Report from the Dock
Summer fishing is getting interesting, and there’s a lot to choose from, ranging from catching striped bass and hybrid stripers at Raystown Lake (on live trout), at Shenango Reservoir (on lures trolled along points and stumps), in the Monongahela River (on bait and lures along rocky shorelines), in Lake Octoraro and in the Delaware River (on bloodworms and nightcrawlers) — to catfish in the Allegheny River (channel), Monongahela River (flatheads around locks and dams and channels near the mouths of creeks and rivers), Juniata River (channels on cutbait, fallfish and creek chubs), the Susquehanna River (channels on live bait), Delaware River (on clams, bunker and bagels), Schuylkill River, Blue Marsh Lake and Octoraro Lake. Fishing for walleyes, bass, trout and panfish – especially crappies – has been good in many waters. Check out the report.
Bass season opened June 13. For more, visit www.fishandboat.com
Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay — In a recent two-day walleye tournament that drew nearly 80 boats, the lunkers weighed 9.84 and 9.88 pounds. Other anglers were reporting limits on bottom-bouncers with crawler harnesses and butterfly blades trolled or drifted at 1 to 1.7 mph. Crankbaits and spoons behind jet divers also were effective, with fish ranging from 20 feet out to 50 to 60 feet. Most catches were in the top 25 feet of the water column. Some walleyes were hitting at night off the South Pier, and on the West Side in 10 to 25 feet and in 40 to 45 feet. The best plug colors were blues and greens. The bass bite in both the lake and the bay was productive, with soft plastics the ticket. Bass were on weeds and other structure, although some were hitting in the open water. A good perch bite was reported off Shade’s in 35 to 40 feet in mid-June. Walleye anglers reported incidental catches of large catfish. A few catfish and smallmouth bass were lingering in lower Elk Creek in mid-June.
French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Crawford, Venango counties) — A couple of smallmouth bass and a small walleye were reported on a perch-colored crankbait in recent weeks.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Walleyes were hitting around shallow weed beds for anglers jigging or drifting live bait, and in the deeper water on plugs trolled in about 20 feet through mid-June. The stumps were also yielding walleyes on worm harnesses. Largemouth bass were hitting around weed beds. Crappies were biting on the south end and at Andover causeway, and bluegills were active all over the lake. Muskies up to 42-plus inches were reported and catfish were taking live baits. White bass were reported at Andover causeway early and late in the day. Perch were still biting in about 20 feet not far from the causeway. Numbers of bowfin were reported.
Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — This large natural lake was yielding nice bluegills and rock bass from the weed edges in 6 to 8 feet of water. Medium-size Terry Bugs in bubblegum were productive. Bowfins and perch also were hitting.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Crappies, bass and walleyes were reported in recent weeks, with one walleye weighing 8 pounds. Submerged brush in 10 to 12 feet was yielding the larger crappies and medium-sized black Terry Bugs were effective.
Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Hybrid striped bass about 10 pounds were reported on lures trolled along points and stumps in mid-June depending on water temperatures. Big white bass were schooling and feeding in post-spawn mode. Walleyes were reported but the shallow bite had faded by mid-June. Large channel catfish were biting all over the lake. Northern pike and crappies were also hitting.
Sugar Creek (Mercer County) — Trout, including a 17-inch brown, were still biting in mid-June, depending on conditions, with chunks of crawlers and minnows effective, as were olive Wooly Buggers, Prince Nymphs, cream and chrome Bead Head Nymphs and red San Juan Worms.
Big Sandy Creek (Mercer County) — Through June 13, trout were hitting Elk Hair Caddis for at least one angler.
Justus Lake (Venango County) — A nice number of largemouth bass up to 15-plus inches and 5 pounds were reported in recent weeks, with a couple coming on nightcrawlers trolled, and others on large creek baits drifted. Bluegills, a rainbow trout and a large perch also were reported.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — Low, clear flow suppressed the walleye bite in mid-June and bass were still spawning. Average-sized catfish were reported at night.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Largemouth and smallmouth bass were reported through June 20.
Allegheny River (Allegheny County) — Anglers near Lock No. 4 were releasing bass on minnow-tipped jigs. Walleyes and catfish were reported below Lock 3.
Monongahela River (Allegheny, Washington, Greene counties) — Freshwater drum were reported in Pittsburgh. Hybrid striped bass were hitting along structure and rocky shorelines. Flathead catfish were reported around Maxwell Lock and Dam and channel catfish near the mouths of Dunkard, Pigeon, and Tenmile creeks, and the Cheat and Youghiogheny rivers.
Ohio River — Carp up to 12 pounds were reported in recent weeks.
Sewickley Creek (Westmoreland County) — Some large trout from private club stockings were reported in recent weeks. Golden rainbows were hitting near Yukon.
Youghiogheny River — Walleyes, catfish and trout were reported in low, clear conditions. The bass bite was slow.
Indian Lake (Westmoreland County) — Panfish were hitting through mid-June on this Panfish Enhancement Program fishery.
Dutch Fork Creek, Dutch Fork Lake, Enlow Fork, Pike Run (Washington County) — Trout were still hitting through mid-June. A 17-inch largemouth bass was taken on a spinnerbait in Dutch Fork Lake.
Keystone Lake (Westmoreland County) — Trout were reported on minnows and scented PowerBait on the bottom through mid-June.
Loyalhanna Lake (Westmoreland County) — An outstanding crappie bite was reported on jigs and minnows around submerged trees along the banks through mid-June, especially around daybreak. One angler caught a 16.75-inch crappie.
Conemaugh River Lake (Indiana County) — A lot of pressure was reported in the outflow in recent weeks. Numbers of smallmouth bass and yellow perch were reported.
Tioga Spillway (Tioga County) — Smallmouth bass and walleyes were reported in recent weeks, with early morning and late evening hours more productive for walleyes. White spinnerbaits were effective on both species. Jigs and crawlers slowly fished near the bottom also were productive.
West Branch Susquehanna River (Clinton County) — Smallmouth bass were reported through mid-June, along with muskies and walleyes in the main stem and some tributaries. Jerkbaits, crankbaits and spinnerbaits in natural colors were the tickets. Surface lures in frog and mice patterns worked on the bass. Channel catfish were in the deeper holes and bends.
Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — Above-average flow in the mid-50s was reported in mid-June, along with caddis, blue quill, blue-winged olives, and sulphur hatches. While some trout were feeding on the surface, Stonefly nymphs, small streamers and other subsurface flies were more productive.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — Some surface activity with Caddisflies was reported in mid-June, when good conditions prevailed. Subsurface flies were more productive. Some anglers were starting to use terrestrials. Tan caddis, blue-winged olives, and green weenies were “hatching.”
Juniata River (Juniata County) — Catfish were hitting through mid-June on cutbait, fallfish, creek chubs, and sunfish. Smallmouth bass also were released.
Holman Lake (Perry County) — Crappies were reported in recent weeks, along with largemouth bass and perch. The deeper water was yielding a few trout.
Susquehanna River (Dauphin County) — Smallmouth bass 10 to 20 inches were released in recent weeks around City Island.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Largemouth bass up to 4-plus pounds were reported in recent weeks.
Susquehanna River (Wyoming County) — Channel catfish were biting on live bait and smallmouth bass on artificials in recent weeks.
Stevens, Oxbow lakes (Wyoming County) — Bluegills were hitting jigs and crawlers, and trout were biting spoons, trolled.
North Branch Susquehanna River —The walleye bite had slowed but the smallmouth bite was picking up as of June 13. Jigs in green were productive.
Elmhurst Reservoir (Lackawanna County) —Black crappies were reported in recent weeks.
Octoraro Lake (Chester County) — Jim Neary’s Bait & Tackle reported an excellent bass bite June 20 with fish up to 5 pounds hitting on wacky worms or chatterbaits with gold blades. Snakeheads were being caught at the covered bridge along with an occasional striped bass. A 12-pound, 3-ounce channel catfish was reported. The crappie bite was winding down as fish went deep but some anglers were catching them on medium fatheads on jigs. Bluegills were biting on pieces of nightcrawlers and mealworms, and for fly-anglers. Boat rentals have resumed at Neary’s.
Delaware River — Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle reported June 20 that stripers 12 to 18 inches were hitting on bloodworms and crawlers. The catfish bite was excellent, with big numbers coming on clams, bunker, and bagels.
Schuylkill River — Brinkman’s reported June 20 that flathead catfish up to 25 and 30 pounds were consistently biting, and walleyes were hitting on swimbaits and minnows.
Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) — Channel catfish were reported in recent weeks.
Hopewell Lake (Berks County) — Largemouth bass were hitting through late June.
New Jersey saltwater report — Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle reported June 20 that the sea bass bite was phenomenal, with many limits being taken and not that far out. Flounder fishing hadn’t kicked into high gear yet but tuna were red-hot out of the canyons.
— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg