10/5 October is here, and fall fishing is about in full swing. The bite's been less than magical, but some nice fish are still being caught throughout the county. Low water seems to be slowing the bite on the bigger lakes, but the effects have been less so on the smaller ones. Trout fishing is back into full swing again, and some nice fish are being caught in Pine Creek. No huge numbers, but a n umber of trout survived the summer heat and anglers found a bunch of them this week.
Before I continue, I'd like to make special note of this nice brown trout. Caught after dark on a mouse fly on Pine Creek. How cool is that? Great catch Ryan!
Out on the lakes, anglers have had mixed success. On Cowanesque, some are finding decnet numbers of bass, while many struggled. Much of the good, inshore strucutre is on land and many had a hard time pin pointing their whereabouts. Anglers doing best have been targetting rock piles , drop offs, and weed beds with crankbaits. THe lower end of the lake is still pretty clear and natural baitfish patterns have been best. The west end sticks and stumps are VERY shallow and few fish are being caught. A few anglers did find fish working the weed beds with brush hogs, senkos, and beavers too. 4" senkos were prefered, rigged wacky on a dropshot or weighted jig head. There has been a spotty topwater bite in the afternoons too.
We spent most of the day musky fishing there yesterday and moved 5 fish, fishing the campground north shoreline. We found all five fish holding in the weeds around the campground and also around the Corp's boat launch by the dam. Other anglers reported catching a few musky or seeing them follow this week too. Cooler temps have them pretty active.
Hammond/Tioga are both fishing well for bass. Slower than what we would expect for htis time of the year, but anglers are catching bass on topwater and various crankbaits. Rapala DT 10s, Strike King 3XD's and Strike King series 5 baits were all popular. Look for baits that hit depths of 8-12 feet in natural baitfish patterns. The panfish bite has been very spotty with Tioga fishing better than Hammond. drifting with pieces of nightcrawler or jigging some of the brush piles has yielded perch. Some crappies are being caught on live minnows too. The fall panfish bite has not materialized yet on Hammond. Water clarity on Hammond decreased over the last few weeks and this, mixed with low water, is likely contributing to the slower panfish bite. The catfish bite slowed some too, though a few nice ones were reported over the weekend.
Hills Creek and Hamilton are both fishing well. the weeds and lily pads have died back on Hills, opening up the lake to easier fishing. Spinnerbaits, jerkbaits, and crankbaits are all working for bass. At Hills Creek, anglers are also catching a few nice crappies and a bunch of bluegills. Live minnows were best for crappies. A few nice ones were also caught on crankbaits and jerkbaits by bass fishermen.
Spillway action continues to be steady. Mostly small walleyes and smallmouth bass were reported at the Tioga spillway. A few muskies were spotted at Cowanesque spillway. At the spillway and downstream, a few were caught on black bucktails with a silver blade. Live bluegills also worked for bait (Sorry, suckers are still unavailable).