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NW PA Weekly Fishing Report, May 30, 2011

May 31, 2011
Ohio Valley Outdoors
Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region

& GAMMA Fishing Line

Connect to all counties at www.PaGreatLakes.com

- Crawford County Convention &Visitors Bureau at www.visitcrawford.org

- VisitErie at www.visiterie.com

- VisitMercerCountyPA at www.visitmercercountypa.com

- Oil Region Alliance at www.oilregion.org

Connect to Gamma Line at www.GammaFishing.com

- Gamma Line is now owned by Black Knight Industries of Oil City

Note: The information in the NW PA Weekly Fishing Report is based on the observations and opinions of individuals at the reporting tackle shops and expert area anglers. Although the information is reliable, it is not independently verified.

If you have fishing information or a picture of your catch from one of the waters in the following counties, please contact Darl Black at darlblack@windstream.net

In providing a picture, you are agreeing to it being posted on the Fishing Report.

Erie County Waters

Presque Isle Bay

Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait) had a super weekend of business. He says everything is biting in the Bay…”Whatever you want to catch, you can right now – smallmouth are everywhere in the bay; bluegill bite in the shallows is excellent; perch off the North Pier; rock bass are starting to bite in the shallows; and a fisherman even reported catching a walleye off Parking Lot #3.”

Danny Jones (Erie) reports catching 30 smallmouth bass in the Bay on May 25, plus a bunch of largemouth around Marina walls on a TABU Open Water Jig. He says it was tough fishing due to dirty water and an east wind.

Lake Erie

David Kraut (Hermitage) reports that the hunt for a new state record lake trout continues. “We have been getting a lot of lakers only a pound or two away from the state record. It would appear there is a very good possibility of someone setting a new record this year. Captain Dan Graziano of the Eyecatcher (Erie) caught a 25-pounder on Wednesday. The lakers are still around the north side of the Mountain. Trolling spoons have been the ticket.” David says if he is on the lake fishing and anyone wants to know where the lakers are biting, give him a call on the radio; his call sign is “No Kings” – right now while the record fish hunt goes on he seems to be up there frequently.

Lake LeBoeuf

No official report from anyone, but when high water conditions push the level of Lake LeBoeuf into the bushes, the northern pike and bowfin should be jumping on anything flashy you toss their way.



Mercer County Waters

Lake Wilhelm

Bob Mohra (Fergies Bait) says that Saturday, May 29, was perhaps the best day this year so far for fishing at Wilhelm. “Everyone was catching bluegills and crappies, from shore and from boats. There were walleyes reported as well. All the anglers stopping by were excited and buying live bait; we had to package up a lot more bait for Sunday & Monday. Crappies were coming on live minnows and on Southern Pro Stinger jigs in pearl; bluegills were being caught on small jigs tipped with a maggot or wax worm. “ The lake level remains high and somewhat tinted brown; bass fishermen were struggling.

Shenango Lake

Ken Smith (Sharon): “I fished Shenango on May 23 and found the crappie bite to be very good in shallow water. Most of the females were spawned out and the males were aggressively guarding the nests. Put any color jig or Micro Spoon in front of one and the fish would slam it. Caught and released well over a limit of 10-inch-or-better crappie. I kept 8 crappies over 12 inches; one fish over 15 inches. I was surprised there were only two boats out that day.”

Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait) says anglers are catching walleye on Shenango Lake trolling nightcrawlers on a worm harness.

Shenango River

Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait) reports anglers fishing the Shenango River are having good success on crappie, yellow perch and walleye. The Shenango can be fished from shore in some spots between Greenville and Big Bend area – many shore spots off Tow Path Road in Big Bend area. Kayaks and canoes may be launched at the Kidds Mills Covered Bridge below Greenville for a day float to Big Bend take out. Or car-top boats and very small trailered-boats with outboards may be launched at the Big Bend access beside the bridge.

