Erie — Catches varied with conditions, with mostly hold-over
steelhead being caught, though a few fresh-run fish were reported.
Single eggs and minnows or minnow patterns have been productive.
Fly anglers were doing well on sucker spawn at Trout Run mid-month.
Craig Nemchik, of White Oak, caught 12 steelhead, including a
9-pounder on single eggs and skein, on Seven Mile and Twelve Mile
creeks. Dave Dudukovich released a 27-inch, 7-pound steelhead on
gold-beaded white sucker spawn on Elk Creek Jan. 13. Upper Elk and
Walnut creeks were reported in decent shape recently though angling
pressure was light. Later last month, good fishing was reported on
the Grand, Rocky and Chagrin rivers in Ohio for stray Pennsylvania
steelhead and Little Manistees, a late winter-spring run strain of
Upper Allegheny River (Warren County) — Muskie guide Red
Childress released two muskies, 44 and 45 inches, on big shad
bodied lures in the upper Allegheny late last month. Walleyes,
including some 20-plus inchers, are coming on large emerald shiners
in the river from the tailwaters of the dam to below Tidioute. A
lot of rainbow and brown trout, 16 to 26 inches, are being released
on emerald shiners. Rick Long, of Warren, landed several keeper
walleyes and trout up to 24 inches on the Route 59 side at the Big
Bend access below the dam.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Bob Sarnese, of Butler, caught a
7- pound channel catfish, a few 18-inch largemouth bass, and more
than a dozen crappies up to 1 pound each over brush in deep water
before the ice disappeared.
Harbor Acres Lake (Butler County) — A recent stocking of 2,000
brown and brook trout, including many 12 inchers, has generated
angling action on this “extended season” lake in State Game Land
Shenango River (Mercer County) — Crappies up to 13 inches are
being picked up in the river under the Route 18 bridge on jigs and
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Anglers are targeting perch and
panfish in open water off the docks in the marina and bluegills in
open water around the Sheakleyville Bridge.
Dennison Run/Porcupine Creek/Oil Creek (Crawford County) — Small
mountain streams, such as Dennison Run on the Allegheny River and
Porcupine Creek, a Hemlock Creek tributary, are in prime shape for
those targeting wild trout. Oil Creek is a bit on the high side but
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Ryan Gault landed a 29-
inch northern pike in the river below the dam Jan. 17. Crappies and
a few walleyes also are coming in the river, although crappies in
the lake are bigger. Except for windy days that made the lake too
rough, crappies have been caught around the marinas, and walleyes,
in a little deeper water, but not off shore.
Oil Creek (Crawford County) — Nice numbers of hefty rainbow
trout were landed at the Petroleum Center on nymphs mid-month.
East Branch Clarion River (Elk County) — Mike Leskowski, of Oil
Creek Outfitters, reports releasing rainbows up to 14 inches and
small brown trout on Triple Threat streamers in the
fly-fishing-only section below the East Branch dam.
Allegheny River — Excellent walleye fishing is reported at the
Highland Park Dam and at Clinton. Ed Lightner, of Shaler, boated
and released more than a dozen walleyes ranging from 12 pounds, 3
ounces to 4 pounds, plus half a dozen sauger, 2 to 3 pounds, and a
3-pound, 5- ounce saugeye, jigging minnows below the Highland Park
Dam. His fishing partner Larry Dew, of Shaler, boated and released
walleyes, also on chartreuse jigs and minnows. John Markos, of
Shaler, boated a nice number of saugers and a 2-pound walleye on
the same rig. The warm-water discharge of the power plant at
Cheswick is yielding walleyes, saugers, crappies, and hybrid
striped bass. Anglers also report nice walleyes catches at Clinton,
Kittanning and Freeport.
North Park Lake (Allegheny County) — Excellent open water
angling on trout is reported, thanks to multiple stockings in
recent months. Steve Visomirski, of Shaler, landed 207 rainbows in
one day on soft plastic worms and on jigs and maggots.
Glendale Lake (Cambria County) — Ed Earnest, of Bellwood, and
his brother Ray, of Ashwood, caught a dozen perch, 6 to 8 inches,
on small minnows, in the open water under the causeway bridge at
Wyerough branch midmonth. Earlier in the month, they caught 45
crappies, 6 to 10 inches. Before shore ice melted, anglers reported
nice catches of bass, 12 to 14 inches, and northern pike over the
submerged roadbed. Steve Smithmeyer, of Flinton, caught several
12-inch perch and released a 30-inch pike. He released six northern
pike, most of them 20-25 inches plus a 34 incher.
Ohio River — The walleye bite is picking up below Dashields Dam
and sauger under the West End Bridge.
Upper, Middle and Lower Deer lakes (Allegheny County) — All
three lakes were stocked with trout Jan. 13.
Lower Hereford Manor Lake/Raccoon Lake (Beaver County) —
Hereford Manor and Raccoon were stocked with trout recently. Both,
along with Brady Run Lake, was slated for stocking Jan. 31.
Dunlap Lake (Fayette County) — Nice catches of stocked trout
were reported mid-month.
Youghiogheny River/Meadow Run (Fayette County) — The river is
running very high and fast. It was slated for a trout stocking Feb.
1. Meadow Run has been fishable, but anglers report few
Indian Lake/Twin Lakes (Westmoreland County) — Anglers report an
excellent afternoon trout bite. Craig Nemchik, of White Oak,
released 66 rainbows up to 16 inches on Fireballs, crawlers and
maggots over three days.
