Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – December 16th, 2016

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission is performing winter trout stockings at select fisheries across the state. For a schedule, visit

Boaters are reminded that they are required to wear life jackets when in vessels of 16 feet or less and in all canoes and kayaks from now through April.


Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) —Reports on yellow perch were mixed through late November, with some anglers making nice catches on golden shiners and others not getting much of a bite. Crappies and bluegills were hitting in Marina Lake, and walleyes were reported off the North Pier.

Lake Erie steelhead tributaries — West-side streams were yielding steelhead through late November, as conditions allowed. Elk Creek was a hot spot, particularly north of Route  98, and fish were as far as the falls on Walnut Creek. Crooked Creek above the nursery waters also had a nice run of steelhead in late November.  The mouth of Trout Run was yielding fish to spoons, with green and silver the better colors, and early morning and after-dark the most productive times to fish.

French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Crawford, Venango counties) — One angler caught four northern pike jigging creek bait on the back of a red and black floating jighead.

Shenango River Reservoir (Mercer County) — Big numbers of white bass were reported along with hybrid striped bass, northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and the occasional walleye in mild conditions just before Thanksgiving. Many fish hit in very shallow water when weather was mild.

Allegheny River (Venango County) — Numbers of smallmouth bass up to 17 inches or 3 pounds were reported along with nice-size walleyes and northern pike in late November. Bass and walleyes were hitting jigs and slow-rolled swimbaits. Some anglers did well with tubes fished just inside the current line.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Numbers of bluegills were reported off the Jamestown Marina docks in late November. Some anglers were catching keeper-size walleyes on blades during the day just before Thanksgiving.

Allegheny River (Clarion County) — Anglers were catching some nice walleyes around East Brady in early December.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Owing to deer season, fishing pressure was very low in early December, but the few anglers fishing were catching some beautiful perch, according to Appalachian Trails tackle shop. Numbers of fish up to 10-plus inches were reported on red worms and nightcrawlers. The occasional walleye around 20 inches was reported on crawlers from boaters fishing over 12 to 18 feet of water. A few hybrid striped bass also were reported but that bite was expected to tail off by mid-December or when water falls below 40 degrees. Channel catfish up to 20 inches were reported.


Allegheny, Monongahela, Ohio rivers (Allegheny) — Walleyes and smallmouth bass were hitting where the rivers come together near downtown Pittsburgh in recent weeks, with anglers reporting success on minnows. Mon River walleyes were hitting stickbaits around Monessen, particularly Lock No. 4, while Emsworth was a hot spot on the Allegheny.

Glendale Lake, Wilmore Dam, Colver Reservoir (Cambria County) — Glendale and Wilmore were yielding nice bluegills, while yellow perch were reported at Colver.

Duman Lake, Lake Rowena (Cambria County) — Nice catches of trout were reported through the end of November at both lakes.

Chest Creek (Cambria County) — The delayed-harvest, artificial- lures-only stretch was yielding trout through the end of November.

Indian Lake (Somerset County)          — Trout and nice-sized bass were hitting artificials in recent weeks.

High Point Lake (Somerset County) — Anglers and boaters are advised that a draw-down is in progress for vegetation control in this mountaintop impoundment.  Largemouth bass, northern pike, and chain pickerel were reported through the end of November.

Youghiogheny River Reservoir, Youghiogheny River tailrace (Fayette, Somerset counties) — The lake was yielding nice-sized walleyes, smallmouth bass, and channel catfish, while trout were biting selectively in the tailrace of the dam through the end of November.

Keystone Lake, Northmoreland Lake, Loyalhanna Creek (Westmore-land County) — Anglers were catching newly-stocked trout through late November. Loyalhanna is a Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters fishery. Trolling was productive on Keystone, while Northmoreland trout were biting scented baits cast from shore, especially midlake near the handicapped access.

Twin Lakes (Westmoreland County) — Trout were hitting artificials, including plastic worms, through the end of November. Bass also were biting.

Green Lick Reservoir (Fayette County) — Channel catfish were hitting stinkbaits in recent weeks.

Bridgeport Reservoir  — Bass up to 3-plus pounds were reported through the end of November.

Acme Dam (Westmoreland County) — Falling water temperatures spurred the crappies to bite in late November.


Cowanesque Lake (Tioga County)  — Anglers were catching bass on crankbaits and jerkbaits in off-color conditions in late November.

Hills Creek Lake (Tioga County) — Yellow perch were hitting live minnows and waxworms in late November. Bass also were active, and biting jerkbaits and crankbaits.

Tioga Lake and spillway (Tioga County) — Yellow perch were reported on waxworms and bass were hitting crankbaits in the lake in recent weeks. Walleyes were hitting minnows and twister tails in the spillway.

Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — Trout were taking nymphs in small mayfly, stonefly and caddisfly larvae patterns in low, clear conditions through late November. Cast your flies in deep pools and/or near structure (e.g. rocks, logs, etc.). Streamers also were working in deep pools and near streambanks.

West Branch of Susquehanna River — Anglers reported bass on jerkbaits, streamers, and crankbaits through late November.  Bass were holding at the bottom of deep pools.  Muskies also were becoming active in falling water temperatures, with large streamers and lures effective.

Spring Creek (Centre County) — This limestone stream was clear, low and in the upper 40s in late November and yielding trout on nymphs, such as Green Weenies, Sow Bugs, and black Zebra Midges. In the lower reaches, anglers were doing well on olive or black streamers (6-10) and spinners.


Lake Marburg (York County) — B & B Lures tackle shop reported Dec. 3 that yellow perch and crappies were starting to bite in temperatures that had fallen to 41 degrees. The crappies were hitting on live shiners or waxworms, and the perch were biting shiners or fathead minnows. Walleyes were reported off rocky points on medium to large minnows on 1⁄8- to ¼-ounce jigheads. Walleyes were ranging from shallower waters on warmer days and deeper water under colder conditions.

Sherppard-Meyers Reservoir (York County) — Mostly crappies and perch were hitting, with crappies coming on waxworms or live shiners, and perch biting shiners or fatheads. Largemouth bass were reported on spoons.

Susquehanna River (York, Lancaster counties) — Numbers of smallmouth bass, including some upwards of 18 inches, were taking small spinners, jerkbaits and Rattletraps through early December, with the Brightsville area producing nice fish.

Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) — Smallmouth bass, white bass, and white perch were reported in and around the Great Trough Creek area for anglers trolling live trout and swimbaits. Smallmouths were around and upstream of the Fish & Boat Commission’s Ardenheim Point access area on the Raystown Branch. Watermelon and green-pumpkin-colored creature baits were effective.

Little Juniata River (Huntingdon County) — Nice catches of trout were reported through the end of November.

Juniata River (Mifflin County) — Despite low water levels at the end of November, the bite on smallmouth bass and walleyes was picking up.


Lehigh River — Pressure was light through early December, but a few anglers were picking up trout, according to Willie’s Bait & Tackle. Some nice bucks were taken on public and private lands, with an 11-pointer being shot by rifle in Lehigh Township, the shop reported.

Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, and crappies were reported through the end of November by Legends Outdoors Guide Service. Some nice walleyes also were taken.

Prompton Dam, Duck Harbor Pond (Wayne County) — Walleyes and smallmouth bass were biting through the end of November.  Medium-sized shiners presented on a slow drift were the ticket.

Delaware River — Large channel catfish were hitting on shiners slowly-drifted in at least 50 feet of water through the end of November.

Lackawaxen River (Wayne, Pike counties) — Trout were holding in big pools in the mild weather of mid-November.

Susquehanna River (Columbia, Luzerne counties) — Smallmouth bass and the occasional walleye were reported through the end of November. The bass were sizeable and hitting shiners.


Delaware River (Bucks County) — Walleyes had moved to winter feeding patterns by late November and were hitting on hard baits and tubes around current breaks and structure.

Nockamixon Lake (Bucks County) — A few bass were hitting in the mild weather of mid-November, while crappies were schooling in about 21 to 25 feet. Live minnows under slip-bobbers and scented soft plastic minnows were effective on crappies.

Struble, Marsh Creek lakes (Chester County) — A good perch bite was reported by Gordon’s Sports Shop in early December, with anglers catching nice-size fish on small jigs and minnows. Marsh Creek Lake was lowered, making the shoreline more accessible. A few bluegills were reported at both fisheries. Although a big draw for muskie anglers who often target points, no muskie releases were reported in recent weeks.

Gordon’s also reported impressive numbers of deer being harvested in the Marsh Creek area game land (in Unit 5C). Most were does, but some nice bucks also were taken.

      Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

Categories: Pennsylvania Fishing Reports

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