The dog days of summer have slowed fishing action – and pressure
– statewide. Many fisheries also are beset by low water and poor
flow. Anglers often find mornings and evenings the best bet, and
many avoid trout streams because fish already are stressed.
Lake Erie – The perch bite was picking up in early August, with
many limits coming in the morning and pre-dusk hours. Very good
walleye fishing is reported in 55 to 65 feet of water north and
northeast of Walnut Creek and along the first trench. Nice catches
of walleyes and perch also are reported out of Northeast, with
perch hitting in 45 to 55 feet in front of Freeport Beach and
walleyes in the same depths west of the Northeast Marina from
McCord’s Point to Shorewood. Walleyes also are hitting north of the
marina in 90 to 105 feet of water. A few steelhead are starting to
show up on the other side of the mountain in 95 to 105 feet. Louis
Conger boated an 11-pound, 30-inch walleye. Presque Isle Bay is
yielding largemouth bass and panfish, especially in the early
morning and evening hours.
Edinboro Lake (Erie County) – Evan Schoss, of South Park, landed
a 25-inch bowfin on a Wendell’s black bucktail while targeting
Allegheny River/Allegheny Reservoir (Warren County) – Trout are
hitting in the tailrace of the dam, and nice numbers of smallmouth
bass up to 3 pounds in the river. Lake levels are dropping.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) – Andy Cersosimo, of McKees Rocks,
caught a 131/2-inch crappie on a Rattletrap. Steve Sofi, of Butler,
caught a 211/2-inch, 51/2-pound largemouth on a spinnerbait. John
Petritis III, of Monessen, caught a 12-inch crappie and a 16-inch
largemouth on a crankbait. Al Pavlik, of Tarentum, caught nine nice
largemouths, releasing all but three. The water near the marina has
been yielding crappies.
Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) – A good bluegill bite was
reported in recent weeks, with nice numbers and sizes coming all
over the lake. A few crappies have been hitting in the deeper
water. Hybrid stripers are biting toward evening, with small to
average sizes reported.
Allegheny River (Venango County) – Water levels are low and few
anglers are fishing, although smallmouth bass up to 2 pounds are
French Creek (Venango County) – Locals report catching very nice
smallmouths in recent weeks. Dylan Dominkush, 9, of Plum, caught an
18-inch and a 21-inch bowfin below Cambridge Springs with his
brother Daniel, 7, and grandfather, Bill.
Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) – This natural, glacial lake has
been on fire for crappies, white bass, largemouth bass, and
northern pike. The crappie bite is just on the weed edge on points
and humps with 1/16-ounce jigs. Electric chicken has been the hot
color. White bass are taking almost anything. BASS pro angler Paul
Hirosky, of Guys Mills, caught numerous bass, including two 4-pound
largemouths, a 61/2-pound largemouth and a couple of nice
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) – A lot of largemouth
bass, and some crappies and walleyes are hitting. Bass are coming
around the weeds, and crappies around sunken structure in 12 to 16
feet. Walleye anglers are drifting crawlers or trolling Hot n Tots
in 16 to 18 feet during the day. At night, they are doing well
casting Bomber Long-As from shore. Channel catfish are reported up
to 23 inches. Small bluegills and small perch also are being
Lake Arthur (Butler County) – A fair number of bluegills and
bass and a few crappies are hitting, although fishing pressure has
Cloe Lake (Jefferson County) – Anglers have been fishing for
trout at night on this 27-acre reservoir.
Kyle Lake (Jefferson County) – Bass are hitting on floating
plastic worms, tubes and minnows on this 175-acre reservoir.
Allegheny River – Joe Martinelli, of Mount Washington, released
a 50-inch, 30-pound muskie on a Super Topraider the evening of July
26. Bill Schivins, of Sharpsburg, landed a 24-inch, 51/2-pound
hybrid striped bass on a fathead minnow on his first cast at the
Highland Park Dam. The mouth of Pine Creek has been yielding
walleyes, smallmouths, white bass, ‘wipers,’ and catfish, mostly in
small sizes. Anglers report they still are catching bass and a few
trout in the creek. The Venture Outdoors Downtown TriAnglers have
been reporting a very slow bite from the North Shore, near PNC Park
on recent Wednesdays. Just two smallmouth bass, 81/2 and 9 inches,
and two 7-inch bluegills were caught in early August.
Monongahela River – Catfish, smallmouth bass, and a few walleyes
and saugers are reported.
Ohio River – Dawn Peterson, of Hampton, and Stephen Manukas, of
Cranberry Township, landed two flathead catfish, 161/2 and 191/2
pounds, respectively, near Sewickley on live bluegills.
Youghiogheny River (Fayette County) – Dan Harford, of Allison
Park, caught a 29-inch, 12-plus-pound brown trout from the falls at
Ohiopyle in late July. A 5-pound brown was landed at the
Youghiogheny Reservoir (Fayette County) – George Dressel, of
Markleysburg, caught two 20-plus inch walleyes on crawler harnesses
in 15 feet. Water levels remain low. John Spittal, of Ursina, and
three friends caught seven smallmouth bass, including four around
18 inches, on crabs.
Loyalhanna Lake (Westmoreland County) – Average-sized channel
catfish have been caught in the lake and the tailrace. A 46-inch
muskie was caught in the lake.
Somerset Lake (Somerset County) – Nathaniel Kline, 6, caught a
231/2-inch carp at the spillway on corn last week.
Cross Creek Lake (Washington County) – Matt Dlugosz, 15, of
Robinson Township, released a 17-inch smallmouth bass.
The West Branch Susquehanna River (Clinton County) – Very low,
warm water has made float trips difficult to impossible in recent
Ridgway Reservoir (Elk County) – Bass are coming on
weedless-rigged purple crawlers.
West Branch Susquehanna Reservoir (Lycoming County) – Smallmouth
bass are hitting crayfish patterns and, around Mincy, Jitterbugs,
poppers and minnow kickers. Anglers also are catching walleyes,
panfish and catfish at night.
Pine Creek (Lycoming County) – Water has been low and clear in
recent weeks, and many anglers will not target trout in these
conditions. Float trips also can be difficult in low water. For
updates on conditions, visit McConnell’s Country Store at
www.mcconnellscountrystore.com or Slate Run Tackle Shop
Rose Valley Lake (Lycoming County) – Anglers are doing well on
bass on minnows, Tiny Torpedoes and willow tails on this 389-acre
Hammond Lake (Tioga County) – Catfish and carp angling have been
good in recent weeks, although water levels have been low enough to
prohibit the launch of bigger boats, with deeper drafts at the day
ramps. For conditions, call the Ives Run Visitors Center, (570)
Hills Creek Lake (Tioga County) – Bass are hitting on minnows at
this 137-acre Hills Creek State Park reservoir.
Spring Creek (Centre County) – Anglers are doing well on
terrestrials and tricos, with the best catches coming on tricos in
the early mornings.
F.J. Sayers Lake (Centre County) – Mornings and evenings have
been yielding catches of panfish, bass and channel catfish in this
1,730-acre reservoir Bald Eagle State Park warm water fishery.
Anglers should note that the lake has 23 miles of shoreline.
Juniata River (Juniata County) – Smallmouth bass have been
hitting in the deeper pools around rocks and other structure. Slow
presentations have been the most effective, with anglers doing well
on stonecats, crayfish and hellgrammites – all staples for this
river – light line and medium-action rods. Artificials have
included 3- to 4-inch tubes in camo and pumpkinseed, and 3-inch
twister tails with 1/8-ounce jigheads. The Pennsylvania Fish &
Boat Commission reported one angler released 20 smallmouths
floating Mifflintown to Muskrat Springs. He fished scented
pumpkinseed twisters with fluorescent green tails on 1/8-ounce
Juniata River (Perry County) – The confluence with the
Susquehanna River and the Greenwood access area has yielded
smallmouth bass, with mornings and evenings good times to fish.
Susquehanna River (Bradford County) – Low water prevailed in
early August, although good smallmouth fishing was reported from
Terrytown to Macedonia.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) – Alec DeLong, 11, of Palmerton,
caught a 22-inch, 5-pound largemouth bass in recent weeks while
fishing with his father, Steve. The point off Pine Run access has
been a hot spot. Smallmouth bass, panfish and catfish up to 22
inches are reported. Walleye and striped bass fishing has been
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) – Very good bass fishing is
reported with anglers catching fish 12 to 14 inches on Senko worms
and Carolina-rigged soft plastic worms in black or dark
purple. Quality crappies also are hitting on small curly-tail grubs
and small minnows under bobbers. The shoreline has been productive
for bass anglers in the evening hours.
Ford’s Lake (Lackawanna County) – Brown bullhead catfish are
hitting on red worms around dawn and dusk at this 73-acre
Lackawanna Lake (Lackawanna County) – Bluegills have been the
best bite on red worms near the south launch area.
Hunter’s Lake (Sullivan County) – Bluegills, running 8 and 9
inches, are being boated on waxworms in 15 to 20 feet at this
Susquehanna River (Wyoming County) – Rainfall helped raise water
levels in late July. Although the bass bite had slowed some,
anglers were still catching fish in nice numbers between White’s
Ferry and the mouth of Bowman Creek. Stonecats and hellgrammites
have been the baits of choice.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) – Nice numbers of smallmouth
bass are coming on watermelon and pumpkinseed color Chomper jigs on
the bottom. Perch are hitting mealworms and redworms, and catfish
are taking chicken livers. Night fishing for walleyes is
semi-productive on chartreuse and orange worm harnesses.
