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

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Cool weather brings hot fishing as autumn approaches

NORTHWEST REGION

Lake Erie – Perch and walleye fishing were good in mid-September
when conditions cooperated. Perch were hitting in 55 to 62 feet of
water out of Walnut Creek, and walleyes in 65 to 70 feet out of
Walnut on the west side. Bill Detwiler, of Pittsburgh, Al Means, of
Bakerstown, and Ron Davies, of Monaca, caught 17 walleyes, 18 to 24
inches, up to 6 pounds, on worm harnesses and spoons mid-month. On
the east side, walleyes were hitting on the other side of the
mountain, east of the Northeast Marina, in 60 to 113 feet.  Fishing
pressure dropped off midmonth, but catches were good, with one
charter boat catching 14 walleyes and six steelhead on a recent
Sunday.  Perch have been hitting in 60 to 65 feet in front of
Freeport Beach. A few steelhead began showing up along the
lakeshore, at the mouths of the creeks, and in the lower reaches of
the creeks mid-month. Although shorter days were triggering this
initial movement, lakeshore temperatures, at 73 degrees, still were
too warm for significant staging near the mouths. 

Allegheny River (Warren County) – Cooler weather has spurred the
walleye bite, with average sizes reported. Trout are being released
in the river, with many sub-legal sizes in the mix. Good smallmouth
action is reported in the river.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) – Joe Pellecchia, of McKeesport,
caught a 141/2-inch crappie drifting a crawler in the main lake.
Crappies are being caught under the main causeway. Anglers are
picking up a lot of bluegills off the Sheakleyville Bridge, and in
the coves. Work on the dam is now finished.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) – Smaller largemouths (under the
15-inch Big Bass minimum) are reported around weedbeds in 6 to 8
feet, but fishing remained light mid-month. Jon Peterman and Ed
Wright won the Butler Bass Casters’ final in-season tournament with
a two-bass catch totaling 51/3 pounds. That included the tournament
lunker, a more than 31/2-pound largemouth. 

SOUTHWEST REGION

Allegheny River (Armstrong County) – High muddy water is
gradually returning to normal, with bass up to 2 pounds
reported.

Allegheny River – Sam Stellitano, of Sharpsburg, reported a good
smallmouth bass bite in recent weeks, with 10 to 15 inchers coming
by the Highland Park Dam and along the rock piles on the
Lawrenceville side. Smaller size Chug Bugs, Pop-Rs and Buzz Baits
worked well. Catfish have been reported around lock three. The
Venture Outdoors Downtown TriAnglers report very slow fishing and
small catches from the North Shore on a recent Wednesday outing.
Highlights included smallmouth bass up to 101/2 inches released by
Charles Collins, of Mount Lebanon, and an 8-inch skipjack herring
released by Ray Beale, of Morningside.

Monongahela River – Small-mouth bass and a few saugers and
walleyes are reported in very good conditions. Try live bait.

Ohio River – George Hinzman caught a 281/2-inch, 7-pound,
5-ounce walleye with 151/2-inch girth on a crawler in the back
channel recently. A mixed bag of other fish, including saugers and
small hybrid striped bass, also are reported. Brian Vizzi and his
twin brother, of Neville Island, caught two flathead catfish up to
40 pounds in recent weeks. Other anglers are catching channel
catfish from the New Eagle docks.

Beaver River (Beaver County) – Anglers are releasing nice-size
catfish.

Hillman Lakes (Washington County) – These three small gamelands
ponds (SGL 117) in Burgettstown are fishing well for largemouth
bass and crappies.

Youghiogheny River – A strong trout bite is reported all over
the river in good conditions.

Youghiogheny Reservoir (Fayette County) – Higher water levels
are giving anglers better access to productive spots. Park Nicklow,
of Addison, caught a 36-inch northern pike on a minnow. He and four
other anglers caught 24 smallmouths from 121/2 to 191/2 inches on
crayfish in 12 to 15 feet. A few quality perch and walleyes also
have been caught. An angler released a 28-inch channel catfish from
a dock.

Yellow Creek Lake (Indiana County) – Decent numbers of
average-sized panfish are reported.

Quemahoning Reservoir (Somerset County) – This Johnstown-area
lake has been yielding carp up to 25 pounds in recent weeks.

Loyalhanna Lake (Westmoreland County) – Bluegills and largemouth
bass up to 23 inches have been released in recent weeks.

