Pennsylvania Outdoor News Fishing Report – July 20, 2018


Lake Erie — As of July 3, anglers were catching walleyes on plugs and crawler rigs in 50 feet of water. Lake trout were hitting on plugs in 100 feet out of Northeast Marina. The yellow perch bite was hit or miss. Smallmouth bass were biting drop-shot rigs and jerkbaits in 30 feet at the W’s near Northeast Marina. 

Elk Creek (Erie County) — This west side Erie tributary offered a nice nighttime catfish bite in recent weeks, with some fish reportedly weighing up to 25 pounds.

Lake Pleasant (Erie County) —Panfish were reported on crawlers and bobbers on this small natural lake as of July 3.

Edinboro Lake (Erie County) — Bass were biting along the shoreline and first drop-off in recent weeks. Numbers of catfish also were reported. 

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — As conditions allowed, anglers were catching walleyes and bluegills in recent weeks. The walleye bite ran shallow to deep, with anglers drifting crawler harnesses at mid-depths, pulling plugs deep, and pitching jigs and crawlers to weed edges. Anglers fishing the causeway were doing well at dusk, and the night bite on Bomber Long As was good.  Walleyes also were hitting in the Shenango River below the dam. The south end of the lake was yielding some nice smallmouth bass. Crappies were hitting on deep structure and channel cats were all over the lake. Muskies were active.

Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) — Muskies and northern pike were biting through the end of June. 

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — Some northern pike were reported. Anglers are advised that there is a new boat launch at Fireman’s Beach.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) —  Nice numbers of crappies were hitting on jigs and twisters in recent weeks. Largemouth bass were hitting plastic worms and jigs.

Shenango River Reservoir (Mercer County) — Hybrid striped bass were hitting in nice sizes and numbers, as were channel catfish, with both species coming for anglers trolling or casting crankbaits or crawler harnesses on large flats and points. Walleyes and panfish also were reported, but the walleye bite could be spotty.  Largemouth bass were biting, and white crappies up to 11 and even 13 inches were biting on soft plastic shad on jigheads under bobbers over brushpiles. 

Kahle Lake (Venango, Clarion counties) — Texas-rigged crawlers were taking bass along weed edges in recent weeks. 

Allegheny River (Venango County) — Post-spawn bass up to 20 inches were active in July and hitting in the tail-out sections of pools. Soft jerkbaits were productive. Tubes, stickbaits, and crankbaits also were effective. In murky conditions, spinnnerbaits cast to the bank were effective. A 47-inch muskie and a 24½-inch brown trout were released in early June. 

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Hybrid striped bass, including many jacks, continued to chase alewives in the shallows. Anglers were catching the stripers on alewives, stick baits, and large poppers in the nighttime hours. Chicken livers off the bottom also were effective. Boaters were catching walleyes and channel catfish on nightcrawlers on the roadbeds and railroad ballasts day and night. Drifting nightcrawlers was working for some. 

Glade Run Lake (Butler County) — Anglers are reminded that they are prohibited from keeping warm water species until further notice. Only trout can be kept at this time. 


Blue Spruce Lake (Indiana County) — Trout were reported on minnows during the early morning hours.  

Yellow Creek Lake (Indiana County) — Northern pike were hitting through early July. Catfish were reported in the late evening and early morning hours. 

Monongahela River  Smallmouth and largemouth bass and catfish were biting through early July, although boaters had to contend with debris from recent heavy rainfall. An occasional muskie also was reported.

Cross Creek Lake, Dutch Fork Lake, Chartiers Creek (Washington County) — Largemouth bass were active through early, particularly during periods of low light. 

Youghiogheny River (Somerset County) — A trout stocking was performed June 29 in the tailrace of the dam.

Youghiogheny River Reservoir (Somerset County) — Walleyes, bass, crappies and channel catfish were reported on live bait and artificials in recent weeks.

High Point Lake (Somerset County) — Anglers were catching largemouth bass, crappies, and chain pickerel on this mountaintop impoundment in recent weeks. 

Keystone Power Dam (Armstrong County) — Bass were hitting in recent weeks on weighted soft jerkbaits over weedbeds or dropshotted near weeds along points. Crappies and other panfish also were reported, as were muskies up to 41 inches.  

Mahoning Creek Lake (Armstrong County) — Anglers were catching nice numbers of crappies. 

Allegheny River (Armstrong County) — A 6-pound longnose gar was released July 1 at lock no. 9. 


Susquehanna River (Northumberland County) — A nice bass bite was reported below the fiber dam in Sunbury through July 4. Soft plastics, such as tubes, minnow patterns, and grubs, were effective.  

Pine Creek (Tioga County) — Numbers of bass were reported on crawfish patterns, small streamers, and live minnows through July 4. 

Hammond and Tioga lakes (Tioga County) — Don’s Tackle Shack reported that bass were biting on various plastics, such as plastic worms in green pumpkin and watermelon, in shallow water through early July. The off-shore bite was good on crankbaits and drop-shot rigs fished around structure and dropoffs. Topwater lures were effective in the late afternoon and evening hours. When Hammond was off-color, bright shad patterns were productive.  Hammond perch were biting live minnows and nightcrawlers. Tioga crappies were taking live minnows. Hybrid stripers were reported by anglers drifting or trolling crawlers. 

Cowanesque Lake (Tioga County) — Bass were hitting around fallen trees and weed beds. Topwater lures were working over weed beds. A few muskies were released from around weedlines, along the campground shoreline and close to the dam

Lyman Run Lake (Potter County) — Panfish catches were reported on this 45-acre lake in recent weeks.  Anglers are urged to avoid stepping on bluegill nests near shore.


Raystown Lake (Huntingdon County) — Nice-size largemouth bass and smallmouth bass up to 4-plus pounds were reported on various lures, including soft plastics, through early July.

Susquehanna River (Cumberland County) — Channel and flathead catfish were reported on cut bait and crawlers in the nighttime hours through early July.  

Pinchot Lake (York County) — Nice catches of crappies on live bait and hybrid striped bass on chicken livers were reported at this Gifford Pinchot State Park reservoir through July 4.

Lake Marburg (York County) — This Codorus State Park lake was yielding bluegills, white perch and other panfish on live bait and soft plastics under bridges.  

Long Arm Reservoir (York County) — Catfish and walleyes were reported by anglers trolling the lake bottom in the early evening hours. 

Susquehanna River, Juniata River (Dauphin County) — Eels were being caught through July 4 on lures, livers, live minnows and crawlers.  


Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — Striped bass up to 31 inches were reported on live bait in recent weeks.

Aquashicola, Buckwa, Pohopoco and Mauch Chunk creeks (Carbon County) — Some trout activity continued through late June.

Lehigh River — A recent stocking by a sportsmen’s group near Bowmanstown provided a nice trout bite at least through the end of June, with anglers making catches up to 24 inches on flies, stickbaits and spinners.   

Beltzville Lake, Mauch Chunk Lake (Carbon County) — Bass were reported in recent weeks, although sizes at Mauch Chunk, a Big Bass Program Water, were tending to be shorter than the 15-inch minimum. Striped bass also were reported at Beltzville during early morning and evening hours, with live minnows, chicken livers, stickbaits and buck-tail jigs trolled from a boat effective.  The power line area at Beltzville was yielding perch, and the water near the dam breast was yielding walleyes in the evening hours. Recreational boating at both lakes was increasing in recent weeks.

Chemung River (Bradford County) — Anglers were catching bass on tube jigs and other plastics on this Susquehanna River tributary.


Octoraro Lake (Chester County)

Jim Neary’s Bait and Tackle reported July 7 that largemouth and smallmouth bass were hitting on soft plastics and crankbaits in 10 to 12 feet. In a June 22 bass tournament, the winning bag was 17 pounds, 5 ounces and the lunker was a 6-pound, 4-ounce largemouth. 

Chambers Lake (Chester County) — A nice bass bite was reported in recent weeks on this Big Bass Program water. Crawlers, minnows, and other standard baits were effective. Boaters were doing well working bass cribs and other structures.

Blue Marsh Lake (Berks County) — Largemouth bass close to 4 pounds were hitting jigs through early July. Smallmouth bass and carp up to 20 inches were reported on crawlers. 

Lake Ontelaunee (Berks County)

Despite a heat wave in early July, crappies were reported, including one just shy of the state record.

Leaser Lake (Lehigh County) — Muskies were hitting on deep-diving crankbaits and shiners from the West Launch in the early morning hours. Late-evening anglers were catching muskies on top water lures and large spinnerbaits in the evening hours.

Compiled by Deborah Weisberg

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