Trout fishing is tops on the local fishing menu, but following a close second and third are shad and stripers.
Chris’s Bait & Tackle in Mertztown reports good trout action in all area streams thanks to recent stockings. At Ontelaunee Reservoir in upper Berks County, the crappie action died down and the overall bite is slow. At Blue Marsh Lake, anglers are doing really good on catch-and-release bass using large shiners. Crappie guys are also doing good there and picking up quite a few. Chris believes more warm weather is needed for them to turn on. At Leaser Lake, trout fishing has been horrible. “With about 300 people at Leaser on opening day, not one angler came into the shop and said they caught a trout and didn’t even see one caught the entire day,” said Chris. Same thing happened last year when I was there and surveyed several anglers. Muskies though at Leaser are hot. One Chris’ customer reportedly caught eight last Monday on live large shiners.
Bob’s Wildlife Taxidermy/Tackle Shop in Orefield, reports good trout action on the upper Jordan Creek. Bob says live minnows are doing the trick. Decent trout bite at the Kernsville Dam in Orefield. Rain should bring area creeks up a bit as they are low. Scant trout reports from Leaser Lake.
Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Cementon reported light trout action on the Lehigh River since it was stocked the week after the regional trout opener thanks to the Lehigh River Stocking Association. Willie thinks anglers should be using live bait instead of spinners for the sizable trout that were stocked below the Cementon/Northampton Dam and locally upriver at Treichlers where one customer caught one over 20 inches. Another customer caught several smallmouth bass below the dam which is unusual for this time of year. Willie thinks trout pressure should be lighter locally as the northern regional trout season opened this past Saturday. As for Leaser Lake, few trout reportedly caught. However, muskies in the 30-inch range, were hooked by a regular customer. Willie believes there are 50-inch and over Muskies there and in fact one fellow recently caught one that measured 51.25 inches.
Willie contends that the Leaser Lake Muskies are fat because they’re dining on stocked trout. On the saltwater scene, Willie said Joe Kasper, from Fisherman’s Magazine in New Jersey, told him stripers are on fire in Jersey, especially around Atlantic Highlands. A friend caught 20 of them with average weight of 20 pounds.
Mike, from Mike’s Sports Shop in Nazareth, reported shad action is good on the Delaware River from Easton on up to the Delaware Water Gap. One customer reported catching 40 in an outing while another guy hooked eight. They were all bucks, no roe as yet. For daily shad updates call the Delaware River Shad Fisherman’s Shad Hotline at 610-954-0577/0578.
Additionally on stripers, On The Water Magazine reports migratory stripers are moving into northern New Jersey ocean waters. They’re feeding on huge schools of bunker there. This coincides what Willie’s B&T reported.
PGC MAKES DATE/RULE CHANGES
By now you may know that beginning this year, the start of the rifle deer hunting in the state has been changed from the first Monday after Thanksgiving Day to the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Some sportsmen like the change, others don’t.
The Board of Pennsylvania Game Commissioners also voted to ease fluorescent orange requirements during the archery deer, bear and elk season when it overlaps with the firearms season. Bowhunters no longer have to wear orange when moving or to having to post an orange band near their hunting stand.
Other changes are as follows:
* Added was a muzzleloader bear hunt running concurrently with the antlerless deer muzzleloader season Oct. 19-26.
* Archery bear season has changed by adding another week that will now run Oct 28-Nov. 9.
* The late archery/flintlock season increased a week and will run Dec. 26-Jan. 20.
* November turkey season was shortened to Nov. 28-29.
* A special hunt for juniors/seniors will take place Oct. 24-26.
Stay tuned for more shad/striper reports as the run is underway.
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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.