Catfish seem to be biting well almost everywhere


Lake Erie – When conditions allowed, walleyes were hitting in 65 to
75 feet of water along most of the Pennsylvania shoreline, from the
Ohio line to Northeast at the end of July. Perch were spotty, with
the better catches in 55 to 60 feet out of Walnut Creek and the
point of the peninsula. The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission
weighed a 1-pound, 9-ounce perch recently. Dave Bittinger, of
Apollo, caught a 38¾-inch, 25½-pound lake trout with 25½-inch girth
fishing with charter captain Dick Torrelli in 102 feet.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) – Crappies remained
unusually active, with fish coming on small jigs off brushpiles in
about 14 feet. Largemouth bass were hitting in the weedbeds. The
walleye bite has slowed, with just an occasional fish reported by
anglers trolling plugs or crawler harnesses. Channel catfish were

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) – A good largemouth bass bite was
reported in recent weeks on a variety of lures, from topwaters to
drop-shot rigs. One bass angler released a bowfin. Chub Hornstein
released 12 to 16 largemouths and two smallmouth bass over three
hours by swimming a 4-inch soft plastic bait along weedlines. He
caught some nice crappies on a 1-inch soft plastic minnow. FLW pro
Dave Lefebre, of Union City, caught largemouth bass, including a
couple of 4-plus-pounders by skipping under pontoon boats, and a
6-pounder on a midlake hump July 25.

Tamarack Lake (Crawford County) - An evening crappie bite was
reported, with small minnows the ticket.

Woodcock Lake (Crawford County) – Crappies were reported around
habitat with a combination of rocks and weeds.

Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) – Some northern pike were reported
on golden shiners, spinnerbaits and spoons with soft plastic
trailers. Largemouth bass were hitting at night with anglers doing
best on surface baits.

French Creek (Crawford, Venango counties) – A few anglers were
catching smallmouth bass on soft-shell crayfish from the stream in
the Crawford County portion, and bass and walleyes were reported
downstream of the confluence with Big Sugar Creek in Venango

Allegheny River (Venango County) – Anglers were catching smallmouth
bass up to 18½ inches, depending on conditions. A 21-inch walleye
was reported.

Justus Lake (Venango County) – Anglers were catching a few
largemouth bass in recent weeks.

Shenango Lake (Mercer County) – Warm water sent crappies deeper in
late July. An excellent catfish bite was reported.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) – A few bass and walleyes and numbers
of small panfish were reported.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) – A fair number of crappies in mixed
sizes up to 1 pound were reported. Walleyes were hitting in the
evening. A few hybrid stripers were reported. Channel catfish up to
24 inches and largemouth bass were hitting.


Allegheny River – Pete Maltese boated a 29-inch walleye below Lock
3 recently in slightly high, off-color water. Winners of the Lock
Three Bait and Tackle Shop annual multi-species fishing tournament
were Mike Shook’s 29-inch carp, Tony Reamer’s 31¾-inch flathead
catfish, Dean Kestner’s 19¼-inch smallmouth, and Chuck Connor’s
19¾-inch walleye. The Venture Outdoors Downtown TriAnglers’ better
catches off the North Shore one recent Wednesday included a 21-inch
channel catfish released by Tom Lippert, of Spring Garden, and a
12½-inch freshwater drum released by Ella Lipick, of Penn

Ohio River – Lee Murray, of Cheswick, and Chuck Main, of Ellwood
City, won the recent X Series bass tournament sponsored by
Ohio-based Vic’s Sporting Center with five smallmouths totaling
9-plus pounds.

Monongahela River – Dylan Thomas, of West Elizabeth, released a
36-pound flathead catfish at 2:30 a.m. July 28. Numbers of
smallmouth bass were reported.

Yougiogheny River – Good trout fishing was reported by anglers
floating from Confluence to Ohiopyle. Numbers of bass were reported
elsewhere on the river.

Youghiogheny Reservoir (Fayette County) - Walleyes were spotty, but
the bass bite was good in recent weeks.

Deep Creek Lake (Maryland) – Dave Jenco, of Brownsville, and Jim
Gwynn, of Bentleyville, won the walleye division of the annual Fish
for Life Tournament to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
with five walleyes totaling 7½-plus pounds. Reuben Johnson, of
Natrona Heights, and Mike Kalafut, of Uniontown, caught the
31⁄3-pound lunker walleye. The bass division was won by Larry
Beckman and Ben Newman, both of Oakland, Md., with four bass
totaling almost 13 pounds, including a 41⁄3-pound largemouth that
was the tournament lunker. John Richter and Joe Argiro, both of
Connellsville, won the miscellaneous division with a 2¼-pound chain


Fishing Creek (Clinton County) – Low and clear but cool and
fishable conditions were reported July 31. A few light cahills and
tan caddis were on the water, along with summer blue quills.
Scattered midges and craneflies also were reported. The topwater
bite was slow, with the best dry fly action in the early morning
and evening hours. Nymphing was more productive. Tan Caddis (14-16)
and tan and olive Bird of Prey Caddis were recommended, along with
soft hackle and emerging Mayfly or Caddis patterns.

First Fork Sinnemahoning, Driftwood Branch (Cameron County) – Trout
fishing continued in recent weeks, although anglers are advised
that warm, low flow is stressful to cold-water species, and trout
should not be targeted in extreme summer conditions.

Foster Joseph Sayers Lake (Centre County) – Crappies continued
hitting through the end of July, with the spillway one of the more
popular locations both for panfish and an occasional trout.

Spring Creek (Centre County) – Morning trout fishing was productive
through the end of July with terrestrials, tricos, caddis and midge
activity reported. Anglers are advised to not fish when water hits
70 degrees from Benner to Bellefonte. Water was running clear July

Chest Creek, Wilson Run, West Branch Susquehanna River tributaries
(Centre County) – Trout angling was minimal in recent weeks,
although the Fish & Boat Commission reported numbers of trout
remained in the streams, with the Curwensville to Clearfield
stretch of the West Branch Susquehanna River a good spot.

Lyman Lake (Potter County) – Trout were hitting from boat and
shore, with some catches measuring up to 14 and 15 inches.

Penns Creek (Union County) – Conditions were much too warm and low
for trout fishing as of July 31. Anglers are urged to avoid streams
like Penns when water exceeds 70 degrees, and this stream was
running in the mid-70s in late July.

Curwensville Dam (Clearfield County) – Anglers reported muskie
releases in mixed sizes near the beach area at dawn and dusk in
recent weeks.


Spruce Creek (Huntingdon County) – Low, clear flow was reported
July 31, along with tricos, caddis, slate drakes, light Cahills and
terrestrials. Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, Green Weenies, olive/tan
Caddis Larva and Prince Nymphs were productive patterns. Anglers
also were working the banks with ants, hoppers, beetles and

Lake Redman, Lake Williams (York County) – Bass were hitting early
in the morning, with live minnows and deep diving plugs the best
bet. Panfish were taking poppers and crawlers.

Octoraro Lake (Lancaster County) – Catfish were biting on chicken
livers and clam snouts. Joseph Chase caught a 13-pound, 14-ounce
channel cat on a shiner by the bridge. The bass bite was good from
boats with the better lures soft plastic crayfish imitations and
tubes in black with red or blue flecks or green pumpkin. A lot of
yellow perch were reported, but sizes were running small, on medium
fatheads or chunks of crawlers fished on the bottom around rocky
embankments or riprap. Walleyes and northern pike were hitting on
Rapala husky jerks in sizes 7 to 9 or pikie shiners by the bridge.
Crappies were hitting for anglers with fish finders, since they
were schooling in various depths. A bass tournament open to the
public is slated for Aug. 14. For details, call Jim Neary’s Bait
and Tackle at (717) 529-2488.


Lehigh River (Carbon County) – Smallmouth bass were reported in the
early evening hours in recent weeks, and trout were hitting near
the mouths of the tributaries.

Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) – Perch were hitting on minnows,
mealworms, and crawlers around the lake. Zefra Ohlson, of
Whitehall, caught a 13½-inch perch. Bass also were active in recent
weeks. Launch ramp construction was completed.

Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) – Walleyes and panfish were active
in the Pine Run cove and striped bass near the dam tower in recent
weeks. Bass were hitting poppers. Catfish were taking chicken

Lackawanna River (Lackawanna County) – Fly-anglers reported success
in recent weeks.

Merli Sarnoski Lake (Lackawanna County) – Nice catches of trout
were reported on butterworms.

Tobyhanna Lake (Monroe County) – Bullhead catfish, pickerel and
largemouth bass were reported on bait and artificials.

Fairview Lake (Monroe County) – Excellent smallmouth bass action
was reported at dawn and dusk.

Lackawaxen River (Pike County) – Good brown and rainbow trout bites
were reported, since frequent releases from Lake Wallenpaupack help
keep water cool.

Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) – Walleye action has been
outstanding in recent weeks, with worm gangs in chartreuse or
orange drifted in 20 feet the most productive tactic. Excellent
smallmouth action also was reported on artificials or live bait.
Perch were starting to hit again on fathead minnows or mealworms in
the weedbeds, large pickerel were taking live bait. Striper action
slowed, but hybrid stripers were hitting mornings and at night.
Mauch Chunk is good for bass.

Shohola Lake (Pike County) – Jointed jerkbaits and surface
buzzbaits were taking bass and pickerel in recent weeks.

Lake Loch Lomond (Pike County) – Catfish up to 15 inches and
largemouth bass up to 2 and 3 pounds were reported.

Hidden Lake (Pike County) – A 25-inch chain pickerel was

White Deer Lake (Pike County) – Good bites on panfish and
largemouth bass were reported, with bass hitting rubber worms along
the shore near deep shoots and overhanging bushes. Early morning
action was good on mealworms, poppers and ant flies around lily

Prompton Lake (Wayne County) - Walleye action was picking up in
recent weeks.

Upper Woods Lake (Wayne County) – Trout were coming on herring
drifted in 30 to 40 feet.

White Oak Pond (Wayne County) – Bass were hitting Hula Poppers and
rubber worms in recent weeks.


Susquehanna River (Dauphin County) – Bass were hitting Rattletraps
in recent weeks on this Big Bass Program water, with a 15-inch
minimum creel size. Water levels were low in recent weeks,
averaging just 3 feet.

Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County) – Bass were hitting in the deeper
water and around weedbeds on crankbaits and spinnerbaits, with big
rubber worms in purple, black, dark green and pumpkinseed and jigs
working well in weeds. Bluegills and crappies were taking minnows,
mealworms and waxworms.

Schuylkill River – Catfish were hitting between the Cromby Power
Plant and the Black Rock Dam, with channel cats taking liver and
flatheads live bait. Anglers also were catching bass on live bait
or crankbaits. Anglers are reminded to avoid the fish ladder at
Black Rock Dam. It is unlawful to fish within 100 feet of the
entrance and exit points of the chute or ladder. Stay 100 feet
below the dam boil.

Lehigh River (Northampton County) – Smallmouth bass were hitting
rubber worms, grubs, crayfish patterns and spinnerbaits between
Bethlehem and Freemansburg. Low flow allowed anglers to wade in
recent weeks.

Little Lehigh River (Lehigh County) – Outstanding trout fishing was
reported in 68-degree water, with fish rising to midges and trico
spinner falls, which were hitting the water by about 9 a.m. Scuds
were the ticket in the evening.

Lake Ontelaunee (Berks County) – Bass were hitting in the

Tulpehocken Creek (Berks County) – A light trico hatch was reported
as of July 31 and fish were eating them. Caddis remained strong in
the mornings and late evenings. As water approached 70 degrees,
anglers were urged to fish for trout only in the early morning to
avoid stressing fish further.

Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) – A 36-inch muskie was caught in the
spillway in recent weeks.

Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) – With a surface water temperature
of 87 degrees, fishing was slow by July 31. Mostly crappies and
catfish were reported. Muskie action had tapered off. Bass weren’t
real hot. The lunker in a recent tournament was around 4

Lake Galena (Bucks County) – Numbers of largemouth bass were
reported, but most were under 2 pounds. Perch and crappies also
were hitting.

Delaware River – A good smallmouth bite was reported with soft
plastics more productive than any other baits because baby shad
were moving. Some anglers were cranking with success, but bass
weren’t interested in poppers. Releases were good around Upper
Black Eddy. Some anglers reported 20- and 30-fish outings. Walleyes
were slow but expected to heat up in August, with catches coming in
the fast-moving water, and at the beginnings and ends of the
rapids. Catfish and eels were providing decent action. The water
below Easton was yielding smallmouth bass, with anglers fishing
tubes, mostly, in the deeper holes. Carp and catfish were reported
at dawn and dusk.

Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

Categories: Archive

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