Fairview Lake (Pike County) – Big shiners are nabbing largemouth
bass, with some limits being released.
Lackawaxen River (Pike County) – Walleyes have been hitting
White Deer Lake (Pike County) – Big bluegills and crappies are
nabbing poppers and mealworms. White bass are hitting at the mouths
of the creeks. Bass are taking black grubs, soft plastic worms in
black and yellow and weedless frogs. Pickerel action has
Shohola Lake (Pike County) – Bass are taking plastic worms and
bluegills are hitting mealworms.
Delaware River – Smallmouth bass are hitting in faster moving
water where shad also abound, during low-light hours. Rocky
structure is productive on sunny days. Tubes and grubs are working
well. Live leeches also are productive. Joshua Miller, of
Bethlehem, caught a 22-inch, 5-pound channel catfish on chicken
Lehigh River (Lehigh County) – Smallmouth bass are coming in
nice numbers, but sizes are running small on plastic worms around
Northampton. Tubes and shiners also are working The upstream fish
are reportedly bigger. Water below Cementon Dam as been very warm
and dead trout have been seen along the banks.
Little Lehigh Creek (Lehigh County) – Underground springs help
maintain nice flow. The morning trico hatch has been very
Leaser Lake (Lehigh County) – Average-size bass have been
hitting small soft plastic worms, and perch and bluegills have been
taking mealworms and butterworms. Overall, panfishing has been
excellent, with limits being taken in various sizes. One-inch
pieces of plastic crawlers have been the ticket. The water
downstream of the dam at Cementon has been yielding smallmouth
bass, including some 16 to 18 inches, on twister tails and jig
Memorial Lake (Lebanon County) – Nice panfish have been reported
on crawlers and maggots. Two sub-legal muskies also were caught in
Susquehanna River (Dauphin County) – Anglers have been doing
well targeting smallmouth bass on crankbaits in recent weeks. The
water near Middletown has been yielding catfish up to 27 inches on
minnows and crayfish. Crappies also are coming on minnows and
crawlers. Low water has prevailed here, as elsewhere, with levels
dipping to 3.2 feet in early August.
Lake Marburg (York County) – Good largemouth bass fishing has
been good, coming on shallow crankbaits in the morning and deep
cranks in the afternoon. Big spinnerbaits also are working
Octararo Lake (Lancaster County) – Jason Boyko, of Oxford,
caught three smallmouths, 17 to 201/2 inches, on a size 9 Rapala
Husky Jerkbait in a deep pool at dusk in late July. Bass fishing
has been better than average overall on plastics and tubes working
especially well. After 9 a.m., fish deep-diving crankbaits around
points. Catfishing has been excellent, with green crawlers on the
bottom the best way to go. Jim Neary’s Bait and Tackle will sponsor
its annual catfish tournament on Aug. 24, from 7 p.m. to midnight.
The crappie bite hasn’t picked up yet.
Lake Towhee (Bucks County) – Weeds are very dense, but kayakers
and canoeists who can get to open water will find plenty of good
Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) – Catfish are hitting at night,
but the bite slowed in warmer weather. Bass are being caught in 30
feet on drop shots with soft plastic baits presented slowly. Some
topwater action is reported around weeds.
Scotts Run Lake, Hopewell Lake (Berks County) – These twin
French Creek State Park lakes are yielding nice panfish, with
sunfish and perch coming on waxworms, redworms and small
Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) – Good smallmouth bass fishing is
reported, while catfish and striped bass have been hitting at the
Kaercher Creek Lake (Berks County) – Anglers have been catching
hybrid striped bass on shrimp near Hamburg in recent weeks.
Struble Lake (Chester County) – Two walleyes, 5 and 7 pounds,
were caught on pink artificials by crappie anglers targeting the
shallow waters near the bridge on this 386-acre impoundment.
Schuylkill River (Montgomery County) – Anglers report average
action on green tubes in the Norristown Pool. Channel and flathead
catfish are being caught at Mont Clare and other spots, on crayfish
and other baits.
Delaware River (Northampton County) – Good smallmouth bass
fishing is reported on shad patterns.
Minsi Lake (Northampton County) – Bass fishing has slowed some
while bluegill remain active on crawlers and mealworms in this
Sweet Arrow Lake (Schuylkill County) – Bass are coming on
crawlers under bobbers, although higher temperatures have slowed
Neifert Creek Flood Control Dam (Schuylkill County) – Nice
catches of rainbow trout were reported in recent weeks in this
northern part of the county at State Game Land 227. Crawlers under
bobbers have been working. Anglers also can expect to catch bass
– Compiled by Deborah Weisberg