1. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 9/23/13

    September 27, 2013 by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: September 23, 2013
    The NW PA Fishing Report is brought to you by…

    Gold Sponsor: Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region

    Connect to all counties at www.PAGreatLakes.com

    Bronze Sponsor: Black Knight Industries, Oil City – Home of Gamma Line

    Bronze Sponsor: Wiegel Brothers Marine, Franklin

    The NW PA Fishing Report provides timely angling information for Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango Counties – covering all species and all waters open to the public. The fishing comments and photos are offered by regional tackle shops and area anglers, complied and published twice a month. The NW PA Fishing Report is based on experiences, observations and opinions of individual contributors; information sources are considered reliable but comments are not independently verified. If you would like to share your fishing experiences or photos from any waterway in the four counties, please email to Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net. In providing information or pictures, you are agreeing to it being posted in the Fishing Report and distributed electronically to media and websites.

    The Landing Net by Darl Black

    ll, September has turned out to be an exceptional month for fishing. Nice size steelhead are running early in good numbers. Crappies are biting at Pymatuning, Shenango and PIB if you are willing to put in some time to find them. And smallmouth bass! Bronzebacks are going gangbusters in the Allegheny, French Creek, Lake Erie and a few other places (check out the trophy from Justus Lake on Livewell page). On my FB page I had called this the Summer of Smallmouth. Well, Summer of Smallmouth has merged into Bronzeback Fall. Hurry up and go fishing right now through October because the soothsayers are predicting an early winter!

    NW Pennsylvania Fishing Report for September 23, 2013

    Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism
    What’s biting in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties?
    Sponsored by PA Great Lakes Region tourism

    French Creek: Flowing through all four counties

    Lou Letterle (Franklin) filed 9/23: “As a truly ‘recreational angler’ I rarely go fishing for a specific fish species, and sometimes catch two or three different types of fish especially when using live bait as I often do. So a kayak float-fishing trip on the Venango County portion of French Creek a week ago proved to be no exception. While my fishing partner Tim Kier (Titusville) was battling a 14” smallmouth in the ultra-clear water of French Creek that day, a musky grabbed the bass and started towing Tim upstream. The musky was in full view right beneath Tim’s kayak. Eventually the musky let go but not before mortally wounding the bass. Talk about your heart racing! I have included a picture of the bass grabbed by the musky as well as a smallmouth I caught.”

    Angler Al (Franklin) filed 9/21: “On Tuesday the 10th, I hit French Creek for the evening go. Used my little rod with a piece of night crawler to catch what I nicknamed ‘tiger baits’ years ago. Last Saturday Darl asked me if I ever used ‘sand pike’ for bait. They’re one and the same, and they are one of my favorite baits to use. Caught two smallmouths, and near dark I hooked up with a skinny pike. On Thursday the 12th, I fished French Creek in the late evening during the rain. A set minnow trap provided me with some quick ammunition. Suspended float set-up worked well along the outer edge of the matted weedline. Results: two walleyes and two smallmouths.”

    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 9/20: “I’ve been catching a lot of creek bait, and using it in hopes of catching walleyes. On the 13th, I caught 5 legal walleyes including one going 22 inches. But mainly I’m catching smallmouth. For example, the other day I had 31 riffle minnows, headed to a walleye spot but could not get the bait to the bottom without smallmouth hitting the minnows – even when I weighted the bait, bass smacked them before the bait made it to the bottom. With 31 riffle minnows I caught 30 fish but they were all smallmouth. It wouldn’t be a bad thing except most of the smallmouths were in the 10-to 13-inch range; a couple hit the 17-inch mark. Dad has made a couple trips to the Creek with live bait, too. He managed to catch a couple walleye one evening, but smallmouth took most of his bait. There is a heck of a population of small smallmouth in French Creek.”

    Chris Wolfgong (Oil City) filed 9/16: “I hit French Creek Saturday morning the 14th from 7:00 to 10:30 am to try some ‘new’ water. Had my first fish within minutes on the new Get Bit Stream Tubes I won from the Fishing Report. Thanks! Going by the marks on my rod, the bass was 15”. Had another smaller fish on the tube, plus one on a Houdini Shad soft jerkbait. Wish I had more time to pick apart the water but I had a wedding to go to. I’ll be tossing those Get Bit tubes a lot more this fall.”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Pymatuning Lake
    Dave Richter (Richter’s Bait) filed 9/23: “I was away at a tackle show most of the week so I do not have a lot of customer reports – besides there are not a lot of people fishing Pymatuning right now. A handful of guys are picking up a few walleyes in the evening on the Vib-E Blade baits; no one is catching numbers but the blade bait bite is just starting and will get stronger as the water continues to cool. One customer reported getting into some big crappies in the deep weeds – apparently the crappies are moving a little shallower. Big bluegills have been caught at 6 to 8-feet in weeds, too. And channel cats are still hitting!”

    Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 9/22: “There has been very little boat traffic on the lake – hardly anyone on the water in the last couple weeks. When the fall walleye bite gets going strong, I expect anglers to be back.”

    Editor’s note: While many anglers have given up on Pymatuning crappies for the year, Norman “Hooker” Brakeman has continued to catch nice crappies from deeper offshore cover all summer. A significant part of his success is being able to read a quality sonar unit to locate cover and fish. He says utilizing a B’n’M Rod, Gamma Line and Bobby Garland crappie baits are also important. I accompanied him in a separate boat a week ago to shoot photos, and it didn’t take long for him to get on the fish – as this string of photos demonstrates.

    Hooker (Hills Country Store) filed 9/22: “I had members of the Stephany family out on the 22nd. Ron Stephany, an Iraqi Vet, caught his first ever crappie on a Bobby Garland 2” Swimming Minnow.”

    “On Monday the 9th, Hooker’s Fishing Taxi had the pleasure of taking Larry Bortz out for an afternoon of crappie fishing on Pymatuning. It started out very slow. The first three spots were similar in nature – offshore humps that topped at 6 to 8 feet. The crappies were not there. Realizing the fish seemed to be starting fall patterns a little early this year, I chose a long point that had quick break at 10 feet before dropping off into the main river channel. After locating what I believe to be a stump located right on the break, I cast a Bobby Garland Swimming Minnow and let it sink to the bottom. It never made it. When the line jumped, I set the hook and felt solid weight of nice crappie. When I swung it aboard, Larry said “Man, that’s a really big one.” But I assured him it was just average size for this lake. I made another cast, had another bite and caught another crappie. Larry was frustrated at first, unable to catch a fish until he started watching his line closely and staying in contact with his jig. Another happy customer!”

    Conneaut Lake
    Steve Hughes (Clarion) filed 9/22: “On Sunday with the cold front moving in, I was fishing for photos with Darl. Bass were not cooperative. I caught several small largemouth on drop-shot rig and two pike on jigs flipped into weeds. Darl had a couple blow up on a Zara Spook, including one which was a nice smallmouth. With wind and rain, it was a brutal morning on the water.”

    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 9/22: “I fished Conneaut Lake on Wednesday the 18th. It was slow in the morning but really picked up in the afternoon with lots of really nice bluegills plus a few bonus perch. All caught on white split-tails tipped with maggots.”

    Canadohta Lake
    Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 9/22: “Last week my son Marshall caught a nice walleye from Canadohta while fishing for panfish with friends. It hit a piece of nightcrawler on a jighead. I had a customer report catching a 20-inch smallmouth from the lake over the weekend. For the fall, Timberland Bait is only open Friday 3 pm to 8 pm; Saturday 7 am to 8 pm; and Sunday 8 am to 3 pm.”

    ERIE COUNTY
    Lake Erie & Tributaries
    Ric Gauriloff (Trout Run Bait) filed 9/23: “Rain this immediate past weekend brought a run of steelhead into the creeks. Fish are now up the creeks past Route 5 in Walnut and past Route 20 in Elk Creek. We have not heard anything of the Mile creeks on the East side at this time. The tributaries were high and dirty on Sunday but I’m sure they are clearing today. Many nice size fish are being caught on a variety of baits and lures. Two steelhead citations were weighed in the store on Sunday, with reports of many likesize fish being caught and released.”

    Gary Heuble, Jr. (Poor Richards) filed 9/23: “In Elk Creek, steelheads are now from the mouth up to the Legion Hole. Reports are there are fish in the East side creeks, too. It’s been too rough on the lake for perch or walleye anglers to get out. The last reports were perch at 55 feet just west of Walnut Creek and walleyes were moving west. Better weather this week may allow boat fishermen to get back out.”

    Dan Seaman (Elk Creek Sports) filed 9/23: “Although there had been some steelhead wandering upstream, I consider this past weekend the kickoff to this year’s fall run. We had 3 inches of rain on Saturday, the creeks went up and the steelhead moved in good numbers up Elk at least as far as the Legion Hole. But with no rain in forecast this week, creeks will clear quickly and drop, making for tough fishing. The best advice when low and clear is to fish the fast water at the head of a pool and the tail-out area where more active steelhead will be – rather than trying for fish in the center of a pool. The fish are of nice size, with 95% of them being males right now; females will follow.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 9/23: “I went to Walnut Creek today and slammed the steelhead on Mini Foo jigs tipped with crawlers, drifting the bait through the pools. Fishing from 6 AM to noon, I landed and released 20 of them.”

    Joe Nichols (UndergroundAngler.com) filed 9/22: “Great weekend for fishing. On Friday I fished Erie for smallmouth. The bite was slow, but we managed to catch several 4-pound smallmouth. Check out Justus Lake section to see the big bronzeback I caught there on Sunday!”

    David Polovina, filed 9/20: “On September 14, Bill Kokla and I arrived at Conneaut Harbor launch about noon. We had a tip from a charter captain that the walleyes were to the northwest. We ran approximately 8 miles and marked huge schools of fish. We set out line and proceeded to catch piles of white bass and sheephead. We boated 4 ‘eyes in the first two hours, and then decided to put our lures right on the bottom. Wire line at 300 feet on planner boards with Rapalas was the ticket. We boated 14 ‘eyes within two hours. We were pleased to see different age groups. We kept our limit of 12 fish; we also got 1 steelhead and lost several more – they were as deep as the walleyes.”

    Paul Stewart (Butler) filed 9/16: “On the 14th I did an evening perch trip on the Danny O with my nephews. It started out slow and we made a couple moves before getting on fish. But as the sun started to come down, the perch turned on fast and furious. I got my limit and my nephews all got half or more of their limits. My biggest was 13.5 inches.”

    Presque Isle Bay
    Last minute email from Dave Lefebre – on Monday the 23rd, Dave and a fishing buddy caught 100 crappies in Presque Isle Bay on small tube jigs!

    Jim (B.A.C. Bait) filed 9/23: “The bass tournament of the weekend was a success, so we know largemouth bass are biting in the Bay. Customers are reporting perch and crappie activity, as well as some steelhead action off the North Pier.”

    Dave Lefebre (Erie) filed 9/23: “My tournament partner Barry Hohn and I won the Great Lakes Largemouth Tournament in PIB on Saturday with 4 bass for 12.5 pounds; we also took lunker with a 3.5 pounder. We caught a total of 76 bass, mostly by cranking Rapala DT 16 and DT 20 crankbaits, plus a few on jigs. On Wednesday I was also on the Bay with an out- door writer for a couple hours. We caught 29 largemouth bass, one smallmouth bass and a 12-pound snakehead…I mean bowfin! These fish all came by flipping tubes and jigs.” (See Darl’s blog at www.darlblack.blogspot for details on fishing with Lefebre)

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 9/23:
    - 9/21: “I checked out the South Pier. Anglers were getting limits of big perch, some in the 13 to 14-inch range. On the Docks, catching 10 to 12-inch perch on minnows. On 4 Mile and 16 Mile Creeks, they were catching steelhead on sucker spawn.”
    - 9/19: “I caught 30 nice perch from the Docks.”
    - 9/17: “I caught 45 perch and four nice crappies on the west side of the Docks. Water temperature was about 50 degrees.”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Lake Wilhelm
    Special Note: September 28 is a workday for the volunteer project of clearing shoreline to develop additional shoreline fishing areas. Contact Park Manager William Wasser at 724-252-4833 for more information.

    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 9/23: “Walleye bite on Wilhelm has been pretty good lately. Some walleyes are being taken on worm harnesses and some on Storm Hot-N-Tots. Bluegill fishing off the Sheakleyville causeway is picking up; crappies are moving in just before dark.”

    R.J. Graham (Tionesta) filed 9/22: “I fished the BMCC club tournament at Wilhelm on Sunday. We fished mostly south of the causeway; catching 2 small bass and losing two nice bass. All our fish came from grass on jigs, spinnerbaits and Senkos. The tournament was won by Stan Teitelbaum with three bass going 11 pounds; he had lunker with a 6.32 pound largemouth! That fish is also club lunker for the year.”

    Shenango Lake
    Laurie (R&L Bait & Tackle) filed 9/22: “Fishing reports from Shenango are sketchy –not a lot of anglers fishing the lake right now. We have been informed that stripers are being caught in the lower portion of the lake near Sharpsville.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 9/19: “I fished Shenango on Wednesday the 18th. The crappie bite is still very good and the size is getting better. The 9” black crappies are thin but the white are slim. We’re going to have a very good fall bite here as I anticipate these fish will put on another inch before winter.”

    Shenango River
    Editor’s Note: The Shenango River Watchers held their fall float from Pymatuning Dam to Greenville on the 15th. Over 150 people participated. Event manager Hugh Clark informed me that a week before the big float, a kayak angler fished this same section of river. Using a fly rod, he caught over 30 smallmouths with the largest going 4 pounds.

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Justus Lake
    Joe Nichols (UndergroundAngler.com) filed 9/22: “Today in the miserable cold, wind and rain, I went to Justus Lake and caught a smallmouth bass over 7 pounds! The fish are definitely feeding up. I caught this trophy on a drop-shot rig, and after taking a photo of it, I released it back into the lake.”

    Allegheny River
    Pete Cartwright (White Oak) filed 9/23: “Why chase steel when you can have Bronze? With rain coming in Saturday the 21st, I decided to go steelhead fishing on Elk Creek. There were lots of people there and the creek was muddy. I grew impatient and decided to head to the Allegheny. We got to Franklin around noon. It was raining and air temperature was cool, but as soon as I got into the water, we were hooking up with bronze. We landed 47 smallmouth bass. The biggest was 20 inches. We lost a few other bass that were at least that big. Most of the fish were 16 inches and bigger. The water level was rising and fish were in very shallow water. All fish came on soft plastics. It was a nice flow but floating weeds were a problem. I had to clean my lures off almost every cast but when catching big smallies it’s worth it. Fall always produces good numbers on rivers and streams, and this was one of those days.”

    Gene Winger (Oil City) filed 9/23: “On Saturday, September 14, a group of people floated the river from Oil City to Franklin picking up trash and junk. I talked to some of them and I was very impressed with what they were doing. I believe their effort should be recognized as well as the sponsoring organizations. I know Wiegel on the River was one of the sponsors but there were others that should be recognized as well. Please see what you can learn and post it in a future Report. Now here are my fishing reports:
    Week of September 9: I’ve been on the river almost every day this week; the bite has been good, averaging 8 to 10 smallmouths on each outing. On Saturday I fished with my son-in-law’s father Bill Hay from Somerset, PA. It was Bill’s first time on the Allegheny and in a few hours we landed 12 smallies and a nice pike – all on Winco River Darters and Predators Craws. Bill was so impressed he can’t wait to return for another fishing trip.
    Week of September 16th: The week started slow, catching mostly dink smallmouths. With the cold front moving in over the weekend, the bite really picked up on Thursday and Friday; landing over a dozen smallies each day, most in the 16” to 19” range – all on Winco Predator Craws and Tubes. With the cold front here on Sunday the 22nd, I knew it would be tough fishing. But sticking to deep water and working the bottom slowly with Winco C.W. Smallie Jigs I was able to land 5 decent bass.”

    Angler Al (Franklin) filed 9/21: “With the full moon rising on the 17th, I fished the Allegheny River an hour before dark below the 3rd Street marina in Franklin. Using a small hook and pinch of nightcrawler, I managed to catch baitfish. One of those was a baby rock bass, which produced my only catch of the evening. The hawg river smallie put up a tough battle. Sorry, no picture available.”

    Tom Ference (Pittsburgh) filed 9/20: “I fished the Allegheny around Emlenton with guide Jeff Knapp on Thursday the 18th. Started cloudy but cleared in the afternoon. We caught 30 smallmouths and one walleye on Rapala X-Rap jerkbaits and soft jerkbaits.”

    David Polovina, filed 9/19: “On September 17, Tom Dunmire and I chartered with Jeff Knapp for an Allegheny River fishing trip. We fished the free-flow water north of Kittanning. The skies were clear and it was about 75 degrees. We fished hard and caught about 30-plus smallmouth bass. A few were 18”; all were released. We used mainly jerkbaits.”

    Duff Kerle (Clarion) filed 9/17: “Mark Hartle and I fished the Fraternal Order of Police Open on Sunday, the 16th. We caught around
    50 smallies with several in the 3-pound range. We fished the stretch from Franklin south pas Belmar Bridge to Kennedale. Most fish were caught in the riffles and just below the riffles. Our lures were Power Team Food Chain Tubes and Zoom Flukes – fished on braided line with a 16-pound Gamma Edge leader. We finished in 1st place with 15.91 pounds for our biggest 5 fish. We also took lunker with a 3.78 smallmouth. During pre-fishing on Wednesday the 11th, we caught two over 4 pounds; picture attached.”

    Note: Three will be another FOP bass tournament on the river on October 13 out of Oil City launch. Contact Eric Heil for information and application at ekaheil@comcast.net.

    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 9/17: “On Sunday the 16th, I fished with Darl Black below Franklin. We were using riffle minnows I had caught from French Creek. Once we got the boat positioned on the upside of a rock pile, we began catching fish. In roughly 3 hours we caught 20 smallmouths around the rock pile and on a downstream drift in about 8 feet of water for the next 200 yards. Eleven of the bass were between 3 and 4 pounds. Circle hooks kept us from hooking fish deep and we released all we caught. The average size of Allegheny smallmouth is so much bigger than the ones I have been catching in French Creek on live bait.”

    Pete Cartwright (White Oak) filed 9/17: “We fished the Allegheny for two days this past weekend, wading the river for six hours each day. Saturday was clear and sunny; we fished waist deep water catching 8 bass with the biggest going 19 inches. We switched up and went to a back channel and caught 15 there but they were smaller fish. On Sunday I decided to fish a section I had not fished before, but action was slow with 9 bass and the biggest 17 inches. After dinner I went out for the evening bite, hooking 11 fish and landing 8 bass which were all in the 17 to 20 inch range. All fish were taken on soft plastics.

    Steve Hughes (Clarion) filed 9/11: “On Sunday the 8th, Ed Fike and I fished out of Oil City. I caught around 20 smallmouths on an XCalibur X3 jerkbait. The bass were crushing it in the 4- to 5-foot depth below riffles.”

    Gamma Fishing Tips

    Gamma Pro-Staff Tip

    Dustin Shay is a top stick on French Creek and its various tributaries; versed in artificial lure presentations as well as the use of live creek bait. Here are some of his tips for using live bait for walleye and smallmouth on flowing water. “The best live bait you can use is the indigenous minnows you catch or trap from the watershed you plan to fish. In the late summer and early fall, riffle minnows (blue dots) and sand pike are a couple of best ones you can use. As the water gets colder in the mid to late fall, creek chubs, stone rollers and shiners become more effective. I strongly recommend the use of circle hooks for fishing live bait; circle hooks greatly reduce deep hooking of gamefish you intend to release. Don’t snap set with circle hook; instead with the fish begin moving away and you slowly sweep the rod tip upward, hooking fish in the corner of the mouth. You always want to present live bait as natural as possible – just the hook and a couple split-shot on line as light as you can get away with. I use Gamma Polyflex line because it is the strongest co-polymer line for the diameter on the market. During low, clear water conditions of summer, I use 4-pound green Gamma – it is tough and can handle any fish. With larger smallmouth and walleye become active in the early fall as the water rises, I’ll step up to 6-pound Gamma green. Then for winter when the water is usually stained and musky, pike and big walleye are active, I jump to 8-pound Gamma.”

    Winner of the spool of Gamma Line for this issue of Fishing Report: Paul Stewart
    Winner of the Prize Pack of Baits for this issue of the Fishing Report: David Polovina
    Lures for the Fishing Report Prize Pack supplied by: Case; Gene Larew; Get Bit Baits;  Road Runner; Venom Baits; Yum; Zipper Worms.

    Follow Darl as he fishes with angling experts around the country at www.darlblack.blogspot.com (See Darl’s current blog fishing with Lefebre)
    Obtain the PGLR fishing brochure “Reel It In!” at www.pagreatlakes.com


  2. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 9/9/13

    September 10, 2013 by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: September 9, 2013
    The NW PA Fishing Report is brought to you by…

    Gold Sponsor: Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region

    Connect to all counties at www.PAGreatLakes.com

    Bronze Sponsor: Black Knight Industries, Oil City – Home of Gamma Line

    Bronze Sponsor: Wiegel Brothers Marine, Franklin

    The NW PA Fishing Report provides timely angling information for Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango Counties – covering all species and all waters open to the public. The fishing comments and photos are offered by regional tackle shops and area anglers, complied and published twice a month. The NW PA Fishing Report is based on experiences, observations and opinions of individual contributors; information sources are considered reliable but comments are not independently verified. If you would like to share your fishing experiences or photos from any waterway in the four counties, please email to Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net. In providing information or pictures, you are agreeing to it being posted in the Fishing Report and distributed electronically to media and websites.

    The Landing Net by Darl Black

    For most anglers, September is a slow month. As the water cools, fish are beginning to transition for the fall bite, but they seem reluctant to give up summer haunts. I always stumble through September, looking for something to get excited about. This year, however, according to contributors, there seems to be an early walleye bite on French Creek and an early movement of steelhead into the Erie tribs. Steelheads are not in full fledge run but if we get a good rain event, many are predicting a strong mid-September run. The Allegheny fishes great smallmouth in September if you can put up with floating vegetation coming downstream. Speaking of the Allegheny, will this be the winter/spring when the old stone bridge trestle immediately below Franklin finally falls? Check out the picture. At ice out each year, another stone block erodes away. Anyone taking bets?

    NW Pennsylvania Fishing Report for September 9, 2013

    Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism
    What’s biting in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties?
    Sponsored by PA Great Lakes Region tourism

    French Creek: Flowing through all four counties

    Ed Lawrence (Union City) filed 9/9: “I caught several nice walleye this past weekend from French Creek. Chubs are providing most of the action, but soft plastics are catching a share of the ‘eye, too.”

    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 9/8: “About a week ago when we had the slug of rain that raised French Creek to bank full. I thought there would be no chance to catch the riffle minnow bait that I had been using but I went down to try anyways. I dropped a maggot on a #16 hook right off shore in the high water and started catching bait. I caught them quicker than when the water was low and I stood in the riffle. Even though the water was high and dingy, I planned to fish for walleye with the bait and headed to a favorite spot. But every time I dropped a minnow in the water, a smallmouth bass hit it. Didn’t matter whether I fished it weightless or with a heavy weight in an attempt to get it down quick, a smallmouth would latch onto it as soon as it hit the water. I lost count of the smallmouth caught, except I used every piece of bait I had collected. Most of the smallmouths were in the 10 to 13-inch bracket but several of them were 15 to 17 inches. Then this past Friday night, with water level down, my brother and I headed out to a favorite hard-to-reach walleye hole with bait. We caught several legal walleye right off the bat. About dusk as I was reeling in a 14-inch walleye, something big grabbed the little ‘eye in the middle right as I about to lift it out of the water. The big fish, which looked to be a walleye, pulled it under water. There was no way I could hook the fish, but I did pull it up slowly for a look. Sure enough, it was a walleye that had to be over 30 inches. After our tug of war, the big walleye let go of the little one. You can bet I’ll be back at that spot with some bigger creek bait ASAP.”

    Angler Al (Franklin) filed 9/9: “Back on September 1 when the air temp dropped due to the approaching storm, French Creek was looking good. So I grabbed my rod, lures and net, and beat it down to my favorite rock piles. Within 10 casts of working a #5 Shad Rap, I landed a nice 3-pound smallie. A few casts later, another smaller smallmouth smacked the plug. Then thunder and lightning rolled, so I called it an evening. On the evening of Saturday, September 7, I took to French Creek at dusk. On my first cast with a silver & black #5 Shad Rap, a 12” smallmouth smacked it. Later I switched to a Torpedo Bomber and for the first time in many years, I caught an 18” walleye on a topwater plug!”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Pymatuning Lake
    Dave Richter (Richter’s Bait) filed 9/9: “Not much happening at Pymatuning – hardly anyone fishing this past couple weeks. For those fishing live bait or sink bait, the channel cats are biting all over the lake. There are a handful of anglers starting to fish blades on the humps in the evening; they are catching one or two walleyes, but not killing them. The best blade bait walleye fishing will come a little later this fall. I had reports of some musky activity, with one 42-incher being boated this week.”

    Conneaut Lake
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 9/9: “I’ve been back to Conneaut for bluegills twice in the past two weeks. The time before the most recent trip, was our best day of the entire summer on Conneaut for bluegills. We were getting them off one of the mid-lake humps in 15 feet of water, just outside the weed edge. They were hitting a white split-tail grub. We had planned to keep a dozen, but the ‘gills were so big we ended up keeping 90! Also had a huge white bass up to the boat on most recent trip –must have been close to 20 inches long – but it broke the line as we tried to lift it aboard.”

    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 9/9: “I fished the Conneaut Lake Family Tournament Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, we had lots of action catching 5 largemouth bass on topwater and spinnerbaits, plus numerous small pike on spinnerbaits. With the cold front and north wind on Sunday, it was a different story. I had a big pike bust my spinnerbait apart, and I lost a 20-inch plus smallmouth bass on a topwater popper – but no other hits. If only I had landed those two big fish…”

    Canadohta Lake
    Angler Al (Franklin) filed 9/9: “I was invited to fish with Darl Black on Saturday. Around 9 AM we started throwing soft plastic baits for bass on Canadohta Lake. Only one fish cooperated with us in three hours of fishing. But it as a hefty smallmouth bass which gave Darl a great fight. Although I didn’t catch anything at Canadohta I enjoyed the day with Darl, and I had the opportunity to meet Jerry Van Tassel of Timberland Bait; I could have spent the entire afternoon swapping stories with him. I also learned of a Sportsman’s BBQ event with guest speaker Steve Chapman this coming Saturday and I plan to attend; contact Jerry for more info.”

    Jerry Van Tassel (Timberland Bait) filed 9/7: “Not much happening at Canadohta after Labor Day. The few anglers who are out on the lake say the fish are suspended out in 20 feet away from the shore cover. However, my boy caught his largest walleye this past week. Hope to send a picture of it.”

    Sugar Lake
    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 9/2: “Fished Sugar Lake. Water was clear with minimal milfoil around pads. Using Zipper Worms and Northland Slurpie Creature Bait, I took six largemouth bass.”

    ERIE COUNTY
    Lake Erie & Tributaries
    Correction: In the last report incorrectly referred to several impressive walleyes as being caught on Custom Ghost Blades on worm harness made by Dutch Lake Lures. The correct name of the company is Dutch Fork Custom Lures. Check them out at www.DutchForkCustomLures.com. Phone 724-884-3977.

    Gary Heuble (Poor Richard’s Bait) filed 9/9: “It has been too windy all week for anyone to be out on the lake so there is no perch or walleye report. However, steelheads are moving into the streams. Need rain to actually get a run moving up the tributaries.”

    Dan Seaman (Elk Creek Sports Center) filed 9/9: “No fishing on the main lake this past week due to high winds. The last word on the walleye before the blow was they had made the turn and were headed back to Ohio. However, when anglers can get back out on the big water, the perch should still be there. Perch fishing remains good through October. Also encouraging, there are steelhead being caught in the lower sections of the tributaries. Fish are jumping which gets everyone excited. Guys are catching one or two a day. Best baits are single eggs, minnow, and Power Bait. This is the time of year you can get them on spoons and spinners, too, because these early fish are hot and feeding. As soon as it cools down, they slow down aggressive feeding and go into that early prespawn mode. If we would get a good rain to raise the level in tribs, expect a good run.

    Ric Gauriloff (Trout Run Bait) filed 9/9: “Walleye and perch fishing still remains good when fishermen have been able to get out, but stiff winds this past week made it tough. Anything chartreuse has been a good color for walleye. It looks like the walleye have made the west turn most recent reports had them in 62 feet of water near the Ohio line. No jumbo perch this past weekend, but all we cleaned were good size ones. A fair number of browns and steelheads can be found at the mouths of Walnut and Elk; they are bunched up offshore. Elk had a couple hundred showed up yesterday. They can be found from the mouth up to Uncle John’s Campground, and some were reported in the Legion Hole. We had a 32” brown checked in this past weekend. (See photo) Not a major run by any means, but with cold nights and rain this week, maybe something happening next weekend.”

    Paul Stewart (Butler) filed 9/3: “On Saturday, August 31, we fished an evening perch charter aboard the Danny O. It was a light bite early on, but the bite picked up as the sun went down. My buddy and I both ended up getting limits. Sabiki Rigs and Berkley Fireline are the way to go. My very last perch was the best the year – 14-1/2”. Nice way to end the evening!”

    Dave Lefebre (Erie) filed 8/28: Two weeks ago upon returning home from the FLW Bass Tour, Dave made a run out on Lake Erie last week. Fishing in about 50 feet of water, he caught a 7 pound smallmouth on a drop-shot rig. On August 28 he was back out on the lake. “I caught a 23-1/4” smallmouth in 47 feet of water on a watermelon/white Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm while testing the new VMC Spinshot dropshot hook. This is a deadly combination!” Editor’s note: Dave, when are we going fishing on Erie? I’m still looking for my first 8-pound smallmouth!

     

    Presque Isle Bay
    Thomas Watral (Erie):
    - 8/28 “My step dad lost his second rod to a steelhead while fishing for perch on the docks. Anglers are getting a few crappies and panfish on the docks. Perch are hitting on crappies rigs.
    - 9/3 “I’m seeing steelhead at the mouths of the creeks. Try tossing small spoons out into the lake if you want to connect with a steelhead.”
    - 9/5 “Tall Ship festival has restricted where we can fish from shore. Still getting some perch and crappies.”
    - 9/7 “One of the winners of the SONS Perry Fishing Challenge is my step-father Ron Dittman of Erie with a 23” bullhead that weighed 4 pounds. He caught it while fishing nightcrawlers for perch.”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Lake Wilhelm
    Notice: DCNR and PF&BC are holding a free Family Fishing Program on September 15 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Maurice K. Goddard State Park, 648 Lake Wilhelm Road, Sandy Lake. Pre-registration is required. Contact Chad Foster at 814-683-5126 or chfoster@pa.gov.

    Notice: Friends of Goddard will be holding a clean-up day on September 28 to clean up around shoreline fishing sites. For more information, contact William Wasser, Park Manager at 724-253-4833. Check out www.friendsofgoddard.com.

    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 9/9: “Anglers are reporting bluegills moving into the stumps on north end of lake. Fishermen will be lining the upper causeway in the evenings now. One customer at the campground reported catching a 16” crappie, 24” walleye and a 26” walleye in the main lake.”

    Shenango Lake and River
    Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait & Tackle) filed 9/8: “Several customers are reporting that the flathead catfish bite is hot in the Shenango River between Big Bend and the backwaters of the Shenango Lake. Also, I saw a phone picture of a 48” northern pike caught by 16 year old Andy Bonnano from the Shenango River south of Greenville. Finally, anglers are catching crappies in Shenango Lake as the fish are moving into shallow water to feed for the early fall.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 9/9: “I’m still fishing but doing it mostly at Mosquito and on Lake Erie for perch and walleye with friends who have big boats. I fish Shenango about once a week. Size on crappies is down but the bite is great. You can catch 50 crappies in a few hours almost anywhere on the lake. I did it this morning – 50 crappies but only 5 big enough to keep. It’s been catch and release for the last three trips on Shenango. I’ll be back on Shenango this fall looking for bigger fish.” And look out for next year when these smaller crappies should be keeper size!

    Mike Kuna (Pittsburgh) filed 9/4: “While fishing from my kayak, I caught an 18-1/4” smallmouth bass – my Personal Best.”

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Allegheny River
    Gene Winger (Oil City) filed 9/9: “On August 27, Peg and I fished the evening below Oil City, picking up eight smallies, mostly dinks in the 14 to 16 inch range. All fish were caught on Winco Solid Body River Darters and Laminated Wacky Worms. Thursday morning I was running the Oil City eddy when I hit something submerged in 15 feet of water, ripping the intake scoop of my OB jet. I was anticipating a few weeks of down time but thanks to Wiegel Brothers Marine, I was back on the water the same day. Thank you Kneal and crew for great service and fast repair!”

    Winger continues: “On Saturday, 8/31, Chris Wehr and I fished the morning below Franklin. With water heavily stained from Wednesday’s rain, the fishing was slow, landing only 2 walleyes and a couple small bass. We ran above French Creek (which was bringing in the dirty water) to the headwater of the K-Mart Eddy where we landed 7 smallmouths – all on Winco Predator Craws. Saturday evening, I fished with my granddaughter, who landed a walleye and several nice bass – all on Winco Predator Craws and Wacky Worms. I fished several evenings during the first week of September averaging a dozen smallies on each outing. Winco Solid Body River Darters seemed to work best. Water conditions are good, but floating weeds are making things challenging.”

    Jimmy & Dawn Whitely (Kennerdell) filed 9/9: “We went catfishing in the Allegheny River twice in the last week. August 31 was a great night. Our poles were not in the water for 5 minutes, and we were slamming flathead nonstop for two hours until we ran out of bait. We landed 15 and lost several others, including one that snapped 30 pound test line. The largest cat of the night was 31 inches and weighed 12 pounds. We kept that big one but released the rest. We went again on September 7 but it was slower going. No bites for the first hour, then they started slamming baits. Several times we had two poles with cats on at the same time. Got a little wet from the rain, but had a great time. Caught and released 13 that night.”

    Ed Lawrence (Union City) filed 9/9: “Friends and I drifted fished the Allegheny River last Monday after a rainstorm. We caught several smallmouth bass by jigging Yum soft plastics in bright colors, and watched another fisherman bring in a dandy 17” 3-lb. smallmouth. Its acrobatics provided an exciting moment to a peaceful float.”

    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 9/3: “I caught a 13 pound 7 ounce drum on a bass jig while fishing the Allegheny. Thought I had a record walleye for initial seconds!”

    Steve Udick (Oil City) filed 9/5: “I met up with Terry Corbett from Rockmere Friday afternoon. We had been catching a lot of small smallmouth prior to Friday. I think the barometer finally dropped and the bigger fish turned on. Terry landed a 20” heavy bass (see pic) on a Zoom Baby Brush Hog. We ended up the day with four bass in the 17- to 18-inch range. Most came on Zoom Super Flukes. Terry has since landed another 20 inch and a 19 inch smallmouth, both above Rockmere. On Labor Day I took 12-year old Chris Marczak (from Waterford) out to teach him how to fish Super Flukes. He picked it up quickly…on his forth cast he had a big bass on but the monster won the battle and got off near the boat. He then went on to catch five bass in the first hour. On his last cast of the day, he landed a 17-1/2” smallmouth. We ended the day with 10 nice fish and a couple smaller ones.”

    RJ Graham (Clarion) filed 9/3: “Over Labor Day, I fished the Allegheny River with Duff Kerle. We launched in Oil City and went downstream to the K-Mart riffles where we drifted crawfish-colored tube jigs. We picked up good numbers of smallies and lots of smaller ones. We also had luck throwing a Super Fluke around the shore rocks.” Duff added: “We hooked and lost a lot of bass that day – they were hitting when the lure touched the water. Total in the boat was 15 bass.”

    Angler Al (Franklin) filed 9/4: “On Wednesday, 9/4. I met my fishing buddy Stan at 6:45 p.m. at Oil City marina. We motored south and anchored on a spot we like. On my first cast using an orange floating jighead tipped with spunky creek bait, a spitfire smallie hammered it. Battle won. Stan joined in with a catch of his own – a 16” flathead cat on live bait. After landing it, he boated his 1st legal walleye of the year. By the time we left, I landed 3 good size cats and Stan added another one to this total. A great evening on the Allegheny!”

    Gamma Fishing Tips

    Darl Black: Over the weekend, I fished both Canadohta Lake and Conneaut Lake. I had a tough time on both lakes. No action on the Canadohta docks or weedbeds; with my Garmin echoMAP 50 I found what appeared to be some crappies stacked on point at 15 feet in Canadohta but could not get a bite. However, with sonar I did pinpoint the current thermocline on the lake at roughly 19/20 feet – should not be any fish below that depth until lake turns over. I caught one big smallmouth in about 2 feet of water on a soft jerkbait and not another bite. Puzzled where the fish are in Canadohta right now.

    On Sunday, the catching wasn’t any better on Conneaut Lake than Saturday on Canadohta. On deeper Conneaut Lake, the thermocline was clearly visible on the Garmin at 28 feet – the traditional depth for late summer on Conneaut. If you look closely at the Garmin photo you can see faint specks on the screen starting at about 28 feet and going deeper; looks like someone did pencil point pricks below 28 feet. That reading is likely suspended particulate that has been trapped down deep all summer. Notice a massive fish school on the left several feet above the thermocline. Look closely and you can see arches of individual fish arcs near top of mass. I think this is a tight school of white bass, rather than crappie. Found similar schools on several drop-offs around the lake, but no takers when we dropped spoons to them. I’ll be looking for that deepwater white bass bite in mid-October.

    Sour September bites happen when the first noticeable cold fronts hit the area; one was rolling on Sunday morning. Pike seem to be more active than any other gamefish in this situation. When targeting tightlipped largemouth under these circumstances, drop-shotting small worms on six-pound Gamma Edge is one of the best presentations…although that didn’t even help me on Sunday!

    Winner of the spool of Gamma Line for this issue of Fishing Report: Pete Cartwright
    Winner of the Prize Pack of Baits for this issue of the Fishing Report: AJ Graham
    Lures for the Fishing Report Prize Pack supplied by: Case; Gene Larew; Get Bit Baits; Road Runner; Venom Baits; Yum; Zipper Worms.

    Follow Darl as he fishes with angling experts around the country at www.darlblack.blogspot.com
    Obtain the PGLR fishing brochure “Reel It In!” at www.pagreatlakes.com


  3. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 8/26/13

    August 28, 2013 by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: August 26, 2013
    The NW PA Fishing Report is brought to you by…

    Gold Sponsor: Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region

    Connect to all counties at www.PAGreatLakes.com

    Bronze Sponsor: Black Knight Industries, Oil City – Home of Gamma Line

    Bronze Sponsor: Wiegel Brothers Marine, Franklin

    The NW PA Fishing Report provides timely angling information for Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango Counties – covering all species and all waters open to the public. The fishing comments and photos are offered by regional tackle shops and area anglers, complied and published twice a month. The NW PA Fishing Report is based on experiences, observations and opinions of individual contributors; information sources are considered reliable but comments are not independently verified. If you would like to share your fishing experiences or photos from any waterway in the four counties, please email to Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net. In providing information or pictures, you are agreeing to it being posted in the Fishing Report and distributed electronically to media and websites.

    The Landing Net by Darl Black

    With the sun setting on summer, anglers are looking ahead to cooling water temperatures of fall which send fish on feeding frenzies. Normally, September is a difficult transition bite for most species on inland waters, but this year some contributors are seeing signs of an early fall bite in the fish activity in several lakes – from Erie tribs to Pymatuning. Time will tell. In the meantime, there are a number of exciting events coming up – which you will find in the pages of this Report: a family multi-species fishing tournament at Pymatuning with Jimmy Houston as MC; French Creek Clean-Up Day; FOB bass tournaments on the river. Find contact info for all events in Report. Also, be sure to read the summary of the problems plaguing Lake Wilhelm in, where else, the Lake Wilhelm section.

    NW Pennsylvania Fishing Report for August 26,2013

    Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism
    What’s biting in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties?
    Sponsored by PA Great Lakes Region tourism

    French Creek: Flowing through all four counties

    Attention! The 21st Annual French Creek Cleanup will be held on Saturday, September 7. For more information and a registration form, go to http://frenchcreekconservancy.org. Help keep French Creek a “one of last great places” for fishing and paddling; bring a team, win prizes and enjoy a picnic.

    Mike Martin (Cochranton) filed 8/26: “Today, the 26th, John, Alex and I had a fair day for smallmouth bass on French Creek in terms of quantity – probably 20 to 25 fish. But they were lacking in size, with most in the 10-12 inch range. John did manage one good bass, caught in a deeper pool containing logs. He saw at least 2 other sizable smallmouth in the same hole. This was the first time we ever bothered to fish this spot, always floating by it. It will not be overlooked again! Most of the fish came on grubs and as always, my favorite Yum Dingers. Fish were in a variety of settings. We caught a few while wading and tossing into the runs near overhanging banks. Some fish came from fallen trees.”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 8/26: “After working all day, Darl and I ran down to French Creek, caught a few riffle minnows and wade-fished the creek not far from the Mercer/Crawford County for about an hour – until our bait ran out. Lost several smallmouths due to short strikes and poor hooksets, but did land a keeper walleye!”

    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 8/26: “After getting creek bait on Saturday, we fished for walleye but only caught little ones – saw some larger ones in the current. Went for catfish Saturday night; landed a 26” flathead and my buddy got a 19 incher. I fished one morning this past week, using creek minnows as bait; I caught a couple walleye and about 20 smallmouth bass – but nothing of significant size.”

    Ed Lawrence (Corry) filed 8/16: “I got some fishing in this past week with a couple friends. We fished French Creek after getting bait from a smaller feeder stream. While gathering bait we managed to catch a beautiful wild brown trout and a nice smallmouth bass. This was fun on our ultra-light Ugly Sticks and 4-pound Berkley Mono. After gathering enough bait, we headed to French Creek. We caught several nice smallmouths – all over 15 inches except one. Gamakatsu Circle Hooks with baitfish hook through the lips worked great. No walleye yet. I have a really good spot I’m going to try over weekend. We also managed a few bowfins in some weedy slack-water area; they are fun to catch and make things exciting. We release all our catch. The biggest bowfin was 23 inches and weighed over 5 pounds.”

    Addendum: Ed made it out to his secret walleye spot on the 18th where he caught one small ‘eye and lost one over 8 lbs. “The hook came out moments into the fight but not before I got a good look at the monster. WOW!”

    Angler Al (Franklin) filed 8/12: “Around 7:30 pm, I took what live bait I had left over from the weekend and worked the minnows around a rock pile on French Creek. As it should be this time of year, the water level was low. Weeded up a bit, too. On my first two casts, I landed a pair of smallmouth bass. There were above average size (15-16 inches). As darkness began to sit in, I left one rod rigged with a chub and started casting a crab colored Hot-N-Tot on the other. The rod with the 7-inch chub set-up got ripped, but instead of hooking- up, I reeled in a shredded piece of dead bait!”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Pymatuning Lake
    Dave Richter (Richter’s Sporting Goods) file 8/26: “There are a handful of guys fishing at night for walleyes by hanging lights over the side of the boat to attract baitfish, then jigging blade baits below the baitfish; they’ve been catching some nice walleye. Daytime plug pullers are picking up few ‘eye, but it is slow. There are lots of catfish being caught, however, along with some bluegills, perch and crappies, too. And a couple reports of largemouth on plastic worms from weedbeds.”

    Hooker (Hill’s Country Store) filed 8/24: “Hooker’s Fishing Taxi landed two magnificent smallmouth bass specimens this week. Smallies are beginning to move shallow on Pymatuning humps. While fishing with my son on Wednesday, I caught one about 3 pounds. We also caught a nice bag of crappies – all on top of the same shallow hump. Thursday I fished with an old friend and by day’s end we put together a healthy fish fry with slab crappies for the main course. Friday morning, I fished with Dave Kota. Out main objective was to check some new placed deep brush structure; black and white crappie had already moved in. Then we went back to the shallow hump previously mentioned – this hump tops at 5 feet with rock and gravel, but no weeds to speak of, and drops into 15-18 feet. Dave was fishing a Garland Baby Shad in Monkey Milk color on a 1/16-ounce pink jig. I was throwing a Garland 2” Swimming Minnow in Bluegrass color. My first cast to the top of the hump got slammed. When I set the hook a 4-pound smallmouth took to the air. My heart almost sank as this fish cartwheeled on my 2-pound test line. But the line held; I boated and released the bass. Dave and I continued to catch a variety of predator fish, including keeper-size walleye, 14” perch and some impressive bluegill from this spot. There was a lot of surface baitfish activity with minnow fleeing everywhere. Looks like the fall feeding frenzy has started early this year.”

    Hooker says don’t’ forget the Multi-Species Tournament at Pymatuning on August 31 with Jimmy Houston as Master of Ceremony. First place prize is $1,000.00. Unusual way of scoring gives everyone of any skill level a chance; last year a young girl won it with a sunfish. Go to http://www.wogevents.com/ for more information. Contestants can register at Hills Country Store in Williamsfield, OH.

    Hooker (Hills Country Store) filed 8/19: “Monday I was on the water with crappie anglers onboard. We fished a sweet spot on an old roadbed in 15 feet of water. A vertical deadstick presentation was needed to entice bites. We didn’t boat a great number of fish, but we did get a few magnificent white crappies. On Thursday, I had Joe and Truk out; bite was good until the sun got high, then it shut down. On Sunday afternoon, I had Norm and Bonni from New Hampshire out bass fishing. We fished hard bottom points leading to deep water, dragging Larew Biffle Bugs and Texas rigged Biffle Os rigged with 3/16-oz worm weight and 4/0 Daiichi Offset worm hooks; we put several nice 3- to 4-pound smallmouths in the boat. But the big fish of the day was a 7 lb. 13 ounce largemouth pulled from under a docked pontoon boat! Hooker’s Fishing Taxi is more than one trick pony!”

     

    Conneaut Lake
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 8/26: “I fished Conneaut Lake twice this week for bluegills. We caught some nice one, along with 11” to 12” perch, in 6’ to 8’ of water on one of the mid-lake bars.”

    Steve Hughes (Clarion) filed 8/26: “I fished Walt’s Tavern tournament on Saturday. Fishing was tough. We had 12 pounds of bass for 2nd place; 1st place had 13.9 pounds. All of our fish came by drop-shotting and flipping Yum Bugs on the weed edges. Lots of fish – no size. We caught 7 or 8 pike, with the largest one going about 40 inches – fun on a flipping stick!”

    Woodcock Lake
    Darl Black (Cochranton) 8/26: “Last week, I fished Woodcock Lake twice on evenings leading to the full moon. (Rather I observed while others fish, due to a sore arm.) Fishing with Marilyn on Monday evening, she landed several quality smallmouths, including a 21 incher on a Terminator Swim Jig. The smallies were on fire – see my blog at www.darlblack.blogspot.com for details. Also, judging by the number of boats putting on at dark, the walleye are biting at Woodcock after dark. The next evening, I invited Hooker to come out. Unfortunately, something had changed and the shallow water smallmouth bite was gone (wind, water color and temps the same, but air was a little drier – not a single cloud). We missed a couple hits, and boated one bass and one walleye before heading in at dark. As we approached the ramp, we were talking about how good ramp areas can be for smallmouth bass after dark, but I told Hooker that I had never caught a smallmouth over 12” on this ramp riprap in the 30-some years I’ve fished Woodcock. I pulled up to the dock and I started for the car. I hear Hooker yelling and turned to see him battling a nice smallmouth and eventually lands! Lesson learned: never bet against Hooker!”

    Canadohta Lake
    Jerry (Timberland Bait) filed 8/25: “The bite is slow at Canadohta Lake right now. I’m looking for fall muskies to turn on soon. Some of my customers are reporting lots of northern pike being caught at Lake LeBoeuf. Another fellow tells me that crappie fishing at Edinboro Lake is better than it has ever been…crappies are suspended.”

    ERIE COUNTY
    Presque Isle Bay

    Jim (B.A.C. Baits) filed 8/26: “Customers are catching a few largemouth bass in the bay, and there are reports of crappies starting to feed. But the big news is on the lake. They are hitting perch in 45 feet of water off the point and walleyes out by the Canadian line.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie)
    - Filed 8/25: “My step day was slamming the panfish at the docks today. He caught nice sunfish, perch and a crappie on nightcrawlers jig on the bottom in 10 to 15 feet. And he lost a rod to fish yanked it right out of his rod holder – he just saw a silver flash. Likely a steelhead.”
    - Filed 8/21: “We’ve been catching 12- to 13-inch perch from the west side docks on minnows and crawlers. Lost a huge carp that broke my line.”
    - Filed 8/17: “Got 34 nice perch today and yesterday we got 20 sunfish and 36 perch. Hitting crappie rigs tipped with crawlers and minnows – cast way out with heavy 1 ounce sinker.”
    - Filed 8/15: “My step-day Ron Dittman is leading the SONS fishing contest in bullhead division with a 23 inch, four pound bullhead.”

    Lake Erie
    Dan Seaman (Elk Creek Sports) filed 8/26: “Perch bite is good around 55’ to 58’. There is a spotty walleye bite in 28’ of water off Virginia Beach – not catching them every day. But out at 70’, guys are getting them regularly – if they can get out. Walleyes out deep are coming on plugs; shallower fish are coming on worm harnesses. Seems someone is catching a steelhead every day from Elk or Walnut. A few steelheads are in the mouth of the stream in early morning then leave when sun comes up. If we get rain that brings the creeks, we might see a very early steelhead run.”

    Mike Tome (Trout Run Bait) filed 8/26: “The Erie bite is on fire – on the days you can get out! Perch fishing is phenomenal in 50’ to 60’. Walleye bite is great at 60’ to 75’. On the West side, perch and walleye schools stretch from the Ohio line to off the Peninsula. I can’t get any better. There are even steelheads starting to show up in the creeks…one here, one there. We had our first steelhead photo posted on 8/16. In the 11 years I’ve worked bait shops along Erie shore, this is the earliest reported steelhead. If we get some rain to raise the tribs, we might see an early run move into the creeks. Also, there are a few brown trout milling around Trout Run mouth.

    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 8/26: “My Dad has been enjoying success on perch and walleye on Erie. Fishing from his 16’ Lund, on calm days they make the run out deep for perch or walleyes. See the pictures of perch with one of his buddies. Yesterday, Sunday, Dad and Mom went for walleye. Mom can still catch the big ones…see photo in livewell.”

    Ric Gauriloff (Trout Run Bait) filed 8/22: “Perch and walleye fishing has been hot the past couple weeks. Good numbers of perch off Walnut, Lighthouse, Trout Run and Elk Run. Look in 52 to 60 feet. They have been moving a bit every couple days. Walleyes are out in 70 feet or so, with plugs and spoons working well. Crawlers have been attracting other species, so the crew is sticking with plugs. There are a few steelhead and brown trout at the mouths of the creeks. Best time is right before dark until sun-up. Emeralds, crawlers, and single eggs have worked. Not worth a long drive yet…unless you want a chance to fish by yourself and hook a nice brown!”

    John Hummel (Kennedale) filed 8/22: “Fished Erie with friends for couple days. Great trip! Pictured are Ed King, Bill Zenobi, Ben McComons and Terry Arblaster aboard Captain Dale Grimm’s boat with first mate Ron. Eight miles out for walleye, 3 miles for perch. Limited out on walleye by 12:30 pm each day and perch by 2:30 pm. All above average! Walleye cheeks were size of scallops. A few junk fish like white bass and sheephead were fun, too.”

    Keith Eshbaugh (Dutch Creek Lures) filed 8/18: “Another successful trip to Erie for walleye. See photos. Lake was flat. We fished 67 feet out of Walnut Creek with 2 ounce weight, 6’ leader with Dutch Creek Ghost Blade Harnesses, trolling 1.5 to 1.7 mph. Best blade colors were Rainbow Trout, Eriedescent and Funky Cold One.”

    Joe Nichols (Underground Angler) filed 8/25: “We had pretty good time on Lake Erie today. Found smallmouth bass in 20 to 25 feet and caught them on dropshot baits, deep diving crankbaits and the biggest fish came by dragging a Cruncher Baits’ Tube. I was using an Aiirus 7’ Micropuls spinning rod; first time out with it and I was very impressed with its sensitivity.”

    Dave Lefebre (Erie) filed 8/22: “Just back home from the FLW Forrest Wood Cup, and ran out to fish
    smallmouth on the East side the other evening. In a couple hours I caught a dozen smallmouths from 3.5 to 4 pounds on drop-shot rigs.”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Shenango Lake
    Laurie Frantz (R& L Bait and Tackle) filed 8/26: “I have reports from customers saying they are still catching walleyes in 12 to 14 feet. Other than that, things have been slow at Shenango.”

    Lake Wilhelm
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 8/26: “Some locals are catching legal walleye on worm harnesses. Bass fishing reports have been slow. Lots of bluegills, but on the small side.”

    Lake Wilhelm Fishing Concern Meeting (McKeever Environmental Center) filed 8/24: Goddard State Park Manager Bill Wasser conducted a public meeting to describe the ongoing problems at Lake Wilhelm. Anglers have been complaining of sudden and dramatic drop in catches of all panfish and gamefish species at Wilhelm in the last few years.

    The cause of poor catches has been attributed to an explosion of gizzard shad in the lake, based on the annual net surveys conducted by the PA Fish Commission. In 2004, the Fish Commission biologist discovered a single non-native gizzard shad in one of their collection nets; in 2010 that same net location produced 2,000 gizzard shad. In recent years, their nets are overflowing with gizzard shad: this spring 48% of all fish caught in the trap nets at Wilhelm were gizzard shad. Because the species runs amuck, the Fish Commission does not stock gizzard shad as a preyfish yet the species has made their way into many lakes around NW PA, likely by way of bait-bucket introduction or perhaps with eggs mistakenly mixed in with stocked species obtained from other states. While small gizzard shad up to four inches are acceptable forage for gamefish, shad grow rapidly to a size that cannot be utilized by bass, walleye, pike and or even average muskies. As plankton eaters, gizzard shad compete for the same forage as adult bluegill and young crappies (and every young-of-year gamefish). Under a fertile lake environment, gizzard shad numbers grow exponentially. This is what has happened at Wilhelm.

    In many cases, when first introduced in a lake the shad population explodes but reaches a peak carrying capacity based on the available nutrients in the water, then the shad population drops back to better balance with other species. Over the last 40 years, this has happened at Shenango Lake, Pymatuning Lake and Conneaut Lake – but over time a balanced was reach given the available plankton capacity and other species rebounded. It is questionable whether a balance will be reached naturally on Wilhelm because the lake is literally too fertile.

    At Wilhelm, Wasser says the fish commission believes gizzard shad are going crazy because of too much nutrient in the lake. Excessive nutrients enter the system, creating plankton growth and plankton-eating gizzard shad continue to expand their population, taking necessary food source from bluegills and crappies. The result is stunted panfish. At the same time largemouth bass and walleye stuff themselves on an overabundance of young shad thereby greatly reducing gamefish need to search for food other than positioning themselves on Y-O-Y shad schools in open water.

    Wasser says the Fish Commission nets show a lot of quality-size largemouth in the lake, but they are apparently focused solely on gizzard shad, and therefore not cropping the stunted bluegills. Wasser says the Fish Commission stocked fingerling walleye instead of walleye fry this year, and for the first time since the lake was impounded in the 1960s, the Fish Commission stocked fingerling largemouth bass – all in attempt to get more predators in the system.

    Currently a study is being conducted to assess the amount of nutrients entering Lake Wilhelm though various small creeks and seepages. This will provide some indication of where the nutrient problem lies, and with this information, application may be made for certain grants to mitigate the nutrient excess.

    However, Wasser warns it’s a complicated problem without a single easy remedy to return Wilhelm to great fishing. He points to a major education effort needed to inform lake users as well as organize volunteers to assist in various present/future projects to help control nutrient/gizzard shad excesses. To learn more about forming a citizen’s watershed group which has been successful in other waterways, contact Sherry Simons (secretary for Friends of Goddard State Park) through the state park office at 814-253-4833. Fishing clubs and bass clubs who have regularly fished Wilhelm over the years are specifically invited to contact the state park office to learn what they can do. – Darl Black

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Justus Lake
    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 8/18: “I’ve been having a grand time chasing muskies on Justus Lake in Two Mile Run County Park. Hook some, loose some, and land one occasionally. Mostly on spinnerbaits. Attached is a photo of my biggest musky so far this year — caught this past week.”

    Allegheny River
    Mike Horrobin (Jigger Tackle) filed 8/26: “Seems like this has been a slow week in terms of catching fish on the river and French Creek. Customers are reporting some smallmouth bass action early and late in the day (low light periods) on both the Allegheny and French. There was a report of a 27” walleye from the river, but I did not see the fish or a photo of the fish.”

    Chris Wolfgong (Oil City) filed 8/25: “I joined Darl at the Franklin to fish for couple hours in the morning south of Franklin. At our first stop – a deep, flowing hole rising onto a mid-river rock bar – we immediately had action. Anchored there for about an hour, we had a good number of hits but lost more fish than landed. Darl was fishing riffle minnows while I cast a small Get Bit Tube, Yum Houdini Shad and Dinger. Most fish landed were small; one decent one on the Livewell page. While live bait did not outfish artificial baits, Darl lost a very large smallie on a riffle minnow. With the sun high, the bite died.”

    Chuck Sari (Franklin) filed 8/25: “On Friday, 8/23, I fished the Allegheny with Lloyd Rodgers and my grandson Reece. The fishing was very slow; we only managed 5 small bass and one nice walleye on Rapala SR5s. On Saturday, 8/24, I fished the river again with my son Kevin and of course Reece. We decided to try live bait. I caught a mixture of 30 riffle minnows and chubs from French Creek. We ended up catching and releasing 17 bass including several in the 16- to 18-inch class and 3 nice walleyes.”

    John Conroy (Moon Township) filed 8/23: “My son Forrest and I caught 24 smallmouth bass last Sunday on a combination of live bait (hellgrammites under slip bobber), and Zoom Flukes rigged semi-weedless to get round the floating weeds. Hint – I placed a small finishing nail up inside the Fluke to add a little weight rather than use a bullet sinker on the nose which would collect weeds. Guess you can say we ‘nailed them!’ Out of 27 bass, we had 7 over 17 inches. We fished the President to Ahrensville section during midday.”

    John Hummel (Kennerdell) filed 8/18: “Guy Bernardini of Tarentum, landed a 30” channel cat from the Allegheny south of Kennerdell.”

    Eric Heil (Franklin) filed 8/15: “The Fraternal Order of Police’s Allegheny River bass tournaments are scheduled for Sunday, September 15 and Sunday October 13. Both are out of Oil City launch. Contact me for applications at ekaheil@comcast.net.”

    Angler Al (Franklin) filed 8/13: “Stan and I met around 6:30 pm at the marina in Oil City. We immediately headed south. The cool evening weather reminded me of late September. In no time at all, I boated a nice smallie, and Stan hooked up on a 28” northern pike. Good battle to witness. Near dark, I won a splendid tub of war with a 24” flathead catfish. Darn it, no flash on the camera!”

    Gamma Fishing Tips

    Rigging Tip

    Darl Black: For the first time since I started using Gamma Line almost exclusively six year ago, my line while fighting a fish — not the knot but the six-pound line. It was fishing live blue dot minnow in the Allegheny with a light power, moderate action rod with a lot of forgiveness . Hooked the fish, it jumped near the boat showing itself to be somewhere in the 3.5 to 4 pound category. The fish dove, and ‘pop’ went the line. I was shocked. But I immediately realized the cause.

    In my haste to get my line wet, I simply crimped a couple split-shot on the line about 12 inches ahead of the hook. It’s simple rig that many anglers use every day – although I rarely do for a very good reason: pinching a ‘shot’ onto the line can nick or stress the line. The shot may have had a sharp edge, or I may have squeezed too tightly. And we know what happens to a weak point in a reel to fish connection – it breaks under pressure.

    Normally, when fishing this type of live bait rig for anything other than panfish, I use a rubber peg to secure a small sliding sinker to the line. I opt for the Peg-It rubber pegs, and either a 1/16-ounce or 1/8-ounce Precision Brass Weight or Pro-Jo sliding finesse weight – all from Top Brass Tackle (topbrasstackle.com). By using a rubber peg to secure a sliding weight, you eliminate the risk of nicking line with a split shot, and it allows you to adjust the lead as needed. Had I taken the extra 30 seconds to get a Peg-It out of the tackle bag, I would be showing you a nice bronzeback instead of a blank space.

    Winner of the spool of Gamma Line for this issue of Fishing Report: Mike Martin
    Winner of the Prize Pack of Baits for this issue of the Fishing Report: John Hummel
    Lures for the Fishing Report Prize Pack supplied by: Case; Gene Larew; Get Bit Baits; Road Runner; Venom Baits; Yum; Zipper Worms.

    Follow Darl as he fishes with angling experts around the country at www.darlblack.blogspot.com
    Obtain the PGLR fishing brochure “Reel It In!” at www.pagreatlakes.com


  4. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 8/12/13

    August 15, 2013 by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: August 12, 2013
    The NW PA Fishing Report is brought to you by…

    Gold Sponsor: Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region

    Connect to all counties at www.PAGreatLakes.com

    Bronze Sponsor: Black Knight Industries, Oil City – Home of Gamma Line

    Bronze Sponsor: Wiegel Brothers Marine, Franklin

    The NW PA Fishing Report provides timely angling information for Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango Counties – covering all species and all waters open to the public. The fishing comments and photos are offered by regional tackle shops and area anglers, complied and published twice a month. The NW PA Fishing Report is based on experiences, observations and opinions of individual contributors; information sources are considered reliable but comments are not independently verified. If you would like to share your fishing experiences or photos from any waterway in the four counties, please email to Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net. In providing information or pictures, you are agreeing to it being posted in the Fishing Report and distributed electronically to media and websites.

    The Landing Net by Darl Black

    Based on reports coming from anglers and tackle shops on the PA’s North Coast, Lake Erie is the place to be right now for walleye and perch. If you’ve complained about inconsistent perch catches on your trips up there this summer, it certainly looks like RIGHT NOW is the time to be on Erie for the BIG summer bite…and walleyes are apparently eating like it’s their last meal. (Well, for many, it was!) If seeking crappies, there is no place better than Pymatuning and Shenango right now, with Pymatuning producing bigger crappies and Shenango greater numbers. And the smallmouth & walleye bite is better than expected on the Allegheny given the low, clear water and all the floating weeds! Other than the low Allegheny River, all other area lakes/reservoirs appear above summer pool from all the rain earlier this summer. French Creek is a perfect level for paddling and fishing. Go fish!

    NW Pennsylvania Fishing Report for August 12,2013

    Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism
    What’s biting in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties?
    Sponsored by PA Great Lakes Region tourism

    French Creek: Flowing through all four counties

    Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 8/12: Jerry says several of his customers are catching northern pike and bowfin in the spillway of Union City Dam, which technically is French Creek. However, it’s a long walk from where you park down into the valley to the spillway area.

    Mike Horrobin (Jigger Tackle) filed 8/12: “Based on customer comments this past week, the area hotspot appears to be French Creek. There have been a string of reports of smallmouth catches –mostly creek-size smallies, few over 14 inches. Also, reports of walleyes being taken on shiners in the evening.

    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 8/9: “Legal-size walleyes – not real big ones – have turned over the past week. However, the most effective baits are creek-caught minnows and riffle chubs; if you are not catching the right type of bait, you will not catch
    many walleyes. Some big cats are biting, too. My buddy Russ caught a channel cat while walleye fishing near Meadville. We didn’t have a scale, but it looked like it should have weighed 30 pounds yet didn’t feel like 30 pounds. It was still filled with eggs so we released it after I took a photo of it. Another big channel was hooked on light tackle by two friends fishing near Cochranton. They had it up to the shore twice but just could not get ahold of it; they guessed the weight to be in the 30-pound range, too.

    Angler Al (Franklin) filed 8/8: “Smallmouth bass are aggressive on French Creek. But not a single walleye in the holes I’ve been fishing. I understand from the report and others that they’re catching them on the river. An old friend of mine I bumped onto said he caught 9 keeper “eyes” in one evening over the weekend.”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Pymatuning Lake
    Dave Richter (Richter’s Tackle Shop) filed 8/12: “Some anglers are catching walleyes by trolling plugs and a few are still getting ‘eye by drifting nightcrawlers…but overall the walleye action has slowed some. There are guys fishing from midnight to 2 am and catching walleyes – but that’s not for everyone. There are some nice crappies being caught in deepwater brushpiles/cribs. And typical for late
    summer, channel cats are being caught everywhere. However, no reports of the usual late summer muskies.”

    Norman “Hooker” Brakeman (Hill’s Country Store)
    - Filed 8/1: “Hooker’s Taxi had David Palovino out for his third trip this year on Tuesday. We had partly cloudy blue skies with moderate breeze. We fished the North End Stumps in 12 to 14 feet of water – not visible above the surface. We tapped into an unmolested treasure of big slab crappies. Dozens of small jigs were sacrificed to the tangle of logs and roots to boat 80 fish – all released. Wednesday afternoon I had a party of three out on the South End, fishing wood cover in 8 to 10 feet of water. Crappies were not eating the Garland Baby Shad which had been working – but they could not resist the larger Garland Slab Dockt’r – the bigger profile did the trick.
    - Filed 8/8: “Hooker’s Fishing Taxi took Patrick and Joseph Crowe out on Monday, and they caught some very nice fish. On Sunday, I had been asked by ODNR officer why I was catching so many fish and others were having a tough time. Simple – I am adjusting to changes and giving not what the fish want – not necessarily what I want to fish. On Monday my clients had their minds set on taking crappies on a fly rod, but after a long morning we had managed only a couple average crappies and bluegills from visible wood. I offered to extend the trip, switching to spinning tackle and moving to an old road bed in 15 feet of water. The lake was flat calm and I could not get bites with the usual small jigs, so we switched to a chartreuse ball heads with a Garland Slab Dockt’r and employed an aggressive lift and drop retrieve. BAM! The bite was on. In the next 20 minutes we caught a dozen crappies over 12 inches.”
    - Filed 8/11: Hooker says while fishing with Dr. Crowe and his son on Monday morning, he noted the water seemed shallower over certain stumps, and the fish had moved – but he found them deeper. On Saturday, fishing with Jeff Sampson, hooker checked an isolated piece of wood some distance from shore on an otherwise barren point. He discovered his jig being pulled by current, and realized they were pulling water at the dam. And they caught nice crappies. “I’m going to check out some potential deep main lake current breaks on the next trip.”

    Conneaut Lake
    Walt’s Tavern Bass Buddy Tournament scheduled for August 24th. Contact Dan Mincin at 724-986-6557 for more information.

    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 8/12: Bob reports having good success on bluegills on several recent trips to Conneaut Lake.

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 8/11: “A week ago, on the evening of 5th, Darl and I fished Conneaut for white bass. He was anxious to do additional testing with an umbrella rig which had worked the week before. However, I stuck with a Road Runner spin-jig head with a chartreuse tail Brewer Slider Grub. That evening the white bass didn’t bust the surface, and the bite was
    spotty. However, I outfished Darl with my single hook Road Runner versus his umbrella rig…and I caught three largemouth bass, too! Sunday evening the 11th, we headed back to Conneaut about 5 PM. A north wind and lots of boat traffic bounced us around, and although we waited until sunset, no white bass schools showed up…and we went home without a single bite –not even a bluegill! Cut/chopped floating weeds fouled every cast; also, we found zebra mussels on long strands of weeds.”

    Bryan Stuyvesant (Meadville) reported catching several nice smallmouth bass on topwater just after sunrise one morning past week.

    Canadohta Lake
    Jerry Van Tassel (Timberland Bait) filed 8/12: “A father and his two sons stopped by the shop to show us a 41” musky and 21.5” walleye that one of the boys caught while slow trolling willow-leaf worm harness. This year’s Timberland Bait Kids Fishing Contest on August 10th was a huge success with 92 kids from ages 3 to 16 entered. Kids caught approximately 200 fish and released all of them. The winners for each species follow.”
    Perch 8-1/2” – Raymond Litz (age 7)
    Sunfish 7-1/2” – tie with Madisyn Lapenz (age 10) and Ramond Lapenz (age 5)
    Crappie 7-1/2” – Brielle Hart (age 7)
    Smallmouth Bass 9” – tie Brad Fairman (age 7) and Steven Hart (age 4)
    Largemouth Bass 18” – Marshall Van Tassel (age 8)
    Painted turtle 8” – Mason Haskell (age 8)

    ERIE COUNTY
    Presque Isle Bay
    Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait) filed 8/12: “Customers are reporting they are still catching bass off the East and West Pier. On the North Pier, it’s a mixture of crappies, perch and sheephead.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie)
    - Filed 8/2: “Went to the West Slip Marina early, and got a lot of sunfish plus crappies. They were hitting grubs and minnows under a bobber; caught 30 sunfish and 25 crappies.”
    - Filed 8/6: “We slammed the perch using very small pinhead minnows on perch rigs; they measured 8 to 11 inches.”
    - Filed 8/9: “Went down to the South Pier and Border Dock this morning. Anglers fishing these locations are getting crappies from 10 to 12 inches; some limits.”
    - Filed 8/10: “My step dad and I caught perch, sunfish and silver bass on small minnows from the docks today.”
    - Filed 8/11: “I went back down to the Convention Center today and got some crappies from 10 to 12 inches, plus some nice perch. Perch were hitting minnows and crappies were hitting Mister Twisters. Twisters were fished on a crappie rig with dropshot as weight. Tipped the Twisters with grubs.”

    Lake Erie
    Gary Heuble (Poor Richards) filed 8/12: “Walleye are out on the south side of the First Trench in 60 to 70 feet, from Walnut Creek to Conneaut Harbor – best walleye fishing of the entire year right now. Perch reports are good, too; they are in about 55’ of water up and down the lake. And I don’t want to call it a run, but there are a few steelheads showing up at the mouths of the creeks; some guys are catching a couple early and late in the day.”

    Mike Tome (Trout Run Tackle) filed 8/12: “Erie fishing is on fire! Why go anywhere else? Perch and walleye catches are at their peak. The last two days it’s been non-stop on the perch in 55’ to 62’ – crazy. Drop a line down and if you don’t get bit in a few seconds, you need to move. It’s been tough keeping bait, but we have shiners right now – but do not know for how long. For walleyes, get out to the 62’ to 72’ foot depths. Pull deep running plugs on leadcore, or run worm harnesses or shallow plugs on Dipsy Divers or boards. Color doesn’t matter. Walleye are hitting everything.”

    Dan Seaman (Elk Creek Sports Center) filed 8/12: “The last couple days has seen the biggest perch catches of all season – maybe in a couple seasons. About 58 feet is the magic number I’m hearing from customers. The shallow water walleye bite has faded but the keep water is very good at 65’ to 80’. With the water low and clear in Elk, the catfish bite has slowed. While we usually see some brown trout move to the tributaries in July, this year they were late in coming…and they brought some steelhead with them. Some anglers reported catching steelhead as far upstream as the Trestle on Elk over the weekend; strange year.”

    Kurt Sitler (Cochranton) filed 8/11: “We were on Erie yesterday and brought home 18 walleyes. The average size was 8 pounds. We figured we had about 144 to 150 pounds of ‘eye. We had one solid 10 pounder and several others pushing over 9 pounds on the scale. We were out in 75 feet of water using Reef Runners. The photo is my son-in-law Josh Yost, holding a 9 pound walleye.”

    Keith Eshbaugh (Dutch Fork Lures) filed 8/9: “I went to Erie this past week. Fishing in 62’ to 64’ of water on the south side of the First Trench out of Walnut Creek, I trolled Ghost Blade Harnesses in the morning at 1.5 mph at 110 to 115 feet back on boards. Then I switched to crankbaits on 5 colors of leadcore at 2.2 mph. Results: Lots of walleye and perch. Best patterns were our custom Krome Krappie and Green Gator. We caught 2 to 5 pound eaters with the occasional 7 to 9 pounder thrown in. We also caught steelhead on spoons and walleyes on harnesses and crankbaits over 110 feet off the Peninsula.”

    Norman “Hooker” Brakeman (Hill’s County Store) filed 8/1: “Lesley Hill, Dave Kota, John Cecilic and I did a perch charter on Erie this past Wednesday, fishing with Capt. Dan Dryna. All were using cut bait supplied by the Captain, while I played with plastic. I rigged a Bobby Garland 2” Swimming Minnow on a #2 Aberdeen hook with a ¾-oz. inline sinker. I was catching perch as fast as the others. In 1 hour and 20 minutes the four of us had our limits and we were back at dock eating breakfast at 9:30 AM.”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Lake Wilhelm
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 8/12: “The locals are picking up a few walleyes – not limit catches, but two or three each trip out which is better than earlier in the summer. Seems an orange blade on worm harness is the ticket. Usual summertime crappies and bluegills – nothing to get excited about yet until water cools down some. I have not heard anything on bass, however.”

    Shenango Lake
    Darl Black (Cochranton) filed 8/13: “After our lackluster performance on Conneaut Lake on Sunday, Marilyn and I decided to give Shenango Lake a try this morning before finishing up the Fishing Report. Under heavy cloud cover and threat of rain, we arrived at the lake about 9 am. I headed directly to a favorite stump-covered point within sight of the launch, and caught three crappies on my first three casts. After Sunday’s Conneaut Lake fiasco, it felt good to catch fish…and not have to contend with floating weed strands! I was using a white marabou/silver tinsel jig pattern that old timers on French Creek anglers recognize as the Eddie Gray Special. Marilyn asked to use my rod with the marabou jig (the only EG Special jig I had with me), and she never surrendered the rod the rest of the morning. Although I caught crappies on a Road Runner head with Garland 2” Swimming Minnow and a hand-tied gray hackle jig, the white marabou stole the show. We lost count the number of crappies caught between us the first hour, but then things slowed down as the sun came out and the wind picked up. Crappies were in 9 to 16 feet of water. Besides beating me on crappies, Marilyn also captured the green sunfish award with three of cuties from the rip-rap on one of the bridges. As Ken Smith had mentioned in a report last month, crappies seemed to be on the small size at Shenango. Maybe bigger ones will show up this fall as water cools. Twenty-mile hour gusts drove us from the lake and to the Corral for a lunch of a Hi-Boy and coffee stir.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 8/10: “I’ve been fishing Erie for perch and walleye. However, I did sneak out one morning this past week for crappies on Shenango. Caught a few decent size ones on brushpiles up by Shenango Arm by Clark.”

    Laurie (R&L Bait & Tackle) filed 7/30: “Reports of limit catches of walleye in 12 to 14 feet of water with fish taken on medium size minnows. Also some nice channel cats in the Shenango River on shiners and stink bait at night.”

    Neshannock Creek
    Bob Shuey (Neshannock Creek Fly Shop) filed 8/3: Effective August 4th, we are on Fall and Winter hours. Now open 6 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm except Wednesdays from 10 am to 5 pm. We are closed Sundays until the first weekend in March 2014. The ncflyshop.com website is the best source for up-todate conditions of many trout streams in PA, OH and NY, as well as hatches on Neshannock Creek and boundaries of the Artificial Lure Only section of Neshannock, too.

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Justus Lake
    Angler Al (Franklin) filed 8/9: “Rainy morn’n. I met my fishing buddy Stan around daylight at the boat launch Two Mile Run Lake (Justus Lake). I hadn’t fished there in years. I brought along a mix of shiners & creek chubs to present, and he went to drown crawlers. It was a two fisted kind of day! We lite’em up –25 largemouth bass that is! Two Mile Lake is part of the Big Bass Program, whereupon a length of 15” is required. Though we were practicing catch & release, 5 of those would have met that standard. See ‘Livewell’ for a shot of my “dandy double” and a picture of Stan’s smaller double. Location Note: the transition from weeds (8’-12’) and open water (down to 20’), the stretch behind the swimming area, produced big. Crappies were feeding on the surface near the swimming area, too.”

    Allegheny River
    Dale Black (Oil City) filed 8/12: “I took my brother-in-law Justin Bolfek of Washington, DC out fishing for smallmouth on Saturday morning. We caught around 20 bass up to 18” on Skippy Fish soft jerkbaits and Yum Dingers. Saturday night we went after catfish with live chubs. We landed 6 flatheads from 17” to 25” but could not get a big one.”

    John Conroy (Pittsburgh area) filed 8/12: “I didn’t have a camera and I was fishing alone over the weekend. I caught 6 smallmouth bass on Saturday, but nothing of notable size; one bass on a Zoom Fluke and 5 on live hellgrammites. Weeds were troublesome when fishing lures; even making the Fluke weedless didn’t help. So I fished hellgrammites on a slip bobber. Sunday morning didn’t produce, but late in day on Sunday, I caught six which would have made a great photo – five were over 17”! I got them on hellgrammites and a stonecat. I floated one section of the river three times with same techniques. Didn’t catch anything on the first two floats but on the 3rd time I picked up the six bass, one right after another. Makes you believe in the Solunar Tables!”

    Gene Winger (Oil City) filed 8/12:
    - Week of July 29 “Peg and I took our 5-year-old granddaughter Olivia fishing on Wednesday evening. She caught her first smallmouth! Except for removing the hook, she did it all – casting, setting the hook, landing the fish and releasing it. I’m not sure who was more excited – the grandparents or Olivia! On Thursday I fished below Franklin, landing seven nice smallies using Winco Laminated Wacky Worms in 8 to 12 feet of water. With the water low and clear, the good fish seemed to be in the deeper pools while smaller fish were shallow. Saturday I fished from Franklin to Belmar Bridge with my son-in-laws Chris and Jeremy, landing over 20 smallmouth and 5 walleyes. Winco River Darters and Rapala X-Raps worked best with the bigger smallies caught in the head and tail of deeper pools.”
    - Week of August 5…”I was on the river almost every day this week, with the river running low and clear, the morning and late evening fishing seemed to be most productive. Targeting fast moving shallow water with Winco Solid Body River Darters and the deeper pools with Winco River Swim Baits has been working. Picking up smaller bass, but also several smallies in the 17 to 19-inch range by working the swim bait with a slow, pause- drag-pause retrieve.”

    Chuck Sari (Franklin) filed 8/11: “I fished the Allegheny four times so far in August, twice with my son Kevin and twice with Lloyd Rodgers, and of course grandson Reece was with me all four times. We caught and released 61 bass and 23 walleyes, with the largest walleye being 25 inches. All were caught on Rapala SR-5 and SR-7 plugs in various colors. On August 10, my son Kevin and Lloyd along with Reece decided to try their hand at catching catfish. Using chubs as bait, they caught and released 25” and 28” flatheads.”

    Angler Al (Franklin) filed 8/10: “Stan and I hit the Allegheny. We started out underneath the Veterans Bridge. Rocks ended up getting the best of us, as we were cut off on a few too many. By night fall we put ourselves in position below the marina. Using a Rapala SR-5 (crab pattern) & SR-7 (shad black/silver colored), I picked up two nice smallies and a 22-inch walleye after dark. Sadly my camera’s flash wasn’t work’n properly, so snaps didn’t take. I send a note of thanks out to fellow angling contributor Chuck Sari…the tip you provided us in the last report ended up being what put fish in the boat. And also I want to give a shout out to Darl for a wonderful job creating this report. I sure do appreciate the efforts you put forth. Thanks again.”

    Steve Udick (Oil City) filed 8/5: “A group of us floated from Tionesta to Rockmere over the weekend. Big bass of the trip went to Dave Marczak for a 20” smallmouth caught on a Right Bite Green Pumpkin/Orange Flake tube. We caught 199 bass. Terry Corbett of Rockmere landed 41 bass and his son, T.J. Corbett of Pittsburgh, put 29 in the boat – mostly on a white Mepps spinner. They gave a spinner to 12 year old Chris Marczak and he promptly landed 14. Bill Miller and Mark Miller (of Meadville) boated 27 bass and 20 bass respectively. Fishing near Rockmere, Terry Corbett caught a 29” walleye on his first cast of the next morning with Mepps white spinner.”

    Gamma Fishing Tips

    Dale Black, president of Gamma Line, says August and September is a favorite time to fish for catfish and carp in the Allegheny River and French Creek. “The late summer transition towards fall can be an unpredictable time on the fishing front. So this is a great time to do a little bank fishing for predictable species…carp during the day and catfish after dark. With the potential of 30-pound-plus carp, 20-pound-plus channels, and 30-pound flatheads, you need to be prepared with tackle that can handle these fish. Also, the rigs used for carp and cats generally involved heavy sinkers so your rod must be able to throw these a long distance. I use a set of three 11’ European Predator Rods from Cabela’s. Remember, we can now fish with three rods. These rods are perfect for handling big cats and
    carp, and are relatively inexpen- sive compared to fancy European carbon rods used for carp – less than $90.00 each for Cabela’s rod versus $300 each for imported carbon rod. I spool my bait-runner reels with 14-pound Gamma Edge Fluorocarbon plus a 15-pound Gamma Torque braid leader. Many carp and cat fisher- men run braid on the main line, but I prefer fluorocarbon because it holds up better to bottom abrasions. My set up is simple: 1-oz. egg sinker on the main line, a swivel to act as sinker stop, and a 12” braided line
    leader to the hook. For catfish I use a large hook to match the size of chub being used. For carp, I use a #4 x-strong carp hook, usually baited with canned sweet corn.”

    Winner of the spool of Gamma Line for this issue of Fishing Report: Kurt Sitler

    Winner of the Prize Pack of Baits for this issue of the Fishing Report: John Conway

    Lures for the Fishing Report Prize Pack supplied by: Case; Gene Larew; Get Bit Baits; Road Runner; Venom Baits; Yum; Zipper Worms.

    Road Runner Caps for Crappie Reports go to: Thomas Watral, “Angler Al” and “Hooker”

    Obtain your French Creek Waterways brochure at Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
    Follow Darl as he fishes with angling experts around the country at www.darlblack.blogspot.com

    Obtain the PGLR fishing brochure “Reel It In!” at www.pagreatlakes.com


  5. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 7/29/13

    July 30, 2013 by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: July 29, 2013
    The NW PA Fishing Report is brought to you by…

    Gold Sponsor: Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region

    Connect to all counties at www.PAGreatLakes.com

    Bronze Sponsor: Black Knight Industries, Oil City – Home of Gamma Line

    Bronze Sponsor: Wiegel Brothers Marine, Franklin

    The NW PA Fishing Report provides timely angling information for Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango Counties – covering all species and all waters open to the public. The fishing comments and photos are offered by regional tackle shops and area anglers, complied and published twice a month. The NW PA Fishing Report is based on experiences, observations and opinions of individual contributors; information sources are considered reliable but comments are not independently verified. If you would like to share your fishing experiences or photos from any waterway in the four counties, please email to Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net. In providing information or pictures, you are agreeing to it being posted in the Fishing Report and distributed electronically to media and websites.

    The Landing Net by Darl Black

    ’s the middle of summer, and fish are biting…if you know where to go and what to fish for. The Allegheny River smallmouth bite is excellent, offshore walleyes at Lake Eire are raging, crappies are going crazy at Pymatuning and Shenango, Wilhelm has been giving up some big largemouth for the first time in several years, and the white bass are making an appearance at Conneaut Lake. I was on Conneaut this past week throwing an umbrella rig for white bass – what a blast! When I handed it to Bryan to try, he caught this
    nice largemouth bass which was suspended below the white bass school busting minnow on the surface. No excuses, Go Fish!

    NW Pennsylvania Fishing Report for July 29,2013

    Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism
    What’s biting in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties?
    Sponsored by PA Great Lakes Region tourism

    French Creek: Flowing through all four counties

    Editor’s Note: As noted in an earlier Fishing Report, French Creek has been designated as a PA Water Trail. Separate brochures are now available for the Upper French Creek and Lower French Creek, featuring a detailed access map and valuable information. Pick up your Upper and Lower French Creek map/guide at French Creek Valley Conservancy in downtown Meadville or request one from the
    Crawford County Visitors Bureau at 814-333-1258; www.visitcrawford.org.

    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 7/28: “Even though French Creek has good flow and good color courtesy of our wet summer and it looks perfect for fishing, the bite has been a bit slow for me. I’ve been trying to catch a big catfish, but it seems I’ll have to wait until conditions change in August as the cats don’t seem to be biting yet. Getting an occasional walleye, but not many and not of any size. Catching mostly smallmouth in the Creek – which isn’t a bad thing, of course, just not what I wanted to target. After seeing those huge carp that were shot with a bow, I’m going to try to catch a big carp on hook and line this week.”

    John Wilpula (Conneaut Lake) filed 7/28: “Outings have been pretty sporadic due to weather, but the action has been consistent for us on French Creek and the Allegheny. We recently acquired a tandem fishing kayak that has allowed our two boys to tag along now and experience French Creek for the first time. They’ve been picking up smallmouth and rock bass on Beetle Spins and stick worms – having a blast! So much fun that I doubt I’ll be going by myself much from now on – not that’s a bad thing.”

    Angler Al’s French Creek Diary:

    Thursday July 18th – My guest Buck Kise from the Pocono region of our state timed it perfectly. French Creek had finally come around. From pre-dawn until 9 am we worked the stretch above Polly’s Dairy Isle. Buck caught a total of 7 smallies. The biggest was a 3-lb, 16 incher. I released a total of (12) and the largest one was 4-lb at 18 inches. Baits of choice were night crawlers, creek chubs and a Rebel Crawfish lure.

    Friday July 19th – From 6:30 am until 1 pm, Buck had a great day catching & releasing trout on Sugar Creek. It took him around 2 dozen nightcrawlers, but the end result was several rainbows, a brown trout and a couple good smallies. Seeing I sell crawlers they’ll be plenty more of them to use tomorrow morning on Frenchy, if we beat the storm front predicted to cover the region.

    Saturday July 20th – At daylight bad weather prevailed. We changed gears for the day and decided to go late evening. I threw out the traps so we’d have some live bait. During the last half hour of daylight, we hooked up on a total of 7 average size smallies and 1 beauty.

    Tuesday July 23th – Beat it for French Creek just before dark. Put out a floating jighead w/shiner on one set up, and started casting a Tiny Torpedo top water plug on another rod. Thought I had a trophy-size smallmouth take it, but ended up being one of those gosh darn bowfins – 26-inches of fertilizer is what it became. In my opinion they’re seriously hurting the eco-system on our waterways!!!

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Pymatuning Lake
    Dave Richter (Richter’s Tackle Shop) filed 7/29: “From the Espyville Causeway to the Dam, walleyes are still hitting hot and heavy for the guys drifting with nightcrawlers in 7 to 12 feet of water. An unusually strong walleye bite for this late in the summer. A few anglers are targeting crappies on the deep brush of the South end and still catching nice ones. Big bluegills are being taken as well from deeper wood cover, and channel cats are everywhere – but still no reports of muskies being caught.”

    Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 7/29: “Walleye bite is still strong! Many limits have been reported from 8 to 12 feet of water… all over the lake. Lindy Shadlings, Berkley Flicker Shads and AFF Walleye Wizards were the hot baits this week. Crappies are eating like crazy along the Causeway! A minnow on Lindy Fuzz-E-Grub is the ticket, as well as minnows on a plain hook.”

    Hooker (Hill’s County Store) filed 7/27: “On Tuesday I had David Polovian and his guest for the second time on Hooker’s Fishing Taxi. We went to the North End of Pymatuning for an afternoon trip. While launching, a dark thunderstorm rolled in. We waited for the hardest rain to stop and then headed to the Stumps. We were fishing light line and jigs. There was a vicious bite going on for about 20 minutes. We caught over a dozen thick slab crappies to 14 inches. Then it stopped as if someone threw a switch. A few minutes later, David set the hook into something big on 4-pound test line. After a several minute fight, we slid the net under a 22 inch largemouth – which we released after measuring it. On Saturday, I had Jeff Sampson out on the South End, focusing our efforts on wood in 8 feet of water. But the fish were finicky so we went to vertical jigging to keep the bait in front of them longer. We caught several nice crappies and bluegills. Then we moved to an offshore hump that topped at 12 feet, where we fished vertical for additional crappies. That is where Jeff got his big fish of the day – a 21-inch walleye on a Bobby Garland Baby Shad in Screamer color. We moved to deeper water and started catching perch on almost every cast. Then it happened – three boats moved in next to us and dropped anchors. However, they could not catch fish at the rate we were, and when we left, I suggested to them to stop in at the shop to see what magic bait we were using. Seems the invitation was taken seriously because an hour later one of the boats pulled into the shop’s parking lot just as we were photographing Jeff’s catch. Seeing what Jeff caught, they bought a bunch of Bobby Garland baits!”

    Conneaut Lake
    Steve Hughes (Clarion) filed 7/29: “This past week I fished Conneaut on Thursday and then again on Friday in a tournament. Both days I caught decent bass on a Fat Free Shad crankbait along the weedline before the sun got too high. But once the sun was up, I had to go to drop-shot rigging of small plastic to catch any additional bass – but they were small largemouth.”

    Ernie Pate (Butler) filed 7/26: “I fished the charity tournament at Conneaut Lake on Friday, but our boat only had five fish. Sixteen pounds won it, and Steve Hughes’ team came in second with 14 pounds. It was a tough day at Conneaut.”

    Bryan Stuyvesant (Meadville) filed 7/25: “Darl and I fished Conneaut Lake for a few hours this evening looking for a big smallmouth, but had to settle for average size fish. But just as we were headed into the ramp at sunset, we observed fish busting the surface near one of the mid-lake humps. I cast a Rico topwater thinking it was smallmouth and came up with a white. Darl threw a Yumbrella Ultralight Flash Mob rig with Gene Larew 3” Lon John Minnows (3 hook baits and two dummies as allowed in PA) and almost had the rod yanked from his hands. After catching another white or two, Darl handed the umbrella rig to me. On my first cast, I thought I was going overboard from a powerful hit – thought it was a huge smallmouth but turned out to be a white bass! Incredible! On a later cast, I counted the rig down several feet below the surface activity and caught a nice largemouth on it – pretty exciting.”

    Dan Mincin (Finleyville) filed 7/20: Announcement of the 4th Annual Walt’s Tavern Bass Buddy Tournament for Saturday, August 24; $100.00 per 2-person team. For more information and an application, contact Dan at 724-986-6557.

    Canadohta Lake
    Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 7/29: “Guys are catching bluegills, crappies and perch tight to the weedline on Canadohta; no musky reports. Over at Clear Lake (i.e. Sparty Pond), the northern pike are hitting like crazy late in the evening according to some customers.”

    ERIE COUNTY
    Lake Erie
    Jeff Staaf (Poor Richard’s Tackle) filed 7/29: “Good news! Walleyes are strong out at 60 to 80 feet, with fish suspended at 40 to 50 feet. Plugs, worm harnesses and spoons are all producing. Color is important…purple, purple-pink and purple-black on spoons and harness blades. Best plug colors are green, blue or purple. There’s a lot of perch at 52 feet straight out of Walnut.”

    Dam Seaman (Elk Creek Sports Center) filed 7/29: “We’ve been having a lot of wind lately on the lake, but when boats can get out, they are catching fish. The hottest walleye bite out of Elk Creek launch has been in the rocks at 28 to 30 feet down by Virginia Beach. This is great place for the guy with a smaller boat, fishing the old fashion way with crawler harness bouncing among the rocks – hook a fish, stop the boat and fight the fish – real fishing! Guys have been limiting out in this shallower water. Of course the big pack of walleyes is out at 60 to 80 feet, but you need a big boat. Perch fishing has been off and on – the smaller schools are still moving and have not set up anywhere; usually can find some at 38 to 42 feet out of Elk Creek. But here is some exciting news…some guys stopped in to show off their hand scars from noodling channel catfish from downed tree snags in Elk Creek. Yes noodling! They claim to have taken cats up to 30 pounds by sticking their hand in dark holes and letting the cat clamp down – just like on TV show, which where they likely got the idea. But if you are not into noodling, you still catch catfish at night with hook & line and a crawler for bait around the ramp at the township park on the west side of Elk Creek near the mouth.”

    Ric Gauriloff (Trout Run Tackle) filed 7/28: “Walleye fishing has been good this past week. The chop from the waves has been beneficial to those chasing walleye. One day they are finding them in close at 38 feet and the next morning the bite is out at 60 to 70 feet. Worm harnesses are working, with watermelon and copper blades getting the most attention. Worm harnesses of course draw non-targeted species, too. Plugs in purple or blue are working as well. I’ve done well with a rainbow trout pattern put out by Renosky’s Lures. Perch bite has been slow, with fish here and there. It takes time to find them. The head boats have been catching fish but not the jumbos. Plenty of catfish being caught in the lake and in Elk Creek. A variety of baits are working, but usually the more scent you get in the water, the better your success.”

    Keith Eshbaugh (Dutch Fork Lures) filed 7/26: “Friends and I caught a bunch of walleyes out of Presque Isle in 62 to 65 feet of water; most of fish were 4 to 8 pounds. We were trolling Dutch Fork Ghost Blade harnesses, with a 6-foot lead, 2 ounces of inline weight, 70-90 feet back behind a planer board at about 1.2 mph. Conditions were cold front, sunny, NE wind, waves 2-4 feet.”

    Presque Isle Bay
    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 7/27: “I talked to a number of anglers yesterday and today. I’m told most of the smallmouth bass had headed back out to the lake. But anglers are catching a few bass on live minnows, buzz baits and Bomber plugs. The crappies are hitting just about everywhere around the Bay; most are being taken on live minnows and Power Bait minnow jigs. A few perch are still being caught on the North and South pier – but they are on the small side. On July 24, I talked to a guy who caught 28 nice crappies from the Docks by fishing a jig straight down along the wall. Back on the 22nd, I caught nice crappies, large sunfish and over 63 perch on minnows and crawlers on perch rigs. On the 20th, I got 20 silver bass, 20 perch and 9 crappies fishing from the docks.”

    Edinboro Lake
    Steve Hughes (Clarion) filed 7/28: “I fished a benefit tournament on Edinboro this past Saturday, the day after a Conneaut Lake benefit event. The young person fishing with me got land all the fish hooked. We won the tournament with 5 bass for a total of 10 pounds by cranking Fat Free Shads in 7 to 8 feet of water. There were no weeds in the lake.”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Shenango Lake
    Ernie Pate (Butler) filed 7/28: “Unlike my last tournament on Shenango, the one today was tough. The water fell 3 feet over the week and then came up a foot overnight. Most bass were caught shallow – 5 feet or less on crankbaits, jigs, Chatterbaits and Senkos. I saw big fish on structure in 12 to 16 feet of water but could not get them to bite. There were several nice smallmouth bass caught during the tournament.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 7/26: “The crappie bite at Shenango has really been good this week. Although the size of crappies is down from the previous year, they are still fun to catch. In three trips this week, I caught and released over 100 crappies. I kept six 9” fat black crappies on Wednesday, and threw back the bigger fish because it’s a down year. Jigs caught all the fish this week.”

    Ken Anderson (Tionesta) filed 7/22: “I fished Shenango Lake from sun-up for three hours on Sunday, 7/21. I caught a 16.5” largemouth on a crankbait, a 14” bass on a jig-n-pig, a 10” crappie on a crankbait and lost a smallmouth. Effective fishing was limited due to battery issues, but I did see schools of gizzard shad being chased by smallmouth bass.”

    Lake Wilhelm
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 7/28: “I’ve talked to a few people fishing for walleye, and they have been catching some nice ones – mostly on worm harnesses with orange blades. Also they are taking a few walleyes on Storm Hot-N-Tots in silver and black. Crappies are being caught on Southern Pro Stingers tipped with maggots. Bass fishermen are happier this year, too, since the largemouth catches have improved over recent couple years. Locals like the purple worm for bass.”

