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Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – September 8, 2022

Report from the Dock

In early September, a drought watch was declared for more than 30 counties in Pennsylvania, and flows are low enough to cause boating problems on some streams., However, a strong smallmouth bass bite has persisted in many streams and rivers. Among them: Allegheny, Youghiogheny, Susquehanna, Juniata, Schuylkill and upper Delaware rivers, as well as Tionesta and French creeks. Fishing for largemouth bass has been pretty good, too, on the following lakes: Arthur, Bridgeport, Donegal, Hills Creek, Hammond, Tioga, Shawnee, Glendale, Raystown, Canoe Creek, Marsh Creek and Octoraro. And fishing for snakeheads has been really good at Octoraro and in the Delaware River, too. Some big catfish have been caught at Loyalhana and Hammond lakes, as well as in the Monongahela, Juniata, Allegheny and Schuylkill rivers.

NORTHWEST REGION

Lake Erie — Walleyes were biting in late August from the Ohio line to the New York line, with numbers of fish coming in 55 to 70 feet on plugs off planer boards. Steelheaders were waiting for temperatures to drop and bring fish to shallow water.

Allegheny River (Forest County) — Numbers of smallmouth bass up to 19-plus inches were hitting on tube jigs and live bait in late August, when jet boaters were contending with low water levels and weeds. 

Tionesta Creek (Forest County) — The stretch from Kellettville to Nebraska Bridge was yielding smallmouth bass and muskies through the end of August. Low water levels were making navigation of kayaks and canoes difficult. In the Tionesta outflow, anglers were catching walleyes and muskies.  

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Bass up to 17 inches were reported through late August, with success coming on plastic worms, crankbaits, and a variety of other artificials.

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — Some anglers were catching crappies on jigs despite a slow bite on this 925-acre glacial lake at the end of August. 

SOUTHWEST REGION

Loyalhanna Lake (Westmoreland County) — Channel catfish were biting soft plastics and minnows in recent weeks. Largemouth bass also were hitting, with one angler releasing a 4-pounder on a plastic worm.

Youghiogheny River (Westmoreland County) — August ended with anglers catching nice numbers of smallmouth bass and walleyes.

Bridgeport Reservoir (Westmoreland/Fayette counties) — Largemouth bass were released on this 70-acre reservoir through Sept. 1, with topwater lures and crankbaits effective.

Donegal Lake (Somerset County) — Largemouth bass up to 4 pounds and bluegills were hitting on this 90-acre impoundment through the end of August. 

Allegheny River (Armstrong County) — Walleyes were reported by anglers trolling with nightcrawlers. Smallmouth bass were biting at lock no. 9, and nice-size flathead catfish were hitting near Templeton. The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission announced the Rosston Access to Crooked Creek and the Allegheny River in Manor Township will be closed through Sept. 23 for construction of a new boat launch and improvements to the parking lot. Alternative access to the Allegheny is available by using the Cowanshannock Creek Access upstream and the Freedom Access downstream.

Allegheny River (Allegheny County) — Anglers reported catching smallmouth bass, white bass, and walleyes, including a 20-incher, in recent weeks, with poppers taking the bass. 

NORTHCENTRAL REGION

Hills Creek, Hammond, Tioga lakes (Tioga County) — Tackle Shack reported Sept. 1 that not much had changed since mid-August. Water levels remained low in the absence of rainfall. Panfish were hitting, with crappies taking pieces of nightcrawler, live minnows, white twister tails, and crappie magnets. Catfish were hitting on crawlers, cut baits, and minnows at Hammond.  Bass were reported on plastic worms, spinnerbaits, and other artificials.

Spring Creek (Centre County) — TCO Outdoors reported Sept. 1 that water was still seasonally low despite recent rainfall, but cooler temperatures were expected to improve fishing. Caddis (16-18) and Blue-Winged Olives (18-20) were prevalent, and beetles and ants were also bringing up fish. Some Tricos (20-24) were present in the mornings, but were winding down for the year. The best dry-fly action was in the early morning and just before dark. 

SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

Juniata River — Catfish were hitting on artificials and live bait through the end of August. Soft plastics were taking smallmouth bass in the deep pocket waters after dark.

Canoe Creek Lake (Blair County) — Panfish were biting in recent weeks.

Shawnee Lake (Bedford County) — Largemouth bass were taking crawlers and soft plastics.

NORTHEAST REGION

Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Nice-size striped bass were biting live bait through Sept. 1. Smallmouts up to 3 and 4 pounds also were reported along with bluegills, chain pickerel and rock bass.

North Branch Susquehanna River — Smallmouth bass were hitting early and late in the day, with some anglers doing well on stonecats and hellgrammites.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Octoraro Reservoir (Lancaster County) — Jim Neary’s Bait & Tackle reported Sept. 1 that the bass bite picked up again despite the heat. Fish were shallower and hitting slow-moving baits from Ned Rigs to rubber worms. Drop-shotting also was productive, as were deep crankbaits fished off major points. The white perch bite slowed. Fish were hitting but not in the big numbers of earlier in August. Snakeheads were biting. Neary’s weighed 80 snakeheads this summer and the biggest fish was 32½ inches. Snakeheads were also reported at the covered bridge. Striped bass were hitting, too. 

Chambers Lake (Chester County) — Some nice chain pickerel were reported at this 89-acre reservoir in recent weeks.

Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County — A slow bass bite was reported on this 535-acre state park impoundment during the high temperatures and low water of late August. Some bass were hitting on deep crankbaits, jerkbaits and large rubber worms and jigs, with purple and black the most productive colors. This is a Big Bass Program impoundment, where the minimum creel size is 15 inches.  Bluegills and crappies were coming on minnows, meal worms and wax worms. A few muskies were biting spinnerbaits near shore.

Schuylkill River — Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle reported Sept. 1 that numbers of big catfish were being caught, including a 30-pound flathead, mostly from kayaks and other boats, although some shore anglers were landing them, too. Carp also were active, with one angler landing a 25-pound golden carp and another angler a 30-pound mirror carp. Smallmouth bass fishing from the Cromby Power Plant area down to the Black Rock Dam area was fair, with most fish coming on artificial lures, such as soft plastic crayfish and worms around weed beds. 

Delaware River — Brinkman’s reported Sept. 1 that snakeheads continued to hit in big numbers, and the upper Delaware was yielding smallmouth bass. 

New Jersey saltwater fishing — Brinkman’s reported Sept. 1 that flukes were biting in various sizes, from 18-plus inchers to shorts. Bluefish were showing up on beaches but not in big numbers. Some sea bass up to 6 pounds were hitting and a 10-pound fish was taken in a recent tournament. Weakfish were reported in southern New Jersey. Taug also were hitting. 

— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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