Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

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Pennsylvania Fishing Report – August 20, 2020

Report from the Dock

Fishing for catfish has been as hot as the temperatures in recent weeks. Some examples: Schyulkill River,  flathead catfish on eels and sunfish; Delaware River, channel catfish on shrimp, crawlers and bunker; Octoraro Reservoir, channel catfish on green crawlers or chicken livers; Leaser Lake, channel catfish on nightcrawlers and chicken livers; Susquehanna River, channel catfish on cut and live bait and flathead catfish on bluegills;  Juniata River, channel catfish at night on live baits and cutbait; Monongahela River, flathead catfish on sunfish; Ohio River, large flathead and channel catfish on live panfish and cutbait at night; Allegheny River, channel and flathead catfish at night at the mouths of creeks on chicken livers, hot dogs, bluegills and creek chubs; and Sayers Lake, channel catfish were reported in Hunter Run Cut and other areas, on chicken livers and nightcrawlers.

Hot, muggy weather made for tough fishing on some waters across Pennsylvania in recent weeks, and anglers are reminded that trout struggle to survive in low, oxygen-depleted conditions at this time of year. 


Lake Erie — Walleye fishing was productive during fishable conditions in recent weeks when most anglers were in at least 60 feet of water. Walleyes up to 28 inches were reported on spoons, Dipsy divers, jet divers, crawler harnesses with inline weights, or large weighted spinners or crawler harnesses on a three-way with a nightcrawler, trolled or drifted near the bottom. Big catfish were hitting, too, including some on walleye rigs. Kayak anglers were catching walleyes by drifting Erie Dearies or bottom bouncing rigs in relatively shallow water off Shades Beach as conditions allowed in early August.  


Presque Isle Bay — Panfish were hitting for shore anglers off the convention center and Holland Street slip. A bass angler fishing a chatterbait caught a muskie in July.


Lake LeBoeuf, Eaton Reservoir (Erie County) — Crappies were reported in recent weeks with LeBouef fish coming on the edge of weed beds, and Eaton fish hitting around the aerators. 


Edinboro Lake (Erie County) — Largemouth bass up to 2 pounds were reported through mid-August on soft plastics.


French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Venango, Crawford counties) — Kayak anglers reported nice releases of smallmouth bass in early August. 


Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Numbers of panfish were reported in recent weeks. Anglers caught perch, bluegills and crappies on pieces of nightcrawlers and bobbers. 


Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Numbers of crappies, including many keepers, were reported through early August, when fish were hitting in about 14 feet, over brush. Bluegills and sunfish were hitting on crawlers and bobbers along the shoreline. Anglers were also catching walleyes, trolling. Catfish were all over the lake. In the Shenango River, some anglers did well on smallmouth bass and catfish in the late evening hours. 


Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Smallmouth bass were reported on crankbaits through mid-August. Walleyes were reported on jigs and crawlers drifted with the wind earlier in the month. 


Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — Rock bass were reported in recent weeks, with one angler doing well on a drop-shot rig. Other anglers caught bluegills and pumpkinseeds drop-shotting. A couple of largemouth bass and at least one northern pike were reported but the bites were overall slow. One angler released a small muskie.


Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) — As of Aug. 3, anglers were catching walleyes by trolling spoons in the deeper water. Muskies were reported, with one walleye angler bringing a muskie to his boat on a crawler harness. 


Allegheny River (Venango County) — Although the smallmouth bass bite was slow through mid-August, anglers were catching fish on a variety of baits, from finesse lures to crankbaits to soft swimbaits. The occasional muskie up to 35 inches and northern pike also were reported. Flathead and channel catfish were coming on live and cut pieces of bluegills and creek chubs.


Justus Lake (Venango County)  An average bass bite was reported through early August. 


Connoquenessing Creek (Butler County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting through mid-August.


Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Smallmouth bass were reported on chatterbaits, crankbaits, and rubber worms and channel catfish were hitting through mid-August.


Harbar Acres Lake (Butler County) — Bluegills were biting in mid-August.


Dutch Fork Lake (Washington County) — Largemouth bass up to 2-plus pounds were reported on spinnerbaits in recent weeks.


Allegheny River (Allegheny County) — Catfish were hitting at the mouths of the creeks on chicken livers and hot dogs, at night through mid-August. One channel catfish released near Pittsburgh was 8 pounds. 


Monongahela River — Bass and flathead catfish were hitting in early August. 


North Park Lake (Allegheny County) — Largemouth bass were reported on soft plastics through mid-August.


Ohio River (Beaver County) — Large flathead and channel catfish were hitting at night, with live panfish and cutbait effective.


Raccoon Lake (Beaver County) — Fishing was slow overall through early August, with anglers catching a few largemouth bass up to about 3 pounds. Soft plastics were the ticket. 


Youghiogheny River (Somerset County) — Some nice-sized walleyes were reported through mid-August. Earlier in the month, freshwater drum, rock bass, smallmouth bass and catfish were reported.


