Posts Tagged largemouth bass

Muddy Creek

This month our featured fishery could be looked at as part of Lake Arthur in Moraine State Park. However we believe that Muddy Creek, the tail waters of the Lake Arthur Dam, deserve to be classified as its own fishery. The tail waters stretch from the Lake Arthur Dam until it runs into Slippery Rock Creek. It can be difficult to fish, but if you can deal with hiking and working to get through brush you can find some really nice areas to fish.

Some of the species that you will find in Muddy Creek include: walleye, crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, northern pike, and muskellunge. Near the tail waters you will find that there are gizzard shad. These are often the target of the trophy muskellunge. Just because this in not a large fishery don’t assume that the fish are not going to be big. You may not catch a bunch of fish, but you will catch quality fish. Walleye over 20 inches are common and 40 inch muskellunge are common as well.

Time of year should determine how you fish and the size of lures that you use. In the winter the best rig to use is a single hook a small split shot and a medium fathead minnow. This will catch every species swimming in the creek, especially the muskellunge and northern pike. Once the water begins to warm up in the spring larger lures. Spinnerbaits, stick baits, buzzbaits and frogs are all good options. For bass brings you jigs and trailers and you will not be disappointed.

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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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A Busy Couple Weeks for the team

March 26th was the Mariners Buddy Tournament held at Cross Creek Lake in Avella PA.  Team members Brad Bressler and Derek Severns teamed up to fish this event.  40 degree water temps greeted the guys in the morning with the air temperature only being 28 degrees.  Slow, slow fishing was the name of the game.  Around 1 pm Brad got the team’s only bite and only fish a 3.40 largemouth came off a deep lake point.  This fish gave the guys a 4th place finish, the tournament was won, with one fish that weighed in just over 7 pounds…a true Cross Creek trophy.

April 10th was the first of three TBF District six events that the team would fish.  This event was held at Lake Erie, but this was a bay only tournament, held inside of Presque Isle Bay.  Team members Rich Wolota, Brad Bressler and Derek Severns, fished this event.  Again, cold water temps greeted the anglers and the fishing was slow.  Only a few boats caught fish.  The boys only caught a few fish, none of them made the 15” minimum.  The short fish that they caught came off of jerk baits and spinner baits.   Throughout the day the anglers tried many different techniques, none of which would produce any keepers. The next two events will be held at Pymatuning Lake in June and then Conneaut Lake in August, the boys will be looking for a little redemption.

As soon as the event at Erie ended, the team packed up and headed to Washington DC for the week.  The TBF Mr. Bass East event was being held on the Potomac River April 15th and 16th.  The team would pre-fish for four days prior to the tournament in hopes of locating some big fish.  The 4 practice days prior to the event did not help the team too much, as the fish were pre-spawn and still hadn’t moved up onto the spawning flats.  Most fish were still out in the main river and this made them hard to find and catch.  The further north that you went from the launch, the water seemed to clear up and the fishing was better, so both days, Rich and Brad went north in hopes of finding some better fish.  The tide is very important at the Potomac River; you have to fish the falling and rising tides and know where that puts the fish, and at what times of the day this all happens.  It adds a new element to fishing that we don’t have at home; the guys that master the tides and the river always seem to come out on top.  Rattle traps, senkos, chatter baits, spinner baits and jigs seemed to be the weapons of choice for the week.  At the end of the week the guys didn’t get the results that they had hoped for Brad finished 35th and Rich was 37th on the boater side, while Derek was 37th and Bob was 44th.  Though the results were not what they had hoped, each trip to Washington DC and the Potomac River is a learning experience and teaches you a lot of new things.  The Bass Hounds would like to thank all of their 2011 Sponsors, Valvoline Oil, Nervous Waters, Metal Menders, Strauss Automotive, Poor Boy Baits and, Bowser Collision Center, without the help of these companies this would not be possible.


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Good Fishing

This past weekend was one of the most unbelievable fishing weekends that I have ever experienced. It started with fishing the KBBC event at Pymatuning Lake on Saturday. My dad had practiced for the event on Thursday and was confident in his spots and what made me happy is where and how they were getting them. Plus, I had been there the previous saturday for a 1/2 day and my spots were close to his. That makes for a maximized fishing day. It took me about 3 flips and I had our first keeper and we never looked back. We had our first limit in the first hour of the tournament and had 1 good fish in the well. Then it was time to start culling. And boy did we cull a lot of fish. Switching between flipping, working soft plastic on breaks, and topwater we were able to boat between 45 and 50 keepers. The majority of which were largemouth bass. More than likely we caught 4 limits of 6 fish that would have been over 12lbs. It was a record setting day for the Keystone Bass Buddy Circuit. 81 limits were brought to the scales and over 1100 pounds of fish were weighed in. If it wasn’t for a 1/2 pound dead fish penalty we would have collected a check, but we still finished 22 with 15.11 pounds. More importantly we moved up to first in the standings. It is a long season, but this is by far the best start we have ever had.

