As many sportsmen and sportsgals are deer hunting right now, there are a number of avid anglers who don’t hunt (or have already filled their deer tags) who prefer to fish as local streams and lakes are virtually void of fishermen.
According to Willie, from Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Cementon, the Lehigh River is dead. No one fishing it. But he was receiving good trout reports from the Little Lehigh that was stocked two weeks ago with brown trout from the Lil-Le-Hi trout nursery. He says a couple customers have been picking up nice 16-19 inch brownies on Gulp Worms, night crawlers and fathead minnows. But not PowerBait.
Willie reminds anglers that the Extended Trout Season is in effect allowing only a three fish limit. He added that he received a call from an angler inquiring if he had waxworms as he was going ice fishing at Tobyhanna Lake in the Pocono’s that had three inches of ice. Wow! If in fact that’s true, he’s walking on thin (unsafe) ice.
From upper Berks County, Chris at Chris’ Bait & Tackle in Mertztown, reports good crappie action at Ontelaunee Reservoir in Maidencreek Township. Crappies there are falling mostly for minnows. Blue Marsh Lake too is producing decent crappie action and a few largemouths, also on minnows. And in Lehigh County, Leaser Lake continues to yield catch-and-release muskies that are being enticed with large shiners. No trout, as the consensus is the sizable muskies there, devoured them.
If you have a New Jersey fishing license, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife recently stocked approximately 4,800 two-year old rainbow trout averaging 14-18 inches in 20 selected ponds and lakes. Check the agency’s website for a map and location of these stocked waters.
Since the rifle deer hunting season continues until Dec. 14, and then extended season kicks in Dec. 26, hunters need to hunt safely. Cases in point, two hunters succumbed to falls last week in Berks County. The first accident happened when a 69-year old man fell 30 feet from his treestand in District Township near the Hereford Township line.
The second fatality occurred when a 75-year old man died when he fell on his crossbow while driving deer for his son in Alsace Township. The hunter tripped and the crossbow he was carrying discharged into his left side, abdomen and it pierced one of his lungs.
The treestand incident could have likely been avoided had the hunter used a full-body harness that attaches to the tree. One model even allows the hunter to be slowly lowered to the ground in the event of a fall.
The second incident was unique as most on-the-ground fall accidents occur when a firearm is involved, not a crossbow.
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Nick Hromiak has been an outdoors and automotive writer for over 30 years. He's been published in numerous national and state-wide outdoor magazines and newspapers.