Pennsylvania Fishing Report – February 5, 2021

Hills Creek Lake yellow perch
West Marine

Northwest Region

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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.

Crawford County

Woodcock Creek Lake

Lake has been drawn down for winter.

Woodcock Creek (Below the dam)

Anglers are catching a few Walleye, Bowfin, and Muskellunge.

French Creek

The driveway at the PFBC access in Cambridge Springs has been repaired so please KEEP OFF THE GRASS.

Canadohta Lake

Anglers are catching Muskellunge, Walleye, and panfish through the ice. Lake is drawn down for the winter.

Sugar Lake

Anglers are catching panfish, Chain Pickerel and Bowfin through the ice.

Tamarack Lake

The lake is open to hunters, boaters, and anglers. Remember to have all required safety equipment and proper registration if going out on a boat, canoe, or kayak. As a reminder to anglers, the lake is still listed as catch and release only.

Pymatuning Reservoir

Anglers are catching nice crappies, Yellow Perch, and Walleye through the ice near the Jamestown Marina. Minnows under tip-ups or a maggot on a jig seems to be the best bait of choice.

Erie County

Howard Eaton

Howard Eaton has been slow during the day. Late evening and early morning are the times to be there.

Lake Pleasant

Anglers are catching a bunch of panfish and trout. Lake Pleasant will be catch and release for trout starting February 15th.

Lake Leboeuf

Anglers are catching some crappies and Yellow Perch.

Area Stock Trout Waters

Stock trout waters will be closed on February 15th except for Erie tributaries.

Misery Bay

PA Ice anglers
Ice anglers are out on several impoundments across the NW region. Anglers were targeting panfish in Misery Bay over the past weekend.

Warren County

Allegheny Reservoir

Anglers are catching Yellow Perch, Northern Pike, and Walleye through the ice in the bays. Dunkles Corner and Willow bay have the best ice, but ice conditions vary, and anglers should proceed with caution.

Allegheny River

Anglers are catching Walleye at the outflow in the early mornings and late evenings. Anglers are targeting Muskellunge off jetboats throughout the river.

Chapman Dam Reservoir

The fish population in the reservoir is still recovering from the drawdown. The reservoir is under a special regulation making it unlawful to take, kill, or possess any fish except trout. Adult Rainbow and Brown Trout were stocked in the beginning of December. Ice fishing is excellent for trout currently, but the ice conditions do vary, and anglers should proceed with caution. Most anglers are currently having success using wax worms.

Northeastern Region

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

For the 2021 trout season, the PFBC will operate under a consolidated statewide schedule for all counties.  Under this revised plan, a single Statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day will occur on Saturday, March 27, and a single Statewide Opening Day of trout season will take place on Saturday, April 3.

Pre-season trout stocking operations will begin on February 15, 2021, approximately two weeks earlier than in previous seasons.  Due to this change, all streams that are designated as Stocked Trout Waters will be closed to angling when stocking begins on February 15.

The 2021 Stocking Schedule is published and can be found here: https://fbweb.pa.gov/stocking/TroutStockingDetails_GIS.aspx

Carbon County

With the recent major snowstorm there is very little fishing occurring.  Prior to the storm, a few anglers were ice fishing at Mauch Chunk Lake, west of boat launch B, and caught nice size crappies.  Most areas of Mauch Chunk Lake had very unstable ice prior to the snowstorm, and now it is even more difficult to determine the areas of safe ice.  Please remember that the ice conditions are not monitored on most water impoundments.

Boaters are reminded that during the period from November 1st through April 30th, all persons onboard a canoe, kayak, and boat less than 16 feet in length must be wearing an approved USCG wearable personal flotation device while upon Commonwealth Waters.  This requirement is intended to protect boaters from the dangers of cold-water shock if they fall into the water.

Wyoming, Southwest Susquehanna, & Newton and Ransom Township Lackawanna County

Ice fishermen have had success catching Rainbow Trout, pickerel, bass, and bluegill at Oxbow Lake. Fish have been caught on jigs as well as live minnows on tip-ups. The best fishing times have been early in the day and late.

Fishing at Stevens Lake has been slow; however, a few smaller sized Largemouth Bass have been caught on minnows. A few smaller bluegills have been brought through the ice as well on wax worms. Walleye have reportedly been caught at Lake Carey. Anglers are reminded to use caution when venturing on area Lakes, especially the larger bodies of water as uneven freezing occurred this season.

Monroe County

In recent weeks, snow has put a damper on the ability for individuals to get out onto the ice. When they can get out, individuals have been having success with pickerel and yellow perch on Tobyhanna Lake, as well as pulling crappies out of Brady’s Lake on State Game Land 127. Most of these have been caught on various live bait, shiners, and while using tip ups and jigging.

Pike and Wayne County

Lake Wallenpaupack has finally seen a solid and consistent freeze, and individuals are taking advantage of it. Areas such as Mangan Cove and Sterling Marina seem to be hot spots for people who enjoy getting out on the ice. Yellow perch seem to be the main catch at this point using mostly shiners on tip-up setups.

Columbia and Southern Luzerne County

With the recent colder temperatures, much of the district’s impoundments finally have fishable ice! However, due to recent snowstorms, access for many of these areas is limited until snow removal operations are performed. Know that PFBC Maintenance Staff is working diligently to open all our access areas, as is DCNR and USACE. With any luck, by the time this is posted we will all be enjoying time on the hard water.

As a reminder ATV’s, snowmobile, off-road vehicles are all prohibited on PFBC properties.

All impoundments within the district are now classified as STOCKED TROUT WATERS, OPEN TO YEAR-ROUND FISHING. Please review your summary guide for information on rules and regulations concerning these lakes.

