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Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – May 5, 2022

Report from the Dock

Walleye season opens May 7, and the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission expected the best fishing to occur at the following  large reservoirs: Beltzville Lake, Blue Marsh Lake, Lake Erie, Lake Wallenpaupack, Lake Wilhelm, Pymatuning Reservoir, Raystown Lake and Youghiogheny River Lake. The commission expects the best walleye fishing to be had in the following medium-sized reservoirs: Duck Harbor Pond, Falls Township Park Lake, Gordon Lake, Frances Slocum Lake, Green Lick Reservoir, Rose Valley Lake and Shawnee Lake. River systems with the best populations of walleyes, according to the agency, include the Allegheny, French Creek and Tulpehocken Creek (Blue Marsh tailrace).

NORTHWEST REGION

Lake Erie  — Lake trout up to 20 pounds were providing plenty of action out of Northeast Marina through late April. Perch were being landed off the north and south piers,  and a few anglers were catching them on rock piles just outside Presque Isle Bay. Some smallmouth bass were reported.

Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — Perch were becoming less active by late April, and northern pike were beginning to hit where perch had been biting, in 10 to 12 feet. Smallmouth bass were hitting on jerkbaits and swimbaits, but crappies were hit or miss. Some crappies were reported in Misery and Marina lakes. 

Lake Erie tributaries (Erie County) — Steelhead were still in the tributaries, including Elk and Walnut creeks and in decent numbers in Twenty Mile and Four Mile in late April. Smallmouth bass and suckers also were reported. Elk had brown trout.

French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Crawford, Venango counties) — Anglers were catching trout on small crankbaits in late April, when water was high. In-line spinners and spoons also were productive.  

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Fishing and boating pressure picked up in mid- to late April. Some muskie releases were reported. The perch bite was described as outstanding in the north end and off the causeway. Anglers found the crappie bite challenging in a recent tournament, with the best yields in the north end. The walleye night bite included many sub-legal fish. 

Conneaut Creek (Crawford County) — Steelhead were hitting up to Conneautville, with several fish coming on spoons and small spinners. One fish measured 25 inches. Trout were hitting small spinners and spoons in slightly stained water. 

Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) — Crappies were in the canals and lagoons by mid-April. Northern pike also were reported.  

Geneva Marsh (Crawford County) — Two anglers released numbers of bowfins on soft plastics and other artificials in recent weeks. White was the best color.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Crappies in nice sizes and numbers were reported in late April, with catches coming in five feet along the northern section’s weed edges. 

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Normal water levels were reported April 28, and anglers were catching panfish on this Panfish Enhancement fishery where crappies must be at least 9 inches to harvest and the creel limit is 20. White bass, black bass, and northern pike also were becoming active.

Shenango River (Mercer County) — A few smallmouth bass were reported through late April. Anglers are reminded that the fish consumption advisory remains in effect until further notice.

Justus Lake (Venango County) — Nice numbers of bluegills were reported, primarily from shallows with wood cover. Small ants tipped with maggots under a float were the ticket. Crappies were reported along with releases of a couple of largemouth bass. 

Allegheny River (Venango County) — Releases of bass, including a 21-incher, were reported through late April. Various baits, including tubes and jerkbaits produced fish. 

Sugar Creek (Venango County) — Trout averaging 13 inches were hitting through late April on nightcrawlers, mealworms, and waxworms.

Neshannock Creek, and Big Run (Lawrence County) — Spinnerbaits with a gold or silver spoon were producing nice catch rates of trout in recent weeks.

Bessemer Lake, Cascade Quarry (Lawrence County) — Trout were biting on dough baits in chartreuse, orange, or brown.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Largemouth bass were released on crankbaits in recent weeks.

SOUTHWEST REGION

High Point Lake (Somerset County) — Largemouth bass, including a 3-pound, 5-ouncer, were released on jerkbaits and swimbaits in late April when water was about 52 degrees.

Duman Lake (Cambria County) — Trout were biting in recent weeks.

NORTH-CENTRAL REGION

Spring Creek (Centre County) — The Fish & Boat Commission advises anglers that the main parking area at Fisherman’s Paradise will be closed between 6 p.m. Sundays until 4 p.m. Fridays through June 24 to accommodate waterways conservation officer cadet training. Although the facility will be open to the public, parking will be limited to auxiliary lots outside the gated area.

Black Moshannon Lake (Centre County) — Panfish were active in late April, with anglers catching a variety of species, including bluegills, pumpkinseeds, and yellow perch, in the shallows. Parts of the lake are accessible for shore fishing. Live baits and paste baits fished with jigs or under bobbers were effective.  

Pine Creek (Tioga County) — The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission was warning in mid-April that the water trail between Ansonia and Blackwell had above-average flows, and multiple strainers were presenting boating hazards throughout the waterway.

Pine Creek (Tioga, Lycoming counties) — Nice numbers of trophy-sized trout were released from the Keystone Select section in recent weeks, with nymphs and streamers effective. Gold-colored spinners and trout-colored crank baits also were taking trout. Anglers are reminded that live bait, pastebaits, and eggs cannot be possessed or used in this area, and trout cannot be harvested.  

SOUTH-CENTRAL REGION

Wiconisco Creek (Dauphin County) — Brown and rainbow trout up to 21 inches were reported on live minnows in recent weeks.

West Branch Conococheague Creek (Franklin County)

The Fish & Boat Commission was planning to trout-stock sections two and three May 7 instead of May 12. 

Juniata River  Smallmouth bass were released on tubes through late April.

Lions, Marquette Lakes (Lebanon County) — Live and pastebaits were taking trout through mid-April. 

Lower Susquehanna River  The catfish bite picked up as water temperatures rose in mid-April. A few channel cats were being caught on large minnows and crawlers downstream of Harrisburg. 

NORTHEAST REGION

Brodhead Creek (Monroe County) — Rainbow and brown trout were hitting on salmon eggs, spinners, and wet flies. Pink squirmy wormies were the go-to fly for some anglers. 

Hickory Run Lake, Mud Run, McMichael Creek (Carbon County) — Brook trout were hitting spinners, minnows, and pastebaits in recent weeks. Anglers are reminded that Hickory Run Creek, sections 4 and 5, is Catch and Release Artificial Lures Only. Mud Run, section 2, and McMichael Creek, section 5, are Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Octoraro Lake (Chester County) — Jim Neary’s Bait & Tackle reported April 30 excellent releases of bass on a variety of presentations, including spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, and crankbaits. The crappie bite was fantastic with one fish measuring 17½ inches and weighing just under 2 pounds. Crappie numbers also were outstanding, with one angler reportedly catching 40 crappies at nine inches and above. Medium fatheads, crappie-diver crankbaits, and Bobby Garland plastics on 1/32nd or 1/16th ounce ballhead jigs were effective. 

East Brandywine Creek (Chester County) — Trout were reported in recent weeks on Trout Magnets and mealworms.

Delaware River — Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle reported an outstanding striped bass bite April 30, with 30-, 40-, and 50-pound fish being taken. Bloodworms were the bait of choice. Numbers of shad were moving up the river, too. White perch were hitting, as were catfish and carp.

Pennypack Creek (Montgomery County) — Trout were still being released through the end of April. 

Levittown Lake (Bucks County) — Nice catches of trout were reported through the end of April.

Little Bushkill Creek (Northampton County) — The upper section was yielding trout on a variety of baits.

Schwaben Creek (Northumberland County) — Brown trout up to 17 inches were being caught on live minnows in recent weeks. 

Monocacy Creek (Lehigh County) — The water below the falls in Illicks Mills was yielding nice catch rates of trout. 

New Jersey saltwater report — Brinkman’s reported April 30 that striper fishing was hot and heavy from Belmar to Raritan Bay. Limits were reported by 9:30 a.m. on swim shads and flutter spoons. Black fish (tautog) were hit and miss before the season closed. Bluefish were hitting on topwater plugs for some anglers. Summer fluke season opened May 3. 

— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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