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Fishing report: Fish for Free opportunity here as fishing heats up

| Thursday, July 3, 2014, 8:03 p.m.

• July 4 marks the second of Pennsylvania's “fish for free” days statewide. From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on the holiday, anyone — state residents and non-residents alike — can legally fish in Pennsylvania without a fishing license. All other fishing regulations, such as minimum sizes and creel limits, apply.

• Lake Wilhelm has a reputation as a tough place to fish, but Steve Knebel of Cranberry landed a dandy bass there this past week. The angler, who preaches catch and release on the lake, landed a 7-pound, 1-ounce largemouth that stretched 23.75 inches. It hit a ½-ounce Dirty jig with a Zoom plastic trailer. Knebel got some quick pictures of it, then returned it to the lake.

• Fishing Loyalhanna Creek recently, J.R. Dempsey of Derry caught a 27.5-inch, 11-pound, 4-ounce tiger trout. The fish hit a white and pink Minnie Foo jig. Otherwise, anglers are doing relatively well on trout and smallmouth bass on the creek, with some anglers even fishing from canoes upstream of Kingston Dam.

• Anglers fishing streams in Allegheny National Forest reported good success on brown, brook and rainbow trout, with the browns especially active. Butterworms and red worms are the hot baits.

• The Allegheny River just upstream of the Point is running high with heavy debris, limiting the fishing there.

• The father and son team of Mike and Michael Lincoln of Bethel Park had quite the day on the Monongahela River. Fishing a pool in Allegheny County, they landed two muskies within minutes of each other, then got two saugers, two bass and one catfish. “When the first musky jumped out of the water and my son screamed, ‘Ah yeah babe,' I knew I made memories that will last a lifetime. Thank you God for the great outdoors,” Mike Lincoln said.

• On the Yough River, anglers are getting walleye and sauger, according to a Fish and Boat Commission report. They are also taking some trout just downstream of the outflow of Yough Dam, using nightcrawlers primarily.

• Channel catfish are hitting at Yough Dam, especially in the Jockey Hollow area.

• James Huweart Sr. and James Jr., both of Monessen, traveled to Cranberry Glade Lake and caught a variety of fish. They landed a northern pike on a shiner and two bass, one of them about 15 inches, on a weedless rubber worm and a KVD Sexy Frog.

• At High Point Lake, also in Somerset County, anglers are landing largemouth and smallmouth bass, northern pike, crappies and yellow perch with some regularity, according to a commission report. A few walleyes were reported by those fishing near trees in shallow water.

• Lake Arthur is giving up some very large channel cats, according to a commission report. Nightcrawlers are a top bait. Panfish have been hitting around brushpiles.

• At Thorn Run Reservoir, fishermen are taking carp, some of them very big, on doughballs. The catfish bite is spotty.

• Anglers are taking a few trout and fair numbers of largemouth bass and bluegills at Dunlap Creek Lake. The bass are taking nightcrawlers and crankbaits.

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