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Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – May 19, 2022

Report from the Dock

So much to report this issue. The best hatches of the year have been coming off streams across the state, and fly-fishing has been outstanding on many, including Pine Creek, Kettle Creek, Penns Creek, Oil Creek and the Little Juniata River. Lots of walleyes were being caught at Pymatuning Reservoir. Tioga River spillway, Beltzville Lake, Blue Marsh Lake, Shawnee, Green Lick Reservoir and Rose Valley Lake. Crappies were hitting in many waters, including lakes Wilhelm, Conneaut, Shenango Reservoir, Arthur, Hammond, Wilmore Reservoir, Curwensville, Muddy Run and Octoraro. Bass were starting to spawn in many lakes; the traditional bass season opens June 11. Striped bass, migrating shad and some big flathead catfish have been caught in the Delaware River in recent weeks. Big flatheads have been reported caught in the Schuylkill River, too. 

NORTHWEST REGION

Lake Erie — Walleyes were being caught at the mouths of the tributaries and from the South Pier. Perch were hitting off the North and South piers. Nice numbers of smallmouth bass were reported on crankbaits and jerkbaits, and, in calm waters, tubes and other finesse baits. Lake trout moved into slightly deeper water, around 60 to 65 feet; and were not schooled up as in previous weeks. 

Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — Numbers of northern pike were biting in recent weeks. Crappies and bluegills were hitting in the Head of the Bay. Smallmouth bass were released on tubes, jerkbaits and crankbaits.

French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Venango, Crawford counties) — Trout were still being caught in the stocked sections through mid-May. 

Neshannock Creek/Slippery Rock Creek (Lawrence County) — Stocked trout were hitting through mid-May on stickbaits and other artificials, and live bait. Rainbow trout were biting on corn and dough baits, while browns were partial to crawlers, maggots and minnows.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Panfish, crappies, and largemouth bass were reported in the stumps and by the dam.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — The daytime walleye bite was improving on the south end in mid-May, with catches coming on drifting minnows or crawlers. Some were coming by anglers trolling shad-like crankbaits. Crappies also were hitting in the south end bays. A 7-pound walleye was reported by an angler trolling a crankbait. Numbers of perch were reported, including off the causeway. Some nice smallmouth bass were released, with some hitting jerkbaits. Largemouth bass, including a 6-pounder, were released on jigs and spinnerbaits. One flathead catfish was caught along with numbers of channel cats in a recent catfish contest.  

Conneaut Creek (Crawford County) — Trout were released on spinners in recent weeks. 

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — Anglers were catching crappies at the north end through mid-May.

Shenango Reservoir (Crawford County) — One angler caught nice numbers of crappies on a hand-tied jig in a variety of colors. White bass up to 3.8 pounds, and walleyes, and catfish were becoming more active in recent weeks. 

Oil Creek (Crawford County) — A 21-inch rainbow trout was reported on a spinner.

Sugar Creek (Venango County) — Numbers of trout were being released through mid-May. Spinners, crawlers, and finesse baits were effective for some anglers. 

Allegheny River (Venango County) — Smallmouth bass up to 20 inches were released on finesse baits and other soft plastics and hair jigs. An 8-pound, 4-ounce flathead catfish was released on a swimbait.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Releases on nice-sized largemouth bass on spinnerbaits were reported through mid-May. Anglers also reported catching crappies and a 12-pound carp. 

SOUTHWEST REGION

North Park Lake (Allegheny County) — Anglers were catching in-season stocked trout on crawlers and artificals through mid-May at this popular county-owned impoundment. 

Wilmore Reservoir (Cambria County) — Anglers were catching crappies on jigs and minnows at the reservoir’s back end. 

High Point Lake (Somerset County) — Heavy rainfall in early May slowed the fishing at this mountain-top impoundment.  

NORTH-CENTRAL REGION

West Branch of the Susquehanna River (Clearfield County) — Cool, rainy weather in early May made for tough fishing, although one angler released a 45-inch tiger muskie on a crankbait. 

Curwensville Lake (Clearfield County) — Shore anglers were catching crappies and other panfish. Crawlers, maggots, and minnows underneath floats were working well in mid-May. Boat traffic picked up in recent weeks.

Parker Lake, Shagger’s Inn Pond (Clearfield County) — Big trout were reported at both in recent weeks. Boaters are reminded that Shagger’s Inn Pond is now open to boating with the relocation of an osprey nest. The regulations limiting boat access to the lake until June 1st are no longer in place. 

Tioga River (spillway) — Flows were good for walleye fishing through mid-May. Anglers were doing well along the cliff side on white and green jigs with 1/8-ounce jigheads worked on a slow-bouncing retrieve. Anglers and boaters are reminded to stay out of the restricted area posted at the spillway. 

Hammond Lake (Tioga County) — Crappies turned on in mid-May and anglers were catching fish from shore and boats. Boaters were doing well trolling or casting soft plastics in a variety of colors, or fishing small crankbaits. Shore anglers were having success with minnows under bobbers. 

Pine Creek (Lycoming County) — Nice flows in mid-May were conducive to float trips. 

SOUTH-CENTRAL REGION

West Branch of Conococheague Creek (Franklin County) — Anglers are advised that the stretch from Amberson to Fort Loudon was postponed until May 14 because of heavy rainfall.

Manada Creek (Dauphin County) — Nice-sized brown trout were released on crawlers and spinners earlier in May. 

NORTHEAST REGION

Meshoppen Creek, West Branch Meshoppen Creek, Lake Winola, Oxbow Lake, North Branch Mehoopany Creek, South Branch Tunkhannock Creek (Wyoming County) — Brown trout up to 16 inches were being caught on waxworms and nymphs in recent weeks. 

Tunkhannock Creek (Wyoming County) — Releases of smallmouth bass were reported in recent weeks.

Mahoning Creek, Aquashicola Creek, Pohopoco Creek (Carbon County) — Anglers were catching rainbow trout up to 24 inches in recent weeks. Early morning and late afternoon hours were the best bet when water was running low and clear.

Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Striped bass were hitting in recent weeks. Black bass were active along the southern shore. 

Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Chain pickerel were biting through mid-May. Some nice perch up to 13 inches were reported on live minnows. 

Lehigh River — Trout were hitting spinners and stick baits when flow was high earlier in May.

SOUTHEAST REGION

White Clay Creek (Chester County) — Anglers reported nice brown trout on this Delaware River tributary through mid-May. 

Octoraro Reservoir (Chester County) — Jim Neary’s Bait & Tackle reported May 15 that crappies were hitting on a variety of baits from fathead minnows to soft plastics. Bass were in spawning mode and anglers were making an occasional release. Large white perch were active, along with channel catfish. 

Conowingo Dam — Neary’s reported good shad runs, and that snakehead were biting through mid-May. 

Muddy Run (Lancaster County) — Crappies and nice releases of bass were reported at this 98-acre impoundment through mid-May.

Delaware River — Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle reported May 15 that striped bass were on fire from Delaware Bay up into the northern reaches of the river. Shad were running, and chasing herring. Some very large catfish, including a flathead up to 30 pounds, were reported. Walleyes were hitting in the Lambert and New Hope areas.

Schuylkill River

Large catfish were biting through mid-May. 

Wissohickon Creek (Philadelphia County) — Trout were hitting in recent weeks.

Pennypack Creek (Bucks County) — This waterway was producing nice catches of trout through mid-May.

Levittown Lake (Bucks County) — Trout and perch, and a few bass releases, were reported. 

New Jersey saltwater report — Fluke season opened May 2, limits were reported. Stripers were very active out in ocean. Tog season closed April 30. 

— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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