Southern Luzerne & Southern Colombia Counties
There is a PA Basic Boating Class, scheduled to be held at Nescopeck State Park, February 04, 2017. The class starts at 8:00am, and pre-registration is required; See the website for more information.
With the recent cold spell that has come through, angling and boating on the Susquehanna River and other open water has been non- existent.
This cold spell has started to get local anglers ready for ice fishing. Ice anglers that have ventured out are reporting success targeting crappies and perch at Francis E. Walter Reservoir. Most success has been found jigging wax worms with a small ice jig. There has not been fishable ice across most of the region otherwise. However, with this past weeks frigid temperatures, expect that to change.
Anglers are urged to review the ice safety information available on the website, and to ensure they have appropriate safety equipment at all times. Remember, ice conditions are not monitored! It is your responsibility to protect yourself.
It is certainly not too early to begin thinking about trout season. Preliminary stocking schedules for the district are being reviewed, and will be available in the near future.
Norther Pike & Southern Wayne Counties
Many of the lakes and ponds in the district are covered with ice. This means that ice fishing is starting to get underway here in the Northeast. Of those fishermen I have talked to and checked the pan fish and pickerel seem to be what is being caught the most. Please be sure to check the ice thickness before venturing out onto the lakes. Some places are good with six inches or more but some are only at two to three with open water in some cases. It is suggested that you wear some type of a PFD or float coat for your safety. As always have fun but come home.
Southern Wayne, Pike & Northern Monroe Counties
The recent cold snap has created ice thick enough to fish on smaller, shallower ponds and impoundments throughout the district and anglers are having good success catching perch, crappie and bluegills using a variety of natural baits.
The amount of ice anglers are increasing with every cold night with temperatures dipping into the single digits. So far action has been rather slow though with catches being very light.
Activity at Francis Walter Dam has been increasing, especially on the weekends. Be careful at this location because water levels fluctuate underneath the ice.
Western Bradford and Sullivan County
Despite recent rainfall, snow melt and fluctuating river levels the walleye activity has been picking up on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. Anglers fishing from boat are reporting swim baits are particularly effective.
Fluctuating weather conditions have made a challenge for ice fishermen this winter. Area lakes have frozen for a second time this year, but weather forecasters claim the next couple weeks will be above normal temperatures. There have been a few ice fishermen out over the past few days and all those that have ventured out have found some success.
Don’t take unnecessary chances if the weather forecasts prove true and conditions become unsafe. Rain, added to warm temperatures can melt existing ice, and there has yet to be a fish worth the risk of falling through the ice.
There has been a lot of ice floating down the Susquehanna River, but expect that to clear quickly in warmer temperatures and winter fishermen may find opportunities there.
Ice anglers fishing Mauch Chunk Lake near the vicinity of Boat Launch B have reported catching bass, pickerel and perch. One angler reported catching a seventeen inch Largemouth Bass and a fifteen inch perch. The bass was taken by using a tip-up and the perch was caught while jigging. As with most waterways, the ice conditions are not monitored at Mauch Chunk Lake.
Before venturing out on to the ice make sure to check the ice conditions. The ice may not be the same thickness all over. Avoid dark, honeycombed or porous ice areas and areas with multiple pressure cracks, brush, logs or docks. Always take a partner along and let others know where you are going and when you will return. Know how to dress for the cold and wear a personal flotation vest or have a throwable personal flotation device (seat cushion) in case of an emergency. It is also a good practice to carry a set of ice awls to pull yourself up onto the ice in the event you fall through.
The water level at Beltzville Lake still remains low with open water on most of the lake.
Little to no fishing activity is occurring on the Lehigh River or the other streams in the district. As we are now in the 2017 fishing season, please be sure (anglers 16 years of age or older) to have your valid 2017 PA Fishing License and trout /salmon permit (if required).