Relentless humidity this summer made slightly higher than normal
temperatures feel more intense, while lack of precipitation created
a drought-like condition through much of the state, according to
AccuWeather meteorologist Joe Margusity. Central Pennsylvania,
especially north of State College, and northeastern Pennsylvania
received half the normal amount of rainfall through much of this
summer while other parts of the state had less of a problem.
Die-offs of trout, bass and even walleyes in some places were
reported. Trout tend to amass at creek mouths when weather is warm
and anglers are encouraged to refrain from targeting them, given
they are already stressed.
Erie — Walleye action had slowed by mid-August, but catches
were still reported in the first and second trenches in 70 to 75
feet. Perch were coming around “the condos” off the peninsula in 48
to 55 feet of water. A few were being boated straight out of Walnut
Creek. Marc Knapp won the Poor Richard’s benefit contest with a
10-pound, 12-ounce, 31-inch walleye for cash and prizes. Chris
Rhoades won the perch division with a 1-pound, 7-ounce, 13- inch
perch. Larrie Craig, of Knox, was second in walleye with a 9-
pound, 12-ounce, 32 incher. Much warmer-than-normal water
temperatures were reported this summer. For those thinking ahead,
steelhead, runs that typically begin in late September may be
delayed, depending on water temperatures and rainfall. For more,
call Poor Richard’s at (814) 474-5623.
Tamarack Lake (Crawford County) — A few muskies are being
caught on this popular muskie water. It gets weedy in summer, but
yields nice numbers of muskies, though big ones are seldom
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Catfish and largemouth
bass are providing the best action. Jason Stair caught a 27-inch
channel cat. Jimmy Taraczkozy, of James-town, caught a 21-inch
largemouth bass in mid-August. The walleye bite has been way down,
likely due to excessively high water temperatures.
French Creek (Crawford County) — Smallmouth bass and walleyes
are reported on this Allegheny River tributary. It is the most
biodiverse inland waterway in Pennsylvania with 80-plus documented
species of fish.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — David Onyshko, 15, of Emsworth,
landed his first muskie — a 47-inch, 30-pounder, on Lake Arthur at
6:30 a.m. Aug. 11. Dan Hartford, of Aspinwall, boated a 19-inch
smallmouth on a silver Gitzit, near shore, in about 5 feet, at 4
p.m., Aug. 13. A fair number of average-sized largemouth bass are
reported, and a few crappies are coming in deeper water. Bluegills
abound, and channel catfish have been active. A few hybrid stripers
are hitting, even in the middle of the day.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — A lot of 12- to 15-inch
largemouth bass are reported. Vera Yost, of Robinson Township,
landed a 4-pound, 25-inch walleye on a Shad Rap. Bob Caszatt, of
Clarks Mills, landed a 5-pound, 27-inch walleye on a plastic worm
while bass fishing. Bluegills and crappies are coming in the
weedbeds in the main lake, and under the main causeway.
Justus Lake (Venango County) — Trout, panfish, bass, and the
occasional muskie and walleye are coming in this small, electric
only water. Try minnows.
Allegheny River — Gerry Sopcak landed a 10-pound, 29-inch
walleye Aug. 9 around the Clinton Dam. A small number of mostly
sub-legal smallmouth bass are reported. The Venture Outdoors
Downtown TriAnglers’ Tom Lippert, of Spring Garden, released a
17-inch channel catfish at the Point, Aug. 17, and Charles Collins,
of Mount Lebanon, released a 12-inch freshwater drum.
Ohio River — Slow angling is reported with a mixed bag of
modest catches, including catfish, carp, freshwater drum, white
bass and the occasional smallmouth bass and walleye, in the back
channel. Try minnows.
Youghiogheny River — Dan Labuda, of Wilmerding, and Mark
Torbic, of Monroeville, caught nice numbers of smallmouth bass, 12
to 15 inches, on white and green tubes and white Senko worms, from
the mouth of Meadow Run down to Cucumber falls in mid-August.
