Ice fishing slow in starting before frigid spell

Ice thickness and quality has varied on lakes statewide,
especially in counties where heavy snowfall served to insulate or
“cloud” hardening surfaces. Many lakes failed to form the 4 inches
considered safe until early February. Ice quality can vary on
different parts of the same lake. Anglers are advised to check
conditions and exercise extreme caution when venturing onto ice.
For more, visit


Cloe Lake (Jefferson County) — A Jan. 31 trout stocking was

Lake Erie/Presque Isle Bay — One ice angler limited out on
nice-sized bluegills in Misery Bay in early February, but
conditions were inconsistent across the lake. Burbot fishing has
slowed off the north and south piers in the channel to the main

Allegheny Reservoir (Warren County) — Walleyes and northern pike
are being iced although no trophy-sized fish have been reported. A
20-inch walleye was the largest caught in late January, and one
angler caught several pike up to 27 inches in a single outing.
Anglers had been catching walleyes up to 5 pounds and brown and
rainbow trout in the river from the tailrace of the Kinzua Dam to
Tidioute in late January.

Chapman Dam (Warren County) — Nice catches of stocked trout were
being iced in late January.

Justus Lake (Venango County) — A trout stocking was slated for
Feb. 5.

Pymatuning Reservoir/Shenango River (Crawford County) — A few
anglers were fishing through the ice from the docks at Jamestown
and catching nice bluegills and crappies in late January, but there
was no other action to speak of, since the quality of ice in the
main lake was poor. A couple of anglers have been catching walleyes
in the tailrace of the dam.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Two anglers drilled holes off the
docks in the marina and caught 27 perch, from 9 to 11 inches in
late January. Before water began to freeze, anglers were catching
nice bluegills and crappies off the Sheakleyville Bridge in the

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Several dozen anglers have been
ice-fishing the Muddy Creek, Shannon and Portersville Cove areas,
catching nice numbers of largemouth bass up to 41/2 pounds and
northern pike up to 7 pounds.


Allegheny River — Single digit temperatures made for very light
pressure in early February, and just a few catches of walleyes were
reported, although water conditions have been good. Late last
month, some big fish were caught at the mouth of Pine Creek, the
Highland Park Dam and the lower end of the island north of 13th
Street in Sharpsburg. Ed Lightner, of Shaler, boated walleyes 10
and 111/2 pounds, and John Morkos, of Shaler, caught walleyes up to
7-plus pounds. Chartreuse hair jigs and twisters tipped with
minnows have been productive.

Highpoint Reservoir (Somerset County) — Northern pike and
pickerel are being iced, with a 26-inch pike caught at the end of

Cranberry Glade Lake (Fayette County) — A 23-inch northern pike
was iced in late January.

Dunlap Creek Lake/Virgin Run Dam (Fayette County) — A trout
stocking was slated for early February at both impoundments.

Laurel Hill Lake (Somerset County) — A trout stocking was slated
for early February.

Youghiogheny River (Fayette County) — Anglers have been catching
trout on streamers at the tailrace. A stocking was slated for early

Deep Creek Lake (Maryland) — Anglers are catching perch,
walleyes and pickerel through the ice on minnows.


Lyman Lake (Potter County) — The Feb. 27 trout stocking has been

Stevenson Reservoir (Cameron County) — A Feb. 16 trout stocking
is slated.

Little Pine Lake (Lycoming County) — Ice angling on this
spring-fed stocked impoundment only got started Feb. 3, as ice had
formed slowly and was cloudy. A Feb. 16 trout stocking is

Hamilton Lake (Tioga County) — Ice anglers were catching
holdover trout. A Feb. 16 trout stocking is slated.

Beechwood Lake (Tioga County) — A Feb. 7 trout stocking was

Curwensville Reservoir (Clearfield County) — Ice had finally
formed by early February and drew a few perch anglers.

Kettle Creek Lake (Clinton County) — A Feb. 16 trout stocking is


Laurel Lake (Cumberland County) — The Feb. 2 trout stocking was

Lake Rowena (Cambria County) — A Feb. 9 trout stocking was
slated for this popular impoundment, which, because of its
elevation, is among the earliest lakes in the state to freeze.

Duman Dam (Cambria County) — A Feb. 9 trout stocking was

Canoe Lake (Blair County) — A Feb. 9 trout stocking was

Spring Creek (Centre County) — Some brown trout are being caught
but have been running consistently smaller, about 10 to 14 inches.
Nymphs have been working best. Water is at a good level and is
crystal clear and was running about 39 degrees.

Perez Lake (Huntingdon County) — A Feb. 9 trout stocking was

Cowans Gap Lake (Fulton County) — A Jan. 19 trout stocking was

Stovers Dam (Lebanon County) — A Jan. 19 trout stocking was
rescheduled from Feb. 6.

