The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission has been performing trout stockings around the state. Opening day of trout season for most counties is April 15.
For a stocking schedule, visit www.fishandboat.com.
Boaters are reminded that if they were born after Jan. 1, 1982, and are planning to operate a boat greater than 25 horsepower or a personal watercraft, they are required to have a Boating Safety Education Certificate.
To find a class, visit www.fishandboat.com/Boat/BoatingCourses/Pages/default.aspx.
Boaters also are reminded that they are required to wear a life jacket on any boat less than 18 feet and on canoes and kayaks through April 30.
Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — As of April 2, the perch bite was on fire, and the bay was receiving heavy angling pressure, according to Presque Isle Angler Dockside. Folks fishing from boat and shore reported limits of perch in mixed sizes, including jumbos, using minnows on crappie rigs, and fish were hitting all over the bay. Some anglers also were catching crappies, and a few anglers were releasing northern pike in the marinas.
Neshannock Creek (Lawrence County) — Numbers of anglers were releasing stocked trout in the delayed-harvest, artificial-lures-only/Keystone Select Trout Waters section as of March 29, with chartreuse-colored lures or jigs effective. Wooly buggers and plastic worms also were productive.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — The walleye bite at the Linesville spillway picked up at the end of March. Gravel points around the reservoir were yielding walleyes in mixed sizes as well, after dark. Crappies and yellow perch were reported in the coves of the north end. Anglers are now limited to no more than 20 crappies a day and fish must be at least 9 inches,
Allegheny River (Warren County) — Smallmouth bass were hitting in recent weeks near Betts Park. Bluegills were hitting around the railroad bridge by Oakland Drive to Pennsylvania Avenue East Bridge.
Kahle Lake, Piney Dam (Clarion County) — Both fisheries remain in a drawn-down state.
Allegheny River (Clarion County) — A few walleyes were released on jugs and minnows in the Foxburg pool before the season went out. Muskies and northern pike were reported near the confluence with Redbank Creek.
French Creek (Venango County) — Walleyes and the occasional northern pike were released on minnows and jigs through mid-March.
Oil Creek (Venango County) —Anglers were releasing walleyes in the lower reaches, including the creek’s confluence with the Allegheny River through mid-March.
Monongahela River (Washington County) — Walleyes, saugers and saugeyes were released before the season closed.
Keystone Lake (Westmoreland County) — Crappies were hitting in recent weeks, along with bass and trout.
Loyalhanna Creek (Westmoreland County) — Anglers were releasing trout in the delayed-harvest/Keystone Select stretch in recent weeks.
Bridgeport Dam (Westmoreland County) — Bass up to 3 pounds were released on plastics and stickbaits in recent weeks.
Buffalo Creek (Armstrong County) — Anglers were releasing numbers of trout in the delayed-harvest section in recent weeks.
Kettle Creek, First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek (Potter County) — Trout stockings brought out anglers, including some from out of state, who reported success fishing small Adams dry flies, Green Weenies, pink sucker spawn, streamers, small jigs and other lures.
Fishing Creek (Clinton County) — Water was in the high 40s in late March, slowing the trout bite a little, but nice releases were reported on nymphs, such as Bead-Head Prince Nymphs (12-16), and Gold Bead-Head Pheasant Tails (12-18). Olive and black streamers (6-10) also were effective, as were midges (22-26) and Blue-Winged Olives (18-22) in the mid-to-late afternoon hours.
Black Moshannon Lake (Centre County) — Shore anglers were catching yellow perch and chain pickerel on spinners and twister tails in recent weeks.
Foster Joseph Sayers Lake (Centre County) — Yellow perch and crappies were reported off the exposed roadbed from the summer/winter launch to the Bald Eagle launch. Red worms on the bottom and plastic twister tails, suspended from a bobber were effective. Anglers also were catching yellow perch from the Hunter Run access area.
Spring Creek (Centre County) —Water was in the low 40s and had good flow and color at the end of March. Anglers were catching trout on Green Weenies and other nymphs, and, in the late morning to mid-afternoon hours, on dry flies such as Blue-Winged Olives (18-22) and midges (22-26). Dead-drifting small streamers in olive or black (6-10) also was productive. On the lower reaches of the stream, spinners and live bait were the tickets. A few Grannom caddis were coming off the lower reaches, making Grannom Caddis patterns (14) a good bet.
Lion’s Lake, Stoever’s Dam, Memorial Lake (Lebanon County) — Coble’s Bait Shop reported April 1 that anglers were catching trout in high but fishable conditions.
Holman Lake (Perry County) —The upper end was yielding panfish on wax worms in recent weeks.
Little Juniata River (Huntingdon, Blair counties) — As of April 1, TCO Fly Shop reported blown-out conditions, with dirty water in the low 40s. Blue-winged olives (18-22) and midges (20-24) were hatching on warmer days, and Grannoms (12-14) were expected to begin hatching soon. Nymphs and streamers were consistent as conditions allowed. Anglers were advised to fish the heads of pools, with trout holding in slower water. Hot patterns included Blue-Winged Olive Sparkle Dun (18-20), Green Weenies (12-14), and Bead-head Pheasant Tails (14-18).
Yellow Breeches Creek (Cumberland County) — As of March 31, TCO Fly Shop was reporting clear water in the low 40s, with Hendrickson emergers, Hendrickson dries, and Zebra midges productive. Other hatches included midges (18-24), scuds (12-20), blue-winged olives (18-20), and goblins (8). Effective patterns included Squirmy Wormies (12), Zebra Midges (18-22), and Black Midges (18-20).
Lake Wallenpaupack (Pike County) — On April 1, Legend’s Outdoors reported catching 40 stripers, mostly purebreds, ranging from 10 to 20 pounds on Kaitech swimbaits over a period of two days. Some were deep and some were shallow, with water temperatures in the high 20s. Perch, including jumbos, also were hitting. Largemouths were released on shallow-running jerkbaits, and smallmouth bass in 20- to 30-degree water were released on deeper-running jerkbaits. Chain pickerel up to 25 inches were hitting on swimbaits. Northern pike were expected to turn on, as were channel catfish.
Susquehanna River — Legends Outdoors reported April 1 that water was high, and bass and muskies were expected to be hitting as water levels dropped.
Octoraro Lake (Chester County) — Jim Neary’s Bait and Tackle reported April 1 that shore anglers were catching crappies off the riprap on jigs and fathead minnows. White perch also were hitting off the same riprap on small jigs and minnows or crawlers.
Marsh Creek Lake (Chester County) — Gordon’s Sports Shop reported April 1 that crappies had moved back into the shallows and were hitting jigs and minnows. A cold snap had them moving to deeper water a couple of weeks earlier.
Brandywine, French creeks (Chester County) — Gordon’s Sports Shop reported on the regional opening day that anglers were catching some nice trout on these streams, which were among those that hadn’t gotten blown out by rainfall.
Scotts Run Lake (Berks County) — Rainfall made for high water here and on other fisheries on regional opening day April 1 but anglers were catching nice trout up to 21 inches on powerbait, stinkbaits, and other go-to baits.
Valley Creek (Chester County) — On March 30, TCO Fly Shop reported that water was clear and blue-winged olives (18-24) and midges (18-22) were hatching. Productive fly patterns included Pheasant Tails (16-22), Caddis larva (16-20), Blue-Winged Olive Comparaduns (18-22) and Zebra Midges (18-22).
Havre de Grace (Maryland) — Stripers were moving onto the flats as of late March, which was weeks earlier than usual, perhaps as a consequence of the mild winter. Anglers were releasing them up to 42 pounds on Rat L Traps and big Bass Assassins. Anglers report that Maryland wildlife officials were cracking down on poachers who failed to follow the catch-and-immediate-release regulations.
Reports compiled by Deborah Weisberg