Youghiogheny Reservoir (Somerset County) — Crappies and smallmouth bass were biting minnows and artificials in early August.


Quemahoning Reservoir (Somerset County) — Nice-sized walleyes and smallmouth bass were reported in recent weeks. 


High Point Lake (Somerset County) — Large bluegills were reported in recent weeks. 


Highpoint Lake (Somerset County) — Smallmouth and largemouth bass, bluegills, and chain pickerel were biting on maggots, redworms, and artificials in early August.


Wilmore Dam (Cambria County) — Crappies were biting on minnows with slide bobbers in the early morning hours of early August. 


Colver Reservoir aka Vetera Dam (Cambria County) — Boaters were catching yellow perch on minnows through early August on this 73-acre impoundment.


Casselman River  Smallmouth bass were coming in the deeper sections.


West Branch Susquehanna River (Clearfield County) — Smallmouth bass up to 20 inches were reported in some of the deeper holes and holding areas in recent weeks. Muskies up to 40 inches also were reported. A good catfish bite was reported in the evening hours.


Sayers Lake (Centre County) — Crappies were hitting on minnows or twister tails under floats in recent weeks. Channel catfish were reported in Hunter Run Cut and other areas, with chicken livers and nightcrawlers effective in evening hours. 


Black Moshannon Lake (Centre County) — Chain pickerel and bass were reported from shore in recent weeks, with spinners, soft plastic bass baits, and live baits effective.


Bald Eagle Creek (Centre County) — Trout were reported in recent weeks, with the best bite in the evening hours on spinners, nymphs, and live bait. 


Cowanesque River (Tioga County) — Black bass were reported on soft plastics, and muskies were hitting trout or white suckers.


Hills Creek Lake (Tioga County) — Largemouth bass over 2½ pounds were released through mid-August with one coming on a Bandito Bug.


Juniata River (Juniata County) — A good smallmouth bass bite was reported in the later evening hours of early July. Three-inch jerkbaits and hellgrammites were effective, as were large streamers. Flathead and channe catfish were biting at night on live baits and cutbait.


Holman Lake (Perry County) — Panfish and largemouth bass were reported, with fish deep near structures in early July. 


Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) — Catfish were hitting in recent weeks. Largemouth bass and panfish were in the coves and taking live baits and larger plugs.


Lake Marburg (York County) — Black crappies and white perch were hitting on live minnows and swimbaits early in August, while walleyes were active on live bait near bridges around sunset.


Long Arm Reservoir (York County) — Largemouth bass were reported on topwater lures around the banks in early August. Panfish were biting around the boat launch from shore.


Susquehanna River — Low water levels had anglers catching flathead catfish off the rocks off Gut Road in early August.


Susquehanna River (Wyoming County) — Channel catfish up to 10 pounds were hitting through mid-August. Cut and live baits were working in the evening and night-time hours. Smallmouth bass were biting on crankbaits, jigs, and topwater plugs. 


Lake Carey, Stevens Lake (Wyoming County) — Bass were reported in recent weeks.


Lackawanna Lake (Lackawanna County) — This state park lake was yielding largemouth bass to topwater lures in the evening hours in early August. Crappies were hitting on crawlers suspended below bobbers. Carp also were reported.


Leaser Lake (Lehigh County) — Brown bullhead and channel catfish were reported in recent weeks, with nightcrawlers and chicken livers the tickets


Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) — Largemouth bass were reported through mid-August, with one angler catching a 5-pounder on a skirt spinner around lily pads.


Chambers Lake (Chester County) — Some nice bass were reported on rubber worms effective in purple, pumpkinseed, and motor oil through mid-August.


Octoraro Reservoir (Chester County) — Jim Neary’s Bait and Tackle reported Aug. 15 that bass fishing had slowed because of high water temperatures, but some anglers were taking them on rubber worms, and, in the mornings, on topwater lures, such as frogs. The best white perch fishing of the year was reported on chunks of crawlers. Crappies were hitting in 22 feet, with one angler catching five nice ones over 14 inches. Bullheads and channel catfish were active on green crawlers after rain or on chicken livers and shrimp. Snakeheads were hitting at the covered bridge on medium shiners, and frog-pattern and other soft topwater lures. Bass anglers were getting the occasional striped bass on spinnerbaits. 


Delaware River — Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle reported Aug. 16 that, when conditions returned to normal after rainfall, catfishing was productive on shrimp, crawlers and bunker, and the upper river around New Hope was starting to show smallmouth bass again on minnows and small lures.


Schyulkill River — Brinkman’s reported Aug. 16 that the flathead catfish bite was good on eels and sunfish in non-tidal areas.


New Jersey saltwater report — Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle reported that storms slowed offshore fishing ino, but inshore, flukes were reported on hitting on cutbait and Gulp on local reefs. Bluefish were sparse and small. Reports were spotty on bonito and Spanish mackerel, which were starting to bite on small lures either trolled or jigged. 


— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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