Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Tough conditions – Little open water; no thick ice

Plummeting temperatures mid-month caused lakes across much of
the state to begin to freeze, creating “in-between” conditions –
little open water but no fishable ice. Ice anglers’ hopes were
raised with the forecast of sustained lower temperatures.


Lake Erie and tributaries — Water levels in tributaries have
varied with rain and snow events. Rains brought a few new steelhead
into the tribs mid-month, but most were smaller jacks. A good
number of holdover fish remained in the upper reaches. Twelve,
Sixteen and Twenty Mile creeks on the east side had the largest
number of fish. An angler landed an 111/2-pound steelhead on Walnut
Creek in mid-January. Cold weather put slush ice on creeks in early
morning, although it was gone by noon. Anglers have been catching
burbot off the north and south piers between Presque Isle Bay and
the lake, and off the public docks at Dobbins Landing, where
nice-sized perch also are being caught. For more, call Poor
Richard’s at (814) 474-5623.

Allegheny Reservoir (Warren and McKean counties) — Levels have
varied with conditions and dam releases. Launches at Elijah Run,
Webb’s Ferry and Roper Hollow have been open. High, muddy water has
practically shut down fishing since mid-January although Frank
Alcorn of Mount Jewitt released a 40-inch muskie while

French Creek (Crawford County) — This diverse fishery on the
Allegheny River has been yielding the big walleyes for which it is
known in the Cambridge Springs-area as water levels permit. The
river and all of its tributaries have been unfishably high through
much of January due to heavy rains and large releases from the
Kinzua Dam.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Boaters are catching
walleyes jigging blade baits in 12 to 18 feet on the sides of
humps. Crappies are hitting around brush piles and around docks,
where anglers also are picking up bluegills. Perch have been
running small. Water was around 40 degrees midmonth.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — A few shore anglers fishing under
the Route 528 Bridge are catching scant numbers of bass, northern
pike and panfish. Some anglers are catching walleyes over the old
roadbeds in 12 to 15 feet. Ice was forming mid-month.

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — One fisherman is catching
slab crappies in the Golden Run area, but reported being the lone
angler on the lake in recent days.


Ohio, Allegheny, Monongahela rivers — High water levels plagued
anglers through much of January, although walleyes and saugers have
been caught as conditions allow, though not in the same numbers as
last year, when excellent angling prevailed.

Glendale Lake (Cambria County) — The lake has seen modest
action—about three boats a day on weekends—which is high for


Little Pine Creek (Lycoming Creek) — The delayed-harvest section
has been yielding trout in modest numbers. Anglers have been
fishing Sucker Spawn flies, but streamers presented slowly right to
the fish or nymphs, dead-drifted, may be more productive.

Cedar and Slate runs (Tioga County) — These mountain streams are
fishing as well as can be expected in winter conditions. Water
tends to be crystal clear in winter, which makes wild trout more
challenging than ever. Streamers and nymphs are the best bet.
Glo-bugs work well in tandem with nymphs.

Kettle Creek and Young Woman’s Creek (Potter County) — Typical
winter fishing prevails on these streams, though pressure remains
very low.


Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — Good conditions
prevailed mid-month, with anglers fishing streamers and egg
patterns. Early black stoneflies and midge activity were
anticipated. Crayfish patterns also are effective in short strips
in the slowest sections of the pools. Also recommended are
Parachute Adams in size 16 as a search pattern under trees and
along edges. For more, visit

Canoe Creek Lake (Blair County) — This Canoe Creek State Park
impoundment has been drawn down for weed control and will be
refilled in February. A trout stocking is slated for Feb. 9.

Letterkenny Reservoir (Franklin County) — Trout are being taken
on wax worms and PowerBait, particularly during mid-morning and at

Cowans Gap Lake (Fulton County) — Anglers are catching stocked
trout in the Cowans Gap State Park impoundment on wax worms fished
just off the bottom in mid-morning and before sunset.

Holman Lake (Perry County) — PowerBait has been nabbing trout on
this Little Buffalo State Park impoundment, where anglers also are
catching yellow perch and bluegills on small jigs, twister tails
and 1/64-ounce salted tubes.


Delaware River (Pike County) — Legal and smaller walleyes have
been hitting along with trout, especially in the Zane Grey

Delaware River (Monroe County) — Walleyes, 15 to 20 inches, are
coming on minnows and jigs. Smallmouths, 12 to 17 inches, are being
taken on stickbaits in 20 feet of water.

Susquehanna River (Bradford and Columbia counties) — Good
walleye and northern pike fishing was reported in early January
before heavy rains botched conditions. Terrytown access area is a
good walleye spot, with anglers catching fish on minnow-tipped
white hair jigs. Small shiner or minnow-tipped jigs also fish well
in the backwater areas.

Susquehanna River (Luzerne County) — From Wilkes-Barre north,
muskies up to 49 inches are being released on hair jigs, and
walleyes are running 15 to 20 inches. Try minnows.

Briar Creek Lake (Columbia County) — This 51-acre Pennsylvania
Fish & Boat Commission impoundment is popular with trout
anglers, and also is fished for largemouth bass.

Lake Irena, Lily Lake, Lake Took-A-While and Moon Lake (Luzerne
County) — These lakes are popular with stocked trout anglers.

Francis Slocum Lake (Luzerne County) — Crappies have been
hitting in this horseshoe-shaped 165-acre state park lake that also
yields bluegills perch, catfish, muskies, pickerel, smallmouth
bass, largemouth bass and walleyes.

McMichaels Creek (Monroe County) — Anglers have been catching
trout on spinners and egg sacs.

Little Loyalsock Creek (Sullivan County) — Brown trout are
hitting around Cherry Mills and downstream of that area on live
bait, with minnows the best bet.

Lake Winola (Wyoming County) — The Fish & Boat Commission
recently opened the new boat launch ramp at this 200- acre Big Bass
Program impoundment, which also is managed for stocked trout.


Letort Spring Run (Dauphin County) — Marabou streamers are
recommended, as are Blue-Winged Olives in sizes 20 and 22. Sulphur
duns in size 16 are seen on warm days in winter. Cress bugs in
sizes 16 and 14 are good subsurface flies. Fish Pheasant Tail
patterns in sizes 18 and 20. For more, visit

Clarks Creek (Dauphin County) — Midges or Woolly Buggers and
other streamers work well in sizes 8 and 10. Strip white buggers
and white Shenk’s minnows through the riffles. Eggs flies also work
well this time of year.

Susquehanna River (Dauphin County) — Walleyes are hitting light
colored jigs and twister tails in the channels that offer refuge
from current. Some big smallmouth bass also are reported in nice
numbers in the Dauphin Narrows area and south of Clarks Ferry

Stovers Dam (Lebanon County) — A trout stocking was slated for
Jan. 19.

West Branch of Perkiomen Creek (Bucks County) — Nice catches of
brown trout are reported on flies, including small Bead-head Flash
Back Pheasant Tail nymphs and other mayfly patterns.

Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) — A good pickerel bite continues
in open water areas near shore. Fish can run up to 7 or 8 pounds,
with 3 pounds the norm. Shiners are the best bait. For more, call
Nockamixon Sports Shop at (215) 538-9553.

Susquehanna River (York County) — The Accomac area has been
yielding nice smallmouth bass, and walleyes are being landed at
York Haven and Wrightsville, with minnow-tipped jigs the preferred
bait. The warm-water discharges at Brunner Island and Peachbottom
also have been productive, with an angler reporting a 10-pound
hybrid striper at Brunner Island in early January.

Delaware River (Bucks County) — Durham Furnace area has been
yielding nice numbers of largemouth bass on shiners up to 5 pounds,
but averaging 3 pounds.

Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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