Sunday we got up and decided to ride to Presque Isle Bay to try and get into the smallmouth bass. We got there and there was a very strong wind out of the northeast. These are not good conditions to fish the bay. Especially when the wind is blowing 20-25mph and raining hard the entire time. Unlike the weather the fishing was unbelievable. Between the 2 of us we boated over 50 smallmouth in 6 hours. A couple were over 5lbs and about 10 were probably in the 4lb range. most of the fish were in the 3lb range though. The key to the day was actually getting your lure to the bottom. If you didn’t you weren’t catching fish, but as soon as you got down you were getting bit.

If you are looking for somewhere to fish this weekend I highly recommend both of these fisheries, as this could be the best weather we have had in weeks to fish during the weekend. Good Luck.

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Allegheny Reservoir

Located in the Allegheny National Forest is one of the largest lakes in Pennsylvania. The Allegheny Reservoir spans through Warren and McKean Counties in Pennsylvania and Cattaraugus County in New York. This reservoir is part of the Army Corps of Engineers. At normal summer pool the lake is 24 miles long and covers over 12,000 acres.

The Kinzua Dam was initially built for flood control of the Allegheny River in the 1960’s.  It is estimated that the dam has prevented over 1 billion dollars worth of damage. However, since the dam was constructed many other uses have been utilized. The hydroelectric power plant located below the dam may be the greatest of its uses. Check out the Big Bend Access Vistors Center to see more information about the power plant and how it works. There are many campgrounds, water sports, fishing opportunities, and other outdoor activities possible around the reservoir. Not to mention it has some of the most beautiful scenery in the state.

Now let’s talk fishing! The Allegheny Resevoir is a very deep body of water with steep sloping banks. The water is also very clear as long as the weather has been consistent with no rain. Remember this is a river system and the water level fluctuates daily. These conditions stated there is a little something for everyone on this body of water.

Let’s start by talking about toothy criters. This body of water is know for producing giant Musky and Northern Pike. Not to mention that you can catch large numbers of both species. Like always trolling is an option and a lot of guys use this method. Just remember that the water is clear. My experience is that you don’t have to work that hard to find the Northern Pike. If you want fast results I would head up into some of the no wake bays and go to the back of the bays. Almost every bay has a small stream coming into the bay and the northern pike will move up into those areas to feed. Try some firetiger jerkbaits, firetiger topwater lures, or jitterbugs. My experience is that brighter lures attract pike and triger more stikes. However, if the sun is high try black. It puts out a great silouette. Most of the bigger pike and musky will be on the main body of the lake near the cliff faces. The best approach to fishing these areas is using a vertical style. My favorite is to use large red/white daredevil spoons and cast them parallel to the shoreline right against it. You will find that the spoon will be sinking and just stop on the fall before the lure hits the bottom. When that happens hold on because you got exactly what you are looking for.

There is also a decent walleye population. Coventional walleye tackle will be necessary. Light line and flourocarbon is a must. Trolling is probably the most effective way to fish for walleye there. However, I have had great success throwing plugs such as Rapala Shad Raps, Hot n Tots, and jerkbaits in the morning. Remember the water is clear so you will want to you natural colored lures. Some other methods that work well include jigging minnows, trolling worm harnesses, and using blade baits on the cliff faces. My favorite end of the lake for walleye tends to be towards Red Bridge.

There are plenty of panfish in the lake as well. Perch and rock bass dominate the panfish population, but you will also find crappie and bluegill as well. Shallow rock shorelines tend to hold good numbers of rock bass. Try throwing nightcrawlers on a small jig head. You will find the perch almost everywhere that you catch a walleye. Check 10-25 feet of water for you best chance. Unfortunately, you may not find the size of perch desired for keeping. This body of water is like every other body of water that I have ever fished in that when you catch one crappie sit there and work the area because you may get a bunch of them in a short period of time.

Now let’s talk bass fishing. Smallmouth are the dominate species, but there are largemouth around the lake. There are a lot bass in the lake, but it can be difficult to locate them and it can be even more difficult to find good sized fish. To me the reason for this is because the lake is very clear and there are large numbers of preditor fish in the lake. My recommendations for catching bass are as follows. First, trust your electronics for locating flats or shoals as well as bait fish. Throughout the lake there is only so much bank that doesn’t drop straight down. Finding feeding flats will greatly improve your odds. Also, you will want to head to the back of the no wake bays. The reason for this is that most of them are feed by some sort of stream or runoff area. Because of this the bass as well as Northen Pike seem to really stack up back in these areas. One of my favorite things to throw is a firetiger size 9 original floating rapala. Other natural colors work as well, but it just seems that I get more strikes on firetiger. Some other things you will want to try are tubes, drop shot, grubs, poppers, and spooks. Crankbaits can be a good option as well.

