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Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – May 25, 2018

Anglers are reminded that until June 16 at 12:01 a.m., the season on bass is catch-and-immediate release.  

Some fisheries received trout stockings in early May. For a schedule, visit www.fishandboat.com.


Lake Erie and tributaries — Perch were reported in about 50 feet on the east side of Erie May 7, but the bite was hit or miss. Perch also were hitting on the west side off Walnut and west of Walnut in 39 feet and off Trout Run in 25 feet. Walleye fishing was just getting started with nice fish coming in 10 feet on jigs west of Walnut. Lake trout were reported in 62 to 67 feet, and in 55 feet off North East. Perch and a few walleyes were hitting in 46 feet just east of the GE stacks. The lower reaches of Elk Creek had a few steelhead in early May, and Seven Mile and Twenty Mile were stocked with brown trout. Smallmouth bass were moving into Elk Creek by May 7 and were as far upstream as the Legion Hole. Some suckers were in the stream.

Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — Smallmouths were biting in the bay in early May, with tube jigs and jerkbaits productive. Perch were reported off the North and South Piers. Crappies were biting in the lagoons.

Eaton Reservoir (Erie County) — Crappies were reported in recent weeks.

Lake Pleasant (Erie County) — Trout and panfish were hitting well at this small natural lake in recent weeks. 

Lake LeBoeuf (Erie County) — The crappie bite had slowed in early May.

French Creek (Erie, Crawford, Venango, Mercer counties) — Walleyes up to 23 inches were reported in early May, along with releases of smallmouth bass, including a couple of 4-pounders.  

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — The shallow waters of the north end were yielding crappies and perch on small jigs or minnows in early May. Crappies also were hitting on the south end. Walleyes were hitting on the south end during the day for anglers drifting jigs and minnows, or crawlers or minnows in about 6 to 8 feet, or trolling shad-raps in about 16 feet. Night-time waders also were catching walleyes, although that bite had slowed. Incidental catches of muskies were reported.

Oil Creek (Crawford County) — Some anglers were catching rainbow trout up to 19-plus inches in early May. A Triple Threat streamer was the ticket for at least one angler.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — A nice crappie bite was reported with several limits of 8- to 13-inch fish taken as of May 7. 

Shenango River Reservoir (Mercer County) — Crappies, including some slabs, were reported in recent weeks. Small panfish tubes below bobbers and glow-in-the-dark jigs were effective. Northern pike were holding in shallow water and shoreline points and hitting minnow-pattern lures. White bass were biting and entering the river on their spawning run.

 Sugar Creek (Venango County) — Anglers were catching brown trout up to 21 inches on crawlers and other presentations in recent weeks. 

Allegheny River — In the rising water temperatures of early May, releases of smallmouth bass up to four pounds were reported on a variety of baits, including tubes, hard and soft jerkbaits, stickbaits, swimbaits, glidebaits, and soft plastic grubs in recent weeks. A small northern pike also was released. 

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Releases of bass were reported on various lures as of May 12.


North Fork Little Beaver Creek (Beaver County) — Following an April 30 stocking, anglers were catching brown trout on minnows and by drifting redworms.

Brush Creek Park Pond (Beaver County) — Following an April 30 stocking, anglers were catching rainbow trout on pastebaits and spinners. 

Ohio River — Anglers were catching freshwater drum on crawlers in recent weeks. 

Wilmore Dam (Cambria County) — Crappies were hitting in recent weeks.

Glendale Lake (Cambria County) — Anglers were releasing largemouth bass, as well as crappies and bluegills on crawlers and minnows.  

Cross Creek Lake (Washington County) —Largemouth bass were released, and crappies were caught on various baits as water temperatures rose to the low 60s in early May.


Pine Creek (Tioga County) — Heavy caddis and Hendrickson hatches were coming off in early May. March browns and blue-winged Olives were sporadic. Hendrickson patterns were catching trout early in the day, while Rusty Spinners were effective later in the day. Tan caddis (14) also were effective. Spin-fishermen were catching trout, and bait anglers were using butterworms, waxworms, and live minnows. Salmon eggs in pink shrimp, garlic, and natural also were effective. 

Hamilton and Hills Creek lakes (Tioga County) — Yellow perch were hitting on nightcrawlers, fathead minnows and butterworms through early May. A slow crappie bite also was reported. Bass were moving to shallow water and releases were being made on square-bill crankbaits, jerkbaits and various plastics, especially in green pumpkin color. 

Foster Joseph Sayers Lake spillway (Centre County) — Crappies, yellow perch, and bluegills were reported on butterworms, red worms, yellow twister tails, and beadhead nymphs in recent weeks. Chain pickerel also were reported on small, beadhead nymph patterns.

West Branch Susquehanna River — Anglers were releasing smallmouth bass on lures and streamers in recent weeks, with most fish hitting near structure or in the deeper channels. 


Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) — Largemouth and smallmouth bass were hitting on swimbaits and other artificials and on alewives in recent weeks, with fish up to 6-plus pounds reported.

Quittapahilla Creek (Lebanon County) — Rainbow trout up to 24 inches were reported on nymphs and spinners in the delayed-harvest, artificial-lures-only stretch in recent weeks.

Middletown Reservoir (Dauphin County) — Trout were hitting on various presentations, including pastebaits, live minnows, and crawlers in recent weeks.

Lost Creek, Tuscarora Creek (Dauphin County) — Warmer water temperatures brought fallfish, hognose suckers, and smallmouth bass in the these and other area streams in early May.  Anglers were catching fallfish up to 20 inches on Lost Creek.

Susquehanna River (Cumberland County) — Anglers were releasing bass on plastic worms in motor oil and dark green colors. 


Harvey’s Lake (Luzerne County) — Crappies were hitting in shallow water in Grotto Cove and other parts of the lake in early May.

Oxbow Lake, Stevens Lake (Wyoming County) — Nice catches of bluegills were reported for anglers who could locate staging fish in mid-May.

Manny Gorden Pond (Lackawanna County) — This McDade Park fishery for kids age 12 and younger was recently stocked with trout.

DeSandis Pond, Lackawanna Lake, Merli Sarnowski Lake (Lackawanna County) — Trout were biting paste baits at these fisheries through mid-May. Merli Sarnowski was stocked May 10. A nice bluegill bite also was reported at Lackawanna Lake between the Silo Bridge and Billhead Bay, with redworms, pinheads, and waxworms effective.

Mud Pond, FEW Reservoir (Pike County) — Crappies and bluegills were becoming more active in early- to mid-May.

Tobyhanna Lake, Tobyhanna Creek, Lehigh River (Monroe County) — Nice trout catches were coming on fathead minnows in recent weeks.


Delaware River — American shad were reported in recent weeks, and anglers were making nice catches on darts and spoons from Morrisville to New Hope. Striped bass were biting on bunker, bloodworms, and clams near the Commodore Perry Bridge and from the airport area up to Tacony.

Octoraro Lake (Chester, Lancaster counties) — Jim Neary Bait and Tackle reported May 12 that the crappie bite was in full swing, with fish taking swimbaits, spinners and minnows. Largemouth bass were being released on just about anything presented to them. Channel catfish were coming shallow at night and taking cutbaits, and chicken livers. There were no reports on walleyes, but white bass up to 13 and 14 inches were active on shiny plastics and spinners. 

Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) — Releases of largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass were reported in recent weeks.

Octoraro Creek, Conowingo Dam (Maryland) — Hickory shad were being released in the creek and American shad were reported near the dam in recent weeks. 

Deer Creek (Maryland) — Water reaching 67 degrees in mid-May spurred some hickory shad action in early to mid-May. White perch and herring were reported.

Susquehanna River/Chesapeake Bay (Maryland) — Boaters trolling large parachutes and bucktails in tandem or umbrella rigs in the upper bay were releasing a few striped bass near traditional steep edges of the shipping channel. A good white perch bite was reported in the lower Susquehanna. 

Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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