Despite fine fishing, pressure drops due to hunting

Hunting season has made pressure light on waterways and lakes
statewide. Anglers are reminded to wear blaze orange when fishing
streams and other waters in state game lands or anywhere hunters
may be out. Many lakes are now below normal pool, having been drawn
down for the winter. While that makes for more limited boat access,
it can enhance shore angling. For trout-stocked waters:
www.fish.state.pa.us.

NORTHWEST REGION

As of late November, the peak of the steelhead run still hadn’t
begun, and Erie was hammered with low temperatures and snow.
Tributaries remained on the low, clear side, causing anglers to
speculate that there would be no big, fresh runs, or they would
come very late. Angling pressure was extremely light over the
Thanksgiving holiday weekend, given conditions were so
disappointing, although spring-like weather came with the start of
deer season. Some anglers were reporting good catches of steelhead
on more fishable days. Steve Brugger, of Lake Erie Ultimate Angler,
and Bob Scholl landed six fish between 10 and 14 pounds on shrimp
patterns and Green Butt Skunks on Twenty Mile just before
Thanksgiving. The shop’s Ray Travis landed some 9- to 12-pounders
on a variety of small dark nymphs on a guide trip below the Conrail
tubes on Elk Creek the week before.

Kinzua Reservoir/Allegheny River (Warren County) — An extra
helping of small trout was an unwelcome gift for anglers fishing
the river, especially those targeting walleyes last month. Many
complained that they couldn’t get to the walleyes because they were
feasting on trout, or trout were taking their bait first. Anglers
having the most success were fishing down past the village of
Starbrick. Some river anglers reported nice catches of smallmouth
bass, up to 3 pounds last month.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Decent walleye action is reported
on the north shore railroad bed, the old 422 roadbed off the
Crescent Bay boat rental, and in the spillway below the breast,
which is yielding some 20-plus inchers.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Ray Boughner, of Milledgeville,
landed a 5-pound, 22-inch largemouth off the marina docks on a
crappie rig last month. The water off the docks also was yielding
excellent catches of crappies and perch. Bluegills were coming
around the Sheakleyville Bridge.

Neshannock Creek (Mercer County) — Water flow and clarity were
decent at the end of last month, with some anglers continuing to
catch average-sized trout on nymphs and streamers, dead-drifted
with slow retrieves.

Oil Creek (Crawford County) — Fishable conditions were reported
last month. Woolly buggers, streamers fished with weights, Pheasant
Tail nymphs, Copper Johns, Black Stonefly nymphs and micro-spawn
imitations are recommended.

French Creek (Crawford County) — Jeff Greiner, of Baldwin
Township, landed a 29-inch, 9-pound walleye on a silver jig around
Cambridge Springs in November.

Pymatuning Reservoir/Shenango River (Crawford County) —
Walleyes, 17 to 24 inches, are coming off the sandbars to anglers
jigging Sonars and in the river below the dam on minnows. Big
crappies in the lake are hitting around structure and in the marina
on jigs and minnows.

SOUTHWEST REGION

Allegheny River — Walleyes moved in around the Highland Park dam
last month, with anglers catching them over 21 inches on bucktail
jigs, any color, with or without minnows. Big numbers of saugers
are also reported, along with white bass. Mike Kirshenbaum, of
Squirrel Hill, landed a 12-inch largemouth bass, a 12-inch chub,
and two 24-inch carp, about 10 pounds each, on mealworms, fishing
off the wooden dock between the 7th Street and Clemente bridges on
the Northside. Ken and Charles Will caught two smallmouth bass, a
17 inch, 2 pounder on a jig and plastic shad combo, and a 161/8
inch, 2 pounder on a white twin willow blade spinner around
Freeport in late November.

Youghiogheny Reservoir (Fayette, Somerset counties) — The best
walleye and smallmouth bass fishing of the year was reported in
November, with big girthy walleyes about 5 pounds being boated.
Mike Kalafut, of Uniontown, reported several limits in a week of
fishing.

