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NW PA Fishing Report, June 25, 2012

June 26, 2012
By Darl Black , Ohio Valley Outdoors

Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region ( and Black Knight Industries Home of Gamma

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The information in the NW PA Fishing Report is based on the observations and opinions of individuals 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 In providing a picture, you are agreeing to it being posted in the Fishing Report.

Article Photos

Dustin Shay with a nice smallmouth bass, taken from Woodcock Lake.

What's biting in Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties?

FRENCH CREEK Flow through all four counties

Dustin Shay (Meadville) filed 6/25: "Friday evening I joined Russ Chaney on the Creek for catfish no cats taken, but Russ did catch one northern pike, one soft-shell turtle and one snapping turtle on the bait he was using for catfish. Over the weekend, Russ, Justin Shay and I made a Creek trip for muskies. Justin caught a musky on a black/gold spinnerbait. Immediately after releasing it, Russ cast a white spinnerbait back to the same spot and caught a northern pike. I've enclosed pictures of both. I missed a big musky on a topwater plug; in the clear water I could see the fish it was in the 45 inch range. Sunday evening we tried walleye fishing with live shiners and chubs we caught 7 smallmouth bass but no walleye. The walleye bite on French Creek has definitely slowed down."

Fact Box

Mike Tome (B.A.C. Bait): "There is very good largemouth bass fishing in Presque Isle Bay. Be prepared for thicker than normal vegetation in the Bay."

Jerry Tassel (Timberland Bait) filed 6/25: "A young angler, Evan Dougherty, caught an 18" 3-pound smallmouth from French Creek this week."


Pymatuning Lake

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Dave Richter (Richter's General Store) filed 6/25: "Fish are still biting at Pymatuning with anglers having another good weekend. The walleye bite has slowed down; customers stopped by with good-size 18 to 20 inch 'eye, but no limit catches. Big crappies are being taken in deep brush. Bluegills are done bedding, but you can catch some big ones on the deep edges of weedbeds. And of course there are catfish channel cats are being caught all over the lake."

Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 6/25: "Walleyes are still being caught in shallow water. Quite a few anglers have reported success during the week. Some 'eyes are being caught on both worm harnesses and floating jigheads tipped with crawlers. Other walleyes are being taken by trolling Rapala Shad Raps, Storm Hot N' Tots, Berkley Flicker Shads and AFF Walleye Wizards. The largest 'eye reported to the shop was 23 inches. Crappies are on the channel drops and in deeper brushpiles. Decent numbers are being caught off Orchard and just south of Padanaram. Jigheads and minnows seem to be the preferred method. A few guys have reported success with Road Runner jigs and AFF Maxi Wiggle Rights; AFF Lucky Severn Hooks tipped with minnows are also producing. Catfish are reported on crawlers, cut bait and stink bait cats are everywhere, does not matter what part of lake! Brian Rozewicz of Pittsburgh caught this saugeye using a crawler above a slip sinker while drifting. The fish measured 19" long with a 9-3/4" girth and weighed 2 pounds, 10.5 ounces."

Lesley Hill (Hills Country Store) filed 6/23: "Hooker wanted me to pass on the following information and picture. Norman says 'Hooker Bugs are still catching fish at Pymatuning! These bass were taken by Mike Robison and Connor Bayon on Saturday, June 23. The good fishing continues!'"

Ken Anderson (Tionesta) filed 6/21: "Last week I fished Pymatuning near Jamestown Marina and in Bay 41 with a boat full of co-workers. Catches of note included Pill T's walleye on a Rapala and Mike S's 12" perch, plus several bass. Ben P. was teaching bass how to jump and throw the hook. As for the guide, I boated several bass and a healthy catfish taken on a KVD Strike King Crankbait which I thought might be that 30" walleye I've been looking for!

Conneaut Lake

Bryan Stuyvesant (Meadville) filed 6/24: "My son Colin and I fished Conneaut Lake on Saturday morning. Fishing was a little slow but good enough to keep us interested. Most bass were caught in the weeds on shaky head, flippin' jigs and topwater. I've included a picture of Colin with one of the largemouths he caught on one of my custom painted chuggers. Looks like bass are finally moving into summer haunts."

Sugar Lake

Bob Vogan (Franklin) 6/20: "While fishing for bass with Ryan and Tori Williams on Sugar Lake, I caught this monster on a drop-shot with 4" Zoom Meathead Worm in watermelon color. It wasn't the bass I was hoping for but it certainly was exciting!

Canadohta Lake

Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) 6/25: "Anglers are catching panfish and walleyes at Canadohta, but we are still waiting for someone to catch one those big trophy muskies which roam this lake as often happens around the 4th of July."

Woodcock Lake

Dustin Shay (Meadville) 6/20: "I fished Woodcock on Wednesday from sunrise to 10 AM. The bite was tough. We caught half dozen small smallmouth bass in the 10 to 12 inch range and a couple bigger ones including a 3-pounder. The fish came on tubes specifically the Get Bit 2-3/4" Crawling Tube, a unique style of tube body that seems particularly effective when bass have lockjaw."


Lake Erie

Jeff Staaf (Poor Richards Bait) 6/25: "Anglers on Erie are catching perch up and down the lake in 42 to 48 feet of water. They've had some good days and bad days on walleye this week, but most of the action seems centered a little east of Walnut Creek in 55 to 65 feet of water. Anglers are reporting fish on stickbaits, including Reef Runners, Renosky Minnows and Bagley Minnows. However, some anglers are switching over to dragging meat on crawler harnesses. The smallmouth bass action isn't as good west of Erie as it is east of the Peninsula where there is better structure."

Mike Tome (B.A.C. Bait) 6/25: "Lots of perch being caught out in the Lake. According to reports, the best walleye area seems to be in 48 to 52 feet between Walnut Creek and the Point (PIB Peninsula). Anglers interested in smallmouth bass are doing well in the Lake from the peninsula eastward in 25 to 35 feet of water."

Dan Shay (Meadville) 6/25: "My wife and I fished Sunday evening on the lake out of Elk Creek for perch. While nearby boats struggled, we caught perch from 42 feet of water on something other than live minnows; we kept 25 nice perch. Last Tuesday, I fished perch with other friends for the better part of the day; we kept 60 perch."

Paul Stewart (Butler) 6/24: "On Saturday, 6/23, I fished for perch on a head boat. We were west of the Point. Unfortunately, the bite was slow, but I was only one shy of my limit. My buddy got 20. Weather was great a nice evening to be on the Lake. Sorry, I forgot my camera this time."

Barry Burford (New Bethlehem) 6/24: "On June 21 and 22, I visited Lake Erie. We fished on the big Lake out of Presque Isle Bay. In two days, I caught over a dozen smallmouth that were 3 pounds or better. I was using Yum soft plastic baits and Jackall baits, on a very sensitive St. Croix Mojo Bass Rod."

Joe Nichols (Underground Angler) 6/24: "I fished Erie over the weekend. The Bay is starting to get pretty weedy. We caught lots of largemouth in the Bay, but nothing of any size. We moved out on the main lake and were able to find smallmouth bass, along with some nice size largemouth bass! Not sure if it's heat or the water being clearer than normal, but the bass are not as aggressive, and seem to prefer more subtle presentations. Water temp was 75 and air temp was 85.

Thomas Watral (Erie) 6/22: "I went out on the lake last evening for walleye and perch. I used Erie Dearies in red/white with silver blade, landing four walleyes with the biggest 25 inches. Then I went for perch, using 2 hooks setup with glow beads; we limited out in a few hours. We headed back to the East Ave boat launch... Be careful at this ramp as we have been hitting bottom here needs dredged."

Presque Isle Bay

Mike Tome (B.A.C. Bait) 6/25: "There is very good largemouth bass fishing in Presque Isle Bay. Be prepared for thicker than normal vegetation in the Bay."

Bill Logan (Pleasantville) 6/24: "I took a teenage neighbor fishing to PIB on Tuesday. Wind was howling down the bay. On lipless baits we got 23 bass, 2 perch, 4 rock bass and a pike. Only 10 of those fish were mine! The kid outfished me! His two productive lures were a small Rapala Clackin' Rap and a Strike King Red Eye Shad in chartreuse."

Bob Vogan (Franklin) 6/23: "Scott Williams and I were on Presque Isle Bay on Saturday, June 23. We caught several small largemouth using drop-shot rig with green Zoom 4" Lizard. I had a big bass to the boat but lost it before we could land it. It was a great day with no waves and lots of sun."

Thomas Watral (Erie) 6/22: "I went night fishing to the South Pier. The hits were few and far in between perhaps because the water temp was in the 60s. I tried minnows and nightcrawlers, and a Mepps Spinner. I ended up catching only 5 fish 2 bass and 3 sunfishand lots of gobies. Well, better luck next time!"

Lake LeBoeuf

Bill Logan (Pleasantville) 6/24: "I fished LeBoeuf on Saturday for musky. No musky action, but hooked 4 bass on a flipping jig."

Union City Reservoir

Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) 6/25: "Reports continue of northern pike being caught at Union City Reservoir."

Brokenstraw Creek

Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) 6/25: "Ed Lawrence of Corry had a good week. He caught a 31-inch northern pike and a 23-inch Rainbow trout from Brokenstraw Creek, plus a 2-pound 1 oz. bullhead which will be submitted for a PF&BC Citation Award fish."


Shenango Lake

Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait & Tackle) 6/25: "I discovered this week several of my customers are suffering from 'Cat Catch Fever' here in NW PA. With many large catfish having been caught in Pymatuning, Shenango River and Shenango Reservoir recently, the number of fishermen targeting cats has increased dramatically. And with hot weather, some fishermen are reporting catching 9 or 10 catfish a day. Most anglers are catching and releasing their catfish catch, but some find the taste of flathead catfish to be delicious. Flatheads are not scavengers of rotting stuff on the bottom but rather a live-prey predator; the meat is quite tasty. Most fishermen have been using smelly baits such as Junnie's Cat Tracker Wicked Sticky, while others are using chubs or live panfish as bait.

Laurie Frantz continues: "With the heat of summer upon us, several of my customers are fishing at night when temps are cooler. After dark, crappies are being caught near State Route 846 over Shenango Reservoir. A 1/16-ounce jighead with a 2" curly tail body is popular, and a productive color is orange/chartreuse. Also at night, several walleye have been reported caught from shore near Golden Run, and stripers are being caught on the opposite shore of the lake from Golden Run. Night anglers are saying the pesky mosquito isn't a problem because it's so dry."

Ken Smith (Sharon) 6/21: "I've been having a good week at Shenango. On 6/19 I took my grandson Devon Smith fishing. We had an excellent time catching and releasing nice crappies, bass and bluegills. We caught the crappies on Southern Pro Hot Grubs and Lake Fork 'Live' Baby Shads on 1/8-ounce jighead in 14 to 16 feet of water. Got bass by casting Southern Pro Triple Tail Grubs to shoreline blow downs, and the bluegills came on black Mini-Microspoons tipped with Berkley Gulp! Waxies and fished under a bobber in 3 to 4 feet of water.

Ken Smith continues: "On 6/21, I took my neighbor Nehemiah Evans and his son Isaiah out on Shenango. I had them use jigs for their first time ever. I'm proud to say they caught on very quickly. They caught crappies and white bass like they've never done before. They kept plenty for the freezer. I had a great time watching them catch fish and getting excited with each catch. I may have converted them to jigs from live bait. Really enjoyed fishing with them!"

Ernie Pate (Butler) 6/23: "This week I caught a 36 inch pike on a Rattleback Jig while fishing Shenango."

Otter Creek

Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait & Tackle) 6/25: "If you are the adventurous type who likes unconventional spots to fish, northern pike are being caught in Otter Creek on golden shiners but none of any size has been reported."

Stoneboro Lake

Mike Martin (Cochranton) 6/24: "Chuck Papinchak and I fished Stoneboro Lake on Saturday morning. We caught a dozen largemouth bass between the two of us. Most were in the 10 to 12-inch range, but a few were bigger. There was one really nice bass about 19 inches. Chuck forgot his camera so no pics. Chuck's fish were caught on a drop-shot Senko and a Rebel Pop R. All my fish came on a Yum Wooly Bug. Bass were in the grass around 8 to 12 feet deep."


Allegheny River

Jeff Knapp (Keystone Connection Guide Service) 6/24: "Last week was another busy one on the river. I ran several guide trips on the Allegheny. Early to mid-week the fishing was good, though it slowed as the water temperatures soared during the heat wave. Over the weekend, after water temps dropped a few degrees following the mild cold front, bass were again moving better. Over the course of the week we boated dozens of smallmouth bass up to 18 inches, as well as walleyes up to 25 inches. Hard jerkbaits continue to be the best presentation by far. The water temperature as of noon on June 24 was 77 degrees; river was low and clear."

Steve Udick (Oil City) 6/25: "We were fishing behind the old Oilwell Supply plant last night. I caught a nice walleye on my first cast with a Rapala Shad Rap SR7 in my favorite walleye color. Fishing was slow the last two nights. Several bites on tubes and Zoom Flukes but few aggressive fish all hook ups were in the lower lip or side of mouth.

Steve Udick continues: "What an evening we had on Father's Day last week. I had been fishing tubes and caught several bass. Then I decided to go to my winter bait, the Rapala Shad Rap SR7 Walleye color. I caught one on my first cast and proceeded to catch a fish on every cast in a pass through an eddy. Several bass blew up on the Shad Rap on impact with the water. But like winter, most fish took the lure on a twitch & pause. I ended up with 15 bass and nice 21-inch walleye all on the Shad Rap. Rains chased us off the water. I took my neighbor's grandson, Seth Harrelson, and he landed four bass on the Shad Rap as well."



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