Highpoint Lake (Somerset County) — Michelle and Chuck
Stierheim, of North Fayette, caught four northern pike, including a
22-incher, and missed a dozen others, on silver and gold Williams
Warblers Aug. 14.
Pine Creek (Tioga County) — Low flow made liming and other
water quality restoration on Babb’s Creek, a Pine Creek trib,
easier. Improved hatches already are being seen.
Tioga-Hammond Lake (Tioga County) — An Aug. 14 bass tournament
produced bass from 3 to 9 pounds on plastic worms, tubes and other
plastics. The Tioga side has been slow.
Cowanesque River (Tioga County) — Smallmouth bass and the
occasional walleye have been reported in the Cowanesque River below
Parker Dam (Clearfield County) — A stocking of 1,000 brook
trout was slated for Aug. 17 in this Parker Dam State Park
impoundment. Other species include largemouth bass, sunfish and
brown bullhead catfish.
Poe Lake (Centre County) — A stocking of 1,400 brook trout was
slated for Aug. 18 in this 25-acre electric-only lake in Poe Valley
State Park, which also include shore access. Though renowned for
its trout, other species include catfish, pickerel, sunfish and
perch. Penns Creek and Big Poe Creek are located near the park.
Black Moshannon (Centre County) — Good angling for pumpkinseed
and bluegills, a lot of catfish, and a surprising number of bowfins
were reported on shiners. Largemouth bass angling has been
productive for some anglers.
Bald Eagle Creek (Centre County) — Decent water levels from the
confluence with Spring Creek in Milesburg to Bald Eagle State Park
were high enough in mid-August to enable angling on this limestone
stream. The trico hatch was steady.
F.J. Sayers Lake (Centre County) — Paul Sassano, of Evansburg,
caught a 27.5-inch channel catfish Aug. 11 in this 1,730-acre
reservoir that is fed by Bald Eagle Creek. This Panfish Enhancement
Program lake has 23 miles of shoreline with good access. Other
species targeted here are crappies, yellow perch, tiger muskies,
and largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Canoe Lake (Blair County) — Bass were taking surface plugs and
spinner baits in mid-August in this Canoe Creek State Park
impoundment. The lake is weedy, though the state has been cutting
them. Try minnows.
Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — Water was clear at
mid-month, and the famed white fly hatch was under way, with the
appearance of a few white flies expected to increase. Midges are
abundant. Fish Griffiths Gnats (sizes 24 -26). Tricos are hatching.
Ants and beetles are good along the edges. Woolly Buggers and
Muddler Minnows (sizes 8 -10) work well. Visit
Clarks Creek (Cumberland County) — Ants and beetles, midge and
midge pupa patterns have been working on sunny days. Fish beadhead
nymphs and streamers and egg patterns, otherwise. This tailwater
fishery is often a good choice when other streams are high and
Susquehanna River — Wadable water levels and a good Cahill
hatch were reported mid-month. Clouser minnows and crayfish
patterns work well. Fly-anglers have been landing bass on white
flies in early evening when the hatch comes off near Daupin Narrows
Oppossum Lake (Cumberland County) — The deeper water was
yielding trout to anglers fishing slip bobbers and waxworms.
Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) — Good striper action has
been reported this summer, with fish being caught off the Seven
Points Marina in early morning. Crappies also have been reported
deep on minnows under slip bobbers.
Juniata River (Juniata/Perry Counties) — Smallmouth bass have
been coming on madtoms, hellgrammites, and crayfish. Low water flow
has enabled increased wading activity.
Lake Redman (York County) — Crappies are coming on micro-tube
jigs and small hair jigs in 12 to 20 feet of water. Tip jigs with
Susquehanna River (York County) — Catfish are being caught by
anglers at the catwalk at Brunner’s Island. A few walleye catches
are reported after dark.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Good fishing is reported
with nice-sized smallmouth bass coming in 25 to 40 feet on live
herring. Perch are being caught off the shoals. Catfish are being
caught off the bottom. In mid-August, anglers were beginning to
catch trout up in the river starting at Lechdale Bridge.
