Pennsylvania Fishing Report – September 3, 2020

Northwest Region

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Crawford County

Woodcock Creek Lake

Anglers are catching a few walleye, nice sized smallmouth bass, and panfish. The Army Corps is starting to draw down the lake for winter pool.

Woodcock Creek (Below the dam)

Anglers are catching a few walleye, bowfin, bass, and muskellunge. Anglers are having the best luck in the evening.

French Creek

Anglers are catching some Smallmouth Bass in Saegertown and the PFBC access in Cambridge Springs. Water levels are low which is making it tough in spots for people floating downstream.

Canadohta Lake

Anglers are catching nice sized Muskellunge, Walleye, and panfish. As a reminder, canoes and kayaks using the PFBC access need to have a valid registration or launch permit.

Sugar Lake

Anglers are catching panfish, Bowfin, Largemouth Bass, and catfish.

Erie County

Lake Erie

Anglers are catching Walleye from Walnut Creek to North East in 60 to 80 feet of water using worm harnesses, spoons, and deep running stickbaits. Anglers are catching a few Steelhead when they are trolling for Walleye. Anglers are catching Lake Trout in deeper water. Lake Erie’s water temperature is 77 degrees.

Northeastern Region

Columbia & Southern Luzerne County

With water levels returning to normal across the district, fishing and boating activity has picked up on the Susquehanna River.  The best fishing has typically been morning and evenings due to high water temperatures; the mouths of cold feeder creeks have also produced to a lesser extent.

The panfish bite has really started to heat up on the local impoundments such as FEW Reservoir, the Ice Lakes and smaller ponds.  The USACE has begun the annual drawdown of FEW Reservoir and fish are starting to school up.  Find the fish and you will find success.  One pair of local anglers indicated their success with crappies came with small marabou jigs and fathead minnows.  Also, with the drawdown of FEW Reservoir, anglers should have little to no problems fishing the Lehigh River, as the whitewater releases are pretty winding down for the year.  Again, early morning and evenings seem to be the key times.

Briar Creek Lake, Lily Lake and Lake Irena are all scheduled to receive fall stockings in October.  Check the website for more details.

Northern Luzerne County

Although the Susquehanna River is still quite low anglers are reporting good numbers of Smallmouth Bass being caught.  Rattletraps and topwater seem to be doing most of the work.  Fishing at Harveys Lake has been improving for panfish as the water slowly begins to cool.  Vertical jigging from a boat in 12-20 feet of water with ice or hair jigs tipped with a waxie seems to work just fine.  Not many of the Trophy Browns are being boated but there aren’t many people targeting them currently.

On a boating safety note please make sure you are aware of any special regulations in waters you will be visiting.  Additionally, remember that there does not have to be a buoy present for Slow No Wake regulations to apply when you are within 100 feet of anything not moving in the water.  AND remember that your tube or skier is part of your craft.  Swinging them past a dock at speed and closer than 100 feet can get you a Slow No Wake Citation or even negligent Operation!

Southern Pike & Northeast Monroe Counties

Cooler nights in late August have triggered Smallmouth Bass on the Delaware River to start feeding.  Anglers are having very good success catching a variety of year classes of Smallmouth Bass in The Delaware Water Gap Recreation area.

Northcentral Region

Clearfield County

Curwensville Lake

Anglers are reporting some success with Catfish, Panfish, and Bass. Those who are targeting Musky have been fishing in the early daylight hours.

West Branch of the Susquehanna

Anglers are currently having success in the evenings fishing for Catfish. Several folks have also been having good luck while fishing for Carp using doughballs and night crawlers during the midday and afternoon hours. Fallfish and Smallmouth are being caught consistently throughout the day.

The last week of August has brought us some much-needed rain and the mornings bringing with them cooler temperatures. For the first time this summer we are reminded that fall will soon be here. With cooling temperatures many of our fish species will begin to feed more regularly. The months of September and October are truly a great time to be on the water or along the stream.

Centre County

Sayers Lake

Anglers have been doing well for Crappie in areas around the causeway bridge as well as, the fishing pier at Lower Greens access area. Most anglers are having success using minnows suspended under a bobber or float. Bass have also been reported from areas around the submerged roadbeds. Rubber worms are working well for Bass. Some Channel Catfish have also been reported using chicken livers in areas around the Upper Greens inlet area.

Black Moshannon Lake

Fishing has been slow this past week. Some Bass and Pickerel have been reported targeting weed beds in the 4-6′ depth. Weedless lures, rubberworms, swimbaits have been reported as a good start to begin focusing in on these fish.

Spring Creek

Anglers have reported trout in all areas of Spring Creek from Bellefonte to the mouth. Water Temperatures have been good on spring creek and success has been with flies, spinners and live bait.

Water Conditions have improved and continue to improve across the Centre County Region with recent rainfall.

Clinton and Lycoming Counties

West Branch Susquehanna

With the extremely low waters and summer heat, fishing has been tough recently. However, these conditions have made it easy to find the deeper channels within the river; and to locate structure and habitat where fish tend to congregate. If you can find these areas, fishing can be extremely productive not only now but when the waters resume to their normal levels. Also, look for cold water influences as these areas will increase oxygen levels as well as waterfalls, riffles or where the water churns. Periods after rainfall have been productive for anglers recently. Anglers are reporting good bass catches in the West Branch Susquehanna River. Eels and Catfish have also been active.

Lock Haven Dam

Anglers are currently catching a variety of Panfish on small jigs and plastics.

Elk County

If making plans for Labor Day weekend in Elk County be advised that due to construction and lack of rain, the boat launch at the East Branch Dam is closed for the year. The boat launch is planned to open next Spring.

Southeastern Region

Lancaster County

Lancaster County Parks Programs

Lancaster County Parks will be offering two youth educational programs as listed below that are congruent with the PFBC Mission – To Protect, Conserve and Enhance the Commonwealth’s Aquatic Resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities.

Munchkin Science: Stream Exploration  Ages 3 – 5

Tuesday, September 15 ,  1:00 – 2:00 PM   Environmental Center

Munchkin Scientists will enjoy exploring the Mill Creek. Together we will wade using nets to catch a variety of living critters in the creek. Munchkins will have the opportunity to examine the critters with Naturalist Ann Strauss and learn about things they never knew lived in a creek. This program is geared for ages 3 through 5. Children over age 5 are welcome if accompanying younger siblings. Register online or call (717) 295-2055 to register and prepay by noon on Monday, September 14. $3.00 per child age 3 and up and $1.00 per adult.

Covered Bridge Stream Study   Ages 8 and up

Sunday, September 20,  1:00 – 2:30 PM (4 spaces left)

Kurtz’s Mill Covered Bridge Parking Lot

The Mill Creek is home to an abundance of wildlife. Come experience it with Naturalist Aaron Hasircoglu and get your feet wet as we search for aquatic bugs, invertebrates, and fish and enjoy the end of summer. All participants must wear closed-toe shoes. Take Kiwanis Drive off Golf Road to meet by the bridge. Register online or call (717) 295-2055 to register and prepay by noon on Friday, September 18. $3.00 per person.

Information for Parents and Educators on Creek Stomp Field Trips

Parents are encouraged to engage their child in exploration of the aquatic environment either via organized educational programs such as these offerings or through family outings. However, should be cognizant as to Fishing License requirements when they opt to FISH, i.e. “creek stomp” and place crayfish or any aquatic life in a bucket alongside their child as specified by law:

  • 2703. Possession and Display Of Licenses

(a)       General Rule. -No person 16 years of age or older shall fish in any of the waters of this Commonwealth, in any boundary waters or on land without first procuring the proper license required by this chapter. The license shall be kept about the person while fishing and shown upon the request of any waterways conservation officer or other officer designated by the commission. In addition to showing the license to the officer, the holder thereof shall, upon demand, establish his further identity to the satisfaction of the officer by producing some other positive means of identification.

The respective legal definitions underscore clarity as to the Fishing License Requirement:

“Fish.”(1) When used as a noun, includes all game fish, fish bait, bait fish, amphibians, reptiles and aquatic organisms.

