With the trout bite on and the weather starting to cooperate (other than snow on Tax Day), the action should become more consistent and predictable for anglers on area waterways.
The cold ocean water has kept the shore action from delivering keepers.
Meanwhile, the Delaware River shad run is starting up. Keith Wolf reports that shad are being caught from Yardley to Easton. Water temperatures are still low. No reports of shad above Easton so far. The Delaware River is on the high side, stained and full of debris. The Shad Hotline numbers are 610-954-0577 and 610-954-0578.
And it's also time to mark your calendars for the Lehigh County Fish & Game Protective Association's annual Little Lehigh Fishing Derby.
This year's contest will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18, with the junior contest 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 17 and the adult contest 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 18.
Fishing will take place between the Iron Bridge and Robin Hood Bridge in Allentown's picturesque Little Lehigh Parkway. Memberships, food, refreshments, bait and tackle will be available in the contest's Main Tent.
2014 Pennsylvania Fishing Regulations: http://fishinpa.com/
2014 Pennsylvania Trout Stocking Schedule:
Wallenpaupack Sports Shop, Route 6, Hawley (570-226-4797): Mark says trout are being caught on Blue Fox spinners. Some bass are being caught from the shore. Perch are active and ready to spawn. Shohola Creek trout are going after PowerBait.
Pecks Pond Boat Rentals, Tackle & Bait, Dingmans Ferry, (570-775-7237) firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.peckspond.com: Charlie says good weather proved to be a plus for statewide opening day of the 2014 trout season last Saturday. Most of the reported river and stream success was due to the Berkley PowerBait 3-inch white floating worm. Anglers at ponds and lakes had success with red rosies and fathead minnows. Hilly Hass of Lehighton caught a 22-inch bass off the shore behind the shop on a live shiner. Several boats from Pecks and Shohola reported strong catches of pickerel on shiners, Swiss swings and twitching floating Rapalas.
Willie's Bait & Tackle, 5105 Main St., Cementon (610-261-2767): Willie says the creeks are pretty good because they've come down in depth. Kevin Kozemko of Catasauqua caught a 29-inch, 13-pound, 6-ounce striper in Lake Nockamixon using a thunderstick. People are catching fish, and until the rain last week, the Lehigh River was good, but it's swollen and fast right now. The Hokendauqua was productive, but the Jordan had lots of angler pressure.
Bob's WildlifeTaxidermy, 4642 Kernsville Road, Orefield (610-398-7609): Bob says fishing activity has been just like the weather, doing a yo-yo routine. Hard-core anglers have been catching steady, and still reporting plenty of fish out there with very little angler competition. The key difference is the willingness to change up baits, tackle and the way they are fishing. The fish are still there but the water conditions have changed. Aside from nice trout worthy of mounting, some anglers are going after panfish in the area. Franklin Hoffman of the Lehigh County Federation of Sportsman's Clubs brought in an 18-inch hog of a crappie.
Archery @ the Glenn, 7 Auburn St., Allentown, (610-791-7665): Brian says customers caught some nice fish last weekend. Planned stocking of the Little Lehigh in time for Easter should keep things hopping this Saturday. The shop is open 8 a.m. – noon on Easter. Folks are doing well with red worms, baby nights, butters, waxies and super mealies. Barry from the shop started the season off big at Wallenpaupack with a 6-pound, 14-ounce largemouth on Monday. He says it's the first time they caught all largemouth and no smallmouth. Also, Zee Nemeth used his years of fishing knowledge to hook and land a 13-pound, 9-ounce brown trout at the Blue Mountain Derby on Saturday.
Heritage Fly Shop, 2643 Fish Hatchery Road, Allentown (610-248-8836): Dave says the Little Lehigh experienced some minor flooding this week, but the conditions should return to normal by the weekend. Crane flies are becoming more abundant and are a good pattern to use on top. Sulphurs are only a month away so start tying comparaduns.
Indian Creek Farm, 3479 Mango Drive, Danielsville (610-760-0739): Barry and Corina say there are a lot of nice trout being brought into the shop in the 15-20-inch range from various streams in Carbon and Northampton counties. Eric Strauss reports lots of nice trout while fly fishing in the Little Lehigh. Top baits seem to be fathead minnows, butter worms, Berkley PowerBait and PowerWorms. Don't forget the next lunker derby will be April 26-27. The turkeys are gobbling and strutting along both sides of the Blue Mountain with their season right around the corner.
Mike's Bait & Sports Shop, 328 East Lawn Rd., Nazareth, (610-759-2905): Mike says the fishing is getting better with the warmer weather despite some still high water. The rain really has the Delaware River blown out. Fly fishermen are finding success with pheasant tales and hare's ears. The Monocacy has been hot. One customer brought in a 23-inch rainbow trout from Jacobsburg. Local pond action is good if you're using meal worms.
Klotz's Bait Shop, 216 Hess Ave., Hellertown (610-838-7970): Caroline says she's feeling better since her hospital visit. Hours are temporarily 7:30-11:30 a.m. and then 4-8 p.m. Blue olives and caddis are starting up.
Cabela's, 100 Cabela Drive Hamburg, (610-929-7000): Jon Reilly, the fishing and fly fishing department manager at Cabela's, says that trout fishing continues to be good with most anglers finding success. One of his regular customers reeled in a 22-inch, 4-pound rainbow trout at Leaser Lake last week. The fish took chartreuse colored Berkley PowerBait fished off of the bottom. Don't be afraid to hit the assortment of stocked lakes and ponds in the area if your favorite stream is running too high or muddy. Big smallmouth bass action on the Susquehanna has been good with tubes and suspending or sinking jerk baits being two of the popular lure choices. Look for this bite to continue after the river levels recede early next week. Don't forget that striper action will be picking up very soon along the New Jersey Coast and the bluefish won't be far behind them.