Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Fall walleye, muskie, trout bite coming on strong

The Pennsylvania Fish  & Boat Commission has trout stockings
slated for select lakes and streams beginning in early October. For
a complete schedule, visit www.fishandboat.com

NORTHWEST REGION

Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay, tributaries – With walleyes scattered,
action slowed in late September, but the perch bite remained
strong, with catches coming in 60 to 70 feet. Anglers fishing out
of Lampe Marina caught two 5-pound smallmouths, several
largemouths, and a 7-pound walleye by targeting reefs with
crankbaits in 10 to 18 feet. In Presque Isle Bay, FLW bass pro Dave
Lefebre, of Union City, caught several 14- to 16-inch largemouth
bass on jigs with plastic double-tail grub trailers, targeting
weedlines in 6 to 8 feet. Rich Conlon, of Wexford, and Matt
Sullivan, of Valencia, won the recent Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit
championship in Presque Isle Bay with a six-fish limit totaling 16
pounds. Andrew Kinitski, of Claysburg, caught the tournament
lunker, a 4-pound, 13-ounce smallmouth. In all, 41 two-person teams
caught 101 fish, including one smallmouth and 100 largemouths
totaling almost 2311⁄2 pounds. Three limits were weighed. A spurt
of rainfall sent steelhead into the tributaries Sept. 17, but
streams got low and clear quickly and action slowed. Some anglers
continued to do well as of Sept. 24 at the Walnut Creek wall, but
the beach at Trout Run was slow.

Lake Edinboro (Erie County) – A 4-pound largemouth bass was
released on a jig with craw trailer.

Lake LeBoeuf (Erie County) – Several northern pike were
reported.

French Creek (Erie, Crawford, Venango counties) – Large channel
catfish were reported near Meadville in mid to late September,
while average-sized walleyes were taken earlier.

Allegheny Reservoir/Allegheny River (Warren County) – Walleyes were
starting to turn on the week of Sept. 20, with keepers hitting
evenings and early mornings in the river, and on crawler harnesses
during the day in the reservoir.

Allegheny River (Venango County) – Anglers reported nice numbers of
bass and a few walleyes up to 24 inches, with locals doing well on
live riffle runners. Thick weeds around Franklin and Oil City have
made some areas tough to target. A 27-inch northern pike also was
reported in late September.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) – Crappies up to 14 inches
were reported, and anglers were catching keeper-size walleyes
drifting jigs and crawlers over humps.

Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) – Nice numbers of bluegills were
reported, along with largemouth bass. The bass averaged 2 pounds,
although a 5-pounder was released.

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) – Good catches of crappies and
bluegills, and some small perch were reported.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) – Jimmy Dreibhold, of Sandy Lake,
caught two largemouth bass, about 5 and 4 pounds, on black rubber
worms under the main causeway recently.

SOUTHWEST REGION

Lake Arthur (Butler County) – The evening hybrid striped bass bite
was beginning to pick up, with anglers, mostly boaters, catching
two to four bass and the occasional walleye. Crappies and
largemouth bass were hitting in the early morning. Numbers of
catfish were reported up to 28 inches. Anglers were seeing an
occasional northern pike and muskie around weedbeds.

Lake Oneida, Thorn Run Reservoir (Butler County) – Good early
evening bass fishing was reported in recent weeks. Both Oneida and
Thorn Run close at dusk and prohibit trespass on the
breastworks.

Keystone Power Dam (Armstrong County) – A bass angler released four
sub-legal muskies on white spinnerbait in recent weeks.

Allegheny River – Anglers were catching walleyes on small chrome
spoons, and smallmouths on crankbaits.

Ohio River – Angling pressure was very low in recent days. Ryan
Marhefka, of Olmstead Falls, Ohio, caught a 30½-inch, 9-pound,
11-ounce walleye on a jig and twister tail with crawler in the back
channel of Neville Island the morning of Sept. 12.

Cross Creek Lake (Washington County) – Amid light angling pressure,
good bluegill and crappie bites and a few saugeyes were reported.
Bass fishing was quiet.

Youghiogheny River (Fayette County) – Trout and a good smallmouth
bass bite were reported in low flow in recent weeks.

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

West Branch Susquehanna River (Lycoming County) – Smallmouth bass
were hitting on various baits in mid to late September, although
boaters struggled with low water conditions.

Rose Valley Lake (Lycoming County) – Evening and after-dark fishing
for bass and catfish was productive in late September.

Spring Creek (Centre County) – A good morning trout bite was
reported in late September, with tricos, caddis, terrestrials and
midges hatching. Flow was about average.

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

Little Juniata River (Blair County) – Average but fishable
conditions were reported in late September, and anglers were
dead-drifting or swinging their favorite Slate Drake nymph patterns
or throwing terrestrials towards the banks.

Susquehanna River – Catfish, including flatheads, were active in
the lower reaches, and smallmouths and a few walleyes were in the
water above Harrisburg.

Swatara Creek (Lebanon County) – John Randler caught a 12-inch fall
fish in Swatara Creek Sept. 14

Susquehanna River (York County) – The York Haven hydro dam has
reopened to anglers. Catfish were being caught with cut bait and
chicken livers. Some smallmouth bass were reported on tubes,
crankbaits, and live minnows near Saginaw.

Lake Redman (York County) – Largemouth bass were taken in deeper
water, between 35 and 40 feet, on live minnows and green tubes in
the early morning in mid-September.

Lake Williams (York County) – Low levels were reported, and numbers
of panfish were caught on small worms early in the day.

NORTHEAST REGION

Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) – Drought conditions forced the
closure of the boat ramps in late September, making kayaks and
canoes the only means for accessing the lake.

Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) – A decent bass bite was reported
in recent weeks.

Blue Marsh Lake (Carbon County) – Drought conditions forced the
closure of boat ramps in late September, making kayaks and canoes
the only means for accessing the lake.

Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) – The Mangan Cove boat ramp is
closed until the end of the month. Smallmouth bass were biting in
12 to 15 feet on Ratl-traps and deep running crankbaits. Excellent
pickerel action was reported on large live baits and spinnerbaits
in late September. Perch were hitting on fathead minnows on the
bottom by the dam before dark.

Lake Shohola (Pike County) – A good bass bite on rubber worms and
flukes was reported in late September. One angler caught three nice
bass and a 30-inch northern pike on a pink spinnerbait.
Panfishermen were doing well on mealworms and red worms. The
pickerel bite was picking up, with live shiners or topwater
jerkbaits working well.

Peck’s Pond (Pike County) – Panfishing picked up in late September
with large bluegills and some crappies reported.

Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) – Several quality northern pike
were reported in late September, with one of the fish weighing 18
pounds. Big brown trout also were reported. The bass bite slowed
with changes in temperature. A few nice-size striped bass were
caught in about 25 feet. Walleye fishing is good.

Delaware River – A good bass bite and a few muskies were reported
in late September.

White Oak Pond (Wayne County) – Crappies were hitting fathead
minnows and walleyes were taking big stickbaits after dark.

Susquehanna River (Bradford County) – Overnight cool downs spurred
smallmouth action in late September, with anglers in the
Towanda/Wysox area reporting fish 15 to 19 inches. Many of the
larger fish with hitting crayfish lures targeted at the base of the
faster-moving water.

North Branch of Susquehanna River (Susquehanna County) –
Inconsistent catches of bass were reported, with smallmouths in
fast water and current seams feeding on various baits.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) – A hot catfish bite was reported,
with catches 5 to 10 pounds. An angler reported a 21-inch, 5-pound
largemouth bass on a Hula Popper in late September when other
anglers were averaging 2- and 3-pound bass. Natural baits worked
best in the evening, while jigs and deep-diving crankbaits were
good in 15 feet mid-day. Eels were reported. Walleyes and muskies
were inactive. Crappies and perch were hitting, and the evening
striper bite was productive on natural baits. The striper bite is
still good in the evening when using natural bait.

Delaware River – Low water prevailed in late September, making boat
launching difficult. Some anglers were still catching numbers of
bass, with dawn and dusk the best times to fish. Bass were
scattered and hitting shad fry some evenings. A plastic-worm jig
combo slow-fished in current and small swimbaits were good
bets.

Lehigh River (Lehigh County) – The smallmouth bass bite slowed in
late September, with falling water temperatures and low flow.

Little Lehigh River (Lehigh County) – Midges, tricos, baetis and
craneflies were hatching. Good patterns in late September were
Pheasant Tails (18), Griffiths Gnats, terrestrials, craneflies, and
blue-winged olives.

Octoraro Lake (Lancaster County) – D. Lavender won the recent
Octoraro Lake catfish tournament with a 7-pound, 3-ounce channel
cat taken in low water levels. M. Finger came in second with a
6-pound, 8-ounces bag. A. Zerbe was third with a combined total of
5 pounds, 10 ounces. D. Lavender’s fish was also the tournament
lunker. Bass fishing was productive in the shallows in late
September’s cooler water. The boat launch remains open until Oct.
31. Bank fishing continues after that.

Green Lane Reservoir (Mont-gomery, Berks counties) – Catches of
largemouth and smallmouth bass picked up on plastic baits, such as
plastic lizards, in recent weeks. Fishing pressure was down.

Sanatoga Lake (Montgomery County) – Largemouth bass were hitting on
top water lures.

Lehigh River (Northampton County) – The smallmouth bass bite was
going strong in late September, with anglers doing well below
Cementon Falls. Live minnows cast to pockets and runs here was
productive.

Bushkill Creek (Northampton County) – Rainbows were reported in the
lower reaches in late September.

Sweet Arrow Lake (Schuylkill County) – Crappies and bluegills were
reported in recent weeks.

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