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Opossum Lake (Central PA)


Aaron Faulls

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Aloha, gang:

 

This is a long shot, but if there’s any anglers that are familiar with Opossum Lake in Cumberland County on here that have solid knowledge of the lake (particularly anyone who fishes it by boat), I’d love to hear from you.  
 

After 30 years in Massachusetts, I moved back to the area a few years ago and if I’m not out in tour, I’m at Opossum Lake at least 3-4 times a week from March til it freezes over.  I’m aware it’s still a bit of an immature lake since its drain/filling but I do know as of a year or two ago the F&G now consider it a Trophy Bass/Muskie lake.  My question is this:  

 

Where the hell do those fish go in winter?  
 

For the life of me (other than one very big and very unintentionally-caught Muskie in Dec ‘20) I cannot locate them.  I’m fishing from shore and 9 months of the year my half-dozen spots will usually produce something.  
 

Opossum isn’t particularly deep but with that said, I’m beginning to wonder if the bass move into the middle (deepest) section of the lake which is way outta my casting distance from shore.  I’m getting the seasonal movement patterns of Opossum down pretty acutely after a few years after fishing it so thoroughly but winter bass activity is a code I’ve yet to crack there.  
 

any help would be greatly appreciated - even (or especially if) I find out I’m wasting my time until about March …

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I am in SE Pa, I am not embarrassed to admit that Bass Lakes here leave me perplexed as well and it is not for lack of trying!  My best results have come from very slow light football jigs with crawl trailers.  Mind you, when I say best results, I mean the anomaly 2 or 3 bites.  I have been lucky a couple of days and caught them feeding and they were fun but I am to the point where I believe the time is better spent in the rivers.

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On 1/15/2023 at 3:41 PM, Craig P said:

I am to the point where I believe the time is better spent in the rivers.

I don’t fish many lakes anymore. I do prefer the river and think overall it can be better fishing. Most of the lakes are just ditches with no real structure. Then they kill the weeds. 

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On 1/15/2023 at 3:41 PM, Craig P said:

I am in SE Pa, I am not embarrassed to admit that Bass Lakes here leave me perplexed as well and it is not for lack of trying!  

 

I am also from SE PA. The bass in this section of PA see a lot of pressure and that affects our fishing. When I fish down there and the fishing is tough I slow down and downsize. 

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26 minutes ago, Dogface said:

 

I am also from SE PA. The bass in this section of PA see a lot of pressure and that affects our fishing. When I fish down there and the fishing is tough I slow down and downsize. 

You know I tend to laugh on here a little bit when I read about people talking about fishing pressure. Sure a lake like marsh creek, leaser etc isn’t big at all. I’m sure if you would take it angler per acre on any given weekend it well exceeds a place like Champlain In terms of pressure.

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3 minutes ago, Darnold335 said:

You know I tend to laugh on here a little bit when I read about people talking about fishing pressure. Sure a lake like marsh creek, leaser etc isn’t big at all. I’m sure if you would take it angler per acre on any given weekend it well exceeds a place like Champlain In terms of pressure.


Marsh sees a good amount of “other” activity pressure but the fishing remains pretty good there in the warmer months.

 

Leaser fished well for me this year but I know it’s becoming more known so who knows what the future holds?  Harvesting was allowed this year and I seen quite a few boats loading up on crappie so it will be interesting to see what their numbers look like next year.

 

I will go back to my earlier post though when it comes to winter time Bass fishing. The lakes are tough!  Rivers are just easier.  I live in the Green Lane area and have those 3 bodies of water and 2 in Boyertown that I do some legging out in the winter, tough tough tough!

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2 minutes ago, Craig P said:

Marsh sees a good amount of “other” activity pressure but the fishing remains pretty good there in the warmer months.

I have never bass fished there. Only musky fished it. I have showed up 5am and there was not a place to park a boat trailer. There is tons of people there in general but, fishing can be crowded as well.

 

4 minutes ago, Craig P said:

Leaser fished well for me this year but I know it’s becoming more known so who knows what the future holds?

If you think leaser was good last year you should have fished it 4-5 years ago. It was off the hook. No one fished it and the fish ate anything. I tend to shy away from there now. 

 

7 minutes ago, Craig P said:

Rivers are just easier

I wouldn’t say easier just more predictable. The fish go certain places and are forced to eat more often because of living in current. I’ve had plenty of skunks on the susky in winter too. I do think once the water starts doing it’s warm up it becomes much easier earlier in the season than a lake.

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1 hour ago, Darnold335 said:

If you think leaser was good last year you should have fished it 4-5 years ago. It was off the hook. No one fished it and the fish ate anything. I tend to shy away from there now. 

 

 

Leaser has a history of problems. It is not the norm in PA. 

 

How many times have they drained Leaser and repaired or replaced the dam? I remember at least three times and each time they had to restock. Each time it took time to rebuild the fishery and each time fishermen had to wait for the restocking to produce catchable fish.   

 

 

1 hour ago, Darnold335 said:

You know I tend to laugh on here a little bit when I read about people talking about fishing pressure. Sure a lake like marsh creek, leaser etc isn’t big at all. I’m sure if you would take it angler per acre on any given weekend it well exceeds a place like Champlain In terms of pressure.

 

There is nothing in SE PA to compare to a place like Champlain. We have way more fishermen and much less water down here. 

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4 hours ago, Dogface said:

How many times have they drained Leaser and repaired or replaced the dam? I remember at least three times and each time they had to restock. Each time it took time to rebuild the fishery and each time fishermen had to wait for the restocking to produce catchable fish. 

Oh I know they tried band aiding the dam a few times before but this time they have done it correctly I believe it’s been full close to ten years now. I loved showing up being the only one there setting the world on fire.

 

4 hours ago, Dogface said:

There is nothing in SE PA to compare to a place like Champlain. We have way more fishermen and much less water down here

Exactly my point. Where we fish is some of the most pressured water in the nation I would argue. There is not a lot of it but, people here love to fish. I mean the state as a whole if you take away raystown a big body of water for us in pa is 1500 acres. Beltzville I think is right around a 1000 blue marsh is 1200 nockamixon is 1500 I think. Marburg is 1200ish. Marsh creek is 500 some then after that everything is around 100 or less with the 200 acre one thrown in. Then all of them are man made ditches with little to no structure or cover. Leaser is one of the better ones because of all the standing timber. 

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Thats why I love the rivers because these lakes are all just slop bowls. Drain em and freeze out the cover all the time, grind the rock and what structure is there into dust. First place I look on a lake in PA is riprap or road beds.

Raystown I have a love hate with it. Its a neat fishery but the pleasure boat traffic drives me away. This state is a moving water mecca. I love the streams and rivers way more than the lakes.

Ill agree, lakes are way harder to figure out, especially if theres nothing to target.

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On 1/20/2023 at 3:48 PM, jhoffman said:

Thats why I love the rivers because these lakes are all just slop bowls. Drain

Exactly why I have a jet now. Don’t get me wrong the river where i fish is super pressured too but, lots of fish are caught too.

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