NE REGION REPORTS
REGION COUNTIES -- Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming (County Guide)
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 though the ice. Remember SAFETY FIRST: https://www.fishandboat.com/Fish/Fishing/Pages/IceWinterFishing.aspx
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Last week's rain and warmer weather created some unstable ice conditions across the county. Be cautious when venturing out on the ice. Drill plenty of holes through the ice before venturing to your favorite spot on the lake. Remember ice does not freeze uniformly.
Ice fishing activity has been quite slow across the county. Anglers that have ventured out have experienced much slower catch rates than during the early ice period.
Remember none of the PA American Water Company reservoirs are open to ice fishing.
Northern Pike and Southern Wayne Counties
Ice fishing on Lake Wallenpaupack has been very productive for some anglers. Large stripers are being caught around Eppley Island, along with perch and other panfish along Shuman's and in Walt's Cove. A couple of the big Brown Trout are being caught but not in any one location on the lake. Most of the big fish are being caught on live bait.
Shohola Lake anglers are also doing good with some nice sized Largemouth Bass and nice pickerel. Lake Greeley has been slow, but this is still good lake for panfish. Most of the ice is still good in the district, but always check thickness and quality before venturing out on frozen bodies of water. Be smart and wear a life jacket of float coat and always fish with a buddy.
Southern Wayne and Western Pike Counties
The recent jump in temperature has gotten anglers on the ice and the fish cooperating in. Anglers have been catching quality perch and pickerel on live bait.
Mauch Chunk Lake has been providing good ice fishing activity in recent weeks. Ice anglers jigging small jigs tipped with wax worms were observed catching perch measuring between 11 – 14 inches and nice size bluegills. Most of the perch and bluegill action is occurring just east of the boat launch b. Ice anglers using tip - ups baited with minnow were observed and reported catching a lot of pickerel and bass. However, most of the pickerel and bass were less than the minimum size as required.
Ice anglers fishing Beltzville Lake near the Preachers Camp access area were also reporting catching pickerel and bass. East of the Preachers Camp boat access in the area known as the hump, a few ice anglers had reported good panfish activity.
Remember, 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.
Several anglers have been taking advantage of fishing the district's trout waters in recent weeks. Mauch Chunk Creek and the Pohopoco Creek have been providing good trout action. Anglers are reminded that the Pohopoco Creek is designated as both a Class A Wild Trout Stream and Stocked Trout Water, from the outlet of Beltzville Lake downstream to the cable across the stream at the Hideaway Hunting & Fishing Club. The extended trout season for this section of stream is a No – Harvest – Catch and Immediate Release Only.
Northern Luzerne County
Area waterways have plenty of ice for fishing but with the recent warming trend some places are starting to thin. Harveys Lake has plenty of ice (7-10 inches in most spots) but with the wind currents and ice eaters around the boathouses some spots are getting a little dicey. Make sure you are cautious out there and drill a test hole when moving into a new area near open water. Anglers on Harveys Lake have been getting rewarded with some slammer yellow perch with the bite being most aggressive around dawn and then again in the evening twilight hours. Frances Slocum has been giving up some nice panfish and the recent tournament sponsored by the Nanticoke Conservation Club was very successful!
Northern Wayne County
Ice fishing has exploded! Panfish are hitting just about everywhere. Jigs tipped with wax worms are doing the trick. Largemouth Bass are hitting just about anything from jigs to shiners at Lower Woods Pond. Pickerel are ravaging large shiners on tip ups at Long Pond.
Northern Susquehanna County
Dunn Pond is producing some nice crappie and perch while jigging with wax worms. An occasional walleye is being taken on tip ups and medium shiners. Lake Montrose is producing many quality bluegill and an occasional perch while jigging.
Crappie are hitting at Cook's Pond on a variety of baits. Try jigging around sunset or medium shiners on tip ups during the day.
The ice fishing throughout the district has been steady with anglers being able to catch fish at all of the area lakes. The best waters have been Lake Winola, Lake Carey, Oxbow Lake and Stevens Lake. Live bait such as wax worms and minnows have been the most productive baits compared to jigs and spoons. Anglers fishing at Stevens Lake have been catching good numbers of small to medium sized Bluegill using wax worms and small minnows. Some nice Trout and Pickerel have been caught on minnows at Oxbow Lake; although anglers are having to work hard to catch them. Fortunately, the size of the fish have been worth the effort.
This week's warm weather will deteriorate ice conditions, potentially making for dangerous situations for those venturing onto the ice. As always, check conditions and use extreme caution when planning any ice fishing trip.
This nice sized Chain Pickerel was caught and released at Oxbow Lake.
Reports compiled by Allan Schreffler (RA-FBNEFISHNRPT@pa.gov), Northeast Region Education Specialist, using information provided by Waterways Conservation Officers, Area Fisheries Managers and other PFBC staff.