Report from the Dock
Crappies were hitting in Presque Isle Bay in the northwest, in Lake Wallenpaupack, in the northeast, in Loyalhanna Lake in the southwest and Blue Marsh in the southeast, and in lots of waters in between. Among them: Pymatuning Reservoir, Lake LeBoeuf, Lake Wilhelm, Shenango Reservoir, Hammond Lake, Cowanesque Lake, Canoe Creek Lake, Glendale Lake, and Ontelaunee Lake. Catfishing has been good in more than a few waters, including big channel cats in the Delaware River, flatheads hitting well on cutbaits in the Schuylkill River, and flatheads and channel cats on chicken livers in the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers around Pittsburgh.
Lake Erie — The walleye bite as of May 23 was on the west side of the shoreline after dark. Anglers were catching walleyes in nice numbers from 10 to 12 feet by trolling or wade-fishing from shore at the creek mouths. Long minnow plugs were catching fish, and trollers were using bottom-bouncers with butterfly blade crawler harnesses. Lake trout continued to bite in 50 to 100 feet, and some anglers were catching perch in about 65 feet. Although perch weren’t biting off the North and South piers, walleyes occasionally were after dark, as well as at the foot of East Avenue. Anglers were also catching them trolling the shoreline after dark.
Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — Crappies were hitting in six to 10 feet in Marina Lake and Misery Bay. Largemouth bass were on beds in Marina Lake and the lagoons.
Eaton Reservoir (Erie County) — Northern pike were active in recent weeks, with 3- to 5-inch swimbaits and inline spinners productive for some anglers.
Lake LeBoeuf (Erie County) — Numbers of crappies were reported.
French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Crawford, Venango counties) – Releases of smallmouth bass were reported, with 1/16th or 1/32nd-ounce jigs tipped with 2-inch soft plastics effective. Gold or silver inline spinners and Rapala Shad Raps in silver/blue, black/gold and chrome also were taking fish.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Numbers of walleyes, including many sub-legals, were biting with some anglers catching them during the day by drifting crawlers. Perch and black crappies were hitting around shallow cover in the bays. Bass were around the shoreline. One angler released a 19.5-inch largemouth on a wacky rig near an old dock.
Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) — Northern pike were being caught in nice numbers.
Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — Pumpkinseeds up to 8 and 9 inches were reported in late May. Some largemouth bass were released.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — The stumps on the north end yielded some nice crappies in recent weeks. Bluegills also were reported. Two anglers reported releasing a 6-plus-pound largemouth bass while targeting crappies. One came on a wacky rig. Some anglers did well on Texas-rigged plastics fished around shallow wood.
Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Crappies, including some 15-inch slabs, were hitting in late May. Bass, catfish, walleyes and bluegills also were biting. A couple of limits of walleyes were reported.
Oil Creek (Venango County) —Anglers are catching a few trout and releasing the occasional smallmouth bass.
Kahle Lake (Venango. Clarion counties) — Yellow perch, releases of largemouth bass, and bluegills were reported in recent weeks.
Justus Lake aka Two Mile Run Reservoir (Venango County) — Bluegills were hitting in the shallows, and trout along the southern shorelines.
Sugar Creek (Venango County) ‚ Anglers were still catching nice trout through May 23 by drifting crawlers, waxworms, mealworms, and Trout Magnets in different colors. Mayflies were hatching and fly anglers were doing well with tandem rigs.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Striped bass up to 7.75 pounds, walleyes, and releases of largemouth bass were reported in late May.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — Nice releases of smallmouth bass were reported on a variety of soft plastics. Walleyes up to 20 inches, and a 30-inch northern pike were reported, along with a big brown trout. Rapalas, swimbaits and soft plastics were effective.
Allegheny River (Armstrong County) — Catching catfish, bass, and walleyes were hitting from shore on the downstream side of the lock and dams. Muskies also were reported.
Hendricks Creek, Tubmill Creek, Mill Creek, Loyalhanna Creek (Westmoreland County) — Stocked trout were hitting through late May.
