Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – Oct. 12, 2018

Anglers are reminded that fall trout stockings are underway on select fisheries across the state. 

For a schedule, visit 


Lake Erie — This past summer’s hot walleye bite continued through late September with catches coming on crawler harnesses and spoons in melon, copper, and purple-black colors in various depths from 50 to 78 feet. Anglers were also catching walleyes off the North Pier and off the West Pier in just 5 feet of water.  The perch bite was slow, although some anglers were locating schools on the bottom in about 59 feet. Smallmouth bass were becoming active on bladebaits jigged along the bottom. 

Lake Erie steelhead streams — As of Sept. 27, steelhead were staging at the mouths of the creeks, with just a few entering the tributaries. Rainfall that had deluged other parts of the state failed to reach Erie and trigger steelhead runs. Anglers were catching a few at the mouths of Elk and Walnut creeks and Trout Run before sunrise. 

Presque Isle Bay — Perch were beginning to move into the bay as of late September. 

French Creek (Erie, Venango, Crawford, Mercer counties) — Smallmouth bass, from about 12 to 18 inches, were reported through late September on creek minnows, floating crankbaits, tubes and other soft plastics in shallow current areas and other faster water.  

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Walleyes were hitting bladebaits in recent weeks. Trolling or drifting was effective. Perch were reported on crawlers or minnows in about 10 feet of water. Bass, catfish, carp, small bluegills, and a few muskies ranging from small to 40 inches also were reported. Schools of shad were active on the lake’s surface. A few crappies were reported, but the bite was slow. 

Shenango River Reservoir (Mercer County) — Hybrid striped bass, smallmouth and largemouth bass, northern pike and large channel catfish were hitting in late September. Crappies were hit or miss and expected to become more active as water cooled. Gizzard shad were abundant. White bass were cruising points and shorelines to feed on shad, and anglers were catching them up to 17 inches on crankbaits. Crappies averaging 8 to 10 inches were being caught. Although walleyes were quiet, the bite was expected to improve with cooler conditions. 

Allegheny River (Venango County) — Smallmouth bass up to 19 inches and nice-sized walleyes were reported with a variety of lures from flukes to crankbaits to spinnerbaits effective in recent weeks. A couple of northern pike were hitting on chatterbaits.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Largemouth bass up to 3-plus pounds were hitting through the end of September on crankbaits, swim jigs, and other lures. A couple of northern pike and some channel catfish also were reported.


Keystone Power Dam (Armstrong County) — Water was at normal summer pool as of Sept. 26, and boaters were catching largemouth bass in the lake’s small coves. Shore anglers were catching bluegills and other panfish. 

Yellow Creek Lake (Indiana County) — Boat launches that had been closed from heavy rainfall reopened in late September, and bass anglers in Gramma’s and Grampap’s coves were catching largemouth bass.  Shore anglers from the North Shore boat launch reported releasing 30-inch muskies and legal-sized northern pike.  

Two-Lick Reservoir (Indiana County) — Anglers near Allen Bridge Road were catching chain pickerel and smallmouth bass. The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission reminds anglers that fishing from the bridge is prohibited. 

Quemahoning Reservoir (Somerset County) — Nice-sized largemouth and smallmouth bass were reported in recent weeks.  Anglers also were catching a few legal-sized northern pike.

Laurel Hill Lake (Somerset County) — Trout were reported at the upper end of this 63-acre state park lake in recent weeks.

Youghiogheny River Reservoir (Somerset County) — Water was at full pool in recent weeks, and anglers were catching smallmouth bass and walleyes. 


Tioga Lake (Tioga County) — Heavy rainfall forced a shutdown of the lake through late September. 

Cowanesque Lake (Tioga County) — The south shore boat launch reopened in late September following closure from heavy rainfall. 

Pine Creek (Tioga County) — High and muddy conditions prevailed through late September. 

Bald Eagle Creek (Centre County) — Trout were reported on minnows, streamer patterns, and artificial lures in the upper reaches near Port Matilda at the end of September.

Spring Creek (Centre County) — As of Sept. 26, this limestone stream was high and off-color. Streamers (6-10) in olive or black were effective; crawler patterns also were working.  On the lower reaches, anglers were catching trout on minnows and lures. 


Little Juniata River (Huntingdon County) — High dirty water in the low 60s was reported by TCO Fly Shop Sept. 30. Hatches included Tan Caddis (14-16), ISOs (8-10), Light Cahills (10-14), Blue-Winged Olives (18-22), and Midges (20-26).

Juniata River — High water levels put the kibosh on most fishing as of Sept. 26. Some anglers were catching channel catfish up to 25 inches.

Susquehanna River — Eels and catfish were reported in recent weeks near Enola. 


Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Anglers were reporting striped bass up to 15 pounds through late September. Chain pickerel also were reported, with one angler catching a 27-incher on a deep-diving crankbait.

Pohopoco Creek (Carbon County) — Trout were reported downstream of Beltzville Lake in this combination Class A Wild Trout and Stocked Trout water. 

Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Smallmouth bass were reported in recent weeks. Walleyes also were hitting near the Preachers Camp boat launch. Striped bass were biting in the early morning and evening hours. Perch also were reported. 

Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — A good bass bite continued in recent weeks, although most of the fish were less than 15 inches, which is the minimum size in the Big Bass Program. Chain pickerel also were reported. 


Octoraro Lake (Lancaster County) — Jim Neary’s Bait and Tackle reported Sept. 30 that muddied water from recent rainfall made for below-average catches of bass. As conditions allowed, anglers were catching them on large creature baits on the backs of jigs or Texas-rigged plastics in 8 to 10 feet of water. Numbers of panfish were hitting. White perch and crappies were biting on medium and large fathead minnows. Walleyes up to about 22 inches were hitting. Cartfish were reported on chicken livers, and on green crawlers or large shiners after rainfall.

Delaware River — Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle reported Sept. 29 that heavy rainfall for more than a week turned water levels about 12 feet higher than normal pool and the color of chocolate. Channel catfish were the only bite in those conditions, and the few anglers targeting them were making catches on cut baits, like bunker, and clams. 

Silver Lake (Philadelphia County) — Largemouth bass up to 2 and 3 pounds were reported on plastic worms. Crappies and other panfish also were hitting, Brinkman’s said Sept. 29. 

Levittown Lake (Bucks County) — Bass and carp were reported through the end of September.

Leaser Lake (Lehigh County) — Cooler water temperatures in late September made largemouth bass active, and anglers were catching them on spin baits and medium-size jerkbaits along the northern shoreline.

Lake Tuscarora, Locust Lake (Schuylkill County)

Yellow perch were hitting crawlers in the morning hours as water cooled in late September. Trout fishing also picked up on butterworms and minnows, with fish coming near shore 

Schuylkill River  High, off-color water as of Sept. 29 had anglers targeting carp in eddies. As conditions allowed, catfish were hitting on chicken livers, nightcrawlers and shrimp in late September. Earlier in the month, bass were active in the mornings and at dusk, but slow during the day.

Little Schuylkill River — Nice numbers of trout were in the river. During high water periods, clarity was generally okay on the upper sections of the river.

New Jersey — Brinkman’s reported that the fluke bite finally was over by the end of September, but bluefish ranging from 3 to 10 pounds were hitting both off the beach and off party boats. Striped bass also were showing up for surf and boat anglers, and ranging from 15 to 30 pounds.

— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

Categories: News, Pennsylvania Fishing Reports

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