Weather through much of the state this summer created low flow
and very warm water on rivers, lakes and streams, which made for
tough angling. Though precipitation was just below normal in most
of Pennsylvania, AccuWeather reported that the central and
northwestern parts of the state had about half normal
precipitation. Temperatures have been as much as 10 degrees above
normal, though humidity has been the most relentless, according to
AccuWeather. Trout in streams have been stacking at the mouths of
creeks where water is cooler and oxygenated, and anglers are
reminded that it is inadvisable to target fish that are obviously
Erie — A decent walleye bite is reported in 70 to 80 feet, from
Walnut Creek to the Ohio line and from the lighthouse to “the
mountain.” A few steelhead are being boated in 70 to 80 feet. As of
Aug. 4, Marc Knapp was leading the Poor Richard’s contest to
benefit the S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie with a 10-pound, 12-ounce,
31-inch walleye. Mike Kibbe was leading the perch division with a
1-pound, 5- ounce, 14-inch perch. Bass fishing remains slow. This
hasn’t been a good year for what is normally a world-class bass
fishery. Perch fishing has picked up some in the past week, with
catches in 50 to 55 feet from Walnut to Elk Creek and around the
point of the peninsula.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Mark Dublin, of Valencia, and his
brother-in-law landed three hybrid stripers, 27 to 28 inches,
trolling blue and silver Bomber Long-As, shortly after after
sunset, in the roadbed off the boat rental area early this
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Good catches of crappies and
bluegills are reported, especially around I-79 and below launch
four. Largemouth bass are being caught in the main lake and the
small pond near the marina. Bob Biggart and John Hahka, of
Pittsburgh, each released 5-pound, 22-inch largemouth bass on
plastic worms. Bob Ireland, of Cortland, Ohio, boated a 25-inch,
4-pound walleye trolling a hot n tot.
Shenango Lake (Mercer County) — Woody Knis and Deron Eck won
the recent Dick’s Sporting Goods Keystone Bass Buddy tournament
with a six-fish, 17.88-pound total. Chris Sumansky and Dan Gray
landed the 5.29-pound largemouth lunker.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Rick Jackson landed a
38- inch muskie on a bluegill pattern Legend lure around 4 p.m.
Aug. 1. Tom Syman released a 32-incher on a fire tiger Wiley lure
around the same time the next day. Crappies are hitting around
deeper structure. A 21-inch largemouth bass was caught in six to
eight feet in the deeper weeds by Jim Taraczkozy, of Jamestown.
Allegheny River — Rich Whiteside, of Pittsburgh, released a 47
inch muskie on a Jones crankbait on the middle river Aug. 7.
Ohio River — Eric Hazlett, of Kennedy Township, landed a
39-inch, 30-pound flathead below the I-79 Bridge by Glenfield just
before midnight July 31. He was fishing an 8-inch sucker he seined
out of Montour Run. Catfish and carp are the main catches, with
anglers targeting the mouth of Montour Run, casting toward the
Allegheny River — Hot weather has slowed angling, with small
walleyes, small bass, and nice numbers of flathead and channel
catfish reported at the mouth of Deer Creek, around Braeburn, and
below the dams. Fishing at the Point, in downtown Pittsburgh, the
Venture Outdoors’ Downtown TriAnglers landed mostly catfish
including a 21-inch channel cat Tom Lippert, of Spring Garden,
caught on a chicken liver, and a 19-inch flathead landed by John
Force, of the Northside. Mike Kirshenbaum, of Squirrel Hill, landed
a 13-inch freshwater drum on a crawler. Paul Bajus, of Gibsonia,
released a shad on a crawler.
Monongahela River — Mark Smith, of Jefferson Hills, won the
Shad Lure Bait and Tackle July catfish contest with a 39-pound
flathead from the Monongahela River. Betty Sanutelli, age 84, of
Elizabeth is leading the shop’s August contest with a 9-pound carp
she landed on the Mon Aug. 4. This river drew more of the CITGO
Bassmaster Classic pros than the other two, though the bass bite
was extremely tough, with many short fish being caught and no
lunkers. The Mon’s long pools, unobstructed by islands, and
slower-moving water harbors a larger largemouth bass population
than the other two rivers, though it is still less than 10 percent
of the bass fishery overall.
Lake Chillisquaque (Montour County) — Brittany Berkheimer, of
Mechanicsburg, released a 19-inch largemouth bass July 29 on this
165- acre Panfish Enhancement Program impoundment, which also
yields nice crappies and bluegills.
F.J. Sayers Lake (Centre County) — The Pennsylvania Fish &
Boat Commission reported that six 4-plus pound bass, including a
6-pounder, were caught in a recent tournament at this 1,730-acre
impoundment with 23 miles of shoreline.
Pine Creek/Little Pine Creek/Little Pine Lake (Tioga County) —
Anglers are targeting smallmouth bass in Big Pine Creek. The
draw-down from Little Pine Lake has left mud in Little Pine Creek.
Anglers are hoping that rain, when it comes, will flush some of the
Spring Creek (Centre County) — This limestone stream is
providing some of the only trout action — all browns and rainbows
— in the central Pennsylvania area.
Fishing Creek (Clinton, Centre counties) — Terrestrials and
midges are still taking trout on this limestone stream.
Tioga River (Tioga County) — Good catches of smallmouth bass on
minnows are reported in the Tioga Lake spillway. Walleyes have been
coming on crawlers.
Beechwood Lake (Tioga County) — Largemouth bass are being
caught on 1/32- and 1/64-ounce jigs with feather tail in the early
Gordon Lake (Bedford County) — Nice numbers of bluegills are
being caught off Dam Road (220 Neck Road), where there is shore
access, in this water supply reservoir on the Pennsylvania/Maryland
border. The 260-acre Koon Lake is next to Gordon, which is half its
size. Both lakes are deep. Koon averages 17 feet, while Gordon is
70 in spots. Gordon has the best number of bass, though Koon bass
are typically larger. Besides bluegills, Gordon is known for its
Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — Water was clear as
of early August, especially the run between the children’s lake in
Boiling Springs and the main stream. Dry fly angling above the dam
at Allenberry has been slow, but some big trout have been coming on
small terrestrials and midges. The Run is fishing well on tiny
nymphs during the day. When pressure is light, midges have been
productive on better trout. Caddis larvae (green mostly) abound.
Fish them on the bottom. The white fly hatch should start within
two weeks and is typically in evening and night-time. Spinners fall
after dark. Fish emergers, duns and spinners. The special regs area
gets crowded during this famed hatch. Terrestrials are a good
choice. Trico spinners started falling around 8 a.m. in July and
August, then later in the day as fall approaches. Sculpins are
abundant. Midges in various colors hatch year-round. For more,
Susquehanna River (Dauphin County) — The young-of-the-year bass
population is struggling with the columnaris bacterial outbreak
brought on by warm, low water and, possibly, pollution. A few adult
fish have reportedly been infected, though Pennsylvania Fish &
Boat Commission biologist Bob Lorantas said healthy fish appear to
Susquehanna River (Perry County) — Small numbers of smallmouth
bass, 16 to 19 inches, were reported on hellgrammites and shiners
around Clemson Island. Boaters are advised that water levels are
very low in this area and elsewhere.
Black Moshannon Lake (Centre County) — Slow angling is
reported, with few largemouth bass being caught. Good panfishing is
reported at boat launches three and one. The 250-acre lake is only
about 12 feet deep in the main channel and is overall shallow.
Susquehanna River (Bradford County) — Anglers report good
catches of smallmouth bass on live bait for half a mile in either
direction of the Terrytown Access.
Pohopoco Creek/Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Largemouth are
coming on topwaters, large jig and pigs, and live bait. The panfish
bite is good in 20 to 30 feet, on mealworms or small jigs. Early
morning and into the evening has been best. Trout anglers did well
early this month downstream from Beltzville Lake. The discharge
from the lake tends to keep water cooler during summer months.
Walleyes are coming on crawler rigs or large shiners but most have
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Anglers are doing well on
plastics and topwaters or medium shiners and large crawlers for
largemouth from 11 to 16 inches. The panfish bite is fair, but
catfish, 12 to 20 inches, are coming on stinkbait, chicken livers
Fourth Run/Sand Spring Run/Mud Run/Hickory Run (Carbon County)
— These stocked trout streams in Hickory Run State Park have been
holding fish, which anglers have targeted with some success on
spinners and mealworms. The park also includes stocked lakes. Mud
Run is a delayed-harvest, artificial-lures-only stream. The lower
2.9 miles of Hickory Run, from Saylorsville Dam to the Lehigh
River, is catch-and-release only. The Lehigh River runs along the
western boundary of the park and yields trout, bass and panfish.
Francis Walter Dam, about 20 minutes from the park, offers trout
and warmwater fishing.
Susquehanna River (Luzerne County) — Small bass are being
Ceasetown Reservoir (Luzerne County) — Largemouth bass are
reported, though action has been inconsistent.
Delaware River (Monroe County) — Smallmouth bass are coming
between the Smithfield Beach and Delaware Water Gap Recreation
Area, with some anglers fishing from canoes. Carp and catfish also
are being caught from shore in the recreation area.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Channel catfish are hitting
on the bottom on live bait. Good panfishing continues. Smallmouth
bass angling remains good in late morning along the shoreline on
crawlers, tubes and plastic worms. Walleyes on worm rigs, and
stripers on herring, are hitting from about midnight to 3 a.m.
Hunters Lake (Sullivan County) — Large bluegills are being
caught on waxworms in 20 to 25 feet. Trout also are being taken in
the same depths.
Susquehanna River (Wyoming County) — Smallmouth bass have been
reported in the pools and riffles, and channel catfish have been
coming in deeper water. Live bait has been most effective.
Octararo Lake (Lancaster County) — Low rainfall and hot weather
have made for slow angling, except for the catfish bite, which is
good from both land and boat, on crawlers, chicken livers and dough
ball bait. Bass are hitting in the mouths of coves on Tiny
Torpedoes and poppers, as long as anglers fish before 8 a.m. Don
Ricci, of Nottingham, landed a 3-pound, 10-ouncer on a 7-inch Yum
worm. Some anglers are fishing Texas-rigged Yum Woolly Bugger lures
in 25 feet. Crappies are only coming in 25 to 30 feet around
submerged trees. Jim Neary’s catfish tournament is Aug. 26 from 7
p.m. until 1 a.m. and pays first through third place and lunker.
Call (717) 529-2488 for info.
Safe Harbor Dam (Lancaster County) — Jerry Diem, of Lititz,
caught a 32-inch carp on a crawler near the dam at the confluence
of the Conestoga and Susquehanna rivers July 2.
Nockamixon Lake (Bucks County) — If you want to catch bass,
fish slow and deep, about 20 feet, preferably with a Carolina rig.
Stripers are turning on, chasing bait at certain times of night.
This will be the pattern until fall, so have another rod with a
spoon or a stickbait or a crankbait rigged, and cast in the
direction where bait is blowing through. The best hours are 5 to 9
p.m. The occasional walleye is coming on fatheads, fished deep.
Fatheads are also nabbing crappies, which are a nice size. Good
catfishing is reported.
Galena Lake (Bucks County) — The walleye bite is better here
than at Nockamixon, for those targeting the dam end of the lake.
There are more weeds, and Galena is a little shallower than
Nockamixon. Good catfishing is reported.
Schuykill River (Berks County) — Good smallmouth bass fishing
is reported on top waters, jigs, worms and minnows.
Ontelaunee Lake (Berks County) — Big numbers of panfish are
reported along with lower numbers of bass.
Maiden Creek (Berks County) — Carp, a few crappies, and good
numbers of small panfish have been reported.
Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) — Nice bass are being taken on
artificial lures after sunset.
Struble Lake (Chester County) — Paving work is scheduled for
Aug. 12 to 29, though the lake will remain open to anglers.
Decent-sized bass are being taken near the dam on minnows and
Chambers Lake (Chester County) — Pickerel have been caught near
the stumps at the back of the lake, with fatheads working best.
Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County) — Nice-sized yellow perch
have been caught in the shallow water on crawlers. Largemouth bass
are being released on plastic worms.
Schuykill River (Chester County) — Bass fishing has been slow
because of high water temperatures. The Lock 60 Canal Catfish
tournament produced channel cats, 22 to 36 inches.
Unami Creek (Montgomery County) — Panfish and lower numbers of
bass are being caught. Fly anglers report catching fish on
grasshopper and cricket patterns.
Green Lane Reservoir (Montgomery County) — Bass have been
caught along with crappies, especially in the deeper water. A
151/2-inch crappie is the largest reported. It was caught on a
leech. Try minnows.
Tuscarora Lake (Schuylkill County) — Nice numbers of bluegills
and smallmouth bass are coming, with anglers fishing with bait in
early morning and evenings to escape the heat.
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg