NE REGION REPORTS
REGION COUNTIES -- Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming (County Guide)
Boaters must wear a life jacket on boats less than 16 feet in length or any canoe, kayak, or paddleboard from November 1 to April 30.
December 9, 2022
Wyoming and Southwest Susquehanna County
The Susquehanna River is flowing at a good level for late season fishing. Walleye and Smallmouth Bass are being caught on jigs and jerkbaits fished slowly and seasoned anglers are catching a good number of larger fish as well. Proper warm weather outerwear and patience is a requirement to catch fish at this time of year.
On the warmer days a few trout have been caught at Lake Winola on paste bait or other live bait trolled slowly. Nice sized fish up to 18 inches have been caught.
Pike and Wayne County
Most bodies of water in the district have not frozen over yet. But in the coming months, some bodies of water will freeze, and they will become fantastic ice fishing spots. The Shohola Reservoir is a popular ice fishing destination.
Before going out on the ice, you will need an auger to drill a hole in the ice to determine how thick it is. Don't venture out on the ice if the thickness is less than 4 inches. The thicker the better. You'll also need special fishing poles; and a fish finder/depth finder makes the experience a lot more fun. Go to your local bait and tackle store and have an associate help you pick the gear that is right for you.
In addition to the fishing supplies, you should wear warm clothing to include wool socks, a knit cap, and heavy pant and jacket layers. If you can set up a tent on the ice, that's even better. Be sure to bring cleats for your boots as they will help prevent slipping. And bring ice awls to help you escape the ice water in case you fall; the ice awls could be the difference between life and death. Always tell someone that you will be out on the ice, but it's best to go with at least one other person.
Northern Wayne County
As another winter holiday approaches, this is great opportunity to obtain fishing licenses, permits and vouchers so that everyone, new or experienced, can get an early head start on the fishing season. Not to mention that these are great gift ideas for the Christmas holiday. Nevertheless, winter brings ample fishing opportunities that can be spent on the lakes once the ice takes over. So, find a buddy and head out on the frozen lakes and make a memory. Where you can catch fish, drink hot chocolate or coffee and eat that deer meat from the successful deer season.
Once the lakes freeze over, remember that when you drill a hole, it can be no larger than 10 inches in diameter and no more than five fishing devices per angler. As a courteous gesture, mark the hole by placing something near it so that other fishermen are aware as these ice fishing holes can be known to cause injury. Some of the best ice fishing is done with jigs whether it be artificial or live bait. Check your local tackle shops as these places have pre-made jigs to help you get started on the ice. Good luck and stay warm.
During the winter months, boating is typically seized considering the cold temperatures and ice taking on the lakes. However, this is a great opportunity to look over your boat and inspect it for any aquatic hitchhikers that may still be attached and prepare for the next boating season by checking the expiration, wear, and tear of all the gear needed and required by law when boating. Additionally, with the New Year right around the corner, is a great time to review the boating handbook or take a boating safety course so that by the summer, you are fully aware of all the necessary boating rules to stay safe on the water.
October 27, 2022
Eastern Bradford and Northern Susquehanna Counties
Fishing is at its best on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. Smallmouth Bass have been biting on a variety of baits, jigs, and topwater lures. The bass and walleye will continue to bite over the next couple of months. Get out and enjoy some action.
The fishing action on Quaker Lake and other small impoundments in the area has also been good.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has implemented a reduced fishing license cost for the remainder of the year. It is not too late to enjoy the various fishing opportunities that our state has to offer.
Southern Luzerne and Columbia Counties
There has as been no shortage of fishing opportunities given the fall trout stockings in the area. Briar Creek Lake, Lily Lake, and Lake Irena have all been stocked. Anglers are having success. Trout have been caught on a variety of lures and baits, including paste baits and delicate dry flies.
Francis E. Walter Reservoir is in the process of a draw down to winter pool depths. Fish have congregated because of the lower water levels. Anglers are catching crappie near the point on grubs and fathead jig combinations.
Anglers are catching trout on the Lehigh River. It's a beautiful time of year to be out. The best baits have been eggs and minnows. Fly anglers have had success with nymphs and wet flies. Many trout have also been caught on small inline spinners. The trout fishing success and same tactics have applied to Fishing Creek.
Anglers on the Susquehanna River have been catching Smallmouth Bass. Soft plastics and live bait have worked best.
Unpowered boats moored at Lily Lake and Briar Creek Lake must be removed from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission property by December 1st.
Southern Monroe and Northeast Carbon Counties
Section 3 of the Brodhead Creek and Section 6 of the Bushkill Creek have recently been stocked with their fall allocations of trout. Trout stocking schedules can be found at PFBC Trout Stocking (pa.gov).
Sullivan and Western Bradford Counties
The bass activity has increased because of the cooler water temperatures. Tube baits on a light jig head bounced along the bottom are producing nice fish. Match the tube bait to the color of the water and select a bright colored jig head.
Wyoming and Southwestern Susquehanna Counties
The best fishing in the area is on the Susquehanna River between Falls and Laceyville. The water has been clear, and the Smallmouth Bass have been biting. Most bass have been between 12 and 14 inches. Fish up to 19 inches have been caught. Walleyes are also starting to show up in smaller numbers. The river levels are favorable for a variety of boaters to get out and fish or to simply paddle a canoe or kayak and enjoy the scenery. Some of the best baits have been plastic jigs, crankbaits, and jerk baits. Other places to consider for fall fishing include Oxbow Lake, Stevens Lake, and Lake Carey. Good numbers of panfish have been caught out of these waterways. The best bait has been live minnows.
October 13, 2022
Northwest Monroe, Southern Wayne and Western Pike Counties
With the cooler weather, and the commencement of hunting season, many people think this is the time of year fishing starts to slow down. However, the fall is one of the best times to fish. Along with fishing amongst the beautiful scenery that Pennsylvania has to offer, the PFBC also stocks several lakes and streams throughout the fall to provide anglers with ample opportunity of catching trout. Trout stocking schedules can be found at: PFBC Trout Stocking (pa.gov).
With trout fishing ramping up again, the recreational boating season is beginning to slow down. Most lakes, such as Lake Wallenpaupack, have seen a drastic decrease in recreational boaters with the cooler weather, but there are some brave souls that are braving the storm to get every day they possibly can out on the water. As a reminder to all boaters, we are getting closer and closer to the Cold Weather Wear period in Pennsylvania, which begins on November 1st, and runs until April 30th. During this period, all occupants of boats less than 16 feet in length as well as all canoes and kayaks are required to be wearing U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation devices.
October 5, 2022
Most of the trout stocked streams in the area are flowing lower than normal. Pohopoco Creek, Mauch Chunk Creek, and Aquashicola Creek are popular options for fall fishing. Pohopoco Creek is both a Class A Wild Trout Stream and Stocked Trout Water. Trout fishing on this waterway is only Catch and Immediate Release from September 6, 2022, through February 19, 2023. There is no harvest of trout permitted.
Anglers are having success with trout on spinners and stick-baits on the Lehigh River near the East Penn Township boat launch and the Parryville area. Anglers are also catching Smallmouth Bass at the Palmerton pool.
Water levels are lower than normal at Beltzville Lake. Striped Bass activity has been good in the Pine Run boat access area. Live bait, chicken liver and white/red bucktail jigs have been popular choices. Evening and early morning hours are the most productive times. Anglers are having good success with bass in the upper reaches of the Pohopoco Creek Bay, east of the Preachers Camp boat access.
Boaters should look out for shoals, rocks, and trees at the lake since water levels are low. The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will soon remove regulatory buoys and boat docks from the lake for the winter season. Boaters may contact the Beltzville State Park Office to check on the status of docks at the launch areas.
Anglers are catching bass in different areas of Mauch Chunk Lake. Kayak anglers have been catching panfish in the cove east of Boat Launch B and across the lake from Boat Launch A. Anglers have also been catching panfish, pickerel, bass, and crappie at the fishing pier near Boat Launch A. Live minnows and nightcrawlers are popular baits. Mauch Chunk Lake is under Big Bass Program Special Regulations.
Northwest Monroe, Western Pike, and Southern Wayne Counties
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year in our state. There are still plenty of fishing and boating opportunities on Lake Wallenpaupack, even though the leaves are changing colors.
Be sure to inspect your boat or trailer for Aquatic Invasive Species, especially if you travel between waterways. It's also a good time of year to double check for invasive species, while cleaning and preparing for winter storage.
Fall trout stockings will provide anglers with plenty of opportunities to catch trophy-size trout. It's also a fantastic time of year for bass, crappie, chain pickerel, and yellow perch. Be sure to get out on the water and enjoy the season.
Anglers should consider fishing the Delaware River this fall. You can access the river in Pike County from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's Zane Grey Boat Launch in Lackawaxen Township or the Matamoras Boat Launch in Westfall Township. There are also several access areas in Wayne County. There are plenty of opportunities to catch Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass, Striped Bass, trout, Rock Bass, Channel and Flathead Catfish, Walleye, Yellow Perch, American Shad, crappies, Muskellunge, pickerel, and more. Try spinning or fly fishing. Remember to get your Pennsylvania Fishing License and abide by all fishing regulations.
The Delaware River is also a great place to go boating. It's perfect for kayaks, canoes, and drift boats. Be sure to follow Pennsylvania Boating Regulations. Bring your Sound Producing Device. A whistle works great. And a wearable Personal Floatation Device (PFD) must be on board for each person. Anyone 12 and under in a boat 20 feet or less or in any canoe or kayak must wear their life jacket while underway. It is advisable for all boaters to wear a life jacket, especially on the river. It can move extremely fast at times. Even the best swimmers can be overtaken by the current. Wear it!
Fall is here and it's getting cooler. It's still a fantastic time to go fishing or take the boat out on the water even though the leaves are changing colors.
Crappie and perch fishing is heating up at Hunters Lake as we approach fall. Anglers have been having success with crappie on live minnows.
The change to cooler weather also means a change in the approach to fishing. Anglers are catching crappie on all sorts of lures and jigs. Don't forget your fishing license and be sure to check the regulations on season, sizes, and creel limits for the waterway you plan to fish.
Summer has come to an end. Boats are being pulled from the water and winterization has begun. Fall means cooler weather. However, there is still plenty of boating and paddling activity on waterways like Belmont Lake, Prompton Lake, and Upperwoods Pond. The water temperatures are also getting cooler.
Reports compiled by Walt Dietz, Northeast Region Outreach and Education Coordinator, using information provided by Waterways Conservation Officers.