Report from the Dock
Seems like a rain storm or two popped up somewhere in the state most every day in July, and downpours were common. But the bass fishing stayed consistently good most places. Smallmouths were active in the Lehigh, Susquehanna, Juniata, Shenango and Allegheny rivers, and in Oil and French creeks and Lake Erie tributaries. Try tubes, flukes, surface lures and various live baits. Among lakes, bass were hitting in Nockamixon, Octoraro, Leaser, Mauch Chunk, Dunlap Creek, Cloe, Speedwell Forge, Carey, Winola, Arthur, Wilhelm, Glade Run, Raystown, Shawnee, Glendale, Canoe Creek, Rowena, Mammoth and Keystone. Different lures and baits have worked in different waters, of course, but try plastic worms, swimbaits, surface lures, spinnerbaits, shakey heads, plastic creaturebaits, chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, nightcrawlers and shiners.
Boaters are reminded that all non-powered watercraft must have on display either a current registration or a launch permit when launching or retrieving at Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission lakes and/or access areas.
Anglers are encouraged to avoid targeting trout in warm, low flow as they are already stressed by conditions.
For more, visit www.fishandboat.com
Lake Erie — The walleye bite began getting stronger in early July as weather and conditions allowed, with fish coming in 30 to 70 feet of water. Some walleyes were on the bottom and others were suspended in 20 to 30 feet. Fish were arriving from the western basin, so catch rates were expected to improve as summer progresses.
Lake Erie tributaries — Anglers were catching smallmouth bass from the mouth up to Interstate 90 in recent weeks.
Presque Isle Bay — Numbers of freshwater drum were reported. Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and rock bass also were active. Perch were spotty here and in the lake.
French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Venango, Crawford counties) — Smallmouth bass were very active in recent weeks.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — Smallmouth bass up to 19 inches were taking tubes, flukes, and topwater lures. Catfish were biting on cut bait.
Oil Creek (Venango County) — Smallmouth bass were biting from Rynd Farm through the confluence with Allegheny River. Hot weather conditions had trout stacking up in the cooler flows of incoming tributaries.
Two Mile Run Reservoir aka Justus Lake (Venango County) — Trout were hitting at depths of 20 to 25 feet. The southern end of the lake was yielding bass.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Yellow perch of various sizes and bass were reported through mid-July. Walleyes were hitting for some anglers on crawler harnesses and plugs in 12 to 18 feet. Sizes were better than numbers. A few muskies also were released in the same depths of water. Some small crappies were reported.
Woodcock Creek Lake (Crawford County) — Bass and an occasional walleye were reported in recent weeks.
Kahle Lake (Clarion County) — Anglers were catching bluegills and yellow perch through mid-July.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — A 20-inch largemouth bass was released recently.
Shenango Reservoir and River (Mercer County) — Hybrid striped bass up to 30-plus inches were reported along with nice-size catfish, smallmouth bass, and panfish.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Largemouth bass up to about 3 pounds were reported on a variety of artificials, including spinnerbaits, swim jigs, and shaky heads.
Glade Run Lake (Butler County) — Angles were catching largemouth bass with soft plastics effective through mid-July.
Glendale Lake (Cambria County) — Nice-sized largemouth bass were hitting plastics and live bait. Some bass anglers were catching muskies near shore.
Lake Rowena (Cambria County) — Nice-sized largemouth bass were hitting on plastics and top-water lures near the weedy shoreline of this 15-acre lake through mid-July.
Mammoth Lake (Westmoreland County) — Largemouth bass were hitting on swimbaits through mid-July.
Keystone Lake (Westmoreland County) — Anglers were catching largemouth bass up to 19 inches on chatterbaits, crankbaits, and other artificials through mid-July.
Monongahela River (Fayette County) — Striped bass were biting around Point Marion in recent weeks.
Dunlap Creek Lake (Fayette County) —Anglers were catching some nice largemouth bass through mid-July. A few trout were hitting at night.
Cowanesque Lake (Tioga County) — Because of heavy boat traffic, anglers were trying to focus in the early morning and evening hours.
Cloe Lake (Jefferson County) — Bass and panfish were hitting, with topwater lures productive in the early morning and late evening hours.
Speedwell Forge Lake (Lancaster County) — Anglers were catching largemouth bass up to 4 pounds through mid-July, with nightcrawlers effective.
Juniata River (Huntingdon County) — Channel catfish were hitting on cut bait through mid-July.
Juniata River (Juniata County) — Flathead and channel catfish were reported on live bait, such as bluegills, cut fallfish, and large creek chubs. Smallmouth bass were reported on live bait such as hellgrammites, creek chubs, and stonecats, as well as 4- to 5-inch soft plastics in clear or white fished slowly under the surface. A few walleyes were reported in the deeper holes.
Juniata River (Perry County) — Smallmouth bass were taking hellgrammites, stonecats, and creek chubs, as well as soft plastics in the 4- to 5- inch size fished just under the surface. Channel and flathead catfish were reported on live baits, cutbaits, and crawlers.
Lake Carey, Lake Winola (Wyoming, Susquehanna counties) — Nice largemouth and smallmouth bass bites were reported at both lakes with swimbaits, jigs, and topwater plugs productive in the early and late-day hours in early July.
Susquehanna River — Channel catfish were reported in recent weeks with chicken livers and cut bait effective.
Lehigh River — The Jim Thorpe and East Penn boat launch areas were yielding smallmouth bass.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Striped bass were taking stickbaits, live baits and chicken livers in recent weeks. The upper reaches of Pohopoco Bay were yielding bass, while the area near the dam breast was producing a few walleyes in the evening hours. The Fish & Boat Commission reminds anglers that most parking access areas to the lake are gated on the weekends.
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Nice catches of bass were reported in recent weeks, although most were less than the 15-inch creel minimum established on this Big Bass Program waters. Perch up to 13 and 14 inches were also hitting, mostly on minnows. A few crappies were being caught off the fishing pier at boat launch A. Chain pickerel were active early in July.
Harveys Lake (Luzerne County) — Anglers were catching fish in recent weeks, especially in the early morning and late-evening hours. Brown trout were hitting earlier in the month. Bluegills and rock bass were taking jigs tipped with waxworms.
Leaser Lake (Lehigh County) — Largemouth bass were biting spinnerbaits and medium-sized jerk baits near the wooded timbers along the shoreline at the northern part of the lake in recent weeks.
Octoraro Reservoir (Chester County) — Anglers were catching white perch on various baits including red worms through mid-July. Largemouth bass and rock bass were hitting on Joe’s Flies spinners. A walleye also was reported.
Nockamixon Lake (Bucks County) —Largemouth bass were hitting in recent weeks, along with common carp, catfish and panfish.
New Jersey saltwater report — Charter captains reported marlin, tuna, dolphin and wahoo through mid-July. Bluefish jigging also was productive. There was good shore action on flukes.
— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg