Posts Tagged Crappie
Bill Dance is a legend in the fishing world. Most commonly know for his many years on TV he fishes for many species of salt and freshwater fish. In this video he shows us how to use the Slip Cork Rig for catching crappie.
One of the best fisheries in Pennsylvania is located in Erie County. Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie is home to some of the best fishing I have ever experienced. Everyone knows how good Lake Erie can be, but no one thinks about how fishing the Presque Isle Bay. There are many species of fish and certain times of year some species are more abundant than other times. The Erie area is thriving right now so there is plenty to do inside and outside the state park. It truly has something for everyone.
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.
For all of you crappie fisherman here is a tip of catching them off of standing timber. Although, we don’t have a lot of standing timber in our area there is some around. The video production is not very good, but the information is still good.
Southwestern New York is home to one of the best fisheries that I have ever been to. Chautauqua Lake has one of the best largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, perch, rock bass, and crappie populations that I have ever seen. Not to mention it is known for its large musky. This lake has something to offer every skill level, age group, and style of angler. Add to that the beautiful scenry and crystal clear water and you have the perfect get away.
Let’s start with some technical data. Chautauqua Lake is is approximately 17 miles long and 2 miles wide. The route 86 bridge seperates the upper and lower basin of the lake. In the upper basin you will generally find yourself in slightly deeper water and the lower basin. The maximum depth of the lake is 78 feet. There are 41 miles of shoreline and 13,000 acres of surface area. These numbers my sound quite large, but since there is an unlimited horsepower rating you can cover the lake in a hurry. The water clearity on the lake is very clear, but if an algea bloom happens you are not going to have any visability.
There are many types of structure to fish at Chautauqua Lake. The most abundant feature is the massive weedbeds. Weeds cover most of the shorelines throughout the lake and extends to the center of the lake in some places. Next, there is an impressive amount of boat docks that hold multiple species of fish all year round. Throughout the lake you will find small patches of lilly pads. These areas are usually quite shallow, but can hold decent amounts of bass and are often overlooked. Being the flipper that I am I found a shoreline in the creek that has a good number of laydowns. Although most of them are shallow, they can still be productive for largemouth bass. The most sought after spots on the lake are the rock piles that are scattered throughout. These will be very productive for all species. The second most common type of structure are the thousands of boat docks throughout the lake. Other structures include brushpiles and cribs.
There are multiple campgrounds and resort areas around the lake. There is campground called Chautauqua Heights that is on the Northeast side of the lake near Dewittville. They offer camp site for the entire year to just one night. The sites include tent sites, electric sites, and sites for RV’s. Chautuaqua Heights also offers multiple levels of cabin rental, from rustic to luxury. Some of the other features include well maintained bathhouse, basketball court, mini golf course, horseshoe pits, jungle gym, swimming pool, and game room. There is also a camp store. Another campground is called Camp Chautauqua. It is located on the Northwest side of the lake near Mayville. There facilities are very similar to Chautauqua Heights. Another area you can stay are the Irwin Bay cabins which are also near Mayville.
To my knowledged there are 5 public boat launchs on Chautauqua Lake. The most used boat launch is in Long Point State Park. There is a beautiful marina and boat launch that is well maintained with plenty of room for boaters to park there vehicles and boats. Another launch is located in the town of Mayville. This is a much smaller launch but typically is not as busy. It is perfect if you are staying in the Mayville area. In the middle of the lake on the West side is Pendergaust Point. This is a very nice boat launch that is maintained by the state. There is also a boat launch in Bemus Point and one where the creek enters the lake in the South. There are multiple marinas throughout the lake that have there own private boat launchs as well.
There are plenty of things to do near Chautauqua for the entire family. The famous city of Bemus Point is a festive town that always has something going on. From festivals to classic cars shows it leaves something for everyone. You can find some great restuarants around the entire lake as well. The Erie wine trail makes its way through Chautuaqua as well. Add those to all the activities on the water and in the campground, and you have a great vacation destination.
Some friends, my dad and I spent the weekend camping and fishing at Shenago Lake. The campground was not crowded at all. Which was due to the forecast of rough weather that was going to hit that area. With the recent rains the water had risen, but not an excessive amount. My estimate was that the water was nearly 1 foot high when we arrived, and rose another foot while we where there. The water clearity varied greatly. On the main lake there was 4 feet of clearity, but in the feeder creeks you were lucky to see 6″ in the muddy water.
Friday evening we started fishing around 8:00 pm and fished until 9:30. We wanted to see if the striper were active, and if we could get a topwater bite. The night was pretty successful with the 3 of us catching over 10 bass. Most of which were on top water. None of the fish were big, but topwater is fun no matter what the size of the fish is. Tony, one of my best friends, even managed to hook up with a nice walleye on a spinnerbait.
