Ice Fishing Lake Carey

Ice Fishing Lake Carey


Tip ups are set, Ice Fishing Lake CareyI grew up ice fishing Lake Carey, PA. I chopped my first hole through the ice when I was just a kid, no older than 9 or 10. I have been ice fishing Lake Carey ever since. I have had great days ice fishing Lake Carey and I have had days that would bring a grown man to his knees. The great days are what keeps me coming back to this Endless Mountains Lake.

Lake Carey is located in in Wyoming County Pennsylvania. It is roughly 210 acres is size and is bisected by a causeway. The two halves created by the causeway are known as the big lake and the flow pond. The big lake is the deeper, maxing out at 30 feet, and the larger half. It receives most of the fishing pressure. The Flow pond is markedly shallower and has silted in over the last 50 years. It may have a few pockets of water over 6 feet deep but their days are numbered.

One of the attractions to ice fishing Lake Carey is the wide variety of species to catch. There are large and smallmouth Anglers target walleyes ice fishing Lake Careybass in good numbers. Perch, crappie, gills and rock bass are also present as are pickerel and bullhead. But, in my opinion it is the walleye that are the main attraction. Fish Lake Carey and you have a better than average chance of catching a walleye or two. My personal best walleye was a 24 inch specimen but there has been a number of 10 pounders taken from lake. As I mentioned most angler concentrate their attention of the big lake but that wasn’t always so. When I was a kid there would be groups of ice fishermen scattered around on the flow pond too. It might be time to see what surprises await here.

Some nice panfish dwell in the depths of Lake CareyAccess to Lake Carey isn’t what it used to be. As a kid I recall seeing lines of cars pulled off to the side of the road and trails leading through the snow d0wn to the ice.  Nowadays, the best bet for no hassle parking and ease of access is to park at the marina parking lot, Franks Marina.  There is a reasonable parking fee here but it is a blessing on this 100% privately owned lake. Frank’s Marina is located on the causeway between the lakes.  Maybe one day the state will place a launch site at Lake Carey, until then Frank’s is your best bet.

Lake Carey is not what I think of as an early ice lake. There are multiple inlets and the deeper water of the big lake means that it is usually a couple weeks behind the shallower local lakes. I look forward to ice fishing Lake Carey every winter it won’t be long now before I will get the chance to drill a fresh hole in the ice that hooked me on ice fishing.


Lake Carey Ice Fishing Reports  –  (become a member to view)

Commonwealth Inland Waters Regs


Frances Slocum Lake Ice Muskys

Frances Slocum Lake Ice Muskys

This mighty musky was caought through the ice at Frances State Park Lake in the late 80sFrances Slocum State Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The park is located in North East Pennsylvania (NEPA) less that one half hour from interstate rt. 81. It is a typical PA state park, offering visitors hiking, biking, swimming, and picnicking, but it is Frances Slocum Lake Ice Muskys that set the park above and beyond the average Pennsylvania State Park.

Frances Slocum Lake holds some bruiser muskellunge. Fish in the fifty inch class are caught here every few years. Muskellunge fingerling are stocked frequently to maintain a decent population of these top level predators. The lake is a 165 acre, horseshoe shaped, man made impoundment. It has a maximum depth, near the dam, of 30 – 35 feet. The western, inlet side of the horseshoe is shallow and weed filled in its furthest reaches. The lake gradually deepens as it approaches a narrow neck connecting the two halves. Rounding the corner brings you into deeper water immediately. The creek channel drops in gully like fashion and heads towards the dam. The other wing of the horseshoe the eastern side is deeper. It maintains a 20 foot depth in the center and is shaped like a long bowl. As you can see there is a variety of habitat packed into this relatively small lake.

The large size of the Muskys that inhabit Frances Slocum Lake can be attributed to the ample amounts of forage available and toFrances Slocum Lake Ice Muskys are not an uncommon catch the thousands of trout stocked annually. There can be no doubt that the muskies fill up on these tasty trout snacks while they are still dazed and confused from their hatchery truck ride. This spring near the start of the 2014 trout season a lucky angler hooked landed and released a fish of a lifetime (see video some heat of the moment language) . It was a huge, monster musky. His technique consisted of fishing for trout with a meal worm on a tiny trout hook. The fish was gravid and was dropping eggs as it was being photographed. After some photos the beast was released live and as far as anyone knows is waiting to be taken this winter through the ice.

This truly huge musky was released alive and is still swimming in Frances Slocum LakeMuskellunge, sometimes called toothy critters are not particularly hard to ice fish for but being in the right place at the right time is a large part of the battle. These fish will roam looking for opportunities to grab an easy meal. If your bait happens to be in the path of one your chances of getting bit are greater. The choke point between the two halves of Frances Slocum Lake is an obvious place to intercept a hungry musky. My first ever ice musky was taken right along the shoreline in about 8 feet of water. Musky and pike will patrol the shoreline looking for any sick or injured fish to eat. They may also consume dead fish that are found close to shore. I will always place at least one tip up close to the shoreline when I am laying out my spread of tip ups.

Due to their regular diet of stockie trout, a live hatchery bought trout, could be the best possible bait to have on your hook when fishing for Frances Slocum Lake Ice Muskys. Using trout for bait is legal as long as you caught it or bought it. Remember to keep the receipt just in case you encounter a PFBC officer. In lew of trout large suckers, chubs, and shiners work well too. Their are several bait shops within a few miles of Frances Slocum State Park that sell live bait although finding baits over 4 inches is a challenge.

Fishing for Frances Slocum Lake ice muskys can be a fun filled day for your entire family There is sledding and skating for the kids and cross country skiing for the wife. Life is good out in winter’s crisp air. Give Frances Slocum Lake ice muskys a try you have an excellent chance of catching a fish of a lifetime.

Frances Slocum State Park Info Forum


Ice Fishing Western Pennsylvania

             Like a rose in a vase, ice fishing Western Pennsylvania is a wonderful thing to enjoy, but not something to be taken for granted. One must take time to smell the roses before the flowers wilt. To fish the ice in Western PA an ice fisherman must make time, and hit the ice before it melts. One day there could be six inches of good, clear ice, and the next it could be slush. One thing that ice fishing Western Pennsylvania has taught me is to enjoy the ice while it lasts.
            The lakes and waterways of Western Pennsylvania offer fantastic ice fishing, providing wide array of opportunities and challenges. No two lakes are the same. In fact, no two are even very similar. One might have ice while the others are open water. One might be producing jumbo perch while the others are producing slab crappies. Whatever, your ice fishing pleasure it can most likely be found at one Western PA’s waterways.
            First and foremost is Pymatuning Reservoir. Pymatuning is Pennsylvania’s largest inland lake and is shared by both Pennsylvania and Ohio. Both states stock generous amounts of walleye every year, making it the premier walleye lake in PA. It is also known for its great numbers of slab crappie and jumbo perch. If you are into toothy critters, Pymatuning possesses respectable numbers of trophy muskellunge. Ranging in depths up to 32 feet of water, the bottom of this lake offers stump fields, boulders, submerged islands, giant weed beds and a creek channel. If you want to ice fish here, be prepared for anything!
            Another popular western Pennsylvania ice fishing destination is Lake Wilhelm in MercerCounty. My earliest ice fishing experience was at LakeWilhelm. It was cold. My God was it cold! We fished at night for crappie and it was so cold that when we threw a fish out of the shanty, it would hit the ice, flop one time, then be frozen solid by the time it hit the ice again. At 1,860 acres, it is not a small body of water. It is a warm water fishery that reaches a maximum depth of 24 feet near the dam. The average depth is around eight feet, but that is plenty of room to hold large schools of crappie and perch. The smallmouth and largemouth bass populations are strong, as are the muskellunge and northern pike. Though known for crappie and perch in the past, Wilhelm is beginning to show the negative effects of having had gizzard shad illegally introduced. Numbers are still healthy for crappie and bluegill, but the average size is much smaller than in past years. However, if you put your time in you can still find plenty of 12”-14” crappie and some nice perch.
            The first thing you think when you step out onto the ice at Presque Isle Bay is, “Wow! That’s a lot of ice! Where do I start?” The bottom does not vary much and the depth is fairly consistent, so where are the fish holding? Well, one thing I have learned about PresqueIsleBay is that if you drill a hole, regardless of where, there will be fish under it. They may not be the kind of fish you are after, but there will be fish. Take a variety of baits and gear with you because you are just as likely to find yourself drilling over a school of 14 inch perch as you are drilling over a school of steelhead.
            Presque Isle Bay holds enormous schools of fish. Due to its sheer size, locating fish can be difficult, but once you find them you should be able to stay busy. The average depth is 20 feet and the water is commonly clear enough to sight fish. Brown trout, steelhead, yellow perch, crappie, bluegills, and pumpkinseed are the most common targets here, but you never know what you are going to catch. If you fish here, be sure to read the regulations specific to Lake Erie and bring your safety equipment. This ice is not monitored.
            The vast majority of my ice fishing adventures have taken place on Kahle Lake, which falls within Clarion and VenangoCounties. At a paltry 251 acres, one would think that KahleLake would be easy to master. It is not. Its numerous humps, troughs, trenches, weed beds, and mud flats offer such a wide variety of structure and cover that an ice angler can drill all day long without hitting the jackpot. However, do not be surprised if you pull out some jumbo perch or slab crappie. Bluegills over ten inches are taken here every year.
            Western Pennsylvania has much to offer the dedicated ice fisherman. Beautiful vistas of icy opportunity are ample here and are great assets to our area. The fishing pressure is seldom intense and the fishermen are friendly. I welcome anyone to enjoy our bountiful resources, but if you decide to give it a try don’t wait too long. Get out on the ice whenever possible. It doesn’t last long. Make time to drill a few holes and take advantage of the ephemeral beauty of our ice season. Take time to smell the roses.

North East Pennsylvania’s Polar Express, Ice Fishing Pennsylvania

Ice Stripers, although not a common catch stripers are pulled from Lake Wallenpaupack every winter.NEPA is blessed with myriad lakes which support a wide variety of popular sport and table fish species. Add to that a climate which trends colder than most of the state and you have the makings of and ice fishing paradise. Although not by design, some highways in NEPA are situated such that residents can hop on an expressway and be ice fishing Pennsylvania at any number of fine destinations in an hour or less. Route 84 in particular passes by a string of significant ice fishing lakes which are just a few minutes off the main drag. Climb on board as we explore North East Pennsylvania’s Polar Express,
an Ice Fisherman’s Paradise

Located just south of Scranton, PA off route 380 is the western terminus of interstate route 84. Traveling rte. 84 in an easterly direction will bring us to exit 20, rte. 507 and Lake Wallenpaupack.. Route 507 follows the lake at a distance from the upper end, where Wallenpaupack Creek enters the lake. It continues along the eastern shore connecting with rte.6 at Wilsonville and onto the PPL dam. PPL has provided strategically placed boat launches and access points all around the lake. Ledgedale, Ironwood Point, Wilsonville, and Caffery recreation areas have parking and reasonable access for ice fishermen. Shuman Point natural area can be used as parking for ice fishing but it involves hiking a trail for about one half mile to get to the ice.In addition to the PPL access areas the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat commission maintains the Mangan Cove Boat Launch. This large facility is located on the northwestern shore off rte. 590

Fish species found at the “pack” include: smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, rock bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, calico, walleye, muskellunge, northern pike, pickerel, rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, channel catfish and yellow perch. Striped bass and hybrid striped bass have been stocked in the lake, and although not specifically targeted, a few are pulled through the ice every season.