The largemouth are a little more difficult to find. In fact I only have 1 area on the lake that I consistently have caught largemouth and usually I only get a couple of them to bite. Usually, I am able to get these fish on soft jerkbaits or spinnerbaits. Like I said, the numbers just don’t seem to be in this body of water so I would spend my time looking for walleye and smallmouth.

There is plenty of camping opportunities around the Allegheny Reservoir. Red Bridge Campground, Dew Drop Campground, and Kiasutha Campground are on the Pennsylvania side of the lake. There are several areas set up for primative camping where there is no running water and no bathhouses. Some of my best memories of family camping trips were when my parents took my sisters and I primetive camping. It was on of those times in life that there were no rules and you could just have fun.

Scattered throughout the lake is hiking trials and overlooks. You will find some of the best scenery in the state at these overlooks. All watersports are legal here. There is a beach by Wolf Run Marina. Wolf Run Marina is the only Marina on the water on the Pennsylvania side of the lake.

When thinking about a weekend get away with the family you should really consider taking a trip to the Allegheny Reservoir. Make it a mid May trip when everything is in bloom and you will the some of the best senerio you could ask for. Not to mention the best fishing.

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Presque Isle Bay – Lake Erie

One of the best fisheries in Pennsylvania is located in Erie County. Presque Isle State Park on Lake Erie is home to some of the best fishing I have ever experienced. Everyone knows how good Lake Erie can be, but no one thinks about how fishing the Presque Isle Bay. There are many species of fish and certain times of year some species are more abundant than other times. The Erie area is thriving right now so there is plenty to do inside and outside the state park. It truly has something for everyone.

Let’s start by talking about all of the species of fish that can be found in Presque Isle Bay. The most abundant species in the bay depends on the time of year in which you are there. The most consistent species you can find is largemouth bass. Fisherman can experience some of the best largemouth fishing in the state from the time the ice comes off the bay until the bay freezes over. From mid April until early July you can find a huge population of smallmouth bass that move into the bay to spawn. Panfish such as perch, crapie, bluegill, rock bass, white bass, and sunfish. During the cold water temperature time of the year you can find steelhead and trout that have migrated in from the main lake. There is a healthy population of northern pike. Some other species that can be found include: muskie, freshwater drum, carp, catfish, and alligator gar. Whatever your target species there are ample oppurtunies at Presque Isle State Park.

As many species as there are in the bay there are many more ways to catch fish depending on the species. In the spring and fall months fishing aggressive tends to be the best when fishing for largemouth and smallmouth bass. Spinnerbaits, chatterbaits, crankbaits, jerkbaits, and topwater lures are my favorite lures. During the water summer months I tend to switch gears and pull out more of my heavy punching gear because of the abundance of weeds. Heavy weights and heavy line are a must to get fish out of the mat weeds. No matter what time of year that I there I expect to boat 50 bass a day. It doesn’t always happen, but it happens more often than not. Some of my favorite soft plastics include berkley chigger craws and tubes of various colors. Creature baits such as brush hogs are also very effective.

Early in the year steelhead move into the bay. You can effectively catch these fish on your typical lures for them. Spoons, blade baits, and jerkbaits are some of the common lures used. For muskie and northern pike you should start with white spinnerbaits and swimbaits. Everytime I fish this lake I catch a couple of these guys early in the morning while I am fishing aggressively for bass. Try fishing Misery Bay for these toothy guys. Try looking that the beginning of the penninsula for carp and panfish. However, panfish can be found throughout the bay. If you are looking to find an alligator gar you should look in the lagoons and horseshoe bay.

There are ample opportunities to fish from boats and from shore. There are e public boat launchs in Presque Isle State Park. There is the Vista Boat launch which is more for small water crafts and jet skies. Niagara Boat Launch and the Lagoons Boat Launch and handle small to medium sized boats. The largest boat launch is the West Pier Launch. It will handle whatever boat you choose to launch. There is a marina attached to the west pier launch with plenty of slips to accommodate. There is also a boat launch on the city side of the by on Chestnut Street.

Presque Isle State Park offers many more activities that just fishing. There is a paved bicycle trail that can be jogged, biked, or walked on that goes the entire way around the penninsula. At the beginning of the park there is a shop that you can rent bicycles. On Graveyard Point there is a boat rental where you can rent kayaks, canoes, or multiple types of boats. There are plenty of picnic shelters that can be rented or used on a first come first served basis. Scuba diving is permit is certain areas of the bay, but you must be a registered diver and check in with the park before doing so. Water skiing is also permitted as this is an unlimited horsepower body of water. Except for the no wake and lagoons (electric only) area.