Saturday Dad and I headed out on the water and fished from 7-12 in the morning. It was probably the single best morning I have ever had at Shenago. We managed to boat 26 bass and a catfish. We caught fish on buzzbaits, spooks, multiple crankbaits, tubes, beavers, and brush hogs. Colors were wide ranged, but the ones that seemed to work best were transparent/natural colors. The depth of water we caught fish varied greatly. We caught them flipping the shallows, topwater shallow, and deep and shallow cranking. It seemed like the fish were all over the board, but when you found 1 you found multiple fish. We headed in for lunch and ended up sitting out a pretty severe storm until 3. At that point we wanted to get on the water. The three of us started fishing again. I tied a crankbait on and never put it down for the next 2 hours. I caught 2 pike, catfish, multiple bass, and a couple crappie. Then the next severe storm came through so we called it a day.
We woke up Sunday to bad weather and high winds. That being said we thought it best not to head out on the water. For the amount of time we were able to fish we were pretty successful, which makes me anxious to get back out there.
Here are the results from the 2010 Bob Reddick Memorial Crappie Tournament, held on Sunday May 23, 2010 at Lake Arthur. Jerry Swidzinski and Dean Andreas took 1st place with a 10 fish limit weighing 6.98 lbs.
# NAME Total Fish Lunker Total Weight Prizes
1 Jerry Swidzinski & Dean Andreas 10 1.01 6.98 $1000 & Plaque
2 Mark Iarapinno & Jerry Tibay 10 1.47 6.85 $445 & Plaque
3 Frank Nagy & Frank Nagy Jr. 9 0.83 6.23 $295 & Plaque
4 Michael Conrad & Jason Reddick 10 0.83 5.99 $195 & Plaque
5 John Waterbec & Mark Waterbec 10 0.62 5.51 $200 Gift Certificate from Allegheny Power Sports
6 Mike Kumpfmiller & Bill Hershey 10 0.82 5.50 $100 Cash from Main Street Florist
7 Andy Radwanski & John Reep 10 0.91 5.49 $50 Cash from VFW Post 249
8 Mike Oshlik & Carl Oshlik 10 0.43 5.37 $50 Gift Certificate from CDS Sports
9 Don Wagoner & Robert Wagoner 10 0.99 5.13 $50 Gift Certificate from Vin & Joes
10 John Brown & Darrell Lenn Jr. 10 1.02 5.05 $50 Gift Certificate from Appalachian Trails
11 Walt Debo III & Walt Debo Jr. 10 0.77 4.94 $50 Gift Certificate from Rock Ann Haven
12 Bob Warren & Ruben Johnson 10 0.84 4.92 $50 Gift Certificate from Battery Warehouse
13 Gary Holmes & Randy Laughner 10 0.70 4.77 $50 Gift Certificate from Cav's Place-Lyndora
14 Robert Griffith & Mike Kuna 10 0.69 4.72 $50 Gift Certificate from Cav's Place-Lyndora
15 William Disanzo & Walt Shaffer 9 0.93 4.71 $50 Gift Certificate from Cav's Place-Lyndora
16 Brian Amos & William Snyder 10 0.74 4.71 $50 Gift Certificate from Van's Sporting Goods
17 Tim Buffone & Bob Buffone 10 0.90 4.70 $30 Cash and 2 T-Shirts from Dan Gray Chiropractic
18 Bob Sarnese & Bruce Finke 10 1.37 4.59 $30 Gift Card from Moraine Fishing and Camping
19 Ken Zaludek & Sonny Daniels 10 0.67 4.20 $25 Gift Certificate from Prospect Corner Store
20 Edward Nagy & Jason Plofchan 10 0.57 4.05 $25 Gift Certificate from O'Donnell's Sporting Supplies
21 Brad Marshall & Barry Marshall 10 0.65 4.00 $20 Cash from Irrapino Muffler
Bob Barnes & Scott Barnes 1.51 Lunker Winner ($215 & Plaque):
Rich Rudakewich & Jerry Lockhart Waterbec Smallest Weight:
John Grystar Raffle Ticket Winner ($500):
I have always tried to throw lipless crankbaits in the spring and failed for the most part. I always thought I was using the wrong one, had the wrong color, or just didn’t know how to retrieve them. The truth is that it is a little of all of those categories. Over the next couple of weeks I plan on doing a lot of experimentation with them because of the moderate success that I had this weekend. If anyone has any input or advice they would like to share lets use the message board. See my post on the message board for what I learned this weekend.
