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Anyone Fish Blue Marsh Lake, Pa?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 new2BC4bass

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Posted December 05 2011 - 10:13 PM

I've got a few questions if there is anyone.

#2 BigA**BASS

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Posted December 07 2011 - 10:43 PM

Yes I have whats up.

#3 new2BC4bass

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Posted December 08 2011 - 07:13 PM

Went last weekend with my daughter and her boyfriend. We put in at Sheidy Boat Ramp. I had been told to head North. No motor, so I didn't go far. Lake appears to have been drawn down 3-4 feet. Has it? Water was very low...6-30 inches (a guess) most places. Didn't see anything alive in the water. Not even a minnow. No grass or weeds. Bottom looked worse than a desert. Fine silt.

Only deep water was where we put in. Were a couple holes there. I don't see how any fish could live in those holes anyway. What would they live on? We didn't have one bite. They fished Senkos only, weedless and wacky rigged. I tried Fat Ika, spinnerbait and crankbait in the holes. Think I made 3 or 4 casts elsewhere. Total waste of time, gas, money.

Yet I was told it gets fished a lot during warmer weather. Where? I'm trying to find a place where I can be sure to catch something even if I have to downsize and go for panfish. Would love to find a place where panfish would be a guarantee for action. Want to get my grandsons interested in fishing, but after going a few times with me last year where I normally fish (Minsi Lake) they lost interest. Hard to keep kids interested when no fish are being caught. Didn't have a boat then so we fished from the same highly pressured spots everyone else was using.

Is Blue Marsh Lake worth investing more time and money getting to? Any suggestions as to where to put in for some possible action? It is a long drive. Too long if we aren't going to catch any fish.

Just did a search. Seems water level is 5 foot lower during the winter months. 37 species of fish have been caught there. Like to know where! One guy fished there regularly and said he did alright. Another referred to it as a dead sea. One usually caught a couple sunnies or bluegills with an occasional bass. Like to know where. Definitely not where we fished.

Appreciate any help you can offer. I've invested a lot of money in fishing gear since Feb. 2010 when I got back into fishing. I quit trying 2 years after I moved to this area in 1985 simply because fishing success was almost nonexistent from shore where I was fishing. I came from an area where NOT catching a few fish was a rare occurrence.

Maybe it is because I was unable to get out much this year, or maybe it is the winter blues, but I'm starting to think I should give up fishing locally and only fish when I visit Florida. At least we usually catch a few bass there.

EDIT: I noticed this was your 1st post while typing my reply, but was so busy wallowing in my own depression I forgot to welcome you. My apologies. Welcome to the forum. Check out the fishing articles if you haven't done so already. Many hours of fine winter reading there. :D

Lots of knowledgeable people here all too willing to help. Ask for help deciding which one of 3 rods to buy, and you will wind up with at least another 6 options. :lol: Same thing happens with reels. Instead of narrowing your options, you often wind up with more!

#4 BigA**BASS

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Posted December 09 2011 - 11:46 PM

First off its a tough place to fish when the conditions are good, theres fish in there just hard to find them. never been there in the fall or winter but i can say this been there twice once in the spring and once in the summer and was frustrated also, the fish i did get were all around cover and the biggest fish was 2lbs. the only excuse i can make for the place was both times i went it was a weekend and the lake had a lot of traffic but other then that i still think its a tough place to fish. if i were u i would take my children to a pond before a lake find a little pond and u will get them hooked on fishing, they will have a better time. hoped this helped and thank u for welcoming me to this forum just recently found it.

