Report from the Dock
Anglers found bass – both largemouths and smallmouths – to be willing biters in many waters across the state. In recent weeks, bass fishing has been fairly hot at the following: Lake Nockamixon, on big plastic worms; Blue Marsh Lake; Schuylkill River, on crankbaits, live baits; Marsh Creek Lake, on jigs and crankbaits; Octoraro Lake, on jigs and “search baits;” Monongahela River, on jigs with plastics; Yellow Creek Lake, on plastic worms, shiners, crawlers and minnows; Raystown Lake, on spinnerbaits; Keystone Power Dam; Glendale Lake, on plastic worms; Allegheny River, on plastics, jerk baits and spinnerbaits; Susquehanna River, jerk baits; Juniata River, on crankbaits; Pymatuning Reservoir, on plastic worms; Shenango River, on jigs and plastics; and Presque Isle Bay, Lake Erie.
Lake Erie/Presque Isle Bay — The smallmouth bass bite was hot in the bay and in shallow areas around the lake’s shoreline through the end of May. Anglers were catching lake trout in about 45 feet of water off Shorewood and Northeast. Walleyes were hitting near shore, in 15 feet or less, at night.
Lake Erie tributaries — Suckers and smallmouth bass were reported through the end of May.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Warmer temperatures had slowed the near-shore walleye bite by the end of May. Anglers were targeting weedbeds with jigs and crawlers in the early morning hours or by trolling shad raps and hot n tots in 12 to 28 feet during the day. Some walleyes were feeding at night on alewives. Crappies up to 2-plus pounds and perch were hitting in the shallows on the south end. The shallows also were holding bluegills and pumpkinseeds. Large catfish were biting at night. One angler released several bass on the south end. A 4-pound, 2-ounce largemouth was released on a plastic worm.
Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — A nice northern pike was reported on this large, natural lake in recent weeks. A Meadville paper reported a herbicide application was slated for early June. Decaying vegetation and heavy boat traffic may turn off angling for some.
Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) — Numbers of crappies moved into the canals by late May.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Crappies were active through the end of May.
Shenango River (Mercer County) — The stretch below Sharon was yielding releases of smallmouths in recent weeks. One angler reported catching a 23-inch striped bass in early June.
Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) —Crappies were hitting like crazy by late May. Hybrid striped bass up to 20 pounds were running the rocky points in recent weeks and hitting topwater and jerkbaits.
Allegheny River (Warren County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting in various soft plastics, jerkbaits and spinnerbaits through early June.
Kinzua Reservoir (Warren County) — Anglers were catching walleyes in recent weeks, with Sugar Bay a popular spot.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — A 23-inch hybrid striped bass was released on a crankbait in early June.
Allegheny River — Walleyes, saugeyes, releases of smallmouth and largemouth bass, rock bass, and channel catfish were reported through early June. Flathead catfish also were becoming active in rising water temperatures. Warmer weather has increased boat traffic.
Keystone Power Dam (Armstrong County) — Releases of largemouth and smallmouth bass were reported through early June, particularly in the early hours.
Yellow Creek Lake (Yellow Creek Lake) — Shore anglers were catching catfish, northern pike, and largemouth bass from the northern shore area, with shiners, crawlers, minnows and other baits effective.
Dutch Fork Lake, Canonsburg Lake (Washington County) — Yellow, green and white paste baits were still taking trout through the end of May.
Monongahela River — Walleyes and smallmouth bass were hitting along with the occasional yellow perch at lock and dam numbers three and four. Catfish were becoming active. The Fish & Boat Commission advises that boaters below lock number three must stay downriver of the white buoys or, if they are not in yet, the lock gate wall across the river is the imaginary line.
Cross Creek Lake (Washington County) — Warmer water has spurred the crappie bite on this 10-hp or less water.
Parker Dam, Shaggers Inn Pond (Clearfield County) — A nice number of trout remained through the end of May.
Faylor Lake, Walker Lake (Snyder County) — Anglers who could locate panfish were making nice catches through late May. Carp spawned in both lakes in recent weeks.
Susquehanna River — Nice releases of smallmouth bass were reported in recent weeks.
Juniata River (Juniata County) — Channel and flathead catfish were reported on chubs, cut fallfish, bluegills, and crawlers through early June, with the evenings hours especially productive for some anglers.
Holman Lake (Perry County) — Some nice crappies were reported at this Little Buffalo State Park impoundment, with small jigs and twister tails or live minnows productive through early June. Perch are also were reported along with the occasional trout.
Upper Delaware River — Brown and rainbow trout were hitting dry flies during rainy days through the end of May. Anglers who want to avoid stressing trout as summer approaches can consult the USGS Water Gauge at Lordville for water temperatures (https://on.doi.gov/3v8KfJB). The West Branch of the Delaware stays much cooler and trout aren’t as stressed.
Greeley Lake (Pike County) — Nice-size perch were reported through the end of May.
Shohola Creek (Pike County) — Brook and brown trout were biting on crawlers.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Chain pickerel up to 28-plus inches were reported in recent weeks. The Fish & Boat Commission’s Mangan Cove Access/boat launch recently reopened with repaving operations now finished.
Octoraro Lake (Chester County) — Jim Neary’s Bait and Tackle reported June 6 that crappies were very active on minnows and jigs. Releases of largemouth bass, some 2 to 4 pounds, were reported on jigs and search baits. Snakeheads were at the covered bridge and coming on shiners, channel catfish were taking live baits.
Minsi Lake (Northampton County) — Some nice bluegills and releases of small bass were reported through early June.
Delaware River — Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle reported June 6 that very large flathead catfish and channel cats were being caught, with some flatheads coming on eels. Numbers of carp were reported. The striper bite was winding down. On June 1, striped bass regulations in the river and estuary changed to a creel limit of one fish per day between 28 and 35 inches. Anglers who catch or target stripers are required to register at www.pa-sarp.pa.gov.
Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County) — Bluegills, crappies, and yellow perch were reported on small jigs and live baits in recent weeks. Bass were released on jigs, crankbaits and spinners and on large black, purple, dark green or pumpkinseed colored rubber worms. Crayfish, minnows and nightcrawlers were effective.
Schuylkill River — The Black Rock area was yielding releases of smallmouth and largemouth bass around the Cromby Power Plant outflow but action was reportedly slow through the end of May. Crankbaits and live baits were productive. Channel catfish were coming on liver and flathead catfish on live bait. Anglers are advised to stay clear of the fish ladder at Black Rock Dam, as violators caught within 100 feet of that area face prosecution.
Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) — Dave’s Sports Shop reported June 6 that some nice largemouth bass were being released on big plastic worms, 6 to 8 inches, and crappies had been hitting earlier in the spring.
Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) — Largemouth bass were released in recent weeks.
New Jersey saltwater report — Brinkman’s reported June 6 that sea bass season was in full swing with some nice sizes being caught. Fluke opened up and a lot of catches were being made in the back bays. Striped bass were in the ocean and being picked up, and there was a bluefish bite off the beaches.
— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg