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A digest of last-minute reports from fishermen and other unreliable sources


SO=season opened (or opens); SC=season closed (or closes); SV=season varies by district or water
C=clear water; D=water dirty or roily; M=water muddy.
N=water at normal height; SH=slightly high; H=high; VH=very high; L=low; R=rising; F=falling. WT50=water temperature 50°.
FG=fishing good; FF=fishing fair; FP=fishing poor. OG=outlook good; OP=outlook poor.

BLACK BASS: MICHIGAN: FG at Bay Port on Saginaw Bay in Lake. Huron and OG rest of month.

MINNESOTA: St. Croix River north of Otisville gets hotter as waters get colder; OG through October.

MISSOURI: Lake of the Ozarks N, C, FG in Niangua region with plugs and bait, OG next 10 days.

NEW YORK: Ashokan Reservoir still producing fine catches as bass ride herd on schools of bait; bucktails, bugs and spinning lures are effective and outlook continues good; watershed permit needed. Adirondack ponds producing well with forenoon fishing best and bass partial to near-surface plugs. Cape Vincent-Clayton stretch of St. Lawrence reported slow as muggy weather makes bass moody but rising barometer should set off fast action; SC Oct. 15 on Canadian side, so check your bearings. SC Oct. 15 on Lake Chautauqua, Nov. 30 most other N. Y. waters.

NORTH CAROLINA: Fontana and Santeetlah lakes report FG, OG next two weeks.

TENNESSEE: Good catches of bigmouth bass coming from Cherokee Lake (one of TVA mainstream reservoirs) and FG on all TVA lakes as cool winds "turn water over"; early-morning bug-slingers doing fine along shoreline shallows. Norris and Loudoun are best bets in eastern state, Center Hill best in middle region.

KENTUCKY: Dale Hollow and Lake Cumberland providing fair bass action with OG through October.

CALIFORNIA: Fishing upset of the week is Big Bear Lake, now producing bronzebacks to five pounds after slowest summer in a decade; plugs and fuzzy flies doing brisk business. Havasu and Mohave lakes on lower Colorado picking up and OG for fine winter season; diving plugs and live bait most productive.

NEW MEXICO: After lowest level in history Elephant Butte Lake now has 62,000 acre feet and is rising; FF with best spots Kettle Butte, Long Point and Rock Canyon, OF and should improve. Chonchas Lake C, N, FG as cold nights stir bass's interest in spin-lures and live bait.

FLORIDA: Cane-polers report FG in all Lake Okeechobee waters and fly-rod fanciers should find good sport with deerhair flies and cork bugs.

PENNSYLVANIA: Fishing improving on all central Pennsylvania streams but still dismal; north branch of Susquehanna (Towanda, Wysox and Wyalusing sections) is best bet in north central area, Allegheny River best in western area with Warren and Forest counties reporting fast action as rains restore normal levels and frost puts zip in fish.

MUSKELLUNGE: PENNSYLVANIA: A 49-inch musky tagged last spring in seine survey of Lake LeBoeuf inhaled wrong sucker last week and got a boat ride. Conneaut Lake producing a few muskies to 20 pounds with side-dishes of bass, walleyes and northerns, mostly on minnows. Shenango River (Mercer County) and French Creek report FG for smallish 'lunge, and Allegheny River is yielding fish to 18 pounds, with big minnows most favored bait.

MICHIGAN: Lake St. Clair got hot last week and should keep on sizzling through next fortnight; top fish weighed 33 pounds; best lure is spoon-and-bucktail, slow-trolled near weeds.

WISCONSIN: FG in Hayward area with four 40-pounders reported from Round Lake and suckersoakers in their glory. Some action in Chippewa Flowage but no trophies boated. Despite clear brisk weather few fishermen are in the Rhinelander area; OG through October. Eagle River area is below par but may erupt any day now.

NEW YORK: SC Oct. 15 on Lake Chautauqua. Our St. Lawrence spy says last week's balmy weather put fish off feed; river fishing should be fair rest of month.

TROUT: MISSOURI: Niangua River (Bennett Springs area) N, C, FF and improving, OG as trout are taking flies enthusiastically, averaging 12 ounces.

IDAHO: FG in Salmon River and tributaries with brown bivisibles on #12 hook raising good fish. Payette River and tributaries producing well as warm weather stimulates fly hatches. Snake still providing fine sport. OG if good weather holds.

