Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Low, clear water conditions make fishing a challenge

With walleye and sauger out of season, and early season trout
stocked program lakes closed until opening day, anglers had limited
fishing opportunities, though delayed-harvest and other special
regulations sections of streams were fishing well, despite low,
clear conditions, in many parts of the state. Trout stockings are
listed at


Erie — Minimal steelhead catches were reported in very low,
clear conditions in recent weeks. A few steelhead were coming in
Presque Isle Bay, along with small catches of perch and crappies.
Water temperatures were still in the high 30-degree range late last

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Stephen Gostowski, of Glenshaw,
caught a 26-inch, 8-pound hybrid striped bass with his son, Matt,
who netted it under the 528 bridge near the boat launch April 1.
The crappie bite began picking up in late March, with anglers
catching them on maggots under a bobber in shallow water. Bob
Sarnese, of Prospect, is catching them just under 1 pound in 12
feet. Anywhere there is structure is a good bet. Sarnese also
released a 6-pound channel catfish in the Muddy Creek arm. Perch
are being caught in 12 to 14 feet over the Route 422 roadbed, but
the sizes are running small. Sporadic catches of smallmouth bass,
including a 5- pounder, were reported in March.

Neshannock Creek (Lawrence County) — Low, clear conditions call
for downsized tackle. Trout anglers are doing well on size 16 to 18
Early Black and Brown Stoneflies, Blue Wing Olive nymphs, and
Caddis Larvae in tan and bright green. For more, visit

Cloe Lake (Jefferson County) — Trout anglers were doing well on
wax worms on this 27-acre reservoir, though it now is closed until
opening day.

Oil Creek (Venango County) — Nice weather increased angling
pressure with releases of stocked trout up to 16 inches in the two
delayed-harvest areas. Triple Threats, Woolly Buggers, San Juan
Worms and Early Black Stonefly nymphs have been productive.

Little Sandy Creek (Venango County) — As water warmed, anglers
in the fly-fishing-only section of this small stream reported some
surface feeding, with trout rising for midges.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Mild weather has increased
panfishing pressure, with anglers catching nice crappies and
bluegills at launch three, in the bay left of launch three, around
the docks, and in “the stumps” adjacent to the game lands waterfowl
propagation area.

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Crappies have been coming
all over the lake, from the Celery Farm to Golden Run to the Route
846 area on the west end.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Walleyes up to 24
inches and crappies are reported. Anglers wading for walleyes in
shallow water in the evenings are doing well with topwater baits.
Some sub-legals are being released at the spillway, which is a good
indication of future year classes. Crappies are coming in the
weedbeds in the bays. Decent-sized perch also are in the bays but
aren’t being targeted as much.

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — A good bluegill bite is
reported in the canal and crappie angling was picking up as water
warmed in this 900-acre glacial lake, the largest natural lake in
Pennsylvania. The current and two previous white bass records have
been set here, along with the state muskie record.


Allegheny River — Ed Lightner and Ed Lahey, of Shaler, released
60 sauger and two walleyes, 4 and 5 pounds, on chartreuse and white
hair jigs at the Highland Park Dam in late March. Dave Marko, of
Valencia, released quality walleyes and sauger below the island
downriver of the Crow’s Nest, although numbers were fewer than in
recent weeks. He also released an 18-inch channel catfish.

Ohio River — Nice weather in late March spurred angling
pressure, along with releases of walleyes, a few sauger and a
flathead catfish at Dashield’s Dam.

Monongahela River — A few smallmouth bass and nice numbers of
white bass are hitting jigs and minnows at the mouth of Pigeon
Creek and the warm water discharge of the power plants at Elrama
and New Eagle.

Loyalhanna Creek (Westmoreland County) — Fifteen anglers crowded
the delayed-harvest section on nice days late last month and were
releasing stocked trout on small black and white Rooster Tails,
Pheasant Tail nymphs, and San Juan Worms. Early Black Stoneflies
are hatching.

Youghiogheny River/Meadow Run (Fayette County) — Anglers
continue to catch trout, though sizes have been running smaller,
from the tailwater of the Youghiogheny Reservoir to the Casselman
River. West Newton also is yielding trout stocked by local anglers.
The delayed-harvest section of Meadow Run has been fishing

Youghiogheny Reservoir (Fayette County) — Anglers are targeting
crappies, though water levels are way down.