My favorite time of year to be at Presque Isle State Park is May. At this time the trees are turning green and the flowers are blooming. Let’s not forget that the smallmouth bass are in the bay spawning or getting ready to spawn. The largemouth bass fishing is unbelievable as well.

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Basscasters Wednesday Evening Tournament – #11

Week #11– 528 Launch

1stBlain Bartley, Jr./Blain Bartley,Sr.37.39
2ndChuck Walker/25.16
3rdJim Lambert/Steve Longwell24.44
4thJeff McMasters/Rich Gavula23.54
5thRandy Rose/Jim Bohrer23.37
6thKeith E. Brown/Dawn Schaffner23.3
7thLarry Schmeider/Jim Mitchell13.29
8thJustin Mazzanti/Jeff Hall12.07
LunkerBlain Bartley, Jr./Blain Bartley,Sr.LM4.18

2010 Angler of the Year Standings

Biggest Bags and Biggest Lunkers of 2010


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Lake Arthur Tournaments

Recently I competed in multiple tournaments on Lake Arthur. First, dad and I fished the KBBC Event on August 14th. We were in the second flight so we fished from 7-3:30. Flight number and boat number didn’t matter much because we haven’t been able to put a pattern together and we haven’t been able to locate fish at Lake Arthur all year. Before the tournament started we decided to come out junk fishing.

We started the day by fishing a couple brush piles which yeilded zero fish. Then we tried powerfishing a weed line. Once again nothing. We decided to slow down and fish a couple of small sets of lilly pads. It was slightly better because dad managed to catch a dink. After that we decided to run to a stump and a beaver hut. Again we came up empty. So we decided to try to fish another weed line, and each of us caught a dink. Continuing to struggle around 9:00 I decided I wanted to flip a bush that has given me numerous keepers throughout the years. Before I got to the bush I caught a dink outside it swimming a jig. My next cast was a pitch into the bush. And like it has done many times it gave me a keeper. It was a start. Then after a couple minutes I remembered where another bush was I wanted to hit. First cast was another keeper. The jig bite was one and so was the flipping bite! Neither have been working all year for me. Dad lost a keeper smallie shortly after my second keeper. On that lake you just can’t afford to loose fish and we knew it, but we kept our spirits and ran to another tree. It was now 10:15 and I nailed another keeper. This time it was a decent 3.78lb largemouth. With 3 keepers in the well and nearly 5 hours to fish we felt really good about our chances for more fish. However, the rest of the day consisted of short strikes and plenty of dinks. At least until 2:45 when we caught another keeper largemouth on a jig. That day we ended up finishing in 10th place with 9.28lbs. Not bad for not being on any type of pattern until that day. Check out the Lake Arthur KBBC standings here.

After a good tournament with dad, I fished the Kyle Mcfeely Tournament with Jon the next weekend at Lake Arthur. It was a well run benefit tournament hosted by Jerry Hanna and CDS Sporting Goods. Jon and I felt good about our chances going into the tournament because now both of us were on fish and they were in the same end of the lake. That almost never happens for us. I will not go into too much detail because we only were able to catch 1 keeper and it was a baby at that. However, the tournament was a success in raising money and a job well done by the CDS crew. I look forward to fishing the event next year and supporting their cause. For tournament result and stats check out the CDS Sporting Goods webiste.

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Deep Diving Crankbaits for Largemouth Bass

Here the Linders give some tips on how to catch largemouth bass on crankbaits.


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Post Spawn Transition Areas

Summer is now here and the bass fishing, in Western PA, has heated up along with the hot temperatures. The Largemouth Bass have completed their spawing for the year and are now in a post spawn pattern. Post spawn largemouth will hold in the transition areas in post spawn until they enter their summer patterns. Bass fishing is all about opportunities and catching the fish at the right moment. Post spawn largemouth feed heavily to gain weight after the spawn. This is a fine opportunity to locate schools of bass on staging areas. A staging area can be anything from a point, hump, roadbed, wood, rubble, etc. The key factor to locating the school is finding where the bait is and also finding the areas closer to deeper water. If you can find these areas, all you have to do is look for the cover on the structure and that’s where you will find success. The baits that work this time of year depend on the forage and also the lake that you are fishing. Covering water with fast moving search baits will give you the clues you need to locate the fish. Although the post spawn can be breif, it is a great opportunity to hit your local waterway and test your skills to find the bass. Here’s a few videos I took from a great day on a small lake. Boated or lost around 40 bass all in the 3 to 4 lb range and a couple over 5+! Post spawn patterns and transition areas can equal big bass days for the opportunistic bass angler.

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