The heat has been absolutely stifling this week, and the fish are feeling it as well. Most of our contributing shops are reporting that fish are most active dusk through dawn when the temperatures are cooler.
Water levels are going back toward normal throughout the region, and the predicted thunder showers Saturday are supposed to give way to less stifling humidity and more seasonable temperatures in the 80s for next week.
Don't forget to submit your big fish photos to our online Outdoor Photo Gallery at http://www.mcall.com/outdoors.
Have fun out there, but respect the water and be safe.
2013 Pennsylvania Fishing Regulations: http://fishinpa.com/
2013 Pennsylvania Trout Stocking Schedule: http://pfbc.state.pa.us/pfbc_webgis/TroutStockingDetails.aspx
Wallenpaupack Sports Shop, Route 6, Hawley (570-226-4797): Mark says it is hot and the action has been finicky. Pickerel in the 4-5-pound range are hitting live bait. Smallmouth bass are also going after live bait in 25 feet of water. Big channel catfish are being caught at dawn and dusk. Largemouth bass are going after stick baits at the back end of coves. Shohola and Greeley have been very productive for panfish. The Lackawaxen and Delaware River smallmouth are hitting Kai-tech lures.
Pecks Pond Boat Rentals, Tackle & Bait, Dingmans Ferry, (570-775-7237) firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.peckspond.com: Roger says Pecks is great for bass on bluegill-colored worms, poppers, Johnson spoons and there has been a lot of action with the 4-inch worms. Pickerel have been going after minnow lures, hard and soft, and shiners. Panfish are biting on mealworms and orange twisters. Greeley Lake has been good for nice bass on swim shiner lures. White Deer Lake panfishing is excellent using wax and mealworms, or floating some twister tails. Trout are being caught on the Saw Creek and Bushkill using single kernel corm and natural color black worm.
Sportsman's Outlet, 205 Applegate Road & Route 611, Stroudsburg (570-424-5450): Ron says this has been a tough week for fishing, especially on lakes and ponds. The heat wave has created harsh conditions for bass fishing, mainly for the anglers because the heat index over 100 degrees. Hopefully this will break soon and give way to some cooler conditions. Trout fishing is still decent with all the recent stockings, but the heat has limited the pressure on creeks and streams. The Delaware is still providing smallmouth bass action and catfish are being taken on the bottom with stink baits and worms.
Mauch Chunk Lake Boat Rental and Bait Shop, 625 Lentz Trail, Jim Thorpe, (570-325-0100): Jeremy says the fishing has great despite the heat. Mornings until 10 a.m. and then after 6 p.m. when it passes for cooling off are the times the fish are biting. A lot of bass of varying sizes are being caught. Catfish are going strong at night and chicken livers seem to be the bait of choice. Minnows and leeches are working for bass. Fishing is great at the pier and the mountain side shore line. Perch and blue gills are active down in the shallows of boat dock B.
Willie's Bait & Tackle, 5105 Main St., Cementon (610-261-2767): Willie says a 21-inch largemouth bass that weighed four pounds was brought into the shop that was caught in Beltzville. The Lehigh River is running nice now and there are smallmouth bass biting after Yamamoto worms. Some people are still heading out to the creeks for trout.
Bob's WildlifeTaxidermy, 4642 Kernsville Road, Orefield (610-398-7609): Bob says there hasn't been much reporting to the shop. Down in Virginia where he was on vacation, croakers on the smaller size and some kingfish were around, Bob got out stingray bowfishing one day and his group got six stingrays between 45-65 pounds in an hour from the boat on a trip cut short because of weather concerns. His group had only two misses on the trip.
Archery @ the Glenn, 7 Auburn St., Allentown, (610-791-7665): Brian says now it's hot! At least we had a long, cool, wet spring and there's plenty of water for now. Lehigh and Delaware rivers are fishable and giving up lots of healthy smallmouth bass and catfish. The Little Lehigh is still a good bet for trout. Find the deeper holes with fairly strong current and hit them early morning or last light. Butter worms continue to catch fish along with fathead minnows and minnow-shaped lures. Smaller lakes and ponds can be real fun right now with all the grass and pads. Rig a worm weedless and pull it across the surface with a twitch and pause retrieve. Shake it some. That should produce exciting surface bites just like ripping a buzz bait through clear water above a weed bed. If that's a little too much for the youngsters, a worm or minnow under a bobber will get it done. No reports from the big lakes. You can't catch them from the couch. If you have the time, get out there.
Heritage Fly Shop, 2643 Fish Hatchery Road, Allentown (610-248-8836): Dave says the Tricos on the Little Lehigh have been earlier than usual. Spinner falls have been as early as 7:30 am. this year. In some cases there are still emerging females while spinners are beginning to drop. It would be a good idea to check water temperatures and beware of 70-degree-plus water. Please don't overstress the fish, either, by playing them too long or by taking them out of the water for a picture.
Backwoods Angler Guide Service, Bethlehem, (610-868-9349): Blaine says the Delaware River is at 4.8 feet in Belvidere, N.J. The water is clear, and for the first time this summer, the smallmouth bass are moving into the shallower summer haunts. Soft to moderate current is better than very fast water right now for some reason. This could change daily, however. Case salty minnows, grubs and stick worms are best with a few strikes on top water lures and jerk baits. Five-hour trips are averaging about 30 fish this week. The North Branch of the Susquehanna River is on fire with 75-100 bass days on elevated flows going for crank baits, spinner baits and tubes. The main stem of the Susquehanna is giving up large bass during lower light periods near dawn and dusk.
Mike's Bait & Sports Shop, 328 East Lawn Road, Nazareth, (610-759-2905): Mike says the lower end of the Buskhkill is good for trout. Mauch Chunk has a lot of fish, but they're small. Stripers were being caught this week at Beltzville, along with walleyes. Smallies are biting in the Delaware.
Klotz's Bait Shop, 216 Hess Ave., Hellertown (610-838-7970): Caroline says Scott Hyland of Bethlehem caught an18-inch rainbow trout in Monocacy on a fathead minnow between people tubing and swimming. Gabriel Ernie of Easton caught an 18-inch rainbow on a blindhead worm in the Saucon Creek. Dan Grow of Bethlehem caught a 27-inch catfish on carp bait in Lake Nockamixon.
Cabela's, 100 Cabela Drive Hamburg, (610-929-7000): Jon Reilly, the fishing and fly fishing department manager at Cabela's, says that the heat wave this week has made fishing during the day a challenge. Anglers fishing early and late in the day have been reporting success as the fish are also looking to avoid the hot mid-day sun. Night anglers in the region have been reporting steady catches of carp and catfish. Scout for spots or look for recommendations for places to go. Scouting an area during the day before you go can greatly help your success versus walking in blind at night. Corn, prepared dough-baits, and homemade cornmeal or oat baits can be productive carp catchers this time of year. Night crawlers have been snagging catfish and carp along with a few other species. Liver and cut fish have been the hot catfish baits recently. Don't forget that top water bass lures, especially dark colored ones that make noise can be effective at night if you are not into bottom fishing. Good Luck!