Deep Creek Lake (Maryland) – Big numbers of walleyes in mixed
sizes are reported, with fewer than half of legal size. Big
bluegills and perch also are hitting.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

Pine Creek, Little Pine Creek (Tioga County) – Water
temperatures are dropping, and fish are out of the runs and in the
main stem on both streams. There was some loss of fish from high
temperatures but those that survived should offer good fishing for
fall. Water levels were below normal mid-month. Hatches included a
few slate drakes, some midges, terrestrials, although early freeze
warnings were expected to shut them down.

Kettle Creek (Potter County) – Low conditions continued
mid-month, and anglers were moving to Pine Creek, where conditions
were just slightly better.

Curwensville Reservoir (Clearfield County) – Some nice
largemouth bass, walleyes and perch have been hitting. Sizes and
numbers have been running average. For more, visit
www.curwensvillelakefishing.com

West Branch Susquehanna River (Lycoming County) – Low water made
for tricky boating in early September. The upper end of the boating
pool at Williamsport has been productive for smallmouth bass
anglers fishing tubes, jerkbaits and spinnerbaits. Bass, including
some over 13 inches, were reported, from Lock Haven to
Sinnemahoning and in Renovo.

Pine Creek/Little Pine Creek (Tioga County) – Low water
prevailed in early September and water temperatures were in the mid
70s, which made for better bass than trout fishing on Pine Creek.
Little Pine also was low and clear, but fishable. The 94-acre
Little Pine State Park impoundment was still drawn down for repairs
and the water from the spillway to the mouth discolored from
reconstruction. 

East and West Branches Clarion River (Elk County) – Fly-anglers
were doing well on Pheasant Tail nymphs in early September. Some
walleyes are being caught on crawlers at East Branch Dam.

F.J. Sayers Lake (Centre County) – Low angling pressure and
sub-legal crappies have been reported at this Bald Eagle State Park
impoundment in recent weeks. Boaters are reminded to observe the
&#8220Slow No Wake” zone at the Hunter Run inlet and cove, and
near the Route 26 causeway.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) – Striped bass are being
caught in 22 to 27 feet of water on live bait, and are running from
8 pounds to 25 pounds. Cooler weather has increased smallmouth and
largemouth bass action. Anglers still are finding lake trout too
deep to target.

Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) – Cooler weather and
clearer water were reported in mid-September. Recom-mended patterns
included a tandem fly-rig with a crane fly larva imitation for
nymphing and a Micro Caddis on top. For more, visit
www.yellowbreeches.com

Letort Spring Run (Cumberland County) – Heading into the latter
part of this month and October, size 20 Blue-Winged Olives are the
recommended fly pattern. Midges hatch year-round. Terrestrial
insects are active until the first frost. Fishable numbers of trico
spinners could be found in mid-September from Harmony Hall Drive
downstream. Certain areas have more spinners than others. Cress
(sow) bugs and shrimp (scuds) are present throughout the
stream. For more, visit www.yellowbreeches.com.

Big Spring Creek (Cumberland County) – Water and flow were clear
and good in mid-September, with anglers doing well on floating
Pheasant Tail nymphs, Blue-Winged Olives and midges.

NORTHEAST REGION

Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) – Cooler evenings have spurred
largemouth bass in recent weeks, with live minnows the best bait,
although there has been some surface action, too. Jig and pigs
should begin working well, too, as temperatures continue to fall.
Fish have been averaging 14 inches, which is slightly bigger than
in summer.

Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) – Anglers are making good
walleye catches trolling worm harnesses or jigging in the early
mornings. Striped bass also have been hitting.

Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) – Smallmouth bass moved
shallower in cooler water mid-month. Tubes were the ticket, along
with Senko worms and spider jigs. Catfish up to 10 pounds also were
reported around dusk. Anglers were picking up walleyes trolling
worm harnesses. Yellow perch were hitting fatheads and mealworms.
Marc Strasser recently caught a 20-inch, 41/2-pounder in 25 feet
off Shuman Point. A 20-pound striped bass was caught on a large
spoon in recent weeks.

Promised Land Lake (Pike County) – Anglers are catching bass up
to 18 inches on jointed Rapalas and live shiners.

Shohola Lake (Pike County) – Largemouth bass and pickerel are
biting. Try minnows.

Peck’s Pond (Pike County) – Black topwater lures have been
nabbing largemouth bass and pickerel, while mealworms have been
taking panfish in recent weeks. Bass have been hitting 7-inch power
worms. Perch have been coming near the dam. Bluegills are hitting
redworms and mealworms.

Delaware River (Pike County) – Water was in the low 70s
midmonth, and smallmouths were hitting in big numbers if not sizes.
Anglers reported action around big numbers of shad fry. Case Salty
Shads are the top ticket, although anglers also are fishing tubes,
grubs and Rapala X-Raps with success. Anglers are landing catfish
and panfish on live bait.

Cook’s Pond (Bradford County) – Dandy catches of largemouth bass
were reported in recent weeks.

Susquehanna River – Although sizes have been running small, nice
numbers of smallmouth bass have been reported in recent weeks. In
low, clear conditions, target smallies around submerged ledges and
rocky flats with soft stickbaits. Your best bet is to fish topwater
lures at dawn and dusk.

Hunters Lake (Sullivan County) – Quality bluegills are hitting
mealworms in 12 to 15 feet at this 117-acre impoundment.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Lake Minsi (Northampton County) – Slab crappies were being
caught midmonth on fatheads, although numbers weren’t there. Eric
Steible, of Palmer Township, caught a 231/2-inch, 6-pound
largemouth bass on a shiner in late August.

Saucon Creek (Northampton County) – Trout were being landed in
early September on butterworms. Trico and caddis hatches were good
in the mornings, and blue-winged olives in the evenings.

Lehigh River (Lehigh County) – Levels remained low mid-month,
and trout action was below average. Early in the month, trout were
coming between Glen Onoko and Jim Thorpe train station, and below
Cementon Falls. Rainbows up to 21 inches were reported, although a
near 14-pound trout was caught near Canal Park over Labor Day
weekend. The smallmouth bite has been better, with fish up to 15
inches being caught on live bait and on small spoons or
pumpkin-colored twister tails and jigs. The Hamilton Street Bridge
area has been productive. Tim Aungst, of Allentown, caught a
22-inch, 41/2-pound smallmouth bass on a chartreuse jig in early
September. Daniel Ruhe, of Hellertown, caught a 28-inch, 61/2-pound
channel catfish near Route 33 on a chicken liver in late last
month.

Little Lehigh River (Lehigh County) – Very good conditions and a
strong trico hatch were reported midmonth, with trico spinners
hitting the water around 9:30 in the morning. Fish midges and
terrestrials in the afternoons and flying ants in the evenings.

Clarks Creek (Dauphin County) – Clear flow was reported in
mid-September and anglers were sight-fishing for trout. Top water
cricket and tiny beetle patterns worked.

Octararo Lake (Lancaster County) – Average catches of smallmouth
bass are reported on creature baits and soft plastics in 2 to 7
feet before 9 a.m. After that, fish crankbaits off the points, or
Carolina rig in 10 feet or deeper water. Crappie fishing continues
to be off. Green crawlers are working on channel catfish. Some bass
anglers are catching them inadvertently on crankbaits. Yellow perch
are hitting but sizes are running small. Try meal worms.

Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) – Striped bass action is best
during mid-day hours, although catches also are reported in the
mornings and evenings. Crankbaits are the ticket. Overnight catfish
action has been good. Anglers always have a chance of picking up
largemouths and pickerels.

Delaware River – With lots of baby shad in the river, a great
bass bite was reported in mid-September, especially on surface
poppers and 4-inch Senko worms.

Lake Towhee (Bucks County) – Action has been slow during low
water conditions.

Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) – Nighttime catches of catfish,
stripers and bass have been reported in recent weeks. Catfish have
been everywhere. Stripers have been running smaller and hitting
mostly late at night. A good crappie bite also is reported.

Chambers Lake (Chester County) – Nice yields of bass are
reported, with boaters doing better than shore anglers in early
September. Minnows and tubes fishing in 10 to 15 feet have been
especially productive.

Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County) – Bass and crappies are
hitting. Bass are biting off the main points and on rattletraps in
the back bays.

Schuylkill River – A good smallmouth bass bite is reported, with
big numbers coming on tubes and topwater lures, from Port Clinton
for three miles upstream. Walleyes are being taken in the Hamburg
area. Anglers are catching flathead catfish on eels.

– Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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