Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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Pennsylvania Fishing Report – Jan. 24, 2020

Report from the Dock

Unseasonably warm weather in early January erased all ice on Pennsylvania  lakes north and south, and this issue’s reports are all about open-water fishing, mostly for panfish. However, a spate of frigid weather around this issue’s deadline and press time seemed poised to put safe ice on northern lakes at least. Fishing in moving water was pretty decent in recent weeks during the nice days; difficult in windy, snowy times. The Allegheny River has been giving up walleyes, smallmouth bass and even a few northern pike and muskies. We’re told muskie fishing has been good in the West Branch of the Susquehanna. Miles downstream in the main Susquehanna, smallmouth bass have been hitting. Stream flows have mostly not been high, resulting in good winter trout fishing in streams such as Spring Creek, Fishing Creek, Yellow Breeches  Creek, Penns Creek and the Little Juniata River.


Lake Erie tributaries — Low clear conditions were reported Jan. 17 on Steelhead were in the streams but because they were getting pressured in the deep, popular holes, anglers were advised to focus on small shoots and runs between holes. 


Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — Shore anglers were catching yellow perch off the south pier, border patrol building, and Perry’s Landing through mid-January. Soft plastics under slip bobbers cast to weedlines were productive for most anglers. 


French Creek (Erie, Venango, Crawford, Mercer counties) — Anglers reported catching walleyes and northern pike on live bait in recent weeks.


Allegheny River (Venango County) — Walleyes, smallmouth bass, northern pike, and muskies were reported in recent weeks. 


Oil Creek (Venango County) — Fly-anglers found fishable conditions in the lower Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only/Keystone Select Trout Waters section through the end of 2019. 


Kahle Lake (Venango County) — Anglers were catching yellow perch, crappies, and bluegills as conditions allowed in recent weeks.


Allegheny River (Forest County) — Anglers were catching walleyes, northern pike and muskies in the Sand and Gravel Pool near Tionesta, both from shore and boat as conditions allowed. Chubs and large minnows were productive. Walleyes were hitting near Trunkyville and what is known among locals as the Fireman’s Hole.


Pine Township Park Pond (Allegheny County) — Largemouth bass up to 14 inches were reported earlier in January.


North Park Lake (Allegheny County) — Brook trout up to 1-plus pounds were reported at this small popular impoundment in early January.


Yellow Creek Lake (Indiana County) — A spate of warm weather earlier in January brought out anglers who reported catching northern pike, bluegills and sunfish on minnows and shiners.


Little Yellow Creek (Indiana County) — Brook trout were hitting as conditions allowed, with waxworms fished in the morning productive. 


Raccoon, Brady’s Run lakes (Beaver County) — Trout were reported as conditions allowed. Artificial lures and scented artificial worms were effective but fishing pressure was very low.


Quemahoning Reservoir (Cambria County) — Northern pike were reported on smelt earlier in January.


Youghiogheny River Reservoir (Somerset County) — Trout were reported in the spillway and downstream as conditions allowed in recent weeks.


West Branch Susquehanna River (Lycoming County) — Muskies were hitting around structure, island points, and other spots with drop-offs earlier in January.  


Fishing Creek (Columbia County) — Water was fishable and in the low 40s to high 30s earlier in January. Trout were in the pockets and slower runs and hitting nymphs such as Hare’s Ears, flashback Pheasant Tails, Frenchies, and large Stoneflies if fished on the bottom. Streamers in black or olive were effective for some anglers. 


Spring Creek (Centre County)  Water was in the 40s, sending trout to deeper pockets of water in early January. Trout were hitting Hot Spot Sow Bugs, olive Scuds, Walt’s Worms and Pheasant Tail nymphs when fished close to the bottom. Streamers also were effective in black or olive.  


Little Juniata River (Huntingdon County) — As of Jan. 18, TCO Fly Shoppe reported average but dropping water levels and difficult conditions, with wind, rain and snow in the forecast. Water was in the upper 30s and green in color. Midges (20-26) were hatching during the day and fish were occasionally rising to them, but nymphs, especially egg patterns, and streamers were better producers in high water. TCO recommended Caddis Pupa (12-16), Blue-Winged Olives (20-26), Rubberleg Stoneflies (6-10), Frenchies (14-18), Olive and Black Slumpbusters (6-10), and Olive and Black Sculpins (2 to 4 inches).


Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — TCO Fly Shop reported Jan. 18 that snow was expected to make fishing more difficult, but that nymphs and scuds were productive. Water was in the low 50s and clear. Small Pheasant Tails and Frenchies were reliable, although in mild temperatures, Blue-Winged Olives on the surface were a possibility. Midges were active on sunny days. Hatches included Scuds (12-20), Near Nuff Sculpins (6-8) and Firehole Soft Hackles (16).


Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Bass were biting near the dam breast as conditions allowed in early January. Striped bass were taking chicken liver and live bait from shore near the boat rental building. Trout were active in the outlet of the lake. Boaters are reminded that the regulatory buoys such as Slow No Wake, Water Ski Zone have been removed from the lake for winter. However, the regulations pertaining to the regulatory zones are still in effect and enforced.  


Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Anglers were catching bluegills and perch near the boat launch.


Lehigh River — Trout were hitting around Glen Onoko as conditions allowed. 


Princess Creek, Buckwa Creek (Monroe County) — Parts of both streams have yielded nice catches of trout in recent weeks, as conditions allowed. 


Lake Wallenpaupack (Wayne County) — Northern pike were reported Jan. 17. Ice was gone by Jan. 11 but the open-water angling a few fishermen tried was unsuccessful because of high winds. 


Valley Creek (Chester County) — An 18-inch bass was reported Jan. 17.


East Branch Big Elk Creek (Chester County) — Trout up to 1-plus pounds were reported, with one angler having success with a Rooster Tail.


Delaware River — Carp and catfish were reported by Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle Jan. 18.  Keeper-size walleyes also were reported, on minnows.


Schuylkill River — Brinkman’s reported that walleyes, catfish and carp were hitting through mid-January. 


Pennypack Creek (Philadelphia County) — This lake in Philadelphia was yielding trout as of Jan. 18.


New Jersey shore — Brinkman’s reported that charter boats were picking up blackfish, while anglers were catching striped bass off the beach. Public lakes in New Jersey were yielding crappies. 

— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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