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Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

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Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – April 21, 2022

Report from the Dock

Fishing for stocked trout has been good on too many waters to mention. As water temperatures slowly rise, crappie fishing is improving  in many waters – mostly occurring on jigs and live minnows under floats –  including lakes Octoraro, Lily, Canoe Creek, Hammond, Hills Creek, Cross Creek, Carey, Pinchot, Glendale, Hammond, Ontelaunee, Curwensville, Keystone, Stevens, Wilma, Mammoth, Briar Creek and Conneaut, as well as Mud Pond, Foster Joseph Sayers Dam, Shenango, Pymatuning and Green Lick reservoirs, Wilmore Dam, Piney Dam and Presque Isle Bay. Yellow perch fishing is said to be still good in lakes Beechwood, Colver, Gouldsboro, Redman, Promised Land, Rose Valley and Irena.

NORTHWEST REGION 

Lake Erie  — Lake trout were reported from in front of Northeast Marina to Twenty Mile Creek by anglers trolling spoons. Fish were at about 50 feet.

Lake Erie tributaries (Erie County) — Cooler water kept steelhead in the streams through mid-April. Most were in the lower reaches, but some were further up. Smallmouth bass were starting to hit in the lower sections. The spring sucker run started by mid-April.

Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — Perch, including jumbos, were hitting in recent weeks, with minnows, including emerald shiners, and jigging baits effective. Pier fishing was productive. Crappies were reported around the state park marina. The head of the bay was yielding perch and scattered crappies. Some smallmouth bass were reported along with northern pike. Largemouth bass were becoming active in the lagoons.

Allegheny River (Forest County) — Northern pike and muskies were hitting from boat and shore. The confluence of the river and Council Run was yielding pike and muskies. 

Tom’s Run (Forest County) — A local rod and gun club reportedly will stock the Children’s Pond on the run each week from Memorial Day weekend through June.

French Creek (Erie, Venango, Crawford, Mercer counties) — Trout were caught on the West Branch on opening day in high, off-color conditions, with Stonefly nymphs and Bead-Head Copper John flies effective for some anglers. In-line spinners, and soft plastics, drifted, also were productive.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Crappies and perch were hitting in the northern bays on minnows and maggots in recent weeks, although the bite fluctuated with water temperatures. Some nice perch were reported, too. Walleyes were actively spawning in the shallows, and the annual spring night-time bite was producing fish on jigs tipped with large minnows. (Because this lake straddles Pennsylvania and Ohio, there is no closed season on walleyes.) Walleyes also were hitting off the causeway on blade baits and crankbaits. Muskies also were spawning the shallows. One angler released a 42-inch muskie.  Some anglers were trolling for muskies. 

Little Shenango River (Mercer County) — Opening day trout were reported on minnow patterns and grubs as well as egg-sucking leech imitations. 

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Crappies, including some slabs, and bass were starting to come shallow on sunny days.

Cool Spring Creek (Mercer County) — PowerBait, inline spinners, Hare’s Ear nymphs, and other presentations were taking trout.  

East Sandy Creek (Venango County) — Anglers were catching trout in recent weeks.

Allegheny River (Venango County) — Anglers were releasing numbers of smallmouth bass up to 20 inches prior to the start of catch-and-immediate-release season. Soft plastics, bladebaits, suspending jerkbaits, and other lures were effective. 

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Anglers were releasing largemouths. 

SOUTHWEST REGION

Montour Run (Allegheny County) — Trout were active in the mornings and evenings of recent weeks on smaller-sized baits, flies and spinners, with black, white, and clear speckled colors effective. Undercut banks, the water behind large boulders and deep-pools were yielding fish.

Brady’s Run Lake (Beaver County) — Anglers were catching trout from boat and shore on waxworms, redworms, gold or silver spinners, and scented pastebaits in orange or pink.

South Branch Brady’s Run (Beaver County) — Trout were hitting live and salted minnows, chartreuse or yellow pastebaits, waxworms, and redworms in deeper pools and around undercut banks. 

Traverse Creek (Beaver County) — Log jam areas, deeper pools, and undercut banks were yielding trout on waxworms, redworms, chartreuse paste baits, and other presentations. 

Raccoon Lake (Beaver County) — This popular stocked impoundment was producing nice catches of trout from shore and boat on waxworms and redworms, flashy/brightly-colored spinners, and other go-to baits. 

White’s Creek, Piney Creek, Youghiogheny River (Somerset County) — Numbers of trout were released.

Highpoint Lake (Somerset County) — Chain pickerel and panfish were hitting on this mountaintop impoundment. 

Mill Creek (Westmoreland County) — Rainbow trout were released through mid-April.

NORTH-CENTRAL REGION

Pine Creek (Lycoming County) — The Tackle Shack reported April 16 that recently stocked trout were hitting on wax worms, mealworms, and salmon eggs. Caddisflies were hatching. 

Hammond, Hills Creek lakes (Tioga County) — Crappies and perch were hitting on live minnows.

Cowanesque Lake (Tioga County) — Tackle Shack reported April 16 that bass were released on square-billed crankbaits and jerkbaits. Some muskies were released.

Spring Creek (Centre County) — TCO Fly Shop reported good conditions April 15, with water in the high 40s to low 50s and green with some color. Grannom caddis (14-16) were hatching. Other hatches included blue-winged olives (18-20), tan caddis (16-18), and midges (22-26).

SOUTH-CENTRAL REGION

Blair Gap Run (Blair County) — Brook trout were hitting small minnows and gold and silver spinners. Wax worms also were effective. 

Bald Eagle Creek (Centre County) — Crawlers, minnows and small spinners were taking trout through mid-April. The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission advises anglers that public access to the dam is from the South Eagle Valley Road/Main Street side. Private property postings mean access is no longer available on the back side of the dam and along the paper mill parking lots.

Lake Perez, Greenwood Lake, Whipple Dam Lake (Huntingdon, Schuylkill counties) — Trout were taking minnows and other live baits, as well as spinners and other small lures. 

Juniata River — Smallmouth bass were becoming active in mid-April. 

NORTHEAST REGION

Bowmans Creek, West Branch Meshoppen Creek (Wyoming County) — Both were fishing well through mid-April, with live bait, spinners, spoons and flies productive. 

Lake Winola (Wyoming County)  Nice-sized trout were hitting spoons, and crappies were biting white jigs in mid-April. 

Susquehanna River — Despite high, muddy conditions, channel catfish were taking nightcrawlers. 

Lily Lake, Francis E. Walter Reservoir, Mud Pond (Luzerne County) — Crappies staging for the spawn as of mid-April for hitting for anglers at all three lakes.

Tobyhanna Lake, Lower Promised Land Lake (Monroe County) — Nice catch rates on trout were reported through mid-April. 

Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Striped bass were hitting in recent weeks. Panfish also were active in the Preachers Camp access and Pine Run Cove areas. The Fish & Boat Commission reminds boaters that although the regulatory buoys, Slow, No Wake, Water Ski area have been removed for the winter, regulations pertaining to Slow, No Wake, etc. are still in effect and being enforced.

McMichael Creek (Monroe County) — Rainbow and brown trout were hitting spinners, salmon eggs, and minnows in recent weeks, with one 22-inch brook trout reported on a slow-drifted fathead minnow. 

Brodhead Creek (Monroe County) — Trout were hitting spinners, pastebaits, and crawlers. 

Hickory Run, Hickory Run Lake, and Sand Spring Run (Carbon County) — Nice brown and brook trout were released on a variety of baits. 

SOUTHEAST REGION

Octoraro Lake (Chester County) — Jim Neary’s Bait & Tackle reported April 16 excellent releases of bass on white spinnerbaits, chatterbaits and rattletraps in chrome or with a touch of red. Before the season were to catch-and-immediate-released, a bass tournament yielded a 6-pound 1-ounce lunker. The crappie bite average for shore anglers and a little better for boaters. Fish were coming on large fathead minnows and soft plastics on ball jigheads. Some snakeheads, including two bigger than 5 pounds, were reported, 

Tulpehocken Creek (Berks County) — TCO Fly Shop reported April 16 that water was returning to good levels and about 50 degrees. Some caddis were hatching but not in any numbers. Other hatches included blue-winged olives (18-22), and black midges (18-28).  

Conowingo Dam (Maryland) — This dam on the lower Susquehanna River was yielding crappies and white perch. 

— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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