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Boating season is winding down for the year. Check out the PA Fish and Boat Commission’s website for the required safety equipment and links to a boating safety course.
With the water cooling down, the panfish are moving into shallow waters and trying to put on weight for winter. A reminder that Shenango River Lake is now designated as a Panfish Enhancement Lake. Crappie must be nine inches to harvest and the creel limit is 20.
The Shenango River water trail that flows from the Pymatuning outflow to the Shenango Reservoir is being utilized heavily. Please respect landowners along the stream. There have been a large number of complaints about trespassing in these areas. The waterway is designated as navigable which gives you the right to float through the lands via the river but getting out of your watercraft and going up on the land is considered trespassing.
Columbia & Southern Luzerne County
While impoundments across the district have been producing fish, the streams and Susquehanna River can only be described as frustrating. With extremely low water levels for the Susquehanna River, even launching a boat has been a challenge at times.
With the seasonal draw down in effect, the FEW Reservoir has crappie and other panfish stacking up and anglers, especially those fishing from kayaks and similar sized watercraft, are doing well. Finding the fish is the tough part, once one is caught many can be brought to boat. The confluence of the Lehigh River and Bear Creek seems to be a hot spot right now and it has been hard to beat a fathead/jig combination for bait.
Lily Lake, Briar Creek Lake and Lake Irena are all scheduled for fall stockings of trout. Remember the daily limit is now reduced to 3 and only in Stocked Trout Waters. The rest of the waterways have a 0 creel and possession limit for trout.
Boaters are also reminded that November 1st marks the beginning of the Mandatory PFD Period. Anyone in a boat less than 16 feet in length and ANY SIZE canoe or kayak is required to wear a USCG approved personal flotation device.
Northern Pike & Southern Wayne County
Anglers have been reporting successful fishing on Shohola Lake. They are catching smallmouth bass, perch, and pickerel. One very successful couple reported catching and releasing approximately 30 bass and pickerel within two days of fishing.
Anglers have been very successful catching striped bass at Beltzville Lake in the vicinity of the Pine Run Bay area. Chicken liver appeared to be an effective bait to catch most of the striped bass.
Boat anglers fishing Mauch Chunk Lake have reported good success catching perch off the area of boat launch A of the lake. Bass action remains good. However, most of the bass are less than the legal minimum size of 15 inches to harvest. Mauch Chunk Lake is governed by the Big Bass Special Regulations.
As the fall season is now underway it can also provide some excellent trout fishing opportunities on most area streams. Anglers are reminded that with the extended trout season underway on Stocked Trout waters that the daily limit is now 3 trout (combined species). The Aquashicola Creek, Buckwa Creek, and the Mahoning Creek can provide good fall season trout fishing.
The Pohopoco Creek downstream of the Beltzville Lake had recently received a trout stocking by a local sportsmen club. Anglers are reminded that the section of the Pohopoco Creek from the outlet of Beltzville Lake downstream to the cable across the creek at the Hideaway Hunting & Fishing Club is designated as a Class A Wild Trout Stream and Stocked Trout Water. The Extended Trout Season on this section of stream from September 8, through February 28, 2021 is a No Harvest – Catch and Immediate Release Only.
Northern Luzerne County
Waters across the region have cooled down quickly but they are also at very low levels. Expected rain that is supposed to arrive midweek could make a big difference in our area streams. Harveys Lake and Harveys Creek are expected to receive a fall stocking of adult trout in the first week or so of October. This will be followed by plantings in all the other lakes that are approved trout waters typically stocked in the fall. Hopefully these added opportunities give you a chance to get out on our waterways to pursue some trout in the cooler air of fall after the summer we have had.
Bass have been easy to find but hard to get to by powered watercraft. Low water conditions make it tougher to get around, but they also concentrate those bass in smaller areas where the conditions they need to survive are met. Kayak, canoe and drift boaters are reporting nice catches in these areas. Most action is coming to those anglers using jigs with rubber skirts or twisters.
The creek is currently very low and clear; the water temperature is in the low 60’s. Anglers are currently having success using terrestrial patterns such as ants and green weenies. Nymphing some caddis larvae patterns is also a good idea right now. The low and clear conditions are making for some tough conditions as fish are extremely sensitive to angling pressure. Subtle presentations and stealth are required for consistent success. Nymphing is proving to be the most successful technique.
The water temperature is currently in the low to mid 60’s and the flow is still below average for this time of year. In the upper reaches of the creek, anglers will find a lot of vegetation such as grass and weeds. Below Bellefonte, the creek has less vegetation and slightly better flow. Anglers are currently having the best success early in the mornings and late into the evenings. The fish can be very spooky in low water conditions. Try to be as stealthy as possible when approaching and casting to holding areas. Terrestrial patterns are a must for fishing right now.
East Branch Clarion River
The Delayed Harvest Section has recently been stocked to provide a great opportunity for some Fall fishing! It’s a great time of year to get out and enjoy some time on the water. The Fall colors and weather are certainly worth the fishing trip!