While ice angling continued on some fisheries around the state, as of Feb. 1 veering temperatures, wind, rain and snow made many lakes unfishable, with large areas of open water or open water around the shorelines. Closer to this issue’s deadline, however, conditions stabilized.
Anglers are advised to exercise extreme caution when venturing onto frozen surfaces.
Lake Erie steelhead tributaries (Erie County) — As conditions allowed, snowmelt and rainfall brought steelhead into streams through late January. Anglers were catching steelhead in the access areas, but were contending with slush.
Presque Isle Bay — Yellow perch, bluegills and crappies were hitting through the ice as conditions allowed. As of Feb. 1, anglers were fishing off the Chestnut Street Launch and off Liberty Park.
Kahle Lake (Clarion County) — Ice anglers were catching yellow perch, bluegills and crappies through late January.
Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — Anglers were icing crappies and bluegills on the south end of this large natural lake through late January.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Walleyes, crappies and largemouth bass were reported off Tuttle and Jamestown campgrounds in January.
Oil Creek (Venango County) —Anglers were targeting walleyes in the lower reaches in late January when water levels were high.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — Boaters are advised by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission that an ice-control device spanning the river upstream of the State Street (Veterans) Bridge in Oil City was in place as of late January. Boaters should use caution when navigating this area.
Justus Lake (Venango County) — Anglers were icing trout and panfish as conditions allowed in late January, with waxworm- and mealworm-tipped jigs effective when bounced off the bottom.
Kahle Lake (Venango County) — Ice anglers were catching bluegills, yellow perch and crappies as condition allowed through late January.
Bessemer Lake (Lawrence County) — Trout were hitting through the ice on various baits, especially maggot-tipped jigs, in recent weeks.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Crappies and other panfish were hitting near launch No. 2 in January.
Yellow Creek Lake (Indiana County) — Dean’s Line N’ Bait reported Feb. 2 that ice anglers were catching nice yellow perch, crappies, largemouth bass and northern pike.
Glendale Lake (Cambria County) — Crappies were hitting in the evening hours in recent weeks. Northern pike and chain pickerel were striking in the shallow waters.
Lake Rowena, Duman Lake (Cambria County) — Trout were reported at both fisheries through the end of January. Duman also was yielding chain pickerel.
Wisecarver Reservoir (Greene County) — Largemouth bass and panfish were reported in recent weeks.
Monongahela River — As conditions allowed, anglers were catching a few walleyes and yellow perch near locks and dams and heavy rock cover.
North Fork Tenmile Creek, South Fork Tenmile Creek (Washington County) — These Monongahela River tributaries were yielding trout near Marianna on the North Fork and Pollock’s Mill and Clarksville on the South Fork. The Marianna area was privately stocked by a club in recent weeks but was open to fishing where property owners allow, as marked.
Hills Creek Lake (Tioga County) — Chain pickerel were being iced on tip-ups with fathead minnows through the end of January. Panfish were hitting waxworms, with crappies biting best from just before sunrise through the first few hours of daylight.
Hamilton Lake (Tioga County) — Ice anglers were catching trout on wax worms just under the ice and in about 18 feet midlake. Green and pink pastebaits also were effective.
Foster Joseph Sayers Lake (Centre County) — Yellow perch, crappies, smallmouth bass, and brown bullheads were reported through the ice through late January, with small jigs tipped with waxworms or maggots the ticket. Most of the fish were in 18 to 20 feet of water.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — Water was in the 40s and had a slight green cast as of late January. Trout were taking nymphs, such as Black Zebras (18-22) and Sow Bugs (14-16), as well as streamers in olive or black.
Fishing Creek (Centre County) — Water was in the upper 30s and slightly high with good color in late January. Trout were in deep pools near structure and around undercut banks. Some were hitting drop-offs. Olive-colored streamers (6-10) were effective, as were nymphs, such as Frenchies (14-16), Princes (12-16), and Gold-bead Pheasant Tails (12-18).
Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — Anglers were catching trout in January as conditions allowed.
Stoever’s Dam (Lebanon County) — Coble’s Bait Shop reported Feb. 2 that wind, rain and spates of mild temperatures caused shore ice to melt and shut down ice fishing on this and other area fisheries as of Feb. 2. A few shore anglers were catching trout and bluegills and the occasional bass where there was open water.
Lake Marburg (York County) — B & B Lures reported open-water fishing Feb. 2, since ice had deteriorated. Anglers were catching crappies and yellow perch.
Sheppard-Myers Reservoir (York County) — Although open-water prevailed by Feb. 2, when ice was on this small borough-owned reservoir, anglers were catching panfish, crappies, bluegills, yellow perch, channel catfish and largemouth bass.
Long Arm Reservoir (York County) — With ice gone by February, shore anglers were catching bass and yellow perch through the open water.
Oxbow Lake (Wyoming County) — Numbers of bluegills were being iced in about 12 feet on this 60-acre impoundment through late January.
Lake Winola (Wyoming County) — Numbers of perch and some bluegills were reported in January.
Frances Slocum State Park Lake (Luzerne County) — Anglers were catching panfish on ice spoons tipped with bait, but sizes were running small and the bite was slow at times through late January.
FEW Reservoir, Lily Lake, Nuangola Lake (Luzerne County) — Panfish were hitting for ice anglers through late January.
Lake Silkworth (Luzerne County) — Chain pickerel were reported through the ice in late January.
Susquehanna River — Ice jams shut down fishing and boating in late January.
Belmont Lake (Wayne County) — Perch were reported in late January.
Long Pond (Wayne County) — Nice-sized chain pickerel were reported through the ice in late January.
White Oak Pond (Wayne County) — Some nice panfish were reported on jigs tipped with medium shiners and wax worms in recent weeks.
Dunn Pond (Susquehanna County) — Crappies and perch were being iced on jigs through late January.
Lake Montrose (Susquehanna County) — Nice bluegills and perch were hitting on jigs in recent weeks.
Cooks Pond (Bradford County) — Crappies were being iced on medium to small shiners on tip-ups or jigs with waxworms off the bottom.
Lackawanna Lake (Lackwannna County) — A bounty of crappies and bluegills were iced through late January. Many were in nice sizes and hitting jigs tipped with wax worms.
Locust Lake (Schuylkill County) — As ice conditions allowed, anglers were catching trout on jigs tipped with waxworms near the beach area in late January.
Tuscarora Lake (Schuylkill County) — Trout were being iced near the boat cove and the beach in late January. Perch and crappies were reported near the breast of the dam, and chain pickerel at the shallow end of the lake near the mouth of Locust Creek. Large shiners were the ticket for chain pickerel.
Little Schuylkill River — As conditions allowed, open water areas were yielding trout.
Leaser Lake (Lehigh County) — Muskies up to 36 inches were being released on jigging rods baited with medium shiners and wax worms through late January. Nice numbers of panfish were hitting small shiners on tip-ups.
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg