Report from the Dock
With the pleasant temperatures, mostly dry conditions and awesome autumn surroundings in recent weeks, lots of good fishing was reported. Some highlights: Panfishing has been great in lakes Pymatuning, Wilhelm, Edinboro, High Point, Colyer Lackawanna and Nockamixon; bass fishing has been fine at lakes Arthur, Shenango, Mauch Chunk, Ford’s, Brady’s Run, Beltzville and Wallenpaupack; smallmouths have been hitting in the Allegheny, Juniata, Sinnemahoning and Susquehanna rivers; muskies have been reported at Canadohta Lake, Shenango River and Conewago Creek; catfish have been coming on the Monongahela, Shenango, Schuylkill and Delaware rivers, and Perkiomen and Unami creeks; and trout fishing was good pretty much everywhere they were stocked.
Lake Erie tributaries — Steelhead were in Walnut, Elk, Crooked and Raccoon creeks through mid-October. Popular baits for targeting creek mouths were silver and blue spoons. In the streams, paste baits, skein and live minnows were productive.
Fairview Gravel Pits (Erie County) — Largemouth bass were hitting.
Edinboro Lake (Erie County) — Yellow perch and crappies were biting.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Yellow perch up to 15 inches, walleyes up to 20 inches, numbers of bluegills, and some nice catfish were reported through mid-October. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources began dropping the water level for winter pool in recent weeks. Boaters are advised to operate their watercraft with extreme caution and look for newly-exposed hazards.
Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) — Three muskies, including a 40-incher, were released at this deep, natural lake.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — Nice numbers and sizes of smallmouth bass were reported.
Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Largemouth and smallmouth bass were active in recent weeks. Numbers of white crappies were reported, along with a walleye. The hybrid striped bass bite was starting to turn on.
Shenango River (Mercer County) — Panfish and catfish were hitting below the weir. Muskies also were reported.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Anglers were catching crappies.
Tionesta Lake (Forest County) —Muskie anglers were doing well trolling the shoreline near the dam and the Lackey Flats Camping Area. The Tionesta outflow was yielding muskies, crappies and walleyes from the wall and the campground side. Anglers are reminded that a current trout permit is required to fish the outflow.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Largemouth bass up to 19 inches were reported through mid-October, with one angler catching them on spinnerbaits.
Allegheny River (Allegheny County) — Walleyes were hitting in recent weeks. Cooler temperatures made muskies more active near Lock No. 8. Smallmouth bass were reported below Lock No. 9.
Crooked Creek Lake (Armstrong County) — The outflow was yielding bass on nightcrawlers and shiners.
Brady’s Run Lake (Monroe County) — Kayak anglers were releasing largemouth bass on plastic worms and small jerkbaits.
Colver Reservoir (Cambria County) — Nice-size yellow perch and other panfish were hitting on red worms in the early morning hours in October.
Monongahela River (Fayette County) — Carp, catfish, and freshwater drum were hitting.
Youghiogheny River — Walleyes, smallmouth bass, and trout were reported.
High Point Lake (Somerset County) — Chain pickerel, largemouth bass, yellow perch, and bluegills were reported on live bait and artificial lures.
Youghiogheny River Reservoir (Somerset County) — Smallmouth bass and channel catfish were reported.
Tioga, Hammond, Hills Creek lakes (Tioga County) — Tackle Shack reported Oct. 15 that the bass bite was picking up on Tioga and Hammond. A nice perch bite was reported on all three lakes, with fish coming on small grubs and minnows.
Hamilton Lake, Lyman Run Lake, Pine Creek (Potter, Tioga counties) — Tackle Shack reported anglers were targeting trout after recent stockings on all three waters.
Spring Creek (Centre County) — TCO Fly Shop reported Oct. 15 that the creek was fishing well in clear conditions and water in the 50s. Tan caddis (16-18) and blue-winged olives (18-20) were hatching sporadically. Beetles, ants, and small caddis were bringing up fish on warmer afternoons. Best dry action was early in the morning and just before dark. Nymphing small terrestrial flies and Scud and Sowbug patterns was the best bet. Streamers after rainfall and in cooling temperatures also were recommended. Other hatches included craneflies (14-16) and midges (22-26).
Driftwood Branch Sinnemahoning Creek (Cameron County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting both live bait and artificial lures, such as Rooster Tails, through mid-October. A good trout bite was reported at the confluence at Sterling Run. Fly-anglers were doing well on wetflies and nymphs.
Fishing Creek, Bald Eagle Creek, West Branch Susquehanna River (Clinton, Centre counties) — Trout, bass, perch, catfish and muskies were reported through mid-October.
Meadow Grounds Lake (Franklin and Eastern Fulton counties) — Bluegills and bass were biting spinners and pastebaits in recent weeks.
Letterkenny Reservoir (Franklin County) — A trout-stocking was slated for late October.
Gifford Pinchot State Park Lake (York County) — Carp and panfish were reported.
Conewago Creek (Adams County) — Muskies and smallmouth bass were hitting swimbaits and soft plastics.
Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) — White perch were reported on the flats and deep drop-offs along some stretches of shoreline in recent weeks, with smaller-size alewife, crawlers, or minnows effective. Vertical jigging was productive with small jigs tipped with live minnows, crawlers, or soft plastic minnow patterns.
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Numbers of largemouth and smallmouth bass were reported through mid-October.
Fords Lake (Lackawanna County) — A kayak angler reported catching 10 largemouth bass, plus bluegills and a crappie on this 67-acre lake in mid-October. The bass were taken on a swimbait.
Lackawanna Lake (Lackawanna County) — Nice numbers of white crappies, and some largemouth bass, perch and bluegills were reported through mid-October.
Lehigh River — Trout were biting spinners and stickbaits in recent weeks. Smallmouth bass were hitting in the Palmerton pool.
Beltzville Lake (Carbon County) — Striped bass were active on live bait, chicken livers, and red/white bucktail jigs in recent weeks, with morning and evening hours productive. Bass were hitting in the upper reaches of the Pohopoco Creek Bay.
Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Bass were hitting in recent weeks on this Big Bass Program fishery. Kayak anglers were catching panfish in the cove east of Boat Launch B in early October. Panfish, chain pickerel, and crappies also were hitting on live minnows and crawlers.
Hunters Lake (Sullivan County) — Crappies and perch were active in recent weeks. Crappies were coming on live minnows.
Lake Nockamixon (Bucks County) — Both black and white crappies, including a 14-inch black crappie, were reported on live minnows around structure through mid-October.
Perkiomen, Unami creeks (Montgomery County) — Catfish and carp were active in recent weeks, and taking corn chicken livers, dough balls, and cut bait.
Delaware River, Schuylkill River —Brinkman’s Bait and Tackle reported Oct. 15 that numbers of catfish and carp were released in both waters.
New Jersey saltwater report — Brinkman’s reported Oct. 15 that the striped bass run was in full swing up and down the coast with 40- to 50-pound fish hitting daily. Anglers surf fishing were having success. Tautog (blackfish) were biting in nice numbers. Sea bass, which opened Oct. 7, were reported in nice numbers and sizes, 2 and 3 pounds inshore.
— Compiled by Deborah Weisberg