Report from the Dock
The autumn walleye bite kicked in big time in western waters of the state in recent weeks. Some examples: French Creek, on jerkbaits; Pymatuning Reservoir, on jigs; Allegheny, live bait; Lake Arthur, crawler harnesses; Clarion River, stickbaits; and Juniata River, stickbaits. Bass fishing was good in eastern waters. Some highlights: Susquehanna River, crankbaits; Juniata River, spinnerbaits; Memorial Lake, spinnerbaits; Lake Wallenpaupack, swimbaits; Mauk Chunk Lake, plastic worms; and Blue Marsh Reservoir, white topwater frogs. Catfish have been caught in many waters: Susquehanna River, live minnows, liver and crawlers; Ohio River, cut bait; Lake Arthur, shrimp; Pymatuning Reservoir, live minnows; Hamilton Lake, crawlers; Delaware River. chicken livers; Juniata River, shiners; and Monongahela, crawlers and chicken liver.
Lake Erie — Steelhead were hitting at the mouths of the tributaries for shore and boat anglers in late October. Lake trout were reported off Northeast, Pa. Yellow perch were coming off the cribs for anglers who could locate schools.
Lake Erie tributaries — Nice yields of steelhead were reported, when rainfall moved fish in recent weeks. Fallen, floating leaves were becoming a challenge in some streams.
Presque Isle Bay — Shore anglers were catching yellow perch and crappies through late October.
French Creek (Erie, Crawford, Venango, Mercer counties) — Smallmouth bass and walleyes were reported in recent weeks with spinnerbaits and jerkbaits effective.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Water was being lowered to winter pool in mid-October. Anglers were catching yellow perch and catfish during daytime hours, and walleyes were being targeted with jigs in the late evening hours. White perch also were reported.
Shenango River — Panfish and a few muskies were reported in recent weeks.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting in recent weeks. Anglers also were catching walleyes as conditions allowed.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — A 34-inch muskie was released on a five-inch Spark Shad Oct. 22. Catfish were biting on shrimp. Crappies, yellow perch, and bluegills were taking nightcrawlers. Walleyes were hitting crawler harnesses off the roadbed.
Clarion River (Clarion County) — Smallmouth bass and walleyes were reported in recent weeks.
Youghiogheny River (Westmoreland County) — Nice numbers of smallmouth bass were reported on fathead minnows through late October. Anglers also were catching rock bass.
Bridgeport Reservoir (Westmoreland County) — Largemouth bass were taking topwater lures on this 70-acre fishery Oct. 17.
Allegheny River — Nice-sized walleyes were hitting on live baits through late October.
Ohio River — Catfish were taking cut bait after sunset in recent weeks. Bass were hitting minnows and small spinners.
Cross Creek Lake (Washington County) — Nice numbers of largemouth bass up to 17 inches were reported on plastic worms in mid-October.
West Branch Susquehanna River (Clearfield County) — Good conditions were reported Oct. 20 and fish were beginning their fall feeding patterns. Panfish and bass were reported on white and yellow twister tails.
Parker Lake, Shagger’s Inn Pond, Janesville Dam (Clearfield County) — Recently stocked rainbow trout were reported on spinners, jigs, and meal worms.
Susquehanna River (Snyder County) — A good smallmouth bass bite was reported in recent weeks. Anglers fishing the bottom slowly with grubs, tubes, and plastic worms in natural colors reported success. Anglers are reminded that the Fabri Dam is under repair and the posted construction site is off-limits.
Hamilton Lake (Tioga County) — In mid-October, high, off-color conditions were reported. Anglers were catching bullheads on crawlers fished on the bottom.
Hammond Lake (Tioga County) — Bass, panfish and catfish were reported through mid-October.
First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek (Cameron County) — The Keystone Select section was stocked with large trout in early October, and anglers were catching nice fish on subsurface flies.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — TCO Fly Shop reported Oct. 22 that water was in the low 60s with good color and trout were feeding well on terrestrials (ants, beetles, weenies) in the afternoon hours. Small blue-winged olives (18-22) were also around. Nymphing with small flies (scud/sowbug patterns) was a good bet. Streamers were effective in higher water, with small sculpin patterns or a sparkle minnow productive. Hot flies included sunken ant (14-18), Green Weenie (14-18), and Walt’s Worm (12-16). Midges (22-26) and Tan Caddis (14-16) were hatching with the olives.
Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) — Striped bass were biting jerkbaits through late October.
Juniata River — Rock bass and channel catfish were reported on shiners in recent weeks
Juniata River (Juniata County) — Bass were biting spinner baits in recent weeks.
Juniata River (Mifflin County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting on smaller plastics through late October. Walleyes were taking stickbaits.
Kishacoquillas Creek (Mifflin County) — Trout were reported on artificial and live baits.
Lake Marburg (York County) — Cool temperatures at this Codorus State Park impoundment were luring muskie and northern pike anglers in recent weeks.
Susquehanna River (Dauphin County) — The bass bite picked up on the lower reaches in recent weeks and fish were taking shallow- to mid-depth-running lures. Catfish were coming on live minnows, liver and crawlers.
Memorial Lake (Lebanon County) — Largemouth bass were hitting on spinnerbaits. Sunfish and bluegills were taking crawlers near shore.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Striped bass were becoming more active in the falling water temperatures of recent weeks, with anglers catching them at first light and dusk. A very good smallmouth bass bite was reported in the coves and off the shoreline. One angler caught nice bass on a swimbait Oct. 19. Perch and chain pickerel also were hitting.
Lackawaxen River — Recently stocked rainbow trout were biting in nymphs and streamers through late October.
Harveys Lake (Luzerne County) — Some nice brown trout were reported. Live baits, spinners, and small stick baits were effective.
Harveys Creek, Moon Lake, Lake Took-A-While, Sylvan Lake (Luzerne County) — Rainbow trout were hitting in recent weeks, with the fish in Harveys Creek and Moon Lake biting on a variety of baits.
Brady’s Lake (Monroe County) — This State Game Land 127 impoundment was reopened after a flooding-related closure of several weeks. Crappies were hitting, mostly on jigs.
Lehigh River — Trout were hitting on stick baits in recent weeks. A few anglers were catching smallmouth bass.
Jordan Creek (Lehigh County) — Spotted bass were biting for one angler in recent weeks.
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Chain pickerel, perch, crappies, and bass were reported in recent weeks, although the bass were running less than 15 inches on this Big Bass Program water.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Striped bass were active in the early morning and early evening hours of recent weeks. Large bucktail jigs in red and white were effective as were live baits and, occasionally, chicken livers. Muskies were reported near the power line area.
Antietam Reservoir (Berks County) — Numbers of perch and other panfish were reported. A few trout also were reported.
Blue Marsh Reservoir (Berks County) — Some nice largemouth bass were reported through mid-October, with one angler doing well on white topwater frogs.
Tulpehocken Creek (Berks County) — TCO Fly Shop reported water was about 63 degrees and on the high side Oct. 22 and that fishing had improved since earlier in the month. Nymphing with caddis patterns and black midges (18-22) was effective.
— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg