Posts Tagged lake wilhelm

Lake Wilhelm

Located in M.K. Goodard State Park, Lake Wilhelm offers a great opportunity for the serious angler or family outing. Lake Wilhelm is 1680 surface acres of water. The majority of the lake (1440 acres) has a horsepower limit of 20. The remaining 240 acres that is managed by the PA Game Commission is electric power or non-power water craft only. This area is marked on the water, but if you cross until I-79 bridge heading northwest you will come to the electric only end of the lake in a few hundred yards. There are 5 main boat launches. Launch 1, 2, 3, 4 and the marina. The 241 slip marina has the nicest launch with 4 lanes and the most parking. Boat rental is available at the marina from May 1st through labor day. There is also a handicap pier at the marina.

Wilhelm Marina

Wilhelm Marina

Another nice feature of the lake is that launch 1, 2, 3, and the marina have pavilions for public use. They may also be rented and reserved. For the family there is a bicycle trail that runs 12 miles around the lake. In the winter it is acceptable to ride snowmobiles or cross country ski on the trail as well. There are also a total of 14 miles of hiking trails along the lake. Ice skating, ice boating, and ice fishing are also permited. There is a one acre hill near the dam designated for sled riding as well. M.K. Goddard State Park has 1550 acres of land that is opened to hunting during the Pennsylvania Game Commissions seasons. There truly is something for everyone here.

There are many species of fish to target. Recently, the walleye population has improved and many catches of 20″ and over have been reported. The lake also has an excellent pan fish population. Crappie, perch, bluegill, and sun fish are caught regularly. Although the size of these fish is generally small, I can promise you the numbers will keep you and especially kids entertained for hours. Some other species include multiple species of catfish, crap, and Muskellunge. Many local clubs have targeted the lake for bass tournaments. The population has shrunk in numbers and size, but the lake still offers some great largemouth bass fishing.

BuzzbaitSome of my favorite techniques for bass fishing include throwing buzzbaits, senkos, Carolina rigged lizards, and 10″ worms. Some key areas to focus on are the numerous roadbeds in the lake, offshore brush piles, but don’t over look the laydowns on the bank. Some of the best bass and pan fish fishing is located in the standing timber in the electric only section of the lake. It takes time and a calm day to be able to fish this timber, but it is well worth the time. For walleye trolling worm harness & medium range crankbaits on the roadbeds are the most successful baits. Muskellunge seem to be most active early in the morning and late in the event around the main lake points. The points at Lake Wilhelm are more settle than most lakes in the area but don’t overlook these area. Although I have never done it myself, I have seen bow fisherman have great success for carp as well.

If you looking for a place to stay near the lake you have two options. First, there is Camp Wilhelm Campground. Campsite prices range from $25 to $35 per night and there are also multiple cabin rentals. The second option is Goddard Park VactionLand Campground. This campground has daily, weekly, or seasonal rates for camp sites and cabins. Visit website for more information.

 

 

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Trolling for Winter Walleye

I know Western Pennsylvania has some great walleye fisheries. From one of the best in the world, Lake Erie, to the not so common small lakes such as Woodcock and Wilhelm. Here is a little advice on how to troll for those fish and a couple lures to use. Any piece of knowledge from a professional fishermen is good information. These guys put countless days into figuring out what makes fish bite and how to catch them, even under the most difficult conditions.

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Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report 9-26-11

News

–       Goodbye to Summer!  Every real angler welcomes the fall season with its fantastic fishing opportunities for big smallmouth bass, hefty walleye, trophy musky, abundant crappie and of course the long-awaited steelhead.  This year I am particularly pleased to see an end to what likely was the worst summer of fishing that I have experienced in two decades.  Blame it on weather, water conditions or personal scheduling conflicts – I don’t know, but both my time on the water and my catch rate suffered.  The only fishing I did the last week of summer was onConneautLakewith Harvey Bartash, a friend fromHarrisburg.  Check outHarvey’s comments underConneautLaketo see the typical luck I’ve had this summer.

 

–       While I didn’t have but one opportunity to fish Pymatuning early in the summer, receiving these reports from contributors leaves little doubt that Pymatuning Reservoir has been fishing extremely well for a variety of species in 2010.

 

Erie County Waters

 

Presque Isle Bay

Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait): “The big news this week involves steelhead beginning to show up in the Bay – not a lot, but they are catching some.  Also the crappie bite inMarinaLakehas been very good for anglers in boats – lots of 10 to 12 inch crappies on minnows.  My customers have been catching perch, crappie and bass from the North Pier, and crappie from East and West Piers.  One gentleman showed me a nice pike that he caught in Horseshoe Pond.”

 

Chub Hornstein (Meadville): Gail Peterson and I went toErielast week during the full moon and had a bad day.  We only caught 10 bass in five hours.  And I only caught one of them…about 10 inches long.  I hate the full moon.”

 

Ernie Pate (Butler): “Brother Ken and I won the Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit Championship last weekend (September 18) on PIB.  We weighed 15.7 pounds for six largemouths.  The fish were caught on jigs and Beavers.”

 

Lake Erie

 

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) took Sunday morning off from running the shop and headed to Erie for perch.  He phoned in a report about10 AM.  Fishing had been slow so far, landing only about 30 fish.

 

Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton): “Several friends and I headed toErieearlier this week to fish perch off a head boat – the Danny O.  It was slow at first, but picked up later in the morning.  We got into them in 62 feet of water three miles off shore.  I had to clean all the fish for our group – we took 65 fish home.  I had the biggest one at just over 16 inches!”

 

 

Steelhead anglers in Walnut Creek (© Darl Black photo)

Lake Erie tributaries

Poor Richards Bait reports good number of steelhead in the lower sections of the tributaries near theErieshoreline.  This week customers brought in three steelheads at 13 pounds, and one at 12 pounds.  Most of the trout are being caught on eggs and live minnows.

 

 

Mercer County Waters

 

 

Wilhelm crappie (© Darl Black photo)

Lake Wilhelm

Bob (Fergies Bait) says it has been a slow week at Wilhelm.  Anglers in boats and from shore are catching bluegills and a few crappies.  He has not had reports on bass or walleye lately.  “But the water is cooling down,” he adds.  “The fall season on Wilhelm can be awesome for largemouth bass and musky.  In early October, there will be guys lining the upper causeway to catch lots of bluegills.  In the late fall, the crappie bite goes strong down by the dam with fish suspended over the creek channel.  And if we get good rain runoff with some breeze, the walleyes may turn on in the upper part of the lake by the Marina.”

 

Shenango Lake

Al Moore (Cochranton): “I’m looking forward to fishing for bass on Shenango this coming week.  I really enjoy that lake in the fall when all the pleasure boaters are gone.  I’ll send a report after I get back.”

 

Neshannock Creek

Bob Shuey (Neshannock Creek Outfitters) is anxiously awaiting the PFBC stocking of trout in the creek during early October.

 

Venango County Waters

 

Allegheny River

Dale Black (OilCity) reports the river above Franklindid not go up much due to rain but the floating weeds are now a problem.  “I was out one hour on Friday evening and caught one 17-inch smallmouth on a 4” Dinger.  Floaters fouled every cast.”

 

Bill Logan (Pleasantville) reports that while fishing on tributary just upstream from the Allegheny, he caught several bass on a buzzbait and had a 40-inch musky blow up on the bait.  “It was awesome!”

 

Chuck Sari (Franklin): “My son Kevin and I fished the Allegheny on Saturday, September 17 and had one of our better days.  We landed 15 bass and 2 nice walleye.  All were landed on 3- to 4-inch creek minnows caught from French Creek.  This time of year the type of minnow isn’t that important.  The river was low and clear, and there is no floating weed problem yet.  As the water temperature cools, the fishing will only get better.”

 

Eric Heil and John Ringle with Allegheny smallmouth (Heil photo)

Eric Heil (Franklin): “The Allegheny River Team Tournament sponsored by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 50, went well last weekend, September 17.  The river was perfect for the event.  The water temperature was 63-64 degrees.  Air temperature at take-off was 45 degrees but climbed to 70 by weigh-in. It was sunny all day. The water was clear in some areas, and slightly stained in others.   We had 27 two-person teams participate.  A total of 82 smallmouth bass were brought to the scales for a total weight of 173.53 pounds.  All fish were released alive.  The teams reported catching smallmouth on a variety of baits including jerkbaits, crankbaits, tubes, soft stickbaits, jigs and spinnerbaits.  Several teams also reported catching walleye; John Ringel caught an ‘eye that measured 29 inches and weighted 7 pounds.  Top three teams follow.”

 

1st Place: Rob Genter & Kit Pascarell – 5 bass for 14.45 lbs. plus a 4.54 lunker

2nd Place: Eric Heil & John Ringel – 5 bass for 13.48 lbs.

3rd Place: Bob Stephens & Randy Adams – 5 bass for 12.93 lbs.

Next tournament is October 16th; email lt.heil@yahoo.com for application and details.

 

Kahle Lake

Steve Fleckenstein (Clarion): “I had a fisherman tell me that he was getting some nice bluegills at KahleLakethe past couple days.  I’m still fishing the nearby Beaver Creek Ponds.  On Monday I caught bluegill and 3 small bass on the Slider Charlie Bee you sent me last week.  Fishing it below a bobber, yesterday I caught some more ‘gills with it before the fish finally bit the tail off.   Bluegills certainly love that little bait.  My second rod was rigged with a 1” purple split tail tipped with a maggot – the ‘gills went for it too.  I had a nice bass chase a struggling bluegill to shore as I was reeling in the fish.  The bass snapped at it just as I was lifting it from the water.  Last week I had a nice-size bass grab a hooked bluegill, and I fought it briefly until the bass let it go.”

 

French Creek (Erie, Crawford andVenangoCounties)

 

Ed Lawrence’s son with French Creek walleye (Lawrence photo)

Ed Lawrence (Corry): “My son and I caught several 20-inch walleyes from French Creek this week, and lost several more.  We caught them on jigs during the early morning.”

 

Dustin Shay (Meadville): “I was catching walleye pretty good in the Creek until we had that deluge of rain that turned French into a raging mud hole.  All my walleye were taken on smoke/sparkle Slider Double Action Grubs (a 3-1/4” swimbait) fished on a jighead.  When the water came up, I pulled on chest waders to hit some of the oxbow cut-offs on the Creek, and nailed several largemouth ranging from 2 to 4 pounds on a Terminator T-1 Spinnerbait in Perch pattern.  I also caught some bluegills up Cussawago Creek on the Slider Charlie Bee jig-spinner.”

 

Lou Letterle with French Creek smallmouth from a float trip (Letterle photo)

Lou Letterle (Franklin): “Last week I floated the Creek from Carlton to  Utica.  We caught a dozen smallmouths but nothing particularly impressive.”

Crawford County Waters

 

Pymatuning Lake

Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store): “Anglers were doing pretty well on a variety of species this past weekend.  There were lots of crappie, bluegill and some nice yellow perch coming in.  The big thing is the walleye bite – pretty good numbers for this early in the fall.  Most of the ‘eyes are coming on blade baits.  The hot one in my shop is the Vibe in gold finish.”

 

Ernie Pate (Butler): “Ken and I were up at Pymatuning on Saturday, September 24.  We caught 32 bass, mostly smallmouth, on small cranks, spinnerbaits, buzzbaits and Flukes.  Majority of bass were 16 to 18 inches; the largest was a 4-pound largemouth.”

 

Chub Hornstein (Meadville): “I went to Pymatuning yesterday (September 17) and caught 24 walleye, including 6 keeper fish.  All the walleye came from 12 to 15 feet of water on 1/4-oz. Heddon Sonar.  Fish ranged from 13.5 to 15.5 inches, and all appeared healthy.  Looks like walleye fishing will be good this fall and great in the spring.”

 

Dustin Shay (Meadville): “One evening this past week, a couple of my buddies and I headed to the Causeway to fish for catfish from shore; we caught four and missed another 6 or 7 runs.  But there was a boat anchored a little ways out in front of us along the channel.  At first, they weren’t catching much – a couple crappies and small walleye.  However, they kept saying ‘Wait untilmidnight.’  At just aboutmidnight, the walleyes moved along the channel.  We watched them catch 25 to 30 ‘eye on blade baits, with one fish they said measured 25 inches.  Seems after dark is the ticket on Pymatuning right now.”

 

Conneaut Lake

 

Harvey Bartash (Harrisburg): “I enjoyed our day of fishing onConneautLakethis past week.  I told my wife every time we go fishing with you, I learn something new.  The first time you taught me a new knot and how to mark the area we intend to fish, as well as teaching me the difference between fishing and catching – I mostly fish!  When we went fishing toLake Eriea few years back, I learned not to park a state vehicle on the peninsula when the wind is blowing 65 mph and pushing water across the exit road – you may end up swimming or worse yet, trying to explain to the state garage how the car stalled out inLake Erie.  This time you taught me that whenever you go out in your river jet – even on Conneaut – to make sure that you have four batteries onboard: a main one for the jet motor when you leave the ramp, a back-up battery in case the number one battery dies, a back-up battery to back-up the back-up in the event it is dead and a fourth battery so you have something to power the trolling motor so you can fish.”

 

Gamma Salutes

The winner of a spool of Gamma PloyFlex Line is Lou Letterle for the photo of French Creek smallmouth.   To have your name entered in the weekly drawing for a spool of Gamma, simply email a useable photo of any fish species which you caught from NW PA in the past week.  Gamma Line is available at CDS (Grove City); Poor Richards (Fairview); John’s Bait (Meadville) and Espyville Outdoors (Espyville).

 

Weekly Drawing

Drawn from the contributors who sent in information last week, Chuck Sari ofFranklinwon the Rapala Lure Pack for 9-18.  This week the name drawn for the Rapala Pack was Ed Lawrence.

 

Outdoor Calendar of Events

 

Oct 1               River Watcher Float on Shenango; Pymi Outflow toGreenville

Info: Hugh Clark greengrass@windstream.net

 

Oct 1&2          Antlers and Anglers Showcase, CrawfordCountyFairgrounds

For information, contact Joan Kocan at jkocan@agoc.com

 

Oct 16            Allegheny RiverBass Team Tournament #2

$100 per team; for info contact Eric Heil lt.heil@yahoo.com

 

Nov 5              PA Steelhead Expo atRainbowGardens,Erie,PA

 

Information contributed by:

–       Chris’ Tackle Box, Jamestown, PA

–       Maurer’s Trading Post, Franklin, PA

–       Oil Creek Outfitters, Titusville, PA

–       John’s Bait & Tackle, Meadville, PA

–       Van Tassel’s Timberland Bait, Canadohta Lake, PA

–       Fergie’s Bait & Tackle, Sandy Lake, PA

–       R & L Bait & Tackle, Greenville, PA

–       B.A.C. Bait & Tackle, Erie, PA

–       Poor Richards Bait & Tackle, Fairview, PA

–       Presque Isle Angler, Erie, PA

–       Neshannock Creek Fly Shop, Volant, PA

–       Erie Sports Store, Erie, PA

–       CLTackle.com

–       Espyville Outdoors, Espyville, PA

–       Farrell’s Hook, Line & Stitch, Meadville, PA

–       Consumer Direct Sports, Grove City, PA

–       Jigger Wholesale Tackle, Franklin, PA

–       Area anglers

Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region

GAMMA Fishing Line (now owned by Black Knight Industries of Oil City)

 

Connect to all counties at www.PaGreatLakes.com

–       Crawford County Convention &Visitors Bureau at www.visitcrawford.org

–       VisitErie at www.visiterie.com

–       VisitMercerCountyPA at www.visitmercercountypa.com

–       Oil Region Alliance at www.oilregion.org

 

 Note: The information in the NW PA Weekly Fishing Report is based on the observations and opinions of individuals at the reporting tackle shops and expert area anglers.  Although the information is reliable, it is not independently verified.

 

If you have fishing information or a picture of your catch from one of the waters in the following counties, please contact Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net

In providing a picture, you are agreeing to it being posted on the Fishing Report.

Keep Up with More NW PA Fishing at http://darlblack.blogspot.com

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Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report 9-12-11

News

– The upper Shenango River from Pymatuning Dam Outflow to Greenville is now clear of blockages and may be paddled by canoe or kayak – thanks to the Shenango River Watchers and both the Jamestown and Greenville Lions.  See “ShenangoRiver” section for more details.

 

Crawford County Waters

Pymatuning Lake

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors): “The water temperature continues to drop!  That is a good thing!  The crappie bite has slowed a little by the causeway, but anglers are still pulling out good fish.  Anything ‘white’ seems to be effective.  Walleye catches have started to pick up slightly. StockerIslandand off Snodgrass ramp have produced decent-size ‘eye this past week.  Green blade worm harnesses and Hot-N-Tots were most productive.  Largemouth bass were hitting small shad-colored crankbaits around lily pads.”

 

Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store): “The few anglers who are chasing crappies are still catching some nice ones – just as they have all summer.  These are 12- to 14-inch fish, being taken in deepwater; nothing shallow yet, although the water temp is dropping.  Some keeper walleyes were reported this week – just not a lot of guys fishing.  That will change as the water cools.  I had reports of smallmouth bass caught on shallow-running square-bill crankbaits.”

 

Ken Smith (Sharon): “I fished Pymatuning twice last week.  The water temp was 72 degrees, and the bite was good.  I caught crappie, bluegills and perch on jigs tipped with maggots in 13 feet of water over brush.  MicroSpoon’s new Triple-Tail Grubs accounted for almost all of my catch.  I spooled up the Gamma PloyFlex line won in a Fishing Report drawing; it is a very good line.  No pictures because it was raining both days – anyways, I left my camera at home!”

 

Conneaut Lake

Al Moore (Cochranton): “I went to ConneautLakeon Sunday morning for a few hours.  In three hours, I caught seven bass flippin’ the weedbeds and docks.  I used a Berkley Chigger Craw.  I pulled up on one particular weedbeds, pitched in and caught a 21-3/4” smallmouth!  What a fight!!  I also caught two northern pike and bowfin on the Chigger Craw.”

 

Conneaut Lake smallmouth bass (© Darl Black)

Marilyn Black (Cochranton): “Darl and I fished Conneaut for just over three hours on Saturday morning, September 9.  We were looking for big smallmouth.  Using a variety of different topwater plugs on an extremely calm and overcast morning, we had some nice brown bass blow up on our surface lures.  But most strikes were more tail slaps than trying to grab it; hook-ups were few and far between, with only one decent smallmouth landed.  On one occasion, a pack of 3-pound smallmouth made a beeline from a weedline for Darl’s prop bait, but all veered off before striking it.  Another time a huge smallmouth came up and rolled over his bait.  Darl blamed it on five days of steady, unchanging low barometer that have smallmouth in a strange mood.”

 

Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton): “On Saturday, September 9, I caught 15 northern pike with the biggest one 26.5 inches, along with four small largemouth bass; almost all fish came on drop-shot worms.  I was back out on Sunday with my buddy Robbie.  We caught 8 largemouth and several small pike.  Again, drop-shotting caught most fish, except for Robbie’s 16” bass which fell for a Strike King crankbait.

 

Chad Templin (Meadville): “My fishing buddy and I fished Conneaut this week.  Water temperature was in the 70s.  Each of us caught about a half dozen small bass and half dozen small pike.  Most of the fish came on Strike King KVD Spinnerbaits and locally-made BS Jigs fished along the weed edges.”

 

 

Erie County Waters

 

Presque Isle Bay

Al Napocopoulos (B.A.C. BaitErie): “Some of my regular customers are catching nice perch off the North Pier, and one of them got a 12 pound catfish.  They are also getting a few crappies inMarinaBay.  There are scattered reports of largemouth bass in the Bay – but no reports of steelhead in PIB.  Perch are still out deep, but I expect to see more perch in PIB by the end of September.”

 

Lake Erie

Mike Tome (B.A.C. Bait Fairview): “I wish there was a better report for steelhead, but there isn’t any water in the tributaries to get the fish moving.  A few trout are being caught at the mouths of the tributaries, mainly by casting spoons into the surf.  We have the most popular colors plus some custom colors for the Little Cleo, Kastmaster and KO Wobbler.

 

Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards): “Perch are still going strong in 50 to 62 feet of water.  That bite should continue into the fall until it simply gets too rough to get out to the perch.  The big school of walleye that was down east off the point appears to be moving west.  Anglers were catching them good in 75 feet of water just north ofWalnut Creek.  There are a few steelhead being caught by walleye trollers out deep, and there are a few steelhead being caught at stream mouths.  Last year at this time, there were some trout in the streams but this summer was warmer and it’s taking longer to cool down.  Overall, it’s not worth a trip toEriefor steelhead yet.  We need water temperature in the streams to drop into the mid 60s before we see a run – and of course we need water in the streams, which we do not have right now.”

 

Chad Templin (Meadville): “I fishedEriefor perch with Don Ishimaru this week.  We had our limit in two hours.  Live minnows from B.A.C. Bait did the trick.  Minnows were fished on standard perch rig.  We actually caught some fish on a bare hook with fly-wing attractor!”

 

Lake Erie tributaries

Bait shops report a few steelheads beginning to stage at mouths of stream, and anglers picking some up casting into the surf.  But tributaries are without water flow and no significant rain is in the forecast.

 

Mercer County Waters

 

Lake Wilhelm

Bob Mohra (Fergies Bait Shop) reports that with the cooling of water a bit, largemouth bass have started to hit again.  He had anglers say they caught good largemouth on a white Moss Boss as well as purple plastic worms – size and brand not mentioned.  Bluegills are hitting Sam’s Ant tipped with a waxworm.  “The bigger crappies are being taken down near the dam on minnows.  Crappies are suspended five feet below the surface.”

 

Al Moore (Cochranton): “I went to Wilhelm on Labor Day Monday for three hours.  I caught nine bass, including two in the 18- to 20-inch range…and broke off a big fish.  All fish were taken on a black Berkley Chigger Craw.”

 

Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait): “My daughter was fishing at Wilhelm this week from the causeway.  She caught 50 bluegills with 25 of them being keepers.  But the big surprise: she caught most of them on a Heddon Sonar jigged along the bottom!  She also caught a catfish and couple bass by casting a Storm Hot-N-Tot – again from shore of the main lake causeway.”

 

 

Shenango Lake panfish (Ken Smith photo)

Shenango Lake

Ken Smith (Sharon): “ShenangoLakeis cooling down quickly.  It went from 78 to 71 degrees this week.  The crappies haven’t moved shallow yet, but I expect that to happen in the next week when temperatures drop into the 60s.  I found a bunch of crappies on deeper brush; they hit just about any jig I threw at them.”

 

 

Amish horse team pulling deadfalls from the Shenango River (© Darl Black)

Shenango River

Hugh Clark (Shenango River Watchers) on theShenangoRiverproject that removed obstructions from the river: “The purpose of the project is to return the upperShenangoRiverto the community and region as a recreational amenity, suitable for safe and accessible paddle craft use.  We plan to incorporate the stretch into the PF&BC’s Water Trail system, thereby projecting the river’s profile on a state platform.

 

“PaddleFest 2011 will be on Saturday, October 1,” continues Hugh.  “We’ll shuttle paddlers fromRiversideParkinGreenvilleback to their boats at the put-in site just below Pymatuning Dam.  Drop your canoe or kayak at the dam outflow, drive toGreenvilleand leave your car at theRiversidePark.  We will drive you back to your boat for the float.  The free shuttle will operate between8:30 AMuntil about10:00 AM.  At the end of the float (about 3 hours), we will serve a free hot dog lunch inRiversidePark.”

 

Venango County Waters

 

Allegheny River

Dale Black (OilCity): “On Sunday, September 11, just before the big storm arrived, I got out on the river at OilCityto fish for less than 30 minutes.  I was fishing the mud line of Oil Creek merging with the river water.  Before the storm, the smallmouth bass were biting like crazy.  I was using a shad-colored Houdini Shad soft jerkbait.  On my first cast, I had a big bass throw the bait.  I landed two bass in the 15-inch range, and missed four other fish – then the lightening arrived and I left.”

 

Rob Genter (Tidioute): “I fished a club tournament out of OilCityon Sunday, September 11.  The mud from Saturday’s rain up river had not reached OilCityarea until afternoon.   I caught 15 to 20 bass in the morning on a Chug Bug and Fluke; my boat partner had another 11 bass.  I won the tournament with five bass for 13.63 pounds, which included three smallmouth over three pounds.”

 

Dustin Shay with Allegheny River smallmouth on live bait (© Darl Black)

Darl Black (Cochranton): “With high expectations on Friday, September 9, Dustin Shay and I set out with some jumbo riffle runners which Dustin had caught to target big smallmouth.  A fall onto the rocks at theFranklinramp almost ended the day for me.  Even though sore, stiff and bleeding a bit, we pushed on figuring things would get better.  Not really.  I hit a big rock with my jet going through Belmar riffle – first bump ever in that riffle.  And the hoped for bite on live bait did not materialize.  Lots of short strikes simply killed our riffle runners.  Few fish hooked, and none in the lunker class.”

Big bluegill from Beaver Creek Pond (Steve Fleckenstein photo)

 

Kahle Lake

Steve Fleckenstein (Clarion): “Haven’t had much to report this summer as I spent most days after work at home in air conditioning!  However, I’m getting out again, and I started catching some decent bluegills at Beaver Creek Ponds (near KahleLake).  I’ve been using 1-inch split-tails, hair jigs and some home-made ice jigs tipped with live maggots or Gulp!.  I’m waiting for the water to cool some more; then I hopefully will get into some perch.”

 

 

 

French Creek (Erie, Crawford andVenangoCounties)

 

Lou Letterle (Franklin): “I had a great fishing trip on French Creek on Thursday, September 8.  I was initially going to the river, but with heavily overcast skies and the threat of rain, I didn’t feel like launching the boat for what may have ended up as a short trip.  I decided to wade-fish French Creek.

Lou Letterle’s 20 inch French Creek smallmouth (Letterle photo)

 

“I ended up fishing near Utica,” continues Lou.  “I had consistent action with smallmouth using topwater baits – primarily a Rapala Floating Minnow and a Heddon Torpedo.  Aroundnoon the skies cleared and the topwater bite ended.  I switched to a Senko rigged on a jighead, and ended up catching a 20-inch smallmouth (measured without squeezing the tail).  I tried to take some ‘one-arm’ photos since I was alone.  But to get the fish in the picture, I had to hold the fish behind me – making it look smaller.  Tally for the day was 19 smallmouths – a very nice ‘early fall’ day on French Creek!”

 

Dustin Shay and Russ Chaney with 14 &16 pound channel cats from French Creek (Shay photo)

Russ Chaney with snapping turtle from French Creek (Shay photo)

Dustin Shay (Meadville) had a darn good week on French Creek.  Early in the week during his quest for a big flathead catfish, both he and his buddy Russ Chaney caught a couple nice channel cats (14 and 16 pounds) using 9- to 14-inch hog suckers as bait.  They also caught a mess of smaller eating-size cats on fresh dead baits at night – along with a snapping turtle.  (See Photo #7, #8)

 

 

 

 

Dustin Shay with 5 pound largemouth taken on SPRO Frog from French Creek oxbow pond. (Shay photo)

Dustin Shay with French Creek smallmouth on T1 Spinnerbait (Shay photo)

Dustin continues: “On September 10, using a SPRO Frog, I caught seven largemouth bass from weed mats on oxbow ponds off French Creek.  Two of those bass were in the 3.5 to 4 pound range, and the biggest one was a thick five-pounder.  That was my best day ever for largemouth on the Creek.  On the Creek proper, I caught a couple smallies; both fish came on a 3/8-ounce Terminator T-1 Spinnerbait in a new perch pattern.”  (See Photo #9, #10)

 

 

 

Gamma Salutes

This week the spool of Gamma Line goes to Dustin Shay.  Having submitted numerous photos of fish from French Creek., four of them were used in the Report.  Gamma Line may be purchased in Northwest Pennsylvaniaat CDS, Espyville Outdoors, John’s Bait, or Poor Richards.

 

Rapala Lure Pack Winner

Al Moore of Cochranton was the name drawn from contributors this week for the Rapala Lure Pack.  Watch for it in the mail.

 

Fishing Tip of the Week

Mike Horrobin (CLTackle.com): “Well, we needed the rain this week to fill the creeks and cool things off.  Surprisingly, given all the water that came down, it didn’t fill the mountain streams that much.  I love to fish the fall season for trout.  By summer’s end, trout have gotten pretty fussy having seen all the offerings by now.  Before the real bite gets started, right now is great time to try out a few new things that will hit the market in the spring.  I’ve seen some new fly tying materials and tools from J:son of Sweden; they are in the WOW category.  Fish Skulls has a new head for sculpin imitations that should tie up real nice for this bait imitation when fishing smallmouth on French Creek andAllegheny River.  These items should be in shortly.

 

Dock Talk

This fall at Jigger Wholesale on Georgetown Road, Mike Horrobin will conduct free fly-tying and tackle-making classes.  Call Mike at 814-437-6987 or cltackle@hotmail.com for details.

 

Outdoor Calendar of Events

 

Sept 18         Allegheny RiverBass Team Tournament #1

$100 per team; for info contact Eric Heil lt.heil@yahoo.com

 

Oct 1               River Watcher Float on Shenango; Pymi Outflow toGreenville

Info: Hugh Clark greengrass@windstream.net

 

Oct 1&2          Antlers and Anglers Showcase, CrawfordCountyFairgrounds

For information, contact Joan Kocan at jkocan@agoc.com

 

Oct 16            Allegheny RiverBass Team Tournament #2

$100 per team; for info contact Eric Heil lt.heil@yahoo.com

 

Nov 5              PA Steelhead Expo atRainbowGardens,Erie,PA

1 PM to 9 PM; contact steve@steelheadexpo.com for info

 

Information contributed by:

–       Chris’ Tackle Box, Jamestown, PA

–       Maurer’s Trading Post, Franklin, PA

–       Oil Creek Outfitters, Titusville, PA

–       John’s Bait & Tackle, Meadville, PA

–       Van Tassel’s Timberland Bait, Canadohta Lake, PA

–       Fergie’s Bait & Tackle, Sandy Lake, PA

–       R & L Bait & Tackle, Greenville, PA

–       B.A.C. Bait & Tackle, Erie, PA

–       Poor Richards Bait & Tackle, Fairview, PA

–       Presque Isle Angler, Erie, PA

–       Neshannock Creek Fly Shop, Volant, PA

–       Erie Sports Store, Erie, PA

–       CLTackle.com

–       Espyville Outdoors, Espyville, PA

–       Farrell’s Hook, Line & Stitch, Meadville, PA

–       Consumer Direct Sports, Grove City, PA

–       Jigger Wholesale Tackle, Franklin, PA

–       Area anglers

 

Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region

GAMMA Fishing Line (now owned by Black Knight Industries of Oil City)

 

Connect to all counties at www.PaGreatLakes.com

–       Crawford County Convention &Visitors Bureau at www.visitcrawford.org

–       VisitErie at www.visiterie.com

–       VisitMercerCountyPA at www.visitmercercountypa.com

–       Oil Region Alliance at www.oilregion.org

 

 Note: The information in the NW PA Weekly Fishing Report is based on the observations and opinions of individuals at the reporting tackle shops and expert area anglers.  Although the information is reliable, it is not independently verified.

 

If you have fishing information or a picture of your catch from one of the waters in the following counties, please contact Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net

In providing a picture, you are agreeing to it being posted on the Fishing Report.

Keep Up with More NW PA Fishing at http://darlblack.blogspot.com

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Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report 8-29-11

Venango County Waters

Allegheny River

Mike Horrobin (CLTackle.com and Jigger Wholesale): “Overall this week’s fishing was a little better than it has been, but still difficult.  As the weather cools, it will get better and better.  Many anglers were fishing live bait for bass in the Allegheny this week, but no feedback.”

 

Bob Vogan (Franklin): “Ryan Williams and I were fishing the Allegheny on Monday and Tuesday last week.  Between the two of us, we caught three walleyes using Booyah Spinnerbaits with gold blades.  Sorry, no pictures…but they tasted real good!”

 

Chris Wolfgong (OilCity) fished the Allegheny one day this past week with Dale Black.  Chris says the way things started out it looked like there was going to be a Bubblegum Fluke bite going on.  But after missing several bass on pink, the fish turned off to the soft jerkbait.  Chris went on to miss several additional bass on a Yum tube while landing only one.  Dale caught six smallmouths on a 4” Yum Dinger.

 

Eric Heil’s 5 yr old daughter with Allegheny smallmouth (Heil photo)

Eric Heil (Franklin): “On Saturday, August 27, I took my daughter out on the Allegheny.  We were trying out the Aqua Vu underwater camera I acquired.  But once my daughter saw the bass and walleyes on the monitor, we had to fish for them.  For a 5 year old she is getting pretty good at casting her 4’6” rod.  I rigged it with a Zoom Speed Craw on a shakey head.  She whipped it out there on her own.  She still does the typical 5 year old thing – cast it out and do nothing.  But in a river current that’s not a bad thing. I looked back to see her line getting tight and swimming upstream.  I told her she had a fish on, and the fun began.  After a few jumps, she was able to reel it in on her own.  I reached down and lipped it.  This was the very first smallmouth she totally caught on her own. I managed to make a few casts myself using a tube.  I caught 3 smallmouths, with one pushing three pounds.  After that we went back to looking on the camera.”

 

Ed Lawrence with Allegheny pike (Lawrence photo)

Ed Lawrence (Union City): “This week I caught a 31-1/4” northern pike at the mouth of a tributary to theAllegheny River.  The fish was taken on a stick bait.”

 

 


 

 

 

Justus Lake

Last week Bill Logan mentioned observing someone running around on a gas outboard on electric-motor-onlyJustusLake.  An email from another reader of the Fishing Report sheds light on the situation.  Seems the individual in the small power boat had permission from Two Mile Run park officials to serve as a safety boat for a group of swimmers involved in a charity event on the lake.  Mystery solved.

 

French Creek (Erie, Crawford andVenangoCounties)

John Ensworth (John’s Bait) reports most of the anglers stopping by for bait at his shop were headed to French Creek for the weekend.  However, no one stopped back with follow-up report.  John is still waiting on promised pictures of a large flathead catfish taken the previous week.

French Creek flathead catfish (Shay photo)

 

Dustin Shay (Meadville): “Our flathead quest goes on.  We made some progress as my buddy Russ Chaney caught two small flatheads early in the week – our first actual flatheads from French Creek.

 

“I spent time scouting French Creek for walleye during this low, clear water situation,” continues Dustin.  “I found some real nice ‘eye in a couple holes, but the fish are not aggressive.  We tried a variety of artificial lures in addition to live bait.  If you held the lure in the current near the fish and then moved it suddenly, only then did the walleye react to it.  A fish would charge the lure but not eat it.  Same thing with live chubs – follows but would not commit.  We only caught a couple small ‘eye.

 

“On Sunday morning at one spot a huge catfish came out of thick cover to chase one of our chubs as the bait was being reeled in.  It was close to 40 inches, but in the shadows we could not tell if it was a channel or flathead.  We went back Sunday night with bigger live bait to fish for it.  However, all we caught was one 26” channel cat.”

 

Crawford County Waters

 

Pymatuning Lake

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors): “With the water temperature falling, the Pymatuning bite should be picking up shortly.  I was out Thursday and took a surface temp of 74 degrees.  The crappies are still biting at the causeway.  Anything white seems to be catching fish. A few lucky anglers have caught some walleye off the causeway, too.  I had a customer bring in a cell phone picture a 29”, 8-pound walleye caught off Snodgrass on a floating worm harness.  I also heard of two muskies being caught last week by musky hunters trolling Grandma Lures; no sizes provided.”

Pymatuning crappie (© Darl Black)

 

Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store): “I had one customer report catching a mess of big black crappie in the 12- to 13-inch range on the deep edge of a weebed.  A few fishermen reported some 15- to 17-inch walleye, plus smaller fish.  Catfish continue to overwhelm anyone fishing live bait.  Gail Preston ofGreenvillereported catching and releasing a 43-inch musky.”

 

Pymatuning smallmouth (Scott Kinard photo)

Scott Kinard (Butler): “Smallmouths at Pymatuning are rockin’!  I was out with Ernie Pate last week and caught them.  This week I fished a different area of the lake by myself.  I boated 35 smallmouth in three hours…the two biggest were around 19 inches.  Wolf packs of smallies are chasing balls of y-o-y shad…possibly due to the cooler nights.  Focus on wind blown areas where you see baitfish on the sonar.”

 

Al Moore (Cochranton): “I fished a club tournament at Pymatuning on August 28. The lake was windy and white capping.  The bass bite was on nonetheless.  I won the event with 4 largemouths going 12 lbs 4 oz.  I caught 30 bass during the tournament – every one on an XFactor Muskrat Flipping Lure in Bama Bug Color.  Every club member had a limit and a 4 lb 2 oz largemouth took lunker.  It was another great day on Pymatuning!”

 

Conneaut Lake

3rd place finishers at Conneaut tournament - Rizzo and Hughes (Walt’s photo)

Hirosky, winner of Walt’s Tavern Tournament (Walt’s photo)

The winner of Walt’s Tavern Buddy Tournament on Sunday, August 28 was Bob Hirosky with five bass for 20.55 pounds.  Bob was a last minute entry on the morning of the tournament, arriving to fun fish and was talked into the tournament by other contestants; he fished by himself.  Bob also had lunker with a 5.61 pound largemouth.  Second place went to Dan & John Mincin with 13.36 pounds; third to Steve Hughes and Tom Risso with 12.32 pounds and fourth to Scott & Justin Welker with 12.27 pounds.

 

Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton): “I fished Conneaut Lake over the weekend, landing five northern pike on a chartreuse/white Strike King Spinnerbait and missing three other pike.  I caught one nice 3.5 pound largemouth on the spinnerbait, too.  I did not see any signs of smallmouth chasing baitfish.”

 

Sugar Lake

Ken Anderson (Tionesta): “I braved the wind today, August 28, to fish SugarLakefrom 8 AMto 11 AM.  I got five quality largemouth bass.  Four came on a Strike King Spinnerbait with tandem blades and one on a Swimmin’ Senko.  Oh yes, I caught a chain pickerel.”

 

Canadohta Lake

Canadohta musky (Bill Logan photo)

Bill Logan (Pleasantville) sent a picture he snapped of a Canadohta musky ate his Lindy Musky Spinnerbait.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erie County Waters

 

Presque Isle Bay

Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait): “A couple customers reported catching rock bass off the North Pier – that’s unusual for this time of year.  They were also getting some crappies off the pier.  Bluegills are biting inMiseryBayand perch are being taken off the city side of the Bay.  The emerald shiners have not returned to the shoreline of the main lake yet, so we do not have emeralds for sale – hopefully later this week.  With steelhead season almost upon us, we will be opening up our Trout Run store this week; hours will be6 AMto PM, 7 days a week.”

 

 

Erie walleye from the OH/PA line (Ken Smith photo)

Lake Erie

Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards): “Reports are still good for perch in 50 feet of water straight north ofWalnut Creek.  The best walleye fishing remains out deep over 70 to 80 feet with walleye holding near the bottom; a few steelhead are showing up in the same depths.  The hot area for walleye is right on the PA/OH line.  Worm harnesses are outfishing plugs; watermelon or black/purple appears to be the most productive harness color combos.”  (See Photo #9)

 

 

LeBoeuf bowfin (© Darl Black)

Lake LeBoeuf

Dave Lefebre (Union City) says September is a great month on Lake LeBoeuf.  Throw hollow body frog lures in the pads and matted milfoil beds for largemouth, and you will also catch pike and bowfin.  Black crappies are in the deeper weed edge where the sparse strands of milfoil are barely visible.  (See Photo #10)

 

 

 

 

 

Mercer County Waters

 

Lake Wilhelm

Mike Horrobin (Jigger Wholesale): “Largemouth bass on Wilhelm are providing some action, but walleyes are really hard to come by.  Panfish are still cooperating, with most fishermen having success with small curly tail jigs or Mike’s Ants.  Ants in black/red tipped with a maggot are producing particularly well.  The few walleyes showing up are reportedly taken on Hot-N-Tots.”

 

Shenango Lake

Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait): “Stripers are hitting at Shenango. Anglers are getting them in the 29 to 32 inch range.  Most fish are being taken on live shiners, as well as a few on shiner-like lures.  Mornings and evenings are the best times.  There are some walleye being taken on live shiners as well.”

 

Stoneboro Lake

Darl Black (Cochranton): “I had not fished Stoneboro Lake in 15 years mainly because I never figured out how to catch quality size bass down there.  But this past weekend I could not resist trying the thick pad edges of the lake with frog lures after some bassin’ buddies told me about all the big bass they catch there in the spring.  Stoneboro also has the distinction of producing a natural-occurring 8-pound-plus largemouth/smallmouth hybrid (go Google it for details).  With all the talk about big bass, I convinced Chris Wolfgong into going down.  A blow-up on a River2Sea Frog in the pads right beside the ramp seemed like it might set the stage for a great day.  But the pad pattern fizzled quickly.  We switched to drop-shotting small worms along the deep weed edge after talking with several other anglers on the lake who had managed a couple bass and pike in the 10 to 14 feet of water.  We missed several fish – which were likely bluegill.  No topwater action in this crystal clear water, either.  Chris and I tied for the morning on legal size bass: 0 to 0.”

Neshannock Creek

Bob Shuey (Neshannock Creek Fly Shop): “Trout wise, there hasn’t been much going on since spring due to the low, warm water.  Starting in September, we have new fall and winter hours: we will be closed every Sunday until March 4, 2012.  We are optimistic that this fall will bring better fishing conditions.  There will be a stocking on Tuesday, October 4th in the Special Regulation Area of Neshannock Creek.  And of course steelhead season is here, so stop by for all your steelhead needs.”

 

Fishing Tip of the Week

If you want to catch French Creek or Allegheny Riversmallmouth in the next couple weeks, go catch some riffle runner baitfish.  For black crappies in the weed fringe, swim a Charlie Brewer Crappie Slider very slowly.  Think topwater and crankbaits for lake and reservoir smallmouth bass.

 

Dock Talk

Mike Horrobin (CLTackle.com): “On the fly-tying front, I talked with the folks at Whiting farms regarding flying tying hackles.  The news is not good.  Girls are still wearing them in their hair and supplies are exhausted.  The new crop seems to be pretty well sold out before they are even raised.  We may have better luck with necks and short saddles for tying purposes.”

 

Outdoor Calendar of Events

 

Monthly          Fly-Tying Class – Free, Walk In                814-590-1366

Farrell’s Hook, Line & Stitch (At the Bank Mall),Meadville

2nd Tuesday of each month;6 PM to 7:30 PM

 

Sept 3             Family Fishing Festival, 9 to 1,PymatuningState Park

Mandatory registration at www.fishandboat.com/fishforfree.htm

 

Sept 4             Oil Creek Fly Fishing Presentation by Mike Laskowski

Petroleum Centre next to State Park office;4:30 PM to 6 PM

 

Sept 5             PF&BC Fish For Free Day; more info kedwards@state.pa.us

Fishing license not required but all fishing regs in effect

 

Sept 18         Allegheny RiverBass Team Tournament #1

$100 per team; for info contact Eric Heil lt.heil@yahoo.com

 

Oct 1               River Watcher Float on Shenango; Pymi Outflow toGreenville

Info: Hugh Clark greengrass@windstream.net

 

Oct 1&2          Antlers and Anglers Showcase, CrawfordCountyFairgrounds

For information, contact Joan Kocan at jkocan@agoc.com

 

Oct 16            Allegheny RiverBass Team Tournament #2

$100 per team; for info contact Eric Heil lt.heil@yahoo.com

 

Nov 5              PA Steelhead Expo at Rainbow Gardens, Erie,PA

1 PM to 9 PM; contact steve@steelheadexpo.com for info

 

 

Information contributed by:

–       Chris’ Tackle Box, Jamestown, PA

–       Maurer’s Trading Post, Franklin, PA

–       Oil Creek Outfitters, Titusville, PA

–       John’s Bait & Tackle, Meadville, PA

–       Van Tassel’s Timberland Bait, Canadohta Lake, PA

–       Fergie’s Bait & Tackle, Sandy Lake, PA

–       R & L Bait & Tackle, Greenville, PA

–       B.A.C. Bait & Tackle, Erie, PA

–       Poor Richards Bait & Tackle, Fairview, PA

–       Presque Isle Angler, Erie, PA

–       Neshannock Creek Fly Shop, Volant, PA

–       Erie Sports Store, Erie, PA

–       CLTackle.com

–       Espyville Outdoors, Espyville, PA

–       Farrell’s Hook, Line & Stitch, Meadville, PA

–       Consumer Direct Sports, Grove City, PA

–       Jigger Wholesale Tackle, Franklin, PA

–       Area anglers

 

Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region

GAMMA Fishing Line (now owned by Black Knight Industries of Oil City)

 

Connect to all counties at www.PaGreatLakes.com

–       Crawford County Convention &Visitors Bureau at www.visitcrawford.org

–       VisitErie at www.visiterie.com

–       VisitMercerCountyPA at www.visitmercercountypa.com

–       Oil Region Alliance at www.oilregion.org

 

 Note: The information in the NW PA Weekly Fishing Report is based on the observations and opinions of individuals at the reporting tackle shops and expert area anglers.  Although the information is reliable, it is not independently verified.

 

If you have fishing information or a picture of your catch from one of the waters in the following counties, please contact Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net

In providing a picture, you are agreeing to it being posted on the Fishing Report.

Keep Up with More NW PA Fishing at http://darlblack.blogspot.com

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No Comments

Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report 8-22-11

News

–          Not news to the anglers who have been out, but we are in the late summer slump.  However, there is a noticeable drop in water temperatures by several degrees this past week.  As temperatures slide downward, fishing success for many species will climb over the next couple months.

–          For something a little different this coming weekend, stop by Franklin’s River Front Park between 11 AM and 4 PM for the Rock-N-River Festival – youth activities, live music, barbeque, and of course the PA Stone-skipping Championship.  This is the site where the Word Record Stone Skip was accomplished by Russ Byers ofFranklin; Russ will be there competing.

 

Mercer County Waters

Lake Wilhelm

Fergies Bait Shop report is the same as the past several weeks – anglers catching mostly small panfish.  Ernie Pate (Butler) called in to report low-catch rate of bass this summer on Wilhelm – a lake so popular with the bass-fishing crowd in previous years; he asks what the problem might be with the largemouth at Wilhelm.

 

 

Black with Shenango black crappie (© Darl Black)

Shenango Lake

Darl Black (Cochranton): “Marilyn and I headed to Shenango on Saturday afternoon to fish for crappies.  Over the years I’ve had decent success in the late summer on this reservoir.  But this time my usual spots didn’t pay off.  We fished several hours without a bite, before finally catching a few black crappies on stumps in 8 to 10 feet of water near the old river channel.  We also stumbled into a couple chunky smallmouth bass that were interested in our 1/16-ounce crappie jigs.  Lots of pleasure boat traffic, but few fishermen.  Better fishing will be coming this fall.”

 

Shenango River

In case you have not heard, the Shenango River Watchers are currently funding an effort to remove the many downed trees blocking the Shenango between Jamestown and Greenville.  When the work is completed, it will be possible to canoe or kayak this section of the river.  Fishermen with paddle craft should look forward to being able to float this section next spring.  There are some hotspot holes on this section for crappie and walleye in the late spring, but you have not been able to get a canoe or kayak down this part of the river for years.

 

Venango County Waters

 

Allegheny River

Mike Horrobin (CLTackle.com and Jigger Wholesale): “This was a goofy week of thunderstorms and heat with some decent in-between moments.  Catfish are still being caught in the River.  Smallmouth are hitting in both the River and French Creek.  Most of the decent fishing seems to be in the morning and evening with topwater baits.”

Sand pike baitfish used for river smallmouth and walleye (Dustin Shay photo)

 

When the bass bite gets this tough on the River, Rob Genter and Darren Potts say it’s time to collect live bait.  Riffle runners and sand pike are the minnows to have for bass and walleye right now.  Both species are caught from riffles with a #14 hook and maggot as bait.

 

 

 

Justus Lake

Bill Logan (Pleasantville): “On Monday I caught four smallmouth on tubes in the Allegheny and on Tuesday I had four bass hooked onJustusLakebut landed only one.  There were two idiots running around on a gas-powered outboard on this electric-motor-only lake.”

 

Casual anglers taking it easy on the banks of French Creek (© Darl Black)

French Creek (Erie, Crawford andVenangoCounties)

John Ensworth (John’s Bait): “Most of the fishing action seemed centered on French Creek this past week.  One of my customers caught a 23” flathead catfish from the Creek.  He said his fist fit entirely in the mouth of the fish.”

Dustin Shay with French Creek smallmouth that almost pulled his rod form his hands (Dustin Shay photo)

 

Dustin Shay (Meadville): “Fishing was difficult for me this week due to both hands being injured last Monday.  I tried to fish mid-week and the first smallmouth that hit almost ripped my new Fenwick Rod from my sore hands.  The swelling is down and dexterity is improving but still painful.  Hope to be back at it next week.  My buddy Russ Chancey ofMeadville caught a nice channel cat from French Creek but we are still looking for our first flathead.”

 

Crawford County Waters

 

Pymatuning Lake

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors): “Crappies are still biting around the causeway, with anglers catching decent numbers of 9” to 12” fish.  White curly tails on jigheads and Leland’s Crappie Magnets are the hot items for crappie.  We sold out of Crappie Magnets over the weekend, but will have more before this next weekend.  Two anglers stopped in Sunday afternoon to report catching 7 keeper walleye off Snodgrass on Saturday night.  They were using nickel and green colored worm harnesses.  The largest ‘eye was 21 inches.”

 

Al Moore (Cochranton): “I fished Pymatuning yesterday, Saturday the 20th.  The flippin’ bite is still strong.  I had 4 bass for 12 pounds in just an evening of fishing.  Fish came on a black & blue Jigger Craw.”

Ernie Pate with Pymatuning smallmouth bass (Pate photo)

 

Ernie Pate (Butler) reports the bass fishing on Pymatuning has been excellent this summer.  One day last week, he caught 23 bass of which 17 were smallmouth.  Several of the bass were over three pounds.  No word on how he caught them.

 

Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store): “The crappie bite is still fairly good for the few anglers still pursuing them.  Lots of catfish being reported, with most taken while anglers are trolling worm harnesses for walleye.  I fished one evening this past week, catching four legal walleye in two hours.  Jim Bresman of Greenville caught a 48.5 inch musky this past week.”

 

 

Conneaut Lake

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors): “The northern pike have been really active onConneautLake.  No reports on sizes; most fish are reportedly caught on golden shiners along the weed edges.  Bluegills are being taken from 20 to 25 feet of water on the bottom; redworms or piece of nightcrawler works best.”

Marilyn Black with Conneaut Lake pike (© Darl Black)

 

Marilyn Black (Cochranton): “Darl and I fished Conneaut on Friday afternoon, August 19, attempting to catch some decent largemouth bass for photos on Lunker City’s Ribster Drop-Shot Worm.  Best he could do was 8 or 9 under 12 inches.  On the other hand, while fishing for big bluegills using leeches, I caught two northern pike – one at 22 inches and one at 30 inches – plus jumbo ‘gills.  Bryan Stuyvesant came out to the lake about5 PM.  He caught a number of smallish largemouth on a jig, and then nailed a 4-pound smallmouth on a shaky worm from the very rock pile that Darl and I fished about an hour before.”

 

William Logsdon (Pittsburgh) fished Conneaut on Saturday the 20th.  “The bite was slow.  We caught one nice pike and some small largemouth bass.”

Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton): “My buddy Robbie and I went to Conneaut on Saturday morning about5:30 AM.  We caught 5 bass on surface poppers before the fog cleared.  When the fog lifted, Robbie got a 3.5 pound largemouth on a drop-shot worm, and I got a 30 inch pike on a drop-shop.”

 

Canadohta Lake

Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait): “We had our annual kids Fishing Day this past week; 45 kids caught 158 fish in 3 hours from our bait shop lake.  A big snapping turtle caused the most excitement.  Sort of a late summer slump on Canadohta – seem to only be catching a few panfish.  This coming week of Crawford County Fair means few anglers on the water.  Fall musky bite should pick up in October.”  Bill Logan caught a 34-inch musky on a Lindy Musky Spinnerbait on Wednesday.

 

Conneaut Marsh

Mike Horrobin (CLTackle.com): “Several customers ventured into the Conneaut Marsh aroundGenevato fish for bowfin.  Live shiners are the best bait, although several anglers were using minnow-type lures.  Although not a glamour fish, bowfins put up a good fight and are a lot of fun to catch.

 

Erie County Waters

 

Presque Isle Bay

Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait) says fishing over the weekend was extremely slow due to the unsettled weather and high winds.  “During the week, anglers were catching a perch and a few crappies from the North Pier.  On the East Pier they have been getting bluegills and crappies.  Also a bass caught here and there but not much more to report recently.  Water temperatures are beginning to drop, so fishing success should turn around in the near future.”

 

Lake Erie

Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards): “Anglers are still hauling in the perch in good numbers and respectable size; try north of Walnut Creekin 52 to 58 feet of water.  The walleye are out deeper.  Over by the Ohioline, ‘eyes are in 72 to 80 feet, and off the Point on the East Sidethe fish are in 80 to 100 feet.  Most anglers are fishing worm harnesses with watermelon or purple blades to catch their fish.  But a few fishermen are still scoring with Renosky or Reef Runner stickbaits.

 

“Fishermen are getting a few steelhead out with the deep walleye; the trout should be heading in sometime in September.  This past spring we saw more jacks than usual, so we are hoping for a strong fall run.”

Smith and angling buddy with Lake Eire walleye (Smith photo)

 

Ken Smith (Sharon): “I went up to the Big Water with my friends Adam and Quentin.  We caught our three man limit of walleyes using Dreamweaver’s Spoon-Harness combos.  Adam had the biggest ‘eye – a 31” 10.7 pound hog.” (See photo #7)

 

Steve Hughes (Clarion): “Gus Glasco and I fished Erieon Sunday, August 20.  We launched out of Lampe.  There were lots of fish from 24 feet clear out to 45 feet.  But the best depth seemed to be the humps in 26 feet that rose up to 20 or 18 feet.  We caught over 40 nice smallmouths on tubes and drop-shotting 3” Yum Wooly Bugs.  Most of the bass were in the 3 pound range.  But we did get several in the 4 to 5 pound range, and one over 6 pounds.”

 

Gamma Salutes

Gamma salutes Ken Smith for sending photos of his Lake Erie walleye trip this past week.  A spool of Gamma line will be mailed to Ken.  Locally, Gamma is available at CDS inGrove City, Espyville Outdoors in Espyville, John’s Bait inMeadville and Poor Richards inErie.

 

Booyah Winner

Ernie Pate’s name was drawn as the winner for the Booyah/Yum bait combo.  Good luck Ernie!

 

Dock Talk

Mike Horrobin (Jigger Tackle): “We received information on a new Rapala Minnow that is an ultra-light configuration, but made heavier to cast better.  That is why I favored the AC Shiner minnow lure – heavier and easier to cast.  I’m anxious to test this new Rapala Minnow. Watch for it in our store.”

 

Outdoor Calendar of Events

 

Monthly           Fly-Tying Class – Free, Walk In                   814-590-1366

Farrell’s Hook, Line & Stitch (At the Bank Mall),Meadville

2nd Tuesday of each month;6 PM to 7:30 PM

 

Aug 26            Rock-N-River Festival from 11 AM to4 PM

FranklinRiverfrontPark

 

Aug 27            Walt’s Tavern Bass Benefit Tournament; $100.00/team

Information contact: Dan Mincin at 724-986-6557

 

Sept 3             Family Fishing Festival, 9 to 1,PymatuningState Park

Mandatory registration at www.fishandboat.com/fishforfree.htm

 

Sept 4             Oil Creek Fly Fishing Presentation by Mike Laskowski

Petroleum Centre next to State Park office;4:30 PM to 6 PM

 

Sept 5             PF&BC Fish For Free Day; more info kedwards@state.pa.us

Fishing license not required but all fishing regs in effect

 

Sept 18         Allegheny RiverBass Team Tournament #1

$100 per team; for info contact Eric Heil lt.heil@yahoo.com

 

Oct 1&2          Antlers and Anglers Showcase, CrawfordCountyFairgrounds

For information, contact Joan Kocan at jkocan@agoc.com

 

Oct 16            Allegheny RiverBass Team Tournament #2

$100 per team; for info contact Eric Heil lt.heil@yahoo.com

 

Nov 5              PA Steelhead Expo atRainbowGardens,Erie,PA

1 PM to 9 PM; contact steve@steelheadexpo.com for info

 

 

Information contributed by:

–          Chris’ Tackle Box, Jamestown, PA

–          Maurer’s Trading Post, Franklin, PA

–          Oil Creek Outfitters, Titusville, PA

–          John’s Bait & Tackle, Meadville, PA

–          Van Tassel’s Timberland Bait, Canadohta Lake, PA

–          Fergie’s Bait & Tackle, Sandy Lake, PA

–          R & L Bait & Tackle, Greenville, PA

–          B.A.C. Bait & Tackle, Erie, PA

–          Poor Richards Bait & Tackle, Fairview, PA

–          Presque Isle Angler, Erie, PA

–          Neshannock Creek Fly Shop, Volant, PA

–          Erie Sports Store, Erie, PA

–          CLTackle.com

–          Espyville Outdoors, Espyville, PA

–          Farrell’s Hook, Line & Stitch, Meadville, PA

–          Consumer Direct Sports, Grove City, PA

–          Jigger Wholesale Tackle, Franklin, PA

–          Area anglers

 

Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region

GAMMA Fishing Line (now owned by Black Knight Industries of Oil City)

 

Connect to all counties at www.PaGreatLakes.com

–       Crawford County Convention &Visitors Bureau at www.visitcrawford.org

–       VisitErie at www.visiterie.com

–       VisitMercerCountyPA at www.visitmercercountypa.com

–       Oil Region Alliance at www.oilregion.org

 

 Note: The information in the NW PA Weekly Fishing Report is based on the observations and opinions of individuals at the reporting tackle shops and expert area anglers.  Although the information is reliable, it is not independently verified.

 

If you have fishing information or a picture of your catch from one of the waters in the following counties, please contact Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net

In providing a picture, you are agreeing to it being posted on the Fishing Report.

Keep Up with More NW PA Fishing at http://darlblack.blogspot.com

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Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report 8-15-11

Erie County Waters

Lake Erie

Mike Tome (B.A.C. Bait) says the weather has been pretty rough on the lake late last week, with winds on Thursday through Saturday, and heavy rain storms on Sunday as well as expected for Monday.

“Head boats for perch have had to cancel again today, Monday, which results in some upset fishermen.  But head boats can’t risk going out in questionable weather.  But when they do get out, they have been having great success.  Perch fishing has simply been EXCELLENT this summer.  Personally, I’ll run out from Elk Creek to 52 feet of water, zoom in the sonar and the bottom will be black with perch.  But right now, we can’t get emerald shiners – no one can.  So we are selling only small golden shiners – but don’t worry, the perch are eating them just as quickly as emeralds.

“The reports of walleye catches are scattered. Doesn’t seem anyone is getting great numbers of fish.  Some reports from the Second Trench and the Canadian Border on the West Side and out near the Mountain on theEast Side.  Not hearing about anything in close.”

 

Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards Bait): “Rough out there this morning with4 to 5footers; not a lot of anglers have been out recently.  On theWest Side, guys are catching walleye in 75 to 80 feet, and perch in 52 to 57 feet.  There are a few steelheads showing up in the catches of anglers running out deep for walleye.  Emerald shiners have disappeared but should show up near shore by end of August.”

 

Lake Edinboro

Destin DeMarion with Edinboro Largemouth (DeMarion photo)

Destin DeMarion with winning bass at Edinboro tournament (DeMarion photo)

Destin DeMarion (Grove City): “I fished the Presque Isle Bassmasters club tournament at EdinboroLakeover the weekend.  I had only fished the lake once before, but managed to figure them out in one day of practice.  See the picture of big Edinboro largemouth I caught pre-fishing on Saturday.  Sunday morning of the tournament, we were met with thunderstorms and rain most of the day along with dropping temperatures.  The conditions were tough but I managed to win with 11.6 pounds of bass including the tournament lunker – a 4.4 pound largemouth – plus a big 3.8 pound smallmouth.  See the second photo.  Dropshotting a TriggerX Spadetail accounted for all my fish except the lunker largemouth, which I caught flipping a Yum Wooly Bug.”

 

Lake LeBoeuf

Bill Logan (Pleasantville) went musky fishing toLakeLeBoeufthis past week, but had to settle for a single largemouth bass that hit one of his jigs.  Bill did talk to anglers in other boats who were trolling small twister-tail jigs for crappie, and catching fish.  He says the crappies for “good size” fish.

 

Mercer County Waters

 

 

Destin DeMarion with 6-pound Wilhelm largemouth (DeMarion photos)

Lake Wilhelm

Destin DeMarion (Grove City): “My buddy Alex, the new president of the Gannon University Bassmasters, and I went to Wilhelm on Tuesday.  We were greeted with a torrential downpour for most of the day, but we still managed to catch six bass.  Most of the fish came on a Reaction Innovation Sweet Beaver, but the bigger bass came on a Strike King crankbait.  I’ve attached a picture of the biggest one – around 6-pounds; my best largemouth this year.”

 

Shenango Lake

Ken Smith (Sharon): “I fished Shenango and found the crappies in the deepest part of downed trees.  Not many crappies over ten inches, but the nine-inch blacks are very fat and perfect eating size.  A 1/16-oz jighead and most any color twister worked for me.  The train trestle pillars also produce good catches on those really hot days.  You will not hurt the crappie population on this lake by keeping your limit of the smaller size fish because Shenango is loaded with them.  The smaller ones need to be thinned out so others will grow larger.  Also, stripers are busting all over the lake; I caught some using a spinnerbait down by the dam on Friday.  Cast into the school and hold on!”

 

Stoneboro Lake

Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton): “One of my buddies and I made it back down to StoneboroLakethis week twice – once for bass and once for musky.  It’s becoming one of my favorite fishing holes.  On the first day, we caught 15 largemouth and one big crappie on jigs and drop-shot rigs.  But my biggest largemouth – a 5.5 pound beauty – came on a Carolinarig with a Blackberry Brush Hog.  Robby and I went down on Saturday to cast for musky.  After 4-1/2 hours of throwing big plugs without seeing a fish, we went bass fishing.  We managed 6 or 7 bass on drop-shot and 1 pike on a spinnerbait.”

