With up and down temperatures and weekly rain, ice thickness is dangerously thin in local waters.
According to local bait and tackle shops, the best bet is to head north to the Poconos.
Mike, from Mike’s Bait & Tackle in Nazareth, said Promised Land Lake was fishing pretty good for panfish. Over at Shohola Lake, tip-ups were working on sizable bass and pickerel. Mike said the water there has been unusually high, but it’s still productive. As for Leaser Lake, he had no reports but two weeks ago it had areas of some safe ice but keep in mind, only trout may be kept there.
Hidden Lake, near Shawnee, was producing well last week for a variety of fish including a few pickerel. Jules Fruhwirth, of Emmaus, connected with a pair of 24 inchers that he pulled through six inches of ice on tip-ups tipped with fathead minnows. Later, he fished Little Mud Pond in the Poconos and with 10 tip-ups, only managed to pull up a single 23.5-inch pickerel through 7 inches of ice.
Chris from Chris’ Bait & Tackle in Mertztown, was out of town last week, but said Ontelaunee Reservoir the week before had 10 inches of ice and locals were picking up crappies, yellow perch and largemouth bass. And Leaser Lake was producing catch-and-release muskies.
He also reported that Antietam Dam in Berks County was producing good numbers of trout. And open water anglers are taking sizable walleye from the spillway at Blue Marsh Lake.
In case you didn’t know, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s website has statewide lake maps that show submerged habitat to help locate fish holding structure. Look for it under the heading of “Fish Habitat Improvements.”
With uncertain ice conditions due to varying air temperatures, the PB&BC advises to use extreme caution on all waters and in particular, listen for loud cracks or booms coming from the ice as it’s an indicator of deteriorating ice conditions. And never walk on ice that has formed over moving water such as a stream or river. Adhere to these and other signs before attempting to walk on water, or you’ll be in the water.
DONORS HAVE PRESERVED 340 ACRES ALONG POCONO’S FAMED BRODHEAD CREEK
According to the Natural Lands and Pocono Heritage Land Trust, 340 acres of land near Monroe County’s wild trout inhabited Brodhead Creek, has been preserved thanks to two families.
Forty acres belonging to Alego “Bart” Bartolacci, that borders the Brodhead on one side and Stony Run on the other, was donated by him in memory of his late wife Vivian.
Another 300 acres owned by the Ferenbach family-owned corporation, was also donated as preservation land so it would not be developed. This tract includes 3,500 feet along the Brodhead.
Easement funding was supported by these families, from the William Penn Foundation and Open Space Institute’s Delaware River Watershed Protection Fund.
Named after Scottish immigrant Daniel Brodhead, he purchased 600 acres bordering the 22-mile stream in 1737. As history has it, Brodhead, was an avid fly fisherman who brought his fly rod with him when he came to America. Since that time, this famed wild trout fishery has been considered the birthplace of trout fishing in America.
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.