    Joe Nichols (Underground Angler) filed 7/28: “Took a trip to Wilhelm today because the waves were too big at Erie. I caught a nice largemouth on a ½-ounce Fatratz Jig with green pumpkin Fury Craw by New Wave Plastics. The other nice largemouth came on a Rapala DT Crankbait. Not a lot of bass, but good size ones.”

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Allegheny River
    Dale Black (Oil City) filed 7/29: “I’ve been sneaking off to the river several times the past week. Earlier in the week, I landed a 30 inch musky in the Oil City pool which tore up my hand. Fishing injured on Saturday morning near Fisherman’s Cove, I still caught the bigger smallmouth while fishing with Darl Black. We expected a good day for big fish with the approaching storm, but got fooled, landing only about 8 bass in two hours. Really didn’t have pattern during the few hours we fished. Darl caught fish on a buzzbait and Case Salty Shad jerkbait. I had a tube, Skippy Fish soft jerkbait, and crankbait tied on, and got fish on all of them. But Sunday, I took my friend Jimmy Jackson from Texas out on the river, fishing from Oil City to Belmar. We landed approximately 40 smallmouths with a number of them in the 15 to 18 inch range. Almost all were taken on tubes.”

    Gene Winger (Oil City) filed 7/29: “During week of 15th with midday temps exceeding 90 degrees and water temp at 80 degrees, I fished mornings and evenings. Smallies seem to be scattered all over the river and patterning them was a challenge. Fishing deep pools using a Winco 3.25” Predator Craw and Winco River Darter in shallow riffles produced the most fish. I averaged six to eight smallmouths during the week, but things picked up on Sunday with 12 smallies and 2 walleyes. During the week of July 22, I fished every evening, averaging a dozen smallmouths. With the heat wave subsiding and water temperatures dropping into the mid-70s, larger smallmouth started to come out of hiding. On Wednesday, I landed a 20-inch smallie weighing 5 pounds; it hit a Terminator Spinnerbait with a Winco 3” Swimming Grub trailer. The brute fought hard; thankfully I was using Gamma Edge 8-pound Fluorocarbon leader!”

    Chuck Sari (Franklin) filed 7/28: “On the 21st, I fished the river with my son Kevin and grandson Reece. We caught 29 bass and 7 walleyes, with the largest ‘eye going 25 inches. All were caught with Rapala #5 Shad Raps in silver or gold; all were released. On the 24th, I fished with my brother Frank and grandson Reece. We caught 23 bass and 3 walleye. All on Rapala SR5 and all released. On the 26th, I fished with Lloyd Rogers; we managed 6 bass and a walleye. On the 28th, I fished the river with Kevin and Reece. We caught and released 17 bass, 5 walleye and a northern pike – all Rapala SR5s and SR7s in gold and crab colors.”

    Louis Letterle (Franklin) filed 7/26: “We have not fished much this summer due to family commitments, sports for the kids, etc. Be we did manage to fish the river on Tuesday. Using soft jerkbaits and jigs, we caught several nice fish in a very short time. Attached is a picture of Corey with a 19” 4-pound smallmouth – not bad for an 11-year old!”

    Ken Anderson (Tionesta) filed 7/22: “On the 13th, I caught several nice smallmouth bass and two walleyes (16.5” and 23.25”) on a white crankbait from the river.”

    Gamma Fishing Tips

    Gamma Pro-Staff Tip
    Gamma Pro Kota Kiriyama: I use a Palomar knot when drop-shotting. It is strong and easy to tie. The key is to take the line end after tying the knot and run back through the top of the hook eye before adding the drop shot weight. If you do this procedure, the hook will stay in an upright position making your hookset more efficient. I used this drop-shotting technique to win the Bassmaster Elite on Lake Erie and broke the record for heaviest limit weight of smallmouth bass in a tournament! Here are the details of my dropshotting…
    Line: Gamma Touch 7#
    Rod: Shimano ML action 6’8”
    Reel: Shimano Stella
    Lure: Jackall Crosstail Shad and other prototype drop-shot baits.

    Also, visit my home page at www.kotakiriyama.com and connect to my blog, Facebook, Twitter, American Dream tournament, Ninja Tackle Box, etc.

    Thank you,
    Kota

    Winner of the spool of Gamma Line for this issue of Fishing Report:
    Winner of the Prize Pack of Baits for this issue of the Fishing Report:
    Lures for the Fishing Report Prize Pack supplied by: Case; Gene Larew; Get Bit Baits; Road Runner; Venom Baits; Yum; Zipper Worms.

    Follow Darl as he fishes with angling experts around the country at www.darlblack.blogspot.com
    Obtain the PGLR fishing brochure “Reel It In!” at www.pagreatlakes.com


  6. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 7/15/13

    by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: July 15, 2013
    The NW PA Fishing Report is brought to you by…

    Gold Sponsor: Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region

    Connect to all counties at www.PAGreatLakes.com

    Bronze Sponsor: Black Knight Industries, Oil City – Home of Gamma Line

    Bronze Sponsor: Wiegel Brothers Marine, Franklin

    The NW PA Fishing Report provides timely angling information for Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango Counties – covering all species and all waters open to the public. The fishing comments and photos are offered by regional tackle shops and area anglers, complied and published twice a month. The NW PA Fishing Report is based on experiences, observations and opinions of individual contributors; information sources are considered reliable but comments are not independently verified. If you would like to share your fishing experiences or photos from any waterway in the four counties, please email to Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net. In providing information or pictures, you are agreeing to it being posted in the Fishing Report and distributed electronically to media and websites.

    The Landing Net by Darl Black

    Water, water everywhere! Last summer we had a severe drought. This year, NW PA has too much rain in form of damaging thunderstorms. The storms certainly disrupt plans for fishing…but fish are biting if you can dodge the lightning bolts. Perch are on fire on Lake Erie; river smallmouth bite is strong; walleye at Pymatuning continue biting; crappies are hitting in many lakes; even the
    stocked trout streams have been giving up fish well into summer. The higher water may be helping the bass bite at Wilhelm…see the Lake Wilhelm report. High water (short of flooding) creates some problems, but in the long run, high water levels keep fish biting into the summer.

    NW Pennsylvania Fishing Report for July 15,2013

    Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism
    What’s biting in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties?
    Sponsored by PA Great Lakes Region tourism

    French Creek: Flowing through all four counties

    Editor’s Note: Given all the rain of late, French Creek had been flowing higher and darker than normal for this time of year. Unfortunately, many anglers have decided not to fish the Creek. However high flow (not flooding) with color — but not muddy water — can make for great fishing when the right areas are selected; generally high water pushes fish to shoreline pocket eddies and into flooded mouths of tributary streams. Use caution when fishing high water.

    Ed Lawrence (Corry) filed 7/15/13: “I’ve been fishing for largemouth bass in recent weeks, catching most on an Original Rapala Minnow. One of my favorite places is upper French Creek.”

    French Creek Water Trail maps and guides are now available at French Creek Valley Conservancy office at 301 Chestnut Street, Meadville, and Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau on Conneaut Lake Road/Rt. 322 next to Burger King in Vernon Township.

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Pymatuning Lake
    Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store) filed 7/15: “Even though it’s the middle of July, with the high water and somewhat cooler water temps, anglers are still catching shallow walleyes in the weeds on a jig and crawler. However, with predicted high temps this week, this could be the end of the shallow-water ‘eye bite. There are lots of crappies being caught on deeper brush structures in 12 to 18 feet of water, mainly on minnows. Channel cats are turning up everywhere! No muskies reported this past week.”

    Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 7-15-13: “Walleyes are still be caught in shallower water…8’ to 12’. But I think that will soon change given the hot weather this week – should drive them deeper. Berkley Flicker Shads, Rapala Shad Raps, Lindy Shadlings and Storm Hot’N Tots are the preferred trolling baits. The AFF Walleye Wizard has been very productive, not only for walleye but other species as well. Worm harnesses and floating jigheads with bait are catching fish, too. I have attached a picture of one of our customers with a 6-pound walleye caught this past week. Crappies have moved deeper; causeway has been a hotspot. Catfish are being caught in numbers. I can’t keep Magic Bait Catfish in stock! Shrimp, Chicken Liver/Chicken Blood, and Grasshopper are the most popular flavors. Bio Edge Fishing Products potions and wands continue be a strong seller. Their
    products are 100% natural and outperform other attractants on the market.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 7/15: “Today I fished the south end of Pymatuning for four hours. I could not find the crappies bunched up but I did find some here and there. I got some at 8 feet, 12 feet and 19 feet. All came on a 1/8-ounce Road Runner head with Lunker City Fin-S-Fish body. Guys at the ramp said the walleye bite was slow.”

    Hooker (Hill’s Country Store) filed 7/8: “Hey Darl, fancy meeting you the other day on #24 GPS Waypoint on Pymatuning – guess that hump isn’t so secret. The two gentlemen in the boat with me are in their seventies and have a difficult time launching and operating a boat but still enjoy fishing. We had a good day of catching fish and joking around. On the previous Saturday, I had Jeff Sampson and his buddy fishing the North End. We fished the long tapering points that drop sharply from 7’ to 13’ in about a boat’s length. Took time to locate the sweet spot, but when we did, Gamma Line and Bobby Garland Baby Shad helped us catch many 13” to 14” crappies and a bonus walleye along with perch and bluegills. The Bobby Garland Crappie Baits – particularly the Baby Shad – have become a valuable tool for my fishing clients.”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 7/5: “After fishing with artificial baits for decades, I went old style with a simple nightcrawler to catch a 20” Pymatuning walleye on a weedline…seems like old times! Of course, crappies were biting too!”

    Chuck Sari (Franklin) filed 7/4: “On June 30th, my son Kevin and my grandson Reece and I went to Pymatuning after several days of rain. We caught 21 walleyes of which 13 were keepers. We trolled Storm Hot’N Tots. There was no wind, so drifting with crawler rigs was out of the question. The water temp was 74 degrees, which was four degrees lower than a week earlier before the heavy rain. We also caught some nice perch and crappie while trolling. On July 2, my brother Frank, my grandson Reece and I were again on Pymatuning. We caught 8 walleyes of which 5 were keepers. Again, it was the Storm Hot’N Tots with silver color patterns, plus some on a Cotton Cordell Walleye Diver.”

    Mike Mainhart (Vienna, OH) filed 6/28: “My fishing buddy Marlan Blair (Meadville) and I fished Pymatuning after a heavy rain on Friday. We use a slow approach by kayak and canoe. When we mark fish on the sonar, we slow paddle through the spot. Bluegills and crappies are in deep water right now – 16 to 20 feet. The fish are near the bottom. Between the two of us, we caught seven nice crappies, six big bluegills and eight channel cats – always fun in a kayak. Everything hit a Gulp! Minnow in either natural or chartreuse.”

    Conneaut Lake
    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 7/7: Dustin reports success on recent outings on Conneaut for big bluegills. He also landed a long-nose gar on light tackle. “Wicked prehistoric-looking fish – check out those teeth,” he says.

    Canadohta Lake
    Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 7/15: “The local anglers have been catching lots of northern pike on golden shiners in the evening just before sunset. They are fishing openings along the weed edge. Other anglers are catching walleyes by trolling a worm harness or a leech on a floating jig just outside the weeds.”

    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 7/15: “One of my fishing buddies reported catching a 30” northern pike at Canadohta that had a big bulge in it. When they cleaned it, they found a small duck in its stomach!”

    ERIE COUNTY
    Presque Isle Bay
    Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait) filed 7/15: “Fish have been biting, but the heat this past weekend has limited anglers to fishing early and late in the day. Panfish and bass are being caught in the Bay. There are still some smallmouth bass in the Bay, with customers catching them off the North Pier. They are catching largemouth bass off both the East and West Piers. Out in the main lake, they are getting perch in 37 to 54 feet, and walleye around 70 feet.”

    Ed Atts (Utica) filed 7/13: “I went to Presque Isle Bay on July 12 to wade fish Marina Lake and Misery Bay. Water was deep green pea color and extremely weedy. The wade fly fishing for bass and bluegills is over for me this year at PIB, but it sure was great in May and June. I had a solo canoe in the truck so I paddled from Misery Bay to Marina Lake and back through the Lagoons. Not as much bird life as earlier in year, but a nice paddle regardless.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 7/15/13:
     7/15 – Went to the docks the last two days. Got 18 nice perch, 2 sunfish and one big catfish yesterday – all came on minnows except one on a crawfish. Today I caught 26 nice perch, one crappie and one silver bass on Crappie Rigs. Fish are hitting from 6 AM to noon.
     7/13 – Perch, crappie, silver bass and rock bass are being caught from the docks and Piers. Most are using live minnows and crawlers, but some anglers are successful with crawfish.
     7/9 – Fishing has been very good at the Border Pier bass, catfish, perch and silver bass using a two-hook rig with live bait.
     7/4 – Being Fish for Free Day, lots of people were out fishing. Reports have been good from the South and North Piers. Perch are being caught in the lake at 45 to 55 feet. There are still some brown trout in the streams; they are hitting crawlers. Lake Pleasant has been giving up panfish and some trout on the edges of weedbeds.

    Lake Erie
    Gary Heuble (Poor Richards) filed 7/15: “Walleyes are in the First Trench at 70 to 75 feet. They are catching them on either a crawler harnesses or minnow plugs from Bagley’s, Renosky, or Reef Runner. A few steelheads are turning up when trolling plugs for walleye. Perch are pretty much distributed all along the lake west of the Peninsula from 50 to 55 feet.”

    Ric Gauriloff (Trout Run Bait) filed 7/15: “Perch fishing has been very good recently, with catches from 45 to 50 feet off the Point on the peninsula, and on Sunday as deep as 70 feet off the Condos. Back towards Elk Creek, walleyes are in 68 to 70 feet. Best walleye baits are meat on copper blade worm harnesses or Reef Runner plugs.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 7/15: “My friend and I headed to Lake Erie for perch on Saturday. We called ahead to check on emerald shiners, and learned from our regular shop that none were available. So we stopped on the way for fathead minnows. Everyone that perch fishes knows emerald shiners are preferred but sometimes fatheads will catch SOME Erie perch. We headed out to 48 feet to join the pack of about 50 boats and dropped anchor; we only moved one time. We left about noon when it was getting too hot. We finished with about 40 perch – some very good size ones among them.”

    Norman Brakeman (Westfield, OH) filed 7/14: “Lesley and I took a day off over the 4th weekend and went to Erie for smallmouth bass. We fished the walls in the Bay with tubes with limited success. But when I changed to my B-n-M Crappie Rod with 4-pound Gamma Line and a 1/16-oz. Hooker Bug tipped with a Bobby Garland Baby Shad, I started catching 2 to 3-pound smallmouth one after another in the same place we had just fished with tube jigs!”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Lake Wilhelm
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 7/15: “I’m hearing more reports of bass being caught this year than last. Customers are catching them on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits. There some nice crappies being caught on Southern Pro Stingers. Not hearing anything about walleye, however.”

    Ernie Pate (Butler) filed 7/15: “I’ve made three trips to Wilhelm this year and caught some largemouth on each trip. Two of the three trips myself or my brother had a largemouth over six pounds. Looks like Wilhelm may be on the way back – maybe the gizzard shad peaked.”

    Scott Kinard (Ellwood City) filed 6/30: “I took the opportunity to fish Wilhelm on June 30; this was my first trip to Wilhelm this year. I had a good day landing a number of nice largemouth, including one that went over 5 pounds. It was a total post spawn bite; best bait as an All-Terrain Tackle Swimming jig fished around the weed edges. Fish were not tight to cover. Areas near good weeds produced best. From all indications, the lake seems to be fishing better this year than past few years. Bass are still coughing up gizzard shad when you catch them, but hopefully the shad invasion has peaked and is now declining as forecast by Fish Commission biologists.”

    Angler Al (Franklin) 6/29: Stan Hefner and I spent the early a.m. hours trolling cranks on Wilhelm. The weather was perfect for walleye fishing – overcast and cool. Rain was projected and we got it. However it didn’t run us off. We stayed until 9am, but didn’t even get a strike. This makes two weekends in row we’ve been skunked when rigged up for walleye. I would have never figured. I’m wondering what it might be that I’m doing incorrectly these days? Or, is it that this lake just isn’t producing any walleye? Heck, we didn’t even pick up a largemouth bass. Most times we’ll at least get one of them while dragging along. Decided to use items from the new gift package I won (Venom Salty Slings and 5” Skip Shads). Wish I had a positive report, but can’t. I left puzzled and not wanting to waste my time this lake again. Might anyone have a good suggestion or tip for fishing walleye on Wilhelm?”

    Editor’s Note: On Sunday, July 14, Marilyn and I fished Wilhelm for the first time in two years. With all the dismal bass reports coming from the lake in past couple years, we didn’t know what to expect. But based on the fact that gizzard shad had exploded in the lake and the Fish Commission biologists’ belief the big bass are following shad school around the open water, I decided to try an umbrella rig (Yum Flash Mob Jr. with Larew Soft Swimmers) over mid lake humps. I had just interviewed bass pro Jason Christie about umbrella rigs for an upcoming B.A.S.S. Times article, and I applied several of his tips. It paid off with a five-pound largemouth – my first Pennsylvania largemouth on an umbrella rig. We also caught a 24-inch walleye on a Larew Hard Head Jig with Biffle Bug. Of course, we spent some time crappie fishing too, landing a number of these from stumps and brush in 10 feet of water; most crappies were small but several were keeper size.”

    Shenango Lake
    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 7/14: “I took my granddaughter to Shenango last Monday before all the storms. We caught small crappies and bluegills for a couple hours. But it got so hot we had to get off the lake quickly. Water was high, but didn’t affect the bite.”

    Ernie Pate (Butler) filed 7/14: “My brother Ken and I won the KBBC tournament on Shenango on June 23. We had four bass that went 16.35 pounds – we actually had the three biggest bass in the tournament. Our lunker was 5.54 pounds. We caught two bass shallow and two bass deep. All four keepers were caught on jigs with Zoom trailers. Since all our fish came in the last two hours of the tournament, it was a pretty exciting day for us.”

    Stoneboro Lake
    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 7/15: “During the past week I fished Stoneboro Lake for bass. I have been catching 4 or 5 bass each trip – some on topwater and some on drop-shot rig, but none of the fish are very large.”

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Allegheny River
    Gene Winger (Oil City) filed 7/15: “Fishing has been slow this past week. I’ve been averaging about ½ dozen smallmouth per outing. Most have been caught on a Winco 3.75” River Darter Swim Bait fished in 4 to 6 feet of fast moving current above and below main pools. My outings for the past couple weeks included…

     June 26 – with storms predicted on Thursday, I hit the Allegheny a few hours on Wednesday. Good call – I landed over 20 smallmouths in matter of a couple hours. All on Winco 3.75” River Darter Swim baits. Most fish were in the 14 to 16 inch range, but two measured 19 inches.
     June 27 – George Sisul and I fished the river on Thursday morning. With heavy rain and storms predicted, our time was limited. By noon our count was 17 smallmouth bass and two very wet fishermen. Bass bite shut down when the water visibility dropped to about a foot.
     July 7 – After 12 days of high turbid water I could wait no longer. Sunday evening I was back on the water. With water level down to 5.5 feet and clarity improving, I was surprised the bite was slow. I landed only six bass, all on a chartreuse-colored Terminator Spinnerbait.”

    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 7/7: “I went to the river today and back on the 4th as well. Bite was slow in the stained water – all fish came on a Strike King Spinnerbait.

    Oil Creek
    Mike Laskowski (Oil Creek Outfitters) filed 7/15: “With the water temp heating up in Oil Creek, the trout fishing is done until fall. However, the smallmouth bass bite is coming on. Triple Threat Streamers and Wooly Buggers are the best flies. Smallmouth bass can be found throughout the stream, but the higher numbers are from Miller Station Bridge to the mouth of the creek at Oil City.”

    Other trout streams
    Ed Lawrence (Corry) filed 7/15: “With the stocked trout streams warming to uncomfortable levels for the fish, I’ve been fishing the canopy-covered small trickles in the backcountry of Venango County for native brook trout.”

    Justus Lake
    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 7/15: “I’ve been spending time on Justus Lake for a big musky. I had several follows this past week and landed one 30 inch fish on a spinnerbait. This past Saturday night, four of us went night fishing for trout. We caught 17 rainbow trout after dark fishing 38 feet of water with split-tail jigs and split-shot – a lure typically used for crappies.”

    Sugar Creek
    Angler Al’s Sugar Creek Journal
     Thursday July 4th – Brother Steve was home. We planned an early a.m. excursion for trout on Sugar Creek. Steady rains hit about 5:30 and by 7:00 Sugar was roaring muddy. Around 9:00 I decided to take a few big lures and a hand full of garden worms down the Burchardt stretch and see if I could get a big brown trout to attack. I only managed to pick up a little, smallmouth bass on a worm. It was neat to see a mature bald eagle on our country’s Independence Day. The encounter was Priceless…
     Sunday July 7th – After an enjoyable few days with family & friends, I decided to try my hand at fishing for trout on Sugar Creek. I set out for Red Bridge, but ended up going further upstream to the Iron Furnace above Wyattville. Though a tad high and brownish, it didn’t take but a few casts with an orange bodied, gold blade, brown haired Rooster Tail spinner and I landed a 10” rainbow. Several casts later, another trout the same size took it. Then I switched over to a fireball egg and suspended it for float. On my first cast, I
    hooked a clone the other two trout engulfed it.
     Monday July 8th – After a full day of good sunlight, water level and clarity was finally right, so near dusk I hit Sugar Creek with night crawlers, fireball eggs & spinners. I caught a 14” rainbow on an egg, a dandy 18” brown on a crawler and a descent smallmouth bass a yellow haired, silver blade Rooster Tail spinner. In my attempt to photograph the brown trout, he released himself.
     Wednesday July 10th – Although we were only afforded an hour and a half to escape to the stream, I had the pleasure of fishing with my cousin/adopted brother Steve Bell (retired Airman the Air Force) and his son, Riley, of Yuba City, California. Steve and I grew up as trout fishermen on Sugar Creek, but 12 year old Riley had yet to ever catch a trout on any water. We went to the stretch behind the Wyattville Store. Steve rigged up with a red worm and I tied on an egg suspended set-up for Riley. 1st cast he got a bite. The second taker he hooked. Nice little rainbow. He also caught a bigger “bow” on a crawler. His dad did well too. He caught a total of four fish. For the 1st time in his life Steve had to purchase an out-of-state license.

    Gamma Line’s Fishing Tips

    Gamma Pro-Staff Tip
    Tip from Gamma Pro Randy Howell: ”One of my favorite techniques is cranking shallow crankbaits through heavy cover to catch big bass. Line choice is critical in this technique, and I choose Gamma Edge fluorocarbon in 14 or 16 pound test. This line extremely abrasion resistant and offers a very low stretch rate so you can hook and land the big ones with ease. Good luck and God Bless.”

    Note change in Gamma Line prize: Starting in this month, the winner of a spool of Gamma Line will be drawn from among the contributors providing information or photo to the Fishing Report, as had been done last year. A packet of Bobby Garland Crappie Baits will accompany the Gamma Line. A prize back of baits will continue to be awarded to a name drawn from among each issue’s contributors.

    Winner of spool of Gamma Line for this issue of the Fishing Report: Ken Smith (Sharon)

    Winner of the Prize Pack of Baits for this issue of the Fishing Report: Ernie Pate (Butler)

    Lures for the Fishing Report Prize Pack supplied by: Case; Gene Larew; Get Bit Baits; Road Runner; Yum; Zipper Worms.

    Follow Darl as he fishes with angling experts around the country at www.darlblack.blogspot.com
    Obtain the PGLR fishing brochure “Reel It In!” at www.pagreatlakes.com


  7. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 6/24/13

    June 27, 2013 by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: June 24, 2013
    The NW PA Fishing Report is brought to you by…

    Gold Sponsor: Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region

    Connect to all counties at www.PAGreatLakes.com

    Bronze Sponsor: Black Knight Industries, Oil City – Home of Gamma Line

    Bronze Sponsor: Wiegel Brothers Marine, Franklin

    The NW PA Fishing Report provides timely angling information for Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango Counties – covering all species and all waters open to the public. The fishing comments and photos are offered by regional tackle shops and area anglers, complied and published twice a month. The NW PA Fishing Report is based on experiences, observations and opinions of individual contributors; information sources are considered reliable but comments are not independently verified. If you would like to share your fishing experiences or photos from any waterway in the four counties, please email to Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net. In providing information or pictures, you are agreeing to it being posted in the Fishing Report and distributed electronically to media and websites.

    The Landing Net by Darl Black

    Even though the weather has been unsettled recently, fish catches have continued strong across most NW PA waters. The Allegheny has been on fire for big smallmouth through the high water period. The river rose from torrential rains while bass were bedding several weeks ago. Marilyn and I fished the river on Saturday, and noticed a number of smallmouth bass on beds in typical spawning sites south of Franklin – these late spawners waited for the river to drop and clear a bit. Still, I’m concerned about the survival of fry from the early spawn. Interestingly, the smallies Marilyn and I caught on Saturday, as well as the ones Dale and I caught on Friday, were extremely healthy and plump from eating crayfish – best weight I’ve ever seen for June river smallies.

    NW Pennsylvania Fishing Report for June 24,2013

    Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism
    What’s biting in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties?
    Sponsored by PA Great Lakes Region tourism

    French Creek: Flowing through all four counties

    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 6/23: “On my most recent trip to French Creek this past week, I caught smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and pike. The biggest smallmouth was 3.5 pounds but I lost a real hawg! Several of the fish came on large soft plastic swimbaits with a big boot-tail. Keep in mind these fish were eating even though the Creek was high and dingy.”

    Angler Al (new contributor Al Bell of Franklin goes my Angler Al) filed 6/23: “After church I spend an hour on French Creek. Even though it’s still a tad cloudy and flowing a bit higher than I like, it was fishable. Natural baits were the key for me. With the turn of a rock or two, I can usually pick up a few crawfish. That’s what worked during the noon hour today. Don, a resident along French Creek
    at Sugarcreek, was kind enough to snap a picture of one of the smallmouth bass that I caught and released.”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Pymatuning Lake
    Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store) filed 6/24: “Walleyes are still going strong on the south end. There are still a lot of ‘eye fairly shallow due to cooler than normal water temperature. The 8- to 12-foot depth is producing for many fishermen when drifting nightcrawlers on a jig. Casting crawlers to the deep weed edge is paying off during the day, with some getting a limit doing this. The walleye/alewife deal seems to be happening after midnight, with bait coming shallow late…too late for me to be out and then go to work the next day. Crappies have moved out to deep structure; you can catch them if you like to fish deep cover. There have been a lot of big bluegills recently. And channel cats are being caught everywhere.”

    Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 6/24: “As of this past week, walleyes are still being caught SHALLOW. Successful anglers are saying 8 to 12 feet – some even shallower! Floating jighead and AFF Walleye Wizards tipped with nightcrawlers are among the most popular methods. A few limits are reported on Lindy Shadlings, Berkley Flicker Shads, Rapala Shad Raps and Storm Hot-N-Tots. Not many reports about worm harnesses yet. The area of Hemlock Island and south of Padanaran are popular with anglers, as well as between Orchard and Snodgrass ramps. Crappies are still being caught along the causeway and the Espyville Marina Breakwall in the early morning and evenings.
    Try an AFF Lucky Seven hook under a bobber.

    “We have received a couple new products in the shop recently: Custom X Lures and BioEdge Fishing scent. Custom X Lures are musky crankbaits made in Illinois. We are carrying the 5” Mini X and the 6” Chubby. These crankbaits can be trolled at 5 mph and will not blow out! BioEdge is 100% natural fishing scents in both a “Potion” (liquid) and a “Wand” (semi solid). They can be used on any artificial lure. The BioEdge Minnow Potion proved productive during Crappie Camp in May!”

    ‘Hooker’ (Hill’s County Store) filed 6/23: “Pymatuning is being invaded by Hooker Bugs and Monkey Milk! Hooker Bugs are small hair jigs, hand crafted by the Yankee Hooker. They can be tipped with live bait, or select plastic. The Bobby Garland 2” Baby Shad is a great trailer for the Hooker Bug. The Baby Shad is available in many enticing colors, but Hooker has found Pymatuning crappies will pass up a live minnow to eat one of these Baby Shad in a color called Monkey Milk. Reservations for Hooker’s Fishing Taxi can be
    made at Hill’s County Store at Rt. 322 and SR 7 in Williamsfield, Ohio. I’ve included pictures of some recent satisfied customers. A week ago I catered to father and son parties both Saturday and Sunday. On the 15th, crappies were cooperative but the bite was light. The father and son duo had to learn line watching and setting the hook at the slightest movement. Four-pound Gamma Line made all the difference when fishing the Hooker Bug. On Sunday the 16th, another father and son team wanted to fish bass. We caught several nice largemouths on buzzbaits, wacky worms and Texas-rigged flipping tubes. All bass were found in the backs of coves where wood cover met emergent grass.”

    Chuck Sair (Franklin) filed 6/23: “I made several trips to Pymatuning for walleyes in the past two weeks. On the 16th, I fished the North End near Linesville with son Kevin and six-year old grandson Reece. We caught nine walleyes of which seven were keepers. It was extremely windy so we could not troll. Instead we drifted with walleye rigs and floating jigs tipped with crawlers. The wind was so strong we even drifted with Storm Hot-N-Tots, catching several crappies and perch. We ended up getting blown off the lake. On the 20th, my son Reece and my brother Frank joined me. We caught seven walleyes with four being keepers. There was no wind, so we trolled Hot-N-Tots in silver; in addition to walleyes we caught crappies and perch. Water temp was 75 degrees. On the 23rd, again with Kevin and Reece, we caught four walleyes of which two were keepers. Trolled Hot-N-Tots until wind picked up then drifted with walleye rigs in yellow and green for a couple more ‘eye. Water temp was 78 degrees which is making it difficult to find and catch fish.”

    Woodcock Lake
    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 6/32: “Two weeks ago at Woodcock, I landed a BIG smallmouth – photo attached. This past weekend I lost a MONSTER smallmouth beside the boat that had hit a musky topwater. It jumped twice and threw the plug. Estimated it at 6.5 pounds plus.”

    Oil Creek
    Jerry VanTassel landed this 23.5” 6-pound rainbow trout from Oil Creek several weeks ago.

    Canadohta Lake
    Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 6/24: “No further word on the big musky – must still be swimming in the lake. There will be a lot of musky fishermen up over July 4th, so maybe someone will connect with it. Also, some customers say that walleyes turn on in the lake during the 4th Fireworks display. Let me know if you catch walleyes during the fireworks show this year!”

    ERIE COUNTY
    Union City Dam
    Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 6/24: “During the recent high water, several of my customers have been fishing from shore and making some nice catches of smallmouth bass, pike, and bluegills at Union City Dam – not Union City water reservoir. One customer brought in a 22.5” largemouth bass from there. But hundreds of fish got trapped in a pool when the water went down – a variety of species were stranded according to one of my customers. I also have reports of excellent bluegill fishing at Edinboro Lake.”

    Presque Isle Bay
    Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait) filed 6/24: “There are still a lot of smallmouth bass in the Bay; my customers are catching them off the North Pier. Anglers are also catching largemouth bass in Misery Bay. Crappies are being caught in the Marina Bay early in the morning and late in the evening. There are lots of bluegills everywhere. The Bay perch bite is declining, with a few being caught on the piers in the morning and evening. Out in the main lake, walleyes are at 37 feet off the Condos, with another bunch in 56 to 70 feet off the Point.

    Paul Stewart (Butler) filed 6/24: “I fished the Erie piers on Sunday. Nothing on the North Pier but East Pier gave up some nice perch. Looks like the pier perch fishing is done for the summer.” Paul Stewart supplied photo on right of PIB Pier Perch.

    Al Moore (Cochranton) filed 6/23): “The Bassmasters of Mercer County fished the Bay this weekend. It was windy and hard to hold. There was a good spinnerbait and crankbait bite, with a ½-oz. Strike King Sexy Shad getting a number of fish. My biggest fish, a 3 lb. 3 oz. smallmouth, came on a Sweet Beaver. I took 1st place and lunker in the tournament. Smallmouths were in 9 to 11 feet of water; largemouths were everywhere.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 6/23): “I fished the Bay a number of times this past week. On the 15th, I had a great time with crappies in the Lagoons on salted minnows and Slider Jigs; fish ran 8 to 9 inches. On the 20th, I fished the Border Patrol Dock and got 6 nice perch on crawlers. One angler has 29 perch and 6 crappies. Later in day I moved to the Public Dock and got 10 bass with the biggest one going 18 inches, taken on a buzzbait. Then at the West Slip, I got into rock bass – landing 30 of them on a Slider Jig and Love Bug, with the biggest one going 15 inches. On the 22nd, I went to the West Slip for panfish. Fishing was so good I ran out of bait. On the 23rd, I fished live bait from the piers and caught 8 bass, 30 sunfish and 5 rock bass.”

    Lake Erie
    Gary Heuble (Poor Richards) filed 6/24: “There are good perch at 38 to 40 feet off Trout Run and the Clay Banks. Walleye fishing has been up and down with the cold fronts. The migratory schools of walleyes are starting to show up suspended 15 to 20 feet down over 55 to 65 feet. These walleyes are basically from Trout Run to the Ohio line. Fish are being taken with Reef Runners and Bagley’s on flatlines, and with crawler harnesses behind cookie-size Dipsy Divers.”

    Mike Tome (Trout Run Bait) filed 6/24: “Fishing is good and getting better on the lake. Today, perch are at 42 feet. Walleyes are stretched from Trout Run to the Ohio line in 55 to 65 feet of water. The bigger schools are over in Ohio and hopefully moving this way. Also, there are walleyes in close at about the 30-foot depth, which makes a safer run than going 5 miles out to deep water when there is threat of thunderstorms.”

    Dan Seaman (Elk Creek Sports) filed 6/24: “Elk Creek is still filled with smallmouth bass from the Legion Hole to the mouth; the best bait is live crayfish. There are also big cats in the creek. Yesterday a 7 year old brought in a 30” catfish. The ramp on Elk is good for launching boats up to about 18 feet to get out on the lake. On the main lake, walleyes are in the rocks at 15 to 25 feet, and there are suspended schools out at 50 to 60 foot depth all along the PA waters.”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Lake Wilhelm
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 6/24: “Anglers are catching nice bluegills all over the lake. The size of bluegills is much nicer this year than the past couple seasons.”

    ‘Angler Al’ (Franklin) filed 6/22: “Stan Huefner and I were on Lake Wilhelm this morning from 5 AM to 9 AM. I trolled a Hot-N-Tot and he trolled a crawler harness. We were hoping to catch a walleye or two. They didn’t cooperate. The crappies on the other hand did. Stan landed nearly a dozen decent fish, and I picked up a couple too. A chartreuse and orange colored blade on the harness did the trick as well as a perch color Hot-N-Tot.”

    Shenango Lake
    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 6/22: “I fished Shenango today, the 22nd. With all the boat traffic from a bass tournament and water skiers out as early as 7:30 AM, it was next to impossible to enjoy being on the lake. I caught some crappies and bluegills, but they were small. Caught them on Southern Pro Plastics tipped with Crappie Nibbles. Fish came from 8 to 15 feet over and near brushpiles.”

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Sugar Creek
    ‘Angler Al’ (Franklin) filed 6/19: “There isn’t much traffic on the trout streams now, but there are still fish to be caught. Back on June 12, I fished Sugar Creek one evening, landing 3 rainbow, 2 browns and 2 spitfire smallies, and lost another four fish at my feet. The largest was a 21-inch rainbow. Then on the 18th, I was afforded the opportunity to take 9 year old Aaron Burkhardt trout fishing. I chose a stretch of Sugar Creek near Sleepy Hollow golf course. Considering the rain we’ve had, the creek was low. With a tin of red worms and crawlers, we looked for rushes of current which fed small pools. I instructed him how to handle the rod and how to identify a bite. When he got the first bite, the kid made a brilliant, sweeping hookset, and managed to bring a 10 inch rainbow to the rocks. He caught three other trout around the same size plus a smallmouth bass on a Rooster Tail. His father had already planted the angling seeds in him, and I helped that along. Above all, we had fun…Always, Angler Al.”

    Justus Lake
    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 6/23: Chuck reported on an exceptional day this past week at Justus Lake when fish were very active. Fishing with a spinnerbait, he caught 8 bass and two muskies, plus he missed two additional muskies. The largest musky was 45 inches. Landing the muskies without a net while fishing alone was a challenge, and getting a photo even more difficult.

    Allegheny River
    Dale Black (Oil City) filed 6/24: “This past weekend, fishing two to four hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I enjoyed a very good streak on the river. On Friday, fishing with Darl Black, we landed about 30 smallmouth – all very chunky from eating crayfish. Several were dripping eggs which surprised me so late in June. I also landed two nice walleyes and a 20-some pound channel cat – thank goodness for 8-pound Gamma Line. All my fish came on Skippy Fish soft jerkbait on a swimming head (including the channel cat) while Darl caught his fish on a Lunker City Swim Bait and a Larew Sweet Swimmer on a Road Runner Rollin’ Runner head. On Saturday, I caught 15 smallmouths on a Skippy Fish; on Sunday I added another 15 to 20 smallies to the total – again on a Skippy Fish.”

    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 6/23: “On the 22nd, I boated 11 smallmouths on a Lucky Craft Pointer 100. Eight more came up for a topwater chugger in the afternoon when the wind kicked up and it was whitecapping.”

    Jeff Knapp (Keystone Connection Guide Service) filed 6/23: “With higher flows and cloudy water, it’s been a big fish bite for smallmouth the past couple weeks. All of my trips have produced numerous quality fish including many in the 19 to 20.5 inch range. Productive baits have included spinnerbaits (Strike King Midnight Special and Jimmy D’s); Winco’s Predator Craw; and Rapala X-Raps. As of June 23, the Allegheny was falling, clearing and warming rapidly.”

    Steve Udick (Oil City) filed 6/17: “With the river high and murky, we were the only boat to launch at Oil City on this day. I managed six bass – all on tubes. They were in very fast current, not in the relief areas where I figured they would be. All were good size, and full of fight, but none jumped as the water temp was in the mid-60s. I also caught a 25” bullhead on a SR7 Shad Rap. I had caught channel cats on lures, but never a bullhead. All fish were released.”

    Last Friday, Dale Black had a bent rod for four hours on the Allegheny; the strikes never stopped!

    4th of July Week Forecast — Looking for the best bite

    The week of July 4th sees many anglers out for single day outings as well families taking week-long fishing vacations. Make no mistake, if the weather is good, the lakes, creeks and rivers will be crowded –not only by anglers but by general recreational boaters; this will be true for all popular waters in NW PA. So if you don’t like crowds, consider your options carefully – such as going to a smaller lakes that do not have first class ramps or a cottage community around it. If fishing the popular lakes, GO EARLY.

    The Pymatuning walleye daytime bite is dwindling, but you might consider a late night run at the alewife-walleye connection around weedbeds. Crappies are plentiful at Pymatuning and Shenango if you fish deeper. Don’t forget the white bass and hybrid stripers at Shenango – both should be active in evenings around main lake points or humps. Reports of some of the biggest bluegills seen in years are coming in from Conneaut Lake, Edinboro and Pymatuning. Play to the gizzard shad at Wilhelm…try night fishing for big bass with surface baits over open water. The Allegheny River smallmouths await, but if fishing by jetboat over the holiday, you might reconsider; kayakers and canoeist (mostly novices) will form a steady line on the Allegheny if the weather is nice making power-boating a risky venture.

    Typically, the first part of July signals the initial summer musky bite. Few reports have come in this week, but with steady warm temps this could change. Look to Shenango, Pymatuning, Woodcock, Justus, Edinboro, LeBoeuf, and Canadohta…especially for the monster reportedly roaming Canadohta.

    The Erie perch fishing is getting into full swing, and the western walleye schools are moving into Pennsylvania waters. But running out deep during unsettled weather that is forecast through this weekend is very risky. There are walleyes being caught in the 20 to 30-foot depths, so try close. With the main lake being slow to warm, it seems the smallmouth bite should be very good this coming week; likely a lot smallmouth still in relatively shallow water.

    Gamma Line’s Fishing Tips

    Gamma Pro-Staff Tip

    Britt Stoudenmire, New River Smallmouth Guide Britt Stoudenmire is a member of the Gamma Pro-Staff. “I use Gamma Edge 12-lb. fluorocarbon as a leader all season long on all my bottom rigs while fishing the New River in Virginia for smallmouth. I like to start by attaching an eight- to ten-foot piece of Edge to 20/6 braided line via a double Uni knot; I’ll attach a new leader after retying baits shortens the lead to about six feet. I take special care to moisten the knot before pulling it tight to maintain line strength and to trim the tag ends down as far as possible so the knot passes through the guides with ease. I always use a Palomar knot for connecting the Edge to the baits. The leader affords me some flex for presentation and has better abrasion resistance than straight braided line, while giving me all the positive benefits of braided line: no stretch, sensitivity, long casts, etc.”

    Winner of the Prize Pack of Baits for this issue of the Fishing Report: Angler Al Bell (Franklin) and Steve Udick (Oil City)

    Lures for the Fishing Report Prize Pack supplied by: Case; Gene Larew; Get Bit Baits; Road Runner; Yum; Zipper Worms.

    Follow Darl as he fishes with angling experts around the country at www.darlblack.blogspot.com
    Obtain the PGLR fishing brochure “Reel It In!” at www.pagreatlakes.com


  8. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 6/10/13

    June 13, 2013 by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: June 10, 2013
    The NW PA Fishing Report is brought to you by…

    Gold Sponsor: Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region

    Connect to all counties at www.PAGreatLakes.com

    Bronze Sponsor: Black Knight Industries, Oil City – Home of Gamma Line

    Bronze Sponsor: Wiegel Brothers Marine, Franklin

    The NW PA Fishing Report provides timely angling information for Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango Counties – covering all species and all waters open to the public. The fishing comments and photos are offered by regional tackle shops and area anglers, complied and published twice a month. The NW PA Fishing Report is based on experiences, observations and opinions of individual contributors; information sources are considered reliable but comments are not independently verified. If you would like to share your fishing experiences or photos from any waterway in the four counties, please email to Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net. In providing information or pictures, you are agreeing to it being posted in the Fishing Report and distributed electronically to media and websites.

    The Landing Net by Darl Black

    Well, it certainly has been strange May and June. Water warms up, only to drop several degrees due to unusually late cold snaps. Serious rain for days at a time. Anglers are still catching fish – although it has up and down at times. Maybe things will stabilize by late June so we can enjoy a pleasant summer. In the meantime, bass season opens this coming Saturday. It’s not such a big deal anymore due to the catch-n-release season in the spring. Still, it’s Father’s Day on Sunday, so you may want to take your dad somewhere for bass where you will not get run over by speed boats. Northwest Pennsylvania is blessed with a number of smaller lakes with respectable bass populations. I would recommend Lake LeBoeuf or Lake Edinboro in Erie County; Woodcock Lake, Sugar Lake
    or Canadohta Lake in Crawford; Lake Wilhelm in Mercer County; and Justus Lake in Venango County. Speaking of Canadohta, you won’t want to dangle your toes in that lake after reading Jerry VanTassel’s report on a monster musky.

    NW Pennsylvania Fishing Report for June 10,2013

    Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism
    What’s biting in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties?
    Sponsored by PA Great Lakes Region tourism

    French Creek: Flowing through all four counties

    Editor’s Note: No reports from French Creek this week. French Creek continues to run over its banks and is the color of dark chocolate. The high and muddy conditions have existed for over a week, since the heavy rains around June 1st or 2nd; looks like more heavy rains early this week as well. Given the ongoing high water, I would not be surprised that the smallmouth spawn was lost this year.

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Pymatuning Lake
    Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store) filed 6/10: “Anglers are still catching walleyes and crappies in good numbers in the southern section of the lake. On Tuesday last week, I went crappie fishing. I caught a mess of white crappie from an 8- to 10-foot spawning hump; many still had eggs. Black crappie spawn is over; found the blacks along the outside weed edge. Walleyes are being taken shallow along weedbeds, likely due to unusually cool water temperatures for this time of year. The best technique for walleye right now is drifting with a nightcrawler on a jig. A few guys are pulling plugs, but not getting many fish. Channel cats are everywhere being taken by anglers targeting walleye.

    Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 6/10: “Crappies have been reported in good numbers along the causeway in the evenings. Also, during the PA State Qualifier bass tournament this past weekend, it was reported there are lots of crappies hanging out in the weeds. Walleyes are still being picked up in shallow water, from about 8 feet to 12 feet. Floating jigheads behind a walking sinker or a worm harness seem to be doing the trick. Bluegills are being caught in the weeds, too.
    “From Thursday to Sunday, we had an outing at the shop for members of an internet fishing forum with members from PA, OH and WV attending. There were refreshments, camaraderie, camping and fishing. We could not have asked for a better weekend! The bass were on FIRE! Guys focused on weedbeds from Snodgrass to the Dam. Bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed and perch were caught, too. A member from WV caught his personal best for three different species. A six-pound largemouth was caught on Friday, and a small perch ate a big Crooked Mouth Tackle Company Kyoban Spinnerbait. Go to www.outdoor-fishing.com to learn more.”

    Hooker (Hills Country Store) filed 6/10: “Hooker’s Fishing Taxi has been busy. Attached are pics of a father and this two sons who fished Saturday morning on Pymatuning; as you can see they had nice mixed bag of species. The black and white crappies were taken from hard-bottom hump cresting at 9-foot on a Hooker Bug and Bobby Garland Baby Shad. With heavy overcast, chartreuse was the color to use. The walleyes and catfish were taken on worm harness with chrome blades fished in 16 feet of water as it approached the creek channel. On Sunday, other clients had similar success. One customer reported catching a number of crappies (12” to 14”) in 10-feet of water by suspending minnows at 6 feet under a bobber. Water quality is great with visibility down to about 6 feet; coontail grass is nice and green.

    “Last week I had great success on oversized panfish by pitching Bobby Garland Minnow Mind’Rs and Slab Slay’Rs on 12-pound line to flooded cover. Other customers reported keeper-size walleye on a worm harness. Going back to Memorial Day weekend, I found myself fishing the Linesville Stumps with a storm rolling in. My first two fish on my new B&M Crappie Rod were a 15” crappie and a 22” walleye. Backtrolling into the wind with the electric allowed me to fish the cover. I continued to catch crappies on a red-n-white Hooker Bug tipped with a Bobby Garland “Baby Shad” in Monkey Milk –what a name for a color!”

    Chuck Sari (Franklin) filed 6/5: “I have made three trips to north end of Pymatuning over the last week. I caught nice walleye on every trip. On the last trip on June 4, I took Doug Clark, and we caught 12 walleye, with 8 of them being keepers. I used Storm Hot-n-Tots with silver finish. We also picked up some nice crappies while trolling for walleye. Other anglers were pulling walleye rigs with crawlers, and enjoying success.”

    Conneaut Lake
    Scott Lobins (Conneaut Lake) filed 6/10: “It was a beautiful day for fishing Conneaut Lake on June 8 when 49 teams participated in the 2013 Bluegill Bev Lobins Memorial Fishing Tournament. The crappie division was won by Greg Chalmers and Bob “King Crappie” Kesslar and the bluegill division by Earl and Theresa Dehanse.”

    Bryan Stuyvesant (Meadville) filed 6/9: “My boy and I fished Conneaut for panfish on Saturday. We did okay on bluegills but could not find the big crappies I had been catching a couple weeks ago.”

    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 6/9: “A little over a week ago I had my best day on Conneaut Lake so far this year. In two hours I caught 7 largemouth bass, 2 smallmouth bass and 1 northern pike. Couple of the fish came on a spinnerbait and the rest on a Rebel Pop R.”

    Woodcock Lake
    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 6/10: “Last week I fished with Brent Clark on Woodcock for musky. We trolled, cast and drifted with big suckers – no runs, no hits.”

    Benjamin Page (Chief of PF&BC Division of Habitat Management) sent 5/13: “Please see the attached pictures from Woodcock Creek Lake. The Lake Habitat Section did some night electrofishing with Fish Management Area 2 on the evening of May 20th. We caught some big smallmouth bass and some nice black crappie. Good luck on the water!”