Loyalhanna Lake (Westmoreland County) — Crappies were active through late May. After rain events, anglers were doing well on brightly-colored jigs on structure. Parts of the lake have newly installed habitat. Bass also were being released by some anglers.
Hammond, Tioga, Cowanesque lakes (Tioga County) — Tackle Shack in Wellsboro reported May 27 that crappie fishing was at its peak, with fish in the middle of the spawn, and coming on live minnows, and chartreuse twister tails and jigs.
Pine Creek (Tioga, Lycoming counties) — Tackle Shack reported May 27 that trout were biting and a good mix of hatches were coming off the water, including Grey Fox, March Browns, Yellow Sallies, and a variety of Caddisflies. Drakes were starting to show up.
Tioga, Cowanesque rivers (Tioga County) — Walleyes and smallmouth bass were taking swimbaits through late May.
Hills Creek, Nessmuk lakes (Tioga County) — Bluegills were biting through the end of May.
Canoe Creek Lake (Blair, County) — Chain pickerel and panfish were active. Some nice-size catfish also were reported, with crawlers and small minnows productive.
Little Juniata River (Huntingdon County) — Small nymphs were taking trout during the day.
Tulpehocken, Quittapahilla, Snitz Creeks; Marquette Lake (Lebanon County) — Trout were hitting on live bait in recent weeks.
Shermans Creek, Cocolamus Creek (Perry, Juniata counties) — Brown and rainbow trout were hitting smaller jigs at Shermans Creek in recent weeks. Red worms were productive at Cocolamus.
Juniata River — Smallmouth bass were hitting swim jigs in the early morning hours of recent weeks.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Anglers were releasing numbers of largemouth bass, including several 2- to 3-pounders, on swimbaits in late May. Smallmouth bass also were hitting, along with rock bass, walleyes, and slab crappies.
Delaware River (Northampton County) — Rusty Balls Tackle and Guide Service reported May 27 that the shad run was over, and this year’s run was down from last year’s.
Delaware River — Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle reported that the excellent striper bite on cutbait in mid-May dwindled as water temperatures rose toward the end of the month and fish headed to sea. Sizes had been up to 33 inches. Around New Hope and Lambertville, smaller stripers were hitting as were smallmouth bass on small swimbaits. Catfishing heated up as the water warmed, with numbers of channel cats up to 9 and 10 pounds reported.
Schuylkill River — Brinkman’s reported May 27 that flatheads were hitting well on cutbaits, and stripers, largemouth and smallmouth bass, and snakeheads were biting around the art museum at the falls.
Silver Lake, Levittown Lake, Falls Township Lake (Susquehanna, Bucks counties) — The bass bite was picking up through late May, with a nice 4-pound largemouth released on a plastic worm at Levittown. Water was becoming so warm, anglers were doing best in the early morning and late evening hours.
Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) — One angler caught a 12-pound 30-inch muskie in late May.
Susquehanna River — The Fish & Boat Commission advised boaters and shore anglers that if conditions were favorable Brookfield Renewable was planning a Lake Aldred drawdown May 17 through 20 to facilitate the repair and replacement of the Holtwood Dam’s flashboards, which were damaged by high river flows. The river level was expected to be lowered to 3 to 4 feet below the lake’s recreation season level.
Donegal Creek (Lancaster County) — The Donegal Fish & Conservation Association, a Fish & Boat Commission Approved Cooperative Trout Nursery, stocked about 400 rainbow and brown trout in the Catch and Release Fly-Fishing Only section of the creek April 27.
Hammer Creek (Lancaster County) — Anglers are advised that there are new posted areas in the upper section, which are marked by purple paint on trees. The areas still open start from Pumping Station Road/Route 322 game lands parking lot and 0.7 of a mile upstream.
New Jersey saltwater report — Brinkman’s reported good fishing for sea bass as of May 27, with plenty of 10-fish limits being taken. Flounder fishing was starting to pick up in the back bays with limits of fish averaging 2 pounds reported. Stripers, including some 20 to 40 pounds, were showing up.
Compiled by Deborah Weisberg