Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing & Hunting Report – May 24, 2019
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission continued in-season trout stockings in recent weeks.
Fish for Free days are slated for May 26 and July 4, offering anglers an opportunity to fish statewide without a license.
The closed season on walleyes ended May 5.
Bass remain in catch-and-immediate-release mode until June 15.
For more, visit www.fishandboat.com.
Lake Erie — The smallmouth bass bite was picking up in mid-May. Shade’s Beach was yielding perch in 45 feet a little earlier in the month. Perch also were hitting off the North and South piers and in 30 feet west of Walnut in recent weeks. Lake trout were reported in 55 to 70 feet from Shade’s to the New York State line. Walleyes were reported, with some coming off the South pier in the evening hours. Floating jig heads with 3-inch twister grubs behind slip sinkers were effective when retrieved slowly and jigged.
Presque Isle Bay — The perch bite wound down in early May, but smallmouth bass were biting, especially on tubes. One angler caught nice numbers on jerkbaits in about 4 feet. Crappies were reported in 4 to 5 feet at the head of the bay.
Lake Erie tributaries — Smallmouth bass were in Elk Creek and other streams in mid-May, but a few steelhead remained and were hitting minnows and egg patterns.
Lake Chautauqua (New York) — Numbers of perch were reported in early May by anglers targeting weedy areas in 3 to 6 feet of water.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — The walleye bite was starting to improve on the lake’s south end for boaters drifting crawler harnesses in recent weeks. Walleyes also were hitting on plugs, trolled. The stump end was productive for some anglers. Sizes ranged up to 26 inches and 7 pounds. Crappies were inconsistent, with the better catches coming on the north end. Perch were everywhere, including off the causeway, and biting jigs tipped with minnows. A nice muskie bite also was reported.
Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — A 22-inch bowfin was released in this large natural lake in early May. The crappie bite was slow or inconsistent.
Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) — The crappie bite was inconsistent in early May.
Sparty Pond (Crawford County) — This Spartanburg impoundment was yielding northern pike in recent weeks.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Nice panfish catches were reported on live bait in recent weeks. Numbers of crappies were reported on both ends of the lake. One angler caught a 19-incher.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Nice numbers of crappies were reported here in recent weeks.
Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Crappies were reported in recent weeks as water approached 60 degrees, although sizes were mixed. The minimum creel size here is now 9 inches. Hybrid striped bass were hitting on deep edges and in shallow water.
Big Sandy Creek (Venango County) — Trout were hitting on salmon eggs and other baits in recent weeks.
Sugar Creek (Venango County) — The water near the confluence with French Creek was yielding rainbow and brown trout up to 22 inches on gold spinners, eggs and red worms, smallmouth bass up to four pounds, and walleyes up to 22 inches on creek chubs.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — Walleyes up to 24 inches were reported after the season opened in early May. Smallmouth bass up to 19 inches were released on tubes, crawfish jigs, jerkbaots, swimbaits and other lures.
Cowanshannock Creek (Armstrong County) — The upper reaches were yielding trout in mid-May, as water levels rose to a fishable level.
Brady’s Run Lake, South Branch of Brady’s Run (Beaver County) — Brown and rainbow trout were hitting on butterworms, mealworms, and paste baits in mid-May, with the windmill and foot bridge areas productive.
North Fork Little Beaver Creek (Beaver County) — Spinners were taking nice numbers of trout in good conditions in mid-May.
Raccoon Lake, Traverse Creek (Beaver County) — Anglers were catching numbers of trout on a variety of baits through mid-May.
Ohio River — Rising water temperatures were making catfish active as of mid-May.
Dutch Fork Lake (Washington County) — Trout were hitting through mid-May, with one angler catching a 5-pound golden rainbow.
Hills Creek Lake, Beechwood Lake (Tioga County) — Crappies and yellow perch were hitting fathead minnows, waxworms and a variety of small jigs in recent weeks, with afternoon and evening hours the best times to fish. Fly-anglers were catching panfish, bass and chain pickerel on fluorescent green mop flies, small streamers, small poppers, and beetle patterns.
Fishing Creek (Columbia County) — High but fishable water in the low 50s was reported in mid-May, and anglers were catching trout on nymphs, such as Iron Lotus (16-18), flashback Pheasant Tails (14-18), Caddis Larvae, and Pats Rubberlegs (8-12). During and after rainfall, olive and black streamers, such as Headbanger Sculpin (4-8) were effective. When trout were feeding on the surface, Midges (20-26), light and dark Hendricksons (14-16), black Elk Hair Caddis (12-14), Tan Caddis (14-15), March Browns (10-12), and Blue-Winged Olives (18-22) were productive.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — Water was high, off-color, and in the 50s in mid-May, and Sulphurs were hatching. Dry flies, such as Sulphurs and Sulphur Duns (14-16), Blue-Winged Olives (18-22), Tan Caddis (14-16), Elk Hair Caddis (14-16), and Midges (22-26) were productive. Trout also were hitting on Blue-Winged Olive nymphs and emergers, including Walt’s Worms, Mop Flies, and black Zebra Midges. During and after rainfall, olive and black streamers, like Slumpbusters (6-10) were the ticket.
Foster Joseph Sayers Lake (Centre County) — Crappies, bluegills and pumpkinseeds were hitting in the shallows of Hunter Run Cut, especially in the evening hours, through mid-May. Crawlers, wax worms, minnows and a variety of flies, including red and pink Squirmy Wormies, fluorescent green Mop flies, and small black, white, or chartreuse streamers were all working well.
Koon Lake, Gordon Lake (Bedford County) — Panfish were schooling in 12 to 15 feet on these twin lakes in recent weeks.
East Licking Creek (Juniata County) — Trout were hitting below Gus Park in mid-May, following a recent stocking. Small white spinners and minnow-patterned lures, and waxworms, and meal worms were productive with fish coming from the deeper holes and structures, such as undercut root systems, log jams and rocks.
Holman Lake (Perry County) — Nice yields of trout were reported on paste baits in orange, salmon, rainbow, and pink on this Little Buffalo State Park impoundment.
Juniata River — Flathead catfish were hitting in recent weeks.
Lake Redman, Lake Williams (York County) — Trout were hitting crawlers, minnows, spinners, and power bait in recent weeks. Redman also was yielding nice-sized crappies.
Lake Marburg (York County) — Muskies, tiger muskies and northern pike were reported by shore anglers at this Codorus State Park impoundment in recent weeks. Panfish were being caught off the fishing pier.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Largemouth bass up to 21 inches and 5 pounds were released on live minnows, and smallmouth bass up to 19 inches and 4 pounds were released on lipless crankbaits in mid-May.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Nice-sized largemouth and smallmouth bass were released in recent weeks on this 947-acre impoundment.
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Yellow perch were biting through mid-May.
Elk Creek, Hoagland Branch, Muncy Creek, Sugar Creek, Towanda Creek (Bradford, Lycoming counties) — Small pink worms were taking trout in recent weeks.
Blue Marsh Stilling Basin (Berks County) — Anglers were catching nice walleyes after the season opened May 5.
Octoraro Reservoir (Chester County) — White perch were hitting in recent weeks.
Delaware River — Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle reported May 11 that striped bass were still on the move and hitting blood worms, bunker and clams. Perch continued to hit, while shad were hit or miss, with some anglers making nice catches on darts and spoons.
Schuylkill River — Brinkman’s reported May 11 that carp were taking dough balls and other typical baits, and channel and flathead catfish also were hitting.
Pennypack Creek (Bucks County) — Trout continued to produce for anglers in recent weeks.
New Jersey saltwater report — Brinkman’s reported a run on bluefish in the inlets, and Point Pleasant and Barnegat bays and as far south as Cape May, Wildwood, and Atlantic City. Striped bass were hitting closer to New York. Sea bass season opened May 15, and fluke season will open May 25.
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg