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Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – September 30, 2021

Report from the Dock

Lots of good fishing was happening in recent weeks. A few examples follow:  In the Schuylkill River, flathead anglers were catching catfish up to 30 and 40 pounds; at Pymatuning Reservoir, anglers were catching some nice perch on minnows during the day and jigging for walleyes on blades in the late evening; on the Allegheny River, smallmouth bass up to 4 pounds were reported in the Pittsburgh pool; in Blue Marsh Lake, largemouth bass up to 4 pounds and smallmouth bass were hitting plastic worms; on the Susquehanna River, big catfish were active on shrimp near the Fort Hunter access; in Lake Arthur largemouth bass, including a 21-incher, were taken, as well as a 20-inch channel catfish; at Raystown Lake, striped bass and smallmouth bass were active; and steelhead were in lower Elk and Walnut creeks in recent weeks, and some fish were further upstream. 

The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission is performing fall trout stockings around the state. 

For more, visit 

The effects of Hurricane Ida were still being felt on some fisheries through the latter part of September, with blown-out conditions reported at Penns Creek, Spring Creek, and Big Fishing Creek in the northcentral region.


Lake Erie  — The walleye bite fell off in recent weeks. The dump area in 40 to 55 feet of water was one of the better spots. Conneaut, Ohio, charters reported decent catches in the western basin as walleyes return. Anglers were catching crappies off the city-side docks and piers, and one walleye was taken off the south channel pier, which could indicate walleyes were beginning to move into the bay. 

Lake Erie tributaries — Steelhead were in lower Elk and Walnut creeks in recent weeks and some fish were further upstream. Catches were coming on a range of different baits, including jigs, flies, minnows, nightcrawlers, spinners and spoons, as well as eggs and mini egg sacks. West side streams had more than the east side streams, such as Fourmile and Sixteenmile. The mouths of streams were productive. 

French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Venango, Crawford counties) — A number of nice smallmouth bass around 15 inches were reported in recent weeks.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Anglers were catching some nice perch on minnows during the day and jigging for walleyes on blades in the late evening into early nightime hours. Smallmouth bass also were biting in the evenings. A few sublegal largemouths were reported. An occasional muskie was released by anglers trolling but fish were scattered. White perch also were reported. State park managers were beginning to reduce water levels for winter in mid-September which increased flow in the river below the dam where anglers were catching a few walleyes.  Catfish were biting. 

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — Bluegills were hitting in mid-September, with bigger fish in deeper water.  One angler caught a 21⁄2-pound bass on a wacky-rig.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Largemouth bass in mixed sizes and a few crappies were reported. Not a single walleye was caught in a recent tournament but a non-tournament angler caught a 23.5-inch walleye while targeting panfish. A big snapping turtle was released.  

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Falling water temperatures in mid-September were prompting fish to feed and catches of walleyes, largemouth bass, crappies, white bass, and small hybrid striped bass were reported.  

Woodcock Creek Lake (Mercer County) — Bass up to 17 inches were hitting through Sept. 23 with plastic worms productive for some.

Oil Creek (Venango County) — Smallmouth bass up to 5 pounds were hitting in recent weeks, with fish coming on creek minnows drifted with the current.  

Allegheny River (Venango County) — Numbers of smallmouth bass up to 20 inches were reported on tubes in recent weeks. Many fish were feeding in the shallow current flows. Walleyes were beginning to bite in the same areas. Swimbaits and jigs were effective. A few white bass also were reported.

Justus Lake (Venango County) — Largemouth bass were hitting through Sept. 18.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Largemouth bass, including a 21-incher taken on a plastic worm, were reported through Sept. 18. A 20-inch channel catfish was caught on a nightcrawler Sept. 24.


Keystone Power Dam (Armstrong County) — Largemouth bass, walleyes, and numbers of panfish were reported.

Yellow Creek Lake (Indiana County) — Largemouth bass and smallmouth bass were reported in recent weeks. One angler caught a nice northern pike on a nightcrawler. Catfish have been active in the evenings.

Cross Creek Lake (Washington County) — Bass were hitting off points and near fallen trees. Crappies were moving deeper and suspending on structure piles. 

Monongahela River — Catfish and freshwater drum were hitting. Walleyes and smallmouth bass were biting at lock and dam Nos. 3 and 4. 

Peters Lake (Washington County) — Bass, catfish and numbers of bluegill were reported. 

Allegheny River — Smallmouth bass up to 4 pounds were reported in the Pittsburgh pool through Sept, 24. One angler caught a small muskie in the Pittsburgh pool on a crankbait.

Bridgeport Reservoir (Westmoreland County) — Largemouth bass were hitting through Sept. 23 with one angler catching them on swim jigs.


Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — Prior to being blown out in mid-September, anglers were catching fish on nymphs. Some fish were rising to dries. Terrestrial patterns were catching some trout. Productive patterns included Bead-head Pheasant Tails (14-20), Hares Ears, Dirty Bird Caddis (14-16), and streamers in sculpin patterns (2-6). 

Susquehanna River (Columbia County)— Largemouth bass were hitting on crawlers and other baits.


Susquehanna River (Dauphin County) — Catfish were active on shrimp near the Fort Hunter access in recent weeks.

Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) — Striped bass and smallmouth bass were active through Sept. 22.

Juniata River (Huntingdon County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting in recent weeks, with soft plastics and live baits effective. Some muskies were reported on large swimbaits. 

Long Arm Reservoir (York County) — Bass, catfish, and a variety of panfish were reported in recent weeks. 

Sheppard Meyers Reservoir (York County) — Numbers of panfish and bass were taken on live bait through mid-September. This fishery is closed daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pinchot Lake (York County) — Bass were hitting on live bait and swimbaits in recent weeks at this Gifford Pinchot State Park lake. 


Brady’s Lake (Monroe County) — Debris from Hurricane Ida forced closure of the lake through at least mid-September but anglers were eager to get back to late-season crappie fishing. 

Tobyhanna Lake (Monroe County) — Some nice-sized bass and chain pickerel were hitting on mealworms in recent weeks.

Gouldsboro Lake (Monroe County) — Some nice-sized trout and panfish were reported on this Panfish Enhancement lake. Gouldsboro is also a Big Bass Program fishery. Shore anglers reported catching snapping turtles on their fishing lines. 

Jordan Creek (Lehigh County) — Largemouth bass were hitting.


Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) — Largemouth bass up to 18 inches were reported through mid-September. 

Octoraro Lake  (Chester County) — Jim Neary’s Bait & Tackle reported Sept. 25 that the bass bite was picking up and white bass and crappies were starting to become active in cooler water temperatures. Catfish were hitting after storms and snakeheads were biting at the covered bridge.  The walleye bite was quiet.

Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) — Jim Neary’s reported that largemouth bass up to 4 pounds and smallmouth bass were hitting in recent weeks. The largemouths were coming on topwater lures in the mornings and jigs in the afternoons. Crappies were biting on jigs. 

Delaware River — Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle reported “horrendous” conditions Sept. 25 and the previous couple of weeks as storms wreaked havoc with water levels. Even the catfish anglers were struggling because they had to use so much weight. 

Schuylkill River — Flathead anglers were catching fish up to 30 and 40 pounds but the bite was slow. 

New Jersey saltwater report — Brinkman’s reported that towards the end of fluke season some nice 10 and 12 pound fluke were being caught. As of Sept. 25, a good tuna bite was reported in the canyons. Up north as close to New York as possible bluefins were hitting for anglers live-lining bunker. 

— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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