The agency will allow assistance from the public with trout stocking this year, on a limited basis. If you are interested in assisting, contact the Northeast Region Law Enforcement Headquarters for additional information.

Northern Luzerne County

Ice conditions are hit or miss across the district.  Ponds and Lakes in higher elevations and smaller ponds have fishable ice.  Other lakes, like Harveys Lake, with deeper water are slow to freeze this year and have a lot of open water.

As always you should try to fish with a friend or at least let someone know your plans when you hit the ice.  Make sure to drill test holes close to shore and use an ice staff to sound the ice as you go.  Consider wearing a PFD or float coat or at least carry a throwable PFD (you can always use it as a pad to sit on when you are set up).  Ice awls, a section of line and a cell phone (in a dry bag or ziploc) are other items to consider bringing along.

Most anglers are reporting moderate success for panfish using ice jigs tipped with mousies or wax worms.  Bass have been slow to respond but pickerel are abundant on most waters.

Northcentral Region

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!

Snyder, Union, and Montour Counties

Ice fishing on Walker, Faylor, Halfway, and Lake Chillisquaque is in full swing. Please remember to proceed with caution. Ice conditions are not monitored by the PFBC. Please use a spud bar to check the ice when traveling to new areas. Wear a flotation device like a float coat or life jacket and have your ice picks readily available. Remember to wear layers and dress warmly for the upcoming cold temperatures. Faylor Lake is currently producing some dinner plate size Crappie. Jigs and live minnows are currently working well. It is a good idea to mix things up and try smaller profiles with wax worms or even artificial plastics.

Tioga County

Cowanesque Lake

Crappie fishing has been excellent through the ice. Anglers are reporting a good catch rate of White Crappie through the ice in about 20-25’ of water over woody debris. Wax worms are the bait of choice. Cowanesque Lake also offers ice anglers an opportunity at catching a Tiger Musky through the ice. Ice conditions are not monitored by the PFBC.

Kelsey Creek Lake

The lake is experiencing minimal fishing pressure; however, anglers are catching Bluegill using soft plastics and wax worms at any depth through the ice. Tip-ups are working well for anglers using a small live fathead on a treble hook.

Hamilton Lake

Parking lot conditions are poor. Please use extreme caution when in the parking area. Anglers are catching stocked Trout along the eastern shoreline in 8-15 feet of water. Anglers are catching them suspended throughout the entire water column.

Southeastern Region

Northampton County

With the most recent snow event, as well as the cold weather, angling opportunities may be minimal and typical access points may be inaccessible; however, it is a good time to gather up your gear and prepare for the spring. The Adult Trout stocking list has been posted on the Fish and Boat Commission app, so please monitor it as it provides the most up-to-date changes, such as cancellations. This year, trout stocking will be completed with a limited number of experienced volunteers.

We are all looking forward to spring!

Southern Bucks County

Trout season is slowly closing in upon us, bringing with it many changes for this year. Stocking schedules are posted, but remember, changes may be made when needed due to weather or other outside factors.

A lot of new information has been released concerning license sales and trout stocking. Let’s start with the new license sales platform, https://www.huntfish.pa.gov/.  Here you can purchase hunting and fishing licenses, launch permits, boat registration renewals, permits and the like on any device.  After purchase, you can download your fishing license and print it at home. For permits and registrations, you will be mailed your documents.  Updating information to include address changes is made quite simple as well. You still have the option of visiting your local store that participates in the license sales program.  Please note, that the new licenses are now green, instead of yellow.  Multiyear licenses that are yellow do NOT need to be replaced.  For more information, you can visit the PA State Pressroom article at https://www.media.pa.gov/pages/fish-and-boat-commission-details.aspx?newsid=361.

Changes to the stocking program not related to Covid19 can be found on https://www.fishandboat.com/Fish/Stocking/Pages/TroutStockingProgramChanges.aspx.  These adjustments are based on several factors.

The press release relating to the changes of stocking operations for this year can be found at https://www.media.pa.gov/pages/fish-and-boat-commission-details.aspx?newsid=360.

We will be reintroducing limited volunteer opportunities in order to maintain a safe environment and keep the public and Fish & Boat Commission staff healthy. There will also be a single Statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day that will occur on Saturday, March 27th, and a single Statewide Opening Day of Trout Season will take place on Saturday, April 3rd.This does not affect anyone who typically stays in the Southeast region; however, for those who travel elsewhere, this means there is no delayed statewide opener this year.

PLEASE NOTE: ALL streams that are designated as Stocked Trout Waters will be CLOSED to angling when stocking begins on February 15th. To provide for additional angling opportunities during this time, trout stocked in lakes, reservoirs, and ponds during the pre-season will be open to catch-and-release angling BUT may not be harvested until Statewide Mentored Youth Day and Statewide Opening Day.

The 2021 Mentored Youth Day will be held on March 27th. Fishing activities start at 08:00 a.m.  Youth under 16 years old, with a Mentored Youth Permit OR a Voluntary Youth Fishing License AND accompanied by a mentor who has a valid fishing license AND trout permit, can fish in certain trout stocked waters before regional opening day. Youth anglers may possess a total of two trout (combined species) with a minimum length of 7 inches. Adult anglers are prohibited from possessing trout.

For more information and specific rules and regulations pertaining to Mentored Youth Day, visit our website at http://www.fishandboat.com/Fish/FishingRegulations/Pages/MentoredYouthProgram.aspx.  The only two locations that will be stocked for mentored youth day in Southern Bucks County are Levittown Lake and Lake Luxembourg (located in Core Creek Park).

The Opening Day of Trout this year is April 3rd at 08:00 a.m.

As a continued reminder, mandatory cold weather personal flotation device wear remains in effect.  Visit our website at http://www.fishandboat.com/Boat/WaterandIceSafety/Pages/default.aspx for more details.

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