Tuesday, February 7th, 2023
Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

PA: Ice is thickening on lakes across the northern tier Issue: 26

Extreme rainfall and the start of rifle deer season made for
very light fishing pressure in many parts of the state in late
November and early December, when extreme cold and wind also were a
problem. For a list of fall-trout-stocked fisheries, visit


Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay, tributaries – A late steelhead run
that occurred just before Thanksgiving was soon hampered by heavy
rainfall and then snowfall in early December. In Presque Isle Bay,
a few steelhead were reported around the waterworks and the marina,
which also was yielding some perch, but overall action was

Allegheny River/Allegheny Reservoir (Warren County) - Nice
walleye catches up to 7 pounds were reported in both the river and
the lake before extreme rainfall of early December. The river was
expected to rise dramatically with impending releases from the
Kinzua Dam. In fishable conditions, late fall, early winter walleye
catches can be excellent, with fish feeding heavily as water
temperatures drop.

Chapman Dam (Warren County) – Shore anglers were still catching
nice-size trout from the recent stocking through early

Lake Arthur (Butler County) – A little early-morning skim ice
was beginning to form in some of the coves, but disappearing by
midmorning. Angling pressure was extremely slow at the start of
rifle deer season.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) – Several large perch,
and nice crappies and walleyes were reported up until the start of
rifle deer season. Boaters were catching walleyes by jigging sonars
and blade baits, and crappies were hitting off the docks.


Allegheny River – Before the heavy rainfall that caused early
December’s flooding, Walt Sugent released a 50¼-inch muskie on a

Monongahela River – Before the flood conditions of early
December, the sewage treatment outflows were productive, with
anglers catching 2- to 3-pound bass.

Glendale Lake (Cambria County) – Quality perch were reported in
recent weeks.

Duman Dam, Lake Rowena (Cambria County) – Catches of stocked
trout were reported through early December.

Wilmore Dam (Cambria County) – Catches of crappies were reported
in falling water temperatures in recent weeks.

Colver Reservoir (Cambria County) – Anglers reported perch and
bluegills through early December.

Green Lick Reservoir (Westmore-land County) – Largemouth bass up
to 3 pounds were reported on minnows suspended under slip bobbers
in recent weeks.

Mammoth Lake (Westmoreland County) – Largemouth bass were
hitting on crankbaits and jerkbaits, and trout were taking scented
artificials off the bottom in recent weeks.

Twin Lakes (Westmoreland County) – Crawlers and scented
artificials off the bottom were taking a few trout on the upper and
lower lakes through early December.

Donegal Lake (Westmoreland County) – Anglers were catching
panfish and a few trout in recent weeks.

White’s Creek (Somerset County) – A few anglers were catching
trout in the past couple of weeks.


Spring Creek (Centre County) - Above average flow in the 50s and
slightly off-color was reported Dec. 4. Small- to medium-size
streamers were recommended, although small nymphs were typically
more effective. Caddis Pupae in olive and tan (size 16 to 18),
Green Weenie, Pheasant Tails and other classic nymphs were
productive. A few midges 26-28) and blue-winged olives (18-20) were
hatching. Anglers were urged to avoid trout-spawning beds.

Penns Creek (Union County) – High, muddy conditions were
reported Dec. 4.

Fishing Creek (Clinton County) – Above-average but fishable
conditions were reported Dec. 4. Water was high and off-color, with
a green tint. Dry fly-fishing was slow. Streamer-fishing was the
best bet, although nymphing also could be productive. Casting
woolly buggers and other streamer patterns toward the banks and
around boulders, trees and other in-stream structure or nymphing
with tandem flies under indicators was recommended. Tan caddis
(size 14 to 18) and blue-winged olives (18 to 20) were hatching.
Good patterns were tan and olive Bird of Prey Caddis and Tan
Caddis, and Pheasant Tails and Zebra Midges. Anglers were advised
to avoid spawning beds, which look like depressions in clean

Pine Creek, Little Pine Creek (Lycoming County) – Streams were
blown out in early December. As of Dec. 4, the harvest of bucks was
largely disappointing, according to McConnell’s Country Store’s
Glen McConnell. Few sightings of nice bucks were reported. Lycoming
County came in second in bear harvests.

Slate Run, Cedar Run (Tioga County) – These mountain wild trout
streams were tough to unfishable from heavy rainfall in early

Buzzard Swamp (Elk County) – Fall bass were being caught on
plastic worms, with blue-black a productive color combination.


Little Juniata River (Huntingdon, Blair counties) – Water was
slightly off-color Dec. 4 but an ideal 50 degrees, and Hare’s Ears,
Pheasant Tails, Green Weenies and other nymphs, and classic
streamers were catching trout. Midges also were hatching.


Lehigh River (Lehigh County) – High and muddy flow was reported
Dec. 4 and a cold snap shut down angling. Willie’s Bait and Tackle
in Lehigh County said informal reports on deer harvest numbers were
a little higher than anticipated a week into rifle deer season.
Willie Marx shot a 5-point buck and doe on a private farm in Berks
County, while a friend shot a 6-pointer. A number of deer sightings
also were reported. Archery at the Glenn reported a really good
deer harvest in Lehigh County, with nice bucks and does taken. The
shop called archery season spectacular. Jason Roth shot a 10
pointer. Brian Glenn, of Allentown, shot a 9-pointer.

Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) – Light pressure was reported at
the start of rifle deer season, with big panfish, channel cats up
to 8 to 10 pounds jigging slab spoons and Rapalas deep. Walleye
numbers haven’t shown up yet. Pickerel up to 24 inches were
reported from boat and shore. Mike’s Bait and Tackle reported the
deer harvest was above-average this year in terms of the quality of
bucks, including a 12-pointer, taken. Size rather than numbers was

Delaware River – The bass and walleye bites hadn’t turned on as
of Dec. 5, but were expected to pick up soon, especially for some
of the bigger, quality smallmouths.


Bushkill Creek., Monacacy creeks (Northampton County) – Nice
yields of trout were reported.

Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) – Bass and crappies were reported
with crappies hitting on fatheads and bass and pickerel taking
shiners, as conditions allowed. For instance, cold, windy weather
put the kibosh on fishing Dec. 6. Bob Moyer, of Quakertown, leads
the Nockamixon Sports Shop big buck contest with a 12-point buck
taken in Bradford County during archery season. Bigger bucks,
including non-typicals and with heavier mass racks, were reported
along with a good harvest of does.

Little Lehigh (Lehigh County) – Trout were hitting in the
Parkway area.

Tulpehocken Creek (Berks County) – High, off-color conditions
were reported Dec. 4. Yellow and tan caddis (size 16-20), midges
(20-26), and blue-winged olives (22-24) were hatching.

Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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