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This past Sunday my club, West Penn Bass Hunters, had a bass tournament on Lake Wilhelm. Because of the possibilities of big bags of fish and good numbers I was really excited about fishing this tournament. Eleven guys set out of the launch at 6:00 am. All of us were excited about the weather conditions and the fact that we were there.

I ran several spots at different depths in the early morning. I fished weeds, brush piles, rocks piles, roadbeds, and laydowns. I had no success. Not even a hit in some of my favorite spots. At 8:55 I decided to run to a stretch of shoreline that usually produces a couple of keepers. I managed to caught 1 small keeper largemouth bass on a beaver in about 1 foot of water out of the weeds. On that same shoreline there is a submerged tree that sits on a breakline in 8-12 feet of water. I decided to fish it while I was in the area. It took me circling that area 2 times before I got hit, but it ended up being my lunker and tournament lunker at 3lbs. I know what you are thinking…3lbs at Lake Wilhelm? I managed to get another 13″ keeper out of the same tree and miss one other strike. Little did I know it would be the last strike of the day.

In West Penn Bass Hunters we keep 3 fish limits. My 3 fish limit weighed 5.15lbs. My lunker was 3.03lbs. I won both categories in the event! I have never seen this lake so tough in all the years I have fished it. It was so bad that I almost threw my fish back around 1:00 and went home. For obvisous reasons I am glad I didn’t. This goes to show you that you never know how well you are truly doing until you come into weigh-in. Just because you feel you are doing crappy doesn’t mean that you aren’t fishing well enough to win.

Now I ask and open ended question and hope some guys reply through the comments. There were a lot of dead fish floating on the lake this weekend. I believe that the oxygen level is too low. The water temperature is about normal, but the lake isn’t producing weeds like it has in previous years. My question is where are the weeds and why is one of the best fisheries in the state, if not the best, having a problem with dead fish. It is not species oriented either. I saw crap, bluegill, crappie, and bass floating. I look forward to hearing to everyones answers.

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

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

My sponsors for this year are:

Pure Fishing

Dig-In Shallow Water Anchors

Contact me at leo@fishpittsburgh.com

1 thought on “Wilhelm Club Tournament

  1. Yes… Where are the weeds?? .. Although you will never get a game officer to admit it, the Pennsylvania Fish Commision kills surface weeds in lakes that they manage with our tax dollars! The other day I noticed a brown slick on Lake Arthur and big balls of surface weeds floating all over the lake. We have known for years that this is what is going on in PA but I believe we are all fed up with it! Your state is tampering with the ecological balance of waterways. They are dumping chemicals, non-native speicies of fish (stocked trout). The oxygen levels are being depleted, spawning areas are being destroyed, and the future of sport fishing in the state of PA is in grave danger. Of course this is all done under the false pretense of “conservation”!?!? I think that until all fisherman, such as us, ban together and form our own “watch-dog” organization in this state, then nothing will change and the fishing will continue to go downhill until it cannot be saved. The PA Fish Commision is more concerned about selling a fishing license than managing the waters. Their idea of managing the waters is to “control” the waters to suit their financial needs! I’m sure the commision has biologist and scientists working for them, but the public level officers I see do not impress me when it comes to fishing knowledge or habitat knowledge on a waterway. I plan to take action soon … we need to take “our” waters back.. we need to let the PA Fish Commision know that we (the tax paying fishing public) will not be “controled” any more! Here is an example.. Take a 55 galon drum of bleach and dump it into a pond on your own property.. If the EPA knew about it, what do you think they would do to you?? .. Where is the EPA in all this?? … Can they harrasse the general public yet turn their eyes on a state!?!? … That tells me that someone is getting paid off! Later this week I will be helping the PA Commision install habitat structures in Lake Arthur. I plan to pose a few questions to them and document their response. I have full intentions of taking the questions to the “higher up’s” in the commision. I believe if we all work in conjunction with the state, then they maybe we can achieve common ground where everyone (including the fish) will benefit.

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