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REMINDER: Mandatory Cold Weather Life Jacket Wear began on November 1, 2020 and runs through April 30, 2021 for anyone on boats less than 16 feet and in all canoes and kayaks. Learn more here…
REMINDER: Once there is ice on the lakes, be sure to check the thickness and safety before venturing out on the ice. Ice should be clear to be safe, once it thaws, aerates and refreezes it loses its integrity.
REMINDER: Jaw Jackers and Automatic Fisherman Devices are prohibited for use. Interested individuals can find the relevant regulation here 58 Pa. Code § 63.6. Authorized devices for game fish, baitfish and fishbait.
Area Steelhead Streams
Steelhead are still in good numbers in all the streams. With the cold winter months upon us, the streams will be icing up off and on.
Presque Isle Bay
Anglers are catching some Yellow Perch from shore along the bayfront. Some popular locations are Dobbins Landing and Old Border Patrol.
Ice fishing has been non-existent so far this year, due to the warm weather we have been experiencing. A few anglers have been taking advantage of the weather to venture out and fish. They have been catching crappie and perch. A reminder that Shenango River Lake is now designated as a Panfish Enhancement Lake. Crappie must be 9 inches to harvest, and the creel limit is 20.
The Shenango fish consumption advisory is still in effect until further notice.
Reminder: The PFBC does not monitor ice thickness. Ice thickness and conditions can vary greatly across the lake. Use caution as you head out onto the ice. A life jacket and a set of ice awls can be extremely important if you fall through the ice. Remember – SAFETY FIRST: https://www.fishandboat.com/Fish/Fishing/Pages/IceWinterFishing.aspx
Lackawanna, Wayne & Southern Susquehanna County
Ice fishing is beginning to pick up in Lackawanna and Susquehanna counties. Anglers have been seeing success at Merli Sarnoski Lake while jigging for perch and trout. Stillwater Reservoir, Clifford Township, has been producing some nice pickerel, and a 25-inch Tiger Muskellunge was pulled out by a young girl on January 13. Anglers are reminded to always check ice conditions before venturing onto the ice.
Columbia & Southern Luzerne County
With local lakes and impoundments still without safe ice, there has been little to no ice fishing activity across the district. Anglers are urged to use extreme caution and common sense if they venture out on the ice. As a reminder, ice conditions and thickness are not monitored by the PA Fish and Boat Commission
The Susquehanna River is still open and flowing. However, fishing and boating pressure has been light. It would appear as though most of us are still in deer hunting mode as of this writing.
Hopefully, with a little luck and some cold weather, fishing conditions will improve soon. If not, we can all once again look toward the warmer days of April, and with that comes trout season!
Most of the district’s trout stocked waters have been receiving little to no fishing pressure. Although, a few anglers have reported good success catching trout on Mauch Chunk Creek and the Aquashicola Creek.
The Pohopoco Creek, downstream from the outlet of Beltzville Lake, appears to have been the most popular stream among most anglers in recent weeks. Both fly and spin anglers have reported good success catching trout. Anglers are reminded that the section of the Pohopoco Creek from the spillway at Beltzville Dam approximately 2.90 miles downstream to the cable across the creek at the Hideaway Hunting & Fishing Club is designated as both a Class A Wild Trout Stream and Stocked Trout Water. The Extended Trout Season does not apply to this section of the stream and is limited to NO Harvest –Catch and Immediate Release Only.
Although Mauch Chunk Lake is ice covered, it appears that the ice is thin with areas of open water and appears very unstable for any ice fishing activity. Hopefully, if a cold spell continues more stable ice will arrive.
On most lakes such as Mauch Chunk Lake, Beltzville Lake ice conditions are not monitored, and persons are always reminded to check the ice conditions before venturing out to any ice covered lake.
Anglers fishing Beltzville Lake have reported good success catching perch near the boat ramp area of Pine Run Bay. Striped Bass action appears to be good near the Trachsville section of the lake. Live bait and chicken livers are appearing to work well.
Remember before venturing out to go fishing that you need to have a 2021 PA Fishing License (anglers 16 years of age and older) and a Trout / Salmon permit if required.
Ice fishing is just around the corner. Check out PA Fish and Boat Commission’s Ice/Winter Fishing Page for Ice Safety tips, Ice Fishing tips and more!
Anglers are currently having success in the southern most basin of the lake. Anglers are reporting a decent catch of Yellow Perch and Bluegill using small tungsten jigs. Anglers are also having success fishing for Crappie at dawn and dusk. Small live minnows are currently working well to move Crappie’s off the bottom to entice a bite.
Hills Creek Lake
Anglers are currently doing well fishing for Panfish throughout the lake. Small tungsten jigs tipped with mousies or waxworms are currently working well for both Bluegill and Yellow Perch. Some anglers are having success using live shiners and tip-ups to catch the occasional Pickerel.
The current conditions couldn’t be more perfect for winter fishing. The water temperature is currently in the low 40’s and the color is exceptional. Nymphs and streamers continue to provide anglers with steady action throughout the day and into the night. Fish are currently holding the tailouts of pools and any pocket water. Try targeting the seams with a big stone fly to entice hungry fish. BH PT nymphs are a hot pattern to use right now in sizes 14 to 20.