Report from the Docks
Some limited ice fishing was finally possible in recent weeks on lakes in the Northern Tier. River fishing was reported to be good in a number of places, including the Allegheny in Warren and Venango counties, where anglers said they were catching walleyes, muskies and an occasional northern pike; the Ohio and Beaver, where nice walleyes were reported in mid-February taking simple shiner rigs near the dams; the Susquehanna in Wyoming and York counties, where some nice walleyes were reported in recent weeks on live minnows, swimbaits and jigs; the Schuylkill, where anglers were catching walleyes on swimbaits or minnows; and the Delaware, where anglers were catching catfish up to 4 pounds. Trout fishing was good in quite a few waters, such as the Little Juniata River, Spring Creek, Fishing Creek, Penns Creek, the Yellow Breeches, the Yoghiogheny River and Briar Creek.
Anglers are advised that Approved Trout Waters will be closed to fishing from March 1 until opening day of trout season, and preseason stockings will be underway.
Stocked Trout Waters Open to Year-Round Fishing will remain open.
For details and a stocking schedule, visit www.fishandboat.com.
Boaters are reminded that they are required to wear life jackets when in a kayak, canoe, or any boat less than 16 feet in length through April 30.
Lake Erie tributaries (Erie County) — Although steelhead were sluggish in the cold water of mid-February, anglers were catching them on well-placed egg sacs and minnows, according to the FishUSA Pro Shop.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — Walleyes, muskies, and an occasional northern pike were reported in this section of the river in recent weeks.
Kahle Lake (Venango County) — Anglers were catching crappies, yellow perch, and bluegills as ice conditions allowed in mid-February.
Piney Dam and Upper Clarion River (Clarion County) — A few yellow perch and walleyes were reported in early February.
Allegheny River (Forest County) — Anglers were catching walleyes in the Tionesta pool from boat and shore as conditions allowed in early February.
Tionesta Reservoir (Forest County) — Anglers were catching muskies in the outflow from the wall and the old swimming beach as conditions allowed in early February.
Allegheny River Warren County) — Anglers were catching walleyes in the outflow of the Allegheny Reservoir (Kinzua Dam) in early February, with creek chubs especially productive.
Chautauqua Lake (New York) — A FishErie.com posting Feb. 15 that perch over 8 inches were being caught
Ohio River, Beaver River (Beaver County) — Some nice walleyes were reported in mid-February on both the Ohio and its tributary, the Beaver River. Simple shiner rigs were effective near the dams. Other anglers did well drifting live bait.
Brady’s Run Lake (Beaver County) — A nice trout bite was reported as conditions allowed.
Chartiers Creek (Beaver County) — Bass were reported on minnows in early February.
Montour Run (Beaver County) — Holdover trout were hitting for some anglers in early February,
Yellow Creek Lake (Indiana County) — Northern pike were reported on shiners at the day use area and at the north shore boat launch in mid-February.
Blue Spruce Lake (Indiana County) — Brook trout were reported on minnows and wax worms in recent weeks.
Quemahoning Reservoir (Somerset County) — A few northern pike were reported around the bridge in recent weeks.
Youghiogheny River Reservoir (Somerset County) — As conditions allowed, and when water wasn’t too high, anglers were catching trout in recent weeks.
Lower Twin Lakes Reservoir (Westmoreland County) — Brown trout up to 13 inches were released on powerbait in recent weeks.
Hills Creek Lake (Tioga County) — A variety of panfish were reported through the ice as conditions allowed in mid-February. Brightly colored tungsten jigs tipped with minnows or waxworms were effective.
Beechwood Lake (Tioga County) — Numbers of small perch were reported, along with chain pickerel om shiners in recent weeks. Crappies also were hitting, and trout were biting on paste baits, waxworms, fathead minnows, or spoons. A few bass were reported on shiners in early February.
Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — High flow was reported in mid-February, putting trout in slower pockets. Water was in the high 30s. Brown trout were taking small nymphs, including Caddis imitations. Streamers, including sculpin patterns, were effective, as well.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — Above-average water levels were reported in mid-February, and water was in the 40s. Anglers were doing well nymphing the slower-moving pockets and slots with hot sow bugs and Baetis patterns. Streamers, including dark-colored slumpbusters, also were effective.
Hamilton Lake (Tioga County) — Trout were hitting waxworms, fathead minnows, and paste baits in early February, while pickerel and bass were taking medium-sized shiners. Various kinds of panfish were reported on waxworms, maggots, and soft plastics.
West Branch Susquehanna River — Muskies were hitting large crankbaits and swimbaits during milder weather in early February.
Little Juniata River (Huntingdon County) — TCO Outdoors reported Feb. 15 that water was high, but coming down, and in the 30s with color. Midges (20-26) were hatching. Small nymphs and egg patterns were productive on fish holding in slower slots and seams. Streamers also were effective. Hot patterns were Rubberleg Stones (6-10), Caddis Pupa (12-16), Blue-Winged Olives (20-24), and olive or black Sculpins (two to four inches).
Susquehanna River (York County) — Catfish were taking liver and shrimp and walleyes were hitting jigs and minnows or jigs and twister tails around York Haven in mid-February, but the bites were slow.
Susquehanna River (Wyoming County) — Some nice walleyes were reported from Falls to Tunkhannock in recent weeks, with live minnows productive. Swimbaits and jigs also worked for some anglers.
Briar Creek Lake (Columbia County) — Holdover trout were hitting on paste baits as conditions allowed in early February.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Wayne County) — Anglers were able to do some ice-fishing in January and caught perch and bluegills by jigging.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Trout were hitting below the outlet in Pohopoco Creek in late January. Boaters are reminded that while regulatory buoys such as Slow No Wake, Water Ski Zone were removed from the lake for the winter season the regulations pertaining to the regulatory zones are still in effect and enforced.
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Nice catches of bluegills and perch were reported in late January. A bass bite was reported near the dam breast and in the upper reaches of the Pohopoco Creek bay area of the lake.
Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) — In mid-February, this fishery was mostly ice-free and yielding crappies and yellow perch.
Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle reported Feb. 15 that anglers were catching catfish up to 4 pounds, but the bite was very slow.
Brinkman’s reported that anglers were catching a few walleyes on swimbaits or minnows through mid-February.
Falls Township Lake, Core Creek Lake (Bucks County) — Crappies were reported, and largemouths were starting to bite on jerkbaits in recent weeks.
New Jersey saltwater report — Brinkman’s reported Feb. 14 party boats were still doing well on cod or ling and despite the cold, blackfish up to 8 pounds were biting.
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg