Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – Sept. 28, 2018

Angling was affected by heavy rainfall in many parts of the state in recent weeks. 

Fishing also was slow during spates of hot weather. The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission will soon begin fall trout stockings around the state. 

For a schedule, visit


Lake Erie — It was reported Sept. 13 that the walleye bite was still off the charts, with fish coming in anywhere from 40 to 80 feet of water on various presentations. A few steelhead were near the creek mouths but not in any numbers. Cool rain was needed to trigger movement.

French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Crawford, Venango counties) — Heavy rains blew out the creek in mid-September, but anglers reported catching some walleyes and smallmouth bass on creek chubs in prior weeks. 

Woodcock Creek Lake (Crawford County) — Anglers were targeting the last of the bowfins on this French Creek feeder stream in mid-September.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Fishing was slow and fish were inactive in mid-September. Some catfish and yellow perch were reported. Three channel catfish totaling 37.35 pounds were the winning bag in a recent tournament, but yields were paltry in an early September crappie tournament. Anglers were waiting for the bite to pick up with cooler fall temperatures. In late August, anglers were catching some smallmouth bass and largemouth bass up to 4 pounds each.

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — As conditions allowed, anglers were catching hybrid striped bass and white bass on topwater lures until mid-September. The wipers were running small, about 5 to 6 pounds. Anglers in an early September crappie tournament caught a number of 7- to 9-inch crappies from deep water as well as from brush and deadfalls along banks.

Justus Lake (Venango County) — Nice numbers of largemouth and smallmouth bass were reported by anglers drifting creek chubs. Panfish were hitting on red worms.

Allegheny River (Venango County) — Good numbers of smallmouth bass up to 20 inches and walleyes, including a 25-incher, were reported in recent weeks on soft jerkbaits, crankbaits and grubs. Tubes also were effective. Catfish and a few walleyes also were reported.


Crooked Creek Lake (Armstrong County) — As of Sept. 12, the public boat launch, beach, and outflow were closed because of unsafe conditions.

Beaver, Ohio rivers (Beaver County) — Heavy rainfall in mid-September created high, dangerous conditions.

Monongahela River (Greene, Washington counties) — Nice catch rates and sizes were reported in early September. A few muskies also were reported. Catfish were hitting in areas along deep drops with heavy cover.

Cross Creek Lake (Washington County) — Bass and crappies were hitting in early September. Nice-sized bass were coming on soft plastics in about 10 to 15 feet. 

Dutch Fork Lake (Washington County) — A few largemouth bass were hitting in the early morning and evening hours in recent weeks. 

Allegheny River (Westmoreland County) — As conditions allowed, anglers were catching largemouth and smallmouth bass along structures at the banks, particularly at dusk and dawn. Catfish were biting chicken livers and bloodworms on the bottom. Muskies and walleyes were hitting downstream of the locks and dams. Muskies were biting baits trolled where tributaries, like Buffalo Creek and Deer Creek, flow into the main stem of the river. 


Curwensville Dam (Clearfield County) — Smallmouth bass were reported above the dam prior to major storms in mid-September. 

West Branch Susquehanna River (Clearfield, Lycoming counties) — Trout were hitting in small feeder streams as conditions allowed in early September. Bass were biting various baits and lures, with the early morning and evening hours the most productive times to fish.

Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — Prior to heavy rains in mid-September, anglers were catching trout on nymphs, such as Green Weenies and Scuds. Terrestrials were also productive when targeted to banks with overhanging vegetation. Streamers were working in the early morning hours. 

West Branch Susquehanna River (Clinton County) — As conditions allowed, bass were hitting in the early morning and late evening hours on crankbaits, poppers, and plastic worms. Small white and chartreuse streamers also were effective.   

Foster Joseph Sayers Lake (Centre County) — Yellow perch were reported on redworms and minnows along the shoreline in the Hunter Run Cut area. Crappies were reported in the Lower Greens and Upper Greens access areas.

Black Moshannon Lake (Centre County) — Chain pickerel and bass were hitting rubber worms and live bait in early September. 

Colyer Lake (Centre County) — Bass were reported on rubber worms, spinners and live bait in early September.

Spring Creek (Centre County) — Trout were reported on Walt’s Worms and small mayfly nymphs in early September. Green Weenies, Scuds and Black Zebra Midges also were working, as were terrestrials, such as beetles (12-18) and ants (12-18) when targeted to banks with overhanging vegetation. After rain events, olive or black streamers (6-10) were recommended. 


Juniata River (Huntingdon, Mifflin counties) — Smallmouth bass were reported on plastics and live bait in mid-September. Catfish were hitting on nightcrawlers and liver.

Gifford Pinchot Lake (York County) — A nice largemouth bass bite was reported in early September.

Juniata River (Juniata County)  Smallmouth bass, flathead catfish, and walleyes were reported in early September. Dark-colored twister tails, two to four inches, slightly weighted were productive. Other soft plastics such as tubes and minnow imitations also were effective.  

Juniata River (Perry County) — Flathead catfish up to 31 inches were hitting on live bait, such as creek chubs and panfish. Many were caught at night. 

Sherman’s Creek (Perry County) — Early September produced nice catches of smallmouth bass.

Conodoguinet Creek (Cumberland County) — Smallmouth bass and rock bass were reported in early September.

Susquehanna River (Cumberland County) — Catfish and carp were active in early September. 

Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting on spinners and large minnows in early September.

Long Pine Reservoir (Cumberland County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting in early September. 


Lackawanna Lake (Lackawanna County) — Largemouth bass, panfish and large carp were reported through mid-September. 

Maple Lake (Lackawanna County) — Nice perch, panfish and bass were reported through mid-September.

Prompton Dam (Wayne County) — Crappies and bass were reported in the early morning and late-afternoon hours of recent weeks, with jigs and live bait productive.  

Susquehanna River (Susquehanna County) — Muskies, walleyes, and smallmouth bass were reported in recent weeks.  Channel catfish were hitting chicken livers during the near-dark hours of early evenings.

Shohola Lake, Greeley Lake (Pike, Wayne counties) — Despite heavy weed growth, anglers were catching nice bass and panfish on topwater lures and weedless hooks. 

Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Bass were hitting in and around docks in recent weeks. Walleyes were biting on deep-diving lures in deeper water.  The striped bass bite was slow but expected to heat up once cooler waters prevail.  

Lackawaxen River (Pike County) — Trout were hitting in recent weeks.

Susquehanna River (Luzerne, Columbia counties) — Once water became fishable after heavy rainfall in early September, anglers were catching catfish, as well as bass, walleyes and muskies. Crankbaits and shiners and other live baits were effective.

FEW Reservoir  Some nice panfish were reported in early September, with most of the action reported by boaters from creek and river arms. 

Lily Lake (Luzerne County) — Bass and panfish were biting in the early morning and evening hours of early September. 

Briar Creek Lake (Columbia County) — Carp were hitting in early September, with homemade dough balls and corn effective.  

Lehigh River  Nice smallmouth bass were reported in recent weeks.

Harveys Lake (Luzerne County) — Anglers were catching bass in the early and later evening hours of early September.  

Susquehanna River  Catfish and smallmouth bass were reported in early September, with Laceyville and the waters above producing the hottest bite in early September. Sizes were mixed up to 18 inches, and twisters in light green or chartreuse were effective. 

North Branch Susquehanna River (Bradford, Sullivan counties) — Bass were biting green tubes and jigs in recent weeks. 


Octoraro Lake (Chester County) — Jim Neary’s Bait and Tackle reported Sept. 15 that bass were in full swing, and hitting crankbaits and soft plastics. Crappies were slowly making a showing on fathead minnows, crawlers, and soft plastic jigs. White perch were hitting on just about anything, from live baits to soft plastics. Numbers of catfish were coming on crawlers and livers. The lunker in the shop’s Sept. 14 tournament was 6 pounds, but two 10 pounders were caught the week before. 

Schuylkill River (Philadelphia County) —In the high off-color water of recent weeks, channel catfish up to 23 inches and American eels were reported.  

Delaware River — Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle reported that smallmouth bass up to 2 and 3 pounds were being taken through September 15. Anglers were targeting snakeheads. Carp and channel catfish were biting. A 10-pound channel cat was caught on a minnow on Poquessing Creek.

Core Creek State Park Lake (Bucks County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting on crankbaits and minnows through mid-September.

Saltwater report — Brinkman’s reported Sept. 15 that mullet were running up and down the Jersey shore. Fluking had been productive, with limits taken, prior to recent storms. Bluefish also were hitting, and stripers were reported in the back of bay of south Jersey, and in the Raritan Bay of North Jersey.

Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

Categories: News, Pennsylvania Fishing Reports

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