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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

News Reporter

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