(2)  When used as a verb, the act of fishing.

“Fishing.”  The act of angling, or to catch, take, kill or remove or the attempt to catch, take, kill or remove from any lands within or waters within or bordering on this Commonwealth any fish by any means or method for any purpose whatsoever.

“Fish bait.”  Unless otherwise provided by commission regulation, crayfish or crabs, mussels, clams and the nymphs, larvae and pupae of all insects spending any part of their life cycle in the water.

“Bait fish.”  Unless otherwise provided by commission regulation, the following fish:

(1)  All forms of the minnow family (Cyprinidae) except carp and goldfish.

(2)  Suckers, chubs, fallfish, lampreys and eels measuring less than eight inches in length.

(3)  All forms of darters, killifishes and madtoms (otherwise known as stonecats).

Educators looking to provide aquatic field studies as part of their course curriculum should be acquainted with the requirements. For additional information, reference the link: AQUATIC FIELD STUDY PERMIT

 Susquehanna River – Kayaking at Blue Rock Access – Conejohela Flats

Paddlers – please note that the September Canada Goose Season begins at one-half hour before sunrise this Saturday, September 5th and extend to one-half hour after sunset. A paddling trip on Sunday, September 6th will prevent any potential user conflicts between boaters and hunters.  The Canada Goose Season in the Atlantic Population Zone is slated for September 1-25, November 21-27 & December 21 -January 16.

Additionally, the Blue Rock Access will have increased usage on Saturday, September 19 for Junior Waterfowl Hunting Days.  Hunting hours close at sunset.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s 2020-2021 Duck Season will begin on Saturday, October 17th through Saturday, October 24.   The late season will begin on Saturday, November 17th and run through Saturday, January 16, 2021.  There is no Sunday hunting of waterfowl.

As a paddling destination, the Susquehanna River at Conejohela Flats offers the optimal safe paddling opportunity of Lancaster County’s 44 miles of Susquehanna River.  In terms of ease of access, paddlers can launch and return into the Blue Rock Access boat ramp, the river here is relatively shallow with most-often slow- moving current as buffered by the Conejohela Flats Islands [Green – Rookery – Shad]. Consider taking along binoculars for wildlife viewing; the Conejohela Flats is recognized by the Audubon Society as an IBA – Important Birding Area. Moreover, in that this section of the Susquehanna River is delineated by PFBC Special Regulation as Slow-No-Wake below, paddlers are less likely to contend with being “waked” by an inconsiderate power- boater. Reference the map and accompanying regulations signage on the kiosk at the access parking lot.

  • 111.36. Lancaster County

(b)  Susquehanna River. Boats are limited to slow, no wake speed for both of the following:

(1)  From the Lancaster County shoreline to the northern point of Shad Island south to the southern point of Green Island and back to the Lancaster County shoreline from January 1 to October 1.

(2)  In all areas between and within 200 feet of the islands comprising the Conejohela Flats.

For a Conejohela Flats Paddle Guide, refer to the link below:

Most Importantly, stay safe on the water – Wear your PFD – Check river conditions at the link and phone number below.

Safe Waters Hotline –

Call the Safe Waters hotline

1-844-430-FLOW (3569)

Northampton County

Anglers have reported catching stocked and wild trout in Monocacy Creek at the park at Illick’s Mill using anything from worms to flies. Further downstream below Shoenersville Rd, anglers have also reported catching trout with flies. As a reminder, this section of stream on Monocacy Creek is classified as both “Class A Wild Trout and Stocked Trout Waters”. This means that from September 8, 2020 through until next trout season, there is no harvest of trout (Refer to page 20 in the summary book for more information).

Lastly, anglers have reported catching Channel Catfish and Common Carp in the Delaware River below the Lehigh River confluence in Easton. As always, before going out for a fishing or boating trip, do some research on the rules in place. When you arrive at your destination, look for signs or notices explaining the rules and regulations, it will help ensure you have a fun trip as well as one that does not end in a violation.

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