 

Neshannock Creek

Bob Shuey (Neshannock Creek Fly Shop) says not to expect any trout from Neshannock Creek until cooler water temperatures and greater water flow return to the stream in the fall.  Neshannock Creek special regulation area will be stocked in October.

 

Venango County Waters

 

Allegheny River

Mike Horrobin (CLTackle and Jigger Tackle): “There have a been a number of reports through the shop of smallmouth being taken with live bait on French Creek and theAllegheny River.  The River is also producing catfish at night.”

 

Dustin Shay with Allegheny River walleye taken on Bubblegum Slug-Go (© Darl Black photo)

Hellgrammites are great live bait for river smallmouth (© Darl Black photo)

Dustin Shay with 9-pound drum taken on hellgrammite (© Darl Black photo)

Darl Black (Cochranton): “On Friday, August 12, live bait expert Dustin Shay and I make a trip to the Allegheny River.  I needed some shots of catching bass on hellgrammites, and Dustin had gathered several dozen from French Creek earlier in the week.  The river was very low and exceptionally clear.  Before settling into the photo shoot, we made a couple drifts throwing artificial baits.  In the fast current stretches, I had smallmouth of varying size chase my Bubblegum SlugGo Jron almost every cast.  I hooked and landed several smallies in the 10 to 14 inch range.  I also had a big fish explode out of the water on the Slug-Go at the head of a riffle in only about 18 inches of water; I hooked it and landed a 22-inch walleye!  We each had a musky follow – mine on the Bubble Gum Slug-Go and Dustin’s on one of his big musky lures; both fish veered off upon seeing the boat and didn’t hang around for a figure eight.  When we went to fishing smallmouth with hellgrammites, Dustin landed the biggest fish of the day – every bit of nine pounds…unfortunately not a bass, but a hard fighting drum.”

 

Ken Anderson (Tionesta): “I fished the Allegheny Riverwith my Dad for three hours on Saturday.  We used only artificial lures, and managed one quality smallmouth on a buzzbait.  Other local anglers where catching large smallmouth on bait – minnows called sand pike (i.e. log perch).  I also talked to a gentleman who netted a 28.5 inch walleye for a young lad in a kayak; the walleye hit a Rapala.”

 

Oil Creek

Mike Laskowski (Oil Creek Outfitters): “No trout fishing in Oil Creek until fall. The water is too low and too warm even for smallmouth fishing.  I suggest going to the Allegheny to fly fish for smallies.”

 

Venango Trout Streams

Mike Horrobin: “As we get more rain and water temperatures fall going into the fall, we may see some pick up in trout fishing.  Most of the fall stockings are scheduled for the first week in October in our area.”

 

French Creek (Erie, Crawford andVenangoCounties)

 

Dustin Shay with large French Creek crappie (Shay photo)

Dustin Shay (Meadville) made several fishing trips to French Creek and Cussewago Creek this week, but he said success was not as good as the previous week.  He could not even get a bite from smallmouth with live hellgrammites.  Early in the week Dustin did catch a monster crappie from French Creek; the 17-inch crappie was taken on a Crappie Pro Jighead and White/Pink Yum Beavertail.  Later in the week he took some big suckers to Cussewago Creek to fish under a balloon bobber for a big musky spotted there.  A big ‘lunge hit a sucker and killed it but did not hold onto it.  Following Sunday’s rain, Dustin was back on French Creek, catching a few sub-legal ones as the creek level began to climb.  “I expect bigger walleye to bite as the creek rises this week,” says Shay. (See Photo #7)

Crawford County Waters

 

Pymatuning Lake

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors): “The crappie bite has been hot the past week!  Early mornings and evenings have been the most productive around the causeway.  White jighead and white curly tails have produced 100 crappies on Friday evening under the bridge.  Numerous other reports all point to success around the causeway, too.

“A couple muskies were ‘caught’ by an angler trolling around BeerCanIsland.  No sizes on the fish were available because faulty leaders prevented the fish from being boated.  Both muskies hit shad-colored plugs.  A few walleyes were reported in the Snodgrass area by trolling Storm Hot-n-Tots (Silver/Black Back) or Bomber Model A (Foxy Shad).  No reports on perch or catfish this week.”

Ed Lawrence (Corry): “My son, his friend and I tried for catfish at Pymatuning Causeway on evening this week.  We caught a few bullheads and a good run from a big fish using shrimp, but lost the fish.  Shortly after dusk a pontoon boat pulled within casting distance from us and proceeded to get their anchor stuck.  They struggled with for about 20 minutes, at which point we decided all fish in the vicinity had been spooked.  We left as they were using their motor trying to pull free.”

Al Moore (Cochranton): “Things were good at Pymatuning on August 14.  I took 2nd place in our club tourney.  Flippin’ bite was on for me today.  I didn’t need anything but the Berkley Chigger Craw in black and blue.  I caught 27 small bass in the morning.  Then in the afternoon, I caught fish over 3 pounds.  My total 4-fish limit weighed 9 pounds 14 ounces, and lost the winning big fish at the boat because I forgot my net.”

 

Conneaut Lake

No one is providing reports forConneautLakeas bass anglers prepare for Walt’s Tavern Buddy Tournament on August 27.

 

Fishing Tip of the Week

Dustin Shay says the downpours of the last couple days (Sunday and Monday) have brought lots of chubs and shiners out of French Creek into tiny tributaries and drainage culvert streams to apparently spawn because he says they are filled with eggs.  “They are in such small trickles, seining them is easy,” notes Shay.  “Now is the time to get bait for French Creek bass, walleye and pike fishing.”

 

Shop Talk

Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait): “I’m really excited about some new musky-size bucktails we just got in from Musky Specialties out ofOhio.  They are quality bucktails in sharp color patterns.  I can’t wait to hear about our customers catching pike and musky with them.”

Mike Horrobin (Jigger Tackle): “It’s hard to believe that summer in on its way out.   Here at Jigger we are already starting to order supplies for winter tackle building season.  One thing I’ve noticed is more modest actions in fishing rod blanks – not so stiff.  Some manufacturers are re-visiting fiberglass – but at higher cost than older fiberglass rods.  You have a hard time casting any rod that doesn’t load on the back stroke – whether fly rod, spin or casting.  Fiberglass in a blank offers that loading capability

“Also, for rod building, I found a neat plastic bottle alcohol torch by National Keystone Products that serves the function of an alcohol lamp and also has a tube to blow the flame sideways.  This allows you to warm and smooth bubbles in epoxy finishes on rods for a bubble-free finish on guide coatings.”

 

Gamma Salutes

For submitting a photo, the name drawn as winner this week of a spool of Gamma line is Destin DeMarion ofGrove City.  Gamma Line is available at CDS, Espyville Outdoors, John’s Bait and Poor Richards.

 

Booyah/Yum Salutes

For submitting a fishing report, the name drawn as winner this week of Booyah and Yum lure packet is Chuck Papinchak of Cochranton.

 

Outdoor Calendar of Events

 

Monthly          Fly-Tying Class – Free, Walk In                814-590-1366

Farrell’s Hook, Line & Stitch (At the Bank Mall),Meadville

2nd Tuesday of each month;6 PM to 7:30 PM

 

Aug 27           Walt’s Tavern Bass Benefit Tournament; $100.00/team

Information contact: Dan Mincin at 724-986-6557

 

Sept 4             Oil Creek Fly Fishing Presentation by Mike Laskowski

Petroleum Centre next to State Park office;4:30 PM to 6 PM

 

Sept 5             PF&BC Fish For Free Day; more info kedwards@state.pa.us

Fishing license not required but all fishing regs in effect

 

Sept 18         Allegheny RiverBass Team Tournament #1

$100 per team; for info contact Eric Heil lt.heil@yahoo.com

 

Oct 1&2          Antlers and Anglers Showcase, CrawfordCountyFairgrounds

For information, contact Joan Kocan at jkocan@agoc.com

 

Oct 16            Allegheny RiverBass Team Tournament #2

$100 per team; for info contact Eric Heil lt.heil@yahoo.com

 

Nov 5              PA Steelhead Expo atRainbowGardens,Erie,PA

Details to come

Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region

GAMMA Fishing Line (now owned by Black Knight Industries of Oil City)

 

Connect to all counties at www.PaGreatLakes.com

–       Crawford County Convention &Visitors Bureau at www.visitcrawford.org

–       VisitErie at www.visiterie.com

–       VisitMercerCountyPA at www.visitmercercountypa.com

–       Oil Region Alliance at www.oilregion.org

 

 Note: The information in the NW PA Weekly Fishing Report is based on the observations and opinions of individuals at the reporting tackle shops and expert area anglers.  Although the information is reliable, it is not independently verified.

 

If you have fishing information or a picture of your catch from one of the waters in the following counties, please contact Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net

In providing a picture, you are agreeing to it being posted on the Fishing Report.

Keep Up with More NW PA Fishing at http://darlblack.blogspot.com

, , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report 8-1-11

News

–       Weather & Water: Although the temps have dipped slightly and there were a few more thundershowers recently, it wasn’t enough rain to help surface water conditions.  Water levels are critically low and too warm – from the smallest streams to the Allegheny.  Lakes are near record high water temps.  The best bets for fishing may be smaller lakes that are fed by springs or canopy-covered tributaries so their water temps are a few degrees cooler.

 

–       My fishing forecast for coming week: (1) I plan to fish frog lures on LakeLeBoeufand Edinboro, especially to test out the new River2Sea Diver Frog and Tuscaroran Rude Frog. (2) I plan a night fishing trip for smallmouth later this week. (3) I still hope to get to Pymatuning or Shenango for crappie trolling with some new crappie baits.  (4) And I want to gather hellgrammites to fish for smallmouth in French Creek and Allegheny River.

 

–       Prize Patrol: For August, the weekly giveaway lure packet will be a Booyah Jig and bag of Craw Papi trailers.  And Gamma will also award a spool of line drawn from among the photos sent in and used in the Report.  Lure packet winner this week for Report contribution is Edward Lawrence of Corry.  Gamma Line winner this week for Photo contribution is Hunter Cascio of Greenville.

 

French Creek (Erie, Crawford and Venango Counties)

Dustin Shay with French Creek bluegill (Shay photo)

 

Dustin Shay (Meadville): Dustin and his fishing buddies have been on both French Creek and Cussewago this past week.  “Both waterways are unbelievably low and warm; fishing success has been mixed.  We caught a number of northern pike between 25 and 35 inches on Yum Money Minnow and jointed Sebile Swimmer.  The crayfish are pretty much done molting, so smallmouth are hitting topwater and live creek minnows again.  We got into big bluegills on French Creek – caught some on a small Rapala Husky Jerk.  We’ve struck out on walleye.  But had several muskies explode on a Top Raider musky plug on Cussewago.  We watched one big musky chase down and swallow a 20-inch plus sucker.”

 

Crawford County Waters

 

Pymatuning Lake

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors): “A limit of walleye was reported by an angler trolling around Harris and Clark Islands in 4 feet of water using Hot-N-Tots and worm harnesses.  The crappie bite has been good underneath the PA bridge on the Andover causeway; crappies running 12” to 14”, plus smaller ones.  Catfish activity has been good all over the lake; Magic Bait Dough and Van-Do Strawberry have been hot sales leaders at the shop.”

Ken Smith’s catch of Pymatuning crappie (Smith photo)

Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store): “All fishing action except catfish has slowed with the summer heat.  However, even with the slow down, the walleye and crappie fishing is better than it has been in recent summers.  A few dedicated anglers are getting 16 to 17-inch walleye.  Anglers are still hauling in nice crappies on deepwater brush and stumps in 12 to 18 feet of water.  Bass anglers are catching largemouth on buzzbaits in the evening around weedbeds.  Several C&R musky in the 30 to 40-inch range reported.”

Ken Smith (Sharon): “I fished Pymatuning on Friday, finding a school of crappies in 13 feet or water; they were big crappies, going 12 inches and longer.  I fished a slip bobber with a new lure I have been field-testing: Joe’s Jigs’ Shark; it is available online at Crappie.com.

 

 

 

Steve Hughes with Conneaut Lake smallmouth (© Darl Black photo)

Conneaut Lake

Steve Hughes (Clarion) and partner Lon Wilson (Meadville) won the United Way Charity Tournament on Conneaut Lake on July 29 with a limit of 8 bass going 21.43 pounds – three pounds ahead of the second place team.  Their catch included two smallmouth over 4 pounds.  They caught fish on a variety of lures, but most bass came on drop-shotting the outside weedline with Yum Houdini Worms.

