Report from the Dock
Walleye season closed March 14 and some anglers finished strong. Waters offering walleye action in recent weeks included: Woodcock Creek Lake (Crawford County), Canadohta Lake (Crawford County), Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County), Tioga River (Tioga County), West Branch Susquehanna River (Clearfield County), Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) and the Susquehanna River (Lancaster County). Conditions for steelhead fishing in Erie-area tributaries were described to be spectacular, with mostly clear flow and just the right amount of ice melt. Steelhead and brown trout were active and biting live minnows and brightly- colored egg patterns.
Lake Erie tributaries — As of March 3, Fisherie.com described conditions as spectacular, with mostly clear flow and just the right amount of ice melt. Steelhead and browns were active and biting live minnows, as well as brightly-colored egg patterns.
Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — When ice was fishable in mid-February, anglers were catching nice perch, up to 10 inches, on jigs and maggots. Misery Bay was yielding big bluegills and crappies, especially in the early morning and just-before-dark hours.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Crappies and a few catfish were reported in late February.
Woodcock Creek Lake (Crawford County) — Panfish, walleyes, and muskies were being iced through late February.
Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) — This natural lake was yielding muskies, walleyes, crappies and other panfish through the ice through late February. The prize-winning fish in a February tournament included a 40¾-inch muskie, a 27¼-inch northern pike, a 12-inch perch, and an 11¼-inch crappie.
Sugar Lake (Crawford County) — Ice anglers were catching panfish, chain pickerel, bowfins, and largemouth bass through late February.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Anglers were catching numbers of walleyes, including many of sublegal size, in recent weeks. When ice was fishable, anglers were catching nice-sized bluegills on the south end and crappies.
Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — Some quality bluegills were iced on grubs on the south end in mid-February. A northern pike was reported.
Cross Creek Lake (Washington County) — Cross Creek Bait & Tackle reported March 6 that crappies were becoming active in the shallow end, and taking chartreuse ¾-inch twister tails tipped with maggots or waxworms, or small fathead minnows. One crappie measured 17 inches, 2-pounds, 10-ounces. Numbers of redear sunfish and bluegills also were reported.
Raccoon Lake (Beaver County) — One angler reported catching trout in open water in late February.
Monongahela River — As of March 6, high flow put the kibosh on fishing in the water near Pittsburgh.
Beechwood Lake (Tioga County) — Ice fishing continued through late February.
Tioga River — Anglers were catching legal-sized walleyes as conditions allowed around the spillway through early March. Most catches were made on live minnows or soft, white plastics fished from boats. Anglers were urged to use caution as flows were elevated at the spillway and throughout the river.
West Branch Susquehanna River (Clearfield County) — High water made for minimal fishing activity although the anglers who went out were catching a few walleyes in the slower pools off the main current, with nightcrawlers and shiners working well.
Memorial Lake (Lebanon County) — Coble’s Bait & Tackle reported March 6 that crappies and bluegills were hitting on small jigs tipped with mealworms or waxworms. A chain pickerel also was reported.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Numbers of perch, 11 to 13 inches, were reported during last ice through early March with anglers doing well on waxworm- or minnow-tipped jigs. Bluegills also were reported in nice numbers in the shallower depths. Walleyes and striped bass were hitting tip-ups baited with live minnows in deeper water.
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Chain pickerel, crappies, and bass were hitting live minnows during last ice through early March on this Big Bass Program impoundment where the minimum creel size is 15 inches.
Harveys Lake (Luzerne County) — Ice anglers in mid-February were picking up chain pickerel up to 20 inches while targeting trout on tip-ups
Harris Pond, Lake Jean, Frances Slocum Lake (Luzerne County) — Ice anglers were catching panfish on jigs tipped with mousies or waxworms in mid-February.
Stephen Foster Lake (Bradford County) — The panfish bite was slow for ice anglers at this Mount Pisgah State Park lake in mid-February. Many were jigging waxworms.
Susquehanna River (Lancaster County) — Walleyes were hitting artificials in recent weeks.
Delaware, Schuylkill rivers — Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle reported March 6 that carp were active on both waterways. Nice catches of walleyes also were reported, including an 8.8-pounder taken on a jig with swimbait on the Schuylkill. Smaller striped bass also were showing up, which anglers were targeting with bloodworms.
Core Creek State Park Lake (Bucks County) — Catfish were hitting in recent weeks.
New Jersey report — Brinkman’s reported March 6 that Egg Harbor, Barnegat and other bays were yielding numbers of white perch up to 16 inches. Black fish come back into season April 1.
— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg