1. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 12/12/12

    January 8, 2013 by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: December 12, 2012
    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

    Happy Winter Solstice! In addition to being the first day of winter, December 21 has the shortest amount of daylight of the entire year. From here on out until the Summer Solstice, the days keep getting longer. I now start my count down to the Spring Equinox – the first day of spring on March 22…91 days away! While safe ice may be some time off in the future, there are several open water opportunities right now for anyone looking to fish during the Christmas/New Year’s Holidays. Check the pages of the Fishing Report: steelhead, walleye, crappies and smallmouth bass are in the news. PS: Blade baits are great coldwater lures. Check out my article on Blade Baits in the January BASSMASTER Magazine.

    NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA FISHING REPORT for December 12, 2012

    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 Editor’s Note – 12/20: With recent rains, the level of French Creek is ideal for movement of walleyes into identifiable high-water spots. French Creek should be in near-perfect fishing condition (high but clearing if no high temps to melt snow) for the week after Christmas and into January – although low temps may result in slush ice in the stream. What’s the potential of the creek this time of year? Best opportunity for trophy size walleyes. It was the holiday week back in the late 1980s that the late Ed Gray – renowned French Creek angler – caught an 11 pound walleye on New Year’s Eve and a 14- pound walleye on New Year’s Day; both fish taken on hand-tied white hair jigs. This time of year on French Creek, from Franklin north almost to Union City, walleyes are being taken on live creek minnows and hair jigs.

    Ed Lawrence (Union City) filed 12/20: “I’ve been really busy but managed to drop a line a few times. I have been catching some walleye from French Creek the past few weeks.”

    Doug Devore (Cochranton) 12/15: Doug reports having some very good walleye and smallmouth catches from French Creek during December on live creek bait and jigs.

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Pymatuning Lake
    Editor’s Note – 12/20: Starting around the first of December, anglers finally began reporting fairly decent walleye catches from Pymatuning on blade baits and the bite has continued through the month. Perhaps the exceptionally low water in the reservoir during October and November was in some way detrimental to the walleye bite.

    Norm Brakeman (Hills Country Store) filed 12/20: “The water level at Pymatuning is back up and you can now launch at several ramps. I plan to be back on the water in my boat as soon as this snow storm subsides. One of my customers has been catching walleyes by wadefishing the shoreline, casting both blade baits and long minnow plugs. When he hits the right spot, he limits out in 20 to 30 minutes – but he may have a long walk before finding a bunch of walleye. Other anglers are catching some nice crappies off the docks at Jamestown Marina – not those little ones, but crappies in the 12 to 14-inch range.”

    Chub Hornstein (Meadville) filed 12/16: “Dan Wielobob and I fished Pymatuning on December 14 th and 15 th , having our best two days this fall on the lake. On Thursday evening, we caught 8 legal walleye and Friday evening we had 6 legal – plus numerous short ones. All on blade baits around 12 foot depth.”

    ERIE COUNTY
    Editor’s Note – 12/20: With each rain in December, fresh steelhead have been moving into the tributaries making this a better than usual December for steelhead. When I stopped by the mouth of Trout Run on Saturday, December 16th, anglers were still catching steelhead in the lake. Fishermen told me the best bite was late in the day at dusk. I watched steelheads scoot behind the line of shoreline wading anglers and attempt to work their way into Trout Run (no fishing permitted) where hundreds of dark steelhead were holding in the first hole, unable to move upstream. With rain and snow this week, expect some fresh fish to move into the streams where you are permitted to fish. It should be a Merry Christmas for steelheaders!

    Erie Tributaries
    Matt Hyrcyk (Poor Richards) filed 12/20: “Each time we have high water, additional steelheads have been moving into the tribs. We have high and dingy water right now. But if we get more snow than rain, and the snow doesn’t melt quickly, the streams should be the right color by Sunday or Monday.

    Dan Seaman (Elk Creek Sport) filed 12/20: “With recent periodic rains, more steelheads have been moving into the streams. With the snow and cold coming in over the next couple days, it will slow the fish down until they acclimate. Temperatures are to remain cold through Christmas (low to mid 30s), so I don’t expect a lot of snow melt, therefore stream color should be good for fishing. If it’s a slow melt, stream flow should remain good. If temperatures turn too cold, expect some slush ice in the streams. The game is now winter steelheading techniques – don’t hit the stream until mid-morning and fish during the warmest part of the day. This has been one of the best Decembers we’ve had in years, and if we are lucky it will continue for a little while longer.”

    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 12/20: “This past week fishing the mouth of 16 Mile Creek I caught 4 steelheads in two hours. Others were hooking fish regularly, too. Overnight the water dropped and the fish went back out to the lake; I caught 1 steelhead on 20 Mile.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 12/18: “On the 18th, I went to Cascade Creek to see if steelhead came in during the last few days of light rain. To my surprise there was a nice number of steelhead in the creek. On December 13th I went to Mill Creek and was surprised to see lots of minnows and lots of steelhead in the clear water. The fish were hanging in big pods and no one was fishing for them. Back on the 11th, I caught and released 4 steelheads at mouth of Mill Creek and walked upstream to a hole and caught 8 more fish, loosing many more. All fish hit a single red egg drifted through the hole.”

    Frank Malek (Oil City) filed 12/12: “The enclosed photo of a hen brown ate a green egg sack on Elk Creek, caught on my center-pin reel with 10-pound main line and 6-pound fluorocarbon leader. This was one of 28 fish I caught in a four hour period. I hated to leave biting fish, but my son had some unTrout Run packed with teelheadused deer tags he wanted to try to fill. Elk Creek is fishing the best it has in the last few years, so get out before it freezes!”

    Presque Isle Bay
    Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait) filed 12/20: “My customers have been catching some perch plus a few steelhead and brown trout at the Waterworks. They have also been catching perch off the docks at the Marina.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 12/10: “I went to the docks to fish for perch yesterday and did very well. Perch were hitting everything from minnows to grubs, fished on multi-hook crappie rigs. I limited out in three hours. The biggest one was 14 inches and the smallest was 10 inches. Then I stopped by the South Pier to see how they were doing. Anglers were catching big perch in the 14 to 15-inch range. Also learned that Lake Pleasant had been stocked for the winter so trout fishing should be good over there, too; I like to fish a minnow below a bobber for the Lake Pleasant trout.”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Editor’s Note 12/20: This week the PF&BC released a listing of PA’s Best Fishing Waters (based on biologists’ trap net and electrofishing surveys). Listed by species, just six lakes over 500 acres made the Best Crappie lakes list – two of those lakes were in Mercer County: Shenango was 3rd and Wilhelm was 6th. (Pymatuning in Crawford was #2) If you have not been fishing Wilhelm because you were not catching anything due to the large gizzard shad population – right now before ice up may be the time to Wilhelm for crappie and walleye. Try blade baits along the main creek channel.

    Shenango Lake
    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 12/13: “My ice fishing club, the BOIs, have been fishing Shenango from our boats – instead of putting them away like we usually due the first of December. We’ve found a pattern that has been producing some very nice crappies – lots of 12 to 16-inch white and black crappies. Drifting deepwater stumps with jigs tipped with Berkley Crappie Nibbles has been working. For example, today, the 13th, we fished the stump field in Campground Launch Bay. Hang gliding and drifting Southern Pro Jigs on 1/8-ounce head tipped with Nibblers. We caught a lot of small fish along with 21 keepers. The sunshine felt nice with temps reaching 40 degrees. The lake is muddy with a water temp in the low 40s. I’m going to keep going until the lake freezes! The fall bite has been very good!”

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Allegheny River
    Editor’s Note 12/20: The Allegheny has been spectacular this fall, particularly for smallmouth, and the good fishing continued through December. No one can recall a fall when bass were running so heavy, and in good numbers.

    Steve Udick (Oil City) filed 12/16: “I fished the 15th and 16th with Pat Murray of Oil City. We both caught real nice walleyes on Saturday and four large bass – releasing all fish. We fished the Peaceful Valley section in protected areas to avoid the wind. We anchored near shore and fished major current breaks in about 7 feet of water. I used a perch-colored Rapala Shad Rap SR7 to catch the bass. The walleyes Perch fishing on PIBcame by jigging minnows. On Sunday, I was only able to land one walleye and two bass (another one with a funny tail). All fish came on the Shad Rap. River temp was 37 -38 degrees…who said bass turn off at 38 degrees anyway?”

    Jeff Knapp (Keystone Connection Guide Service) filed 12/16: “I continue to run guide trips through December, with fairly good results on smallmouth bass and walleye. Lately we’ve been catching most fish on live bait, although I had one day of excellent blade bait fishing. I caught my largest smallmouth of the season on the 15th – a 21-inch 4.5 pounder.”

    Steve Udick (Oil City) filed 12/11: “Fishing weather has held on again this year. I got out on Saturday, 12/8, in the early AM. Bass were hot as the river had come down to the 6-foot level. I caught bass in both deep and shallow water. I got four fish behind the pontoon ice device at Oil City. Water was about 2 feet deep. Fish were taking a perch-colored Shad Rap worked very slowly. One of my bass had a lamprey attached to it; it’s the third bass this year with a lamprey feeding on it, all in the same eddy…very strange. I ended up with 15 bass and a pike for the morning. No size to them. We had also been catching a few walleyes, several in less than four feet of water, both on live minnows and Shad Raps.”

    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 12/5: “On Monday, 12/3, I fished the river alone for three hours. Three boats showed up later. I got 9 smallmouth bass, 3 rock bass and a walleye on Sweet Beavers, Galida Grubz and a 20-year old fresh-out-of-package Silver Buddy. I hit 4 bass on 6 casts. The flurry with the blade bait stopped as quickly as it started. Every fish was close to a drop-off.”

    Chub Hornstien (Meadville) filed 12/4: “Dan Wielobob and I made a couple trips down to the Allegheny this past weekend for walleye. We fished for smallmouth in the afternoon, catching a dozen or more each day on Kalin Grubs. Then we anchored up at a pool tail out for the evening, fishing live creek chubs which we had trapped. It was the first time we had fished live creek minnows in year. It was fun! We missed more ‘eye than we landed. But we came away with a decent catch each day. The largest was 26 inches.”

    Gene Winger (Oil City) filed 12/3: “Thanks for all the hard work you put into the NW PA Fishing Report, it’s a great contribution to the sport! Attached is a cute picture with my four-year old granddaughter Olivia (who loves to go fishing, too!) when we landed a double.”

    Scott Kinard (Elwood City) filed 12/2: “It was nice to meet you and Marilyn on the river yesterday. It was most pleasant day for December to be on the river. I only managed to land 11 smallies yesterday despite a number of missed or lost fish. With the water temp starting out around 40.4 degrees in the morning, it was a very slow bite until later in day when I finally figured out the right presentation was very slow. My fish came on Venom Sweet Dreams and tubes. Although I managed a few fish, the size did not match up to what I had caught in previous trips. This was likely my last trip of the year.”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 12/1: “Darl and I fished the river with Dale Black for about four hours today. We saw eight other boats on the river, seven of which were contributors to the Fishing Report! The action was a bit slow, but we managed to land 15 smallmouths among the three of us. Dale caught fish on a tube and a Larew Biffle Bug Jr. on the back of a Booyah Baby Boo Jig; Darl got several fish on Get Bit Tubes; all of my fish came on Jimmy D’s River Bugs(hair jigs). Dale had a four pounder.”

    Gamma Line’s Fishing Tips and Forecast for NW PA Waters

    Gamma Pro Tip from Bassmaster Pro Stephen Browning: “In cold weather, I like to use a little lighter line. I believe you get better sensitivity for those coldwater bites. You need a lure to act naturally to the fish. With heavier line, the bait may not act as naturally as it does with lighter line. I normally drop down to 10 or 12 pound test when it gets cold outside. In the cold, use the lightest line you can get away based on the cover. If open water, you can go really light into the finesse realm.”

    Tackle tip from Fishing Report contributor Scott Kinard: “With winter approaching, many fishermen are hanging up their gear for the season – although others will continue to fish open water as long as possible. When you do put tackle away, you want to protect the investment you have in rods. For storage and transportation of rods, I use the Rod Glove (www.vrxfishing.com). They make a rod sleeve for all size and styles of rods. With this protection, I do not have to worry about damaged guides, line or rod blanks. It’s a great product for the angler that is tough on gear.” Scott wins a spool of Gamma Polyflex Line.

    Editor’s note: It’s a good idea to take the time before storing rods and reels to clear your gear. (Admittedly, I don’t do it right now ‘cause I continue to hope the weather breaks so I can fish the rivers or head South on a trip, etc…so I clean it all in the spring!) Rod blanks often get water stains, dried vegetation, grime and so forth on the blanks. Use extreme care in choice of cleaning agent to use on rod blanks because some household cleaning agents will soften the epoxy coatings on guide wraps – I know from experience! A little dish soap and warm water is best. To clean cork handles, I use Simple Green according to instructions…and Simple Green appears safe for rod blanks, too. Darl Black Prize Pack for this issue of Fishing Report is being supplied by: PRADCO Brands The winning contributor of the prize pack is: Steve Udick

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


  2. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 11/26/12

    December 17, 2012 by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: November 26, 2012
    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 happens rather abruptly each year at this ime. At start of rifle season for deer on the Monday
    ater Thanksgiving, we see a hush falling over the 2013 open-water fishing season. With the drop off of
    area reports from angling contributors and tackle shops, it’s apparent there are sill a lot of deer hunters
    in NW PA. Yes, the hardcore anglers will coninue to fish for steelhead in the Erie tributaries and walleye
    on inland lakes, French Creek and the Allegheny. But if really cold
    weather sets in, even the flowing water may chunk up with ice before
    Christmas. Normally, anglers would be looking forward to safe ice on
    lakes around by January 1. But no one is sure when it will happen .
    This fall, Pymatuning’s November walleye bite fizzled…but the smallmouth bass bite in the river for big fish was spectacular. There’s sill a
    lot of steelhead in the west side Erie tributaries, and if we get some
    color to the streams in the next few weeks, fishing could sill explode
    up there.

    NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA FISHING REPORT for November 26, 2012

    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

    John Wilpula (Conneaut Lake) filed 11/20: “I made it out on the Creek on the 19th for an afternoon float with fellow kayakbassfishing.com members Wayne and Josh. Creek had settled down from the Hurricane Sandy rains, although here and there large trees had been dislodged and rearranged in the Creek. Water temp was barely 40 degrees. I managed to catch a single 16-inch smallmouth on a Venom Creature Bait dragged slowly across the bottom. That was it. However we did enjoy sightings of mink, several deer and bald eagle.”

    Jody Maurer (Maurer’s Trading Post) filed 11-19: “Al Bell from Franklin reports the walleye and northern pike fishing is excellent on French Creek. Al caught 12 legal northern pike in French Creek in one day. Al’s favorite rig that day was a chartreuse curly-tail jig tipped with a creek chub.”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Pymatuning Lake
    Richter’s General Store reports that angling activity on the lake over Thanksgiving holidays was minimal as most outdoor people were preparing for deer season. Regular diehard anglers have been making good catches of bluegills and a few crappies. However, walleye success is down.

    Chub Hornsien (Meadville) filed 11/19: “I’ve fish Pymatuning several imes the last couple weeks searching for walleyes. Normally November is our best month of year for catching walleyes on blade baits. This year the legal-size fish are almost completely absent, and even the sub-legal ones are few and far between. I’ve fished the mornings, midday and right through sundown, but cannot catch anything noteworthy. I’m ready to throw in the towel. Dan Wielobob and I are headed to the Allegheny this coming week.”

    Conneaut Lake
    Bob Hornstrom (Meadville) filed 11-18: “I attempted to fish Conneaut Lake today, the 20th, but encountered boat engine problems ater launching. So I simply fished around Fireman’s Beach on the electric motor since I could not run to my best smallmouth bass spots. I managed to land one big northern pike on a Rattle Trap.”

    Bryan Stuyvesant (Meadville) filed 11-17: “Darl and I fished for smallmouth bass on Conneaut Lake for about four hours today. Between us we had about 7 or 8 hits on jig-style lures, landing three smallmouths. The largest was about 3 pounds, taken on a tube jig. It was a slow, slow day – blame it on the high pressure and bluebird skies.”

    ERIE COUNTY
    Presque Isle Bay
    Thomas Watral (Erie)
    - Filed 11-25: “Today I went down to fish for perch at the Border Patrol Dock. I had the whole thing to myself – even the bait stand was closed. I did very well, landing my limit of perch in 3 hours. The fish were 12 to 12 inches long; they hit minnows on crappie rigs and small jigs. Despite how cold it was, it was a fun day.
    - Filed 11-24: “I started the day out fishing for perch on the South pier, landing eight perch in the 13-inch range on minnows. Then I went to the docks where waves and cold wind didn’t reach me. I landed an addiional 20 perch.”
    - Filed 11-20: “I went perch fishing at 5 AM, and had hit ater hit, landing lots of 6 to 9 inch perch; they were hitting everything. I talked to man who had run out of bait; he had some perch in the 12 to 15 inch range.”

    Paul Stewart (Butler) filed 11-19: “My buddy and I did the same thing this weekend as last weekend. Drove to Erie for steelhead, but the creeks were very low and clear. So we opted for perch fishing in Presque Isle Bay. Fishing was better than last week; we landed about five dozen perch between the two of us, keeping 36 of the larger ones. The bite was very light; Berkley Fireline made the difference. We landed several doubles on our perch rigs.”

    Darl Black (Cochranton) filed 11-16: “On a trip to Erie tributaries to photograph steelhead anglers, I met up with Dave Lefebre on PIB to grab a couple pictures for an upcoming article. He had only been fishing a few minutes when I reached him on his cell phone, and during our conversations he landed a 2 pound largemouth bass. I met him at the sand ramp on Presque Isle State Park and grabbed the shots I needed. Dave said he was going back out to catch-and-release 49 more largemouth bass to make an even 50. But I didn’t hear back from him, so I don’t know if he succeeded or not with his goal.”

    Erie Tributaries
    Ric Gauriloff (Trout Run Tackle) filed 11-26: “Anglers were doing better the last couple days on Elk at the Legion Hole, Boro Park and the Lower Tubes. Also, there are bunches of fish in lower section of Walnut. There appears to have been a fresh run into west side streams in recent days – now we have those real black fish that came in early, some midcolor fish plus a bunch of small fresh silver ones. The hot fly has been Chartreuse Crystal Meth, along with small black nymphs in size 14 and 16. Single eggs if you are not fly fishing. There are a lot of fish in the streams but many anglers are frustrated that they can’t catch them due to low and clear water. The bite seems to be for a short period of ime each day and if you are not on the stream when it happens, you are not catching fish. Going into December, we could have some great fishing…if we would get some rain to color the water and if the creeks don’t ice over.”Elk Creek Sports filed 11-26: “The creeks remain low and clear. The little snow melt we had did nothing in adding water to the streams. Fishermen who know how to fish steelhead in low and clear conditions were enjoying moderate success. Small flies and live bait were working. Better fishing is low in the streams towards the mouth.”

    Grady Codd (Mars) filed 11-20: “I let school early and headed to Elk Creek for steelhead. The water was very low and clear with low numbers of fish compared to last week. I fished the McKean stretch for half a day with little luck, catching a total of 3 fish. Traditional steelhead flies failed to produce an interest from the steelies, and real eggs did nothing either. I caught one fish using a Lucky Craft RD-STX Jerkbait– a lure I use for bass, pike and stripers. The other two steelies were taken on a Strike King Coffee Tube Jig. Seemed the fish wanted something they had not seen before!

    Ed Phillips (New Castle) filed 11-19: “My wife and I went to 20 Mile Creek last Thursday afternoon and stayed overnight, and continued to fish on Friday. The stream was low and the fish count is also low compared to past years, but we managed to catch four nice steelhead. We found a nice school in one deep hole; my wife limited out with 3 fish on Thursday; all came on a blood dot. I didn’t have a strike. We went back on Friday morning but there were two guys already at the hole. We went further downstream and found another school. I managed to get one fish out of that group. I was hoping or expecting a higher fish count after the rain we had earlier in the week but the results weren’t there. I’m not sure if the fish are sill in the lake or if this is all we are going to get this year.”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Shenango Lake
    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 11-24: “The crappie bite on Shenango is in the deep water. I found them in 12 to 15 feet around sunken brush and stumps. My brother Rich and I took home over 30 keeper crappies in two trips last weekend. We were using jigs ipped with Berkley Crappie Nibbles. I’m putting the boat away this week. See you on the ice!”

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Allegheny River
    Scott Kinard (New Castle) filed 11-24: “It’s no surprise – the upper Allegheny River has been fishing very well. I’ve been on a few trips this past week for big smallies and the river did not disappoint. I landed many smallies with a number in the 4-pound range, and two that went almost 5 pounds. Venom Tubes, Venom Sweet Dreams, Venom Vibra-Max Blade Baits and All-Terrain Tackle Jigs all produced fish.”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 11-23: “Dale Black, Darl and I headed to the river earlier today, Friday, expecting the weather change (high pressure dropping with approaching snow storm) would trigger the big smallmouth. We got snookered, as the fish apparently shut down – apparently they ate well on Thanksgiving! We talked to Ken Pate who was pulling out the same time as Darl and I were leaving ater fishing only two hours; Ken and his buddy had caught six bass. Dale hung out on the river to catch a few bass in the afternoon, including a 4.5 pounder.”

    Bill Logan (Titusville) filed 11-22: “I fished the river on Monday the 19th, landing two bass and 1 perch. On Wednesday the 21st I had ten hook-ups, landing 7 bass, and lost a big pike. Bass were taken on spinnerbaits, Galida Grubz and hair jigs. River bass fishing has been a lot better than steelheading this fall.”

    Louis Letterle (Franklin) filed 11-21: “I fished the Allegheny River on November 21 with Tim Kier of Titusville and Ken Dudash of Pittsburgh. We caught a dozen fish, mostly walleyes. Best walleye was 24 inches, but no large smallmouths. Most fish were caught on creek chubs and suckers. We noticed plenty of anglers hitting the river in the late afternoon – the parking area at Franklin launch was almost full.”

    Ernie Pate (Butler) filed 11-21: “My brother Ken and I fished the Allegheny River near Oil City on Sunday the 18th. We caught 40 bass and two walleyes. I was up on Monday the 19th and Tuesday the 20th, catching 60 and 50 smallmouth respectively including some toads. Pictures included a couple 4-pound plus chunks – note the difference in coloration. Most of our fish were caught on beaver-style baits.”

    Chub Hornstein (Meadville) filed 11-20: “Dan Wielobob and I fished the Oil City pool on the Allegheny for walleye today. We caught a few smallmouths during the afternoon, and then right at dusk we boated six nice legal walleyes on jigs tipped with minnows. It was our best day for walleye this fall.”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 11-18: “Darl and I fished the Allegheny with Dale Black today for a couple hours in the afternoon. Between the three of us, we landed about 20 bass, with eight of them over 17 inches. All fish came on tubes.”

    Desin DeMarion (Grove City) filed 11-20: “I’m in love with the Allegheny River in the fall! I went out today and caught 20 smallmouths with my best five going over 20 pounds. I caught six bass around 4 pounds from one little spot. Most came on a tube jig, a Picasso Shake-E-Football Jig with craw, and a Fish Sense Binsky Blade in Sexy Shad. The Sexy Shad color is only available at fishsenselures.com. My first two casts with the Binsky in Sexy Shad yielded back to back fish. I experimented with other colors and the fish would only eat the Sexy Shad.”

    Jody Maurer (Maurer’s Trading Post filed 11-19): “The diehard fishermen are sill fishing and doing great. Jeff Sehman and his son Nick only had about 1-1/2 hours to fish on the Allegheny above Franklin. They were drifting live shiners in about 20 feet of water. The lucky duo landed four 3- to 4-pound scrappy smallmouths, and lost about that many. They had great fun in a short period!”

    Gamma Line’s Fishing Tips for NW PA Waters

    Cold Water Hair Jig Fishing tips from Dustin Shay
    Dusin Shay says hand-tied hair jigs are a staple for walleye and smallmouth fishermen on French Creek and the Allegheny River during the coldwater period from late fall through early spring – as long as the creek and river does not freeze over. On French Creek in particular, the hair jig has high standing among diehard river rats since the 1940s. Growing up on the Creek in a fishing family, Dustin learned hair jig tying and fishing skills from his Dad as well as other long-time creek fishermen. Hair jigs are effective because of the natural undulation of the hair and feathers in the water. The angler should not retrieve a jig by applying overt gyrations. Instead, fish a hair jig slowly with the flow which activates the natural ‘alive’ appearance. You don’t want to drag a hair jig on the bottom, but match the weight of the jig to the current flow so it almost floats just above the bottom as you swim it slowly. Many anglers are satisfied with a white, black or yellow hair jig, but Dustin is more creative in my jig tying, creating patterns which more closely resembles one of the many species of baitfish in French Creek – including various shiners, dace, chubs, rile runners, sand pike, madtoms and colorful darters. “Recently I obtained some very naturalistic painted heads from Crappie Pro which I now utilize in my jig patterns. These custom painted heads are molded on a high-quality hook of sufficient size suitable for walleye and bass. They are the perfect head to give a completed look to my hair jigs. I normally use 6 or 8-pound Gamma Polyflex on French Creek, but during the coldest water temperatures of the year, I go with 4-pound Gamma.”

    Prize Pack for this issue of Fishing Report is being supplied by: Booyah and Yum
    The winning contributor of the prize pack is: Chub Hornstein

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


  3. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 11/11/12

    by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: November 11, 2012
    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

    Late fall in NW PA. That means it is steelhead time in the tributaries of Lake Erie, walleye time on select inland lakes and smallmouth bass time/walleye on the Allegheny River. Sure there are other species biting as well, like crappies at Shenango and perch in Presque Isle Bay. But steelhead, walleye and smallmouth bass get the lion’s share of anglers’ attention – as you can see in the Livewell photos. One of the top lures for walleye, smallmouth bass and even large crappies at this time of year is the blade bait. It’s my favorite for big smallies. On the Gamma Line Tips Page, contributor Destin DeMarion shares some information about the blade bait he has been using for the last couple years. The photo at the right is Dave Lefebre with blade-caught walleye on Pymatuning Lake this past weekend.

    NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA FISHING REPORT for November 11, 2012

    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

    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 11-12: “The walleye bite on French Creek has been pretty good with the increase flow from Super Storm Sandy. One of my buddies got a 30” and 28” walleye on Sunday. Last Thursday I was out on the creek. While I didn’t land a fish, another buddy caught 7 walleye with the biggest going 28 inches. Live creek bait is the ticket.”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Pymatuning Lake
    Dave Richter (Richter’s Grocery) filed 11-12: “The water level has come up some, making it easier for anglers to launch boats. As can be expected, the blade bait bite for walleye is in full swing – with the Vib-E in black & white shad being the number one seller at the store. The majority of fishermen in boats are after walleye, although a few are trolling for musky. No musky reported, but walleyes are being taken in moderate numbers. Incidental perch are being caught as well. Down at the Jamestown Marina, anglers are catching crappies and bluegills off the docks.”

    Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 11-12: “In the northern portion of the lake, perch have been hitand-miss on the Espyville Causeway; seems both early morning and dusk are best times. Perch are running 9” to 11” with a few 13” to 14” mixed in. Most have been caught on nightcrawlers or minnows fished on the bottom. One angler reported perch action at the Spillway on Saturday. A few walleyes have been caught with crawlers or minnows, too. I’ve seen guys standing on the bridges on the causeway using blade baits, but I don’t know if they were successful or not. There are a few boaters trolling or musky, but no reports on that either.”

    Dave Lefebre (Erie) filed 11-11: “I came down to Pymatuning for the weekend to catch walleyes. I fished with Danny Jones on Saturday and Jimmy Lunsford on Sunday. On Saturday, I ended up with a limit of ‘eye but it took all day. The largest fish landed was 25 inches, and I lost a couple nice ones on the way to the boat. Numerous sublegal fish were caught, but the bigger ones either were not biting or simply weren’t in the areas I had found them last year at this time. When the bluebird skies appeared on Sunday, the bite really soured; I landed only two legal walleye – both around 18 inches. All the fish were taken on blade baits, including Vib-E and Heddon Sonar. I don’t think the particular brand of blade was as important as the color of the blade. The hottest blade was an orange and chartreuse Vib-E model; Heddon doesn’t offer the Sonar in the brighter, bolder colors.”

    Conneaut Lake
    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 11-12: “This past week I was on Conneaut with my friend Brain; he is first mate on a perch head boat on Erie and a serious musky fisherman. At Conneaut, we caught a 29” northern on a big musky jerkbait before I had to leave. Brian continued fishing, switching to trolling with planer boards. He hooked a monster of a fish – likely a musky – but lost before he could see it. The previous week, he was fishing Edinboro and had a 50” musky to the side of the boat.”

    ERIE COUNTY
    Presque Isle Bay
    Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait) filed 11-12: “Presque Isle Bay isn’t fishing up to expectations this past week. Things are slow. Anglers are catching some perch on the North Pier and in Marina Lake off the docks. The crappies have slowed way down. They are catching some steelhead from shore over at the Waterworks. The bay water had been stirred up by Sandy two weeks ago but has cleared up pretty good now. Hopefully the bite will pick up.”

    Paul Stewart (Butler) filed 11-12: “I went up to Erie for steelhead fishing on Sunday the 11th, but the creeks were very low and clear, and there were heavy crowds at the pools. So we went to Plan B and did some Presque Isle Bay pier fishing for perch. We hooked two dozen, keeping one dozen of the larger ones. Nice bonus was my buddy Mike LeDonne caught what appeared to be a moon eye!”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 11-12: “I was down to the Bay after Super Storm Sandy went through over a week ago. The Bay was a dark green color and small perch were the only thing hitting; the main lake was muddy. However, I’ve been down fishing the Bay the last couple days, and the perch fishing has picked up. The perch are hitting minnows on 2-hook crappie rigs and small jigs tipped with a minnow or maggot. I caught 20 perch with the biggest being 13 inches – the bite is just starting as more perch move into the Bay. With the cold front coming this week, perch catches may pick up as the water temperature drops.”

    Danny Jones (North East) filed 11-11: “I was fishing on PIB the day that the remnants of Sandy blew through, getting off by noon before the big wind. I caught 20 largemouth bass with the largest going 3.5 pounds. I have not been back since. I did fish Pymatuning for walleye over the weekend; we caught some perch that easily rival the size of Lake Erie perch.”

    Erie Tributaries
    Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards) filed 11-12: “The high water from Sandy brought a lot of fresh fish into the streams – both steelhead and browns. Despite the creeks being back to low and clear after the hurricane rains two weeks ago, steelhead fishing was pretty good over the weekend. Early morning and late afternoon (after 2 PM) being the best times. Fish are in the deeper holes and shaded areas. Minnows and single eggs have been best for spin fishermen, while fly fishermen have had best success with lightcolored sucker spawn flies and black Wooly Buggers. We’ve had wind from the south for several days, so the shoreline fishermen have been doing well, especially at the mouth of Trout Run. They are casting the lake with spoons and skein.”

    Craig (Trout Run Bait) filed 11-12: “When the lake has been flat, anglers have been making killing in the lake at the creek mouths on brown trout and steelhead. Lakeshore fishermen are using nightcrawlers, egg sacks and Little Cleo Spoons. With the stream levels way down, stream success is limited to the bigger, deeper pools – it’s more being there at the time the fish turn on. Here are some of the fish brought to the shop this week: 7 lb. 5 oz. and 8 lb. 8 oz. browns from Walnut; 8 lb. brown from Elk; 7 lb. brown from mouth of Trout Run; and a 14 lb. 12 oz. salmon – yes, salmon – from Walnut Creek. Anglers stopping at the shop are averaging 3 to 4 steelhead per trip.”

    Ric Gauriloff (Trout Run Bait) filed 11-12: “It’s been a great week of fishing. Streams are clear but with good flow and new fish from Sandy’s rain. Not a ton of fish but anglers are catching decent numbers. The Lake was hot all week with lots of fish caught on spoons, egg patterns and Berkley Power Bait: small black jigs with maggots were also working.”

    Dan Seaman (Elk Creek Sports) filed 11-12: “We had phenomenal fishing in the creeks for fresh fish the first weekend after Sandy blew through and streams dropped fishable levels. But streams are now back to low and clear. The expected rain on Monday and Tuesday will hopefully help, but we must wait to see how much we get. All the fish I’ve checked since Sandy have been fresh run with hard skein. The average steelhead is 7 to 8 pounds.”

    Dennis Beggs (Franklin) filed 11-12: “Kim Slye and I had a good day on the Erie shore on Saturday, catching a total of 9 fish (six of which we are getting smoked). The two brown trout we landed were the nicest browns I have ever seen – we released them. Kim went back on Sunday and landed both a steelhead and a brown. The brown, similar to the two we caught on Saturday, was 7 lbs. 14 oz. – qualifying for a PA Awards Citation. I bet half the fish we caught on Saturday qualified for PA Citations. It was a great weekend off the shore for steelhead and brown trout. Everyone was catching fish when they turned on at mid-day. Egg sacks, Berkley Power Bait, sucker spawn flies, jigs and small rubber worms were all taking fish. What FUN!”

    Grady Codd (Mars) filed 11-10: “I fished Elk Creek over the weekend. The creek was low and very clear. The hurricane of two weeks ago blew most of the steelhead back down the stream but brought in new fresh steelhead. The rain also cleaned the stream, making fishing more enjoyable. Our fish were taken on egg sacks and Wooly Buggers. I was also up just before the streams became unfishable with Sandy’s rain, and caught nine steelheads that day on spawn sacks and Wooly Buggers.”

    Ed Phillips (New Castle) filed 11-9: “My wife and I went to Twenty Mile Creek on Tuesday afternoon and started at the Tomato Patch. The stream was very clear and pretty low so the fish were easy to see when you could find a school of them. We did notice that with all the recent rain we had the high water fill in some of the holes we usually fish. We headed upstream and found a hole with about 6 fish and my wife managed to catch one nice female on a small nymph. I hooked one on a small nymph but lost him after about a 5 minute fight. We then went to the mouth of the stream and found a large number of them in the first pool about 100 yards from the mouth. The flow was very slow and we could not get a hookup and didn’t see anyone else get one either – with the exception of an occasional foul hooked fish. They were so stacked up in the small pool it was hard not to foul hook fish. On Wednesday morning, we started again at the Tomato Patch but this time went downstream. We found a nice pool with about 20 fish in it but the flow was very slow and they were very spooky. However, my wife again managed to get another hookup on a small nymph. Later in the afternoon we went back upstream and found a small school of about 6 fish and they were pretty active, especially at the tail of the pool just before it went in the rapids. I finally caught a small male which put up a nice fight and went airborne 3 or 4 times. All things considered there was a few fish in the stream but nothing close to what I expected after the big rain we had, and nothing like it was in past years. But it was a nice day on the creek, and a couple fish is hard to beat.”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Shenango Lake
    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 11-10: “I fished Shenango on Friday the 9th. Water level in the reservoir is back up so I fished the deep brush. Crappies were very active. They hit Road Runners tipped with Southern Pro bodies. The bigger crappies were just over 16 inches. The upcoming warm spell should send the crappies shallow for a while. I’ll keep you posted.”

    Lake Wilhelm
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 11-11: “Anglers are catching crappies and bluegills plus some decent perch off the marina docks. They are tipping small jigs with waxies and maggots.”

    Note: Laurie Frantz at R&L Bait & Tackle announced she has closed her bait shop until spring.

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Allegheny River
    Destin DeMarion (Grove City) filed 11-12: “I made it up to Allegheny River at Oil City yesterday and was greeted with a beautiful 65 degree day. There were many other boats on the river enjoying the good weather, and it appeared many fish were being caught. I caught 20 smallmouths in the 2.5 to 4 pound range on a variety of baits. Fish came from shallow and deep water – from 2 feet to 20 feet. My bigger fish were taken on a 3/8-oz. white/chartreuse Whip ‘Em Spinnerbait, Picasso Shake-E-Football jigs with craw trailers, and 1/2-oz. gold Binsky Blade. I attached photos of the bigger fish. I was also up on the river the previous Sunday. But then I was greeted with temperatures in the low 30s and high muddy water. There was only one other boat on the water. My girlfriend Meghan braved the cold, too – what a trooper! We managed to catch 15 smallies and 1 northern pike. All bass came on Whip ‘Em Spinnerbaits. The pike ate a big swimbait dipped in JJ’s Magic. I attached photos from that day as well.”

    Dale Black (Oil City) filed 11-12: “I fished the river on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this week. On Friday, in just two hours I caught 1 walleye and six smallmouths in the 16” to 20” range. Fishing with a buddy on Saturday, we caught 25 to 30 smallmouths on tubes and drop shot Dingers. All fish were in the 15” to 20” range. Then today, the 12th, I fished alone for a couple hours, catching six bass from 16” to 19” on tubes. There were a lot of boats on the river and I could not fish my favorite spots.”

    Steve Udick (Oil City) filed 11-12: “I headed to the river on Saturday, November 10, hoping to get some walleyes out of the Honey Hole. River had dropped over a foot and clarity is lots better than last week. After thirty minutes of throwing a Shad Rap without a strike, I switched rods and threw a Zoom Super Fluke. On the fourth cast a nice bass smashed the minnow imitator hard. It must have ignited the school. In the next 30 minutes I had eight bass in the 13” to 17” range. Most came on a Green Pumpkin Magic Super Fluke – a color I have not had much success with in the past. The sun came out about 10:30 AM and ended the bite. I managed just two more bass in the next hour. I had not fished Flukes so late in the year before; the water temperature was 42 degrees yet I caught 10 smallmouths on them. On Sunday, the 11th, I was on the river at 7:30 AM. No fish in the shadows where I caught them on Saturday. S0 I moved up river into the sunlight and picked up five bass – nice fat smallies. One had a lamprey on it. I’m impressed with the way smallmouth were slamming Flukes!”

    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 11-12: “On November 9th, I caught 6 bass in the river – 4 by slow-rolling a spinnerbait. On November 11th, I caught 5 bass – 2 on a spinnerbait, 2 on a Galida Grubz and 1 on a tube.”

    Gene Winger (Oil City) filed 11-12: “On November 3, I did a change of pace and tried my luck fishing Pithole Creek. Using a #2 Black and Gold Panther Martin Spinner, I picked up six average-size brown trout in about two hours. On November 8, I was back on the river. The river was still high from hurricane Sandy and visibility was about two feet. We fished the deeper sections of the pool in the morning, picking up only a couple bass. In the afternoon we moved into four to six feet of slower moving water and boated 11 nice bass on Winco’s CW Smallies Delight. With water temperature in the lower 40s, I think the bass decided to move into the shallows for a little mid-day sun bathing!”

    Gamma Line’s Fishing Tips and Forecast for NW PA Waters

    Contributor Destin DeMarion’s tip on the Binsky Blade earns him a spool of Gamma Polyflex Line

    (Editor’s Note – When water temperature drops below 50 degrees in NW PA, blade baits become one of the hottest lures for smallmouth bass, walleyes, white bass, big crappies and just about any fish that swims in our waters. The Heddon Sonar is the granddaddy of blade baits, but there are many similar baits. Practically every walleye angler at Pymatuning in the late fall is using a blade. For a complete overview of blade baits for coldwater smallmouth, check out the 2013 January/February issue of BASSMASTER which carries my article on the subject. Right now, while blades are hot, here are comments from NW PA Fishing Report contributor Destin DeMarion on a relatively new blade bait that many Pennsylvania anglers are not familiar with.

    “The Binksy Blade is the most unique blade bait on the market right now. Stephen Carey (Fish Sense Lures) is constantly working to improve and create new variations of the original Binsky. At first, the Binsky was available in a 1/2 ounce model in gold and silver. Now it is available in 1/4 and 3/4 ounce models, with the 3/4 ounce model the size of most 1/2 ounce models. Carey offers the Binsky in Sexy Shad color (what fisherman doesn’t love sexy shad) and Chartreuse/Blue – never seen in other blade baits. Check them out at www.fishsenselures.com. Another difference is the unmistakable vibration this lure puts off. Hold one rod in each hand, with a Binsky tied to one and a Silver Buddy tied to the other; drop bait into water column and pump each. The difference is amazing. I like to fish the Binsky in cold water situations, but don’t pigeon hole it to being just a coldwater bait. Anytime fish are deep, the Binsky can catch them. I like fishing Binsky on braid for increased sensitivity and better hooksets in deep water. Rule of thumb: less is more in cold water – with a shrinking strike zone in cold temperatures, less movement of lure is better trigger. With a blade bait you can stay right on top of the fish. Keep your rod close to the water and employ short jerks to make the lure jump short distances on semi-slack line. You want to keep the rod low in order to react with a bigger hook set. Bites can be subtle. Many times the line will stop unexpectedly – set the hook. The snap/drop cadence is very important. Once you find the right cadence, stick with it until the fish tell you otherwise. “– Destin DeMarion, tournament bass angler

    Prize Pack for this issue of Fishing Report is being supplied by: Booyah Baits and Yum
    The winning contributor of the prize pack is: Ed Phillips

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


  4. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 10/29/12

    by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: October 29, 2012
    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

    Last week, outdoor writer Bud Cole from eastern Pennsylvania discovered firsthand how low and clear the Erie steelhead tributaries were running, and why everyone wanted water. “Careful what you wish for,” he said. Well, the much needed rains have finally arrived – unfortunately all at once. Thankfully, our area did not receive the devastation of the East Coast but we are experiencing some minor setbacks. Steelhead streams are blown out. Many other inland creeks are over their banks in low spots. This morning, 10/30, the Allegheny River gauge at Franklin is 8 feet and rising rapidly (flow had been around 3 feet). It will be sometime before fishing can resume on the Allegheny and French Creek. On the bright side, the high water moved steelhead into the streams. As French Creek and the Allegheny slowly drop and clear a bit, fishing for bass, walleye and musky will likely be very good for November – as long as water temps hold in the 40s. And the levels of Pymatuning and Shenango lakes are rising in time for late fall crappie and walleye fishing.

    NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA FISHING REPORT for October 29, 2012

    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

    Dusin Shay (Meadville) filed 10/26: “I’ve been archery hunting rather than fishing the last couple weeks. I did have one great day on smallmouth, with several smallies between 14 and 17 inches –taken on live chubs. My brother has been fishing walleyes on the Creek when he has time. Not catching any big ones yet, but getting some small ones on creek-caught shiners.”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Pymatuning Lake
    Editor’s Note: The water level at Pymatuning Lake has been steadily dropping all summer through fall due to lack of summer rainfall (and no snowpack last winter). In recent weeks, anglers have encountered great difficulty getting boats off and on trailers. Many fishermen have thrown in the towel on launching. But the current rains will be revitalizing the fall fishing opportunities on Pymatuning – see message below from park manager.

    John Houghton (Pymatuning State Park Manager) filed 10/29: “In my opinion, with rain that is predicted we will be able to reach our normal winter pool level of 1006 – 1006.5 feet ASL. With the shorter days and the ground saturated, this should not be a problem if we do in fact receive the rain predicted from Hurricane Sandy. We will then attempt to maintain that level though the winter season and build up to 1008 foot level in the spring. The lake was down to a level of 1004.91 but today we are at 1005.25 and rising. Jamestown launch appears to be very usable by recent boat traffic and by week’s end it should be back to user friendly.” Houghton also stated that a rumor that Pymatuning was being drawn down another couple feet to work on the dam was “absolutely false.”

    Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 10/29: “The only reports I have involved anglers catching perch on nightcrawlers from the causeway; been a bad week for fishing.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 10/25: “I fished Pymatuning today, 10/25. Fishing was real slow. It took me five hours to put 6 keeper size crappies in the boat. Lots of boats out today, but I didn’t see anyone doing anything. Talked to a few guys at the ramp and they had nothing. Hope the bite picks up in the next few days for both crappies and walleyes.”

    Dan Wielobob (Conneaut Lake) filed 10/25: “Chub Hornstein and I fished Pymatuning yesterday. My trip the previous week only yielded a few perch and couple crappies – no keeper walleyes. On the 24th, Chub and I hit our favorite fall spots with blade baits. In several hours of fishing, we caught one legal walleye. There were a number of boats fishing our general area but we did not see one bent rod among them.”

    Norman Brakeman (Hills County Store) filed 10/17: “Lesley, my son Zac and I were on Pymatuning today, 10/17. We beat the wind by drifting with a drift sock and caught a nice basket of good size perch. The trick was keeping contact with the bottom, using ball jigs tipped with live minnows. We focused on sites where small feeder creeks and ditches dropped into the main river channel.”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 10/17: “The morning of 10/17, Darl and I fished Pymatuning for almost four hours, looking for walleyes and crappies using blade baits. There were tremendous baitfish schools visible on our new Garmin Echo 550c. Some arches may have been crappies stacked up below baitfish. And a few bottom blimps that may have been walleyes. But nothing appeared to be feeding. We didn’t have a single bite the entire morning. There were at least 20 boats in the south end, and I didn’t see one person catch a fish.”

    Conneaut Lake
    Jim Hall (Meadville) filed 10/29: “Little to report. On the 25th, I fished Conneaut, catching some pike, small bass, bluegills and perch. The perch and bluegills were in 24 feet of water, caught on pieces of nightcrawler. I’m sill looking for that big fall musky.”

    William Logsdon filed 10/25: “My son and I fished Conneaut Lake last Sunday, 10/21. We only managed 1 largemouth bass on a Zoom Fluke in Baby Bass color. Also had 1 pike follow a lure to the boat. But that was it. We marked a lot of fish but we couldn’t get them to bite. We usually do well at Conneaut. When we were taking out at Fireman’s Beach, a couple guys from the Pittsburgh area were launching. They had been at Presque Isle Bay in the morning but zeroed out. Where’s the fall feeding frenzy? I’ll wait to hear some encouraging fishing reports before heading back to Conneaut any more this fall.”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) 10/17: “Following an unsuccessful morning at Pymatuning, we stopped by Conneaut Lake for the late afternoon bite. Darl talked to two guys taking out as we prepared our boat. They had been to Erie in the morning, got blown off and stopped by Conneaut for the afternoon. But they had not had a bite on Conneaut. Darl and I initially fished shallow for smallmouth – but not a single strike, not even from a pike. Ater seeing good fish marks in the 25 to 40 foot depths – meaning the thermocline had broken – we went deep with new Binsky Blade Baits we were testing. Darl hooked one small crappie from 29 feet, released it but it floundered on the surface only feet from the boat. As we prepared to motor over to pick up the crappie, in the corner of my eye I saw what I thought was a gull diving down to grab the fish. However, it was a mature balk eagle which dropped down right beside the boat to take the fish! What a sight! Minutes later it came back and hovered above the water near us looking for another throwback. Darl snapped a photo on this pass, but we didn’t have any more fish to offer it!”

    Dan Wielobob (Conneaut Lake) filed 10/17: “I fished Conneaut for a couple hours, searching the deepwater for white bass. No white bass, but I caught a few small crappies on Vib-E Blade baits.”

    ERIE COUNTY
    Presque Isle Bay
    Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait) filed 10/29: “The word for the Bay is ‘Crappies’ – some very nice crappies are being taken around docks on emerald shiners, small jigs and Gulp Alive! Minnows. There was a nice walleye taken off the North Pier, plus steelhead in Marina Lake and East Pier. Perch fishing has been spotty.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 10/19: “I went looking for minnows today at the usual spots, but found no bait. I talked to anglers at the usual spots. An angler on the Border Dock had a nice brown trout. At Mill Creek, I saw an angler catch a steelhead on red egg below a bobber. On South Pier I saw a man with a bass; someone else was catching perch on live minnows. We need cooler temps and rain.”

    Lake Erie – Main Lake
    Desin DeMarion (Grove City) filed 10/25: “My friend, Justin Lonchar the founder of the Slippery Rock Bass Team and owner of Hookset clothing, invited me to fish Erie for smallmouth with him this past week. We got up there at daybreak and fished unil 2 PM. We checked some of his spots and went searching for new stuff, but managed only a few bass. However, we found a pod of quality smallmouth from 3.5 to 5 pounds in 15 to 18 feet of water. I was drop-shotting a goby style bait and throwing Zerek Innovations Giant Rudy Crankbait. Justin managed to catch his biggest fish on a Provider Tackle Smoke Tube. We fished 6 to 45 feet of water, but only caught bass at 35 feet and 15 to 18 feet. The bite was
    better in the afternoon.”

    Erie Tributary Streams
    Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards Bait) filed 10/29: “Well, the creeks are blown out today and for the next several days as the hurricane rains push in. But as the creeks were rising and getting some color the other day, fishing was good as fresh steelhead began moving in; Black Wooly Buggers for fly fishermen and egg sacks for bait fishermen. If the rains let up by Thursday as predicted, then this coming weekend should be the best fishing of the fall. It will only take 24 to 48 hours for high and muddy tributaries to drop to fishable levels – and there will be whole bunch of fresh steelhead in them! As the water clears some, go to softer colors Wooly Buggers. By the way, last week we weighed our biggest steelhead of the season so far – a 17.5 pounder taken from the mouth of Elk Creek.”

    Dan Seaman (Elk Creek Sports) filed 10/29: “Two days ago when the rains arrived and the creek started rising, they were catching 14 to 15 pound steelhead. Even though the creeks will be unfishable for several days, we need the additional rain. We had to lose a couple days of angling in order to get a good run of fish into the streams. This rain is also going to clean out the silt that has accumulated for two seasons of low water and flush all the leaves. In that sense, the hurricane was a good thing for us.”

    Mike Tome (Trout Run Bait) filed 10/29: “High, muddy and over the banks – that’s where we will be on Tuesday. But look on the bright side – we needed the water to bring in fish and flush the streams. It will be like new creeks when water recedes with some holed filled in and new ones created. Come next weekend, steelhead will be biting on everything.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 10/28
    - 10/17 “I went to Four Mile Creek. Not many fish in the creek. Fish were easily spooked. One thing they hit was Power Bait Honey Worms. I lost six fish”
    - 10/24 “Went to look at Upper Walnut behind the Millcreek Mall. It was low and clear; saw 30 smaller trout; had two fish hit my single red egg.”
    - 10/28 “Some people had been saying the steelhead run is over for the year since they weren’t moving into the streams. But the run is just staring. With this rain, the streams are on the way up the last few days and fish are moving – good numbers in Four Mile, Sixteen Mile and Twenty Mile over the weekend. With rising water, fish are hitting Fire Ball Eggs and Black Wooly Buggers.

    Bud Cole (Northampton) filed 10/28: “My friend and I fished the steelhead streams on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. With the water gin clear, fishing was tough. We even fished with a guide on Elk Creek on Thursday aternoon and didn’t have a strike. We could see the steelhead stacked up in the deeper pools, but they had no interest in anything. I caught a nice 9 pounder in the lake on Tuesday evening just before dark near the mouth of Trout Run. And one about 4 pounds on Elk Creek before dark on Wednesday. My buddy didn’t catch a fish. I attached a photo of my 9 pounder. Everyone was wishing for rain; beware of what you wish for!”

    Ed Phillips; filed 10/24: My wife Terry and I went to Twenty Mile Creek on Monday for steelhead. As everyone else has been reporting, the water level was very low, but more importantly, we didn’t see many fish. We started at the Tomato Patch and went downstream all the way to the cable. We saw a couple guys with one to three fish, but in most of the holes where we usually see 10 to 30 fish, we didn’t see any or only a couple. It was very disappointing. We then went to near the mouth of the creek to check holes that would normally have 20 to 40 fish, but saw only a few. On the positive size, I did manage to land a nice big male brown trout which was my personal best. But in the rush to get him back in the water, I forgot to save the picture to my phone so all I have is his memory.”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Shenango Lake
    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 10/26: “I fished Shenango on 10/22 and 1/23. The crappie bite was tough. I noiced there was some kind of bug hatch going on. I did manage to put a few nice fish in the boat both days. Not many over 11 inches – keeping only 9 crappies on Monday and 7 crappies on Tuesday. I got them from areas with rocky bottom rather than mud. Southern Pro Jigs tipped with Berkley Crappie Nibbles put all the fish in the boat those two days.
    “But oh what difference a day or two can make. I fished Shenango today, 10/26, and caught crappies. It was a beautiful morning at 62 degrees and very little wind. Hang sliding Southern Pro Grubs over deep open water stumps caught a variety of sizes with lots of keepers. I took 30 crappies off one spot before the bite slowed. I headed to the shoreline stumps and brushpiles, and caught over 20 more on a 1/32 ounce sickle hook jighead with a Lunker City Fin-S-Fish body suspended below a bobber. I sill love seeing that little bobber disappear when the slab grabs the jig. Water temp was 58 degrees at noon when I finished for the day. There’s sill some good fishing to come.”

    Lake Wilhelm
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 10/29: “The only reports coming to the shop regard the bluegills being caught around Launch #4. Hardly anyone fishing Wilhelm this fall.”

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Allegheny River
    Jody Maurer (Maurer’s Trading Post) filed 9/28: “I’m new to this email stuff. I would very much like to participate in your Fishing Reports. What I’m seeing right now is a decrease in number of anglers on the water due to archery season and small game hunting. The diehard fishermen are picking up walleye in the river and in French Creek, mainly on jig-n-curly tail or jig-n-minnow. I talked to two fishermen who caught legal muskies – one on a Sucker-colored Grandma Lure and the other on a Black Mepps Muskie Spinner; both muskies were released to fight another day. Some walleye and smallmouth are being caught on Gitzit type tube jigs. “

    Lou Letterle (Franklin) filed 10/29: “I fished the Allegheny a couple times in the last week. I caught a few decent fish, but overall I have struggled to catch very many bass, and in my last three trips I did not even catch a walleye. For me, the artificial baits are currently out-producing live creek chubs and suckers. The few fish I have caught came on Winco’s River Darters, 4-inch grubs and Yamamoto Senko worms rigged wacky-style. However, I continue to catch my share of weeds and leaves!”

    Gene Winger (Oil City) filed 10/29:
    - 10/18: “Water temperature was in the lower 50 degree range and with an afternoon storm forecast, I decided to fish the deeper pool in the Reno Eddy. Using Winco’s River DarterWinco’s Swim Bait and Winco’s CW “Smallies” in ten feet of water, I picked up two nice bass. As the wind increase I moved up river to the Oil City Eddy picking up numerous bass in 16 to 20 feet of water using CW “Smallies” and Winco’s Undulator Jigs. It seems smaller jigs fished on the bottom with slow drag-stop-drag retrieve was the killer combination for the day. I landed over 15 bass before the storm chased me off. Everyone talks about how great the Fall Bite is on the Allegheny River… now I’m a believer!”
    - 10/25: “George Sisul and I fished a full day on the Oil City Eddy. Focusing on the deeper sections of the river, George used live minnows on a dropshot rig and I used Winco’s CW “Smallies” and Undulator Jigs. Live minnows produced four bass and a catfish for George, and I landed ten bass and missed about that many on jigs. Over all, we were impressed with the size of the bass, ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 pounds – good indicator that Catch and Release fishing is positive on the river.”

    Steve Udick (Oil City) filed 10/28: “On Wednesday, 10/24, my wife Sharon and I fished the lower end of Rockmere, catching 14 smallmouth bass – 13 of them behind one rock! All were from 15 to 17 inches. All fish came on Zoom Super Flukes in Watermelon Candy, Watermelon Magic or Disco Violet; my wife had never thrown Flukes for bass before. On 10/26, I fished with Dave Rembold of Rockmere. We fished all his favorite spots in the upper eddy, catching only three bass. Winds, leaves and grass were terrible. It was so bad you could not complete a retrieve without fouling. I had to clean the jet intake out seven times. Walleye season is on us now, once the river gets flushed out from this storm I will be back running Rapala Shad Raps for the late season.”

    Dale Black (Oil City) filed 10/22: “I fished the Allegheny on 10/21 in my boat, while Darl Black and Jonathan Custead fished out of Darl’s boat. Darl caught his largest river smallmouth of the year – a 20-incher – on a Get Bit Tube and lost a couple other big ones at the boat. I landed about 25 bass, plus a four pounder which jumped by the boat and got off. All fish came by shaking a Yum Dinger on the bottom.”

    Desin DeMarion (Grove City) filed 10/22: “Entered in the Bassmasters of Crawford County tournament on Sunday, I fished the river from my boat for the first ime. Even though a tournament, it was sort of practice day since I had not fished here before. It ended up a very fun day, figuring out new water. My four bass limit went 11.10 pounds and I had two over 3 pounds. I caught most of the bass by dropshotting various minnow-like soft plastic but my biggest smallmouth came on a BPS XPS Swimbait.”

    Duff Kerle, filed 10/22: “I fished the Bassmasters of Crawford County tournament on the Allegheny River on 10/21. Ben Lipiec won with four smallmouths weighing just over 14 pounds. I had lunker with a 5.94 smallmouth taken on a Berkley Gulp 3” Leech. Congratulations to Eric Marsh for getting Angler of the Year.”

    (Editor’s Note: Duff’s lunker bass is the heaviest officially weighed smallmouth coming out of the Middle Allegheny that I am aware of in the 20 years I’ve been fishing the river. Congratulations Duff!)

    Gamma Line’s Fishing Tips for NW PA Waters

    Fishing Tip - Report contributor Gene Winger wins a spool of Gamma Polyflex Line for his tip:
    “I’m not your typical rookie bass fisherman. When I turned 60, I decided to purchase a jet boat and get into the river fishing – to gear up for retirement. The first thing I did was drain my bank account at Cabela’s on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and spinners – you name it, I purchased it. The problem was all those fancy lures were not catching many bass. Then I started reading the NW PA Fishing Report, and it seemed river bass anglers were using sot plastic baits like wacky worms, Predator Craws, River Darters and other sot jerkbaits. I contacted Al Winco whose products were frequently mentioned by anglers. Al was willing to spend time discussing his products and explaining how to use them! Bottom line, I’m now hooked on Winco’s Custom Baits and my bass fishing has improved 10 fold. If you want to catch smallmouth as the water cools down next month, check out some of Winco’s Custom Baits specifically made for coldwater smallmouth, including Chillee Willee/Undulator Finesse Kit, CW Smallie Delight and Rabbit Hare Jigs.”

    Lure prize pack for this issue of Fishing Report supplied by: Gene Larew Lures
    Included are a pack of Bile Bugs, a pack of the new Rattlin’ Crawler and pack of Hardhead football heads. The hardhead is the lure which bass pro Tommy Bile has used the last four years to win over $400,000.00! Tommy says it is an easy lure to fish: “Rig a Bile But or Rattlin’ Crawler on the Hardhead, cast it out, let it settle to the bottom, and simply wind it back while keeping contact with the bottom.”
    The winner drawn for the lure prize pack is: Duff Kerle

    Important Notice from PA Fish & Boat Commission: Beginning November 1 and lasting through April 30, boaters are required to wear a life jacket while underway or at anchor on boats less than 16 feet in length or any canoe or kayak, under a new state regulation.

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


  5. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 10/15/12

    December 14, 2012 by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: October 15, 2012
    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

    It’s mid-October. The next four to six weeks will be some of the best fishing of the entire year. Steelhead and brown trout are moving into the Erie tributaries. Largemouth bass in Presque Isle Bay will be chasing emerald shiners unil ice up. The walleye and perch catches at Pymatuning Lake will be astonishing. Trophy smallmouth bass will make an appearance at Conneaut Lake. The coldwater smallmouth bass bite on the Allegheny will be second only to the early spring. French Creek and the Allegheny River will give up more walleyes than any other time of the year. Shenango Lake catches will be dominated by large crappies. Wilhelm may yield largemouth over six pounds. It’s the cooling water that triggers all these reliable bites. And while cooling water is the anglers’ friend, it is also a killer. Fall overboard this time of year and the shock of hitting the cold water will immediately eave you gasping for air, disorient you, and sap your body heat. Argue if you wish about wearing a PFD during the heat of the summer…but only fool will go fishing in the fall, winter and spring without a PFD securely strapped on.

    NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA FISHING REPORT for October 15, 2012

    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

    Dusin Shay (Meadville) filed 10/15: “Fishing in French Creek is very good right now. This past weekend, my brother-in-law and I caught over a dozen smallmouths with the largest going 17-inches and weighing 2.5 pounds – they are putting on weight; all were taken on live chubs and all were released. Little over a week ago, I had 4 days of fishing in a row, landing 31 walleyes, again taken on live bait. These were good-size fish; I released the bigger walleyes and kept several in the 15” to 18” range to eat. I lost a big musky south of Meadville. A little rain to bring the Creek up a tad and give it some color will help the walleye bite; the smallmouth bite should remain strong through October.”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Conneaut Lake
    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 10/5: “I made two trips to Conneaut Lake last week, but didn’t catch a bass. I did, however, land 8 northern pike on large spinnerbaits, including a Strike King Bottom Dweller spinnerbait.”

    Jim Hall (Meadville) filed 10/3: “It’s October so I’m chasing muskies hard right now. Saw another one surfacing on the Conneaut the other day. I heard the Fish Commission took some of the muskies from the Tamarack Lake salvage operaion and put them in Conneaut. However, this week all I saw caught on Conneaut were bluegills!”

    Pymatuning Lake
    Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 10/15: “Perch have been reported off the causeway – most in the 9” to 11” range although some in the 13” range. Use a jighead with #4 or #6 hook, and chunk of crawler or medium-size fathead minnow. Some crappies are being picked up as well. Walleye have taken along the causeway, too, using various methods. Jigheads with white or chartreuse curly-tail and tipped with minnow are very good, plus Lindy Fuzz-E-Grub and Crooked Mouth Tackle Shad Head tipped with minnow. Other anglers are using blade baits. Several limits of walleye reported out of Snodgrass area this week.”

    Norm Brakeman (Hills County Store) filed 10/15: “The word at Pymatuning this week has been perch – jumbo perch. One of the best presentations is the small Hooker Bug jig tipped with maggots or minnow, and fished around gravel points or deep weedlines. Crappies are also hitting in the mid-lake secion. With the perch shallow, I expect walleyes to show up on the points this week.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 10/6: “I fished the Jamestown area of Pymatuning on 9/24 and had a pretty good day. I fished deeper brush by hang gliding jigs, catching nice crappies. I drifted for walleye – but no luck. The walleyes should be moving in and turning on very soon with the cooler water temps. I tried again on 10/4 – sill struck out on walleyes but caught nice perch, crappies and gills. Jig tipped with a Berkley Power Minnow was the best lure.”

     

    ERIE COUNTY
    Lake Erie
    Joe Nichols (Undergroundangler.com) filed 10/5: “The past couple weeks, monster smallies are feeding up shallow on Lake Erie. Crankbaits and IMA Flit 120 jerkbaits have been my best lures. This past Sunday the fish were hot – even in wind and waves we managed 30 bass from 3 to 5.5 pounds.”

    Presque Isle Bay
    Al Nacopoulos (BAC Bait) filed 10/15: “Crappies is the hot bite this past week in the Bay, fishing small jigs and live emerald shiners in 8 to 12 feet of water around docks. Personally, I’ve had my best success with Berkley Gulp! Minnows. Although there are not big numbers of steelhead in the tributaries due to low water, my customers are reporting lots of jumping trout in the Bay. A few steelheads have been taken on minnows from the East and West Piers; with a boat, trolling minnow plugs can be successful. Customers have been catching northern pike and perch from the Ferry Dock at Waterworks; perch on the North Pier; and largemouth bass on city side around the Yacht Club.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 10/13: “With the colder weather, the perch bite is staring to pick up nicely in the Bay. Crappies are also hitting shiners on Eagle Claw Crappie Rigs with some limits being taken.”

    Erie Tributaries
    Matt Hyrcyk (Poor Richards) filed 10/15: “It’s been fairly good start to steelhead season with big fish being taken, even though the overall numbers of trout in the tributaries is way down. Here at Poor Richards, in the past week we had three steelhead over 15 pounds, one over 14 pounds and two over 13 pounds. We are faced with unusually low water so fish are not moving into the streams – lower than normal flow for this ime of year. And when we do get a little burst of rain and creeks come up a tad, the fish that come in are moving upstream rapidly. I’ve had reports of trout already 10 miles up Elk Creek, and there are numbers of fish way up Walnut – further than in recent years. They are also catching good numbers of brown trout in the 5 to 7 pound range, so that stocking program seems to be working. To make this a great steelhead season, we need periodic good rains that will bring the creeks up but not blow them out, but enough precipitaion that they will remain at a good fishable flow.”

    Mike Tome (Trout Run Bait & Tackle) filed 10/15: “The former BAC Trout Run store is under new ownership, and is now called Trout Run Bait & Tackle. I’m now working for the Gauriloffs, and the store is open 7 days a week. Again this fall we are faced with low, clear streams. There are decent amounts of fish moving in but difficult to catch because they are spooked easily. Steelheads in the streams have spread out. We’ve also seen a number of brown trout – they seem to come in waves along with the steelhead. Stream wise, no serious rain expected for the next several days. Late week may bring some change. We need rain, not little showers.”

    Dan Seaman (Elk Creek Sport Store) filed 10/15: “Streams are low and clear, resulting in lower catch rates than we would like to see. Anglers are catching steelhead, but in the fast water rather than pools. And you need to get away from the parking areas on the streams where the fish have been under pressure. Fish are spread out, so take a walk. The successful baits change day to day, including single eggs, live minnows and flies. Trout are in the lake at the mouths of streams, and on decent weather days, anglers in boats and surf casters are getting fish. But yesterday and today, the winds are blowing on shore with heavy surf.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 10/13: Thomas Watral (fishes daily on the tributaries and PIB) began sending in periodic reports of steelhead moving into the tributaries staring on September 28. In the last two weeks, he has been to several east side creeks, and observed steelhead in all of them, with his largest catch to date being a 29 incher. “We are suffering from low water in the tributaries once again. When the water is low and clear, catching steelhead is difficult. There are steelheads already south of I-79 on some of the longer creeks. The baits have been live minnows, small flies and single eggs on 8 or 10-pound test. When the water is very clear, you need to drop to 6-pound test. Down on Four Mile, I observed anglers catching limits of fish on black Wooly Buggers. Remember, most areas of the tributaries are on private property; observe the no trespassing signs, and when you have permission to enter, respect the property owner, don’t litter, and pick up any new litter on the creeks to help keep them open to fishing.”

    Ed Lawrence (Corry) filed 10/1: “My first steelhead of the season was 26 inches long and bit a worm!”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Neshannock Creek
    Bob Shuey (Neshannock Fly Shop) filed 10/15: “Trout were stocked in Neshannock Creek’s special regulaion area on October 2. But low water and leaves are making it very difficult to fish. Now the fish commission wants to stop fall stocking of trout – that’s a bad move!”

    Lake Wilhelm
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait Shop) filed 10/15: “Bluegills are being caught from shore around Launch 4 and off the Sheakleyville Causeway. Use a small jig or ant below a bobber, tipping it with maggot or wax worm. Bluegills are biting from around 2 PM until dusk, then the crappies start up. A few anglers are catching bass from shore, too; a black buzzbait had been the hot lure.”

    Desin DeMarion (Grove City) filed 10/8: “I was on Wilhelm last week for a few hours of fun fishing. There was a lot of shad activity in the shallow water. I managed to land a dozen largemouth bass in the 2 to 3-pound range, but nothing really impressive. Most of the fish came on a Strike King KVD 2.5 crankbait. Also caught a couple on a Whip Em Baits Whip Rig (Alabama rig) and got one on a Whip Em Baits prototype flipping jig.”

    Shenango Lake
    Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait) filed 10/15: “A couple of my customers reported catching a mess of nice channel cats from shore at Big Bend area on the Shenango River. Two other customers caught 30 keeper crappies at the Jamestown end of Pymatuning using both minnows and crawlers. There was some talk of stripers being taken on Shenango Lake but it was second hand information. Other customers were buying large shiners and Jitterbugs to fish for northern pike on Otter Creek – pike seemed to have kicked back on with the cooler water temperatures.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 10/12: “I fished Shenango Lake on 10/11 with Sean Gross. We had a very good day, catching 75 crappies; Sean kept a limit for his freezer. Two of the crappies were 15 inches, and the majority of them were 9 to 11 inches. Most of them were blacks, although a few white crappies were mixed in. We got them in the shallow brush by hang-gliding Southern Pro Jigs, MicroSpoons and Road Runners. We lost quite a few jigs but it was worth it. John Kolodziejski snapped the photo of me with the big crappies at the ramp.”

    Ken sent in a report on 10/6 as well, talking about how strong the big crappie bite was shaping up at Shenango in the shallow water. He made good catches on 9/29 and 10/5 by pitching crappie jigs to cover and with live minnows.

    Mike Kuna (Pittsburgh) filed 10/3: “I was at my lake house in Mercer County for a couple days and invited Darl Black to fish with me. I had found a large school of black crappies on a hump. We anchored and cast to the fish. I was using a LFT Live Baby Shad below a bobber to land fish after fish. Darl was using a variety of other baits, including Bobby Garland Baby Shad, Charlie Brewer Slider Grub and a small long minnow crankbait. It was a crappie on almost every cast for two hours.”

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Allegheny River
    Mike Horrobin (Jigger Tackle) filed 10/15: “While tesing a new prototype musky spinner this week in the river at Franklin, I caught a couple smallies and rolled a very large walleye!”

    Jeff Knapp (Keystone Connection Guide Service) filed 10/15: “A minor boat problem and opening of grouse season has kept me off the water this past week. Prior to that, we’d been catching 25 to 30 smallmouths a day, up to 19 inches, plus a few walleyes. When water temperature dropped to around 60 degrees, bass were staring to show up in classic fall spots – deeper, rock areas – although nicer fish were sill in summer shallow spots near current, too. Rapala X-Raps continue to produce, along with Winco’s River Darter and Undulator. I’ll be grouse hunting the next two weeks and will resume guiding on October 27.”

    Chris Wolfgong (Oil City) filed 10/14: “During Sunday’s FOP bass tournament, Dale and I had a pretty good day on the water. We had a limit of five smallmouth going 14.66 pounds. We caught many fish between 14 and 14.5 inches. Our largest was 18.5 inches, with three over 3 pounds. Just could not get that really big kicker fish. Bass came on Yum Dingers, tubes and my largest one came on a hand-tied bucktail/rabbit fur jig. Fish were in deep, fast water.”

    Gene Winger (Oil City) filed 10/15: “On Thursday, September 27, George Sisul and I fished from Franklin to the islands below Belmar Bridge. I fished the newly improved Winco’s River Darter Sot Jerkbait and George used Winco’s Solid Body River Darters. Thirty minutes into the trip, I had already landed 2 walleyes and couple nice bass, while George was batting zero. After a day of fishing, we netted numerous bass and walleye with George landing the largest bass – a four pounder. To our surprise, the 3.75” River Darter Soft Jerkbait was catching bass 3 to 1 over the 4.75” Solid Body River Darters…very impressive. The next morning I was on the phone with Al Winco to order more baits. Over the next couple weeks, we fished a couple more times. On both trips we found the fishing a little slow but were able to land several nice bass. With water temperatures dropping we’re finding most bass in deeper water near the bottom. Working the River Darter Soft Jerkbait on the bottom with a slow retrieve was a key factor. We are also seeing some action with the Winco C.W. Smallie’s Delight – fishing near the bottom with slow retrieve as well.”

    Steve Udick (Oil City) filed 9/30: Steve’s report was from the last week in September…”With rain and cool temperatures, the grass problem was a little less. Water temps were in the low 60s. I decided to throw a Zoom Super Fluke over scattered weed edges. It turned into a numbers – not size – night; I picked up 22 bass on seven different colors. Several fish were in the 15 to 17 inch range. The next day there was a harsh NE wind. I only managed two bass in open water, floated behind a protected point and caught two more including a 19 incher. I ended up with eight bass for the afternoon, all which I had to work for.”

    Venango trout waters
    Mike Horrobin (Jigger Tackle) filed 10/14: “Some stream fishermen are doing nicely on trout. While at Justus Lake, I saw a couple with two nice rainbow trout; she pointed out that hers was the larger fish! The enclosed brown trout photo was taken by Mr. Frerringer.”

    Mike Laskowski (Oil Creek Oufitters) filed 10/14: “Oil Creek is very low and clear. It is difficult fishing at
    this ime with lots of leaves in the water, but anglers are catching fish on Triple Threat Streamer and nymphs. We should get some Blue Wing Olive and Midge hatches soon.”

    John Hummel (Kennerdell) filed 10/8: “With my youngest son home for the weekend, we decided to try some fall trout fishing on Oil Creek and East Sandy Creek. We had hot and heavy action from creek chubs but no trout. We had the streams to ourselves on perfect October days.”

    Gamma Line’s Fishing Tips and Forecast for NW PA Waters

    Gamma Pro Tip
    Professional bass angler Stephen Browning, member of the Gamma Pro Staff: “Hey guys, one of the things I love to do in the fall is burning a spinnerbait. Use the same size spinnerbait, such as a ½ oz. with double #4 blades but adjust your line size to make it run shallower or deeper. If you want closer to surface, run it on reel with 16-pound line. If you want it running 2 to 3 feet below the surface, go with 14-pound test. When I’m burning the bait, I’m going with Gamma Edge fluorocarbon line because its tough to beat — not a lot of stretch so you get good hook up.”

    Prize Pack for this issue of Fishing Report is being supplied by: Gene Larew Lures

    Included are a packet of Bile Bugs, packet of Rattlin’ Crawler and packet of Hardhead hinged football heads—the bait which BASS Pro Tommy Bile has used the last four years to win over $400,000.00! Tommy says it is an easy lure to fish: “Rig a Bile Bug or Rattlin’ Crawler on the Hardhead, cast it out, let it settle to the bottom, and simply wind it back in keeping contact with the bottom.”

    The winning contributor of the prize pack is: Norman Brakeman

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


  6. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 09/24/12

    by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: September 24, 2012
    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

    Thank goodness September is almost over. With the exceptions of a strong smallmouth bite on the Allegheny (if you could put up with the floating weed strands) and the superb perch fishing on Lake Erie, it seems most anglers were struggling to catch fish during this transition month of fading summer to fall. Now with the water temperatures cooling plus some rain to help ease the low levels of the river and some lakes, most anglers are looking forward to improvement in catches this fall. I know that I am! Some of the best fishing of the year is yet to come.

    NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA FISHING REPORT for September 24, 2012

    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

    Jeff Rushe (Cranberry Township) filed 9/24: “Being a beautiful afternoon on Friday 9/21, a group of us decided to take advantage of the weather and make a combination kayak float/fishing trip for a couple hours. Four of us floated about a mile of French Creek just north of Venango. We caught several smallmouth bass. We used everything from Panther Martin spinners to live minnows. The bass were typically found in the deeper pockets along the bottom or on weed edges. Despite only one sizeable fish being landed, we caught a dozen in the 10” range – all put up a nice fight!”

    Mike Marin (Cochranton) filed 9/23: “John and I fished from Saegertown to Meadville. The water level was very low. John caught the first smallmouth on a tube at the launch before we even got in the kayaks. He caught 4 more bass just below the mouth of Woodcock, and we thought we had a pattern…but didn’t catch another fish the entire float. Go figure! I really thought we would do better.”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY
    Conneaut Lake
    Joe Nichols (Underground Angler) filed 9/24: “I fished Conneaut Lake yesterday because Lake Erie was too rough. I had never been there before, but really had a fun day. Water temperature was 65 degrees and air temperature was in the low 50s. It rained all day. I caught 9 nice bass – both largemouth and smallmouth – plus 6 or 7 pike. I caught the fish on everything from jigs and tubes to crankbaits and spinnerbaits.”

    Mike Marin (Cochranton) filed 9/23: “I fished Conneaut Lake on Friday. The catch was one largemouth on a Rebel Pop R and 5 northern pike on a spinnerbait.”

    Mike Horrobin (Jigger Tackle) filed 9/23: “My dad, who lives on Conneaut Lake, was walking his dog over the weekend and observed a guy catch a 27-inch smallmouth from the lake. The guy measured the fish and released it while my dad watched. That is one heck of a nice smallmouth bass!”

    Jim Hall (Cochranton) filed 9/22: “I stated fishing again last week ater a summer hiatus due to the heat. On Thursday, 9/13, Conneaut Lake temperature was 75 degrees. I caught pike and bass on weed edges. I marked a lot of fish in the 20 to 30 foot range but could not get them to bite. Returned on Sunday, the 15th and caught more pike and bass on curly tail spinner jigs. Other fish were sill in deep water and water temperature was 73 degrees. I fished Conneaut again on Friday, 9/21 from 8:30 AM unil 7:00 PM…but didn’t put a fish in the livewell. Water was 68 degrees, fish were sill marking deep but scattered in the water column. Wind made fishing difficult. I will be on Conneaut Lake from now until freeze-up –especially since I can’t launch at Pymatuning any longer. Hope to have some pics soon.”

    Darl Black (Cochranton) filed 9/21: “I ran over to Conneaut Lake on Friday afternoon for a couple hours to check on possible shallow smallmouth bass activity and to see if the big bluegill were biting. According to sonar, thermocline appeared to be set around 28 feet and there were lots of scattered fish in the 20 to 28 foot depths – but after drifting a small hair jig tipped with minnow, I decided nothing down deep was hungry. A couple quick casts to favorite smallmouth points with rattle baits did not produce, so I headed home for dinner.”

     

    Pymatuning Lake
    Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store) filed 9/24: “Nothing happening this past weekend at Pymatuning to get excited about. Weather was lousy, and coupled with low water, not many people fishing. A couple of the regulars say they are catching walleyes on Sonar and Vib-E blade baits – chartreuse with red head and shad colors (black/white or blue/white) are doing it right now. Crappies had been biting deep over a week ago until this unsettled weather set it. With recent rains, lake level is holding but not going up.”

    Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 9/24: “With the low water, there is hardly anything going on at this end of the lake. A few guys are picking up some crappies at the causeway…but it’s not a consistent bite.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 9/22: “I fished Pymatuning Lake on Thursday, 9/20. I caught a very nice mixed bag of panfish. The wind wouldn’t let me fish my primary crappie spots so I went to my secondary spots. I found these spots the last time the wind was blowing by drifting while watching my fish-finder and marked every spot that looked like it would and should hold some fish. That work paid off on this trip. I caught crappie, perch and some very nice size bluegills. I got the ‘gills real shallow with a jig/bobber combo; caught the crappie and perch deeper by tossing jigs.”

    ERIE COUNTY
    Lake Erie
    Joe Nichols (Underground Angler) filed 9/24: “I went to Lake Erie last Saturday and had a grand time catching fish on my deepest diving crankbaits. We boated many nice smallmouth, largemouth and walleye. However, be prepared to lose a lot of baits to zebra mussels.”

    Paul Stewart (Butler) filed 9/17: “I fished Erie for perch off the point on Wednesday through Saturday last week. We got our limit each day. The perch were all nice jumbos in the 10” to 12” size – with exception of Saturday when a cold front came thru late Friday and we had to work harder for them the next day and the fish were smaller. Here’s a picture of a perch triple my buddy Mike LeDonne landed, plus a pic of my perch, too.”

    Erie Tributaries
    Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards) filed 9/24: “A few steelheads are staring to show up at the creek mouths. With the slightly higher water this week, some steelheads have moved into the creeks – but all the fish are north of Rt. 5. Right now the water is murky, but will clear in short order. Anglers are catching the fish in the tributaries on minnows, eggs and skein. Other anglers are casing the lakeshore at the mouths of the creeks with Little Cleo’s and KO Wobblers. With this unsettled weather, the lake has been too rough to troll around the creek mouths. Even the perch fishermen have been kept at the dock. This is just the beginning of the steelhead run and better action is ahead. ”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 9/20: “I talked to a man at the bait stand; he told me there was a nice amount of steelhead in the mouth of Elk and Walnut Creek, and the fish were hitting single eggs and minnows. A few steelheads were seen at the mouth of 20 Mile Creek, too. His biggest steelhead was 27 inches. Let’s hope this is the start of a good fall fishing season.” (Editor’s Note: Thomas provides some of his steelhead tips on the Gamma Tips Page.)

    Presque Isle Bay
    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 9/20: “Perch are staring to hit at the North and South Piers on minnows. These perch are running 9 to 10 inches. On 9/17, I stopped by the Border Patrol Building to see how the fishing was. One gentleman was catching nice crappies on minnows.”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 9/16: “We drove to Erie today with two purposes in mind. First objecive was to see the film “Mysteries of the Great Lakes” at the TREC Big Green Screen. Second objective, to fish PIB. Good thing the film was well worth the drive ‘because the fish in PIB were uncooperative!”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Lake Wilhelm
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s) filed 9/24: “I’ve had numerous reports the last week or so on good largemouth bass fishing – finally some exciting news! Largemouth bass brought to the shop this past two weeks ranged from 17 to 21 inches. One young fellow fishing from shore up in the stumps has been catching six or more bass each time out – all on a black buzzbait! There are some bluegills being caught, but no crappies or walleyes to speak of.”

    Joe Nichols (Underground Angler) filed 9/24: “I fished Wilhelm on Friday – caught one bass with a black/blue jig.”

    Shenango Lake and River
    Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait & Tackle) filed 9/24: “It was a slow weekend at the shop – not many out fishing with all the foul weather, rain and wind. I’m getting reports of crappies from Shenango as well as a few stripers. Largemouth bass are being caught, too, although anglers didn’t give specifics. But no walleyes reported from Shenango, and no reports of pike. All species should be getting more active as the water cools through October – it’s always a good month for crappies in particular.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 9/22: “I fished Shenango Lake on Wednesday 9/19. I found smaller crappies biting all over the lake. Most were only 7 to 8 inches – but that’s a good sign for next spring. I did manage to find a few very nice crappies, including a 13-3/4”; 14-1/2”; and 15-incher. I caught these big ones hang gliding over wood in different areas of the lake. The lake should be turning over soon but with the low water, it may not need to. Bite should be picking up by the time of the next Fishing Report in October.”

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Allegheny River
    Lou Letterle (Franklin) filed 9/24: “My wife Donna and I fished the Allegheny for two hours on Friday morning 9/21. We were one of 5 or 6 boats between the launch in Franklin and Belmar Village. Looks like anglers are getting ready for the great fall fishing. The floating weeds are sill present, but the fish were more active. We caught a half dozen bass and a walleye. All bass were caught on sickbaits. Enclosed is a picture of a small walleye caught on a curly-tail grub.”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 9/24: “On Sunday 9/23, Darl and I fished the river south of Franklin for several hours – trying to dodge rain showers. It started out slow until we got into a rile stretch a couple miles south of the launch. Then the action picked up with strike after strike on soft jerkbaits drifting the fast water. Several 10 to 12 inch smallmouths were caught and released. But we put a couple of the bigger bass in the livewell for photos. We stopped to shoot photos after the second drift. But when we went back for a third drift in the same rile, the bass had turned off. All but two fish came on a nosed-hooked slow-sinking Winco River Darter in white. We tried other sot jerkbaits in different colors without success. During the third drift, we lost the last River Darter and then we didn’t have a strike the rest of the morning! Winco rules!”

    Gene Winger (Oil City) filed 9/24: “On Thursday morning 9/20, I fished the river between Oil City and Franklin. The first few hours proved very producive, catching several nice-sized bass on Winco’s 3” Baby Sickworms. Small baits seemed to the choice of the day. Then the wind changed and what started out as a weed-free river turned into a jungle. Ater a couple more hours of fighing floaters and no bass, I gave up and limped my way back to the Oil City Marina. On Friday (9/21), George Sisul and I fished from Franklin to the islands below Belmar Bridge. Again, weeds dominated the day but we did manage to pick up several nice bass on Winco Wacky Worms, Winco River Darters and sick baits. I don’t know if it was just us, or the effects of the wind and cold front, but the bite was slow and we had to work for each bass. The most excitement of the day was watching a groundhog swim the width of the river, almost running into our boat as he neared shore. Who ever said ground hogs can’t swim?”

    Chuck Sari (Franklin) filed 9/23: “Kevin, Reece and I fished the river on Saturday morning. The weeds made it very difficult but we sill managed to catch nine nice bass, including one 19-incher and four walleyes. All were caught on rile runners which were caught in French Creek. The weeds are as bad as I’ve ever seen them. We had to stop many times to clear the water intake on the motor of weeds.”

    Jeff Knapp (Keystone Connection Guide Service) filed 9/23: “My guide trips continue to be very productive. During a trip a few days ago, we boated numbers of fish with several in the 15 to 19 inch range. This past weekend was slower numbers-wise but we sill caught three 17 to 18 inch bass and some smaller ones. During one trip we had two doubles – catching two smallies on the same bait (X-Rap) on same cast. X-Raps and Winco’s River Darters continue to excel. Floating & drifting weeds continue to be a nuisance in many areas.”

    Chris Wolfgong (Oil City) filed 9/17: “Dale and I fished from 2 PM to 4 PM on Saturday 9/15, trying to find last minute spots for the FOP tournament on Sunday. We caught a handful of small fish on Dingers and tubes. I landed a nice 19.5” smallmouth on a SPRO Aruku Shad Jr. lipless crankbait fished over the submerged weeds. We had a good tournament day on the 16th, catching numerous 10 to 12 inch bass. Even took two nice rock bass on a tube jig. All bass we caught in the tournament were on tubes, Yum Dingers and nose-hooked Flukes. Our five best fish weighed 13.27 pounds which included a 3.11 pounder. Most of our fish came from fast water.”

    Darl Black (Cochranton) filed 9/15: “I fished with Dale Black for a couple hours in the afternoon to work on photos for an article. The bite was very slow at first, but as we moved downstream, we found pockets of hungry bass around large rocks in strong current flows. Yum Dingers yielded over a dozen smallmouths up to 16 inches – although the floating weeds made fishing a real chore.”

    Editor’s Note: The FOP Allegheny River Bass Tournament on Sunday, 9/16, was won by Terry Miller and Vanghn Ralston with 15.41 pounds. Rob Genter and Kit Pascarelli were second with 15.36 pounds, while Darren Potts and Dave Manross came in third with 14.62 pounds.

    Gamma Line’s Fishing Tips and Forecast for NW PA Waters

    Gamma Pro Tip: Steve Hughes, local Gamma Pro Staff member, reminds anglers that October is a great month for topwater fishing here in NW PA. “While I like Gamma Edge fluorocarbon for many of my presentations, fluorocarbon is a sinking line so you don’t want to use it for topwater lures. Instead, use Gamma Polyflex.”

    Contributor Tip: With steelhead season upon us, Thomas Watral of Erie offers these ips. “In the Erie tributaries, on a good day my average catch is two steelheads per hour. My most productive baits are minnows, egg roe and cluster eggs. When fly fishing, my most productive flies are the Wooly Bugger and Stonefly Nymph with a 3/0 split shot about 12 inches from the fly. The next time you are fishing for steelhead, try working you spinners and flies with a lit and drop method as you bring the bait past the fish, retrieving just enough to keep slack out of the line; steelhead seem more eager to take the bait on the drop rather than a straight retrieve. When keeping steelhead, be sure to bleed them out as quickly as possible; this way they will taste better. To bleed a fish, stun it with a sharp blow to back of head, and cut two or more gill arches, allowing the circulatory system to pump out most of the blood.”

    “Mysteries of the Great Lakes”…stories of sturgeon and shipwrecks
    Great Lakes sturgeon are few in number but long-lived. It is estimated that 99% of the lake sturgeon are gone. Yet the Wolf River in Wisconsin is sill a good spawning spot for this distinctive species of gentle giants. In the film “Mysteries of the Great Lakes,” you can observe the collection of sturgeon eggs and milt from fish up to 120 years old, and then see 5” youngsters six months later being delivered to 8 rivers in the USA and Canada. This film, which plays daily on the Big Green Screen inside the Tom Ridge Environmental Center at Presque Isle, is also an excellent portrayal of the activities of fishery biologists. The 45-minute production by Science North includes beautiful photography and graphics about these inland freshwater seas. I especially like the low-level aerial images as well as illustrations depicting the progressive effects of glaciation and glacier melting on the Great Lakes. And, who is not stirred by Gordon Lightfoot’s music about the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald? For times of showing, phone 814-838-4123. – Review by Marilyn Black

    UPCOMING EVENTS
    September 30—Shenango River Paddlefest; info 724-927-9483
    October 6 & 7—Antlers and Anglers; info jkocan@agoc.com
    October 14—FOP River Bass Tournament; info ekaheil@comcast.net

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


  7. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 09/10/12

    by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: September 10, 2012
    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

    It’s the time of year that anglers stumble through the summer-into-early-fall transition  Fish seem confused as to what Mother Nature is telling them. On many waters, catch rates shrink until true cool water temperatures arrive in October. However, there are certain key bites happening right now. September smallmouth bite on the Allegheny River and French Creek can be great – especially if using live creek minnows. Surprisingly, the floating frog lure bite for largemouth bass over shallow slop vegetation on lakes is usually excellent in September. If you are interested in bluegills, the big ones are eating minnows in deep water right now – every year at  this time. Although the Erie walleye schools are disappearing, the perch bite remains strong…but not for much longer; friends tell me the size of Erie perch right now is astonishing.

    NORTHWEST PENNSYLVANIA FISHING REPORT for September 10, 2012

    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 9/9: “I’ve been gathering bait from French Creek in order to fish for both smallmouth bass and catfish – both seining hellgrammites and catching creek minnows with hook-n-line. Evening catfish trips have not been productive. But on the other hand, daytime smallmouth bass fishing sure has been great. Over the Labor Day Holiday weekend, my family and I caught and released a lot of smallmouths – with every fish taken on live bait (hellgrammites, rile minnows, chubs and shiners). On Saturday and Sunday, September 1st and 2nd, I alone caught between 85 and 90 smallmouth during four separate trips to different sections of French Creek. Most of the bass were less than 13 inches, but four of them were in the 2.5 to 3 pound range. Justin Shay caught the largest smallmouth – just over 3 pounds.”

    Isaak Hornstein, age 8 (Conneaut Lake) filed 9/3: “During my grandpa’s fish fry on Sunday along French Creek, I went over by the edge of the water by the tent and I got my fishing pole. I used a little Storm Minnow, I casted it out, and I felt something strong, and I thought it was a snag, but it wasn’t because I saw the fish jump out of the water. I reeled it in and when I got my fish on land, it fell off my hook and was rolling down the bank towards the water but I ran over and got on my knees and I wrestled to stop it from flopping. I put my thumb in its mouth and I held it up. I walked around to show it to everybody but I was looking for you, but you had already left. It was a 10 inch smallmouth bass. And today I used my new special worms that you gave me, and I had a huge fish on and I reeled in but it came off.”

    Jeffrey Rushe (Meadville) filed 9/3: “On Sunday, September 2nd, we attended Chub and Judy’s Annual Fish Fry along French Creek. Ater dinner, my 5 year old wanted to fish. Despite the low and clear conditions, he was able to find one hungry little fellow that hit a size #2 Mepps Minnow. This was his first French Creek smallmouth and I hope he has many more in his future. Needless to say, the tug on the end of the line put a big smile on his face.”

    Crawford County
    Pymatuning Lake
    Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store) filed 9/10: “It may sound a bit like a broken record, but there are not a lot of people fishing Pymatuning because they have been scared off regarding all the talk of low water. The truth: launching is the problem not the fishing. Most boats will have problems at all ramps except Jamestown Marina and the ramp near Duck & Drake on the Ohio side, but if you keep your outboard tilted up and use the electric motor to move away from the ramp, you can use several other ramps on the lake as well. Water is low, but the fish are still biting  I had a number of reports of nice crappies being caught in both shallow and deep water this past week, including black crappies in 5 to 6 feet of water around weedbeds. Walleyes are being taken on crawlers and on blade baits. Yes, blade bait season is staring! One customer stopped by with 19-3/4 inch smallmouth – a nice one for Pymatuning. Muskies were beginning to hit two weeks ago, but no reports on them this past week. Better bites are yet to come!”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 9/7: “I fished Pymatuning on 9/4. It was a tough day staring out. The fish had moved from all my usual spots, both shallow and deep. I didn’t give up. I kept searching previous spots that I had marked on my GPS until I found a nice pod of crappies. They were deep – deeper than I’ve fished for them since the last ice season. Hang-glided a Southern Pro Jig and Berkley Power Minnow just above the drop into deeper water and managed to put 20 keepers in the cooler with all but five fish over 11 inches. It rained most of the morning that day. Last week I fished Pymatuning back on 8/31 with my buddy Tim Oden of Farrell. We were hang-gliding Southern Pro Jigs in 6 to 14 feet over brush and picked up 35 keepers and half a dozen perch.”

    Norman Brakeman (Hills Country Store) filed 9/5: “Hooker here at Hills Country Store. I took a client (Chad) out on Pymatuning for bass this week. Shortly after staring to cast a buzzbait around some floating docks, Chad put a feisty 2 pound largemouth in the boat. We fished scattered weeds, rocks and stumps, adding a couple more medium size fish. The decision was made to return to the docks and fish the only overhead cover around. Pitching Berkley Havoc baits around and under the man-made structures produced a limit of 3 to 4-pound bass. Excellent morning by any standard.”

    Jim Melvin (Greenville) filed 9/4: “On Thursday (8/30) I went bass fishing to Pymatuning’s North end. My wife went with me to catch up on some reading and get some rays. Late start, breezy and bluebird skies – fishing was tough. Grinded out 7 bass by pitching soft plastics to wood. Biggest was 3.5 pounds; lost two decent fish. Fished Pymatuning again on Saturday 9/1; I got there right at daybreak – perfect conditions – with overcast and little to no wind. Goose hunters were everywhere I planned to fish. Fishing was tougher than expected. I figured they would be all over the frog in the pads and weeds. I only managed 6 or 7 bass in the boat. I think all of them came on a Stanley Ribbit Frog. Biggest was a little over 4 pounds. I had another one that was between 3.5 and 4 lbs. Had 3 good fish blow up on the Frog but they did not take it. Normally I can catch those fish throwing a Senko or Fluke as a follow-up bait but for some reason they would not bite again. Flipping bite on Saturday was non-existent. Not sure what had those fish in a negative mood given the condiions. Must have been pressure related – at least that is the excuse I’ll use. Water level at Pymatuning has not improved at all. It is becoming increasingly difficult to launch at Linesville.”

    Conneaut Lake

    Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 9/10: “The hottest news I have is the consistent reports of big bluegill biting on small minnows at Conneaut Lake in 20 to 25 feet of water.”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 9/5: “We’ve fished Conneaut twice in the past two weeks. Our catches have been lower than expected – even for September. Darl and I caught a few largemouth bass on Winco’s Solid Body River Darter and drop-shot rigs, along with several 18 to 24 inch pike on a variety of lures – including drop shot. Darl was testing a variety of drop-shot baits, and is convinced that the Lunker City Ribster Worm is one of the best baits he ever put on a drop-shot rig. Smaller pike are on terror right now. I’m hoping the white bass, crappies and big bluegills get going on Conneaut soon. Later in the fall, we look forward to catching some big smallmouth on the lake.”

    Canadohta Lake
    Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 9/10: “Nothing to report out this way. Bait shop open only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We will be closing in October until ice season.”

    Woodcock Lake
    Darl Black (Cochranton) filed 9/2: On Saturday evening, Marilyn and I headed to Woodcock Lake with high expectations for a late evening smallmouth bite. Cloud cover, slight breeze and an approaching front would seem to be a good recipe. However, ater 2 hours plus of casing topwater and fishing drop-shot worms to 20 feet (marked thermocline), with only one very small smallmouth to show we called it quits just after dark. Water was being drawn down rapidly in preparation for the rain headed our direction.”

    Sugar Lake
    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 9/2: “On 9/1, I fished Sugar Lake. Caught 3 small bass, and a good one, and missed several more fish. While I was casing for musky, a boat trolling by hooked and landed a big fish.”

    Erie County
    Lake Erie
    Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards Bait) filed 9/10: “Perch are sill hitting in 55 to 65 feet of water off Walnut Creek and Trout Run. Trollers are picking up a few walleye in 60 feet of water, as well as the occasional steelhead. There are a few steelhead showing in the evenings at the mouths of the tributaries and once in a while someone catches one. Had one steelhead in the shop this morning and a couple fish in last week. Not enough steelhead in to get excited about or drive from down state…but the steelhead fishing will be here soon!”

    Joe Nichols (Underground Angler) filed 9/10: “Went up to fish smallmouth on the main lake over the weekend. Weather had look questionable, but glad we went. Water temp was round 76 degrees and air was in the low 80s. Turned out to be a beautiful day. We fished the main lake in depths from 25 feet to 10 feet, and managed to catch 20 nice bass. Actually started the day using the Silent Fat Free Shad, and unfortunately lost it to zebra mussels. But the crankbait put me on the pattern for the day. We tried everything from tubes to hair jigs, blade baits, etc…with no success. However, bass absolutely inhaled crankbaits in deep water the minute the plug made contact with anything. We tried different depths but found that fish were most aggressive on crankbaits deeper than 14 feet. We even caught a couple walleyes, too. We really enjoyed coming into the Bay after dark with the city lights in the background.”

    Dan Shay (Meadville) filed 9/9: “I’m sill running to Erie for perch. The catches are excellent – best in years with lots of big fish being taken right now. Our average size has been running 10 to 12 inches with some perch as big as 14 inches. We are now fishing 54 feet on the West side, a little shallower than last week when the schools were in 60 feet.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 9/4: “Went out perch fishing with my neighbor. We went straight out from Shades Beach boat launch to 60 feet. All the perch we landed were 12 to 14 inches. They were hitting small tube jigs and shiners on Eagle Claw Crappie rigs. We caught 55 perch. Not much action in PIB until water cools next month.”

    Presque Isle Bay
    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 9/7: “I went to the docks to fish for bass. I had lots of luck on the west side casting out 20 feet using crawfish tubes and Trout Magnets fished on 8-pound Zebco line. I caught 8 smallmouth bass with the biggest one over 20 inches, and lost another nice fish when it broke my line.”
    Filed 9/5: “Fished for bass today. Had 3 bass on – lost one, landed two. Used Yum Tube baits in chartreuse. Had another rod rigged for panfish with Berkley Power Bait Grub in white; caught 30 sunfish. Not big fish, but a fun day on Bay. Practicing for steelhead season.”

    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 9/2: “I fished the Bay on Thursday as well as one day a week ago. Did poorly; I had five and six bass respecively. Wind and waves were mostly good, but the bite was not there.”

    Mercer County
    Lake Wilhelm
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 9/10: “Finally! Wilhelm bass are turning on for anglers! Quite a few big bass are being caught, most reports say spinnerbait and buzz baits; white or black are productive colors. I had four largemouths over 20 inches brought in this week. Anglers are sill catching bluegills on red worms and wax worms.”

    Jim Melvin (Greenville) filed 9/4: “Labor Day Monday I decided to give Wilhelm another whirl; I had been avoiding the lake since our club tournament there in mid-June. I managed a total of four bass in the boat with the biggest going about 4 pounds. Could not buy a bite off wood; all bites came from around weeds. Berkley Chigger Craw, Reaction Innovation Sweet Beaver and a small homemade jig got all the bites. The fishery at Wilhelm has certainly changed over the last few years. Not what it used to be.”

    Mike Horrobin (Jigger Tackle) filed 9/3: “I finally got my boat in the water in ime for fall fishing – my favorite. I ran over to Wilhelm. Although I marked lots of fish, I only caught a couple little bass. I’ll be fishing some other lakes after the holiday.”

    Neshannock Creek
    Bob Shuey (Neshannock Creek Fly Shop) filed 9/10: “We are on our fall and winter hours now. Open six days a week from 9 AM to 5 PM, except Wednesdays from 10 AM to 5 PM. We are closed Sundays until first weekend of March 2013. Call us regarding hatches taking place on Neshannock Creek or check our website.”

    Shenango Lake and River
    Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait n Tackle) filed 9/10: “Things are finally staring to pick up here again. Even though the water levels are sill extremely low, the temperature has cooled off and fish are staring to bite again. Several folks have reported catching crappie on jigheads with curly tails, while others are having success on small flathead minnows. Shiners are sill the main bait for pike being caught in Otter Creek and the Shenango River below the dam in Sharpsville. Several walleye have been caught along the old riverbed in Shenango Lake on Storm Hot’n Tots while trolling in 10 feet of water. There have been several nice-size stripers caught along the causeway. It feels so nice to have something to report. Expect things to only get better as we move into fall. Word of advice for those
    who fish the Shenango River at the Big Bend Access…water is very low and you can see rocks that have not been visible for years, but if you venture up that way there are several nice river holes holding pretty nice fish.”

    Ken Smith’s Shenango crappiesKen Smith (Sharon) filed 9/3: “On the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, I fished Shenango Lake to see where the crappies were. Found them in 9 to 11 feet in a stump field. They have not moved out to the ledges yet but expect it will be soon. Southern Pro Jigs did the job as I was hang-gliding the jigs over brushpiles. Caught a lot of small crappies but managed to put a dozen keepers in the box.”

    Venango County
    Allegheny River
    Jeff Knapp (Keystone Connection Guide Service) filed 9/10: “Smallmouth fishing on the southern Venango County section of the Allegheny continues to be quite good. My most recent guide trips have produced 35 to 40 bass per day in the boat, along with a lot of fish that jumped off. On my last trip we had at least halfdozen fish in the 15 to 18 inch class. Rapala XRaps are taking the highest number of fish, though Winco’s Solid Body River Darter accounted for most of the bigger ones. Grass is an issue, one likely to get worse before it gets better. Though there’s a lot of floating and free-drifting grass, since the river is low and warm, most of the ‘biting’ fish are in the mid-river areas where there are fewer weeds. As the water cools and fish move into slower, shoreline related eddies and pockets, it’ll be tougher to get to them. These are the areas that collect a lot of weeds in late September and October as the cover dies off. Of course a period of high water could scour things out.”

    Lou Letterle (Franklin) filed 9/10: “My family and I fished the river on Sunday afternoon for a couple hours. We caught a dozen or so small fish, but the weeds made fishing very difficult. For the first time since spring, most of our fish were caught on jig-type lures, particularly grubs. All bass were 12 inches or less. We hooked ‘balls’ of weeds on most casts. I had to shut the motor down a number of times to remove weeds. I’m going to give the river a break for a while – until a good rain flushes some of the floaters from the river.”

    Chuck Sari (Franklin) filed 9/10: “Along with my son and grandson, I fished the river from Franklin to Belmar on Sunday morning. We caught 25 smallmouth bass – all on live rile minnows and chubs caught in French Creek. We’ve been averaging 25 to 30 smallmouths each trip out in recent weeks, with all fish taken on live bait. Can’t fish much other than live bait with all the floating weeds; especially cannot use the crankbaits that that had been catching bass and walleye for us a month ago.”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 9/10: “Darl and I went fishing for photos on the river Sunday morning with live bait for a couple hours. The floating weeds pretty much prevented us from fishing artificial lures, and those floaters kept clogging the jet every time we moved. We managed a brace of nice smallmouth on live 5” creek chubs, with the larger bass a little over 3 pounds.”

    Gene Winger (Oil City) filed 9/10: “My fishing buddy George Sisul and I fished the Allegheny between Oil City and Franklin on Thursday, 9/6. The morning started a little slow but once the fog lifted and the sun came out, we started catching bass on Winco’s Laminated Wacky Worms and Winco’s Solid Body River Darters. By mid-afternoon we had landed over 30 bass with most in the 2.5 to 3 pound range, and few over 17 inches. The Wacky Worm works great when there are lots of weeds in the river; we would just shoot for the openings in the weeds and the bass would usually hit on the first 2 or 3 feet of the drop. The 4.75” River Darter is excellent in shallow water with rock structure and weedbeds; in addition to bass, George managed a couple walleye on them, too. With the cold front forecast for the weekend, we debated which day would be best Thursday or Friday. I’m glad we chose Thursday because when I fished by myself on Friday morning things The Fishing Sari family were pretty slow, picking only 5 bass. Al Winco once told me that when there’s a cold front moving in, get out on the river one or two days before it hits. Good call, Al!”

    Mike Horrobin (Jigger Tackle) filed 9/3: “Most of what I’ve seen Labor Day weekend was smallmouth activity on both French Creek and the River. Rile Runners seemed to be the bait of choice. One of the fly-rod guys got into some smallies on a custom crawfish I tied for him; he likes the hook up position. I also heard of some walleye being taken.”

    Ernie Pate (Butler) filed 9/3: “My buddy Rob Papp caught a 17 pound catfish on 6 lb. line while fishing for smallies down river a ways.”

    Steve Udick (Oil City) filed 9/2: “On Thursday, 8/30, I fished with Mark Miller of Meadville. We fished several eddies upriver from Oil City. We had a good bite, catching several bass over weedbeds with Zoom Super Flukes. Fish were in the 15 to 17 inch range. Checking some deeper waters, we switched to a 4” Mizmo Green Pumpkin Tube and on the second cast I caught my best bass of the summer – a 20.5 inch beauty.
    On Saturday, 9/1, I fished with Dave Marczak from Edinboro. We fished the Giant Eagle eddy which was completely full of grass. It was nearly impossible to retrieve a lure so we switched to dragging tubes at current speed. We only managed six bass in two hours. With the moon full, we fished the noon bite. Dave caught this nice 17 inch smallmouth on a Right Bite Green Pumpkin/Orange Flake Tube with Gamma Polyflex 10 pound line.”

    Justus Lake
    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 9/6: “On Justus Lake today, I caught 5 small bass and lost a hawg! The big fish hit a Strike King Spinnerbait and the wire snapped below the knot. The bass took the bottom and I got the shat!”

    Kahle Lake
    Chris Wolfgong (Oil City) filed 9/4: “I hit Kahle Lake yesterday with my Dad and Dale Black. My dad and I each caught two bass and lost numerous others. Dale caught at least 8, and then quit couning. All bass came on topwater frogs – both buzz frogs and hollow belly frogs, including Booyah Pad Crasher and Live Target Frog. I was using the new 30 pound Gamma Torque braided line. Not a bad night.”

    Gamma Line’s Fishing Tips and Forecast for NW PA Waters

    GAMMA PRO TIP
    Chris Wolfgong of Oil City is a member of the Gamma Field Staff responsible for testing new lines before they are brought to market. Gamma is about to launch a new braid called Torque. “It is important for anglers to recognize the immense differences in the types of lines on the market today. Those differences really came into play during a frog fishing trip to Kahle Lake this week. I was using the new Gamma Torque braided line and my dad was fishing with Gamma Polyflex. The no stretch in the braid allows for better hook penetration when you set the hook. When a bass took a frog, I had a higher hook up percentage than my dad did. He lost numerous fish that he thought were ‘hooked’ only to come off. The stretch in the Polyflex didn’t let him drive the hook home on the long casts over slop. Another advantage is braid floats while fluorocarbon sinks; monofilament will float but sinks rather easily. Torque floats, allowing the frog to set naturally on the surface and provide a better hookset. Monofilament and fluorocarbon have their place in fishing, but when it comes to frog fishing – Gamma Torque braid is the way to go.”

    CONTRIBUTOR TIP
    Ken Smith of Sharon is crappie fishing royalty in Northwest Pennsylvania. Known for a jig presentation he calls hang-gliding, he mentions it frequently in the Fishing Report. “In Hang-Gliding, I locate deep bottom cover like a big brushpile with my sonar, lower my lines straight down to a depth where the jigs are sitting just above the top of the cover and lay the rods against the boat’s gunnel. Then I use the bow trolling motor to continually circle the submerged cover, keeping the jigs at the correct depth all the time. The main tip for hang-gliding success is speed. Finding the right speed to more your baits above the brush to trigger the bite is key. Too slow and your jigs will hang up. Too fast and crappies won’t chase it. Once tuned in, you’ll have great results.”
    For his Contributor’s Tip this week, Ken Smith receives a spool of Gamma line.

    UPCOMING EVENTS
    September 16 – FOP River Bass Tournament; info Eric Heil ekaheil@comcast.net
    September 30 – Shenango River Paddlefest; Pymatuning Ouflow to Greenville; info 724-927-9483
    October 6 & 7 – Antlers and Anglers; info from Joan Kocan jkocan@agoc.com
    October 14 – Second FOP River Bass Tournament; info ekaheil@comcast.net

    Underground Angler (www.undergroundangler.com) is providing contributor prize pack for September Fishing Reports. This week’s winner is Jeffrey Rushe. Underground Angler will mail the packet to you direct.

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


  8. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 08/27/12

    September 5, 2012 by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: August 27, 2012
    Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region&GAMMA Fishing Line

    The Landing Net by Darl Black

    It’s the Dog Days of Summer, and the low catch-rates across the board reflect this. With Labor Day Weekend upon us, many casual summertime anglers will likely be making their last fishing trip of the season – not realizing that some of the best catches of the entire year will be coming up in the fall. As the water begins to cool, practically every species in the lake or river will be going on a feeding binge sometime before ice-up. Experienced anglers know this, and plan fishing trips accordingly – especially when looking for trophy fish. Rather than thinking about putting tackle away until spring, you should be inspecting rods and reels, putting on fresh line, sharpening hooks and making a game plan to fish as oten as possible during October, November and December.

    NW PA FISHING REPORT for August 27, 2012

    What’s biting in the counties of Erie, Crawford, Mercer and Venango?

    FRENCH CREEK – Flowing through all four counties
    Dusin Shay (Meadville) filed 8/27: “Eric and I fished for catfish last evening on the creek at a new site we’ve wanted to try. I caught a mess of 8” to 9” river chubs earlier in the day and headed down to the catfish hole at dark. Before I had my second rod in the water, there was a run on the first rod; I landed a 10 to 11 pound channel cat. Fifteen minutes later, I had another run from a weighty fish which broke my line. The next run made a beeline for an undercut bank on the far side, tangled in the cover and I lost it. We continued to have a run about every 15 minutes but didn’t hook-up until I finally connected with a 10 pound flathead and landed it. I would say this spot has potential!”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY (www.visitcrawford.org)

    Pymatuning Lake

    Ryan Borcz (Assistant Park Manager, Pymatuning State Park) filed 8/27: “Pymatuning Lake is currently down 32 inches from normal summer pool. We’re recommending that people use the launch ramp adjacent to the Jamestown Marina. Many launch ramps have become unusable for larger boats and trailers. We’re sill seeing the smaller runabout boats launching from Snodgrass and Manning. On the north end of the lake the Linesville marina is probably the best launch ramp; however, many hazards exist just beyond the marina. All boaters should thoroughly inspect launch ramps before using them. We ask that all boaters to please use caution and observe shoal buoys, avoid shallow areas, and use common sense.”

    Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 8/27: “Crappies are being caught along the causeway – some on minnows, some on jigheads with curly tails. I haven’t heard anything about walleye on the North End. Catfish are biting, and the turtle bite has picked up. Not much traffic on North End of lake due to conditions of launches.”

    Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store) filed 8/27: “I’ve had good reports from this weekend on walleye – including a couple guys who caught their limit on blade baits already out deep in 14 to 18 feet. Crappies are sill hitting deep, as well as perch and catfish. John Bresman (Greenville) caught a 50.5” musky which he released – judged it to be 35 to 40 pounds.”

    Darl Black (Cochranton) filed 8/23: “I had no problem launching my 15-foot vhull fishing boat at the Jamestown Marina ramp. This is the lowest lake level
    that I’ve run a own boat on Pymatuning. Even on the South End, extreme caution is required. It was an educational day because I was able to photograph
    exposed shoreline structures. Also, I was exploring my new Garmin Echo 550c sonar; it helped me immensely in identifying deep brush structures which held
    fish. But it also showed an incredibly high baitfish population in the lake – it’s a wonder anyone catches a single minnow-eating panfish or gamefish given
    the tremendous bait schools (likely shad) swimming everywhere. Sill, I was able to coax some slab crappies into sucking in Crappie Pro Hand-Tied Hair Jigs. The crappies were hugging cover in 13 to 17 feet along the old river channel. There was a whisk of a breeze blowing as I teased crappies into taking the jig on a slow drift. But when the lake went glass smooth, the bite stopped.”

    Jim Melvin (Greenville) filed 8/23: “I went bass fishing on the North End of Pymatuning on Sunday. I managed to launch at Linesville – just make sure to raise your motor when launching and use the trolling motor to get out of the marina area. I fished some new areas of pads and weeds that I had not fished all summer. It was cloudy conditions with little to no wind when I started. The largemouth bass were all over the Zoom Horny Toad and Stanley Ribbit Frog for the first few hours. They were absolutely crushing it. Can’t think of a more fun way to catch bass! Then the sun came out strong and the bite died. Normally in those sunny conditions I can catch ‘em flipping wood but the bite never really developed that day; caught a few here and there. I’m really getting tired of fishing the low water conditions at Pymatuning. Anxiously awaiting fall fishing at Shenango Lake after Labor Day when most of the recreational boaters put their boats away for the year.”

    Al Moore (Cochranton) filed 8/16: “Our club held a tournament at Pymatuning last weekend. It was a tough day with a cold front coming in. Jim Melvin took 1st with 8 pounds 12 oz. I came in second with 8 lbs. 2 oz. It was a mix of largemouth and smallmouth bass with most fish caught with tubes and black/blue Berkley Chigger Craws.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 8/15: “I took my neighbor Nehemiah Evans to Pymatuning Lake today, the 15th, to show him the hang-gliding method that has been working for me. It took a while for him to get the hang of it, but he finally learned to read this long rod. We put 25 crappies, bluegills and perch in the cooler for him to take home. Southern Pro Jigs put all the fish in the boat today. Fish were in 9 to 14 feet over and around brush.”

    Conneaut Lake
    Chub Hornstein (Meadville) filed 8/27: “Dan Wielobob and I fished the Walt’s Tavern Tournament over the weekend. We caught a bunch of largemouth bass but they were all clones – 12 to 14 inches. Seems most of the contestants had similar luck with a lot of weights in the 6 to 7.5 pound range.”

    Danny Jones (North East) filed 8/27: “The Walt’s Tournament was a tough day on Conneaut; the lake was not fishing well. We caught lots of 12 to 14 inch fish plus a 3-pounder on Senkos. The winners were fishing docks.”

    Darl Black (Cochranton) filed 8/24: “On Friday, I ran my jet boat on Conneaut to test it out before heading to the river. Grabbed a spinning rod with a drop-shot rig and threw it in the boat. In just a few minutes of fishing, I had a respectable largemouth and a 3-pound smallmouth to the boat. But when the smallmouth threw the Lunker City Ribster Worm from the rig, I didn’t have another one with me. I slipped on Larew Biffle-O Jr. lying on the deck to catch another smallie before I had to leave.”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 8/15: “Darl and I ran out to Conneaut with the expectation of tracking down some big bluegills in deepwater on bottom points and humps…but all we could catch were very small ‘gills every place we checked. One good thing, unlike shrinking Pymatuning, the lake level of Conneaut is up due to storm runoff – although many people are having difficulty getting out of the PFBC ramp area due to silted condition of the channel.”

    Woodcock Creek Lake
    Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 8/22: “I fished Woodcock today for smallmouth bass. The PFBC had been salvaging fish from Tamarack and putting them in Woodcock, so I thought there might be a chance for largemouth, too. The lake level was up due to rains but not flooded. There was good color to the water – not super clear which can be tough. There was a nice breeze blowing – another plus. Everything seemed to be in my favor…but the fish were not cooperative. I caught one chunky smallmouth on a green pumpkin Get Bit Tube and had a couple strikes on a topwater lure.”


    ERIE COUNTY

    Lake Erie
    Mike Tome (B.A.C. Bait) filed 8/27: “Offshore they are sill catching perch and walleye. Perch in 50 to 60 feet, and eaing emerald shiners. I believe B.A.C. is the only shop with emerald shiners for sale. Walleyes have moved deeper, out to 70 to 80 feet. Right now the Reef Runner plugs are out fishing all other plugs for walleye on the East side. We have an excellent selection and I can offer the best colors for Erie ‘eye. Not much happening in the Bay right now – give it about another month for the action to pick up.”

    Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards) filed 8/27: “Guys are sill going great on perch in 52 to 60 feet of water, with the bigger perch coming from just west of Walnut Creek. The walleye activity has slowed with the catches now out deeper – primarily the First and Second Trench with some guys running to the Canadian line; purple and greens are productive colors. A few steelhead being taken by walleye trollers out deep, and there are even a couple steelhead poking their heads in Elk Creek and Walnut Creek already; a customer caught one this week.”

    Joe Nichols (UndergroundAngler.com) filed 8/27: “Went to Lake Erie on Friday for smallmouth bass. Hooked and lost one fish on a drop shot, and my fishing buddy did the same on a shaky head. That was pretty much the extent of the action for the day. We fished from 5 to 50 feet of water. Could not mark fish on the sonar. We caught a few largemouth bass on tubes and crankbaits in the bay later in the day, but nothing to write home about. Hoping this coming weekend will be different.”

    Paul Stewart (Butler) filed 8/23: “I went out late last week on a perch head boat. Bite was very light – really had to work for them. Missed 2 or 3 for every fish hooked. But I ended up with my limit and my buddy got 25. We were fishing west of the Point.”

    Bob Vogan (Franklin) filed 8/23: “I went with Ryan, Casey, Scott, Mark and Gary Williams on a walleye charter. We had a great day – fishing was slow but it was a wonderful day with friends…and we brought home fish!”

    Chub Hornstein (Meadville) filed 8/22: “Made my weekly run for perch out of Walnut Creek. My buddy and I limited out quickly.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 8/15: “I went up to Erie to fish on a perch charter – the O Danny. Lake was a little rough for perching with 2 to 3 footers but the captain put us on fish. I got my limit and so did quite a few others. Everyone caught some fish. The captain and first mate did an excellent job. I had them clean my fish for me. Looking forward to going again!”

    Presque Isle Bay
    Jim Melvin (Greenville) filed 8/27: “I fished PIB on Saturday for bass. Figured I’d go there because the weatherman wasn’t calling for much wind. That was a joke! It’s always windy in Erie. I caught a handful of largemouth bass on a Berkley Heavy Weight Thumper Worm and a Berkley Chigger Craw in the early morning. Went into the lagoons to get a break from the wind, but never had a bite there. When the wind laid down a bit so I went back out into Misery Bay. I caught ‘em pretty good pitching a Reaction Innovation Kinky Beaver to weeds in 6-8 feet of water. I had to find the right weeds – easier mid-day with the high sun and slightly less wave action. No giants but some nice 2.5 to 3 pound largemouth bass. Several pike as well.  Overall a fun day!”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 8/25: “I talked to Ed of the SONS of Lake Erie who told me that sunfish are being caught on crawlers-n-fly at the new fishing pier at Chestnut Street. The good news is the PFBC is working to improve habitat on Cascade Creek for this coming steelhead and trout season.”

    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 8/19: “On Thursday, I caught 11 bass in PIB. One on a buzzbait, one on a Rapala Clackin’ Rap and nine on Strike King Spinnerbaits – going to the ¾-ounce SK Bottom Dweller after losing a ½-oz model. I caught bass to 14 feet deep on the heavy spinnerbait.”

    MERCER COUNTY
    Shenango Lake
    Terri Cox (USACE Shenango) filed 8/27: “Due to extended drought conditions, the lake is currently 4.5 feet below target summer lake level. As a result of the lower water conditions, the three free ramps (Harford Road, Parker’s Landing and Golden Run) have been closed as they are affected by the lower lake level. Therefore, boat Launch Fees have been waived for the remainder of the year at Mahaney Recreation Area, Clark Recreation Area and the Shenango Recreation Area. We advise boaters to use extreme caution while boating on Shenango. The low water conditions have exposed shoals, sandbars, stumps, and other very shallow water hazards. For daily lake information, call the recorded message at 724-962-4384.”

    Ernie Pate (Butler) filed 8/26: “I fished a bass tournament at Shenango over the weekend. I captured lunker and 1st Place for the second day of the event with a 4.42 pound big bass and 9.15 pounds for 3 fish – so we know there are actually fish in the lake! Seems like most fish were caught shallow – 6 feet of less. Our club and a club from Yough River both caught ‘em pretty well. Seven of our guys had three-fish limits. One other fish in our club was over 4 pounds. Overall, I would rate the bass fishing at Shenango right now as 5 or 6 out of 10.”

    William Logsdon, filed 8/26: “I fished Shenango on Sunday and managed 4 largemouth bass on a Carolina rigged Zoom Mag Trick Worm. Water level is way down. With the cooler nights, I hope the fall bite kicks in soon.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 8/15: “I fished Shenango on Tuesday, 8/14. Lake is very low. Water temps are staring to cool down – down from 78 degrees last week to 72 degrees this week. Fish weren’t very active, either. Fished quite a few depths, searching for crappies but couldn’t find a significant school of bigger fish. Caught 15 crappies that would have kept but released them all. Hope we get an early turnover this year so fishing will improve.”

    Lake Wilhelm
    Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 8/26: “Anglers are catching bluegills in 7’ to 10’ of water on red worms. In front of Launch 4 seems to be a hotspot. Also, crappies are being taken on maggots in same area. A few walleyes at being taken on worm harnesses. Some anglers are catching bass early morning until the sun hits the water, then the bass shut down. Don’t forget the Family Fishing Program at Goddard State Park on September 1.”

    VENANGO COUNTY
    Allegheny River
    Mike Horrobin (Jigger Tackle) filed 8/26: “I’ve been hearing some good news from the river this week. It seems the smallies are beginning to move about a little bit. Judging from reports and number of small #16 - #18 hooks being sold out of the shop, rile runners are the bait of choice for many anglers. (Editor’s note: Anglers use iny hooks to catch rile runner baitfish from shallow fast-water to use as bait.) I didn’t hear of anything huge but some pretty good numbers. It’s coming to that ime of year I like the brown and orange jigs or something in a subtle olive color in a streamer or Fish Skull. A minnow type lure like a Rapala but fished like a jerkbait can be lot of fun.

    Chuck Sari (Franklin) filed 8/26: “My son Kevin, my five year old grandson Reece and I fished the Allegheny today, Sunday the 26th. We caught 30 bass and 3 walleyes. All fish we caught on rile runners; we ran out of bait by 10:30 AM. Weeds were not as bad as they had been, but sill challenging. We caught several bass over 17 inches, but my grandson took the prize with a 20.5 inch five-pound smallmouth. We tried our Rapala SR5s but the weeds made it very difficult.”

    John Wilpula (Conneaut Lake) filed 8/26: “Mike Marin and I floated the Allegheny in our kayaks this weekend. Staring out early in anticipation of a topwater bite, we were rewarded with a couple bass in the 12 to 13 inch range. I was using a 3/16-oz Strike King Tri-Wing Buzzer in chartreuse. Mike was using a buzzbait as well. Loose floating grass made it difficult to fish anything else. The topwater bite while not stellar held up as long as the cloud cover remained. Additional bass were taken on a Rapala #8 X-Rap twitched in and around riles and runs. But the big fish of the day came on a Galida Grub fished slowly along the bottom of a deeper pool. Unfortunately, the fish threw the jig at the side of the boat – I esimated the smallie at 18 inches.”

    Steve Udick (Oil City) filed 8/25: “On Thursday the 23rd, I fished the Allegheny with Mark Miller of Meadville. We fished the up-river eddies at Oil City where there was a lot of floaing grass. We were able to catch over 20 smallies that evening. With the cooler waters the fish size has increased. Both of us landed several between 16” and 18”. Mark landed the lunker of the day – a plump 18.5 inches on a Booyah Vibra-Flex Spinnerbait. Tubes and Flukes were also working. Many fish were just grabbing the Fluke by the tail and moving off – no chance for a hook-up.”

