5/2/17 Like much of central PA, Tioga County was hit by a fast moving, strong storm yesterday. Despite its brevity, the quick, heavy rain, muddied or at least murkied up a bunch of the local waters. Hammond was starting to clear, but now murky water will be dumping in from crooked creek on the west end. Lake levels remained stable though. Similar story at Cowanesque and Tioga. Tioga River was stained but not too terrible. Hopefully it will clear up quickly.
The good news is...the crappies are just starting to bite pretty well. The bite window has been short and limited to mostly the early morning and evening, but fish are being caught offshore during the day too. Cooler temps moving in, could hold the fish offshore a little longer. A good way to find these fish from shore is fan-casting from one point and slowly reeling a bladed jig, twister tail, or even a minnow. Cover water till you find the schools. Similar to last year, we found many fish holding just inside casting range suspended 3-4 feet down. Personally, I really like the Northland Thumper king to locate fish. With stained water, a chartreuse or firetiger is a good color to start with.
Trout fishing has been very good all week. Hamilton was restocked on Friday and the lake fished well all weekend. Kastmaster and Thomas spoons were a bit hit for many. Gold, Silver, Copper, and Rainbow trout patterns were the most popular in both. Also, butterworms, rosey reds, and wax worms were all working.
Pine Creek came up pretty considerably last night. It will take a few days to return to normal levels. According to the USGS gauge at Cedar Run, it appears Pine has crested and it is on its way back down. Assuming we don't get a ton of rain, it should be in better shape late this week. High, muddy water is not neccesarily unfishable. Upsize to large streamer patterns on the fly rod, or pick up larger spinners. 1/4 oz options in dark colors will yield fish. This is also a good time to fish with live nightcrawlers or redworms. Look for areas that break the current, like downed trees, boulders, and eddies, where the fish can hold without fighting the current. Again, smaller streams will be easier to fish. Areas like Asaph, Stony Fork, and similar sized streams will be at good levels and clarity sooner. Marsh Creek this morning was very muddy.
Bass fishing on all of the local lakes has been very good. Fish are starting to move in shallow for the spawn. A number of hefty 4-6 lb fish are being caught right now on a variety of techniques. Topwater, squarebills, jigs, creatures, and senkos have all been yielding fish in less than 10 fow.
We hope to have better crappie reports all week. We'll be camping at Ives Run for the next ten days and we will update more this week. We will be open normal hours and we have plenty of minnows coming in this week too.
Good luck fishing!