Neshannock Creek

Bob Shuey (Neshannock Creek Fly Shop): “As of May 28, Neshannock is dropping but still very colored. It should improve for fishing by first of week and be in better shape than it has in some time. Lots of bugs: Cahills, March Browns, Brown Drakes and Caddis.”



Venango County Waters

Allegheny River

Mike Horrobin (CLTackle.com) says the river is still high and dirty, although dropping some. “The ramp and handicap fishing pier at Franklin are still under water, but at least I can see the boil where the pier should be,” he says.

An article in local paper warned boaters not to go out on the Allegheny over the Memorial Day holiday and it appeared most were following that advice. I stopped by the Franklin ramp on May 30; saw only one trailer in parking lot and one small group of canoeists launching. River needs to drop nearly two feet before it provides shoreline eddy pockets you can identify and fish. Right now it is flowing too fast from shore to shore. At Oil City pool, Chris Wolfgong was out Sunday evening, May 30, and offers the following.

Chris Wolfgong (Oil City): “On Sunday evening I was out a few hours with my dad, Larry, and Dale Black. Dale had been fishing some time before we arrived and finished the day with 16 smallmouths. My dad caught three smallmouths and I caught one. All bass were taken on tubes. Not the kind of action we would normally expect by Memorial Day weekend, but at least something.”

Further up river, below the Kinzua Dam one of our regular contributors, John Conroy, was fishing the river near Warren when he caught and released a 24-inch brown trout while his buddy caught another brown almost 24 inches. They also caught some small walleye and smallmouth bass. John caught his fish on a Cotton Cordell Wally Diver in blue chrome, just as the river level started to increase due to opening of gates on the dam. “I was using 8-pound Gamma Clear copolymer line,” notes John.

Big Sandy Creek & Little Sandy Creek

John Conroy (Franklin) caught and released 19 rainbows and one brown trout this past week. Mike Horrobin says though all high water and mud affecting so many other waters, Little Sandy Creek has continued to fish very well; Caddis flies currently are coming off the creek.

Oil Creek

Mike Laskowski (Oil Creek Outfitters) reports Oil Creek is dropping to fishable levels and if we don’t get any more rain, the fish should start biting. When asked what hatch to expect, he simply threw up his hands. “This has been the craziest spring I can ever remember, and all the hatches are off. It’s anyone’s guess as to what will come off this week.”

Bill Logan (Pleasantville) caught 14” trout on Wooly Buggers one day this past week on Oil Creek.



French Creek (Erie, Crawford and Venango Counties)

French Creek remains very high and very muddy, discouraging most fishermen and kayakers. High flows on French Creek are likely more dangerous for kayakers and canoeists than high flows on the Allegheny due to the numerous “strainers” on French that can upset and trap boaters.



Crawford County Waters

Pymatuning Lake

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors): “Lots of people out on the lake over the Memorial Day weekend. I’m still getting good reports about walleye with 20 to 30 fish per day but only 4 or 5 keepers – pretty much the norm right now. Largest ‘eye brought into the shop this week was 27 inches going a hair shy of 6 pounds. The big ‘eye was caught by Larry Leas from Pittsburgh; he was using a green jighead with a green curly-tail tipped with a golden shiner.

“Quite a few eyes are being caught on worm harnesses with green or orange blades. Storm Hot-N-Tots are hot right now, too. Silver with blue or chartreuse back were the best sellers in the shop this week.

“The crappie bite continues to be very good, too, with 40 to 50 fish days during the week reported. Crappies seem to be eating just about anything you put in front of them. I was on the causeway Thursday evening before the storm came in, and caught 15 crappies and one big bluegill in 20 minutes – all on a 1/8-oz. white marabou crappie jig.”

Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store) says the fishing for crappie, bluegill and small walleye is off the charts. “Good size crappies, but oodles of sub-legal walleye. Bass are hitting well in the lake. One guy reported catching and releasing a 40 inch musky in the Shenango River below the dam. The shoreline musky fishing at the lake is done; the musky spawn is over.”

Destin DeMarion (Grove City): “I was fishing on Pymatuning on Tuesday for bass. The fishing was tougher than the last few times out, but I still managed 15 largemouths. Most of the fish came on a white Booyah Boogee Bait, plus some on a Rapala DT Fat03 crankbait and Berkley Sabertail Tube. Most bass were in the 2 to 2.5 pound range.”

Dustin Shay (Meadville) reports that he and five friends caught 400 bluegills on May 26, at Pymatuning. “The catfish bite of previous weeks has slowed down, and the few we caught and kept had stomachs full of carp spawn,” says Dustin.

Conneaut Lake

Chad Templin (Saegertown): “My buddy and I went to Conneaut Lake on Tuesday. Surface water was 66 degrees. Fishing for bass was slower than we had hoped. We managed to catch some fish, but nothing spectacular. We caught our biggest fish on a BS Baits Big Spoon in perch pattern and a hand-tied float-n-fly. On Wednesday I took some friends from Los Angeles over to Conneaut for bluegill. Surface temp was up to 69 degrees. We managed to catch several nice sized bluegill and pair of bowfin. They also caught a nice pike on a small grub, which put up quite a fight. Most fish were taken on purple marabou jigs tipped with small worms.”

Woodcock Lake

A few barely legal walleye are still being caught in the spillway area below the dam. No report from the lake itself.

Canadohta Lake

Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) says the northern pike bite is on at Canadohta; nice ones are being taken on live golden shiners and spinnerbaits. He also says numbers of very nice bluegills are being taken at Union City Reservoir.

Bill Logan (Pleasantville): “I put a 40-inch-plus musky in the net at Canadohta this past week – one of the best fights ever! I had another follow on the same Mega Super D musky plug that caught the first fish. Nothing on bass – pads are not up yet.”



Fishing Tip of the Week

Anglers are targeting bluegills as they move onto the shallows and onto beds over the next couple weeks. However, too many fishermen are missing a lot of fish because they are using too big a hook and too heavy line/tackle. Hook size should be size #10 or #8, such as you find on Mike’s Ants or similar small bluegill baits. Use same small hook for plain bait hook, too. Use a couple maggots on the hook rather than a chunk of worm (too big). Fish a light action outfit with 4 pound test. Now you’ll catch a lot more fish.

Outdoor Calendar of Events

June 19 BMCC Father’s Day Open Bass Tourney 814-382-0686

Presque Isle Bay; $100 per team

June 25 Walt’s Tavern Bass Tourney wjcc@windstream.net

Conneaut Lake; $50.00 entry per 2-person Team

Information contributed by:

- Chris’ Tackle Box, Jamestown, PA

- Maurer’s Trading Post, Franklin, PA

- Oil Creek Outfitters, Titusville, PA

- John’s Bait & Tackle, Meadville, PA

- Van Tassel’s Timberland Bait, Canadohta Lake, PA

- Fergie’s Bait & Tackle, Sandy Lake, PA

- R & L Bait & Tackle, Greenville, PA

- B.A.C. Bait & Tackle, Erie, PA

- Poor Richards Bait & Tackle, Fairview, PA

- Presque Isle Angler, Erie, PA

- Neshannock Creek Fly Shop, Volant, PA

- Erie Sports Store, Erie, PA

- CLTackle.com

- Espyville Outdoors, Espyville, PA

- Farrell’s Hook, Line & Stitch, Meadville, PA

- Consumer Direct Sports, Grove City, PA

- Jigger Wholesale, Franklin, PA

- Area anglers

Keep up with more NW PA Fishing at darlblack.blogspot.com

Article Photos

John Conroy with 24” river brown trout on Allegheny River below the Kinzua Dam. The trout was caught on a Cotton Cordell Wally Diver in blue chrome.

Fact Box

Presque Isle Bay
Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait) had a super weekend of business. He says everything is biting in the Bay…”Whatever you want to catch, you can right now – smallmouth are everywhere in the bay; bluegill bite in the shallows is excellent; perch off the North Pier; rock bass are starting to bite in the shallows.

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