    Darl Black (Cochranton) filed 8/26: “I finally got my jet down to the Allegheny this week, but was greeted with massive amount of floaing weeds at Oil City. Chris Wolfgong and I fished the pool with little success, catching a couple 12 inch bass. When we broke the trolling motor prop on shallow rocks in fast water, we decided to call it quits for the day.”

    With regard to floating weeds, Steve Udick sent this note: “One day earlier in the week we launched at Oil City with a strong westerly wind and headed to the Reno eddy. Wind was so strong it kept all the grass in the OC eddy. We were able to fish weed free for a few hours behind Wolf’s Head. As evening approached, we moved upstream to the gravel islands where I noticed a stream of grass coming down. A boat ran up through the rapids but the engine bogged down as he reached the top. We ran up 30 minutes later. The entire eddy was solid grass side to side. The wind had stopped and freed up the floating grass…I never saw it so bad. I managed to snake through a seam of clear water. Low river…hot summer…weeds galore!”

    John Hummel (Kennerdell) filed 8/23: “I’ve been out of town visiing our brand new grandchild, so I have not been fishing. Besides my youngest son went back to college so I lost my fishing buddy for now. Before he let, he had been snorkeling in the river with an underwater light and told me the Allegheny seaweed beds are jammed full of life with fish of every kind and size. So even though the grass is a pain to fish, better fishing days are ahead. The Wojtechko’s at the P & T Line Shack in South Kennerdell told me of their success despite weeds in catching smallmouth bass, pike and walleye. They took pictures and asked them to send some to me.”

    Justus Lake
    Chris Wolfgong (Oil City) filed 8/23: “Went fishing with my dad last night to Justus Lake. We fished for about an hour but no success; tried Dingers, Rapala Rattlin’ Crank and poppers. Had one fish blowup on the popper but didn’t hook it.”

    Kahle Lake
    Chris Wolfgong (Oil City) filed 8/19: “Fished from 7 PM to 8:30 PM last evening with my dad at Kahle Lake at the Venango launch. Dad caught three bass, including a 16 incher and a 17 incher – nice fish for Kahle. I caught two bass about 12 inches. All fish were taken on Yum Dingers with spinning tackle and 8-pound Gamma Line.”

    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 8/19: “On Saturday, I pushed my boat off the trailer into Kahle Lake. A cold front wind made for tough fishing. Landed 6 bass in 5.5 hours on different plasics. Getting the boat on the trailer got me muddy, and almost stuck the car in the mud.”

    Gamma Line’s Fishing Tips and Forecast for NW PA Waters

    Dale Black, president of Black Knight Industries (home of Gamma Fishing Lines), congratulates Brent Chapman on being named 2012 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year at the conclusion of the Oneida Lake tournament this weekend. “We are proud and honored to have an angler of Brent’s caliber fishing on the Gamma Pro Staff team.”

    GAMMA PRO TIP
    The Dog Days of summer can be a difficult ime for catching bass in lakes. You may want to try the dropshot technique which involves a small hook attached to the line with a Palomar knot several inches above a clip-on weight. Finicky bass seem to fall for the bait suspended off the bottom presentaion. Regional bass pro Danny Jones of North East employs drop-shotting technique when the bite gets tough. “I use 6-pound Gamma Edge fluorocarbon for drop-shotting with a #1 or #2 Gamakatsu drop shot hook. I like about a 14 to 16-inch leader between the hook and the sinker. The rod I use a Dobyns Extreme Spinning 702 – a 7’ medium-light rod. When fish are really pressured, rather than use an ordinary drop shot bait straight out of the package, I like to tweak it by trimming, slicing or altering the plasic bait. You can drop shot at almost any depth.”

    CONTRIBUTOR TIP

    Mike Horrobin: “As anglers prepare for the great fall fishing ahead, I’ve had several rods repairs at the shop this week. Cracks or even a lost ceramic insert can cut a line in no ime. With fall coming, its big fish time and it would be a shame to lose one because of a damaged rod guide or from using the same line on the reel all summer. Now is the ime to fix guides and change your line. Stop in at Jigger Tackle with your rod repair needs and to pick up new line.”

    UPCOMING EVENTS
    September 1 – PFBC’ Family Fishing Program, Goddard State Park; info at www.fishandboat.com
    September 16 – FOP River Bass Tournament; info Eric Heil ekaheil@comcast.net
    October 6 & 7 – Antlers and Anglers; info from Joan Kocan jkocan@agoc.com
    October 14 – Second FOP River Bass Tournament; info from Eric Heil ekaheil@comcast.ent
    November 10 – ORA Gun Rale, Franklin Elks; info 814-677-3152 ext. 110


  9. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 08/13/12

    by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: August 13, 2012
    Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region&GAMMA Fishing Line

    The Landing Net by Darl Black

    To assist me on a PA Angler aricle about NW PA kayak fishing, this past weekend kayak experts John Wilpula and Mike Marin took me along on a mini trip to a small creek
    for smallmouth bass. Water level was so low we even had to drag kayaks through a couple shallow spots. But it was interesing and educaional paddle. We figured out these
    smallmouths wanted lures that were flashy or offered strong vibraion even in the low, clear water – rather than a slow and natural presentaion. Buzzbaits, small crankbaits, Rapala XRap Jerkbaits and flashy Road Runner blade jigs caught over 20 smallies. Dingers didn’t work much to the disappointment of Mike Marin!

    NORTHWEST PA FISHING REPORT for August 13, 2012

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

    French Creek – flowing through all four counies
    Note: French Creek remains at a low flow with unusually high aquaic weed growth in many secions of the stream.

    Mike Marin (Cochranton) filed 8/5: “My wife Judy and I floated from Uica downstream about 3 miles on Tuesday, July 31. We only landed 4 smallmouth bass – but they were all nice fish. All bass were caught on Yum Dingers. The water level was sill quite low even ater last week’s rain.”

    Dusin Shay (Meadville) filed 8/7: “My daughter and I caught 12 nice crappies from a deep French Creek hole on August 2. All fish were taken on tubes and micro jigs baits resembling fry minnows. (See Livewell) On August 7, Darl Black and I fished French around Meadville for smallmouth, but only managed a couple small bass, even though I fished some live bait caught from the creek that morning. The largest bass came on a dogwalking topwater bait. Early overcast felt like it should have been a better bite but decent fish were not feeding.”

    Crawford County
    Pymatuning Lake

    Note: Several tackle shop owners have remarked the lake is so low that a number of boat ramps cannot be used.

    Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 8/13: “The water level is very low. The official word is the lake is 28 inches below summer pool. I think anyone who knows anything about the lake can see the level is lower than that. I would say the lake is down 36 to 42 inches. There are places that I wade in the spring that right now would not get my ankles wet. Regardless of the level, anglers who have gotten out have reported decent success. Numerous anglers have reported decent walleye bite in 12 to 14-feet of water. Most ‘eye success has been when driting with worm harnesses and floaing jigheads. Some reports of Hot N’Tots and Bombers producing walleye as well. Crappies have been reported along the causeway. Most crappies success is a minnow under a bobber, along with some on jig-n-minnow, too. Perch have been reported off Billy Q. WE NEED SOME RAIN!”

    Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store) filed 8/13: “Dedicated anglers are catching crappies in 16 to 25 feet of water on brush structures. Some anglers are getting walleye on crawler harnesses during the day, but the better bite is ater 9 PM. Sill getting lots of channel cats right at dusk. Rumors of several musky taken in past couple weeks, but we do not have first-hand reports on these fish.”

    Norman Brakeman (Hills County Store) filed 8/13: “I got out bass fishing on Pymatuning for just under two hours one day last week. I caught three nice largemouth bass in very shallow water under pontoon boats that sill had water under them. The biggest fish was right at 5 pounds and the other two were around 4 pounds. All bass came on a black/blue tube. Getting lots of customer complaints about trouble launching due to low water. Instead of ramps back in the bays, I suggest they try the old Orchard ramp right on the main lake below the causeway on the PA side.”

    Jimmy and Dawn Whitley (Franklin) filed 8/8: “Attached are pictures of channel cats taken by Jimmy near Linesville on August 2 just ater dusk. The fish were taken on live chubs and nightcrawlers. The smaller cats were hitting a crawler; the large one took a chub. We were fishing out of Linesville near the first island. Water was maybe 4 to 8 feet deep with stumps sicking up all around. We tried to get over to the Spillway to try to hook a big carp, but we ran aground and decided to turn back. We need rain!”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 8/9: “I fished Pymatuning near the Jamestown launch area on Tuesday, August 7. I found the crappies hanging out pretty shallow for this ime of year. I caught most fish in 6 to 8 feet of water, fishing a jig and bobber combo – a 1/32-ounce Road Runner with a Southern Pro Stringer grub.” (See Livewell)

    Sugar Lake
    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 8/12: “I fished Sugar on Wednesday, catching 7 largemouths and missing a bunch on every sot plasic lure I tried on the back of a jig. The bite
    was steady, but rather slow.”

    Canadohta Lake
    Sara VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 8/13: “Our 6th Annual Kids Fishing Derby at our bait shop pond this past weekend was a huge success. We had 77 kids paricipate. The winners were: Lucas Leech (age 8) for 9-inch perch; 3-way ie with a 8-1/4” sunfish from Jake Coughenour (11), Scot Watson (11) and Howie Hammond (11); Alex Boylan (12) for 12-1/4” crappie; 2-way ie for smallmouth bass with Ashton Mineo (7) and Emily Leehard (11); 2-way ie for 14-1/2” largemouth bass with Nathan Soliwoda (11) and Jake Coughenour (11); Jordan Shaffer (6) for 11-inch rock bass; Alex Boylan (12) for painted turtle.”

    Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait): “Dead fish floaing in Canadohta Lake were not from a fish kill, but rather fish transported from Tamarack Lake to Canadohta during salvage operaion.”

    Tamarack Lake
    Note: Area anglers are lamening the loss of Tamarack Lake – the largest Fish Commission owned lake and one of the best warmwater fisheries in the state. Following a several foot-draw down from last winter through summer due to leaks in the dam, anglers sill could fish the lake as repairs were determined. However, within the last two weeks, addiional leaks were discovered, and the lake has been closed to all fishing and boaing. Fish salvage was attempted, with fish taken to Woodcock and Canadohta – however numbers of the stressed fish did not survive the transport and could be observed on the shorelines of both Woodcock and Canadohta. The lake will be drained an addiional several feet. Rough esimates are offered on costs and ime frame to fix dams, but at present time the Fish Commission has no funds to undertake the work. What once was an excellent largemouth bass, trophy walleye and an unbelievable musky fishery in the 1980s/1990s is no more.

    Erie County
    Lake Erie
    Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards Bait) filed 8/13: “We’ve had a big blow the last couple days, but things are settling down today. Perch reports are very good in about 49 feet of water just west of Walnut this morning already; golden shiners are producing perch because emeralds are not available right now. The walleye will take a day or two longer to start biing again, but they had been catching them anywhere from 35 feet to the Trenches – 62 to 67 feet was a key area before the blow. Worm harnesses, plugs and even a few walleyes on trolling spoons.”

    Mike Tome (B.A.C. Bait) filed 8/13: “Out on the lake, walleye and perch are sill biing; small golden shiners for perch, and deep diving Reef Runners for walleyes. We have 30 different colors in Reef Runner plugs so be sure to stop by and we can point you to the hottest fish-catching colors.”

    Joe Nichols (Underground Angler) filed 8/13: “We fished Lake Erie out of North East on Friday. We managed to do pretty good even though the trolling motor was acing up. Water temp was 76 degrees and air temp was in the mid-70s. Bass were acive – we caught them on crankbaits, jerkbaits and topwater in much shallower water than most folks were fishing. Smallmouths came from a 7 to 15-foot break, plus a few bass in 18 to 20 feet. We landed over a dozen bass.”

    Mike Marin (Cochranton) filed 8/12: “Last weekend, my wife and our friend Chuck Papinchak went perch fishing at Erie on a head boat for an evening trip. Bite started slow, but picked up once they found the fish. Everyone on the boat limited out before dark. My wife and I were using salted minnows.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 8/10: “I fished out of Shades Beach in 45 feet of water with a neighbor in his boat. We did very well on perch with both of us getting limits; fish ranged from 10 to 15 inches. We caught the perch on Eagle Claw Perch Rigs with Glow Beads and tipped with shiners. When the perch bite slowed, walleyes started hitting the same rigs and we caught 8 nice ones with the biggest one going 28 inches. It seems there has been a mix of species in that area lately.”

    Chub Hornstein (Meadville) filed 8/10: “Judy and I fished out of Walnut Creek on August 8th. We fished 49 feet, catching our limits of nice perch (60 keepers) in hour and 15 minutes. The day before, Glen Thompson and I fished the same area and caught out limit in 2.5 hours.”

    Bryan Stuyvesant (Meadville) filed 8/9: “My nephew from Kittanning was up on Wednesday, so Colin and I took him perch fishing to Erie. The perch bite was strong with non-stop acion in 48 feet of water. We had our 3-person limit of 90 fish by 9 AM. We were using shiners on Bear Paw rigs.”

    John Fuhrmann (Phoenix, AZ) filed 8/8: “I’m back visiing for the summer and enjoying super catches of Lake Erie walleyes by sweeping Erie Dearies in 20 to 30 feet of water – and plenty of perch, as well. Went to an inland lake the other day, had a ball fishing frogs along lily pads. We boated 10 largemouth bass and missed many more. Biggest was 5 pounds. We also caught a 38” musky and a 36” pike.”

    Presque Isle Bay
    Mike Tome (B.A.C. Bait) filed 8/13: “There is a little bit of everything biing in the Bay right now. There are reports of crappie on the North Pier, channel cats in Marina Lake, and largemouth bass along the deep weed edge.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 8/13: “I went down to the South Pier this morning for a few hours. I had one rod set for crappie and one rigged for bass. Using a crawfish-colored
    tube jig, I had lots of luck on smallmouth by the rocks – casing it out and letting it sink to the bottom and jigging it slowly. Then I walked down the pier to the orange thing, cast out with a 2-hook rig baited with salted shiners and caught 15 nice crappies with the biggest going 12 inches.”

    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 8/12: “Tuesday at PIB started out slow. In 4.5 hours, I caught 4 largemouth bass on a Rapala Clackin’ Rap and 1 on a Zoom Lizard. Then a Strike King Spinnerbait pulled over a drop off yielded 10 largemouth bass in 1.5 hours!”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 8/10: “I went to the Border Patrol Dock to see what was biing. They were getting some very nice crappies right before dark. A man using a Mini Foo Jig suspended about 4 feet below a bobber and ipping the jig with a shiner was doing the best. He had 25 nice crappies, with the biggest about 11 inches. I saw a few smallmouth bass caught from ime to ime on nightcrawlers.”

    Union City Reservoir
    Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 8/13: “They re-opened Union City Reservoir ater doing some work up there. Ryan Tripp of Union City celebrated the opening by catching a 22-inch 6 lb. 4 oz. largemouth bass! That is one BIG bass!”

    Mercer County
    Shenango Lake and River
    Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait) filed 8/13: “With the storms last week, fishing acivity had slowed. But it picked up in the last few days. Reports are posiive on a mixture of panfish at Shenango Lake. However, the cafish bite seems to have slowed some, but not before Johnny Woolensack brought in a 31”, 11 lbs. 1.6 oz. channel cat. I’ve also included a picture of that big musky taken two weeks ago from the Shenango River above the dam by Chuck Kinney – it was 46.5”, 30 lbs. 10.4 oz. We are now handling the hand-ied bucktails that Kinney used to catch the musky. Another customer
    caught a big largemouth from Pymatuning that is now leading our shop’s contest – but I cannot recall the exact size right now because I’m not in the shop for the records.”

    Lacy (R&L Bait) filed 8/10: “I been busy building my house, so I have not been fishing lately, except one evening when I caught a carp and some panfish at the lake. But customers have reported striped bass, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass at Shenango, plus big crappies at Pymatuning.”

    Ernie Pate (Butler) filed 8/10: “I fished Federaion Naion Tournament last weekend at Shenango. Fishing was not great – water level is down a couple feet. Bite was decent on jigs and crankbaits during the week when they were pulling water but not on tournament day. Paricipants that did best in tournament caught their fish shallow – I mean very shallow. I haven’t been to Lake Wilhelm in three weeks. Last I heard it was still fishing tough. I’m staring to think by lack of deep bites at these lakes that maybe there is a lack of oxygen at depths which is forcing fish shallower or making them inactive.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 8/10: “I generally avoid fishing Shenango from mid-July through mid-August due to boat traffic. At this ime of year, the skiers, jet skis and pleasure boat traffic starts as early as 7:30 AM even on weekdays. Pymatuning is very close and a lot more relaxing to fish right now. I’ll get back to Shenango after Labor Day.”

    Venango County
    Allegheny River
    Jeff Knapp (Keystone Connecion Guide Service) filed 8/13: “River smallmouth bass fishing coninues to be good. We’re catching nice numbers of smallmouth bass and plenty of bonus walleyes by fishing fast current areas with both hard and sot jerkbaits and sot sickbaits. Floaing grass is a nuisance. It will likely get worse as the water cools and daylight level diminishes, and subsurface weed growth dies off.”

    Chuck Sari (Franklin) filed 8/13: “My son Kevin and I went fishing on the Allegheny River Saturday morning. We caught 15 smallmouth bass and three walleyes. All were caught on Rapala SR5 crankbait in various colors. My brother and a buddy were fishing in another boat; they caught 13 bass and a northern pike. I was talking with another fisherman on Saturday morning who was fishing live chubs; they landed 25 bass but no walleye. The river was a bit cloudy and the weeds were not as bad as last ime I was out. No pictures – I forgot my camera. We have been fishing the river twice a week all summer and the fishing has been as good as it has ever been, but weeds have made it tuff at imes.”

    Lou Letterle (Franklin) filed 8/10: “My kids and I fished the Allegheny River a couple imes in the last few days. We caught some bass then we swam a little, then caught some bass, then swam a little more, etc. I have enclosed pictures of Brandi and Corey holding fish, and one picture taken underwater while Brandi was releasing a bass. We had been fishing with rile runners, but
    surprisingly the smallmouth bass were not overly interested in the bait. We actually did better with sot jerkbaits – especially the Trigger X Jerkbait in Baby Bass pattern.”

    Chuck Sari (Franklin) filed 8/2: “My son Kevin, my five year old grandson Reece and I went fishing last week on the Allegheny River. We had our best day of the year for size of bass. We caught 22 bass with several over 16 inches and one whopper at 19.5 inches. We also caught four legal walleyes with the largest going 21 inches. All fish were caught and released. We used Rapala SR5 crankbait with silver being the best color. We also caught what I believe to be a shad; picture attached. It was thirteen inches long and hit a Rapala SR5.

    Editor’s note: I was uncertain of the fish species in the photo supplied by Chuck, so I sent it to Area Fishery Manager Tim Wilson who idenified it as a mooneye (Hiodon tergisus). “A species sill present in the Allegheny River in enough numbers to not be considered a threatened or endangered candidate, although this is the first I’ve heard of one being caught by an angler. Excellent picture, Chuck; I wish all anglers sent in this quality of picture for fish ID,” says Wilson.

    Doug Fischer, Nongame Fisheries Biologist with PFBC out of Bellefonte, added the following: “Pretty cool catch and I agree with Tim on the picture…thanks for sharing. As far as I am aware, this is the furthest upriver record of mooneye in the Allegheny. Unlike the Ohio basin, mooneye has seemingly declined in Lake Erie. The last one taken from the PA waters of Erie (again, that I know of) was on hook and line from Thompson Bay, Presque Isle in 1984. The specimen is at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center biological collecion. There are accounts of skipjack herring readily taking lures in the Ohio River and it seem that the similar diet of hiodonids makes them suscepible to angling too,” concludes Fischer.

    Well, Chuck’s catch certainly added to our knowledge base on the Allegheny. Thanks for sending the picture, and thanks to the PFBC biologists for the informaion.

    Gamma Line: Tips, Forecast and Events

    GAMMA PRO TIP
    Steve Hughes: I use 16-pound Gamma Edge to throw a Bomber Fat Free Shad crankbait along deep weedlines. This is a much heavier line than most anglers would use for a crankbait. However, with a heavy line and stout rod, you can burn the crankbait right down the weedline as close to it as you can get. When the bait gets buried in weeds – and it will – you can rip it out. This ripping acion oten triggers the strike. By fishing parallel to the weedline you will find all the irregulariies in the weedline that hold fish.  This has been good for me on several area lakes with deep weedlines.

    CONTRIBUTOR TIP
    Darl Black: Late summer on rivers and creeks, the simple 4” blunt end sick worm can be dynamite bait for smallmouth bass when fished as drit bait without addiional weight. Many of our river contributors comment on using it, including Dale Black, Chris Wolfgong, Jeff Knapp, Mike Marin and myself. Many refer to it as ‘Dinger’ fishing. Some years ago when we started using this sinking worms, we rigged them Texas style on a wide gap hook. Today, most river rats simply nose hook the worm. While I have used a #1/0 circle hook successfully with these worms, I also use a #1 drop-shot hook, setting the hook quickly rather than letting the fish pull the line ight as with a circle hook. I prefer fishing weightless sick worms with 10-pound braid with a 2-foot 10-pound Gamma Edge leader.

    UPCOMING EVENTS
    August 25 – Walt’s Tavern Bass Buddy Tournament, Conneaut Lake; info at wjcc@windstream.net
    September 1 – PFBC’s Family Fishing Program, Goddard State Park; info at www.fishandboat.com
    September 16 – FOP River Bass Tournament; info from Eric Heil ekaheil@comcast.net
    October 6 & 7 – Antlers and Anglers; info from Joan Kocan jkocan@agoc.com
    October 14 – Second FPO River Bass Tournament; info from Eric Heil ekaheil@comcast.net
    November 10 – ORA Gun Rale, Franklin Elks; info 814-677-3152 ext. 110


  10. Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report 07/30/12

    by oilregion

    Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
    Reporting date: July 30, 2012
    Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region&GAMMA Fishing Line

     

    The Landing Net by Darl Black

    It’s August already. Summer is slipping way and fall is just around the corner. Given all the heat we’ve had this summer, I’ll be looking forward to a cool down… and the better fall catches of just about every species as the water cools, too. I love fall, but do not like what follows – but the cold, snow and ice deal is sill five month away. While this has been an up and down summer so far as fishing goes, it seems the catches have held up nicely on many waters, including crappies at Pymatuning & Shenango, bass & walleye in the Allegheny River, and perch & walleye on Lake Erie. And of course catfish everywhere! Go fish!

    NW PA FISHING REPORT for July 30, 2012

    What’s biting in the counties of Erie, Crawford, Mercer and Venango?

     

    FRENCH CREEK – Flowing through all four counties

    Jerry Van Tassel (Timberland Bait) filed 7/30: “With a little fresh water in the stream from recent rains, there is a hot walleye bite in French Creek secion near Union City.”

    Isaak Hornstein, age 8 (Conneaut Lake) filed 7/25/12: “We were at our cottage on French Creek, and me and my dad went up the creek a little ways in the kayaks and we caught some smallmouth. I caught all of mine on a Storm Wild Eye Curl Tail Minnow and my dad caught his smallmouth on a Strike King Bleeding Spinner Bait. We didn’t have any hits on a Rapala. The water was up a little bit from the rain and we saw lots of suckers swimming underneath our kayaks.”

    John Wilpula (Conneaut Lake) filed 7/19: “Mike Marin and I fished from our kayaks around the Uica Access on July 18 while Darl Black snapped photos for a kayaking article. Both Mike and I caught a decent photo fish plus some smaller ones. My smallmouth came on Winco’s Predator Craw and Mike’s on a Yum Dinger. Ater Darl let, we paddled downstream for about a mile. We had a couple blowups on a Tiny Pop-R, but no hook-ups. Paddling back upstream, we fished until dark around the access site. I hooked another 16-inch smallmouth on the same Winco’s Predator Craw.”

    CRAWFORD COUNTY (www.visitcrawford.org)

     

    Pymatuning Lake
    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 7/29: “Going out of Jamestown ramp on Sunday, I headed north to do crappie fishing. Decide to hang glide some Southern Pro Triple Tails and Stingers in the deeper water. I was catching fish, but the wind picked up and the rain clouds moved in. I got off the open water to a bay with sunken brush. I had to change colors to get the crappies going there. I also tried some really shallow brush on a point. Fished a Lunker City Fin-S-Shad under a bobber; caught a few nice crappies and smaller ‘gills unil the rain started. I finished the morning with 25 to 30 keepers out of about 50 fish caught. The fish were breaded and ready for the church fish fry by afternoon.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 7/27: “Back on 7/21, I fished Pymatuning with my buddy Ron Scarboro. Using the hang-gliding technique, we suspended Southern Pro Jigs in 9 to 14 feet of water and caught 28 crappies. Most were over 12 inches. We also got some perch and a few nice bluegills. We headed back up on Monday, 7/23, for a few hours. We fished a different area and did just as well. Wind was up but I found some brush a little out of the wind. We took home 18 crappies, 6 perch and 5 bluegills. All on jigs tipped with Berkley Power Minnows. Ramp was pretty shallow, hoping rain raises the water.

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 7/23: “On Saturday morning 7/21, Darl and I headed to Pymatuning for crappie fishing, going out of the Jamestown ramp. The day was clear and a touch cool following a period of high temperatures. Things started out slow, taking almost an hour before one of us finally caught a crappie. We decided a trek further up lake to a mid-lake hump with brush might be a good bet. After locating the brush and putting the anchor down, we started catching fish. We landed a little over a dozen crappies in the 11 to 13.5 inch range. The fish came by deadsicking a jig with either a live minnow or Gulp! Minnow around edges of brushpiles in 10 to 12 feet of water.”

    Michael Coonley (Armstrong County) filed 7/23: “I’m not a regular on Pymatuning but had the opportunity to fish it over the weekend. Generally the fishing was poor, catching a couple crappies by trolling. However on Sunday morning we found what I believe was a school of wipers (striper white bass hybrids) in the 10 to 21-inch range – although I could not verify the ID of the fish. We followed them around off and on for about three hours as they broke surface chasing bait. They would attack a school of baitfish near the surface for several minutes, and we would pound them for a while. Then they would disappear for a while and show up 100 yards or so away, and it would start all over again. Is this common?”

    Editor’s note: White bass are present in Pymatuning. PF&BC informs me that hybrid stripers were never stocked in Pymatuning. However, some hybrids escaped from the hatchery pond a few years ago, got into the Sanctuary and made their way into the main reservoir. Some of these adult fish are caught each spring at the Linesville spillway – weighing in the 15 pound plus range. Twenty-one inches is larger than any white bass in Pennsylvania. The state record white bass of almost four pounds was only 19 inches as I recall. I suspect some of the few remaining adult wipers may be traveling with white bass schools, and the smaller fish in the school were actually white bass – unless someone is doing illegal midnight bucket stocking of hybrids…

    Conneaut Lake
    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 7/30: “I fished the Conneaut Lake tournament with pro angler Robbie Genter. We barely missed 5th place money. Robbie is a fishing machine, catching over 25 bass off docks and pontoon boats using a tube jig. I managed a few bass including one smallmouth.”

    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 7/19: “I had one of my best days ever on Conneaut Lake this morning with the misty rain and threatening weather. I caught 20 largemouth and smallmouth bass – mostly in the 17 to 18-inch range but also included a 5 pound largemouth and a 20 inch smallmouth. At one point, I landed six bass on six casts. All fish came on a Rebel Pop R surface bait.”

    Bryan Stuyvesant (Meadville) filed 7/17: “I fished Conneaut a couple hours the other morning. I used a football head jig with trailer dragged across a rocky point to dredge up one largemouth and a drop-shot rig to boat another smaller bass and a pike.”

    Tamarack Lake
    Ed Atts (Uica) filed 7/29: “I canoed around the Cochranton end of Tamarack Lake on July 23 and saw several hundred dead crappies. There were at least 12 different eagles working this section of the lake – 2 adults and 10 immature of varying ages. I went back the morning of July 29 and canoed both ends of the lake. No dead fish were seen on the Meadville end but there were thousands of dead crappies on the Cochranton end. Most were in the 7 to 9 inch range but I did find one trophy that was about 16 inches. For some reason all the fish I’ve found have been crappies and 1 perch. Not a single dead bass, walleye, musky or bluegill –and not a single carp although many can be seen on the shallow mud flats. I watched a great eagle on the end of the fishing pier for half an hour with binoculars; eagles seem to be most active in the early morning.”

    Canadohta Lake & Lake LeBoeuf
    Jerry Van Tassel (Timberland Bait) filed 7/30: “Anglers at Canadohta are caching perch and crappies like crazy on live minnows and small curly tail jigs fished very tight to the deep edge of the cabbage beds. Customers stopped in over the weekend to say Lake LeBoeuf is on fire – they caught crappies, northern pike, largemouth bass, bluegill and bowfin on the lake this past week.”

    Sugar Lake
    Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 7/26: “I’ve been fishing Sugar Lake this month, looking for one of those mythological 7 to 10 pound largemouth bass. I’ve taken 28 largemouth – but not one over 2.5 pounds. However, I did lose a huge bass last week that I didn’t get a good look – so maybe it was over 7 pounds!”

    ERIE COUNTY (www.visiterie.com)
    Lake Erie
    Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards Bait) filed 7/30: “Perch fishing remains good in 45 to 50 feet of water just west of Walnut Creek. Walleyes have moved out a bit to 64 feet of water and out to the First and Second Trench. Again, west of Walnut seems to be the best area. Some anglers are sill getting ‘eye by pulling sickbaits, including Renosky, Reef Runner and Bagley. But most anglers are enjoying better success with crawler harnesses. Our top sellers are purple, watermelon and copper blade models.”

    Mike Tome (B.A.C. Bait) filed 7/30: “Walleyes are out in 70 feet. The deep Reef Runner sickbait is our top seller right now. On the east side, perch are in 48 to 50 feet. Emerald shiners are the best bait and even though they are tough to trap right now, B.A.C. has emeralds. A handful of anglers are catching channel cats from 8 to 20 pounds in the Bay.”

    Joe Nichols (Underground Angler) filed 7/28: “I’m sill having trolling motor problems so my fishing has been limited. We did manage to sneak out onto Lake Erie to catch a dozen or so smallmouth bass on shaky heads last weekend.”

    Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 7/27: “I fished with friends at Lake Erie on Wednesday, 7/25, and did pretty good. The lake was a little bumpy on the way out, but calmed down nicely as the day went on. We fished Dipsy Divers with worm harnesses down to 50 feet over 72-foot depth. Three of us got 16 keepers but dropped quite a few on the way to the boat. There were lots of 6 to 8 pounders.”

    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 7/25: “I went out with a friend who fishes with downriggers. We had two rods rigged with a flash disk and a Bagley. Those rods caught 5 nice big walleye. We flatlined 2 other rods with deep diving Bombers, and caught 3 more walleye. One of them was very bluish in appearance – baby blue compared to a regular walleye and it had smaller eyes. It reminded me of sauger. My camera got wet and wasn’t working so I didn’t get a picture.”

    Presque Isle Bay
    Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 7/28: “I went down to try my luck at the new fishing dock at Chestnut Street. I was using nightcrawler on jigs, and ended up catching 8 nice catfish and 6 bass. Back on the 18th, I went down to the South Pier to fish for crappies with live bait on an Eagle Claw Crappie Rig. I fished the far end facing the lake and cast about 15 feet out. I ended up getting a limit in three hours. The biggest one was 13 inches and the smallest was 8 inches. Don’t forget the Sons of Lake Erie Fish Fry coming up in September.”

    Dawn McCall (Black Knight Industries) filed 7/26: “Three Gamma teams participated in the Big Kid/Little Kid Tournament at Presque Isle Bay on Saturday 7/21. The Gamma Teams were Dale Black and his son Jacob, Ken Smith photo Frank Malek and his son Tanner, and Eric Heil and my son Christopher Proudfoot. Two of the three teams finished in the top five.”

    Dave Lefebre (Harbor Creek Township) filed 7/24: “It’s that ime of the summer for outstanding largemouth bass fishing on PIB right now. Darl Black joined Danny Jones and me for an afternoon on the Bay mid-week. We boated over 50 largemouth (sort of lost count after we hit 50). Most bass came on jigs, worms and creature baits fished in 20 feet of water off the deep weedline. Darl even caught a half-dozen on a 20-year-old Black Grape Producto Worm – he’s into some sort of retro fishing using stuff from a quarter century ago to prove it sill works today. We had several triples on with Darl, Danny and I all hooked up to fish at same time. Very few bass weighed more than 2.5 pounds.”

    Brokenstraw Creek
    Ed Lawrence (Corry) filed 7/29: “I fished Brokenstraw Creek outside Corry for smallmouth bass. The stream had been in good shape the day before, but came up with overnight rain. It was high and dirty. I managed one nice smallmouth on about my 3rd cast with an Original Rapala Minnow, but that turned out to be the highlight of the morning. Hopefully as the water clears a tad, the fish will be more active.”

    MERCER COUNTY (www.visitmercercountypa.com)
    Lake Wilhelm
    Chub Hornstein (Meadville) filed 7/22: “Seems there’s been a lot of talk that no one can catch a decent largemouth at Wilhelm, complaining there’s too many gizzard shad in the lake. I had not been down to the lake all year so I didn’t know what to expect. When we started out on the morning of the 22nd, it seemed like the naysayers may be right. However, after moving from the offshore structure to a breakline in about 10 feet of water, we quickly managed three nice largemouths before our time was up. An old Bomber Model A crankbait was the ticket. One bass was pushing five pounds.

    Shenango Lake and River
    Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait) filed 7/30: “Big catfish aren’t the only giants being caught in the Shenango River. Charles Kinney of Fredonia brought in a 46-1/2” 30 lb. 10.4 oz. musky this past week; it was caught in the river on a bucktail. Chuck makes his own lures and they are so well made that I have talked him into making some for R&L – they will be available at the shop. Folks are sill fishing for cats in Pymatuning, Shenango River and Shenango Reservoir – and doing very well. Crawlers had been the big seller because in the heat it’s hard to keep minnows alive. But with the cool down recently, minnows and shiners are moving out the door. The fish are biting again! Yeah! Business has picked up the last couple weeks and the shop is very busy –great to see my customers out fishing again!”

    Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 7/27: “Returning from a family lunch in Sharon, Darl and I stopped at the Kidd’s Mill Covered Bridge in Transfer so I could cast a line in the Shenango River. Drifting a Yum Dinger, I was hoping to connect with a smallmouth bass. On my third cast, something hit hard and began making a powerful zig-zag run downstream. When it didn’t go airborne, I figured it wasn’t a smallmouth – and began to think walleye. I kept working the fish back upstream, but the water was so dirty I could not tell what it was until I was reaching to grab it. It was an 18 inch channel cat!”

    VENANGO COUNTY (www.oilregion.org)
    Justus Lake
    Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 7/30: “I’m calling in my report from Justus Lake this morning. I came down to fish for musky, but the breeze has stopped and the favorable chop on the water has subsided. So, I’m bass fishing right now. I’ve caught 5 largemouth bass by drop-shotting a Yum Craw Papi.”

    Allegheny River
    Jeff Knapp (Keystone Connection Guide Service) filed 7/29: “The middle Allegheny continues to be productive for both smallmouth bass and walleyes. During recent guide trips, clients and I have averaged 30 to 40 smallmouth bass a day. A wide variety of sizes up to 19 inches are being caught – typical for summer fishing. We’ve been catching some nice walleyes, too. One trip last week produced five walleyes between 16 and 23 inches. Rapala X-Raps continue to take many of the fish. We’ve also caught a lot of bass on Winco’s Solid Body River Darter – this is the best sot jerkbait I’ve found for river fishing. It sinks well, and has an extra tough head for nose-hooking.”

    Dale Black (Oil City) filed 7/29: “On Saturday, I fished with Darl Black for a couple hours before a tornado sighting in Crawford County chased us off the river. The bite started rather slow, with a number of small-size bass – some no longer than the lure. Just could not get a big bite. So, I headed the boat upstream to some very fast, and very shallow water. While I was getting an occasional strike on a pearl Yum Houdini Shad, it wasn’t until Darl dug deep into his bag of tricks and brought out solid chartreuse Skippy Fish soft jerkbait that keeper fish began to come aboard. After the third bass, I had to beg one from Darl, and I started getting photo fish, too. Earlier in the week, Frank Malek and I had been out. We caught over a dozen nice smallmouths mainly on baitfish-colored sot jerkbaits, but it seems the stain in the river from the previous day’s rainstorm had shifted the preferred color for smallmouth.”

    Ed Lawrence (Corry) filed 7/29: “My buddy and I floated a secion of the Allegheny River this past Friday. We caught several smallmouth bass, one fat 14-inch walleye and a 24-inch pike.”

    Steve Udick (Oil City) filed 7/25: “I spend the week at President with my daughter’s family, fishing and swimming with my grandchildren. Three year old Drew Knight caught a 17–inch smallmouth on a Jitterbug in the afternoon. The second picture is 6-year-old Addison Knight catching a 17-inch bass on a Bass Pro Teaser Tube. The next picture is the girl’s father, Major Andrew Knight US ARMY, catching a nice bass on a Mizmo Tube. The final picture is Addison and her friend Lily Scalise intently watching their lines for a bite – if only I paid that much attention to my fishing! Water temps were very warm, forcing the fish into very fast water for oxygen. Most of the fish were we caught were just above or below a rapid in very shallow water.” (See Livewell)

    Darl Black (Cochranton) filed 7/26: “I met up with Jeff Knapp on the river at Emlenton for photo shoot for an upcoming Bassmaster aricle. But first we had to catch a couple smallmouth bass. As oten happens, it started out slow and I was wondering if we would get the needed pictures. But Jeff had a key spot in mind and a terrific lure to capture a couple photo fish. Using a Rapala X-Rap in perch pattern, he targeted a fast, rockstudded run between two shallow rapids – a difficult place to reach and fish effecively. He came through with the biggest fish of our three hour ouing – a 3-pounder plus.”

    Dawn Whitley (Franklin) filed 7/24: “Here is a picture of a flathead cat that Jimmy caught from the Allegheny on 7/22/12. We got set up around dusk. The cats started hitting within an hour and never let up until around 2 AM. We caught about a dozen flatheads ranging from 12 inches to 32 inches. We used live creek chubs and crawfish, plus a hellgrammite that landed near our boat. The riverbugs were out and moon was almost non-existent, both signs of a good night for fishing.”

    Chris Wolfgong (Oil City) filed 7/23: “I made it out on the river last night with Dale Black from 6:30 to 8:30. Weeds are getting really bad – lots of floaing clumps. I caught at least ten smallmouths and Dale did the same – we stopped couning at 10 apiece but landed a few more. Most bass were in fast water. Most fish were taken on tubes, although Flukes took a few smaller bass. My largest of the night was a 16-3/4 inch smallie taken on a tube. I was using 8# Gamma Edge on a spinning reel and a green pumpkin tube on a 1/8-oz. tube head. I was nose-hooking the Flukes on a 1/0 drop shot hook with 14# Edge.”

    Gamma Lines presents: “Fishing Tips and Forecast for NW PA Waters”

    Gamma Pro-Staff Tips

    Adjust to changes – Steve Hughes: I fished the United Way tournament at Conneaut last week. The bass were in a negaive mod, and would not take a reacion bait very well. I lost a few fish on a Fat Free Shad crankbait because they barely had the back hook in their mouth. This told me they were not committing to the bait. So I switched to Yum Houdini Worm on a drop-shot rig to work the same weed edges. I was pitching the bait to the outside weed edge. The key was 15 lb. Gamma braid with a 1 12 lb. Gamma Edge leader. I had much better sensiivity with braid and fluorocarbon than regular line, plus I had the line strength to get the fish out of the weeds.

    Good weeds – Danny Jones: This is the ime of year on natural lakes like Conneaut, Edinboro and PIB that you’ve got to find the dark green coontail or milfoil in order to find largemouth bass. Avoid the stringy weeds – they don’t hold preyfish or predator bass. Finding the right weed patch yields muliple bass.

    Fishing Forecast

    Best Bet this coming week: Creeks and Allegheny River. The heavy rains we experienced in NW PA this past week have mucked up the small streams, French Creek and the Allegheny River. Many of our smaller creeks were suffering from high water temperatures and low flow. Fortunately, the rains have cooled the streams and increased water volume. However, the muddy water on the smaller flows is not helpful to catching fish – especially smallmouth bass. But as soon as the water begins to clear should be the perfect time to hit these creeks while the flow is up a bit and the water temperature is sill down. If no more serious rain, I would suggest the Allegheny and French Creek, as well as smaller streams for smallmouth.

    Musky huning? Normally, July is a good month for musky fishing in our region. However, repots seem spotty at best this season. Focus on smaller lakes like Woodcock, Canadohta, Edinboro, LeBoeuf and Justus Lake … plus flowing water — a big one came from the Shenango this week.

    Upcoming

    August 25; Walt’s Tavern Bass Buddy Tournament at Conneaut Lake; 724-986-6557 for info
    Gun Rale; Oil Region Alliance at Franklin Elks; 814-677-3152 for ickets


Our weather forecast is from WP Wunderground