With the Fourth of July holiday this week, many Lehigh Valley folks take vacation and many go fishing. As such, here’s a rundown on what’s been happening on local waters.
Willie from Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Cementon says the Lehigh River is fishing good for almost everything. Big trout, smallmouth bass, rock bass, perch and fallfish. Sizeable smallmouth are readily taking leeches. In fact, Willie recalls taking his grandson down to the falls in Cementon last summer and every cast his grandson took a fish with a leech.
Willie also reports Leaser Lake is hot for catch-and-release muskies in the 40-inch range. On angler last week caught-and-released a 44-incher using a large shiner. Others are catching them on big lures like Rebel’s, Rapala’s and large spinnerbaits. Another angler reported releasing a sizable largemouth. Of course, only trout may be kept at Leaser. Willie predicts that once Leaser is open for everything, it’s going to a top Lehigh County fishery.
Mike’s Bait & Tackle in Nazareth reports the upper Delaware River has been slow and blames it on a warm-up. Before the water temps warmed fishing was good. But should return especially for stripers and walleye, the latter with leeches.
Chris’ Bait & Tackle in Mertztown reports largemouth fishing is hot at Ontelaunee Reservoir. Even crappies are starting to turn on after a couple slow weeks. For largemouths at Ontelaunee, shore fishermen (no watercraft allowed here) are throwing black and blue 5-5 ? -inch Senko worms, Cabin Creek worms and Spider Ticks.
Down at Blue Marsh Lake the same black and blue patterns are luring crappies. Chris reported some anglers are catching 40-50 a day using fathead minnows. Half the successful fishermen are fishing from boats while the half from shore with slip bobbers, particularly around cove areas.
And up at Leaser Lake, black and blue Senko’s are luring sizeable largemouths for catch-and-release enjoyment. Storm Twitch Strike and Red Fin lures are taking sizable musky, again for catch-and-release. Seems anything in black-and-blue patterns are working.
Bill Brinkman from Brinkman’s Bait & Tackle in Philadelphia says the only lower Delaware River striper reports he’s getting are coming out of Trenton. The few guys fishing up in the bridges and down to the Route 29 bypass have been catching 12-25 stripers a trip using small eels and live white perch. The ones that stay through the night are catching fish with poppers, crankbaits and shad bodies. Most of these fish have been 22-34 inches.
Further up the river, smallmouth bass fishing has been really good. Fishing from Washington’s Crossing up to the Water Gap most guys have been catching 10-40 fish per trip. Minnows have been the hot bait but grubs, spinners and top water lures are also working. Kevin at the Water Gap, has been doing very well but said the river has been going up and down and that has affected the numbers. But most days he’s been catching 15-25 smallies with minnows and Zoom grubs. Tom, was up to New Hope catching a few bass but crushed the big catfish with chunked baits and minnows. Off the New Hope wing dam one fisherman picked up several 13 to 15-inch smaller fish but was happy landing three stripers 26-31 inches with large live minnows and Rebel minnow lures. He also had one small walleye. A few of the drift guys picked up 20-30 fish from Upper Black Eddy down to Bryan. Again, minnows were their hot bait.
And remember, July 4 is a Free Fishing Day when a fishing license is not needed to fish Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission waters.
CABELA’S WEEKENDER EVENTS
Cabela’s Hamburg is hosting several informative seminars and demo’s following the Fourth of July weekend. They are as follows:
JULY 8 & 9
Animal ID with Outfitter Tom
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Outfitter Tom will be at the mountain with his collection of animal hides and wildlife artifacts. Visit with Tom and learn how to identify different animals from both their pelts as well as the tracks that they leave behind. A fun filled and educational seminar for the entire family.
Bass Bustin Tactics
12:00 - 2:00
Stop and speak with our Fishing Outfitters and find out exactly what you will need to make your next bass fishing outing one you will remember. From the latest rods and reels to the hottest lures on the market we will make sure you have everything you need the most and more importantly, the proper instruction on all equipment plus tips on the hot waters for bass fishing.
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Stop by the Optics counter and find out all you need to know about binoculars, rangefinders, spotting scopes and all optics related products. No matter if your pursuit is the local birds at the back yard feeder or a once in a lifetime hunt to Alaska, our Outfitters will get you on the correct path to choosing the perfect optics that will match your needs as well as all needed cleaning and maintenance accessories.
July 15 & 16
Archery Bow Tune Up
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Archery season is just around the corner and now is the time to get your bow out of storage and make sure you are all set and ready to go for the upcoming seasons. Bring your bow in and let our Outfitters partner with you and make sure you have everything you need and all your accessories are in tip top shape. Feel free to use our range to get your bow correctly sighted in.
Introduction to Catfish & Panfish
12:00 Noon - 2:00 PM
If you are looking for a great way to spend a lazy summer evening fishing with the family, this seminar is for you. Not only are they easy and fun to catch but catfish and panfish make a tasty meal when cooked on the grill. Stop in the Fishing Department and speak with our Outfitters and find out exactly what you will need for this fun fishing adventure.
July 22 & 23
12:00 Noon - 3:00 PM
Stop in the Archery Department this weekend and shoot the new Ravin R9 crossbow. This new crossbow shoots bolts up to 390 fps with a frictionless flight system for unmatched accuracy. The Versa-Draw cocking system is built into the stock and includes a 100-yd. speed adjustment scope.
Black Powder Weekend
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Front of store
Join us this weekend as Jim Fulmer and the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association will be on site to present a glimpse back into history with black powder and primitive archery. They will set up a pre - 1840 camp with displays and will have seminars on cleaning traditional and in-line muzzle-loaders and loading muzzle loading rifles, shotguns, and revolvers as well as the firing of such. In addition, the art of primitive archery will be set up along with demos.
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.