Report from the Dock
Although most anglers associate late-fall- and winter-stocked trout with ice fishing, the fish, obviously, are available to open-water anglers. Here are some suggestions: Fairview Gravel Pits were stocked with trout Dec. 16; Loyalhanna Creek’s delayed harvest, artificial lures only section was stocked in recent weeks; Donegal Lake was stocked with trout in October; in Lake Rowena and Duman Lake, fall-stocked trout were hitting in recent weeks; in Laurel Hill Creek, the delayed harvest, artificial lures only sections were yielding nice catches of trout; in Canonsburg Lake and Dutch Fork Lake, trout have been hitting live baits and scented pastebaits; Canoe Creek Lake was recently stocked; Greenwood Dam was stocked Dec. 22; trout were hitting spinners in recent weeks in Princess Run; brook trout were reported through late December in Shohola Creek.
Lake Erie tributaries — Steelhead and brown trout were reported through mid-December as conditions allowed. Steelheaders should know that water can change quickly from low and clear to high and muddy and tactics need to be adjusted, with small presentations working best in low and clear water and bigger baits better in muddy, faster water.
Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — Yellow perch were hitting from shore in recent weeks.
Fairview Gravel Pits (Erie County) —A trout stocking was slated for Dec. 16.
Allegheny Reservoir (Warren County) — The Allegheny National Fish Hatchery stocked this lake with approximately 60,500 lake trout from Wolf Run Marina in late November.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Walleyes up to 9 pounds were reported in mid-December.
Youghiogheny River (Fayette, Westmoreland counties) — Anglers were catching walleyes and smallmouth bass through mid-December. Earlier in the month, anglers were catching some nice muskies.
Loyalhanna Creek (Westmoreland County) — The Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only section of the creek was stocked in recent weeks.
Donegal Lake (Westmoreland County) — This 90-acre fishery was stocked with trout in October but few anglers were fishing.
Wilmore Reservoir (Cambria County) — Nice-sized crappies were hitting on minnows and jigs in early December.
Lake Rowena, Duman Lake (Cambria County) — Fall-stocked trout were hitting in recent weeks.
Hinckston Run Reservoir (Cambria County) — Yellow perch were hitting on crawlers near the boat launch in early December.
Monongahela River (Greene, Washington counties) — Walleyes were reported at Rice’s Landing amid scant fishing pressure. A few muskies also were reported
Lower Twin Lake (Westmoreland County) — A maintenance-related draw-down was performed in recent weeks, and trout were stocked prior to the drawdown.
Laurel Hill Creek (Somerset County) — The Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only sections were yielding nice catches of trout.
Canonsburg Lake, Dutch Fork Lake (Washington County) — Trout were hitting live baits and scented pastebaits.
Monongahela River — Lock Nos. 3 and 4 were yielding walleyes in recent weeks.
Walker, Faylor, Halfway, Chillisquaque lakes (Snyder, Union, Montour counties) — Anglers are gearing up with hopes of an ice-fishing season at some point on these destinations which are popular for their yields of panfish. Halfway is often the first to freeze. The Fish & Boat Commission urges caution on all ice-fishing destinations, and advises that Chillisquaque and Walker as being especially prone to changing ice conditions.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — TCO Fly Shop reported Dec. 19 that flow was low and clear, and water was in the low 50s. Trout were feeding well in the afternoons on small nymphs, scud/sowbug patterns, and streamers. Hatches included blue-winged olives (18-22) and midges (22-26).
Big Fishing Creek — TCO Fly Shop reported Dec. 18 that water was low and clear and in the upper 40s. Trout were hitting on nymphs and streamers. Hatches included blue-winged olives (20-24) and midges (20-26).
Canoe Creek Lake (Blair County) — A recent stocking and mild mid-December temperatures brought anglers to this 155-acre state park lake for trout.
Frankstown Branch, Juniata River (Blair County) — Some nice-sized brown trout were landed on spinners and small crankbaits with minnow profiles in bright colors in recent weeks. Smallmouth bass also were reported but not actively taking baits.
Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) — Lake trout were hitting for anglers trolling live bait in the deep channels in recent weeks. Striped bass, smallmouth bass, and panfish also were active.
Greenwood Dam (Huntingdon County) — The fall stocking delayed during dam repairs was rescheduled by the Fish & Boat Commission for Dec. 22.
Juniata River (Mifflin County) — Walleyes were active in recent weeks and coming on various medium-sized jerkbaits. Smallmouth bass were hitting soft plastics and live bait.
Shawnee State Park Lake (Bedford County) — Shore anglers were catching crappies on live minnows fished under bobbers.
Lake Koon (Bedford County) — Largemouth bass were hitting on soft plastics fished slowly on the bottom.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Decent-sized walleyes were reported through mid-December.
Shohola Creek (Pike County) — Brook trout were reported through mid-December.
Tobyhanna, Gouldsboro, Brady’s Lake (Monroe, Wayne, and Pike counties) — Anglers were catching trout at Tobyhanna and panfish at Brady’s and Gouldsboro.
Lackawanna River — Some nice-sized brown trout up to 22 inches and rainbows were reported.
Tunkhannock Creek (Wyoming County) — Some nice rainbows and browns were released in mid-December.
Susquehanna River (Wyoming County) — Nice walleyes and smallmouth bass were reported in mid-December, with the bass hitting on a swimbait.
Harveys Lake (Luzerne County) — The brown trout bite slowed in mid-December. Anglers were still catching perch around bait balls along the shoreline. Small shiners, spoons, and jigs were productive.
Susquehanna River (Luzerne County) — Walleyes were hitting, but no great sizes were reported in mid-December.
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Chain pickerel, perch and crappies were hitting in early December on this Big Bass Program water.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Striped bass were hitting from shore and boat, with live baits, big bucktail jigs in red/white, and chicken livers were effective in early December. Largemouth and smallmouth bass up to 18 inches were hitting from shore near the Pine Run boat launch. Perch up to 14 inches also were active, with live minnows the best bet.
Pohopoco Creek (Carbon, Monroe counties) — Trout were hitting downstream of the outlet of Beltzville Lake. The Fish & Boat Commission reminds anglers that the creek from the outlet of Beltzville Lake downstream to the cable across the creek at the Hideaway Hunting & Fishing Club is designated as both a Class A Wild Trout Stream and Stocked Trout Water. The Extended Trout Season on this section of water is No Harvest-Catch and Immediate Release Only.
Princess Run (Monroe County) — Trout were hitting in recent weeks, with spinners effective.
Susquehanna River — Anglers were catching walleyes at the out flow of York Haven Power Plant, with live bait, especially creek chubs, effective.
Delaware River — Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle reported Dec. 19 that catfish were hitting, mostly on cutbait. Some white perch were reported, and an angler released a largemouth bass on an artificial at Tullytown Cove.
Core Creek Park Lake (Bucks County) — Crappies were biting on minnows through mid-December.
Schuylkill River — Brinkman’s reported Dec. 19 that nice-sized walleyes were hitting on minnows near the dam near the art museum.
New Jersey saltwater report — Brinkman’s reported Dec. 19 that anglers were picking up striped bass, with smaller fish (15 to 20 inches) hitting on artificials in the surf, and boaters getting bigger fish up to 40 inches on mojos and bunker spoons up and down the Jersey coast from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Blackfish were hitting relatively close to shore but anglers were having to work for them. A lot of the fish were short, and dogfish shark were interfering.
— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg