As we’re in the midst of the prime hunting seasons with pheasant, rabbit, grouse, squirrel and archery deer seasons underway, the latest opener is the statewide rifle bear season that runs Nov. 20; Sunday Nov. 21 and Nov. 22-23.
The season reopens again on Nov. 27; Sunday, Nov. 28; Nov. 29-Dec. 4 in Wildlife Management Units 1B, 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 5A. In WMU’s 2B, 5B, 5C and 5D, the season runs Nov. 27, Sunday, Nov. 28; Nov. 29-Dec. 11.
While bears inhabit big Pocono Mountain woodlands, it’s not surprising that some drifted down to Lehigh County.
During the 2020 bear seasons, Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) harvest records show that in Lehigh County the archery season showed that three bears were taken, the early season recorded two, the extended season had one and muzzleloader season resulted in one.
Over in Northampton County, the archery season resulted in eight bears, the early season six, extended two, muzzleloader season six and the regular firearms season one.
While these hunting seasons are ongoing, the fishing season has slowed in area streams but according to Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Whitehall, anglers have been doing well on catch-and-release largemouth bass at Leaser Lake. Anglers are throwing live shiners and Rapala crankbaits. Bass range from 2-4 pounds with some five pounders reported.
Chris’s Outdoor Sports shop in Mertztown echoes Willie’s Leaser report by having customers telling him they’re hitting nice largemouths there, however no muskies. But Chris says that will change when we get colder temperatures and the toothy fish will go on the feed.
Otherwise, Ontelaunee Reservoir has few reports but there is a Facebook posting of a nice buck swimming across a portion of the lake last week. The hot spot though is Blue Marsh Lake in upper Berks County where largemouths, smallmouths, some stripers and dandy crappie action has been taking place. One customer said he caught 56 crappies one day last week on fatheads and crappie jigs. Stripers on the other hand are favoring shiners and large crankbaits.
Down at the Jersey shore, enormous amounts of bunker are fueling striped bass action that has been epic, insane and historic says the fishing reporters from On the Water Magazine.
Their reports include Tackle World in Rochelle Park who reported bass are everywhere with keepers mixed in with jumbos from Raritan Bay to Island Beach State Park. Capt. Phil Sciortino Jr. at the Tackle Box in Hazlet, said bass fishing is just nuts especially Raritan Reach around Buoy 19 that was loaded with bass. Stripers are hitting Mojos, flutter spoons, shads and live bunker.
Tak Waterman shop in Long Branch said Raritan Bay is still lit up with linesiders that are chasing flutter spoons, Doc spoons, shads, livelining and trolling. The fish are between 20 inches to 50 pounds
The Reel Seat Bait & Tackle in Brielle, reported striper fishing is pretty consistent. Boat anglers are getting fish in the 40-pounds class by jigging shads, livelining and trolling
As for beach action, it picked up especially at night for anglers throwing metal-lipped swimmer lures.
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.