Lake (Berks County) — Brinkman’s reported nice yellow perch on crawlers, minnows and spinner harnesses tipped with bait. Pickerel were also hitting.

Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County)  — Some nice largemouth and smallmouth bass were reported on minnows and deep-suspended crankbaits March 29.

Octoraro Lake (Chester County) — Jim Neary’s Bait and Tackle reported March 31 that crappie fishing along the rip rap at Spruce Grove Road was productive, with fish hitting on fatheads with 32-ounce jigheads, or medium fathead minnows under slip bobbers. Yellow perch were hitting chunks of crawlers in the same spot.  Bass hadn’t turned on yet, although some small-sized smallmouths were hitting size 7 Rapalas and Husky Jerk baits.

Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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