Muddy Run Recreational Lake (Lancaster County) — A trout
stocking was rescheduled for Jan. 19 from Feb. 2.

Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — Blue-Winged Olives
(size 20) were on the stream in late January, along with midges
(cream and black in sizes 26, 28), and the prospect of early black
stoneflies. Water was in good shape. Streamers and egg patterns are
standards in winter, fished slow and deep since fish are inactive.
Crayfish imitations are good in short strips in the slowest section
of a pool. For more information, visit

Letort Spring Run (Cumberland County) — Streamers thrown
downstream and stripped back are recommended. Use marabou.
Blue-Winged Olives (sizes 20 and 22) are recommended. Sulphur Duns
(size 16) work on warm days. Fish Cress Bugs (sizes 14 and 16) to
fish eating underneath. Midges and thin Pheasant Tails (size 18 and
20) will work. I Can’t See ‘Ems are good midge patterns for fish
working the surface. For more, visit

Big Spring (Cumberland County) — Freshwater shrimp (scuds) are
on the increase, so carry these along with Cress Bugs. Also
recommended are I Can’t See ‘Ems (sizes 20, 22). For more, visit


Hunters Lake (Sullivan County) — A Feb. 22 trout stocking is

Briar Creek Lake (Columbia County) — A Feb. 23 trout stocking is

Lake Shohola (Monroe County) — Ice anglers are catching big
pickerel, perch, and largemouth bass on tip-ups with shiners.

Slocum State Park Lake (Luzerne County) — Crappies up to 15
inches, big bluegills, and largemouth bass, 5 to 7 pounds, are
reported. Panfish are typically jigged for with maggots and

Duck Harbor (Monroe County) — Monster perch, 14 to 17 inches,
pickerel, 24 to 26 inches, and largemouth bass, 5 to 7 pounds, have
been iced on shiners in anywhere from 6 to 15 feet. Anglers need to
keep moving to different depths as gamefish follow the

Oxbow Lake (Wyoming County) — Ice anglers are doing well jigging
for big bluegills and crappies.

Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Small walleyes, bass, perch
and bluegills are being iced.

Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Big perch, calico bass,
hybrid stripers, 10 to 12 pounds, largemouth bass, and nice
pickerel have been iced, with the area near where the river comes
into the lake one of the more productive spots.

Susquehanna River — Anglers are advised that ice flows were
making angling dangerous in early February.

Moon Lake (Luzerne County) — Big bluegills, crappies and
largemouth bass are being caught through the ice. A Feb. 22 trout
stocking is slated.

Lake Carey (Wyoming County) — Largemouth bass, 13 to 16 inches,
smallmouth bass close to 14 inches, and perch close to 14 inches
were being iced in early February. Anglers were advised that the
middle of the lake was open in places and they needed to stay

Promised Land (Monroe County) — Perch, including 15 inchers, are
being iced. Try minnows.

Tobyhanna State Park Lake (Monroe County) — Anglers are icing
perch and largemouth bass.

Hidden Lake (Monroe County) — A Feb. 21 trout stocking is

Lackawanna Lake (Lackawanna County) — A Feb. 23 trout stocking
is slated.

Quaker Lake (Susquehanna County) — A Feb. 21 trout stocking has
been canceled.


Minsi Lake (Northampton County) — A Jan. 10 trout stocking was
rescheduled from Feb. 22.

Clark Creek (Dauphin County) — Midges, woolly buggers and
streamers are recommended (sizes 8 and 10). Strip white buggers and
white Shenk’s minnows through the riffles. Egg flies are standard.
For more, visit

Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) — This impoundment freezes more
slowly than other area lakes with the Three Mile Run-Haycock Run
arm of the lake seeing some ice action. A 27-inch largemouth bass
was reportedly caught. The same area yielded a bass of that size
last March. This lake is among the last to freeze. Three Mile Run
is on the opposite end of Haycock.

Lake Towhee (Bucks County) — Big numbers of anglers are icing
pickerel up to 24 inches although panfish action has been spotty.
There are no reports of bass.

Antietam Lake (Berks County) — A Jan. 3 trout stocking was
rescheduled from Feb. 1.

Scotts Run Lake (Berks County) — A Feb. 6 trout stocking was

Deep Creek Dam (Montgomery County) — The January trout stocking
was canceled.

Levittown Lake, Lake Luxenbourg (Bucks County) — Jan. 16 trout
stockings were rescheduled from Feb. 2.

Leaser Lake (Lehigh County) — A Jan. 16 trout stocking was
rescheduled from Feb. 2.

Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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