F.J. Sayers Lake (Centre County) — This Bald Eagle State Park
lake was still drawn down as of April 1, offering anglers an
opportunity to mark structure and other fish habitat in advance of
the return to normal water levels. At 1,730 acres, the reservoir
has 23 miles of shoreline and is a panfish enhancement program
water that also yields largemouth and smallmouth bass, and channel
catfish. It has an ADA accessible fishing pier.

Little Pine Creek (Lycoming County) — Water is very low and
clear, but warming from the low 40s of late March. Early black
stoneflies were coming off the delayed-harvest section, along with
a few blue quills, which is early for that hatch. Nice recently
stocked trout are being released. For more, call McConnell’s
Country Store at (570) 753-8242

Upper Pine Bottom Creek (Lycoming County) — An electro-fishing
survey by the Fish & Boat Commission late last month showed
nice numbers of wild browns and native brook trout.

Slate Run, Cedar Run (Lycoming, Tioga counties) — Both of these
wild trout waters’ special- regulations sections have been fishing
well on the early season flies, including Black Stoneflies and Blue
Quills, and Hare’s Ear nymphs.

Susquehanna River (Snyder, Union and Northumberland counties) —
Warming water was expected to improve the bass bite, though some
smallmouths were being caught in March on green pumpkinseed tubes
and gold crankbaits.

Curwensville Reservoir (Clearfield County) — Nice releases of
walleyes are reported, along with catches of perch. The smallmouth
bass bite has picked up. Stacy Bressler, of P J Bressler’s Bait and
Tackle, reports a problem with poaching of walleyes his shop has
stocked in recent years. He said walleyes are being released from
the Shawville power plant on the Susquehanna River, 22 miles from
where they were stocked in the lake. The shop is sponsoring a
crappie tournament with $2,000 payout May 27. For more, visit


Conewago Creek (Adams County) — Pheasant Tail nymphs and Green
Weenies have been productive in the delayed-harvest section.

Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — Low and clear water
prevailed through early April, with “the run” between the
Children’s Lake and the main stream crystal clear. The special regs
section was producing a nice grannom caddis hatch, though the
number 16 Olive Gold Bead Caddis Pupa, which imitates the emerger,
is often a better bet. The olive body, tan wing caddis hatches from
late March through mid-May. An all- black Caddis hatches mid-April
to mid-May. Midges hatch year-round with trout feeding on the adult
and larval stages. Green Caddis larvae also abound. Fish them on
the bottom. For more, visit

Green Spring Creek (Cumber-land County) — Though this stream
rises quickly after a rainfall, it is slow to go down and clear.
Midges hatch year-round, with trout feeding on the adult and larval
stages. Sow bugs and scuds hatch in large numbers. Sculpins are
common, and crayfish can be around where rocks are exposed on the
streambed. For more, visit

East Licking Creek (Juniata County) — Fly-anglers are doing well
on black Woolly Buggers, streamers and Green Weenies, while anglers
fishing lures are finding small white and chartreuse Rooster Tail
spinners productive in the special-regulations section.

Holman Lake (Perry County) — Shore anglers report nice bluegill
catches on wax worms and small red worms on the upper end of the
lake. Boaters are doing well around structure.


Lake Chillisquaque (Montour County) — No boating will be allowed
through April 30 to allow for waterfowl migration.

Prompton and Promised lakes (Monroe County) — Perch, blue-gills
and calico bass are reported on small minnows and maribou jigs.

Delaware River (Monroe County) — The Gap section has begun
yielding some catfish at night.

Frances Slocum Lake (Luzerne County) — Big numbers of crappies
are reported on small minnows and maribou jigs and 1-inch grubs in
bluegill color, in 10 feet, suspended over 20 feet. Flathead
catfish have been coming on crawlers on the bottom.

Harveys Creek (Luzerne County) — Spinners and flies have been
nabbing trout in the delayed-harvest section.

Towanda Creek (Bradford County) — The delayed-harvest area has
been fishing well on spinners.

Mauch Chunk Lake/Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Slow action
is reported on both, though Beltzville has been yielding nice perch
and crappies on minnows. Mauch Chunk also has been producing
walleyes, though sizes are running small.

Dingmans Creek (Pike County) — The delayed-harvest section has
been producing nice releases of trout.

Salt Lick Creek (Susquehanna County) — Trout were being released
on small gray spinners and nymphs in the delayed-harvest

West Branch of Wallenpaupack Creek (Wayne County) — The delayed
harvest waters have been yielding releases of stocked trout.

Lake Wallenpaupack (Wayne County) — The best bite is perch, with
catches of 13 and 14 inches reported on small minnows and maribou
jigs. Bluegills and crappies also are reported on the same

Duck Harbor Lake (Wayne County) — Catches of bass and pickerel
were reported along with trout through the end of last month.

Delaware River — Nice numbers of walleyes up to 8 pounds are
coming on crankbaits in shad or minnow color. Perch fishing was
expected to pick up with milder weather. Anglers may find drifting
the shorelines with small jigs productive.

Susquehanna River — Muskies are being released on hair jigs with
twisters on the back, and smallmouth bass on twisters and dark
brown or pumpkinseed tubes.


Quittapahilla Creek (Lebanon County) — The Pennsylvania Fish
& Boat Commission reports that one angler released 25 trout
from 8 to 20 inches, on 1-inch silver and black and gold and black
plugs. Most were rainbow trout, and the rest were browns.

Clark Creek (Dauphin County) — Below the DeHart Dam, this
tail-water fishery remains fairly stable, cool and clear
year-round, and is quick to clear after heavy rains. Midges hatch
all year long, with trout feeding on the adult and larval stages.
For more, visit

Susquehanna River (Dauphin County) — Good-sized bass are being
caught on olive-colored tubes and hair jigs. Boaters are reminded
to exercise caution around turnpike bridge construction near

Octararo Lake (Lancaster County) — Anglers were cleaning up on
largemouth bass the first weekend of April and reported catching
several 4 to 6 pounders. The largest was the 6-pound, 6-ouncer Dave
Anderson, of Eagle, caught on a 3-ounce watermelon-colored jig with
watermelon seed trailer. Don Ricci, of Nottingham, caught a
4-pound, 4-ouncer on a Rapala glass shad, on a hacksaw retrieve.
Crappie fishing is average, with nice ones coming in but not in
great quantities. Anglers are getting them on medium fatheads and
medium rosy red shiners, or Shad Assassins, curly tails, and minnow
tubes. Nice numbers of channel catfish, but no great sizes, also
are reported. Anything with shrimp was the bait of choice. Yellow
perch also were coming, but were stunted. Water was 55 degrees in
early April. For more, call Jim Neary’s Tackle Shop at (717)

Donegal Creek (Lancaster County) — Pheasant Tail, Hare’s Ear and
other nymphs as small as size 16 and 18, and streamers have been
working well on stocked trout in the delayed-harvest section.

Nockamixon Lake (Bucks County) — Great angling was reported in
early April. The main story was large numbers of big largemouth
bass on crankbaits and spinner baits. Most fish were hitting in
five to 12 feet. Warming water in the coves triggered some nice
panfishing action. A few walleye releases were reported on jigs.
For more, call Nockamixon Sport Shop at (215) 538-9553.

Lake Galena (Bucks County) — This lake is often a smaller
version of Nockamixon, but low water levels plagued anglers early
in April, since it made launching a boat next to impossible.

Delaware River (Bucks County) — Water temperatures were still
very low in late March. Anglers were catching walleyes on shiners,
though sizes tended to run small.

Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County) — A slow crappie bite was
reported, as water remained cold. Dandy bluegills were being caught
on waxworms, mealworms, minnows and micro jigs in the shallow water
around the Conestoga Bridge, though angling pressure remained
light. A few bass were reported on spinners and minnows.

East Brandywine, West Valley, Pickering creeks (Chester County)
— Despite low clear conditions, angling pressure remained high in
the delayed-harvest sections.

French Creek (Chester County) — Hare’s Ear, Pheasant Tail and
other nymphs in the number 14 to 20 size range and olive Woolly
Buggers have been fishing well in the fly-fishing-only section.

Schuylkill River (Chester County) — Bass angling has picked up,
with smallmouth catches up to 19 inches reported near the Cromby
Power Plant warm-water discharge.

Delaware River (Philadelphia County) — Sporadic striper action
is reported on bloodworms near the art museum dam and the
international airport. No shad catches have been reported yet.

Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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