If you enjoy fishing a lake with a lot of weeds then this is not the lake for you. Weeds are difficult to find in the lake. There is however a ton of lake downs and bushes throughout the lake. It is not unusual to find debris build up at certain points of the lake when the area experiences heavy rains or snow melt off. Depth of the lake varies greatly from end to end. When you come out of the boat launch and head toward the dam (left) you will find deeper water ranging from steep banks and 30-foot depths to shelved banks that drop to that depth at a slightly slower rate. You can often find brush piles and fish habitats throughout this end of the lake. Some lay downs will be locate at this end of the lake and will be loaded with bass and crappie. If you head up the creek from the boat launch (to the right) you will find an abundant amount of lay downs, bushes, and debris jambs. This is a much shallow end of the lake and should be navigated very carefully. The water in the creek is usually muddy because the bottom is comprised most of slit run off from the creek. The dam end of the lake is usually clear or slightly stained in part because of the rocky bottom.
There are several species of fish that are abundant in Crooked Creek Lake. Let’s start by talking about my favorite fish, the largemouth bass. I swear that this lake was built for fishermen like myself who love to flip and pitch heavy cover. Needless to say, that I usually come out of the launch and head to the right towards the creek. This is one body of water that you do not need a gas motor to get to a good spot. Usually, I don’t even fire my gas motor until it is time to go home for the day. There is plenty of cover to flip and pitch all day long by heading up the creek.Some of my favorite flipping lures for the lake are tubes, jigs, beaver baits, and stick worms. Some other lures you should make sure you have with you include: spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, buzzbaits, and soft jerkbaits. I have found that sooner or later everyday you are on the water at Crooked Creek you are going to come across schooling fish feeding. You can catch a lot of nice sized bass in a hurry with the more aggressive lures once you see the baitfish busting on the surface.
While fishing for bass on Crooked Creek Lake, I have been able to catch a lot of good-sized crappie. There are plenty of areas to fish for crappie, but the larger schools of these fish tend to be in the 8-15 foot depth range. While fishing the main body of the lake I watch a couple of boats fishing slip bobber minnow rigs for crappie catch so many crappie that I changed my target species for the day. After the day was over I talked to them about their day as they took pictures of a stringer of 12” crappies. The group of guys told me that there was no reason to keep crappie under the 12” size because they are so abundant.
Some other features of this park include a swimming area, campground, picnic areas, spillway, hiking trails, and a horse park. There is a $4 per vehicle charge for use of the park. This includes the use of one or multiple features of the park in the same day. There are 6 pavilions for picnicking and can be reserved through the office. There is plenty of wildlife throughout the park and can be enjoyed while hiking the trails or just sitting in the fields. Campground information and reservations can be made by visiting the Army Corp or Engineer website. If you are looking for a great family location to relax and enjoy the outdoors, remember Crooked Creek Lake is right down the road.
17TH ANNUAL LAKE ARTHUR
CRAPPIE BUDDY TOURNAMENT
MAY 23, 2010
7:00 am To 3:00 pm
Guaranteed $1,000 1st Place
$50 Team Entry Fee (includes $5 lunker pool) (After May 16, $5 late fee will be added)
“Please read and follow these rules precisely, as there will be no Pre-Tournament Meeting”
1. 100% Pay-out based on total entries: pay 1 place per 10 boats (Example: 50 boats – 5 places, etc.)
2. Smallest Total weight will win the Waterbec T-Shirt Award.
3. Fishing off limits May 23,2010,12:01 am to 7:00 am starting time.
4. Any entries after May 16, 2010 cash only (can also be accepted at Bait Boy Inc., Bob Warren Boat Sales.)
Also cash at 528 Boat Launch on May 23, 2010 from 6:00 AM to 6:30 AM.
5. MANDATORY BOAT CHECK AT 528 BOAT LAUNCH, STARTING AT 5:30 AM, AFTER BOAT CHECK YOU MAY
LAUNCH FROM ANY BOAT LAUNCH, BUT CAN NOT LEAVE THE BOAT LAUNCH UNTIL 6:00 AM. NO FISHING
UNTIL 7:00 AM.
6. BOTH TEAM MEMBERS MUST BE PRESENT, ON THE WATER, AT TIME OF CHECK-IN AND WEIGH-IN TO WIN PRIZES. You must fish together in the same boat and are not allowed to leave boat (except in dire emergency). No spectators allowed on your boat. NO FISHING WITHIN 50 YARDS OF OPPONENTS ANCHORED BOAT.
7. Tournament will be held regardless of weather.
More rules on Application
Last Years Top 5
1st Place $1000
Don Wagner & Robert Wagner – 11.36 lbs.
2nd Place $415
Ken Zaludek & Sonny Daniels -8.62 lbs.
3rd Place $265
Bob Barnes & Scott Barnes – 8.21 lbs.
4th Place $165
Robert McAnallen & Zach Sawyer – 7.95 lbs.
5th Place $100 Cash – Main St Florist
Andy Radwanski & John Reep – 7.19 lbs.
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.