PA: Scorching hot conditions endangering wild trout Issue: 16
Record-setting temperatures through much of the state in late
July kept anglers off the water and made for a slow bite on many
fisheries. Anglers are reminded that in hot water conditions, trout
streams should be avoided.
Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay - As of July 21, perch were in 35 to 42
feet all over the lake, having been moved shallow by a blue-green
algae bloom that typically occurs this time of year, and walleyes
were in the first trench straight out of Walnut Creek. In the bay,
one angler caught crappies off the north pier, where other anglers
were catching smallmouth bass on crayfish. Largemouth bass were
reported around weedbeds, particularly in Misery Bay and near the
Allegheny River (Venango County) – Smallmouth bass in small sizes
were hitting on tubes and jigs. Chuck and Kevin Sari, of Franklin,
caught seven walleyes up to 26 inches on crankbaits in late July.
Catfish also were reported.
French Creek (Venango, Crawford counties) – Smallmouth bass up to
16 inches were hitting soft plastics and minnows. Large walleyes
were spotted, but wouldn’t bite in the late- July heat wave.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) – The walleye bite has
slowed but a few, including a 6-pound, 28-incher, were hitting in
the deeper water. Crappies were biting in the evenings and at night
around Andover-Espyville causeway. Channel catfish in mixed sizes
up to 12 pounds were active in recent days, with the Linesville
spillway a productive spot. A few muskies under 42 inches also were
Cussawego Creek (Crawford County) – Largemouth bass up to 5 pounds
were reported, especially in the slower, weedy sections near the
confluence with French Creek in late July.
Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) - Nice yields of crappies were
reported in mid to late July, along with largemouth bass in mixed
sizes from 6 inches to 5-plus pounds.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) – Al Means, of Sheakleyville, caught
17 largemouth bass July 16. Bluegills were hitting maggot-tipped
ants and crappies were taking live minnows.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) – Nice yields of largemouth and
smallmouth bass were reported, along with numbers of channel
catfish up to 30 inches. The hybrid striper action was waning. One
angler caught some nice perch, 10 to 12 inches.
Allegheny River (Allegheny County) – The Venture Outdoors Downtown
TriAnglers caught a variety of fish off the North Shore July 20,
including a 23-inch smallmouth buffalo released by Tommy Lippert,
of Spring Garden, and a 23-inch channel catfish released by Frank
McCormick, of McKees Rocks. Elsewhere, early morning and evening
catches of bass and catfish were reported in the hot weather of
Monongahela River (Allegheny, Washington counties) – George
Kuzemchak and Mike Coccia, both of Fallentimber, won the July 16
Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit tournament with a six-fish limit
totaling 10¼ pounds. John Bayer, of California, Pa., caught the
2-pound tournament lunker. In all, 95 two-person teams caught 431
fish, including 353 smallmouths, 61 largemouths, and 17 spotted
bass, totaling 480 pounds. Fish averaged 1 pound, 4 ounces each,
and 45 teams caught limits. The water near Becks Run was yielding
smallmouth bass in recent weeks. Freshwater drum and catfish also
Ohio River (Allegheny County) - Dashields Dam yielded 8 freshwater
drum and a 27-inch, 10-pound flathead, all on night crawlers, July
14. Last weekend, after-dark anglers caught catfish and carp at the
mouth of Little Sewickley Creek. Smallmouth bass were hitting along
riprap at the back channel of Neville Island.
Youghiogheny River (Fayette County) – The outflow near Confluence
yielded trout, including a 22-inch, 5-pound brown trout on a shiner
Keystone Lake (Armstrong County) – Action slowed in late July’s
heat, although a 24½-inch walleye was caught July 16, and several
muskies under 35 inches were released.
Glendale Lake, Wilmore Dam (Cambria County) – Bass and crappies
were reported in recent weeks.
Ebensburg Reservoir (Cambria County) – Small bass were
Lake Rowena (Cambria County) – Anglers were catching panfish.
Yellow Creek Lake (Indiana County) – Smallmouth bass were reported
near the dam, but sizes were running small. Nice crappies were
hitting in mid-July, and small bluegills and perch were landed from
shore. The northern pike bite slowed.
Conemaugh River Lake (Westmoreland County) – Channel catfish,
including a 17-plus-pounder, were released. Bass were hit or miss,
with a few 3-pounders reported.
Big Fishing Creek (Clinton County) – Normal July flows were
reported in late July, and fishing was okay early and late in the
day. Water was in the 60s and clear. The best dry fly action was on
blue quills. Slate drakes and caddis were hatching. Dead-drifting
and swinging Slate Drake nymphs was productive, as was dropping a
nymph off a larger dry fly to cover two feeding levels. Hatches
included blue quills (18-20), tan caddis (14-16), slate drakes
(12-14), black midges (24), and light and cream cahills
Sinnemahoning Creek, West Branch of Susquehanna River (Cameron
County) - Low water levels were reported in late July, which put
the kibosh on float trips. The bite on most fish was slow, although
anglers also were catching some nice smallmouth bass, including
some 4-plus pounders. Catfish and bluegills were biting in the
Pine Creek (Lycoming County) – Decent catches of smallmouth and
rock bass were reported on streamers and, in the evenings, on
poppers, in 90-degree water in late July’s heat.