MONTANA: Fishing is excellent on Yellowstone, Madison, Big Hole, Blackfoot and Flathead rivers as mild weather returned last week; most streams are at lowest level and most fishable with fly but local talent is starting to get itchy about hunting.

CALIFORNIA: High-country brookies and rainbows are providing easy limits to console deer-less Sierra hunters. OG until SC Oct. 31 (or until early snow); top spots are Pit, Feather and Yuba rivers in north; Twin, Silver, Emigrant and Winnemucca lakes of American River watershed. June Lake chain producing well on bait. Lower reaches of Kings, Merced and Kaweah are 'way off; top billing on east slope shared by upper Owens River and Mammoth Creek above Lake Mary. Lakes above 7,000 feet are freezing fast.

ONTARIO: Open to Nov. 30, mouths of Wilmot and Barker's Creek in the Oshawa area are producing fine fishing for big rainbows, with OG through next two weeks. (These streams open only at mouths, as season on speckled trout is closed since Sept. 15.)

NEW MEXICO: Most mountain streams producing well as weather cools. In Jemez Mountain area, Rio Cabolla, Rio Vacas, San Antonio and East Fork creeks C, N, FF with flies and bait, OF. Jemez River C, FG, OG with best water from entrance of Santa Fe National Forest to La Cueva. Chama River C, N, FG, OG. Gila River (Silver City area) producing fair baskets on bait. Upper Rio Grande reports big browns taking woollies and bright patterns well, and OG.

COLORADO: 10-pound German brown in Gunnison River ate wrong worm last week. Cottonwood Creek and all forks L, C, FG with flies, OG. Arkansas River (Salida area) L, C, FG especially at midday, OG. Gunnison River (Gunnison area) L, C, FG with salmon eggs and worms, dry flies effective in midday. Williams Fork Reservoir receding, FF with flies and lures from bank (no boats allowed), OF.

WALLEYED PIKE: MINNESOTA: Good walleye fishing should continue through next fortnight at Lake Minnewaska at Glenwood (west central section of state), Green Lake at Spicer (central section) and Upper Red Lake (far north) on eastern shore outside the Indian reservation.

PENNSYLVANIA: On-again, off-again weather had Delaware River walleyes off their feed last week but bigger fish should be on the make when Indian summer blows over. In eastern state, Shenango River, French Creek and Allegheny River are showing many fish in four-pound class along with delightful fall coloring; local talent leans to minnows but June bug spinners in slow pools should produce pike.

TARPON: FLORIDA: Small tarpon are bunched in big schools around Ten Thousand Islands and should give grand sport to fly-rod or light-spinning fishermen.

STEELHEAD TROUT: OREGON: FP in Gal-ice area of Rogue River but new run is expected any day as river is L, C, and rain could bring fish in.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Fish of 36 and 31 pounds reported from Little Rocky River near Hazelton; largest is new but unofficial world record for rod-caught searun rainbows. Coquille and Stamp rivers fishing poorly and OP as summer and fall runs pass upstream. Early winter fish are due in South Thompson any time now but until they show prospects are poor.

CALIFORNIA: Sacramento River is heating up with fast action to 10 miles above Red Bluff. Lower Eel producing between Pillsbury and Van Narsdale Reservoir for competent fly casters, but most fish are going to the bait brigade and spin-fishers. Lower Klamath is still sizzling from mouth to Blue Creek and upstream near Yreka (loud howls of sportsmen cleared up most logging abuses in this section). Trinity River VL, C, FP but new rains should start it producing; Mad, Van Duzen rivers are picking up, OG.

STRIPED BASS: NEW YORK: Montauk boats are picking up stripers to 30 pounds on south shore but fish are still too far out for surfcasters, OG and improving through Nov. 15.

CALIFORNIA: Best October fishing in several years reported at San Pablo and Suisun bays and Carquinez Straits with bass small but abundant. Sacramento River picking up and Delta fishing prospects good for next 10 days.

MASSACHUSETTS: 55-pound nine-ounce striped bass caught by Wallace Pinkham of Vineyard Haven from beach at West Tisbury (Martha's Vineyard) last week. Waters around Vineyard and Nantucket are still fairly warm and mild weather may keep bait and bass hanging around into November.

PACIFIC SALMON: BRITISH COLUMBIA: Cowichan Bay swarming with silvers and next two weeks should produce great fishing despite last week's heavy rain that drew some fish into the river. Heavy run of northern fish reported in Johnston Strait.

OREGON: Salmon fishing will remain crummy until rains raise coastal streams and bring runs into bays; OP until late in month.