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Chautauqua Lake | Fish Pittsburgh

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For years I have looked for a lake that is full of big smallies besides lake erie.  After fishing most of the lakes in Western PA I have found the lake I have been looking for just across the border in New York.  Jon and I spent this weekend practicing for an upcoming tournament on Chautauqua Lake.

On Saturday we set out to fish the spots on the north end of the lake that I had found a couple weeks prior to see if the fish were still in those areas.  We weren’t sure if the bass were still going to be on beds or even in the shallows, but once we started fishing we found that there were still a few on beds, but in the morning the big smallies were crusing the shallows feeding.  We each caught multiple 3 – 4 1/2 pound smallies.  Keeping panfish off of your line in that lake truly is impossible as we caught a ton of rock bass and perch.  After we called it a day we headed to Chautauqua Heights Campground.  For all of you campers out there this might have been the nicest campground I have ever stayed at.  The wood campsites had enough room to park the bass boat and set a tent.  These were well groomed sites with a perfect amount of privacy.  The bathroom facilities were also some of the nicest that I have came across.  It was a steal for $28 per night with electric and water hook-ups.

Sunday we decided to head to the South end of the lake and search for new water.  We were able to catch more largemouth in the south, but they didn’t match the size of the smallies from the day before.  Jon did manage a couple real nice smallies on sunday, but they came from one little spot.  Once again we found that the only thing we could get smallies to hit were small soft plastics.  The largemouth were caught on a wide range of lures.

If you have a family or are just looking to head to a lake to catch a bunch of fish and want a chance to catch a big healthy smallmouth bass I highly recommend heading to Chautauqua Lake in New York.  Camping at Chautauqua Heights is affordable and relaxing.  Let’s not forget about the beautiful water of the lake.  I know I can’t wait to get back up there.

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News Reporter
My name is Leo Cancilla, and I was born April 23, 1984. I live in Butler Pennsylvania with my fantastic wife Jessica. I have been fishing local fishing tournaments for about 12 years now. My fishing strengths are power fishing and flipping. My favorite lake in Pennsylvania is Pymatuning Lake.

This year I will be competeing the Bassmaster Weekend Series - New York West Division, Keystone Bass Buddies Circuit, Club Tournaments, and the Lake Arthur Wednesday Night Tournaments.

My sponsors for this year are:

Pure Fishing

Dig-In Shallow Water Anchors

Contact me at leo@fishpittsburgh.com

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