Delaware River (Pike County) — Nice catches of smallmouth bass
were reported in mid-August, especially at Roebling Bridge or the
mouths of the tribs, such as Ten Mile River.
Susquehanna River (Bradford County) — Good bass fishing is
reported, and walleyes have been concentrated in the deeper holes
for those who know where to look.
Lehigh River (Carbon County) — Nice catches of smallmouth were
reported in mid-August near Palmerton. Nice numbers of trout have
been landed at the mouths of the tribs, such as Pohopoco. Tricos
and Woolly Buggers have been working for fly-anglers.
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Good panfish action is
reported, though the bass bite on this Big Bass Program impoundment
has been average to good in terms of numbers but a lot of sub-legal
sized fish are reported.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Catfish have been the most
active on this lake. Fishing deep or a little shallower on cooler
nights has yielded some walleyes and bass. The gradual drops are
the good place to target walleyes, and the steeper drop-offs for
Pohopoco Creek (Carbon County) — The creek got an unexpected
2,000 brook trout originally slated for the Lehigh at White Haven
but canceled in mid-August due to warm water. The fish were put
into a one-quarter- mile stretch from the breast of the dam down.
This stream stays cool because of a bottom draw from Beltzville
Lake, which has depths of 100 feet. For more, call Four Seasons at
Harveys Lake (Luzerne County) — Low pressure and slow angling
are reported, though there have been nice catches of perch on
Delaware River (Monroe County) — A good smallmouth bass bite
was reported with anglers catching bigger-than-average fish on live
Susquehanna River (Susque-hanna County) — Water levels were low
in mid-August, though nice catches of smallmouth bass were reported
on hellgrammites and crawlers below the Oakland Dam.
Octararo Lake (Lancaster County) — Good bass angling was
reported in mid-August. Jim Neary caught a 5-pound largemouth at
night on a Venom Super Doo pumpkinseed with 1/16th ounce nose-cone
weight, slipping it in 6 feet under logs. Floyd Thompson boated a
23-inch, 6-pound, 5-ounce largemouth on a Norman Gelco Deep End, at
the base of a laydown in 12 to 15 feet. Neary says catfishing has
been “fantastic.” Crappies are still coming in 25 feet. Perch are
stunted, about 4 to 6 inches. For more, call Neary at (717)
Susquehanna River (Lancaster County) — Channel catfish and
smallmouth bass have been coming in late evening. Anglers say size
12 to 14 white mayflies have been productive, as well as small
white inline spinners. Good spots have been near the head of the
rapids above the Route 30 Bridge and upstream at the head of the
Accomac pool near the railroad bridge.
Lake Nockamixon (Berks County) — Fishing has been slow, except
when breaks in the weather change things. Catfish, bass and
pickerel fishing has been productive. On overcast days, catches of
walleyes and crappies have been reported. Stripers, both hybrid and
true-run, began hitting in mid-August and should continue through
fall, with 4 to 9 p.m. the best time to catch them. Crankbait them.
Call Nockamixon Sports Shop at (215) 538-9553.
Lake Galena (Berks County) — The best bite in August has been
catfish, although stripers are hitting, too. This lake is similar
to Nockamixon, except it is smaller, and late-night fishing is
off-limits. There are fewer stripers here, but cranking for them
around dusk has been productive.
Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County) — Largemouth bass are coming
in early morning and late evening. Anglers report seeing muskies
following their buzzbaits and spinnerbaits.
Cedar Creek (Lehigh County) — This small brown trout stream in
Allentown has provided good action because of it cold spring flow.
Productive areas have been upstream of the Cedar Beach pool in the
Allentown park system.
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg