Winter Spillway Jigging for Panfish (01/15/17, New Britain, PA)

What's up, fellow Blog readers?

Here is my fishing report for January 15th, 2017. The statistical fishing chart was updated as well.

Location: Pine Run Creek
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Fishes caught:

-- 9 Black Crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus)
-- 9 Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)
-- 5 White Crappie (Pomoxis annularis)
-- 4 White Perch (Morone americana)


Below are the highlights for this fishing session:

My 5th outing of 2017. Don't forget to watch it in HD quality (1080p60)! If you enjoy watching my videos, please support my YouTube Channel by subscribing to it. More likes and more subscribes = more time to make videos! :)

Summary & Photos:

After checking the weather in the morning (25F-40F), I figured that some of my most productive Winter spots still had a chance of being frozen! Therefore, just to be on the safe side, I decided to hit a spillway. To be more precise, I decided to hit the Pine Run Dam spillway, located in New Britain Borough.

I arrived at the Covered Bridge park around 12:30 p.m.. As soon as I crossed the entrance, I realized that the Pond there still had a thin sheet of ice on it. For my luck, the Pine Run Creek seemed to be just fine! Heh. And even better -- as I scouted the Creek, the spillway, and the Reservoir, I came to realize that the water levels there had risen! :) I promptly did the smart thing to do: I secured my spot at the spillway before anyone else could do so. As cold and windy as it was out there today, I was ready for some fishing, folks. Hah.

A view of the Pine Run Dam spillway. One of my productive Winter spots for Panfish

I setup my ultra-light rod with a 1/64 oz. tungsten jighead, under a weighted float. The plan for the day was to do some suspending jigging with pieces of nightcrawler and waxworms. I gave the first cast right towards the spillway. A little bit over ten seconds, I got my first bite! I set the hook: no fish. And the same happened for another dozen waxworms or so! 

It was about then that I realized that the fishes there were really really finicky and lethargic due to the temperature of the water. I was getting bites, alright? But they were far from aggressive! Most of the times, the float wouldn't even go down. According to the angling language, the fish "were nibbling at my bait.

To solve this problem, I decided to lay down the waxworms and go for the nightcrawler. I put small pieces of nightcrawler on the jighead -- small enough to just hit the end of the hook. I cast again; waited for the bite. Once it came, I set the hook. This time, there was a fish on the other side! It was a Bluegill indeed. :)

Fish #81. A Bluegill

I started casting towards the same spot, over and over again. I just knew that the fishes were stacked there! However, as I had mentioned previously, every time the bite was extremely subtle. I would say that out of five bites, I would hook one or two. Needless to say, even with the low hooking ratio, it was only a matter of time for them to start coming up. Haha. And a White Crappie came up on my hook indeed:

Fish 82. A White Crappie.

And soon after came its cousin, the Black Crappie:

Fish #84. A Black Crappie

Lots of people usually ask me about the differences between a Black Crappie and a White Crappie. Since both of their photos are above, let's use this opportunity to clarify it! A White Crappie has a distinguished pattern in its body -- vertical bars. Also, it tend to have a body that is slender and not deep. The Black Crappie, on the other hand, has no definite patterns on its body. Its markings are usually scrambled. The body is slender as well; however, as one can see, it is way deeper than a White Crappie's. Let me remind everybody here that the faintness of a Crappie's colors is not an indicator to determine its Species. :)

Anyways...the rest of the day was pretty much jigging and getting frozen to death out there. The action at the spillway stayed hot until 2:30 p.m. or so. Among the Bluegill and Crappie, a few White Perch showed up:

Fish #90. A White Perch

I finished my day with 107 fishes for the year of 2017, 27 caught at the spillway! Overall, a very productive day. :D

Best of luck to all of us,

Long Days and Pleasant Nights,

Tight lines!


Leo S. a.k.a. Extreme Philly Fishing


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