Whitehall-Coplay Press

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Contributed photoAvah Cosenza, 11, of Whitehall, used a small rubber worm to catch this hefty Beltzville Lake pickerel. Contributed photoAvah Cosenza, 11, of Whitehall, used a small rubber worm to catch this hefty Beltzville Lake pickerel.

Outdoors: Fishing action in area still looking good

Wednesday, June 22, 2016 by nick hromiak Special to the Press in Sports

While we’re still not in the dog days of summer doldrums - a time when heat and humidity bring most fishing action to a crawl if not a stop - you may want to hit the waters before that occurs.

And with recent rains that brought local streams up a bit, most of our local fishing reporters say fishing remains decent.

At the shore points, bluefish are biting and striper action on party boats has been relatively good. So good that Josh Taylor of Lehighton won the the Jamaica’s New Jersey charter boats daily pool last week with a 15-pound bluefish. That was topped this week when Alice Omichi pulled in a huge 57.03-pound striper also aboard the same charter piloted by Capt. Howard Bogan. She set the boat’s record for the largest striper ever caught on the Jamaica. The hot striper lure has been a Casting Jo, which, according to Capt. Bogan, is a shad body on a chartreuse bucktail head.

On the freshwater scene, Chris, from Chris’ Bait and Tackle in Mertztown, reports Ontelaunee Reservoir has been fishing good for largemouth bass and crappie. Crappie in particular are hitting jigs and Trout Magnets (a traditional trout lure) and on fatheads. Bass are falling for Storm Twitch Sticks (a jerkbait) Cabin Creek Booyah worms and Cabin Creek Senko (sinking) worms.

“Leaser Lake is on fire for muskies,” says Chris.

Anglers there are catching them on Twitch Sticks in black/silver and bluegill colors, Rogue in black/silver bellies and perch colors. Size-wise, they’re big, says Chris, and he has photos on the shop’s wall showing 16, 18 and 22 pounders. Live baiters are using large shiners and pike shiners. Of course everything except trout has to be put back at Leaser. As for trout, there are no reports as Chris feels the PF&BC keeps dumping stocked trout in and the muskies keep getting bigger. A gourmet delight for the toothy critters.

At Blue Marsh Lake in upper Berks County, Chris said he fished there earlier in the week and was doing fairly well on largemouths by throwing Cabin Creek black/blue sinking worms, standup Booyah worms and Cabin Creek black/blue lizards. The water there has been up for the last several weeks making fishing better than it was.

Chris said that if we get more rain they’ll be letting water out of Blue Marsh and the spillway fishing will get good for bass and walleye. Speaking of which, walleye action has been fairly good. In the lake itself, ole marble eyes have been hitting deep diving Rogues and countdown Rapala’s.

Willie’s Bait and Tackle in Cementon reports the trout and smallmouth bite in the Lehigh River has been respectable. Smallies are averaging 12-14 inches and falling for leeches, night crawlers and minnows. Willie fished the Hokendauqua Creek and did well. In two hours he caught eight rainbows and lots of chubs. He took the trout on butter worms and 1-inch Berkley yellow Honey Worms. Willie finds that smaller baits at this time of year work better as caterpillars are falling from the trees and trout have started surface feeding on them.

As for Leaser Lake, muskies, small bass and crappies but no trout.

“Those trout are feeder fish for those muskies,” Willie opines.

A customer told Willie that at the end of last summer he measured a 42-inch Muskie for an angler and of course it was put back.

At Beltzville Lake, Willie got reports of a fair night striper bite. Also from Beltzville, Avah Cosenza, 11, of Whitehall, used a small rubber worm to entice a hefty pickerel while fishing with her grandfather from his boat around the Preacher’s Launch area.

Mike at Mike’s Bait & Tackle in Nazareth says fishing is slow on Lake Minsi but the Bushkill Creek has been yielding some trout but you have to search for them. Lehigh River is fishing good around Bowmanstown for trout, evidently from the leftovers stocked during the recent Lunkerfest contest there. From the Delaware River, one customer has been taking a few flathead catfish on cut baits and small bluegills.

With hot summertime temperatures upcoming, now’s the time to hit the waters. And don’t overlook farm ponds as they often hold some sizable bass for their small sizes.