Curwensville Reservoir (Clearfield County) — Good walleye
fishing is reported, although anglers keeping undersize and over
the limit fish has been an issue. PJ Bressler’s Bait and Tackle has
stocked about 3,000 walleyes over the past two years, including
many yearlings, and has made habitat improvements. It also has
stocked a nice number of channel catfish. Crappies and perch have
been coming. Stacy Bressler landed a 17-inch crappie and a couple
of big perch in the past several weeks.
Little Pine Creek, Pine Creek, Slate Run (Lycoming, Tioga,
Potter counties) — A few anglers fished last month, although
lingering ice presented difficulties accessing the stream. On nice
days, when temperatures approached 50, midge and early black
stonefly hatches were reported.
Little Pine Lake (Lycoming County) — Extra trout were planted in
an effort to bolster catch rates that have failed to rebound since
last summer’s draw-down and restocking.
Beechwood Lake (Tioga County) — Half ice and half open water was
reported at the end of the month. Shore anglers were catching perch
Nessmuck Lake (Tioga County) — The same conditions prevailed as
at Beechwood. Mostly crappies and perch and a few bass were
reported late last month.
Stony Fork Creek (Tioga County) — Good action on stocked trout
was reported late last month.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — Spotty angling was reported last
month on Early Black Stonefly nymphs, cressbugs, and caddis larvae
Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — Decent flow and
clear water was reported late last month. Nice days saw Early Black
Stoneflies in the early afternoon. Midges hatch year-round. Green
Caddis larvae and sculpins were abundant. For more, visit
Mauch Chunk Creek (Carbon County) — Good trout fishing is
reported because of good runoff and warmer-than-usual
Aquashicola Creek (Carbon County) — Good angling for holdover
stocked trout is reported.
Duck Harbor (Luzerne County) — Ice was hanging on late last
month, though shore ice had begun deteriorating. Ice anglers were
catching nice bass, pickerel and bluegills. The largemouths were
running 2 to 4 pounds and coming on tip-ups and live bait and jigs.
Pickerel were averaging 22 to 24 inches.
Lake Shohola (Pike County) — Good catches of largemouth and
smallmouth bass were reported, along with some pickerel and
good-size perch. Anglers have been catching bluegills through ice.
Ice angling continued through the end of last month, though shore
ice was deteriorating by Jan. 21.
Delaware River — Anglers are catching nice walleyes, 18 to 22
inches, jigging live bait, especially in the Zane Gray area in Pike
White Oak Pond (Wayne County) — Crappies have been coming on
jigs and live bait after dark.
Long Pond (Wayne County) — Nice bass and trout have been coming
through the ice.
Susquehanna River — High water yielded good angling for walleyes
and muskies. Anglers were jigging for walleyes and reporting
catches up to about 20 inches. Muskies were coming on bucktail and
hair jigs and running 42 to 44 inches.
Chambers Lake (Chester County) — Keith Engle landed a 25-inch
chain pickerel on a minnow in this 90-acre impoundment in Hybernia
County Park Jan. 7. This first-rate largemouth and smallmouth bass
fishery was built 12 years ago as a secondary water supply and
opened to fishing seven years ago. During recent Fish & Boat
Commission surveys, the smallest smallmouth caught was 15 inches,
and 19 largemouths 15 inches or longer were collected. Chain
pickerel up to 25 inches, channel catfish up to 27 inches, and
panfish, including crappies, yellow perch and bluegills also can be
Octoraro Lake (Lancaster County) — When water reached the
mid-40s last month, the crappies turned on. The public boat launch
has been a hot spot, better than near the 472 bridge. Anglers were
catching them in droves along the rip-rap, on slip bobbers in 6 to
10 feet, on double-rigs with shad darts straight up or curly tails.
An ideal set-up is a white 1-inch curly tail, and two-tone colors
on the bottom. Just throw out, pop the cork, and retrieve in
one-foot increments. Some fish have been 15 to 17 inches, but most
have been 7 to 11 inches. Some days have seen 25 anglers. No
largemouth catches have been reported, because water is a little
too cold. The first drop-off, where they would most likely be, is
only accessible by boat. Yellow perch, 11 to 13 inches, have been
reported. A couple of anglers landed some channel cats, too.
Muddy Run Reservoir (Lancaster County) — Yellow perch have been
coming along with crappies, though crappies were more productive
when there was ice. This impoundment is considered a hot spot for
Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County) — Yellow perch have been
running fairly big. This 535-acre impoundment also can yield tiger
muskies, largemouth bass, channel catfish, crappies, walleyes and
Nockamixon Lake (Berks County) — Anglers have been targeting
pickerel on medium shiners in 6 to 8 feet. Bass will be deeper.
Walleyes have been a good bet on jigs and Mister Twisters or
fathead minnows, especially where streams are coming into the lake,
and at the spillway.
Leaser Lake (Lehigh County) — Nice catches of trout were
reported in open water in this 117-acre Fish & Boat Commission
impoundment last month.
Lehigh River, Little Lehigh River, Delaware River (Lehigh
County) — Good flow has made for a nice trout bite on all three.
Waxworms, minnows and size 7, 9 or 11 Rapalas are working in the
larger waters. One angler landed nice trout vertical jigging a
Rattle Trap in Haycock. Walleye action has been good where Tohickin
Creek enters the Delaware.
Clark Creek (Dauphin County) — The stream is a tailwater fishery
below the DeHart Dam and tends to clear and stabilize more quickly
than other area streams after a heavy rain. Midges hatch
Locust Lake (Schuylkill County) — A winter trout stocking
presents good angling when conditions allow.
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg