Weird, warm weather made for surprisingly good fishing


Lake Erie and tributaries — Creeks were low and clear and
holding a fair number of steelhead, especially in the upper reaches
around Christmastime. Rain in the forecast was expected to bring in
fresh runs of fish. A 10-pound, 5- ounce, 31-inch steelhead was
landed on Twenty Mile. Steve Popson released some jacks and a
couple of larger steelhead in low clear water on Elk Creek near the
tunnels on Route 5. Mark Hicks, of Somerset, and Ralph Manotti, of
Windber, landed several nice steelhead on single eggs and black
Woolly Buggers. In Presque Isle Bay, burbot (freshwater cod) began
hitting off the north and south piers just before Christmas and
steelhead were hitting in the marinas. Conneaut Creek is a good
winter steelhead fishery, since it is stocked with Little Manistees
– a winter and spring run strain – by the state of Ohio.
Pennsylvania stocks its portion of Conneaut, although the creek
flows for 25 miles before entering Pennsylvania.

Chapman Reservoir (Warren County) — A brook trout stocking was
performed last month.

Allegheny River (Warren County) — Anglers wading the river
report muskie hookups and the release of a 25-inch northern pike. A
121/2 pound, 31-inch walleye with 20-inch girth was landed on a
salted emerald shiner in the river between Glade Bridge and the
trestle below United Refining in late December. The same angler
caught two 20-plus-inch walleyes. The lake is also yielding some
nice walleyes in higher than normal water.

Warren County hunting — Dan Page, of Warren, shot an eight-point
buck. His wife, Jody, and daughter, Amanda, shot seven-point bucks.
Dave Greely, of Warren, shot a five-point buck. All were taken on
private land on opening day of rifle season. Chuck Mihalic, of
Warren, shot a nine-point buck during archery season.

Allegheny River (Venango, Armstrong counties) — Dave Lehman, of
Titusville, boated an 8-pound, 14- ounce walleye near the town of
Tionesta and a 51/2-pound walleye in the same area, but reported a
slow bite, overall, midmonth. Darl Black, of Cochranton, released a
20-pound muskie, a couple of walleyes and some northern pike
fishing with Lehman around Tionesta. Black and his wife, Marilyn,
released 14 smallmouths up to 2.5 pounds each around Franklin by
targeting pocket eddies with tubes. Two Titusville-area anglers
released 24 smallmouths, 18 to 20 inches, near East Brady

Venango, Armstrong counties hunting — Fergie’s Tackle Shop
reports that some really nice bucks were taken during rifle season
around Mercer County. They include a 13-point buck shot by Dwayne
Beachey, of Sandy Lake, who hunted private land around Ramsey

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Crappies averaging 9-10 inches
are being caught off the Sheakleyville Bridge, along with
hand-sized bluegills. An angler caught 35 bluegills around
Christmastime. A little skim ice was seen on the lake at dawn on
some days, but melted by mid-morning. Boaters angled the deeper
water for crappies and perch, as conditions allowed. The water
around the docks has failed to yield many fish so far this

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Anglers wading at the
spillway are catching walleyes of 17 to 18 inches. Crappies are
coming on maggots in the deeper parts of the lake.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Pressure remains light,
but anglers are catching nice numbers of crappies and walleyes. The
crappies are hitting along the shoreline coming into the bays, and
around the docks, and the walleyes, averaging 18 to 20 inches, in
12 to 16 feet, for anglers jigging Sonars.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Anglers are catching walleyes
jigging Sonars plain or tipped with minnows on the north end around
Neely Point and in 12 to 15 feet over submerged roadbeds. Crappies
are coming in 6 to 8 feet and perch are hitting in the creek
channels. Some largemouth bass are being caught around submerged
logs, rocks, and weedbeds in shallow water. One angler caught six
largemouths, although most were under 15 inches, on this Big Bass
Program water. A steady bluegill bite also was reported


Allegheny River (Allegheny County) — Catches of walleyes up to
25 inches and saugers are reported amid light fishing pressure at
lock three and the Highland Park Dam.

Monongahela River (Allegheny County) — George Swierczek, of
Washington, Pa., and guide Keith Eshbaugh, of West Alexander,
released trophy-sized saugers in the deeper holes on jigging
Rapalas, purple bucktail jigs and Gulp minnows and jigs, on Dec.
12. They also caught white bass, and several smaller saugers and
walleyes, including some sub-legals.

Allegheny County hunting — Zackary Shimko, 13, of Allegheny
County, shot a buck and two does hunting on private property in
Greene County during rifle season.

Ohio River (Allegheny County) — Fishing pressure has increased
with anglers catching walleyes and saugers in the river and in
Chartiers Creek near Heidelberg.

Youghiogheny River/Meadow Run (Fayette County) — Pressure has
been light on both the river and the run, with nice catches of
trout reported. The pools of the run are holding nice fish.

Youghiogheny Reservoir (Fayette County) — Very good catches of
walleyes are reported. Mike Kalufut, of Uniontown, and Ryan Reese,
of Pittsburgh, boated limits, including an 8 pounder. The bite was
coming in 25 to 35 feet on jigging Rapalas.

Lower Twin Lake (Westmoreland County) — A trout stocking was
slated mid-December.


Sinnemahoning Creek (Cameron County) — Catches of trout still
are reported below the town of Sinnemahoning.

Cowanesque Lake (Tioga County) — A good panfish bite is

Pine Creek, Little Pine Creek (Tioga, Lycoming counties) —
Streams were in perfect condition Dec. 21 and pressure was good,
with more bait than fly- anglers on the water. Excellent hatch
activity was reported with little cream and olive midges and
blue-winged olives coming off. Anglers also were doing well on big
stonefly nymphs, which are available as a food source year-round.
Water temperatures were in the upper 30s in the mornings and
reached 42 or 44 degrees in the afternoons, which brought trout out
of the deeper holes to cruise for food. As of Jan. 1, two
delayed-harvest, artificial-lures- only sections were added to Pine
Creek. In Lycoming County, the DHALO runs from the confluence with
Slate Run downstream to about 150 meters upstream of the confluence
with Naval Run (1.2 miles). In Tioga County, the DHALO now runs
from Darling Run to 150 meters downstream of the confluence of
Owassee Slide Hollow (1 mile). For more, call McConnell’s Country
Store at (570) 753-8241.

Slate and Cedar runs (Tioga, Lycoming counties) — Streams were
in great shape, midmonth, with anglers picking up average fish on
midges and nymphs.


Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — Water around
Christmas- time was low and clear. Blue-winged olives were likely
in the afternoons, especially on sunny days. Various color midges
hatch year-round, with trout feeding on adult and larval stages.
Caddis larvae, primarily green, were profuse. Fish imitations on
the bottom. The early black stonefly is the first major hatch of
the new year and pretty much everywhere. The stonefly nymphs are
nearly full-grown now and should be dead-drifted on the bottom in
size 14 and 16 in black to reddish brown. Sculpins abound on the
Breeches. Anglers will find cress bugs and scuds. Visit

Big Spring Creek (Cumberland County) — Water was low and crystal
clear late last month, and in the low to mid 50s. Nice numbers of
small rainbow trout were present, along with a few brook trout. The
larger fish were hard to find. Midges hatch year-round. Blue-winged
olives were likely on sunny afternoons. Anglers should expect to
see early black stoneflies soon. The nymphal stoneflies are full
grown now, and should be dead-drifted on the bottom in size 14 and
16, in black to reddish brown. Snails and cressbugs and shrimp are
good bets. Sculpins are typically abundant.

Clarks Creek (Dauphin County) — This tailwater fishery of DeHart
Dam often remains stable and clear when other streams are blown
out. The waters can rise and get high and muddy, but clear fairly
quickly. The special regulations section is in a state game land.
Midges hatch year-round, with trout feeding on adult and larval
stages. The early black stonefly is the new year’s first major
hatch. Nymphs are nearly full grown now.


Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Smallmouth bass, 15 to 19
inches, were still hitting midmonth and big perch, 14 to 17 inches,
were coming on jigs, tubes and spoons in 15 to 25 feet. For more,
call guide Ray Cichocki at (570) 510-9219.

Lower Woods Pond (Wayne County) — Muskies, 38 to 41 inches, are
being released on bucktails.

Prompton Reservoir (Wayne County) — Crappies, 12 to 15 inches,
are coming on fatheads in 10 to 15 feet. Anglers are catching
largemouth bass up to 3 pounds on jigs with SuperPork trailers in
12 to 18 feet.

Harvey’s Lake (Luzerne County) — Largemouth bass up to 3 pounds
have been hitting on deep-diving crankbaits and deep drop shoted
tubes and creatures. Anglers are catching trout with wax worms and
PowerBait on milder days.

Moon Lake (Luzerne County) — Trout are being caught on meal

Susquehanna River — The Wilkes-Barre area in Luzerne County has
been yielding smallmouth bass, 14 to 16 inches, on twisters and
tubes, to anglers targeting the deep holes in the calm water. The
same spots are producing walleyes 16 to 19 inches. The stretch from
Whites Ferry to Forty-Fort has been yielding walleyes up to 20
inches. Water on Dec. 11 was 37 degrees.

Delaware River — Smallmouth bass and walleyes are hitting on
tubes, hair jigs and jerkbaits in slow, calm water.

Beltzville Lake, Pohopoco Creek (Carbon County) — Average-sized
muskies are being caught on jerkbaits, while panfish, walleyes and
bass are hitting spoons and hair jigs on Beltzville. Nice catches
of trout are reported on Pohopoco Creek downstream of

Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Nice catches of largemouth
bass, panfish, and perch are reported on spoons and jigs.

Mud Run (Carbon County) — The special regulations section has
been yielding nice releases of trout.

Hunters Lake (Sullivan County) — Anglers are catching rainbow
trout on PowerBait from the pier at Hunters Lake.

McMichaels Creek (Monroe County) — As of Jan. 1, a
delayed-harvest, artificial-lures-only section was extended about
half a mile further downstream to the Glenbrook Road (SR 2004)
Bridge. The new limits are .71 mile downstream of Turkey Hill Road
(T-416) Bridge to the Glenbrook Road (SR 2004) Bridge (1.66

Monroe County hunting — Peter Liacano, of Falls Township, shot
an eight-point buck. His brother, Michael Liacano, shot a doe.
Christine Farrell, 12, shot her first doe. All were hunting private
property in Luzerne County. Anthony Ciliberto, of Monroe County,
shot a doe, hunting private land in his area.


Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) — Conditions are steady and
angling pressure remains low. Pickerel and bass are hitting on
shiners for anglers who know the lake. Catfish are hitting at the
spillway on chicken livers. For more, call Nockamixon Sports Shop
at (215) 538-9553.

Lake Towhee (Bucks County) — Good-sized pickerel are coming on
shiners. An abundance of long, skinny pickerel can be caught at
Towhee in shallow water, and every now and then, anglers are
getting nice girthy fish. Towhee is just 6 feet at its deepest

Tohickon Creek, Perkiomen Creek (Bucks County) — Tohickon runs
from Bucks County to the Delaware River and is yielding some
smallmouth bass on spinners. The Perkiomen also is a good choice
for bass.

Southeastern region hunting — Extended doe season will allow for
hunting through the end of January in some southeastern counties.
The baiting laws also took effect in five southeastern counties on
Dec. 26, except on public land. A lot of goose and duck hunters
took to the lakes before Christmas with mixed results. In the
Nazareth area, snow geese were seen in large numbers just before

Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

Categories: Archive

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