PA: Dry, sweltering conditions change everything Issue: 15
Trout streams, especially wild trout waters, were becoming warm
in early July, and anglers were urged to avoid them or to exercise
extreme caution when catching and releasing fish so as not to
stress them and cause mortality.
Lake Erie (Erie County) – An outstanding perch bite continued with
limits coming in a couple of hours in 53 to 60 feet July 8. The
walleye bite was improving, with fish 6 to 8 pounds scattered
around the lake in 55 to 80 feet. Largemouth bass and freshwater
drum were more active than smallmouths and hitting blades, tubes,
crankbaits and drop-shot plastics.
Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) – Evening anglers were catching
largemouth bass on topwater lures or live crayfish in early July. A
couple of muskies also were reported.
Allegheny Reservoir, Allegheny River (Warren County) – The river
was yielding trout, walleyes, and catfish, and walleyes were
reported in Chappel and Morrison bays in the reservoir.
Pymatuning Lake (Crawford County) – The walleye bite had slowed and
gone as deep as 20 to 26 feet. Fish were hitting Hot-n-Tots, Bomber
Long As, and worm harnesses or floating jigheads with leeches on
bottom bouncers. Crappies also have slowed some and moved deeper.
Numbers of bluegills were reported on wax worm- or maggot-tipped
ants. Bullhead and channel catfish were taking stinkbaits and cut
baits. Bass were hitting around shallow weeds and lily pads.
Chester Yoder caught an 18¼-inch largemouth that weighed 2½-plus
Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) – Anglers were targeting walleyes
and bass with medium shiners in early July.
Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) – Northern pike were hitting
trolling spoons, and largemouth bass were reported on plastic
Woodcock Creek Lake (Crawford County) – A 40-inch muskie was
re leased on an in-line spinner, and walleyes were caught on
French Creek (Crawford, Venango counties) – Dustin Shay, of
Meadville, hooked into a 36- to 38-inch muskie and several northern
pike on spinnerbaits in early July.
Allegheny River (Venango County) - Reports on smallmouth bass were
mixed, with anglers catching some nice ones drifting soft plastic
stick baits along the shore.
Justus Lake (Venango County) – Several largemouth bass around 12
inches were reported on drop-shot rigs.
Oil Creek (Venango County) – Hot weather has made trout inactive,
but smallmouth bass were heating up, with several 10- to 13-inchers
reported between Oil Creek State Park to Oil City in recent
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) – Average-size crappies and bluegills
were reported, along with a few walleyes and largemouth bass.
Shenango Reservoir, Shenango River (Mercer County) – Ray Weaver
caught a 31-inch, 6-plus pound northern pike and some nice catfish
up to 20¼ inches in the reservoir. Ken Smith, of Sharon, released
14 crappies on twister-tails fished deep, two smallmouth bass and
one largemouth bass on a crankbait close to shore, and a
keeper-size walleye. Mike Coccia and George Kuzemchak, of
Fallentimber, won the recent Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit tournament
with a six-fish limit totaling 18½ pounds. They also caught the
4-pound lunker. A total of 95 two-person teams caught 226 fish,
including four smallmouths and 222 largemouths totaling 457 pounds.
Fish averaged 2 pounds. A dozen limits were taken.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) – Numbers of bluegills, catfish,
largemouth bass, and hybrid striped bass were reported but sizes
overall were running small.
Allegheny River (Allegheny County) Walleyes, saugers and smallmouth
bass were reported, with sizes small to average, although one
angler released a 4-plus pound largemouth below Lock 3 July
Ohio River (Allegheny River) - Denny Cirrincione caught a 31-inch,
11-plus pound hybrid striped bass.
Cross Creek Lake (Washington County) - A great largemouth bite was
reported, with 6-inch purple worms taking fish up to 4 pounds.
Bluegills were scattered and hitting jigs. Morning anglers also
were catching a few nice walleyes trolling crawler harnesses at
about 1½ miles an hour.
Youghiogheny River Reservoir (Fayette County) – John Paul Prinkey
and Joshua Rugg, of Markleysburg, won the walleye division in a
recent local tournament with five fish close to 20 pounds. They
also caught the 6-plus-pound lunker walleye. Brad Weese and Brian
Campbell won the bass division with five fish totaling 111⁄3
pounds. Jim and Joe Batronis caught the 3-plus pound lunker
Sinnemahoning Creek (Cameron County) - Channel catfish were hitting
on minnows in recent weeks, and smallmouth fishing was
Sayers Lake (Centre County) – Bass were taking spinnerbaits and
plastic worms, with mornings and later afternoon better than the
middle of the day. Panfish were hitting in the evening on twister
tails and live baits. Evening anglers also were catching catfish on
Colyer Lake (Centre County) – Bass, pickerel and panfish were
taking a variety of live baits as well as plastic worms and
spinners in early July.
Penns Creek (Union County) – Water was low and clear and
temperatures on the upper end were in the 60s in early July,
although anglers were advised that, without rainfall, water would
heat up. It is not advisable to target trout once water exceeds 70
degrees, and anglers were advised to carry a thermometer. Fish were
rising in the early morning and late evening, and nymphing
double-fly rigs under indicators was effective, with Stonefly and
Slate Drake patterns recommended. Hatches include midges, yellow
craneflies (16), tan caddis (14-16), olive caddis (16-18), golden
stones (10), slate drakes (12-14), light cahills (12-14), cream
cahills (14), summer blue quills (18-20), yellow drakes (10-12),
and blue-winged olives (14-16).
East Branch Clarion River (Elk County) – Trout were hitting on jig
heads in a variety of different colors in early July.
Pine Creek, Little Pine Creek (Lycoming County) – Water was very
low and clear, and temperatures were in the low 80s by July 9.
Anglers were advised to avoid these streams in order to conserve
trout, and to fish instead in cooler mountain streams.
Little Pine Lake (Lycoming County) – Anglers were catching panfish
through July 9.
Slate Run, Cedar Run (Tioga County) – Slate drakes and some
sulphurs were hatching late in the day, along with light cahills
and lots of terrestrials, such as crickets, inch worms, beetles,
and ants. These small mountain streams were considered a good
alternative to stocked streams, such as Pine Creek, where water was
Fishing Creek (Clinton County) - Slightly above-average flows were
reported July 8, with water clear and in the 60s. Fishing was best
early and late in the day. Blue quills were the best dry flies,
although slate drakes and caddis also were effective nymphs, and
terrestrials were a good bet fished close to the banks. This stream
was considered a better bet than Pine and Little Pine creeks in
early July, although anglers were advised to avoid water that has
warmed above 70 degrees.
Spring Creek (Centre County) – Decent conditions were reported on
this limestoner July 8, with water clear, slightly higher than
average, and in the 60s. Caddis (14-16), light cahills (14), and
midges were hatching. Dry fly activity had slowed, but nymphing
with scuds and cressbugs was good.
Rose Valley (Lycoming County) – Lots of bass and quality perch, and
some pickerel were reported July 9.
Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) – Terry Warner, of Hunting don,
caught a 22-pound striped bass while trolling live bait in late
Little Juniata River (Huntingdon County) – Markedly below-average
flow was reported July 8, but trout were hitting on terrestrials
targeted tight to banks. Water was clear and in the 60s. Anglers
were advised to monitor rising temperatures and to not fish when
water went above 70 degrees. Although slate drakes and cahills were
spotted, most hatch activity in early July involved terrestrials.
Effective patterns were ants and beetles (12-18), Green Weenies
(12-14), Slate Drakes, Cahills, Sulphur Nymphs, parachutes, and
emergers (14-16), Pheasant Tails (12-16), tan or olive caddis
larvae (14-18), or mid-sized streamers.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) – Striped bass up to 20 pounds
were hitting at night for anglers drifting herring or Ripplin’
Redfins and Bomber Long As. Some limits of perch up to 14 inches
were reported on small herring or fathead minnows. Numbers of
pickerel up to 6 pounds were taking live bait, and walleyes were
hitting for anglers trolling crawlers or worm spinner rigs.
Smallmouth bass were in 12 to 20 feet, and bluegills were reported
off the docks.
Lackawaxen River (Pike County) – Trout were hitting spinners and
small crankbaits, and stripers were coming on herring.
Lake Shohola (Pike County) – Good bassing was reported, with
surface plugs productive. Crappies 12 to 14 inches also were
reported through July 9.
Lake Greeley, Upper Woods Pond (Pike County) - Nice-size bass were
taking rubber worms on both waters. Upper Woods also was yielding
Peck’s Pond (Pike County) – Arianna Darcy, 12, of Wescosville,
caught a 2½-pound, 16-inch bass on a white lizard. Other anglers
reported nice catches, including some off the docks.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) – Reports on bass were mixed from
slow to decent, and some small muskies around 20 inches were
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) – Panfish, pickerel and bass were
reported through July 9.
Delaware River - Anglers targeting catfish with chicken livers also
were catching incidental small stripers.
Quittapahilla Creek (Lebanon County) – Anglers continued catching
newly stocked rainbow trout on spinners and live bait through the
end of June, before water warmed.
Susquehanna River (York County) – A good early morning bass bite
was reported in recent weeks, with Bruner Island and the lower
section of Gut Road especially productive. Anglers were doing well
on live bait as well as dark-colored plastic worms.
Lake Redman, Lake Williams (York County) – Panfish were hitting on
small poppers in recent weeks. A few hybrid striped bass were
caught on deep-diving spinners.
Schuylkill River – Smallmouth bass were biting in recent
Ontelaunee Reservoir (Berks County) – Bass, catfish and carp were
reported in recent weeks.
Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) – Good bassing was reported in
recent weeks, and walleyes were taking leeches near the filling
basin at night.
Lake Galena (Berks County) - Average bass fishing was reported in
Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) – Numbers of muskies were reported,
along with a good pickerel bite. Largemouth and smallmouth bass
action also was picking up. Walleyes remained slow, and crappie
action on fathead minnows was decent, although sizes were
Octararo Reservoir (Lancaster County) – The first place weight in a
recent open bass tournament was five fish totaling 10¾ pounds (R.
and D. Anderson team), caught on creature baits and dark-colored
jigs. Second place was four fish weighing 8 pounds (Jones, Watson
team), and third place was four fish totaling almost 8 pounds
(McCullough and Kofroth). M. and J. Sellers caught the lunker, a
3-pound, 1-ounce largemouth.
Delaware River (Delaware County) – Catfish were hitting, with the
Commodore Barry Bridge area one of the more productive spots.
Deep Creek Lake (Montgomery County) – Tracy and Pat O’Shea caught a
30-inch channel catfish in this Green Lane Park impoundment.
Monacacy Creek (Northampton County) – Mike Dalessadro caught a
26-inch brown trout on a waxworm, 4-pound test and size 16 hook
above Illick’s Mill Road June 26.
Lehigh River – Good smallmouth bass action was reported, while
trout fishing slowed in warmer weather.
Little Lehigh River (Lehigh County) – Trout action slowed, with
yields coming in the deepest holes and around undercut banks on red
worms and butterworms drifted slowly.
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg