Posts Tagged Carp
Catfish and Carp fishing baits tend to be slightly different than the baits used to catch other fish. It is important to have a bait that smells, so the fish can locate it faster. I have seen multiple guys on TV use soap as a bait, but here is a guide telling you how to make your own soap baits. The video is great but this seems to me this would work really well in the 3 rivers.
Located in the Allegheny National Forest is one of the largest lakes in Pennsylvania. The Allegheny Reservoir spans through Warren and McKean Counties in Pennsylvania and Cattaraugus County in New York. This reservoir is part of the Army Corps of Engineers. At normal summer pool the lake is 24 miles long and covers over 12,000 acres.
The Kinzua Dam was initially built for flood control of the Allegheny River in the 1960’s. It is estimated that the dam has prevented over 1 billion dollars worth of damage. However, since the dam was constructed many other uses have been utilized. The hydroelectric power plant located below the dam may be the greatest of its uses. Check out the Big Bend Access Vistors Center to see more information about the power plant and how it works. There are many campgrounds, water sports, fishing opportunities, and other outdoor activities possible around the reservoir. Not to mention it has some of the most beautiful scenery in the state.
Now let’s talk fishing! The Allegheny Resevoir is a very deep body of water with steep sloping banks. The water is also very clear as long as the weather has been consistent with no rain. Remember this is a river system and the water level fluctuates daily. These conditions stated there is a little something for everyone on this body of water.
Let’s start by talking about toothy criters. This body of water is know for producing giant Musky and Northern Pike. Not to mention that you can catch large numbers of both species. Like always trolling is an option and a lot of guys use this method. Just remember that the water is clear. My experience is that you don’t have to work that hard to find the Northern Pike. If you want fast results I would head up into some of the no wake bays and go to the back of the bays. Almost every bay has a small stream coming into the bay and the northern pike will move up into those areas to feed. Try some firetiger jerkbaits, firetiger topwater lures, or jitterbugs. My experience is that brighter lures attract pike and triger more stikes. However, if the sun is high try black. It puts out a great silouette. Most of the bigger pike and musky will be on the main body of the lake near the cliff faces. The best approach to fishing these areas is using a vertical style. My favorite is to use large red/white daredevil spoons and cast them parallel to the shoreline right against it. You will find that the spoon will be sinking and just stop on the fall before the lure hits the bottom. When that happens hold on because you got exactly what you are looking for.
There is also a decent walleye population. Coventional walleye tackle will be necessary. Light line and flourocarbon is a must. Trolling is probably the most effective way to fish for walleye there. However, I have had great success throwing plugs such as Rapala Shad Raps, Hot n Tots, and jerkbaits in the morning. Remember the water is clear so you will want to you natural colored lures. Some other methods that work well include jigging minnows, trolling worm harnesses, and using blade baits on the cliff faces. My favorite end of the lake for walleye tends to be towards Red Bridge.
There are plenty of panfish in the lake as well. Perch and rock bass dominate the panfish population, but you will also find crappie and bluegill as well. Shallow rock shorelines tend to hold good numbers of rock bass. Try throwing nightcrawlers on a small jig head. You will find the perch almost everywhere that you catch a walleye. Check 10-25 feet of water for you best chance. Unfortunately, you may not find the size of perch desired for keeping. This body of water is like every other body of water that I have ever fished in that when you catch one crappie sit there and work the area because you may get a bunch of them in a short period of time.
Now let’s talk bass fishing. Smallmouth are the dominate species, but there are largemouth around the lake. There are a lot bass in the lake, but it can be difficult to locate them and it can be even more difficult to find good sized fish. To me the reason for this is because the lake is very clear and there are large numbers of preditor fish in the lake. My recommendations for catching bass are as follows. First, trust your electronics for locating flats or shoals as well as bait fish. Throughout the lake there is only so much bank that doesn’t drop straight down. Finding feeding flats will greatly improve your odds. Also, you will want to head to the back of the no wake bays. The reason for this is that most of them are feed by some sort of stream or runoff area. Because of this the bass as well as Northen Pike seem to really stack up back in these areas. One of my favorite things to throw is a firetiger size 9 original floating rapala. Other natural colors work as well, but it just seems that I get more strikes on firetiger. Some other things you will want to try are tubes, drop shot, grubs, poppers, and spooks. Crankbaits can be a good option as well.
The largemouth are a little more difficult to find. In fact I only have 1 area on the lake that I consistently have caught largemouth and usually I only get a couple of them to bite. Usually, I am able to get these fish on soft jerkbaits or spinnerbaits. Like I said, the numbers just don’t seem to be in this body of water so I would spend my time looking for walleye and smallmouth.
There is plenty of camping opportunities around the Allegheny Reservoir. Red Bridge Campground, Dew Drop Campground, and Kiasutha Campground are on the Pennsylvania side of the lake. There are several areas set up for primative camping where there is no running water and no bathhouses. Some of my best memories of family camping trips were when my parents took my sisters and I primetive camping. It was on of those times in life that there were no rules and you could just have fun.
Scattered throughout the lake is hiking trials and overlooks. You will find some of the best scenery in the state at these overlooks. All watersports are legal here. There is a beach by Wolf Run Marina. Wolf Run Marina is the only Marina on the water on the Pennsylvania side of the lake.
When thinking about a weekend get away with the family you should really consider taking a trip to the Allegheny Reservoir. Make it a mid May trip when everything is in bloom and you will the some of the best senerio you could ask for. Not to mention the best fishing.
Let’s start by talking about all of the species of fish that can be found in Presque Isle Bay. The most abundant species in the bay depends on the time of year in which you are there. The most consistent species you can find is largemouth bass. Fisherman can experience some of the best largemouth fishing in the state from the time the ice comes off the bay until the bay freezes over. From mid April until early July you can find a huge population of smallmouth bass that move into the bay to spawn. Panfish such as perch, crapie, bluegill, rock bass, white bass, and sunfish. During the cold water temperature time of the year you can find steelhead and trout that have migrated in from the main lake. There is a healthy population of northern pike. Some other species that can be found include: muskie, freshwater drum, carp, catfish, and alligator gar. Whatever your target species there are ample oppurtunies at Presque Isle State Park.
As many species as there are in the bay there are many more ways to catch fish depending on the species. In the spring and fall months fishing aggressive tends to be the best when fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, and topwater lures are my favorite lures. During the water summer months I tend to switch gears and pull out more of my heavy punching gear because of the abundance of weeds. Heavy weights and heavy line are a must to get fish out of the mat weeds. No matter what time of year that I there I expect to boat 50 bass a day. It doesn’t always happen, but it happens more often than not. Some of my favorite soft plastics include berkley chigger craws and tubes of various colors. Creature baits such as brush hogs are also very effective.
Early in the year steelhead move into the bay. You can effectively catch these fish on your typical lures for them. Spoons, blade baits, and jerkbaits are some of the common lures used. For muskie and northern pike you should start with white spinnerbaits and swimbaits. Everytime I fish this lake I catch a couple of these guys early in the morning while I am fishing aggressively for bass. Try fishing Misery Bay for these toothy guys. Try looking that the beginning of the penninsula for carp and panfish. However, panfish can be found throughout the bay. If you are looking to find an alligator gar you should look in the lagoons and horseshoe bay.
There are ample opportunities to fish from boats and from shore. There are e public boat launchs in Presque Isle State Park. There is the Vista Boat launch which is more for small water crafts and jet skies. Niagara Boat Launch and the Lagoons Boat Launch and handle small to medium sized boats. The largest boat launch is the West Pier Launch. It will handle whatever boat you choose to launch. There is a marina attached to the west pier launch with plenty of slips to accommodate. There is also a boat launch on the city side of the by on Chestnut Street.
Presque Isle State Park offers many more activities that just fishing. There is a paved bicycle trail that can be jogged, biked, or walked on that goes the entire way around the penninsula. At the beginning of the park there is a shop that you can rent bicycles. On Graveyard Point there is a boat rental where you can rent kayaks, canoes, or multiple types of boats. There are plenty of picnic shelters that can be rented or used on a first come first served basis. Scuba diving is permit is certain areas of the bay, but you must be a registered diver and check in with the park before doing so. Water skiing is also permitted as this is an unlimited horsepower body of water. Except for the no wake and lagoons (electric only) area.
My favorite time of year to be at Presque Isle State Park is May. At this time the trees are turning green and the flowers are blooming. Let’s not forget that the smallmouth bass are in the bay spawning or getting ready to spawn. The largemouth bass fishing is unbelievable as well.
One of the most versitile lakes that we have in Western Pennsylvania is Pymatuning Lake. It offers something for every angler at every age and skill level. Pymatuning Lake is a great family destination because there are multiple campgrounds, beaches, and great fishing. The lake is has over 17,000 acres of surface area and is one of the largest lake is the state. Even though part of the lake is located in Ohio. Pymatuning has an average depth of approximately 15 feet but don’t let that fool you. This lake shallows very quickly and has many boating hazards such as stumps, standing timber, and submerged islands. The maximum horse power was recently changed on Pymatuning Lake is 20.
First let’s talk about the marinas located on the Pennsylvania side of Pymatuning Lake. There are three marina’s located on the Pennsylvania side of the lake. The southern most marina is Jamestown Marina and it is located near the dam. There are plenty of slips, gas station, concession, and a public boat launch located here. The Espyville Marina is located by the causeway on the north side of the lake. Espyville Marina has the same amenities as Jamestown, but the public launch is on the south side of the causeway. The causeway spans from the Pennsylvania side of the lake to the Ohio side of the lake along route 285. The last marina is called Linesville Marina. It is the northern most marina in the lake and has the same amenities as the Jamestown and Epsyville Marina.
There are three campgrounds located in Pennsylvania that are on the lake. Jamestown Campground is located in the south end of the lake. It has a private beach, playground equipment, camp store, and boat launch for campers only. The two camground on the north side of the causeway are Tuttle and Linesville Campground. Both have the same amenities as the Jamestown Campground. All three campgrounds allow pets on certain sites and also have electric and water hook-ups on certain sites. Reservations can be made through the DCNR website. Typically, these campgrounds open on April 1st and stay open until late October.
There are a few other boat launches and sites to see and use. Manning boat launch is located between Tuttle Campground and Epsyville Marina on the Northeast side of the lake. Snodgrass boat launch is another commonly used boat launch which is located on the Southeast side of the lake. Both boat launch have ADA accessible restrooms. Another great attraction of Pymatuning Lake is the spillway on the north end of the lake. The carp really stack up at the spill way and you can feed them on one side and fish for them on the other. There is a little bite of something for everyone at the spillway, which makes it a great family destination. Another place you should see is the causeway. The causeway run East to West across the lake along PA route 285. The causeway offers a place to fish and site seeing.
Pymatuning Lake offers great fishing for a number of different species. Smallmouth and Largemouth bass are frequently caught and can be sizable. Largemouth bass are often caught in shallow weeds, stumps, laydowns, and rock piles. Some common lures for largemouth bass are spinnerbaits, tubes, jigs, crawbaits, buzzbaits, shiners, minnows, nightcrawlers, and crawfish. Smallmouth bass are often located in slightly deeper water, but don’t be surprized if you find them spawning in the spring alongside largemouth bass. These bass are often caught on jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, drop shot worms, crankbaits, and jigs. Try tipping a jig and grub with fathead minnow on the rocky drop-offs. Muskie are often taken by trolling or by casting. Larger lures are necessary for catching these monsters, but there are plenty of them in the lake. The southern end of the lake by jamestown seems to hold more muskie than the northern end of the lake. Try fishing behind Jamestown Island near the dam for the best muskie action. There is an abundent amount of pan fish for any skill level to catch. Crappie, Perch, and Bluegill can be caught on typical panfish lures and small bass lures. The stump field by linesville launch and clark island is a great place to try to get some panfish. At one time Pymatuning was know for its great walleye fishing. Although the size of the fish wasn’t as good as some locations it was good for catching high numbers of walleye. Today the walleye population is a bit lower, but the size has increased. Whatever species of fish you desire, Pymatuning Lake is a great location to find them.
There are some good sources of information about Pymatuning Lake. First, check the PA Fishing and Boat Commission website. Then take a look at the Pymatuning Lake Association website.
Fishing for Carp is easy and is very enjoyable. Carp are one of the most over looked game, but shouldn’t be. They are an extremely hard fighting fish as well as one of the easiest fish to fish for on a nice summer day. Carp can just as easily be fished for from shore as they can a boat. All you need is a rod and reel, some strong line, a slip rig, some bread or pre-made carp bait (sold at any tackle shop), and some time to kill. The video below show you a few different rigs that you can use to try your luck at carp fishing. Have fun and hold on.
Saturday my dad and I went to Lake Arthur in hopes of finding some walleye. In my experiences on Lake Arthur I have caught many walleye while using a crankbait for bass, so we decided to try our luck at getting some walleye working crankbaits on the points, road beds and rocky shorelines. Sorry to say that we didn’t catch any walleye on this trip. We were able to catch a few fish though. We ended up with 4 really nice crappie, a bass, a musky, and a carp. The fish we caught came on DT-10s Yes a carp on a crankbait. We had a scale but really didn’t have a way to measure the fish, but the musky was 13 ½ lbs and the carp was 16 ¾ lbs. All in all it was a good day of fishing.