The shoreline of this rocky lake follows the contours of the hills and valleys that were inundated when the impoundment was created. There are many coves projecting off the main lake channel. Try the backs of the coves if you like to chase flags for pickerel. You will catch an occasional northern pike or largemouth bass using large shiners in the coves too.

The inundated Wallenpaupack Creek bed runs the entire length of the lake. It is a focal point for baitfish movement and the predator species that prey on them. Stick to the creek bed and adjacent features if you are after walleyes, trout and stripers. Perch and other panfish can be found in deeper water where the coves meet the main lake and on the flats that occur near Wilsonville, Shumans Point and across from Ironwood Point.

Upper Promised Lake boasts some slammer pickerel.Following rte. 84 east to exit 26 brings us to rte. 390, at this point we are just a few minutes from Promised Land State ParkPLSP features ice fishing on two lakes, 422-acre Upper Promised Land Lake and the park’s other lake, 173 acre Lower Promised Land Lake. Both of these offer great opportunities for ice fishing enthusiasts. Primary fish species targeted by ice anglers include: largemouth bass, pickerel, calicos yellow perch, and bluegills. Lower PL Lake is designated as approved trout waters and stocked with brook, brown and rainbow trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

There are several parking areas provided around Upper Promised Land that ice Promised Land State Park's resident eagles are ever watchful for a free lunch.fishermen can use to access the lake. The aptly named Pickerel Point offers access to the central lake area and is a good area to try if pickerel and bass are your quarry. The Snow Shanty access is popular with panfishermen and there is a large parking area with access near the dam off rte. 390 that will put you on deeper waters. Lower PL Lake can be accessed via two parking boat launch facilities. One is located on the shallow and weed choked inlet end and the other is near the deeper end of the lake near the dam and outlet. Don’t be surprised to find that you have company observing your ice fishing activities. Bald eagles inhabit the park year round. They will quickly swoop down on any fish left on the ice unattended. Remember that feeding the eagles is a federal crime and you can be arrested for doing so.

Our last stop on the Polar Express is Shohola Dam, also known as Shohola Marsh Reservoir and Shohola Lake. Shohola is a 1,137-acre manmade lake located on Game Lands No. 180 in Pike County. The Pennsylvania Game Commission created the lake in 1967 to enhance waterfowl production in the area. In the process, they created an awesome ice fishing resource.  This is an exposed lake; up on top of the Pocono Plateau the wind can be brutal. Also be sure to check the ice thickness often, there is a significant current in the channel that will freeze later and thaw earlier than the surrounding ice. Access to Shohola Reservoir is provided via 3 boat launch parking areas. Two of them are located near the outlet of the lake and the other one is about midway up the lake on the northern shore. To reach it you must follow an oftentimes icy and unplowed game lands road. Shohola offers really good pickerel and bass fishing as well as better than average fishing for perch, bluegill and calico. This is a very shallow and weedy lake. The deepest parts, at around 10 feet of water, are the creek channel and the areas nearest the dam. Some panfishermen use the weeds to their advantage. They find small openings in the weeds and harvest the panfish using the area. Some anglers will even use heavy tungsten jigs to punch through the weed cover to reach the bluegills and pumpkinseeds living under the weed bed.

This 22 inch Shohola largemouth bass was taken on a tip up baited with a large chub.Tip ups are the ticket for the bass and pickerel at Shohola. Large chubs and shiners on quick strike rigs do the trick.  If you are after slammer pickerel a wire rig is recommended. Some guys will thread colored beads and spinner blades onto their leaders to add a bit of noise, and flash to the struggling bait. The weeds in Shohola offer the bass and pickerel lots of food and cover allowing them to grow to healthy proportions. Be ready for action and don’t be too surprised of you catch an icy trophy.

With a line up of lakes such as those strung along rte. 84 it is easy to see why I like to call NEPA’s Polar Express and ice fisherman’s paradise. Hop in your vehicle and see if one of the fish lurking in the depths will punch your ticket.

Pennsylvania Ice Fishing Reports

View NEPA Polar Expressway Route #1 in a larger map