    Canadohta Lake
    Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 6/10: “Over the weekend, fishermen were doing very well on pike and crappies. Some of my customers were also fishing Lake LeBoeuf, doing well on pike and crappies up there too. Back at Canadohta, musky hunter Eric Casper was casting a big bucktail from his dock when he hooked a huge fish. He worked the fish up to within sight of the dock, but when the musky eyed Eric, all heck broke loose. The musky did a big flip part way of out of the water and broke free. But that’s not the end of excitement here at the lake. Over a week ago I was up early one morning working in the yard. I heard a chain saw running down towards the lake. But when the saw quit, I heard someone screaming for help. I called 9-11 and headed down to where I thought the shouting was coming from, and found the responders already there and big search of the entire area started. Later in the day, a buddy stopped by the shop to tell me what happened. Seems one of the cottage owners was out trolling on his pontoon boat for musky. A monster fish hit, bent the rod holder and the rod popped out. Scrabbling for the rod, he slipped and went into the lake. The boat continued on and beached itself on the shore, while the angler shouted for help. He ended up swimming to shore. There are a lot of musky stories told at Timberland Bait – some true, some slightly exaggerated. But both of these are true. The explanation is simple – we have at least one oversized monster musky lurking in Canadohta Lake.”

    ERIE COUNTY
    Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie
    Al Nacopoulos (BAC Bait) filed 6/10: “This past week, fishing was good in the Bay with lots of bass and panfish being caught. Some nice smallmouth came from the North Pier and largemouth from the weedbeds in the Bay. Catfish and even a walleye were taken by my customers from the North Pier. Perch have been biting early and late off the North Pier. Northern pike are reported from Misery Bay, Head-of-Bay and Marina Lake. Out in the lake, perch are reported off the Point at 35 to 45 feet, and walleye at 45 feet.”

    Mike Tome (Trout Run Bait) filed 6/10: “Looks like bad weather coming this first part of week. Up until this past weekend, the perch and walleye fishing were picking up. Last Tuesday, a friend and I limited out on perch. But I was out this weekend and struck out on both perch and walleye. The lake was muddy from the creek run-off from recent rains. I heard the perch head boat was out Saturday or Sunday, and only brought in 20 perch. That tells you things are shut down right now…whether due to the muddy water or NE wind that caused a lake temperature drop. But I am sure things will pick up shortly.”

    Gary Heuble (Poor Richards) filed 6/10: “The walleye and perch catches had been pretty good last week, with perch in 45 to 50 feet and walleye in 25 to 35 feet on stickbaits. Then the NE wind blew in a few days ago and dropped the lake temp from 65 to 54 degrees. There is a huge mayfly hatch going on out in the lake clear out to 45 to 50 feet of water. Perch are likely feeding on the larvae as they swim up out of the bottom. Fishing will improve when weather system blow through.”

    Bill Logsdon (Pittsburgh) filed 6/10: “We fished Erie on Sunday the 9th and caught another 30 smallmouth. We spent more time on the lake between the Cribs and the W’s from 3 to 30 feet, marking lots of fish but zero bites. Went back to Bay and saved the day with smallmouth and largemouth in 7 to 8 feet of water. One on a Senko, but rest came on Rattle Traps. Lake temperature is still 58 degrees.
    What happened to the Senko bite this year?”

    Ed Phillips; filed 6/10: “My wife and I fished out of North East Marina on Friday afternoon, 6/7, trolling for walleye but did not get a release. A charter boat captain told me I have not missed much this year so far. Stayed overnight and went for perch in the morning, but could not locate them and bugs were bad (note: likely mayfly hatch). We stopped at Pymatuning on the way, fished out of Linesville and caught three nice walleye and some perch by drifting crawlers.”

    Paul Stewart (Butler) filed 6/7: “Mike LeDonne and I fished Erie of the north Pier on the 25th. Fishing was good despite the cold front. We hooked 8 smallmouth bass and landed 6 of them, including a 4.5 pounder. We also caught two dozen perch and at least two dozen rock bass – some fought as hard as smallmouths!”

    Ed Atts (Cochranton) filed 6/6: “Fly fishing for nice bluegills at Presque Isle Bay has been pretty good – if you search the flats to find them. They just recently started to build nests. Each trip the bedding area is someplace different. The cottonwood bloom was strong on June 5 making fly fishing impossible by late morning. My buddy kept 18 and I kept 22. On June 3, I caught an 18-inch smallmouth on my Orvis 7’9” Superfine which made for a real battle. All the bluegills have come on a hand-tied nymph.”

    Ric Gauriloff (Trout Run Bait) filed 6/6: “Perch are moving in steadily off both west and east side of town. They are on the move, so you must look for them. Many anglers are getting limits, and size of fish is good. I cleaned a 14.5 incher this week. Walleye are being caught in better numbers. Anglers are getting fish out deeper during the day but still trolling close to shore at night when lake is calm; the F15 Rapala is working. Smallmouths are in Elk Creek as well as Bay; crayfish and leeches are good bet. Anglers on North and South Piers are catching nice perch and rock bass. Fly fishermen are having blast in the Bay on bluegills and smallmouth – and fun with the unexpected pike. Enclose picture of lake trout taken couple weeks ago.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 6/4: “I went down to the South Pier for perch and had my limit by noon. Biggest perch was 14 inches – caught on a fathead minnow. Other big perch came on a Bobby Garland crappie jig. Hooked four bass but lost them since I did not have a net. The last week in May I caught a few crappies in the West Slip. Got them on a Love Bug Jig; most were about 10 inches. That week I also fished for trout in Four Mile Creek; tried minnows and corn but ended up catching ten trout on a Bobby Garland crappie jig!”

    Robert Muller (Scranton, PA) filed 5/25: “Just home from a week at Erie. Overall, not bad. PIB was the place to catch ‘em. The average smallmouth weighed two pounds. The bass hit various plastics in watermelon red flake and Sand –Tubes, Beavers, Spider Jigs. I just drifted the flats in the Bay, picking up fish occasionally. I tried the lake for bigger fish. One day it was flat and gin clear – I could see big smallmouth in 13 feet but not get them to bite. Next day the visibility went from 13 feet to 4 feet. I fished rocky bottom structure. The third day we got blown off the lake. Thank goodness for the Bay.”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Shenango River Lake
    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 6/8: “I finally had the chance to take my granddaughter fishing and we had great time on Shenango Lake. We started out casting jigs to shallow brush, catching quite a few crappies – but all were small (6 to 8 inches). Decided to check one of my bluegill spots – the fish were there. We caught over 30 ‘gills but kept only a dozen since Mya loves eating fish. Hope this is just the first of many fishing trips together with her for years to come. I have been spending most of time fishing the Linesville Stumps at Pymatuning; the crappie bite is awesome, averaging 50 fish per out.”

    Editor’s note: On Friday in parking lot in Meadville, I talked with a gentleman (no name provided) with a kayak on his car roof. Said he was going to Shenango Lake for stripers. Stated they had been catching them near the Chestnut Run Swim Beach in the evening.

    Kevin Austin (Farrell) filed 6/1: “I’m back in the game this spring. Attached several pictures of crappies I caught from Shenango Lake. All were taken on a green jig tipped with a minnow and fished a few inches below a bobber in 7 feet of water.”

    Wilhelm Lake
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 6/6: “Anglers are catching lots of bluegills and crappies at Wilhelm this week. Bluegills are being taking on Sam’s Ant tipped with a maggot or wax worm, and crappies mostly on live minnows or pearl-colored Southern Pro Stinger. Also, I have heard reports of nice bass being caught off Cemetery Road.”

    Stoneboro Lake
    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 6/10: “I fished Stoneboro Lake over the weekend. Water was high –at least a foot higher than normal. I caught four largemouth bass – none of noteworthy size.”

    Neshannock Creek
    Bob Shuey (Neshannock Creek Fly Shop) filed 6/6: “Neshannock Creek is low and clear but some much needed rain is expected. The Caddis hatches are still good and some Sulphurs. This rain should help stream levels for the next 7 to 10 days. The Young Anglers School will be conducted behind the shop from June 10th to 14th from 8 AM to 1 PM. Thanks for your cooperation.”

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Allegheny River
    Gene Winger (Oil City)
    - Filed 6/10: “I fished the river on Thursday, 6/6, and Friday 6/7. With heavy rains on Wednesday, the level was rising and I only landed a dozen smallmouths – all on Winco Wacky Worms in blue/black. Friday was tough, with river running higher and very muddy; a few bass were caught with spinnerbaits tight against the shore.”
    - Filed 5/28: “On Thursday, May 23, George and I landed 65 smallmouth bass on Winco River Darters and Winco Wacky Worms. Most fish were shallow in slow moving water. In the evening I went out with my son-in-law Jeremy and we caught 10 more…an amazing day! Memorial Day weekend, the river temp dropped from 72 to 55 degrees by Saturday morning. Fishing went from amazing to tough. Fishing with both my son-in-laws, Chris and Jeremy, we boated several smallies. The Winco Tastee Tube was the big producer. Found fish in 4’ to 6’ of water close to weedbeds.”

    Venango County Trout Streams
    East Sandy Creek: John Hummel says trout fishing has been fantastic on the creek.
    Sugar Creek: Al Bell says back in May, a visiting friend and he caught over 20 rainbow trout from Sugar in two hours. Al plans on providing current fishing information for Sugar Creek and French Creek.

    Gamma Line’s Fishing Tips

    Ric Gauriloff at Trout Run Bait offers this helpful tip for Lake Erie perch fishing: “I’m surprised more people don’t use this tip regarding emerald shiners. When perch fishing in the summer, we all run the aerator in the bucket in an attempt to keep minnows alive…and they still die. Dead minnows will catch perch, but emerald shiners get real soft. Next time, put the shiners in a cooler or bucket without water and add ice. The minnows will stay fresh, shiny and firm as long as they are on ice. Added bonus – you don’t have to listen to the noise of the aerator. (Ric receives a spool of Gamma Line for this tip)

    Darl’s tip for bass season: “Many anglers think that heavy line is needed all the time for bass fishing, often spooling with 12-, 14-, 16- or 20-pound test. In recent years, I’ve dropped to increasing lighter line for bass fishing. It’s 6- or 8-pound-test for plastics with spinning gear. Rarely do I go heavier than 10-lb. even on a casting outfit – except for 12-lb on my pitching stick and 20-lb on my frog rod. Lighter line sinks faster and provides better action to baits. One major reason I can lighter is directly related to the extreme high-break strength of Gamma lines I’ve been using in the last couple years. This season, I started fishing 4-pound Gamma Edge on a light action G. Loomis spinning rod for tubes, hair jigs and wacky worms; this worked great on the Allegheny. I took the rod on a recent trip to the New River and James River in Virginia, catching numerous smallmouth including a couple citation size 20-inch plus fish. Never broke off. And I sure had fun on the light tackle! Go light when you go Gamma!”

    Winner of the Prize Pack of Baits for this issue of the Fishing Report:

    Lures for the Fishing Report Prize Pack supplied by: Case; Gene Larew; Get Bit Baits; Road Runner; Yum; Zipper Worms.

    Follow Darl as he fishes with angling experts around the country at www.darlblack.blogspot.com
    Obtain the PGLR fishing brochure “Reel It In!” at www.pagreatlakes.com


  9. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 5/20/13

    May 22, 2013 by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: May 20, 2013
    The NW PA Fishing Report is brought to you by…

    Gold Sponsor: Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region

    Connect to all counties at www.PAGreatLakes.com

    Bronze Sponsor: Black Knight Industries, Oil City – Home of Gamma Line

    Bronze Sponsor: Wiegel Brothers Marine, Franklin

    The NW PA Fishing Report provides timely angling information for Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango Counties – covering all species and all waters open to the public. The fishing comments and photos are offered by regional tackle shops and area anglers, complied and published twice a month. The NW PA Fishing Report is based on experiences, observations and opinions of individual contributors; information sources are considered reliable but comments are not independently verified. If you would like to share your fishing experiences or photos from any waterway in the four counties, please email to Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net. In providing information or pictures, you are agreeing to it being posted in the Fishing Report and distributed electronically to media and websites.

    The Landing Net by Darl Black

    Well, following the Big Chill that set in May 12 and continued through the early part of last week, the weather has taken an upswing and put fish back in a feeding mode. If the water temperature holds and improves slightly, fish everywhere should be cooperative.
    With the Memorial Day weekend ahead, everyone will be fishing, especially with Monday the 27th being a Fish For Free Day in PA. With the full moon on May 25, expect lots of crappies spawning. And walleyes should be back on the feed, as well. Be sure to check out the special Crappie Camp Report in this issue to get some tips on catching spring crappies, and read Hooker’s Cold Front Tips on the Gamma Page in case the weather dips for Memorial Day.

    2013 PA Crappie Camp Report – Fish Don’t Come Easy in a Late Spring Big Chill

    Unsettled weather made it a test of what it takes to be a Master Crappie Angler

    When Mother Nature threw radical weather changes at NW PA last week, the 2nd Annual PA Crappie Camp became a true fishing challenge. Fortunately Sunday’s snow flurries had concluded before outdoor media and professional crappie anglers arrived in the area on Monday, May 13. Nonetheless on-the-water apparel for Tuesday was fleece jackets and stocking caps. But by Thursday, it was shorts and sandals.

    The State Park Cabins at Pymatuning served as a base of operations for 20-some anglers and angling writers seeking story material and photos. Guests from Massachusetts, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and eastern Pennsylvania were teamed up with local volunteer anglers who escorted them to three different area lakes – Pymatuning Lake and Conneaut Lake in Crawford County, and Shenango River Lake in Mercer County.

    Given the event was billed as PA Crappie Camp you might expect the specie of interest was crappie. Black and white crappies are perhaps the most popular warmwater fish across much of the United States. Pymatuning and Shenango have excellent populations of both black and white crappies, while Conneaut Lake has primarily black crappies.

    The first day of fishing was too cold, the second day too windy and the third day too blue. (Clear blue sky with bright sun is a sign of post-frontal highpressure conditions which usually gives fish lockjaw.) But hardcore crappie anglers are accustomed to difficult bites, and each day different individuals showed attendees how to handle a particular situation on each lake.

    At Pymatuning where water temperatures had dropped almost ten degrees in two days (rapid temp drop is another turn off for fish), Russ Bailey of MidWest Crappie and TJ Stallings of Blakemore Lures schooled the attendees on how to catch tight-lipped pre-spawn black crappies from shallow pad beds. Using 8-foot BnM rods, they pitched a small bobber with either a 1/24-ounce jighead or 1/32-ounce Road Runner Head (for an extremely slow fall) to openings in the emerging pads. The soft plastic bait of choice on the heads was Bobby Garland Baby Shad in white or shad baitfish patterns. They jiggled the bobber, and then let it sit still until a crappie pulled it under.

    On the deeper breaks and rock piles, Hooker put his guests on smallmouth bass, walleye and yellow perch using both hand-tied hair jigs, and live minnows with a Garland Minnow Mind’R on a leadhead. Meanwhile, local bass expert Ernie Pate showed his out-of-town guests that Pymatuning was a very good largemouth lake as well, having them pitch to shallow cover with a Larew Biffle Bug and bag some big mouth bass.

    Over at Conneaut Lake, crappies were further behind in the spawning cycle than at Pymatuning, so when the bad weather hit these crappies suspended over deeper water beyond the weedbeds. Local angler Bryan Stuyvesant demonstrated how to catch these temperamental fish by drifting a live minnow and bobber outside the weedbeds. Two days later when the suspended crappies became a bit more active, Bryan scored with a 1/16-ounce white Road Runner head and a 2” Garland Slab Slay’R in Double Silver – easily out fishing live minnows.

    Down at Shenango River Lake, the shallow wood cover seemed void of crappies following the cold snap. But spider-rigging expert Dan Dannenmueller of Crappie Now Magazine slowly trolled his multiple lines across the large flats near Clark to discover gold mine of responsive crappies around brushpiles in 10 to 14 feet of water. The 14-foot BnM PST Trolling rods were rigged with a red Tru-Turn Crappie Hook attached above a heavy egg sinker and a trailing Road Runner head with soft plastic bait. His soft plastic selection included Garland Stroll’Rs and Minnow Mind’Rs.

    Also at Shenango, some guests hooked up with smallmouth and largemouth bass on jigs and Larew Biffle Bugs fished along the rip-rap banks of the bridges and campground area – although the bass bite was not nearly as good as the crappie bite.

    Shenango provided me a chance to take a new Garmin echoMAP 50s through its paces. With exceptional sonar reception on the unit, I noted an exceptionally high number of small individual marks suspended throughout the river channel, leaving me suspect as what they were – phantom clutter, baitfish or actual fish. So I made it my mission to find out. Dropping down to 2-pound Gamma Polyflex Line with a 1/32-ounce Road Runner head and a 2” Slab Slay’R, I made repeated drifts across the channel. Once I got the depth zeroed in, I started getting light hits – hooking perhaps one out of four or five strikes. Turns out the marks were fish – very small black crappies. Looks like a tremendous number of black crappies will be entering the 10-inch range in 2014 and 2015!

    Yes, the unseasonably down turn in the weather pattern put all species in a no-feeding mood. But with persistence and the right presentation, attendees at PA Crappie Camp were able to figure out how to make them bite. And free-lance writer Jeff Samsel of Georgia proved he had the right presentations for the most species by capturing the Gamma Line Challenge – landing five different fish species! Bill Decoteau of Massachusetts came in second with four species. During their stay, visiting outdoor writers were able to snap photos, obtain interviews and preview new techniques—that’s what made the 2013 PA Crappie Camp a success! Go Fish!

    NW Pennsylvania Fishing Report for May 20,2013

    Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism
    What’s biting in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties?

    French Creek: Flowing through all four counties

    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 5/20: “I fished the Creek over the weekend for walleye using live creek chubs but didn’t score on the ‘eye. However, I did catch two big smallmouth bass. Since smallmouths in the Creek are on beds right now, I’m not intentionally fishing for them.”

    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 5/20: “One of my fishing buddies, Brian Clark, was on French Creek this past week. He caught a 40-inch musky and a 20-inch northern pike. Last week he also caught a couple small muskies at Edinboro Lake and had five follows on Woodcock Creek Lake. It’s start of musky season in NW PA!”
    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 5/15: “I fished the South Branch of French Creek this week, catching a few trout on a Zug Bug, and several small walleyes on live minnows.”

    John Wipula (Conneaut Lake) filed 5/13: “An evening paddle trip north of Saegertown on Sunday, May 12, produced my 2nd largest creek smallmouth bass ever – along with several others in the 16-17 inch
    range.”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Pymatuning Lake
    Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store) filed 5/20: “Following a very slow bite at the start of the week due to that cold snap, by this past weekend crappies were again biting everywhere on the lake. Some anglers were catching unbelievable numbers, with black crappies taken from cover in the bays and white crappies on brush in deeper water. The walleye bite is also strong on the southern end; wind-drifting with a nightcrawler-tippedjig was the number one fish catcher. I have not received any reports on
    muskies.”
    Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 5/20: “The walleye bite has been HOT on the North End this past weekend. Numerous limits are being caught, along with lots of smaller fish. Small floating jigheads tipped with a crawler seemed to be the ticket. A Lindy Fuzz-E-Grub tipped with a fathead minnow caught fish, too. A depth of 8’ to 10’ seemed to be most productive. However fish were being caught deeper and shallower, too. Crappies are being taken on 1/8-oz. jigs tipped with a minnow, especially around lily pads and stumps. An 18.5 inch black crappie was brought into the shop over the weekend; it weighed 1 lb. 10 oz. Good numbers of bluegill have been caught from shore at Orchard Launch and off Westford Rd. behind the Welcome Inn.”

    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 5/20: “Over the weekend I made it over to Pymatuning one evening for catfish. I caught a 15-pound channel cat at the Linesville Spillway.”

    Chuck Sari (Franklin) filed 5/19: “On Sunday, May 19, my son Kevin and six-year-old grandson Reece went to Pymatuning for walleye. The walleye fishing was very slow. I talked to several fishermen at the Linesville Boat Launch and only heard of one walleye caught. We did manage to catch some nice crappies while drifting for walleye, including a 14 incher caught by Reece.”

    Norman Brakeman (Hills Country Store) filed 5/17: “Lesley and I wanted to share this picture of C.J. Helarie with a 28” walleye; he caught it on the 16th with a jig and nightcrawler fishing the southern end of the lake. Other customers are catching walleye on Hooker Bugs tipped with a nightcrawler on breaklines in 6 feet of water. Mike Curran and Dick Thayer caught a total of 30 fish, including 9 good-sized walleyes plus perch, bluegill and crappies – all on a jig tipped with nightcrawler.”

    Conneaut Lake
    Bryan Stuyvesant (Meadville) filed 5/20: “I fished Conneaut for a couple hours this evening for bass. Northern pike were chasing everything; caught more pike than bass.”

    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 5/20: “My dad and brother have been fishing Conneaut for bluegill and crappie the past couple weeks, and doing very well. This past week they got into some bull bluegills and big crappies in about 17 feet of water.”

    Jim Hall (Meadville) filed 5/19: “I spent 8 hours on Conneaut Lake on Friday, 5/17, catching 12 bluegills, 1 crappie and a 17” white bass – not a good bite. With water temp climbing back to 62 degrees, I thought the fish would be back on the feed. I fished a bluegill tournament on the lake on Saturday and caught some nice bluegills – but not big enough to win.”

    Chad Templin (Meadville) filed 5/19: “On May 13 while fishermen were chasing crappies at Pymatuning, I spent the day at Conneaut Lake with my fishing buddy trying to catch bass and pike. We managed a few of each on spinnerbaits, tubes and BS Jigs. But the real catch of the day was a rare and elusive Conneaut Lake walleye. As you tell by the attire, this was a cold misery day more like late fall; fish were deep. With warmer temperatures by the weekend, Conneaut Lake temperature rose from the mid-50s to the mid-60s. The water is very clear.”

    ERIE COUNTY
    Presque Isle Bay
    Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait) filed 5/20: “It was a beautiful weekend for fishing in PIB. Bass are biting all over the bay – both largemouth and smallmouth. My customers are catching nice bluegills in Horseshoe Pond, Misery Bay and Head-of-the-Bay. A few crappies are being caught in Misery Bay. Perch are being taken off the North Pier, as well as out in the main lake at 35 to 40 feet of water off The Point. And northern pike are hitting in Thompson Bay.”

    Joe Nichols (Pleasantville) filed 5/19: “We fished PIB on Saturday. It was very busy. We managed to catch 15 smallmouth bass and a couple largemouth bass – nothing over 3 pounds. The fish were taken on crankbaits in 6 to 12 feet of water. Orange seemed to be the color for some reason.” (Orange? Maybe due to the funky water color of PIB – editor)

    Bill Logsdon (Pittsburgh area) filed 5/17: “Dave Gallocher and I fished Erie on the 16th. We caught a total of 26 smallmouth bass. The Bay’s color is strange to say the least. We managed to catch one smallmouth out on the lake with a XD Pointer. The rest of our catch came on Rattle Traps in the Bay. Water temperature on the lake was 53 degrees and in the Bay it was 56 degrees. The new Garmin depthfinder is AWESOME. We marked a spot in the Bay, and all the fish came from that one structure area.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 5/13: “The Bay bite has picked up; I’ve been catching good perch, sunfish, crappie and smallmouth bass, plus there are reports of lake trout taken at 45 feet in the main lake.”

    Lake Erie and Tributary Streams
    Dottie Heuble (Poor Richards) filed 5/20: “With the high winds recently and drop in lake temperature, there isn’t a lot to report from up here because it has been tough to get out on the Lake. When boats can get out, they are catching perch in 35 to 40 feet off Trout Run and off the Cribs.”

    Mike Tome (Trout Run Bait) filed 5/20: “It’s a beautiful day up here right now, and the perch fishing is just getting ready to break loose. However, the creek mouth and launch area on Elk Creek is silted in and you cannot get a boat out of it right now. That needs to be remedied as soon as possible. Smallmouth bass are on fire in the creeks right now; many anglers are buying crayfish and leeches to fish for bass. I have only heard of sporadic reports of boat anglers trolling the shoreline for walleye at night. Remember, Trout Run Bait is now open seven days a week right through the summer and fall.”

    Becky (Elk Creek Sports) filed 5/20: “Elk Creek and other tributaries are low and clear – we need water. There are still a few steelhead and brown trout in the lower end of Elk, but the warmwater species are more prevalent. Bass moving in the stream is peaking, along with catfish. Perch out in the main lake are a little slow, but when anglers have been able to get out, the magic depth seems to be 37 feet.”

    Ed Lawrence (Corry) filed 5/20: “We focused on lake trout this past week. They are out in deep water and we caught several by trolling spoons.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 5/18: “I went to 4 Mile Creek on Thursday and slammed stocked trout on a fly with 2-pound tippet; caught and released 32 trout. Went back on Saturday to fish live nightcrawlers on 6-pound line and caught nearly a 100 trout. The creek is low and clear, so you need to stay way back from the water’s edge so not to spook the fish.”

    Lake Pleasant
    Thomas Watral (Erie) 5/15: “I caught some trout and jumbo perch in the weedbeds at Lake Pleasant this week.”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Shenango River Lake
    Laurie (R&L Bait & Tackle) filed 5/20: “Another terrific week at R&L. Lots of people are fishing and lots of fish being caught. But most of my customers are releasing their fish, so I don’t have photos to send. I did include a picture of Joe Minto with a 15-3/4” 2 lb. 4 oz. crappie caught on a live minnow at Shenango Lake. Joe was using a Shakespeare light action rod with 6-pound Trilene Line. By the way, we will be open Monday May 27th– Memorial Day – so stop by for you fishing needs.”

    Larry Claypool (editor of Ohio Valley Outdoors in East Liverpool, OH) filed 5/17: “The weather improved greatly for Thursday morning’s fishing at Shenango River Lake. I fished with crappie experts Dan Dannenmueller and TJ Stallings –both from Alabama. We used a spider-rig trolling system, which was new to me. Dannenmueller has this system down – even when fishing a new lake so far from. First, we ran boat passes with the fishfinder in search of an old roadbed east of the marina. Once identified, we caught about 45 crappies on both sides of the extended roadbed, but only a few were keeper-size. The baits on the rig were set near the bottom in about 12 feet of water. Dealing with a slight wind challenged us to keep the boat under 3 mph. During the afternoon session I fished for bass with Dale Black and Mark McQuown. We focused on the rip-rap west of the ramp because they had caught three nice largemouth bass there in the morning. But all I managed in the afternoon session was a channel catfish!”

    Kevin Austin (Sharon) filed 5/11: “I included a picture of my girlfriend JoAnn’s first crappie of the season. She had just picked up her fishing license, and on her first trip out caught this nice 14-1/2 inch crappie at Shenango Lake.”

    Lake Wilhelm
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 5/20: “Anglers are catching a lot of small crappies and bluegills from shore. One customer caught a bunch of bluegills in the 10” to 11” range. I’m not hearing any reports on walleye being taken.”

    Steve Fleckenstein (Clarion) filed 5/17: “My girlfriend and I went to Wilhelm on May 8, hitting a couple spots before the rain chased us out. We caught a bunch of small ‘gills and crappies on my 1/64-oz. hair jigs under a bobber. I caught the only nice crappie – a 13-inch white crappie on a black hair jig. In one cove we caught crappies on every cast – but they were only 6 to 7-inches long.”

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Oil Creek
    Mike Laskowski (Oil Creek Outfitters) filed 5/18: “After a cold spring with lots of high water, Oil Creek is now low and clear – and the fishing is very good. There are numerous Mayfly and Caddis hatches coming off, and that is providing excellent dry fly action. The next two weeks should provide some of the best dry fly fishing of the season. So get out there and take advantage of it!”

    Allegheny River
    Gene Winger (Oil City) filed 5/20: “I’ve been out on the river several times with friends in the past two weeks. Here is a rundown on what we’ve done.

    Thursday May 9th– George Sisul and I spend the day on the Oil City and Reno eddies, landing 22 bass and a 30” northern pike. Most fish were caught mid-day in 2 to 6 feet of water using Winco Solid Body River Darters. A few bass were landed by working steep drops near shallow flats with a Winco C.W. Smallie Jig.
    Friday, May 10th– I had the privilege of fishing the Oil City eddy with my friend Mike Cook and his daughter Kyla, just home from college. With morning thunder showers predicted and cold front moving in we anticipated a short day on the river. To our surprise the storms held off and we fished the entire day – catching 40 smallies and Kayla’s first northern pike. All fish were taken on Winco 3.25”, 3.75” and 4.75” Solid Body River Darters fished in two to six feet of slow moving water and current breaks. This was Mike and Kayla’s first experience fishing the Allegheny with Winco River Darters!
    Thursday, May 16th– George and I spent the day on the river landing 35 bass, all on the 3.75” Solid Body River Darter. Most of the action was in the two to six feet of shallow, slow moving water around emerging weedbeds.
    Saturday, May 18th– I talked my wife Peg into going out a few hours. Sticking to the shallow water, we landed 25 bass on River Darters. My wife caught her best smallmouth ever – an 18” 4.5 pounder. For a Saturday morning, I was surprised to see only one other boat on the river – figured everyone must be crappie fishing on the lakes.
    Sunday, May 19th– I found a few hours on Sunday to some fishing. With the water temperature around 65 degrees, I started out with a Winco Wacky Worm but switched back to a River Darter resulting in 8 bass from shallow water near the shore.”

    Gamma Line’s Fishing Tips

    Gamma Contributor Tip

    Hooker says: Spring cold fronts that cause a dip in the water temperature can be very disruptive to fish in the late spring. The bluebird skies in days immediately following the passing of a front can make for difficult fishing even if the water temperature does not actually dip. If you fish frequently, you may decide to wait for better weather. But if you have a vacation planned, such as an extended fishing
    weekend for Memorial Day, then you must deal with the hand dealt. Fish-catching may have been great days before, but bluebird skies and bright sun can put a damper on your trip unless you adjust.

    Sometimes if the fish had been hitting in the shallows, they may remain there and simply shut down. Or in some cases, they may abandon the shallows dropping back to the next breakline towards deep water.

    In shallow water, fish the thickest cover, and slow the presentation down for crappies and bluegills; going to the smallest jigs or switching to live bait can be helpful. If out deeper for walleye and smallmouth, the same advice works: go to the smaller baits, fish slower and very precisely on isolated structure. One of the best baits for tough conditions is the hand-tied hair jig, such as the Hooker Bug, tipped with a minnow or piece of nightcrawler.

    Note: Hooker provided one of his special Pymatuning Lake maps printed on weatherproof paper as a drawing prize. The name drawing from among this issue’s contributors is Chuck Sari of Franklin.

    Also, to celebrate a successful media Crappie Camp, every angler contributor to this issue of the NW PA Fishing Report will receive two packs of Bobby Garland crappie baits.

    Winner of the Prize Pack of Baits for this issue of the Fishing Report: Bill Logsdon
    Lures for the Fishing Report Prize Pack supplied by: Case; Gene Larew; Get Bit Baits; Road Runner; Venom; Yum; Zipper Worms.

    Follow Darl as he fishes with angling experts around the country at www.darlblack.blogspot.com

    Obtain the PGLR fishing brochure “Reel It In!” at www.pagreatlakes.com


  10. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 5/6/13

    May 8, 2013 by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: May 6, 2013
    The NW PA Fishing Report is brought to you by…

    Gold Sponsor: Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region

    Connect to all counties at www.PAGreatLakes.com

    Bronze Sponsor: Black Knight Industries, Oil City – Home of Gamma Line

    Bronze Sponsor: Wiegel Brothers Marine, Franklin

    The NW PA Fishing Report provides timely angling information for Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango Counties – covering all species and all waters open to the public. The fishing comments and photos are offered by regional tackle shops and area anglers, complied and published twice a month. The NW PA Fishing Report is based on experiences, observations and opinions of individual contributors; information sources are considered reliable but comments are not independently verified. If you would like to share your fishing experiences or photos from any waterway in the four counties, please email to Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net. In providing information or pictures, you are agreeing to it being posted in the Fishing Report and distributed electronically to media and websites.

    The Landing Net by Darl Black

    A week ago, Allegheny River smallmouth bass were chowing down. Then one of those unexplained dips in a progressively improving spring bite occurred…just in time for the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association meeting in Franklin. Following a slow bite on Thursday, smallmouth got a case of lock-jaw on Friday when writers hit the Allegheny with local river rats. Everyone struggled to catch fish. Gamma’s Dale Black was trying so hard to put his guests on fish that he ended up going overboard! When Dale laid his rod down to help one of his guests free a line, a bass grabbed the tube jig dangling over the side and pulled the rod into the water. Dale
    dove in after it, coming up with the rod and the fish still attached. Tyler Frantz snapped this picture of a soaking wet Dale Black – with smallmouth!

    NW Pennsylvania Fishing Report for May 6,2013

    Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism
    What’s biting in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties?

    French Creek: Flowing through all four counties

    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 5/6: “On the opening day of walleye, May 4, Justin and I floated French Creek above Meadville seeking walleye with live bait and jigs – but no ‘eyes were caught. Fortunately I had thrown in a couple spinnerbaits for northern pike; those lures saved the day – not just for pike but for bass as well. We found nice-size bass on shallow flats in the timber along shore. We landed about two dozen smallmouth from 2.5 to 3.5 pounds on spinnerbaits. During April, I had been having some great mornings fishing tube jigs for smallmouth in deeper water, but a little over a week ago that bite dried up; now they are shallow.”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY

    Pymatuning Lake
    Editor’s note: Water level is very good at Pymatuning, with water up to the edge of the shoreline grass; plenty of shallow submerged wood cover for crappies.

    Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store) filed 5/6: “On the southern end of Pymatuning, anglers are catching the heck out of black crappies in the shallow wood cover in one to three feet of water; black crappies are on the verge of spawning right now. I would expect the white crappies to move up from deep water shortly in preparation for spawning – but they spawn deeper than black crappies. Walleyes are biting in 4’ to 10’ of water; drifting with nightcrawlers is working. A few spawning muskies are being caught by shoreline anglers fishing live bait, but musky anglers fishing plugs are not catching them right now.”

    Hooker (Hill’s County Store) filed 5/6: “I went fishing this evening for about ½ an hour and filled my wire basket with black crappies – really dark colored ones which indicate spawning colors. I was swimming a chartreuse grub on a 1/8-ounce head over the tops of a weedbed. One fellow told me over the weekend that he is so tired of filleting crappies that he isn’t going fishing for a week in order to rest up. Last Wednesday, I hopped in the boat with Darl Black for about 20 minutes to do some photos; it only took us a few minutes to catch crappies off wood in about 2 feet of water.”

    Chub Hornstein (Meadville) filed 5/5: “On Thursday, Dan Wielobob and I fished the North End of Pymatuning. We started out for crappies in the pad stem beds of bays, but never had a bite. We ran out to crib structures on Hemlock Island, catching a couple walleyes. Back to the stem beds outside Blackjack we went. Only now the crappies were biting. Dan took home 10 very nice black
    crappies.”

    Eric Heil (Franklin) filed 4/28: “I took my daughter to Pymatuning on April 27th. We boated about 20
    keeper crappies and a few keeper perch. I was still finding them in the shallow, dead pad stems. Fathead minnows under a float did the trick. The lake was very busy and we saw everyone catching crappies. It’s a great time to take the kids – lots of action to keep them interested. I included a picture of our lunker crappie caught by my 7-year-old Amelia.”

    Dan Wielobob (Conneaut Lake) filed 4/24: “Chub and I hit Pymatuning on April 23. Not a bad evening. We kept 9 walleye; the ‘eye were taken on chartreuse curly tail jigs and Rapala Minnows at dusk. We also caught 10 crappies, a bass and a channel cat by accident.”

    Conneaut Lake
    Dan Shay (Meadville) filed 5/6: “I have been fishing Conneaut Lake for bluegills and crappies. The crappies seem like they are ready to spawn, moving shallow – only to drop back beyond the weeds when the weather changes. My wife and I kept 30 panfish the other day, but all were from deep water. The pace of the shallow water bite should pick up with extended warm weather.”

    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 5/3: “Last week, my buddy and I went to Conneaut to see what was biting. The big smallmouth bite was on! We caught a number of bass over 3 pounds, but our biggest two were 22 inches and 22-1/2 inches. Didn’t have a scale, but these fish were easily over six pounds.”

    Canadohta Lake & Woodcock Lake
    Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 5/6: “Last week the local anglers were catching crappies like crazy in the canals on the north end of Canadohta Lake. Over the weekend, I had customers stop in with reports of both walleye and crappie catches at Woodcock Creek Lake. The walleyes were being caught in 16’ to 20’ of water in the lake, plus walleyes were caught in the Spillway below the dam.”

    ERIE COUNTY

    Presque Isle Bay
    Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait) filed 5/6: “Fishing has been great the last few days. Everything is biting in the Bay. Anglers are getting jumbo perch from the North Pier, as well as catching some smallmouth bass as they move along the channel; one customer reported a 6 pound smallie off the wall. Northern pike are being caught in Misery Bay and Thompson Bay. Largemouth bass and crappies are coming from Misery Bay. And the bluegill bite is getting started.”

    Paul Stewart (New Castle) filed 5/6: “I fished the North Pier yesterday with a friend. We got 35 perch and a bonus smallmouth bass. We kept 25 of the larger perch.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 5/5: “I took my niece to the South Pier on Saturday. We caught perch, silver bass and several smallmouth bass. The perch fishing in the Bay has been good for the past two weeks. On calm days it can be tough to get bites; but with a little wind blowing, the bigger perch are active. One of my better days was on April 30 on the South Pier, when I landed 22 perch from 10 to 14 inches on minnows, 2 silver bass on salted minnows, and 16 smallmouth bass on tube jigs.”

    Chub Hornstein (Meadville) filed 5/5: “Dan and I headed to PIB this past Wednesday to see what the smallmouth bass were doing. Using soft plastic, we struggled to get bites at first. But later in the day I switched to a small lipless crankbait. That was the ticket. We caught between 35 and 40 smallmouths by ticking the top of the weeds on the flats in about 4 feet of water.”

    Frank Malek (Oil City) filed 5/1: “The smallmouth bite is finally on at Lake Erie and PIB is on…awesome.”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 4/27: “We made our first trip to PIB on April 27th. A nice sunny day but a harsh East lake wind apparently put the smallmouth off their feed – or they simply had not moved into the Bay because of the dirty water. We only boated two smallies. There were so many dead gizzard shad floating everywhere that we hooked gobs of rotting fish flesh while working jerkbaits.”

    Lake Erie and Erie Tributaries
    Gary Heuble (Poor Richards) filed 5/6: “Lots of fishing action going on. They are catching stocked trout in the Gravel Pit. Smallmouth bass are moving into the creeks from the Lake. Perch are being caught in 38 feet of water off Trout Run. Over the weekend, some anglers trolling offshore at dark are catching some walleye on stickbaits – but the shore casters have not had much success yet; lake shore temperature needs to be 55 to 60 degrees, along with calm nights to get them on the beach.”

    Mike Tome (Trout Run Bait) filed 5/6: “Steelheads are pretty much back out to the Lake, and the streams are now filled with smallmouth bass. We’ve had several days of East wind making shoreline fishing for walleyes impossible, but that should change this week. They are getting perch in 30 to 40 feet of water off Walnut Creek. The perch are just getting started. I don’t look for good perch fishing until at least Memorial Day weekend.”

    Dan Seaman (Elk Creek Tackle) filed 5/6: “There are a variety of opportunities right now. In the Lake, anglers are starting to get perch in 37 to 40 feet of water off the PA shore – there are limit catches of jumbo perch being taken. Elk Creek is low and clear, but nonetheless filled with fish – including smallmouth bass, suckers, and few holdover steelheads. Now catfish are moving in. Bass in the creeks are being taken on spinnerbaits, Rapala Minnows and Mepps Spinners.”

    Britt Stoudenmire (Roanoke, Virginia) filed 5/5: “I came up at the last minute to fish for several days. We hit PIB first, but the Bay was dirty and seemed void of smallmouth bass. We moved out to the main lake at North East. We were marking fish in 20 to 22 feet but could not get them to bite. We concluded our trip on Sunday the 5th. We did okay, but not as great as last year. My best five smallmouths over the three day period weighed almost 30 pounds, including ones at 6.25 pounds and 6.50 pounds. On our best day, we caught 50 bass. But the northeast wind and high pressure put the fish down.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 5/5: “I took my niece to 4 Mile Creek on Saturday. She had a blast, catching a brown trout on almost every cast. She landed 45, releasing all but five which she took home for dinner. The trout were hitting salted minnows floated downstream with a fly rod; twitching the line helped get bites.”

    Inland Trout Streams
    Ed Lawrence (Corry) filed 5/6: “I haven’t had much time to fish. But I have made it to the trout streams a couple times. To my surprise, I caught an 18” largemouth bass from a little trout steam, along with stocked trout. The fish were hitting anything with flash – including Rooster Tails and Mepps Spinners.”

    MERCER COUNTY

    Shenango River Lake
    Laurie (R&L Bait & Tackle) filed 5/6: “This has been one very busy and exciting week at R&L. The weather has been beautiful and people have the itch to go fishing. I had several reports of very nice crappies being caught in the Shenango River as well as the Shenango Reservoir. Most of my customers have been using live bait, while a few of them are still firm believers in the jighead-curly tail presentation. Walleye season came in on Saturday, and I had reports of keepers being caught, with a good number coming from the Pymatuning Creek Arm of Shenango Lake towards Orangeville. Also, walleyes are being caught at Pymatuning Lake on crawlers and worm rigs. Greg Ferlin of Fredonia caught a 2 lb. 2 oz., 15-1/4” bullhead from Lake Wilhelm on a minnow. Being the largest bullhead he ever caught, Greg was excited! Eleven year old Aaron Solderich caught a 6 lb. 13 oz., 23” rainbow trout from Ross Run on a Kastmaster. So far Aaron is winning our Trout Contest!”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 5/6: “I had been fishing Pymatuning out of Linesville ramp all last week and catching a slew of big black crappies drifting a Lunker City Fin-S-Fish under a bobber in 5 to 9 feet of water. I had not fished Shenango Lake this spring until today when I took my step-daughter and son-in-law out. We had lots of small crappies; they are not spawning yet.”

    Terry DeMaria (Sharon) filed 5/4: “I fished Shenango Lake from shore for a few hours on four different times this past week with limited success. I talked to an old timer who fishes the lake all the time; he says the last few years that what he catches are small crappies. The crappies I caught were 7 to 8 inches. I was using my favorite chartreuse curly-tail. Water temperature was 52 to 53 degrees.”

    Jim Melvin (Sharon) filed 4/29: “I’m sharing a picture of a Shenango Lake 17-inch crappie taken this past week by my friend Eric Thomas of Brookfield, OH. Sorry, I don’t have any details on what he was using. The big ones are swimming in Shenango!”

    Shenango River
    Ed Atts (Utica) filed 5/5: “On Saturday, five of us paddled from Pymatuning to Riverfront Park in Greenville. There just isn’t enough water being discharged from Pymatuning Lake to make a good trip. The current flow rate was 28 cu/ft/sec. The median discharge for that date based on a 77 year average is 79 cu/ft/sec. The maximum discharge for that date was 925 cu/ft/sec and the minimum is 3.3 cu/ft/sec. Quite a range! We had to get out twice for downed trees blocking the waterway, and at least a dozen times to walk our crafts through shallows. Some walks were only a few feet but others were 100 feet or more. We had 3 kayaks and 2 solo canoes. We only take 3 inches of water to float these crafts and 3 inches of water just isn’t there in many places. This trip would be virtually impossible in a 2-person craft. I would not recommend this as a float fishing trip unless the water comes up significantly. We were not fishing, but the trip took us 5.5 hours on the water.”

    Bob Shuey (Neshannock Creek Fly Shop) filed 5/1: “Neshannock is fishing well and everything looks good in the 10 day forecast. The stream levels are good and hatches are on schedule.”

    VENANGO COUNTY

    Allegheny River
    Chris Wolfgong (Oil City) filed 5/1: “I hit the river with Dale from 6 PM to 8:30 PM. Fishing was slow. I caught six bass – all small – on hair jigs. Dale was throwing tubes and caught a few more than I did. Smallmouths were not where they were on Friday, April 26, when we had an awesome evening. On the 26th we could not keep the fish off! I lost track of the number caught after releasing my 35 fish. Dale finished ahead of me in the count. I got all mine on hair jigs; Dale was throwing his favorite tube.”

    Gene Winger (Oil City) filed 4/30: “On Thursday, April 25, George Sisul and I launched at Franklin and fished to the Belmar Bridge. With water levels up and stained, we worked hard to boat three bass. French Creek was running high and muddy so we decided to run the river north of Franklin to find clearer water. We headed to a deepwater stretch, positioned the boat along a current break and landed 25 smallmouths in 8 to 10 feet of water using Winco’ 3.25” Predator Craw and C.W. Smallie Jigs. With water temperature was below 50 degrees and a cold front was moving in, small jigs on the bottom produced nice bass – most were in the 3 pound range. George had the biggest one of the day – 20-1/2 inch, five pounds.”

    Kahle Lake
    Duff Kerle (Clarion) filed 4/26: “Steve Hughes and I fished Kahle on Thursday, April 25. We ended up with around 10 bass, catching them on jigs, Shad Raps and spinnerbaits. I caught one over 5 pounds, and Steve caught on pushing 3 pounds. The 5 pounder came in 24 feet of water on a brushpile. Conditions were rough with wind blowing about 30 mph.”

    Justus Lake
    Steve Udick (Oil City) filed 4/26: “Austin Siar, one of the students at Venango VoTec, caught and released this huge musky at Justus Lake this past week. Austin didn’t have anything to measure it with, so I estimated the size of the fish based on Austin’s shoulder to shoulder measurement. I came up with a 50 to 52 inch length with a 24 to 27 inch girth. Some of the tail section is wrapped around his body and hidden from the camera shot. It was suggested the upper jaw may have been deformed or torn from being caught – but it didn’t seem to affect its eating habits.”

    Gamma Line’s Fishing Tips

    Editor’s Note: During May, the crappie and bluegill bite hits the springtime peak here in Northwest Pennsylvania. Having the correct line spooled on your reel is a big plus in hooking and landing crappies and jumbo ‘gills. A thin diameter line will improve line manageability on the spool and increase casting distance with small baits used for panfish. Years ago, my crappie rod was spooled with six-pound test because going lighter resulted in breaking off too many lures and bait hooks when snagged. These days, I have complete confidence in spooling my panfish rods with 4-pound Gamma Polyflex Line. Gamma 4-pound test is the same diameter as another company’s 4-pound-test monofilament, but Gamma 4-pound has a Break Strength of 8.5 pounds – due to a special treatment process at the molecular level. How can a line that breaks at 8-pounds-plus be classified as a 4-pound test? Because the American standard of line classification is based on diameter, not break strength. Therefore, Gamma Polyflex 4-pound is classified by its diameter; the angler gets the performance benefits of a thin line for small baits but the Break Strength of an 8-pound test line. Go Gamma!

    Fishing Report contributor Dean Waldbaum offers this tip for spring fishing: If you put away your tackle last fall without cleaning the reels, you’ve got some work to do right now. Take time to clean and lubricate your reels to insure you don’t have a breakdown when you start fishing. A clean, smooth drag and drive train gearing (along with fresh line) is your best insurance against losing a big fish or having a mechanical breakdown of the reel along the stream or out in the boat. Dean will receive a spool of Gamma Line for this tip.

    Winner of the Prize Pack of Baits for this issue of the Fishing Report: Terry DeMaria
    Lures for the Fishing Report Prize Pack supplied by: Case; Gene Larew; Get Bit Baits; Road Runner; Yum; Zipper Worms.

    Follow Darl as he fishes with angling experts around the country at www.darlblack.blogspot.com
    Obtain the PGLR fishing brochure “Reel It In!” at www.pagreatlakes.com


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