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NW PA Weekly Fishing Report - June 20, 2011

June 21, 2011
By Darl Black
Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region & GAMMA Fishing Line

Connect to all counties at

- Crawford County Convention &Visitors Bureau at

- VisitErie at

- VisitMercerCountyPA at

- Oil Region Alliance at

Connect to Gamma Line at

- 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

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

Mercer County Waters

Lake Wilhelm

Bob Mohra (Fergies Bait): “This past weekend, the walleye were biting pretty good – just in time for Father’s Day! I had one customer stop in with two 18” and one 23” walleye – taken on Hot-N-Tot and worm harnesses. Other customers reported similar success trolling similar lures. The number of panfish being caught is impressive, but the size is not so impressive. A few anglers are reporting catching 150 to 200 crappies a day to get a mess of fish worth taking home. Based on customer comments from opening day of bass season, it seems the bite was pretty good over the weekend – good number of largemouth caught on wide assortment of artificial lures.”

Mike Horrobin ( & Jigger Wholesale) “Every species seemed to be cooperating with anglers this week. According to reports from customers, Lake Wilhelm moved to the top of the panfish list – at least in numbers. Mike’ Ants, hand-tied flies, Jigger Curly Tails and Southern Pro Stingers are still catching panfish; all the favorites can be found at Jigger Wholesale on Georgetown Road just outside Franklin. Bass fishermen reported good success on opening day at Wilhelm as well. We had made more colors of spinnerbaits and buzz baits than old Jason Lucas could have ever imagined. Forty years ago bass fishermen thought a white plug with a red head was hot stuff. Today we have colors from Watermelon to Monkey Puke – who would have thought!”

Destin DeMarion (Grove City): “I’ve been catching bass at Wilhelm pretty good this week. Went out for a few hours on Monday and Tuesday – caught over 20 largemouths each day with some quality fish in the bunch. I started out flipping an Omega Flipping jig, and caught some small ones. But the wind forced me to move – glad I did. Within 30 minutes, I caught 20 bass from 2 to 5 pounds with one pushing 6 pounds on a 1/2-ounce Z-Man Chatterbait. They were all offshore; I forgot my crankbait box or I would have likely caught more. Hit the right offshore spot on Wilhelm and you can catch a bunch. I was just bumping the Chatterbait along the bottom and fish were crushing it. Once the school was fired up, sometimes the lure wouldn’t even hit bottom before a bass ate it. After they slowed down, I was able to coax a few more on a jig.”

Destin continues, “On Tuesday, a buddy of mine from college came down to fish and we started out flipping. The wind wasn’t bad but the cold front was on us. He caught a 3 pounder flipping a Gander Mountain soft plastic creature, and we caught some fish on a Z-Man Chatterbait and a black Booyah Buzzbait. I remembered the crankbaits this time so we hit some offshore spots – took 10 fish from 2 to 3 pounds on Strike King Series 5 and 6 crankbaits. Hit some weedbeds before leaving and my buddy caught a 3.5 pounder on a buzzbait, and finished the day with a 4 pounder on a Chatterbait. Every outing the last couple weeks at Wilhelm has produced fish in the 4 to 5 pound range.” (See Photo #1)

Shenango Lake

Darl Black: “While in Sharon on business Friday June 17, I stopped by Shenango Lake to check out the lake level. Based on my four decades of fishing experience on the lake, it looked perfect for bass fishing – the lake had fallen to bank-full level but was over the banks in the trees. Flood water conditions put too much shallow cover into play. But at its current level, the shallow stumps and logs are covered; if you remember where the cover is located, you can pull largemouth off of it. I talked with Bill Trimmer of the Pittsburgh area who had been camping all week at the lake. He said walleye catches had dropped, although he and his son managed a couple 20-inch plus fish. Also, the number of crappie caught was lower than hoped for, but the size of fish was impressive; they had caught several citation-size crappies. The hot crappie bite was in 10 to 11 feet of water along the old river channel in the Shenango Stumps area.”

Neshannock Creek

Bob Shuey (Neshannock Creek Fly Shop): “Neshannock is fishing well early in the morning, but slowing down mid-day. Small nymphs and streamers seem to be working but terrestrials should start fishing well. The 10 day forecast doesn’t look bad and we could use a little water.”

Neshannock is the best stream in Mercer County for holding stocked trout well into the summer. Given the unfavorable water and weather conditions during the early weeks of trout season, it seems likely Neshannock has a higher than normal number of carry-over trout this year. (See Photo #2)

Venango County Waters

Allegheny River

Darl Black: “The Allegheny has dropped to normal summer low level but remains more stained than usual. I had heard from the grapevine (unverified) of a couple anglers catching 50 smallmouths the previous week. Marilyn and I were out last Wednesday for a couple hours mid-day but found smallmouth to be uncooperative. Water temperature was 74 degrees and dingy. I caught one very small smallmouth on a new Bomber 4A Real Craw Series and a small pike on a Blue Glimmer Houdini Shad. Marilyn missed a couple smallmouths on the new F2 Dinger. But it was not so dirty that I missed seeing a dozen smallmouths in the spawning process in one down-river island cut. The fish were chasing one another around beds, but were not locked on beds. With water temp in the mid 70s, it was not text book conditions for smallmouth spawn, but I’ve seen it as late as early July with 76 degree water when the Allegheny had been high and dirty all spring in previous years.”

According to Mike Horrobin ( and Jigger), river anglers had good success on smallmouth bass and catfish over the Father’s Day weekend but no one mentioned catching any walleye.

Chuck Sari (Franklin): “I fished the Allegheny River on Sunday evening. I caught four smallmouths and a walleye. All fish were taken on a gold Rapala Minnow.”

Oil Creek

Mike Lakowski (Oil Creek Outfitters): “Oil Creek is still fishing well for trout in the early morning and late evenings. Smallmouth bass are starting to get playful also.” If planning to fish Oil Creek, be sure to stop in at Mike’s shop on Route 8 south of Titusville several miles; he has all the flies that are currently hatching.

Sugar Creek

Ken Anderson (Tionesta): “I fished Sugar Creek in the Bradleytown area on the 16th and caught 3 trout on a white & brown Rooster Tail spinner. My brother and nephew each caught one on Power Bait, too. Several fish came unbuttoned on the way in. All fish were released. Also, I fished Kinzua Creek near the mouth at Kinzua Reservoir on the 15th; got 5 trout – including browns, rainbows and brook trout. One fish must have spent a season or two in the lake because it looked like a silver salmon. Also took 5 nice smallmouths in addition to trout. All fish came on Hus Lure Spoon.”

Other Trout Streams

Mike Horrobin ( & Jigger): “Trout fishing was still very strong and the hatch activity is hot and heavy. I had reports of everything from Brown Drakes and Sulphurs to Light Cahills. Big Sand and Little Sandy were both fishing very well and I’m sure the mountain streams like Little Pine and Caldwell were also showing good hatches – as well as Oil Creek. It’s feast or famine – first we had nothing now we have everything! (See Photo #3)

French Creek (Erie, Crawford and Venango Counties)

Mike Horrobin noted this was the weekend for the Utica Bass Tournament on French Creek. Anglers who stopped in the shop for bait reported some smallmouth action on the creek.

Dustin Shay (Meadville) has been fishing French Creek for both walleye and flathead catfish the past week. “A fishing buddy, Barry Hazelhurst, caught an 18 pound flathead last week; several other big cats have been reported taken as far up the creek as Meadville – up to 21 pounds…but I don’t seem to be able to catch one. I’ve been fishing live chubs and nightcrawlers for walleye in the creek, but as the water has cleared and dropped, the walleye aren’t eating the bait. I can’t even get them to take a ‘crawler – they swim off with it but I can’t hook them. Big northerns as well as muskies have been chasing my chubs to the bank then turning away – likely due to clear water. The other night a 40-inch musky came right up to the bank after my bait, turned and soaked me with his tail as he swam off.”

Crawford County Waters

Pymatuning Lake

Dustin Shay (Meadville): “I’ve been catfishing at the Linesville Spillway the past week. My buddy Austin Scere (Saegertown) caught a 7 to 9 pound hybrid striper the other day on doughball.” (See Photo #4)

Dustin continues, “This week I’ve observed several other anglers catch stripers – not white bass – on bread and doughball will fishing for carp or catfish at the spillway. One of those stripers was in the 20 pound range.”

Stripers in Pymatuning?: According to PFBC biologist Freeman Johns, hybrid stripers were accidentally released from the Linesville hatchery a couple years ago, and that is the most likely source of the adult hybrid being caught in Pymatuning.

Dave Richter (Richter’s General Store): “Anglers are still catching a bunch of walleye – mostly sub legal but enough legal ones to keep interest up. This week the larger walleye were being taken on worm harnesses rather than trolling plugs or drifting. Crappie bite still strong, but the fish have moved to deeper brush and stumps. Lots of silver cats (channel cats) being caught, too.”

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors): “Many crappies are still being caught in the Linesville Stumps. Also, crappie action on Causeway in late afternoon and into evening. I had reports of crappie being caught still full of eggs – both at Pymatuning and Conneaut Lake. Regarding the striper story, an angler brought in a 25” striper to the shop a week ago; said it was caught on a piece of hot dog bun.”

Chris continues, “Walleye are being caught by various methods. Storm Hot-N-Tots and Bomber 4As are hot sellers at my shop. Anything with green and orange color scheme is flying off the shelves. The hottest lure the past weeks is the American Freshwater Fisherman (AFF) Walleye Wizard; it can be used for trolling or casting, with or without live bait – but most fishermen put a nightcrawler on it.

Chuck Sari (Franklin): “My son Kevin and I went to Pymatuning on Saturday morning, June 18. I caught a 27” walleye weighing 6.7 pounds on a silver Storm Hot-N-Tot. All together we had 15 walleyes (with four keepers) and 12 slab crappies.” (See Photo #5)

Conneaut Lake

Bryan Stuyvesant and son (Meadville) fished Conneaut Lake on Father’s Day. They caught 20 largemouth bass up to 4 pounds on a white spinnerbaits all over the lake.

Tamarack Lake

John’s Bait reports that anglers are catching lots of panfish at Tamarack Lake – some crappies but mainly bluegills and perch. Fish are being taken on Nitro Worms and small jigs with a live maggot.

Woodcock Lake

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors): “The musky bite has started to pick up at Woodcock. No pictures were provided, but a gentleman (no name given) was in Saturday afternoon who said he caught five muskies from 30 to 38 inches on topwater baits. One of my regular customers observed him pull them in.”

Timberland Bait received reports that walleye were being caught at Woodcock, but no details were provided.

Canadohta Lake

Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait): “The local anglers were catching both northern pike and walleye on Canadohta over Father’s Day weekend on the long, skinny trolling spoons used for walleye on Lake Erie. Lots of panfish are still being caught in the shallows. And with the opening of bass season this past weekend, several decent largemouth bass were reported; a lot of the bass were caught from under docks and under moored pontoon boats.

“Also, one angler hung a very large musky but was unable to land it. The first of July is always a hot musky bite on Canadohta. If you want to go after musky, stop in the shop to see several of the top musky lures – including bucktail spinners and 10” jointed minnow baits.”

Erie County Waters

Presque Isle Bay

Mike Tome (B.A.C.) reports that bass are still chowing down in the bay – both largemouth and smallmouth. Drop-shot rigs and crankbaits are catching smallmouth in deeper water. Largemouths are falling for wacky-rigged worms and soft jerkbaits over the weeds.

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors): “Congratulations to Espyville Outdoors Pro Staffer Jerauld Smith Jr. and Sr. for winning the Bassmaster Crawford Count Father’s Day Open Buddy Bass Tournament at Presque Isle Bay. The father & son team had a weight of 20.11 pounds and also captured the lunker award with a 5 pound smallmouth. They were drop-shotting with AFF Drop Shot weights and 4” Chompers Salt & Garlic Drop Shot Worm in two different colors and 8 pound Gamma Edge Line. All lures and line can be found at Espyville Outdoors.” (See Photo #6)

Lake Erie

Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards): “Until the thermal turn-over in the lake, anglers were catching yellow perch and walleye real good in the Lake. Water temperature had been 65 degrees, but a northern blow pushed it down to 52 degrees. But it’s starting back up, already at 62 degrees on Monday morning. Look for perch in 35 to 40 feet of water just west of Walnut Creek – already has some positive chatter on the radio this Monday morning.”

Mike Tome (B.A.C.): “We had reports at the shop of anglers catching walleye in 38 to 41 feet of water on east side of Erie. There was also a report from a charter boat near the Ohio line getting their limit of walleye in 20 to 25 feet in just four hours. The top baits have been Bagley Bang-O-Lure, Rapala and Renosky Minnows. These are fished on Dipsy Diver in deep water and on lead-core line in shallower water.”

Union City Reservoir

Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) had customer reports of numerous pike being caught at Union City Reservoir this week.

Lake Edinboro

Danny Jones (Erie) celebrated the opening of bass season on Edinboro with a 6.5 pound largemouth, which he released. He caught it on a 7/16-ounce TABU Open Water Series Jig with a Zoom Super Chunk trailer. (See Photo #7)

Gamma Salutes

Jerauld Smith Jr. & Sr. Won the BMCC Father’s Day Tourney at PIB

Winning weight of 20.11 pounds (including lunker)

Dan Mincin Won the Mingo Creek Angler’s Tournament at Wilhelm with

5 LMB for 17.89 pounds (Submitted by Derek Severns)

Dan Gray Won the Maryland TBF federation tournament on Potomac on

June 18 with almost 18 pounds. He also won Lunker award.

Outdoor Calendar of Events

Weekly Fly-Tying Class – Free, Walk In 814-590-1366

Farrell’s Hook, Line & Stitch (At the Bank Mall), Meadville

June 25 Walt’s Tavern Bass Tourney

Conneaut Lake; $50.00 entry per 2-person Team

June 25/26 Pioneer Frolic at Goddard State Park 724-253-4833

Marina Area 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM

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


- Espyville Outdoors, Espyville, PA

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

- Consumer Direct Sports, Grove City, PA

- Jigger Wholesale Tackle, Franklin, PA

- Area anglers

Keep Up with More NW PA Fishing at

Article Photos

Danny Smith with 6.5 pound Edinboro largemouth (photo provided by Danny Smith)

Fact Box

Stripers in Pymatuning?: According to PFBC biologist Freeman Johns, hybrid stripers were accidentally released from the Linesville hatchery a couple years ago, and that is the most likely source of the adult hybrid being caught in Pymatuning.

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