Ice fishing gets started slowly across the state


Lake Erie and tributaries – Ice and slush and low, clear water
were a real problem on steelhead streams Dec. 31. Poor Richard’s
weighed seven steelhead early that same week. Wind and rainfall
after Christmas ruined ice that had started to form in Presque Isle
Bay, and there was no fishable ice as of New Year’s Eve.

Lake Pleasant (Erie County) – This small, glacial lake had
limited ice in places Dec. 30, and Brian Ruland, of Erie, reported
icing a 12-inch trout from the recent stocking, a 10-inch perch and
a nice bluegill.

Chapman Reservoir (Warren County) – Trout, perch and bass were
iced in recent weeks. Although the state stocked trout Dec. 15,
another stocking is slated for Jan. 20 (rescheduled from Feb.

Chautauqua Lake (New York) – A few anglers were icing perch and
bluegills in Burdis Bay as of Dec. 30, but conditions there and
across the lake were variable.

Justus Lake (Venango County) – Although the state stocked trout
Dec. 15, another trout stocking is slated for Jan. 20 (rescheduled
from Feb. 2).

French Creek (Crawford County) – A few walleyes were reported in
recent weeks, with the mouth of Conneautee Creek a hot spot.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) – Ice fishing was reported Dec. 30
in the eastern bays, with the Muddy Creek arm getting the most
pressure, followed by Shannon Run. Bruce Fink, of Prospect, iced a
5-plus pound, 21-inch largemouth bass recently. Other largemouths
up to 5 pounds were reported. The bluegill bite was on with some
fish up to 10 inches reported, though the majority was smaller. One
angler reported catching 40 bluegills, including 10 over 8

Harbor Acres Lake (Butler County) – A state trout stocking was
slated for Jan. 5.

Bessemer Lake (Beaver County) – A state trout stocking is slated
for Jan. 5.


Allegheny, Monongahela, Ohio rivers – Flow was high at the end
of December on all three rivers and very few anglers were on the
water. Some walleyes and saugers were landed at Sharpsburg on the

Crooked Creek Lake (Armstrong County) – The lake and outflow
area are closed for the winter and will reopen April 1.

Highpoint Lake (Somerset County) – Ice anglers caught four nice
pickerel up to 24 inches and a 25-inch northern pike Dec. 29.

Deep Creek Lake (Maryland) – Ice anglers were catching pickerel,
walleyes and perch Dec. 30.


Parker Dam (Clearfield County) – A trout-stocking was performed
in the channel at the upper end of the lake in late December.

Curwensville Dam (Clearfield County) – Ice angling was reported
in recent weeks; before ice-up, open water below the spillway was
yielding some nice walleyes.

Hills Creek Lake (Tioga County) – Early ice was yielding a
variety of panfish, including a 131/2-inch crappie one angler
reeled up. The bite also included perch, bluegills, chain pickerel
and smaller bass.

Spring Creek (Centre County) – High but fishable water was
reported Jan. 2, along with a few midges, Blue-winged olives
(20-22) and craneflies hatched during spates of mild, sunny
weather. Nymphing with small flies (18-22) and small to mid-size
streamers were effective. Green Weenies, Pheasant Tails, Hare’s
Ears, Sulphur nymphs, and Zebra Midges were good choices. Some
midge activity was reported.

Penns Creek (Union County) – Heavy rain blew out this stream
Dec. 31. A few blue-winged olives (22-26) and midges were hatching.
Pheasant Tails, Pheasant Tail Soft Hackles, Green Weenies (12),
Stonefly nymphs and streamers caught fish.

Fishing Creek (Clinton County) – This limestoner was yielding
some fish as of Jan. 2.


Little Juniata River (Huntingdon County) – Water was high and
off-color but dropping Dec. 31. Green and Olive Caddis larva,
Hare’s Ears. Pheasant Tails, Prince Nymphs, Green Weenies, Zebra
Midges and other basic nymphs were catching fish. Small to
mid-sized streamers also were working. Tiny blue-winged olives
(22-24) and midges were hatching.


Promised Land (Pike County) – Perch, bass and bluegills were

Shohola Lake (Pike County) – An angler released three nice bass
on big live bait halfway down the lake. Panfish, perch, pickerel
and crappies were reported.

Greely Lake (Pike County) – Numbers of bass, panfish, perch,
crappies, and pickerel were reported on live bait.

Lower Woods (Wayne County) – A nice bite on largemouth bass was
reported, along with brown and rainbow trout on jigs.

Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) – Two weeks ago, two anglers
trolling Christmas trees (multiple spinner-type lure) boated four
trout, 8 to 10 pounds, in about 20 feet of water in front of the

Long Pond (Wayne County) – A 5-pound walleye and a 27-inch
pickerel were reported in recent weeks.

White Oak Pond (Wayne County) – Crappies up to 15 inches were
reported on jigs after dark by anglers using lanterns.

Fairview Lake (Monroe County) – Nice-size trout were reported on
mealworms along shore.

Upper Delaware River – Big trout and walleyes up to 7 pounds
were reported by anglers pitching Rapala X-Raps from shore.


Fishing Creek (York County) – High but fishable conditions were
reported Dec. 31, along with a few tiny blue-winged olives (22-24).
Small nymphs, such as Pheasant Tails and Zebra midges, and small
streamers were reported.

Tulpehocken Creek (Berks County) – High, cold water was reported
in recent weeks. Clarity was poor. Some midges (20-26) were
reported. Streamers were the best bet.

Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) – Recent rainfall prevented the
lake from freezing as of Jan. 2. Haycock and Three Mile branches
typically freeze first. Joseph Desris III, 7, of Quakertown, shot a
5-point buck with a shotgun during the mentored youth hunt he
shared with his father.

Lake Towhee (Bucks County) – This small, weedy county-owned
impoundment froze just before Christmas and was yielding panfish,
then thawed in a spate of mild, rainy weather.

Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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