Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing & Hunting Report – Jan. 4, 2019
As of Dec. 20, a spate of mild temperatures and rainfall was melting ice on lakes in some parts of the state where hard water begun to form.
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission completed its winter trout stockings in early December. For a schedule, visit www.fishandboat.com
Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — As of Dec. 17, skim ice was gone and a few anglers were launching boats or fishing off the Marina Lake docks. Yellow perch, steelhead and an occasional walleye were reported. Some nice perch and a few walleyes were reported off the North and South piers. Perch were suspended in about 10 feet near Liberty Park on the city side.
Lake Erie tributaries — Some steelhead and brown trout were reported in the lower reaches of the east- and west-side streams in mid-December. The brown trout were trophy-size brood stock from area hatcheries. About 800 in total are being distributed, in stages, among various tributaries. Streams were low and clear around Dec. 17 making single eggs and minnows productive. In dirty water, skein and bright-colored flies were recommended.
Lake Pleasant (Erie County) — This small natural lake received its winter stocking of trout in recent weeks.
French Creek (Erie, Crawford, Venango, Mercer counties) — Despite decent conditions around Dec. 17, little to no angling pressure was reported.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — A good walleye bite was reported in early December before skim ice formed, with fish hitting blade baits or jigs and minnows in deep water on the south end. A spate of mild weather caused bays to open up in mid-December, and anglers were catching perch and bluegills from shore. Panfish were hitting from the Jamestown docks. The dam outflow was yielding some legal-size walleyes.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) —Panfish were hitting off the docks in recent weeks.
Sugar Creek (Venango County) — In late November and early December, two anglers caught some nice trout on red worms.
Allegheny River — Walleyes were hitting in the lower and middle parts of the river through mid-December, with nice numbers and sizes of fish reported. The water near Tionesta produced a couple of muskie hook-ups and follows, including a 30-pounder brought to net on a big curly-tail grub.
Keystone Power Dam — Nice-size smallmouth bass, and the occasional walleye and tiger muskie were reported through mid-December, but then the bite slowed. Bass were hitting on bladebaits, while walleyes were coming on hair jigs, jigs-and-minnows, and bladebaits.
Glendale Lake (Cambria County) — Nice numbers of northern pike and some muskies were reported before ice began to form on this 1,632-acre Prince Gallitzin State Park impoundment. A few largemouth bass were hitting off the docks.
Quemahoning Reservoir (Somerset County) — Amid light fishing pressure, and as conditions allowed, anglers were catching northern pike and walleyes.
Stonycreek River — Trout were reported on mild days earlier in December on this Conemaugh River tributary.
Little Chartiers Creek (Washington County) — Early in December, trout were hitting spoons, jigs, and in-line spinners.
Hammond, Hamilton lakes (Tioga County) — A warm-up around Dec. 20 made for unfishable conditions on these and other lakes that had formed some ice.
Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — Trout were schooling up in the deep pools and along soft edges mid-December, when water was up, had a green tint, and registered in the low 40s. Nymphs, including Flashback Pheasant Tails (14-18), Pat’s Rubberlegs (8-12), Frenchies (14-18), and brown or black Stonefly nymphs (8-12), were effective. Streamers (black or olive, 4-18) also were effective.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — Conditions fluctuated through mid-December, when water was in the low 40s. Trout were hitting in the deeper pools when nymphs or streamers were fished on the bottom or drifted directly in front of fish. Productive patterns were Hare’s Ears (12-16), Flashback Pheasant Tails (14-18), brown or black Stonefly nymphs (8-12). Olive or black streamers (4-8) fished along the banks also were effective.
Little Juniata River (Huntingdon County) — TCO Fly Shop reported blown-out conditions Dec. 20, with more rain in the forecast. Water was about 40 degrees. Midges (20-26) were hatching.
Juniata River (Huntingdon, Mifflin counties) — Walleyes were reported in the evenings of mid-December on swim and jerkbaits.
Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) —Striped bass and perch were reported in recent weeks, as conditions allowed, by anglers jigging bait.
Tobyhanna, lower Promised Land lakes (Pike, Monroe counties) —Willie’s Bait, Tackle & More reported Dec. 19 that perch, pickerel and bass, all in decent sizes, were hitting through ice.
Prompton Dam, Belmont Lake (Wayne County) — Ice anglers were making nice catches of chain pickerel and perch in mid-December.
Delaware River — Walleyes were hitting in recent weeks, as conditions allowed.
Susquehanna River (Susquehanna County) — The waters near Oakland and Great Bend were yielding walleyes, as conditions allowed, in recent weeks.
Susquehanna River (Bradford County) — An active walleye bite was reported from Sayre to Wyalusing through mid-December, as conditions allowed.
Levittown Lake, Lake Luxembourg (Bucks County) — As of mid-December, anglers were making nice catches of rainbow trout on spoons and pastebaits.
Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) — Nice-size trout were reported in mid-December. A 22-inch walleye was taken on deep-diving crankbait.
Kaercher Creek Lake (Berks County) — A trout stocking was performed Dec. 11.
Delaware River — Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle reported Dec. 20 that catfish continued to bite in the city water, and walleyes up to 2 and 3 pounds were hitting in upper river near Bucks County. Jigging twister tails with or without crawlers or minnows on the river bottom was productive.
Schuylkill River — Brinkman’s reported that walleyes were hitting on twister trails jigged with or without bait on the river bottom.
Core Creek Pond, Falls Township Park Pond — Numbers of crappies were reported on minnows under bobbers in recent weeks.
New Jersey saltwater — Brinkman’s reported Dec. 20 that anglers were catching black fish. Surf fishermen also were catching striped bass in nice numbers but most of the fish were short.
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg