Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
Reporting date: June 18, 2012
Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region&GAMMA Fishing Line
The information in the NW PA Fishing Report is based on the observations and opinions ofindividuals at the reporting tackle shops and expert area anglers. The information is reliable however it is not independently verified. If you have current fishing information or a picture of your catch from one of the waters in the counties of Crawford, Erie, Mercer or Venango that you would like to share, please send it to Darl Black at email@example.com. In providing a picture, you are agreeing to it being posted in the Fishing Report.
First week of summer – the longest days of the year! Yea! With school out and family vacaions on the agenda, there’s plenty of fishing ahead. And while you may hope and plan to catch a paricular species, you can never be sure what will bite the bait or lure on the end of your line. Even when you think you know what species are swimming in each area lake, there are sill surprises. For example, back in May, writers attending Crappie Camp at Pymatuning caught several warmouth panfish – a species I did not know lived in Pymatuning. Then there were several big flathead cafish taken in Shenango and Pymatuning the last couple week – another surprise. This week, Al Nacopoulos at B.A.C Bait in Erie says customers have been bringing in a panfish from PIB they could not idenify – again, warmouth. And this past weekend, Tanner Shay caught a trophy hybrid striper –not from Shenango where they were stocked years ago, but from Pymatuning…and the fish was taken on a doughball! To be sure, I have reports last June of similar situaion at Pymatuning – hybrid stripers taken on bread balls while fishing for carp. Yep, you can never be sure what you might catch in the waters of northwestern
Pennsylvania. And when you do catch something, please send a photo and story about your catch!
NW PENNSYLVANIA FISHING REPORT for June 18, 2012
What’s biting in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counies?
FRENCH CREEK – Flowing through all four counies
Dusin Shay (Meadville) filed 6/18: “The walleye bite for me on the creek has slowed way down. In the past two weeks, I’ve only landed 3 or 4 walleye. The water is low and clear; I’m seeing walleye when wading, and some of them are following baits – but they turn away before committing. There’s walleye to be caught, but I’ve got to figure out exactly what they want. On Father’s Day, I fished the Creek for crappies, catching about 8 or 10 very nice fish on 2” Skippy Fish on a Road Runner head.”
Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 6/15: “I went out to watch trout being stocked at Union City in a small tributary creek to the South Branch of French Creek. The fishing acion was fast; I caught fish on almost every cast with a Panther Martin Spinner, Rooster Tail Spinner and trout jigs called Trout Magnets tipped with live maggots. I caught trout, bass and even a pike. To find this spot, go to Union City, turn left onto Willow Street behind Union City Chair Company and follow Willow to the Bridge Street. There are numerous fishing holes up and down stream. “
Jeff Knapp (Keystone Connecion Guide Service) filed 6/17: “Guide trips on the river the later part of last week were very producive. Good numbers of smallmouth bass were caught and released – although there were a lot of small ones. Sill, we boated some nice fish, including the biggest smallmouth of the year at 20.5 inches. Most smallmouths were taken on Rapala X-Raps, but the big fish was taken on a Winco Wacky Worm with a Daiichi Circle Hook; the Winco River Darter also was producive. Water temperature is 75 degrees, and as of June 17 the water color is relaively clear.”
Chris Wolfgong (Oil City) filed 6/17: “On Thursday evening the 14th, my dad, Larry, and I managed to get out for about 1.5 hours. Fish were stacked up in the fast water where Oil Creek dumps into the Allegheny. I lost count of the number of missed bites, but I landed 15 smallies, both upstream and downstream of the junction. The largest was 15 inches taken in water only ankle deep. All were taken on green pumpkin tubes with 1/8-ounce head on 8-pound Gamma Edge. After much frustraion with a Dinger, I finally convinced Dad to switch to a tube for the last half hour. He landed 5 bass and missed numerous others including a toothy critter after a 10 minute fight.
“Dad and I hit the water wade fishing again yesterday at the juncion of Oil Creek and the River. We fished for 1.5 hours in the middle of the afternoon. I caught 4 and dad caught 8 – all on tubes in the fast water. Fish weren’t as acive as the other night but we sill had a good ime. The two largest bass were 15 and 17 inches; the others were in the 10 to 12 inch range.”
John Hummel (Kennerdell) field 6/14: “My son Tim was trying out this new Michigan fly rod on the Allegheny near Kennerdell while I tried surface lures. We both caught plenty of ‘Allegheny Sea Weed’ but that’s about all. However, these are the longest days of the year, and with the perfect weather to match perfect scenery, we simply enjoyed the time on the water watching kingfishers, turtles, beavers, pileated woodpeckers, herons, eagles, ducks and even a mink interact with their environment.”
John Hummel filed 6/14: “Trout fishing on East Sandy was terrific last week with lots of fish. We had the creek to ourselves and the acion was non-stop. We were using worms!”
Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards Bait) filed 6/18: “Customers report good perch fishing in 45 to 50 feet of water just west of Walnut Creek. Meanwhile, walleyes are in 50 to 60 feet of water east of Walnut. Walleyes are being taken primarily on sickbaits – Bagley, Reef Runner and Renosky.”
Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait) filed 6/18: “I’m getting reports of perch in 41 to 46 feet of water off the Point (Peninsula) and just east of Harbor Creek. Walleyes are in 46 to 54 feet. Smallmouth bass are being caught from 18 feet out to 35 feet. And let’s not forget the cafish coming off the Marina at North East.”
Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 6/16: “Went out on the Lake fishing for walleye. Fish were caught on Bagley divers run off planer boards and downriggers. We ended up with 8 walleye with the smallest 24 inches and the largest 30 inches.”
Presque Isle Bay
Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait) filed 6/18: “The panfish bite in the Bay is very good. Bluegills are being caught all over the Bay. And I’m getting lots of questions about a panfish which anglers don’t recognize – warmouth. I saw the first one in the Bay about 10 years ago, but now anglers are catching numbers of them in Horseshoe Pond and Marina Bay. The other night I started out bass fishing in Misery Bay, but switched to a bluegill rig later in the evening – and caught several very nice perch! I’m surprised to see such large perch in shallow water this time of year.”
Joe Nichols (UndergroundAngler.com) filed 6/18: “We fished PIB on Friday, catching and releasing over 50 bass. Surprisingly, more smallmouth than I expected. Definitely out deeper though. Most bass came on a Bomber Fat Free Shad crankbait and Strike King Red Eye Shad rattle bait. Water temperature was 72 degrees with air temperature pushing 80.”
Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 6/18: “I went fishing in the Bay for bass and perch. I caught small perch on crappie rigs while drifting. Also, I had a few bass on tubes and a Snag Proof Crawfish lure. Waves were 3 feet out of south. Not a bad day. Earlier in the week I fished the North Pier; got 5 bass and some nice crappie and even a few large perch. Crappies and perch came on minnows. Bass were taken on a Bomber A plug that looks like a crawfish.”
Union City Reservoir
Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 6-18: “Several of my customers are reporing very good success for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and northern pike at Union City Reservoir.”
Bob Mohra (Fergie’s Bait) filed 6/18: “Bryan Harsh of Sheakleyville brought in a 5-fish stringer of very fat walleyes from 16 to 28 inches. He caught them by trolling a Hot-N Tot and also a worm harness. It goes to show there are certainly nice walleye in the lake, as well as nice bass…but catching them is a puzzle because there
are too many gizzard shad – fish don’t have to hunt for food, only open their mouth.”
Al Moore (Cochranton) filed 6/17: “Our club had a tournament at Wilhelm today. Everyone caught fish – the bass were on. It seemed like soft plasic baits caught 95% of the fish. I took 1st place with five largemouth going 15 pounds 4 ounces; I also took Lunker. All my fish came off the same stump in 10 feet of water. I caught them all on a Zoom Baby Brush Hog – black emerald color. We are headed to Erie next weekend.”
Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 6/17: “I fished Shenango on Tuesday. It started a little slow but picked up as the day went on. I tried deeper brush with little success so I fished
the shoreline blow-downs with a jig and bobber. I picked up 2 or 3 good crappie off each tree. When the smaller fish would start biing, I’ve move to the next blowdown. Not a bad day, as I was on the water at 7 AM and off at 11 AM.
“Saturday the 16th was a pretty producive day on Shenango. I got a 30” pike, a 20” striper and some nice size crappies for a Father’s Day Fish Fry. Promised my brother
Dan that I’d show him how to fillet a pike to get the Y bones out, since he had a bad experience last ime he ate pike. Pike is a very tasty fish when breaded and deep fried. Caught all my fish on a 1/8-ounce head with black/chartreuse twister tail on 6 pound Vicious fished over shallow brush.”
Mike Marin (Cochranton) filed 6/17: “Chuck Papinchak and I fished Conneaut Lake on Saturday, 6/16. It wasn’t a fantasic day but we did okay. We caught a handful of largemouth bass in the 2.5 pound range and I had a northern pike to the boat that self-released before I unhooked. I also landed my first Conneaut Lake smallmouth bass. Fish came on topwater, spinnerbait and C-rig.”
Chub Hornstein (Meadville) filed 6/16: “On Friday, 6/15, I went bass fishing at Conneaut Lake. Fishing favorite areas around the lake, I struggled to catch 5 largemouths…unil I got to the north end weedbed where I found the bass sitting on the hard bottom apron just outside the deep weed edge. I caught 14 more bass, all in the 2.5 pound clone size. They didn’t want my Zoom Centipede. Instead, I caught them all on a Yum Wooly Bug and Zoom Brush Hog. Bass were not on the weeds, but a little deeper. I would cast the bait, let it settle and then slowly swim it back to the boat.”
Jim Hall (Cochranton) filed 6/15: “On Thursday, 6/14, I fished Conneaut Lake. I caught a few crappies in the 12-inch range plus a few bluegills, a northern pike, a largemouth bass and a nice white bass.”
Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 6/18: “Walleye have been reported in both the shallow weed edges and deeper water. Numerous limits have been caught using AFF Worm Harnesses, AFF Walleye Wizards, floating jigheads and Lindy Rigs. Largest ‘eye reported to me last week was a 28 incher. Crappies seem a bit more
sporadic now. One customer reported catching 30 crappies underneath the causeway bridge. Another reported good-size crappies off Orchard launch area. Jigs ipped with minnows seemed to be best. Cafish are being caught all over the lake, with two customers reporing 10 nice silver cats on crawlers.”
Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store) filed 6/18: “Saturday was a very busy day on the lake, but Father’s Day on Sunday was pretty slow. Anglers are sill catching walleye, both around weeds in 4 to 8 feet of water, and by trolling or drifting deeper. Drifting with jig-and-crawler seems to have the edge for ‘eye during the day. Also a handful of anglers are having success at night when the alewives come shallow. There are lots of alewives this year, but the bite seems to be very late – between 1 AM and 3 AM around very shallow weeds. Anglers are casing sickbaits like Bomber Long A and Original Rapala. Silver/black back or chartreuse seems to be the best colors. A couple muskies were reported this week, including a 40 incher taken by my son, Bean.”
Norman Brakeman (Hill Country Store) filed 6/17: “I had to work this week, but my buddy Dave is sill catching 13 to 14-inch crappies in 8 to 10 feet of water on Hooker Bugs tipped with a minnow.”
Dan Shay (Meadville) filed 6/17: “My grandson Tanner caught a 9 pound 13 ounce hybrid striper while fishing for carp at Pymatuning; the striper hit doughball! They weighed the fish at the PFBC Hatchery. It was his first striper.”
Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 6/17: “My buddy Adam from Ohio came over to fish Pymatuning with me on Wednesday. We planned to go crappie fishing, staring out over brush in deep water at the South End, but the wind picked up from the north making it tough to hold the boat. Moved to some less producive crappie spots, and then decided to try bluegill fishing closer to shore. We caught ‘gills unil our arms got ired. Adam used a 1/16-ounce Road Runner with a 1.5” Southern Pro Stinger and I used a Southern Pro Triple-Tail on a 1/16-ounce plain head. The ‘gills averaged 9 inches and were fat with knobby heads. Also, we caught and released 5 smallmouth and 3 largemouth bass while casing the calmer shoreline areas. We finished the day with a dozen crappies and close to 50 bluegills.”
Darl Black (Cochranton) filed 6/16: “Saturday evening I ran over to Pymatuning to test several of the new umbrella rigs provided by different tackle companies. Umbrella rigs are muliple bait rigs (limited to 3 hooks in PA) that look like a school of baifish coming through the water. I met up with Jim Hall who had been fishing the lake earlier in the day; he had caught a number of channel cats while drifting for walleye with a jig-ncrawler – but no walleye. The wind was blowing nicely, so we tried drifting the 3-bait umbrella rig. My iniial rig – a Yum-Brella Tripod – was too heavy for a slow drift with a drift sock, but in jigging it along the bottom I caught several perch. Jim used an AFF Umbrella frame with three AFF Maxi Wiggle Right spoons. The planning acion of the spoons kept his umbrella rig off the bottom. In our limited ime, we only caught perch and a nice crappie – no walleye.”
Kurt Sitler (Cochranton) filed 6/15: “I took my wife and children out one evening this past week for a couple hours. We caught 16 walleye and kept 8 of them. I found pockets of fish holding on the bottom in 10 feet of water. We jigged a nightcrawler to enice the fish.”
Chub Hornstein (Meadville) filed 6/15: “On Tuesday evening, Dan Wielobob and I caught four legal walleye on the North End of Pymatuning while drifting nightcrawlers – it was a slow evening. The next day I went Perch on ‘umbrella’ back to Pymatuning, and caught a limit of walleye – five on jig and worm, and one on a Hot-N Tot. I really
had to work for them; seems the walleye bite in the Stumps is slowing down some.”
Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 6/18: “During the day, panfish are the mainstay at Canadohta Lake right now, along with the occasional northern pike. But at dusk, anglers are catching walleye by trolling worm harnesses outside the weedline. There were reports of a couple big muskies hooked but lost this week. We are getting into that early summer when we expect to see some really big muskies at the lake –typically around the first of July.”
John Ensworth (John’s Bait) filed 6/18: “A customer brought in a big walleye from Woodcock Lake over the weekend – 26 inches!”
This week’s photography winner of a spool of Gamma Line is Ken Smith.
The name drawn from contributors as winner of LFT “Live” Baby Shad packets is Chris Wolfgong.
Monthly Free fly-tying classes; 2nd Tuesday; 6 PM to 7:30 PM; 814-590-1366; Farrell’s Hook, Line & Sitch; At the Bank Mall, Meadville
Special public meeting regarding status of Tamarack Lake is scheduled for Thursday, June 21 at 6:30 at Oak Grove Park, 10902 Oak Grove Ave. Call 720-9965 for details. Learn more about the draw-down situaion of Tamarack, what the Fish Commission plans to do and how you can help
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