A number of ice anglers were observed or reported catching perch between thirteen to fourteen inches at Mauch Chunk Lake off boat launch B during the weekend. Anglers have also been landing many sub legal bass and pickerel. Most fish were caught using live minnow or jigs tipped with wax worms.
Anglers also reported catching a few pickerel and panfish through the ice at Beltzville Lake off the Preachers Camp access area of the lake.
Both Mauch Chunk Lake and Beltzville Lake still have open areas of water. Ice conditions are not monitored on most Commonwealth Waters including Mauch Chunk Lake and Beltzville Lake. Before venturing out onto the ice, it is important to take safety precautions to reduce the risk of falling through the ice. Anglers fishing the Pohopoco Creek downstream of the outlet of Beltzville Lake reported catching a few trout, but the overall catch rate was slow. Fishing activity on most of the other waters in the district has been very light to no activity occurring in recent weeks.
This past weekend there were plenty of ice fishermen out. Anglers had plenty of success using tip ups and live bait. There were reports of anglers catching large numbers of bass and pickerel through the ice. It was a great weekend for ice fishing. Anglers targeting panfish had success as well. Forecasted rain and warmer weather this week may begin to deteriorate some ice. Anglers all reminded to check ice conditions before venturing out.
Unseasonably warm weather has kept the ice thickness in the district at considerably less than normal. Some lakes and ponds still have open water. Hard-water anglers should proceed with caution and wear a personal floatation device while venturing on the ice.
The Bluegill fishing at White Oak Pond has declined. However, the anglers are catching pickerel and bass in droves. The perch, crappie, bass and especially pickerel are hitting like crazy. If you get out make sure to try a medium shiner on a tip-up.
Southern Luzerne & Southern Columbia County
With shelf ice along much of the shoreline fishing pressure has been light on the Susquehanna River this month. However, we finally have fishable ice on most of the impoundments in the district. Anglers were catching trout through the ice at Lily Lake and some anglers were doing well with panfish at Francis E. Walter Reservoir, as well as Penn Lake over the last week of January. Unfortunately, with warmer than usual temperatures, and rain in the forecast this week, it is unknown just how much ice will be left. Anglers are advised to use extreme caution, ICE CONDITIONS ARE NOT MONITORED BY THE FISH AND BOAT COMMISSION. It is the responsibility of each angler, to ensure his or her safety on the ice.
Fishing on the local trout streams has been non-existent; there are still plenty of holdover trout in the local creeks, as well as the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures only section of the Nescopeck Creek.
With stocking season right around the corner, anglers are encouraged to get out and experience a stocking if you have never participated. To those who are regulars at such an event, thank you in advance and I look forward to seeing all of the familiar faces once again. Schedules will be posted on the web site in the near future. Stocking schedules can be found at: http://fishandboat.com/stocking
Reminder: The PFBC does not monitor ice thickness. Ice thickness and conditions can vary greatly across the lake. Use caution as you head out onto the ice. A life jacket and a set of ice awls can be extremely important if you fall though the ice. Remember SAFETY FIRST: http://fishandboat.com/safety.htm