Youghiogheny River (Fayette County) — Good trout fishing was
reported last month at the confluence with Meadow Run, and up into
the run, where nice numbers of fish and very little pressure were
reported.

Dunlap Lake (Fayette County) — Chuck Patch, of Smock, reported
good catches of trout on Powerbait and red worms in the coves,
especially the cove near the boat ramp, and along the shore in this
small impoundment last month.

Deep Creek Lake (Maryland) — Limits of jumbo perch are reported,
plus nice numbers of big crappies.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

Little Pine Creek (Lycoming County) — The delayed-harvest water
was yielding nice catches of trout to anglers fishing midge
emergers and Black Stonefly nymphs. With dropping temperatures,
fish become sluggish and anglers do best dead-drifting their flies
with a slow retrieve. For more, call McConnell’s Country Store at
(570) 753-8241.

Cedar Run/Slate Run (Lycoming County) — Anglers on these
special- regulation mountain streams were still doing well on midge
emergers and Black Stonefly nymphs last month.

Spring Creek (Centre County) — Excellent conditions prevailed
late last month, with good flow and color reported on this
limestone stream. Catches of wild browns were reported on Cressbugs
and midge nymphs.

Rose Valley Lake (Lycoming County) — This 389-acre
walleye-stocked lake has been yielding nice catches of chain
pickerel on minnows. This is also Big Bass Program water.

Curwensville Reservoir (Clearfield County) — Big numbers of
crappies and perch, though not many jumbos, are reported on jigs
and minnows in the weedbed areas and around other structure. Good
walleye fishing continued through the end of last month from
previous years’ stocked fish. P.J. Bressler Bait and Tackle planted
about 2,000 eight- to 10-inch walleyes Nov. 8. A couple of small
muskies also were reported.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — Low, clear
conditions prevailed late last month. Caddis larvae (mostly green)
were profuse. Cold Spring Anglers recommended fishing them and
Early Black Stoneflies and Sulphur Nymphs on the bottom. Sculpins
were reportedly abundant. Big numbers of cress bugs and shrimp
(scuds) had washed in from the Children’s Lake in Boiling Springs
to the run connecting the lake and the Breeches, but were less
abundant in the main stream. Various color midges hatch year
around; trout feed on the adult and larval stages. For more, visit
www.coldspringanglers.com

Clarks Creek (Cumberland County) — This stream is a tailwater
fishery below the DeHart Dam, so it stays predictably clear and
cool year-round. The stream drops quickly after rain events, making
it fishable when others in the area are not. Water had a slight
tannic stain late last month. Midges hatch year-round, with trout
feeding on the adult and larval stages. Early Black Stonefly and
sulphur nymphs are recommended fished on the bottom.For more:
www.coldspringanglers.com

Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) — Tim Grace, of Striper Guide
Service, reported good action on lake trout up to 15 pounds last
month, downrigging with small flutter spoons in 25 to 35 feet.
Quality largemouth and smallmouth bass were still being caught last
month, but the striper action had slowed.

NORTHEAST REGION

Susquehanna River (Luzerne, Lackawanna counties) — Walleyes, 16
to 20 inches, and smallmouth bass are hitting on hair jigs and
deep-diving crankbaits or live bait.

Delaware River (Pike, Monroe counties) — Nice catches of
walleyes are reported, with fish running a little bigger here.
Catches of 18 to 24 inches are being made on hair jigs and
deep-diving crankbaits and live bait.

Beltzville Reservoir (Carbon County) — Hybrid and true striped
bass were coming at the end of last month in 23 to 30 feet on live
bait and big Smithwick plugs. Smallmouth bass were being caught on
spoons and live bait in 18 feet. Perch and panfish were coming in
18 to 20 feet on little grubs and live bait.

Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Smallies and largemouth bass
continued to hit through the end of November. Largemouth were
coming in 15 to 18 feet around underwater brush piles. Smallmouth
bass were being boated in 18 to 20 feet around rocks.

Harveys Lake (Luzerne County) — Nice largemouth bass and trout
were being caught late last month. Anglers were trolling small
Rapalas and live bait for trout, and drop-shotting around the
drop-offs in 23 and 24 feet, up to 28 feet, for the largemouth
bass.

Lake Henry (Lackawanna County) — Largemouth bass were hitting
late last month, but sizes were typically small. Big ones here were
about 2 pounds. Calico bass, eight to 10 inches, were coming on
jigs and live bait around deeper wood.

Lehigh River (Luzerne, Wyoming counties) — Nice catches of trout
were reported last month on nymphs and other subsurface flies.

Susquehanna River (Northumber-land County) — The fabridam and
PPL dam areas yielded nice catches of walleyes on live bait and
soft plastics last month.

North Branch Susquehanna River (Northumberland County) — Good
walleye fishing continued through the end of last month on live
bait.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Nockamixon Lake (Bucks County) — Good catches of crappies were
reported on jigs and fathead minnows in 15 to 18 feet, where
anglers also were picking up pickerel, 4 pounds and over, and a few
sub-legal bass. The Fish & Boat Commission recently stocked
44,000 black crappie fingerlings. For more, call Nocka-mixon Sports
Shop at (215) 538-9553.

Lake Galena (Bucks County) — Low water levels made for good
shore angling last month. Nice catches of crappies were reported on
jigs and fathead minnows around structure, over old road beds and
around timber.

Hay Creek, Tulpehocken Creek, Manatawney Creek (Berks County) —
Rainfall and cooler weather made for good conditions on these
trout-stocked creeks in mid-November. Anglers did well on live
bait, such as wax worms, mealworms, small minnows and crawlers, as
well as salmon eggs, natural color spinners, bead headed Hare’s
Ear, Pheasant Tail and other nymphs.

Antietam Lake, Antietam Creek (Berks County) — Decent morning
and evening stocked trout bites were reported in the lake on
Powerbait, corn, waxworms and minnows, or spoons and spinners.
Conditions on the creek have been good most of the season and
anglers have scored on live bait and small spinners.

Sacony Creek (Berks County) — This creek yields stocked trout
and some wild brown trout. Anglers last month were fishing minnows,
wax worms, crawlers, stickbaits and spinners. Flies with a little
flash also were working. Small Pheasant Tail nymphs, Scuds and
Hare’s Ear nymphs were recommended, along with large streamers.

Ontelaunee Lake (Berks County) — Big numbers of crappies were
taking minnows and tube jigs last month. Plastic baits were taking
some nice bass.

Maiden Creek Lake (Berks County) — Small bass and bluegills were
caught last month by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission,
which advises anglers that a huge tree is laying on a large rock
below the blue falls area, and to be alert to flood debris and
strainers. Live bait has been working for the few anglers who are
fishing the creek.

Susquehanna River (Lancaster County) — A good smallmouth bass
bite was reported last month near Marietta. Tube and hair jigs were
productive on the west bank, where water downstream of the PPL
Brunner Island power plant in York County makes water a little
warmer.

Little Lehigh River (Lehigh, Montgomery counties) —
Above-average flows were reported mid-November, though the area
around the police academy was productive on spinners and live
minnows.

Leaser Lake (Lehigh County) — This 117-acre impoundment was
stocked with trout this fall, and yielding nice catches on
mealworms and Powerbait.

Green Lane Reservoir (Lehigh County) — A good crappie bite was
reported last month on jigs and minnows. A few bass were still
being caught on minnows, and some perch, off the Knight Road
causeway. Channel catfish were being caught on minnows and
crawlers.

Deep Creek Lake (Lehigh County) — A few bass were coming last
month. This is usually a good lake for crappies, fished with jigs
and minnows around timber and weeds.

Delaware River (Northampton County) — Good flow made for better
boating and a good smallmouth bass bite on medium-sized shiners or
small spinnerbaits and tubes last month. Fish the ends of riffles
and beginning of pool areas for the best luck.

Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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