With hunting seasons in high gear, local waters are virtually devoid of anglers. Particularly with the warm fall weather we have been experiencing. But there are some opportunities going to waste by not hitting selected waters.
According to Chris from Chris’ Bait & Tackle in Mertztown (610-682-4129), Blue Marsh Lake in Berks County is on fire with smallmouth’s. Chris and his buddy fished there this past week and caught-and-released a rash of them ranging from 2.2 to 5.3 pounds. They were all caught on smoke blue tube baits and fatheads off rocky points on the lake.
Crappies too are eating fatheads there on structure such as fallen trees in the water and rocky areas as well.
As for Ontelaunee Reservoir, it’s been very quiet there with no anglers reporting any catches. Ontelaunee fish are probably waiting for first ice before they bite.
Chris says the Little Lehigh Creek is loaded with trout and no one is fishing there. The stream was stocked on Oct. 1 by the PF&BC and three weekends thereafter by volunteers at the Lil’ Lehigh Fish Hatchery. Live bait will likely lure them to hook.
Willie’s Bait & Tackle in Cementon (610-261-2767) says the upper Lehigh River at Bowmanstown was fishing great for trout. One fly angler caught 17 trout in two hours there on Trico’s and spinners. A few guys are picking up leftover trout at the falls between Cementon and Northampton, on everything from fatheads to Power Bait, night crawlers and worms.
The Little Lehigh should be good, said Willie, in that it has been stocked every Sunday for the past few weeks since the PF&BC’s fall stocking. Again, no one seems to be fishing it.
The Bushkill Creek too has some leftover trout from its fall stocking while Mauch Chunk Lake has some bass and pickerel action, mainly on live bait.
At Mike’s Bait and Tackle in Nazareth (610-759-2905), Mike says trout fishing is decent at Minsi since it was fall stocked on the Oct. 18. The fish being caught are running 14-15 inches and falling predominately for shiners.
Mike added that he heard some anglers are picking up stripers at Beltzville using 8-10 inch trout from an area supplier (remember to keep the bait receipt).
The Delaware River smallmouth bite is fair with 16-18 inchers being taken on shiners. One customer, says Mike, was picking up smallies on night crawlers by fishing the eddies on the river. Otherwise, Mike says most guys are in their treestands looking for bucks as the rut heightens.
My friend, Tom Marchetto from Easton, just returned from Pulaski, NY and reported that fishing was good but tough. His report goes as follows:
“The Salmon River was very high flow making fishing difficult. We opted to hit the tributaries and side feeder streams instead. We found some success near the Trestle Hole tribs but most fun was Thursday at North Sandy, a stream north of the Salmon River that empties into Lake Ontario. Three of us caught three King Salmon each there by hunting them down. They were hiding in grass beds next to the shorelines so polarized glasses and patience was required. All totaled, we had 17 salmon (almost all kings) and a few Coho’s. We were trying for steelheads but if they were in the river, there was no way of fishing them due to the high water.”
So while bowhunters are looking for bucks, turkey hunters for gobblers and upland hunters for pheasants, anglers can have the streams and lakes to themselves right now.
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