#5 plural_of_fant

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Posted February 07 2012 - 09:32 PM

Blue Marsh can be a frustrating lake. The first thing about Blue Marsh is it gets alot of traffic. Both fishing traffic and recreational drive in endless circle boaters. There are fish there and some decent ones. Not having a motor can present some problems. To be successful there you need to cover alot of water. I spent alot of time there and I consider myself to be pretty decent at fishing over there. There are both decent largemouth and smallmouth bass in blue marsh. The smallies can be very frustrating to find sometimes. My best areas are closer to the main lake. Either use the state hill boat ramp or the dry brooks boat ramp. I usually use the state hill boat ramp. If I do use the Sheidy boat ramp which i will in the warmer months once boat traffic picks up. I usually work downstream from that boat launch. At Blue marsh your best bet for bass is to target the sheer drop rocky bluff areas. A decent stretch of rock wall can be found south of the Shiedy boat ramp right before the old Church rd bridge. Look for lay downs and wood. Many days you can nail some decent largemouth banging crankbaits against the timber laydowns. Jigs and tubes are good on the rock walls for small mouth. Senkos are very good over for both largemouth and smallmouth. If you want some good action there are lots of trees down in the water and parking over top of these and a simple slip float and live minnows can find you some really good crappies. Even the crappies can be frustrating because there are lots of trees. Sometimes you have to try 10-15 spots before you find one holding fish. The best times for this lake are spring late april/may through early june. And then again in late September up until drawdown which usually happens somewhere in october or so. The fall can really be alot of fun over there. I had some great 20+ bass days over there this past fall. I even had quite a few small musky and caught several hybrid stripers the biggest was just under 14lbs. Sounds like its a bit of a drive for you so it might not be your thing. I can justify spending fishless days there as I live only a few minutes away.

#6 Delaware Valley Tackle

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Posted February 10 2012 - 04:29 PM

There are no guarantees in fishing. Even though it's seasonably mild, it's still winter and fish are in wintering spots. That's probably the deeper holes with cover near travel lanes to shallower water. Even when you find them the bite will probably be slower than novices or kids will tolerate well. Be patient until April and put them on some stocker put & take trout. Late April early May the sunnies will move shallow again and you catch them on every cast. Look for small ponds and creeks so the kids don't have the restriction of the boat. Give me a yell closer to spring and I'll see we can put them on some fish.
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#7 smalljaw67

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Posted February 10 2012 - 04:52 PM

I call blue marsh the "dead sea", a good day there for me at least is 4 or 5 fish, most of the time it is between 1 and 3 but all the bass I've caught there have been keeper size which is 15". There is a few problems with the lake that was told to my by a fish commision biologist. The first problem is the lack of vegetation , there aren't many places to hide for forage fiah and they spend time just roaming open water, another problem is there is only a small population of bass for the size of the lake, and there is little competition for food so the fish become less opprotunistic and feed based of time rather than opprotunity. A problem with the population not getting too big is the lack of vegetation but also the fact it is a flood control lake, a lot of times the water levels are low when bass begin to spawn and in the midst of the spawn the lake is brought up to full pool and a majority of the eggs laid end up in water too deep to get the sun and warmth need to hatch. The same flood control issue is also the reason there is no vegetation in the lake, if there was grass and weeds present the fishing there would change but that isn't going to happen so I only fish it once in a while, usually when my friend want to run the gas down in the boat. I was getting ready to fish the tuesday night tourneys they have during the summer so before I was going to fish I went just to hang around and watch the weigh in and that is all I needed to see to say forget it, 2 fish just a hair over 6 lbs won and that was between 2 guys, there was 22 or 23 boats and only 5 of them weighed fish in and a lot of these guys are good sticks, so when you see guys that do well in BFLs and ABA tourneys zero out at blue marsh, well you know it isn't too good. As it was mentioned, the biggest part is trying to locate fish, they are spread out and very rarely can you catch more than 1 fish out of a spot.

#8 plural_of_fant

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Posted February 18 2012 - 09:59 PM

Blue marsh does have its problems. The lack of vegetation is very true, I really don't think its fair to call it the dead sea though. It is interesting though your points on the spawn. I never thought of the flood control aspect of it. Because I've always wondered why I never seem to catch small dinks. It seems when you do catch a bass its always 15-20 inches. I seem to find most of the challenge over there being during the june/july/august high boat traffic times. It's almost impossible and or dangerous to try to fish in the main lake. But during spring early summer I have had some very good days over there. It also was amazing how quick the fishing became outstanding last year after those floods we had. Last fall was absolutely awesome. It was almost like that flood washed it out and revitalized it. I am very interested to see how this spring plays out. If this warmer weather holds out I plan to start hitting blue marsh in the next few weeks.

#9 smalljaw67

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Posted February 19 2012 - 01:27 PM

Blue marsh does have its problems. The lack of vegetation is very true, I really don't think its fair to call it the dead sea though. It is interesting though your points on the spawn. I never thought of the flood control aspect of it. Because I've always wondered why I never seem to catch small dinks. It seems when you do catch a bass its always 15-20 inches. I seem to find most of the challenge over there being during the june/july/august high boat traffic times. It's almost impossible and or dangerous to try to fish in the main lake. But during spring early summer I have had some very good days over there. It also was amazing how quick the fishing became outstanding last year after those floods we had. Last fall was absolutely awesome. It was almost like that flood washed it out and revitalized it. I am very interested to see how this spring plays out. If this warmer weather holds out I plan to start hitting blue marsh in the next few weeks.


Blue Marsh for me is over 20 miles away and I can tell you that in a solid week of fishing, 7 days in a row we had 3 days with zero, 2 days with one fish, one day with 2 fish and1 day with 5 fish. That was fishing with a friend that really knows the lake well and he says exactly the same thing you do. If you get the right day you would be surprised how well you can do the only problem is there is no 2 week window that the fishing is good, it is more like a 2 or 3 day window and where you find fish one day you may never find them there again. I think the smallest bass I ever caught there was 14", like you said, most are keeper size, very few dinks and thats why I asked questions and that is when the biologist told me about the flood control and why there is no weeds or a larger population of fish. I found the most consistant fishing and easiest place to fish blue marsh in the summer is back in the tully, forget the main lake although there are some points on the main lake that I caught fish off in the early spring, specifically one point at the entrance to spring creek. I fished a lot of lakes in PA and else where, the other lakes that are close to blue marsh in terms of being tough is Guifford Pinchot, Nokamixion, and Wallenpaupak, those lakes are terribly managed. As I said, I never encounter such terrible fishing outside of PA, and I often write to the fish commission and attend meetings to try to adopt other methods of fish managment or even recruit some out of state biologists and fishery managers that know how to fix the problems. All of our larger lakes have very low fish density and are far from healthy but our current fish commision does nothing, and from talking to other authorities on the problems I have been told the only way to begin to get thees lakes in better shape is by aggressive stocking of both bass and forage fish. I'm sorry if I offended you by calling blue marsh the dead sea, and you are right, other lakes are just as poor but it is all of the PA lakes, we have people inplace that do not know how to manage a fishery.

#10 plural_of_fant

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Posted February 19 2012 - 03:50 PM

No offense was taken at all. As I said in earlier posts I've had plenty of fishless days there myself. There are fish there.. maybe not as many as there could be if it was managed better. It's a shame because the lake itself does have a rather interesting lay out and a good variety of structure and cover. I do need to branch out and find some new water this year. Maybe I will venture over to the susquehanna more often this year.

#11 smalljaw67

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Posted February 19 2012 - 04:08 PM

No offense was taken at all. As I said in earlier posts I've had plenty of fishless days there myself. There are fish there.. maybe not as many as there could be if it was managed better. It's a shame because the lake itself does have a rather interesting lay out and a good variety of structure and cover. I do need to branch out and find some new water this year. Maybe I will venture over to the susquehanna more often this year.


I fish the river quite often, if fact I'm spoiled because of it...lol. New regs this year, from the opening of trout to the first day of bass there is no fishing on the main and lower stem of the Susquehanna and the lower Junitat where it flows into the Susquehanna, right where I fish the most. I used to catch 100 smallies a day in the late 80's thru the 90's but then something happened to the population. I don't get as many now but they are trophy sized, imagine getting on a good jerkbait and catching 14 fish and 10 of those over 3 lbs, 4 of them at 4lbs and 2 fish being in the 5lb realm. A local tourney 2 years ago a guy weighed in a 6lb 2oz smallies and didn't win lunker, he was beat by the next guy to weigh in, he had a 6lb 10oz smallie , they are getting big thas for sure.