Cedar, Slate runs (Tioga County) - Water temperatures in the upper
60s and low 70s in late July allowed for some trout fishing,
although anglers are urged to check conditions to ensure trout
Spring Creek (Centre County) – Water was low and too warm to fish
around the Paradise in late July, where 70-degree temperatures
already were stressing trout. The water below the big spring in
Bellefonte was cooler. Trout were hitting tricos. Griffiths Gnats
and terrestrials, including foam beetles, along with very small
nymphs. Dave Rothrock landed a brown on a Trico nymph (size 24)
below Benner Springs.
Juniata River (Juniata County) – Late evening anglers were catching
channel catfish on crawlers and crayfish. Smallmouth bass were
reported on madtoms. Anglers are reminded that the water below the
Port Royal bridge (Route 75 Bridge) is under catch and release
regulations for smallmouth bass.
Little Juniata River (Huntingdon County) – Very low flow and high
water temperatures (75 to 82 degrees) were reported in late July,
and anglers were urged to fish Big Fishing Creek or Spring Creek
Juniata River (Mifflin County) – Smallmouth bass up to 18 inches
were hitting madtoms.
Holman Lake (Perry County) – Panfish and bass were hitting on this
Little Buffalo State Park impoundment, with small baits such as wax
worms and crawlers productive. A few small muskies also were
Peck’s Pond (Pike County) – Largemouth bass were hitting
Texas-rigged rubber worms, spinner baits, poppers, crankbaits and
medium shiners in recent weeks. Spinners and medium shiners also
were taking pickerel. Crappies were hitting crankbaits, and
bluegills and perch were nabbing mealworms and crawlers close to
Lake Shohola (Pike County) – Largemouth bass and pickerel were
reported on rubber worms and orange grub tails, Texas-rigged. Bass
also were taking inline spinners fished over lily pads.
Little Mud Pond (Pike County) – Crawlers, mealworms, and inline
spinners were producing bluegills, perch, and largemouth
Deckers Pond (Pike County) – Nice-size crappies and large pickerel
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) – Large catfish were reported in
Upper Delaware River (Pike County) – Trout were hitting in the
mornings and evenings.
White Deer Lake (Pike County) – Pickerel, bass, perch and bluegills
were taking crawlers, mealworms, and inline spinners in recent
Pohopoco Creek (Carbon County) – Trout and a few walleyes were
reported downstream of the outlet pipe of Beltzville Lake.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) – Panfish were active in most
coves, and the bass bite varied from slow to good. Catfish were
hitting. Donna Bench, of Palmerton, caught two channel catfish – a
25-inch, 6-plus pounder, and a 23-inch, 5-plus pounder – on
crawlers. Weekend boat traffic was heavy.
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) – Bass, pickerel, including many
in smaller sizes, were reported along with panfish in late July,
with minnows and leeches effective. In warm water, fishing in deep
water off the bottom in early mornings and evenings was the best
bet, although catfish were hitting off-shore for some anglers,
around boat launch A.
White Oak Pond (Wayne County) – Panfish were active on this
175-acre impoundment in recent weeks.
Lehigh River – Trout shut down in the hot conditions of late July,
although smallmouth bass continued to hit. Big carp were
Susquehanna River (Dauphin County) – Large flatheads were reported
on sunfish and chubs below the Red Hill and York Haven dams.
Little Lehigh River (Lehigh County) – Smallmouth bass were hitting
shiners and rubber worms. Dean Metzler caught a 20-inch brown trout
on a crawler. Nathan Meilinger, of Hellertown, caught 13- and
14-inch rainbow trout on baby crawlers.
Schuylkill River – Catfish were biting in recent weeks.
Delaware River – Scattered smallmouth bass action was reported in
recent weeks, with fish following shad fry in higher water out of
current. Leeches also were effective. Matthew Salterch, of
Bethlehem, caught two 181⁄2-inch smallmouth bass near the PPL
North Branch of Susquehanna River – Numbers of bass were reported
in recent weeks.
Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) – Meredith Ziegler, of Bethlehem,
caught an 181⁄2-inch largemouth on a crawler. Morning and evening
anglers were catching bass trolling. Bass were shallow at sun-up.
Crappies up to 14 inches were reported on fathead minnows in recent
weeks; crappie anglers were also picking up perch. Muskies from 20
to 43 inches were released. The pickerel bite was ho-hum. Catfish
were averaging 12 to15 pounds, with evenings productive. Jason
Benjamin, of Allentown, caught two nice-sized channel catfish. Carp
were hitting dough balls.
Lake Galena (Bucks County) – Bass up to 3 pounds were
Lake Redman (York County) – Catches of bass and white perch were
reported in mid to late July. A few nice-sized striped bass were
hitting near the dam. Fly-anglers were catching panfish on small
Lake Williams (York County) – Bass were hitting tubes, with green
the preferred color, and deep-diving plugs, especially in the
mornings and at dusk.
Susquehanna River (York County) – Anglers were catching bass in the
water south of Bruner Island, where catch and release is not in
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg