There's been little to report these past few weeks, but the fish are now starting to transition to their fall patterns. This transition period can be tough for a few weeks, but as the water continues to cool, the fall bite gets even better!
Spillway action has been very good. Lots of nice walleyes and smallmouth are being caught at the Tioga spillway and downriver to the first bridge. Catfish are also biting well on shiners, cut baits, and livers. Anglers at the Cowanesque spillway are cathing nice panfish, bullheads, smallmouth, and the occasional musky or walleye. Walleyes up to 28" have been caught, but most are smaller 15-22 inchers.
Bass fishing around the county has been spotty. The fall smallmouth bite is starting to turn on, but largemouth have been tougher to catch, particularly at Cowanesque. Hammond and Tioga have fished better. The seasonal shad die off is starting on these lakes, which has the fish feeding. Mornings and afternoons, anglers are finding a great topwater bite and whopper ploppers, poppers, and spook type lures are working well. Working the weed beds with jigs and soft plastics is also working. Smaller profile baits have been best like the Reaction Innovations smallie beaver or the Big Bite Baits Yo Mama. Black/Blue, Green Pumpkin, Blue Craw, Ockechobee Craw, and similar color schemes have been best. Don't be afraid to try a squarebill crankbait over the weeds and timber too.
Walleyes, cats, and hybrid stripers were biting well on Tioga Lake. Live large shiners have been best near the dam and connecting channel.
Trout fishing is picking up again! Lots of holdovers in Pine and some of the other stocked streams. Hatches have been light, but anglers are finding a few rising trout.
Little to report on the fall panfish bite yet. Soon, we should see this improve, assuming no drastic changes in water conditions.