 

Derek Severns (Pittsburgh) reports Mingo Creek Anglers had a tournament at Conneaut over the weekend.  Dan Mincin won with 5 bass going 8.8 pounds.  Mike Jones had lunker with a 2.68 pound largemouth.

 

Bryan Stuyvesant (Meadville) has been catching 2 to 3 pound largemouth and smallmouth bass by jerking Yum Houdini Shads and by drop-shotting Yum Houdini Worms.

 

Chub Hornstein (Meadville) has fished ConneautLakeseveral times in the last couple weeks.  He enjoys battling 20 to 35 largemouths mostly in the 1- to 2-pounds range on each trip.  “I like to fish for numbers and let the big fish come when they do.  My secret is a Zoom French Fry on a Brewer Slider Head fished on the weedline.”

 

Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) phoned in a report from Conneaut this morning.  “I’ve caught five largemouth, including one 3.5 pounds – all taken on a Rebel Pop R.”

 

Tamarack Lake

John Ensworth (John’s Bait) reports that over a dozen of his customers this past weekend were buying minnows to fish crappies at Tamarack; they say the bite is still good.

 

Ken Anderson (Tionesta): “I fished for bass at Tamarack from 7 AMto noonone day last week.  Slight breeze and overcast skies early, then glass surface and sun from mid morning.  I caught 6 largemouth bass.  I got two fish on a Jewel Eakins Jig with Powerbait Chigger Craw trailer on deep wood.  The other 4 fish – including a 16.5-incher – came on a Z-Man Chatter Bait.  The big fish was in the pads, but all other on shoreline wood.  Only one other boat on the lake.”

 

 

Dale Black with Woodcock smallmouth (© Darl Black photo)

Woodcock Lake

Darl Black (Cochranton): “The recent issue of the PA Angler carried my article about my long history of fishing Woodcock Lake, noting I had not fished the lake in several years.  Dale Black and I decided to try it on Saturday because the Allegheny Riverwas so low and smallmouth running oh so small.  Dale had never been on the lake.  Both of us were pleasantly surprised to catch smallmouth at every spot that I directed us to – including one over 4 pounds.  Our bass came on Get Bit Tubes and Yum Dingers.  I broke off one fish that was likely a musky.  Lots of musky fishermen trolling, but didn’t talk to anyone who caught a fish.”

Ed Lawrence with Woodcock walleye (Lawrence photo)

 

Edward Lawrence (Corry) reports catching several small walleye at the Woodcock Spillway this past Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

 

Erie County Waters

Erie perch (© Darl Black photo)

Lake Erie

Mike Tome (B.A.C. Bait): “I’m still finding bigger perch in shallower water than out deep.  I’m fishing 39-40 feet for the last couple weeks.  Most boats are out in 50-60 feet – probably because there are more fish and can quickly limit out; but bigger perch are inside that range.  Walleye fishing off the Condos on the west side of thePeninsularemains strong.”

 

Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards): “Perch are in 55’ north out of Walnut.  Walleye are in 65’ to 68’ both east and west of Walnut.  Crawler harnesses with purple, copper or watermelon blades are taking most walleye.”

 

Fuhrmann with Erie walleye (Fuhrmann photo)

John Fuhrmann (Visiting from Arizona): “Erie Dearie success continues to provide fun.  A black Dearie with stinger hook and four-inch crawler was the ticket.  My buddy and I fished Wednesday from9 AM to4 PM in 20’ to 25’ depth, drifting with the NW 10 knot winds and sunny sky.  The first cast brought a walleye.  My partner and I kept six ‘eye from 3 to 5 pounds.  We returned more than thirty walleye in the 13 to 16 inch range.  Those young fish left no doubt the next couple year’s walleye fishing will be excellent.  We also boated largemouth, smallmouth, bluegill, rock bass, drum and a 3 lb. golden sucker – a first for me.  All onErie Dearies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mercer County Waters

 

Lake Wilhelm

Vicki (Fergies Bait) reports not many anglers fishing; she had one good report of several nice walleye in 12’ to 14’ of water on worm harnesses.

Hunter Cascio with Wilhelm walleye (Frantz photo)

 

Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait): “Three generations of Cascios from Greenville went fishing at Wilhelm for walleye this week and had great luck drifting worm rigs.  Gary, Chris and Hunter all caught some fish.  But Hunter caught the largest.  It was 28 inches long and weighed 6 pounds 4 ounces.  This was the first time they had all gone fishing together.  Hunter, the youngest, usually outfishes everyone, and he did it again this week.  It warms my heat to see a grandfather, father and son all enjoying themselves so much.  These are memories Hunter will carry the rest of his life!”

 

Shenango Lake & River

Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait): “Several customers are fishing for catfish at the Shenango Reservoir and ShenangoRiver.  The hotter the weather, the better cats seem to bite.  At customer request, I special ordered catfish bait called Wicked Sticky, which I am told is the cat’s meow.  Catch & release musky fishermen are having some luck at both Shenango and Pymatuning, but nothing of trophy size.  Grandma Lures is again manufacturing a jointed 7” lures, which I will carry in the shop.

 

Stoneboro Lake (i.e. Sandy Lake)

Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) fished Stoneboro this past week, catching a 30” pike on a blue back Bomber crankbait and 7 largemouths by drop-shotting a Yum Dinger.

 

Neshannock Creek

Bob Shuey (Neshannock Creek Outfitters) says it is way too hot for remaining trout in freestone streams.  Some smallmouths are being taken early and late in the day.

 

Venango County Waters

 

Allegheny River

Allegheny flathead (Lawrence photo)

Eric Heil (Franklin): “A co-worker and I fished the Allegheny on Friday evening for three hours after work.  We focused on areas south of Franklin.  We fished primarily soft jerkbaits including the Zoom Super Fluke.  Action was spotty but we managed to land about 10 smallmouths and saw several chasers.  The up river wind made casting difficult.  Water temp remains in the 80s and the water is very clear.  The more active smallmouths were in moving water, and color of our baits didn’t seem to matter.  I was using a 7’ MH action Kistler Helium spinning rod with 8 pound braided line with a 10-pound Gamma Edge leader.”

 

Edward Lawrence (Corry): “We caught a small flathead at Kennerdell bridge on Saturday night using a sunfish as bait.  We had lots of snags and lost lots of jigs.”

 

 

Fishing Tip of the Week

Mike Horrobin, CLTackle: “Late summer is a great time to take kids out for bluegills, panfish or catfish.  Kids don’t seem to mind the summer heat as much as us older folks – as long as there is a fish or two to pull on the line.  However, don’t forget the bug dope as youngsters’ skin seems to attract mosquitoes like candy.

“It may not be the best time for big fish, but if you start the kids off with a live worm, or a basic artificial like Mike’s Ants, Black Gnat Fly or small curly tail jig – each sweetened with maggots – kids will catch something.  Don’t start the little ones out with spinning gear because their fingers are not long enough to control the line.  Instead, go with a push-button reel, but not the cheap ‘toy’ category outfit; get a decent rod & reel combo.  Expect tangles, know how to take the cone off the reel and bring some extra line to spool on if necessary.

“Remember the objective is for the kids to have a good time and learn something about the outdoors.  If they get bored and want to skip stones or chase frogs – let them, it’s only natural.  The most important thing to accomplish is to instill in them a love for and respect of the outdoor life.”

 

Shop Talk

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors): “Archery season is approaching.  Espyville Outdoors is able to “special order” items such as complete bows or crossbows, arrows, broadheads, tree stands, etc.  Anyone mentioning this Fishing Report will save 10% off their entire archery order!”

 

Outdoor Calendar of Events

 

Monthly          Fly-Tying Class – Free, Walk In                814-590-1366

Farrell’s Hook, Line & Stitch (At the Bank Mall),Meadville

2nd Tuesday of each month;6 PM to 7:30 PM

 

Aug 27           Walt’s Tavern Bass Benefit Tournament; $100.00/team

Information contact: Dan Mincin at 724-986-6557

 

Sept 18         Allegheny RiverBass Team Tournament #1

$100 per team; for info contact Eric Heil lt.heil@yahoo.com

 

Oct 16            Allegheny RiverBass Team Tournament #2

$100 per team; for info contact Eric Heil lt.heil@yahoo.com

 

Nov 5              PA Steelhead Expo atRainbowGardens,Erie,PA

Details to come

 

Information contributed by:

–       Chris’ Tackle Box, Jamestown, PA

–       Maurer’s Trading Post, Franklin, PA

–       Oil Creek Outfitters, Titusville, PA

–       John’s Bait & Tackle, Meadville, PA

–       Van Tassel’s Timberland Bait, Canadohta Lake, PA

–       Fergie’s Bait & Tackle, Sandy Lake, PA

–       R & L Bait & Tackle, Greenville, PA

–       B.A.C. Bait & Tackle, Erie, PA

–       Poor Richards Bait & Tackle, Fairview, PA

–       Presque Isle Angler, Erie, PA

–       Neshannock Creek Fly Shop, Volant, PA

–       Erie Sports Store, Erie, PA

–       CLTackle.com

–       Espyville Outdoors, Espyville, PA

–       Farrell’s Hook, Line & Stitch, Meadville, PA

–       Consumer Direct Sports, Grove City, PA

–       Jigger Wholesale Tackle, Franklin, PA

–       Area anglers

Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region

GAMMA Fishing Line (now owned by Black Knight Industries of Oil City)

 

Connect to all counties at www.PaGreatLakes.com

–       Crawford County Convention &Visitors Bureau at www.visitcrawford.org

–       VisitErie at www.visiterie.com

–       VisitMercerCountyPA at www.visitmercercountypa.com

–       Oil Region Alliance at www.oilregion.org

 

 Note: The information in the NW PA Weekly Fishing Report is based on the observations and opinions of individuals at the reporting tackle shops and expert area anglers.  Although the information is reliable, it is not independently verified.

 

If you have fishing information or a picture of your catch from one of the waters in the following counties, please contact Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net

In providing a picture, you are agreeing to it being posted on the Fishing Report.

Keep Up with More NW PA Fishing at http://darlblack.blogspot.com

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Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report 7-25-11

News

Hopefully the high temperatures and humidity are about to take a slight downturn.  The weather of the past two weeks has not been good for fishermen or fish in smaller waters.  Our trout fishing contributors have repeatedly warned anglers that trout in our smaller streams are stressed and recommend fishermen target other species.  The water is so low and so warm that even smallmouth are under stress in streams the size of Oil Creek, Neshannock and Sugar Creek.  Not only do we need cooler air temperatures, but we are in desperate need of good soaking rain to refresh streams, rivers and lakes.  The good news, however, isLake Erieperch are on fire.

 

Venango County Waters

Allegheny River

Chris Wolfgong (OilCity): “Dale Black and I made it out on the river for about two hours on Thursday evening.  The water is very low and very warm.  There was a bit of a topwater bite.  Dale had three bass on top, including a 16.5” one on a Jitterbug.  I managed to catch one smallmouth bass on a tube, one on a wake bait (both around 15 inches) plus four rock bass on the wake bait – including one that was only two inches long!”

Mr. Rodgers of Seneca with Justus Lake rainbow trout (Darl Black © photo)

Justus Lake

Darl Black (Cochranton): “I took my visiting father-in-law toJustusLakefor bluegills on Monday, July 25.  Fishing the north end of the lake, our net catch was not impressive.  However, at the ramp I chatted with two anglers from Seneca.  They had been fishing in 40-some feet of water down near the dam.  They had caught 7 rainbow trout (up to 17 inches) and a mess of big bluegills on small white twisters tipped with a wax worm.”

 

 

Dustin Shay with French Creek white perch (Shay photo)

French Creek (Erie, Crawford andVenangoCounties)

Dustin Shay (Meadville) has been trying to figure out the walleye bite this summer on the creek.  “We’ve been seeing walleye follow our baits out of deepwater holes, but we can’t get them to hit.  We have only caught a few small ‘eye.  The water is so low, so clear and so warm that we are struggling.  However, we have been catching lots of panfish on a jig-n-nightcrawler, including white perch and big bluegills.  We have been gathering hellgrammites and soft shells, too, and enjoying success on smallmouth bass.”

 

Crawford County Waters

Pymatuning Lake

Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store): “The walleye bite has slowed down, due in part at least to fewer anglers fishing in the heat.  However, one customer brought in 3 big walleyes which he picked up drifting a nightcrawler on a jig.  A handful of anglers still targeting crappies are enjoying success on the southern end of the lake; best success is early and late in the day in 15’ to 21’ on stumps or brush.  The musky guys are seeing a little more action with fish striking big plugs in the prop wash of outboards – but no landing of big fish reported to me.”

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) says there wasn’t much to report this week with the number of anglers on the lake way down.  Catfish seemed to be the primary fish being caught.  “The Big Kids/Little Kids tournament at Erie this past weekend – sponsored in part by Espyville Outdoors – was won by Steve Hughes and Dakota with 14.24 pounds of bass,” adds Chris.

Conneaut Lake

Bryan Stuyvesant (Meadville) reports the largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing at Conneaut is fairly good for this time of year.  “The weedbeds are growing back following weed control measures earlier in the season, and largemouths like the green cover.  Texas-rigged worm are producing largemouth on the weed edge.  Even spinnerbaits are working some days.  I’m catching smallmouth on drop-shot rigs on rocky outcroppings.  Seems to be more juvenile bass than usual, but I’m also catching some decent ones, too.  My largest this week was 3.5 pounds.”

Erie County Waters

Lake Erie

Mike Tome (B.A.C. Bait): “The big news this past week surrounds perch moving into shallower water.  Anglers out ofErieare catching them in 39 feet.  The perch schools have moved in closer instead of going deeper in the heat – likely following baitfish.  I was out this week and had some perch in the 13” to 14” range – nice fish.

“Walleye bite seems better to the East side of Erie, particularly out by the Mountain.  The depth for the schools will vary day to day based on bait movement, but generally the fish are 45 to 50 feet over 75’ bottom.  The long minnow plugs are catching fish, plus willow-leaf worm harnesses.  We have the hottest colors here at B.A.C. Bait,” concludes Mike.

Ken Smith with Erie walleye (Smith photo)

Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards): “Perch are in 44 to 47 feet of water straight out ofWalnut Creek.  Walleye are in 65 to 75 feet on the West side, with some smaller eye – up to 17 inches – being taken in 30’ to 35’.  Reports are leaning towards worm harnesses over plugs.  Here at Poor Richards, we have the most popular blade colors in worm harnesses.”

Ken Smith (Sharon): On Wednesday, July 20, I fished Lake Eriewest ofErie.  Walleye fishing was tough but three of us managed to put six ‘eye in the box before the heat and lack of breeze drove us from the water.  We caught them in 72 feet, using Dipsy Divers with worm harnesses.”

Dean Waldbaum with Erie steelhead (Waldbaum photo)

Dean Waldbaum (Pittsburgh): Last week we fished out of Northeast around the “Mountain.”  We landed about 15 walleye up to 9 pounds on worm harnesses and a couple steelheads on spoons.  My largest steelhead was 31” at 14.5 pounds.”

 

 

 

 

John Fuhrmann’s Erie catch with Erie Dearie (Fuhrmann photo)

John Fuhrmann (Phoenix,AZ): “As a former Erie resident, I return toLake Erie each year for a summer of walleye fishing.  But we don’t head out to the deep water.  Instead we fish the 20 to 25-foot depths just a short ride from the launch.  And rather than trolling, we apply the old Western Basin technique of a controlled drift with Erie Dearie countdown bait tipped with a nightcrawler. In the last ten years, this technique has not failed us.

“We tie a two-foot fluorocarbon leader to 8-pound Fireline,” continues Fuhrmann.  “Our rods are 8-1/2 foot Fenwick spinning rods.  We make long casts opposite (into the wind) our drift direction or quartering casts to the drift direction.  Count the rig down 15 to 20 seconds to the bottom, engage the reel and begin line recovery.  Slowly sweep and retrieve the lure with six to eight foot sweeps, maintaining light line tension as you pick up line from the sweep.  The key is to keep the Erie Dearie within a foot or two of the bottom.  Walleye hammer it, along with perch, big bluegills, smallmouth, largemouth, white bass, catfish and drum.  This is a far more enjoyable active presentation than slowly trolling.”

 

Frog fishing on Lake Edinboro (Darl Black © photo)

 

Lake Edinboro and Lake LeBoeuf

Dave Lefebre (Waterford) reminds bass anglers that now is the best ‘frog lure’ bite in the pads and thick floating mats of Edinboro and Lake LeBoeuf.  Several companies make a hollow-belly frog lure designed to fish heavy surface weeds by skimming over the top.  The key to success is to use 50-pound braid on a 7’ heavy action rod.  Tie the frog direct to the braid.  Experiment with retrieves from steady swimming to pull-pause.  Don’t set the hook at the first explosion of weeds and water – wait until the line goes tight.

 

 

 

 

Mercer County Waters

 

Lake Wilhelm

Bob Mohra (Fergies Bait) says the number of anglers on Wilhelm has been marginal during the past heat wave.  However, one of his customers reported catching 35 crappies in deep water off brushpiles; the bait was live minnows.

Eric Heil (Franklin): “My fishing partner and I went bass fishing to Wilhelm on July 24.  Fishing was slow, really slow.  Between the two of use, we caught 8 fish all day.  We caught our bass on small crankbaits, football jigs and 10-inch Berkley Power Worms.  The baits had to be worked very slowly on the bottom.  The surface temperature was 85 degrees and there was no breeze.  Bass fishing on Wilhelm is as slow as I’ve ever seen it.”

Shenango Lake

Ken Smith (Sharon): “I fished Shenango from shore on Tuesday around the Mahaney area for about three hours.  I caught 15 fat black crappies from 8 to 11 inches plus a couple bluegills.  I fished a jig and bobber around the new trees they put in this past spring – you can see them sticking above the water.  Bobber set at 5 feet was most effective depth.”

Neshannock Creek

Bob Shuey (Neshannock Creek Fly Shop): “Low water and very hot water in our freestone streams.  Many trout have already died and remaining ones are stressed.  Leave them alone.  Even trout in tailwaters and spring creeks are likely feeling the effects of this drought and hot temperatures.”

 

Gamma Salutes

This week Gamma salutes Ken Smith for his submitted photo of anEriewalleye.  A spool of Gamma Ploy Flex Line is on its way.

Dustin Shay, a previous winner of Gamma Line, had this to say: “In French Creek, I fish a lot of flowing water with rocks.  That is tough on a line.  I tried some Gamma earlier this season – what a line!  I like thin diameter lines in 6 and 8-pound test.  With Gamma I was able to drift baits through rocky sections without breaking off every time I got hung up – most of the time I simply pulled loose.  Gamma seems to stretch less than regular monofilament, and is far better abrasion resistant than any other line of the same diameter that I have used.”

Jewel/Gene Larew Lure Packet

The name drawn for the Jewel/Larew lure packet this week is Eric Heil.

 Shop Talk

Mike Horrobin (CLTackle.com): “When I am fishing just for casual fun, I like both topwater fishing with a fly rod as well as old-time plugging for bass.  It reminds me of the fun I had when we made much of our tackle at home.

“There was a popper built by Gill Gallasch of Richmond and popularized  by famed author Joe Brooks, called the Gerbubble Bug.  Gallasch also made a skipping bug that was a great saltwater popper and worked well on bass.  Another great one is the deer hair bass bug; Paul Young made a number of them.  Larry Dahlberg’s Diver is yet another great fish-catching pattern.  Any of these topwater bugs can be tied at home.

“If not into fly fishing, break out an old casting outfit such as a Pflueger, Shakespeare, Langley, Coxe or Meek plus  and a 5/8-ounce wood plug like a Bass Oreno, Pal-O-Mine or Jitterbug.  If you had forgotten how it was back in 1953, the occasional backlash will remind you.”

Outdoor Calendar of Events

Monthly          Fly-Tying Class – Free, Walk In                814-590-1366

Farrell’s Hook, Line & Stitch (At the Bank Mall),Meadville

2nd Tuesday of each month;6 PM to 7:30 PM

 

July 29           United Way Bass Classic atConneautLake

Information contact: Eric Marsh at 814-382-0686

 

July 30           PF&BC Fishing Skills Instructor workshop at Woodcock

Contact Chad Foster at 814-683-5126 for information

 

Aug 27           Walt’s Tavern Bass Benefit Tournament; $100.00/team

Information contact: Dan Mincin at 724-986-6557

 

Sept 18         Allegheny RiverBass Team Tournament #1

$100 per team; for info contact Eric Heil lt.heil@yahoo.com

 

Oct 16            Allegheny RiverBass Team Tournament #2

$100 per team; for info contact Erie Heil lt.heil@yahoo.com

 

Information contributed by:

–       Chris’ Tackle Box, Jamestown, PA

–       Maurer’s Trading Post, Franklin, PA

–       Oil Creek Outfitters, Titusville, PA

–       John’s Bait & Tackle, Meadville, PA

–       Van Tassel’s Timberland Bait, Canadohta Lake, PA

–       Fergie’s Bait & Tackle, Sandy Lake, PA

–       R & L Bait & Tackle, Greenville, PA

–       B.A.C. Bait & Tackle, Erie, PA

–       Poor Richards Bait & Tackle, Fairview, PA

–       Presque Isle Angler, Erie, PA

–       Neshannock Creek Fly Shop, Volant, PA

–       Erie Sports Store, Erie, PA

–       CLTackle.com

–       Espyville Outdoors, Espyville, PA

–       Farrell’s Hook, Line & Stitch, Meadville, PA

–       Consumer Direct Sports, Grove City, PA

–       Jigger Wholesale Tackle, Franklin, PA

–       Area anglers

 

Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region

& GAMMA Fishing Line (now owned by Black Knight Industries of Oil City)

 

Connect to all counties at www.PaGreatLakes.com

–       Crawford County Convention &Visitors Bureau at www.visitcrawford.org

–       VisitErie at www.visiterie.com

–       VisitMercerCountyPA at www.visitmercercountypa.com

–       Oil Region Alliance at www.oilregion.org

 

 Note: The information in the NW PA Weekly Fishing Report is based on the observations and opinions of individuals at the reporting tackle shops and expert area anglers.  Although the information is reliable, it is not independently verified.

 

If you have fishing information or a picture of your catch from one of the waters in the following counties, please contact Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net

In providing a picture, you are agreeing to it being posted on the Fishing Report.

Keep Up with More NW PA Fishing at http://darlblack.blogspot.com

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Difficult Fishing

Well it was another difficult weekend of fishing in Pennsylvania. In part due to some difficult weather conditions. After a good start last week at Lake Arthur in the Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit we decided to fish event number two on Raystown Lake. Historically, I have never done well at Raystown Lake, so we decided to head out and practice all day on Friday to find a pattern, check water temperatures and water clearity.

We launched from the Seven Points Campground launch around 10:00. The weather was aweful. It was about 40 degrees and raining. I don’t mean a light rain or a sprinkle, it was a constant heavy rain. We fished several spots with no luck before we went back and set up the campsite and had lunch. After being off the water for a little while we went back out and decided that we had better check a couple of spots that we had caught fish before. We fished nearly 400 yards of shoreline at a slow to moderate pace before I decided to try a soft plastice craw bait. I made a few casts and I caught a 3lb largemouth. To be honest I barely felt the hit and even when I set the hook I wasn’t sure it was a fish. So we moved down the shore about 100 yars and I caught a dink. At that point we decided to leave that area and explore a little more. We never had another hit, and at 7:00 we decided to call it a night and go back to the tent.

The next morning we went to registration at James Creek. We pulled boat 89 and secured second flight, which is what we wanted. We started by fishing the James Creek finger and worked a long stretch for the first hour. We decided to work it back up, and around 9:45 we got our first keeper on a chatterbait. It was a nice 3lb largemouth. We worked that area for a while and decided to make a move and just hit every spot on the lake that had produced in the past. Our second stop was an area that has produced smallmouth bass for us in the past. Sure enough around 12:00 we caught our lunker a 3.69lb smallmouth. We worked the spot for another hour without a bite. At that point we decided to hit the stretch that I had caught the keeper the day before. After another long Idle we started working soft plastics and jerkbaits. I missed a 2 different fish and decided to make a lure change because they had never hooked up. Sure enough the move to a different bait the the key because in the next 20 minutes I caught 2 more keeper largemouth. We worked the area for the rest of the day but those fish that I caught around 2:00 were the last ones we caught.

Overall we had little expectations coming into the event and even less after practice. However, this goes to show you that you can draw off of past experience and new knowledge and still have a good day on the water. Our 5th place finish with 4 bass that weighed 12.18 pounds has moved us up to 2nd in the AOY standings. It is a good start that hopefully continues in the KBBC tournament trail.

On Sunday the West Penn Bass Hunters had our first club tournament. We started our season at Lake Wilhelm under great weather conditions, but struggled. There were only 6 bass brought to the scales. A great finish by Jon who had the only 3 fish limit and finished 1st with lunker. I managed to finish 3rd with my 1 keeper. Look for that lake to really turn on this week. The water temps are rising and the clearity is pretty good. The baitfish are not hard to find, but making fish to eat was a struggle this weekend. Good job to all that caught fish and see everyone at Pymatuning.

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