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NW PA Fishing Report, 6-10-13

June 11, 2013
By Darl Black ,

NW PA Fishing Report, 6-10-13

This report is provided by Darl Black and several sponsors: PA Great Lakes Region tourism; Black Knight Industries, home of Gamma Line and Wiegel Brothers Marine, Franklin. Connect to all counties at www.PaGreatLakes.comwww.

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 In providing information or pictures, you are agreeing to it being posted in the Fishing Report and distributed electronically to media and websites.

Article Photos

Gene Winger of Oil City, PA, with a nice PA bass.

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

FRENCH CREEK (Flowing through all four counties)

Editor's Note: No reports from French Creek this week. French Creek continues to run over its banks and is the color of dark chocolate. The high and muddy conditions have existed for over a week, since the heavy rains around June 1st or 2nd; looks like more heavy rains early this week as well. Given the ongoing high water, I would not be surprised that the smallmouth spawn was lost this year.

Fact Box

Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie

Al Nacopoulos (BAC Bait) "This past week, fishing was good in the Bay with lots of bass and panfish being caught. Some nice smallmouth came from the North Pier and largemouth from the weedbeds in the Bay. Catfish and even a walleye were taken by my customers from the North Pier."


Pymatuning Lake

Dave Richter (Richter's General Store) filed 6/10: "Anglers are still catching walleyes and crappies in good numbers in the southern section of the lake. On Tuesday last week, I went crappie fishing. I caught a mess of white crappie from an 8- to 10-foot spawning hump; many still had eggs. Black crappie spawn is over; found the blacks along the outside weed edge. Walleyes are being taken shallow along weedbeds, likely due to unusually cool water temperatures for this time of year. The best technique for walleye right now is drifting with a nightcrawler on a jig. A few guys are pulling plugs, but not getting many fish. Channel cats are everywhere being taken by anglers targeting walleye.

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Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) filed 6/10: "Crappies have been reported in good numbers along the causeway in the evenings. Also, during the PA State Qualifier bass tournament this past weekend, it was reported there are lots of crappies hanging out in the weeds. Walleyes are still being picked up in shallow water, from about 8 feet to 12 feet. Floating jigheads behind a walking sinker or a worm harness seem to be doing the trick. Bluegills are being caught in the weeds, too.

"From Thursday to Sunday, we had an outing at the shop for members of an internet fishing forum with members from PA, OH and WV attending. There were refreshments, camaraderie, camping and fishing. We could not have asked for a better weekend! The bass were on FIRE! Guys focused on weedbeds from Snodgrass to the Dam. Bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed and perch were caught, too. A member from WV caught his personal best for three different species. A six-pound largemouth was caught on Friday, and a small perch ate a big Crooked Mouth Tackle Company Kyoban Spinnerbait. Go to to learn more."

Hooker (Hills Country Store) filed 6/10: "Hooker's Fishing Taxi has been busy. Attached are pics of a father and this two sons who fished Saturday morning on Pymatuning; as you can see they had nice mixed bag of species. The black and white crappies were taken from hard-bottom hump cresting at 9-foot on a Hooker Bug and Bobby Garland Baby Shad. With heavy overcast, chartreuse was the color to use. The walleyes and catfish were taken on worm harness with chrome blades fished in 16 feet of water as it approached the creek channel. On Sunday, other clients had similar success. One customer reported catching a number of crappies (12" to 14") in 10-feet of water by suspending minnows at 6 feet under a bobber. Water quality is great with visibility down to about 6 feet; coontail grass is nice and green.

"Last week I had great success on oversized panfish by pitching Bobby Garland Minnow Mind'Rs and Slab Slay'Rs on 12-pound line to flooded cover. Other customers reported keeper-size walleye on a worm harness. Going back to Memorial Day weekend, I found myself fishing the Linesville Stumps with a storm rolling in. My first two fish on my new B&M Crappie Rod were a 15" crappie and a 22" walleye. Backtrolling into the wind with the electric allowed me to fish the cover. I continued to catch crappies on a red-n-white Hooker Bug tipped with a Bobby Garland "Baby Shad" in Monkey Milk what a name for a color!"

Chuck Sari (Franklin) filed 6/5: "I have made three trips to north end of Pymatuning over the last week. I caught nice walleye on every trip. On the last trip on June 4, I took Doug Clark, and we caught 12 walleye, with 8 of them being keepers. I used Storm Hot-n-Tots with silver finish. We also picked up some nice crappies while trolling for walleye. Other anglers were pulling walleye rigs with crawlers, and enjoying success."

Conneaut Lake

Scott Lobins (Conneaut Lake) filed 6/10: "It was a beautiful day for fishing Conneaut Lake on June 8 when 49 teams participated in the 2013 Bluegill Bev Lobins Memorial Fishing Tournament. The crappie division was won by Greg Chalmers and Bob "King Crappie" Kesslar and the bluegill division by Earl and Theresa Dehanse."

Bryan Stuyvesant (Meadville) filed 6/9: "My boy and I fished Conneaut for panfish on Saturday. We did okay on bluegills but could not find the big crappies I had been catching a couple weeks ago."

Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 6/9: "A little over a week ago I had my best day on Conneaut Lake so far this year. In two hours I caught 7 largemouth bass, 2 smallmouth bass and 1 northern pike. Couple of the fish came on a spinnerbait and the rest on a Rebel Pop R."

Woodcock Lake

Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 6/10: "Last week I fished with Brent Clark on Woodcock for musky. We trolled, cast and drifted with big suckers no runs, no hits."

Benjamin Page (Chief of PF&BC Division of Habitat Management) sent 5/13: "Please see the attached pictures from Woodcock Creek Lake. The Lake Habitat Section did some night electrofishing with Fish Management Area 2 on the evening of May 20th. We caught some big smallmouth bass and some nice black crappie. Good luck on the water!"

Canadohta Lake

Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) filed 6/10: "Over the weekend, fishermen were doing very well on pike and crappies. Some of my customers were also fishing Lake LeBoeuf, doing well on pike and crappies up there too. Back at Canadohta, musky hunter Eric Casper was casting a big bucktail from his dock when he hooked a huge fish. He worked the fish up to within sight of the dock, but when the musky eyed Eric, all heck broke loose. The musky did a big flip part way of out of the water and broke free. But that's not the end of excitement here at the lake. Over a week ago I was up early one morning working in the yard. I heard a chain saw running down towards the lake. But when the saw quit, I heard someone screaming for help. I called 9-11 and headed down to where I thought the shouting was coming from, and found the responders already there and big search of the entire area started. Later in the day, a buddy stopped by the shop to tell me what happened. Seems one of the cottage owners was out trolling on his pontoon boat for musky. A monster fish hit, bent the rod holder and the rod popped out. Scrabbling for the rod, he slipped and went into the lake. The boat continued on and beached itself on the shore, while the angler shouted for help. He ended up swimming to shore. There are a lot of musky stories told at Timberland Bait some true, some slightly exaggerated. But both of these are true. The explanation is simple we have at least one oversized monster musky lurking in Canadohta Lake."


Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie

Al Nacopoulos (BAC Bait) filed 6/10: "This past week, fishing was good in the Bay with lots of bass and panfish being caught. Some nice smallmouth came from the North Pier and largemouth from the weedbeds in the Bay. Catfish and even a walleye were taken by my customers from the North Pier. Perch have been biting early and late off the North Pier. Northern pike are reported from Misery Bay, Head-of-Bay and Marina Lake. Out in the lake, perch are reported off the Point at 35 to 45 feet, and walleye at 45 feet."

Mike Tome (Trout Run Bait) filed 6/10: "Looks like bad weather coming this first part of week. Up until this past weekend, the perch and walleye fishing were picking up. Last Tuesday, a friend and I limited out on perch. But I was out this weekend and struck out on both perch and walleye. The lake was muddy from the creek run-off from recent rains. I heard the perch head boat was out Saturday or Sunday, and only brought in 20 perch. That tells you things are shut down right nowwhether due to the muddy water or NE wind that caused a lake temperature drop. But I am sure things will pick up shortly."

Gary Heuble (Poor Richards) filed 6/10: "The walleye and perch catches had been pretty good last week, with perch in 45 to 50 feet and walleye in 25 to 35 feet on stickbaits. Then the NE wind blew in a few days ago and dropped the lake temp from 65 to 54 degrees. There is a huge mayfly hatch going on out in the lake clear out to 45 to 50 feet of water. Perch are likely feeding on the larvae as they swim up out of the bottom. Fishing will improve when weather system blow through."

Bill Logsdon (Pittsburgh) filed 6/10: "We fished Erie on Sunday the 9th and caught another 30 smallmouth. We spent more time on the lake between the Cribs and the W's from 3 to 30 feet, marking lots of fish but zero bites. Went back to Bay and saved the day with smallmouth and largemouth in 7 to 8 feet of water. One on a Senko, but rest came on Rattle Traps. Lake temperature is still 58 degrees. What happened to the Senko bite this year?"

Ed Phillips; filed 6/10: "My wife and I fished out of North East Marina on Friday afternoon, 6/7, trolling for walleye but did not get a release. A charter boat captain told me I have not missed much this year so far. Stayed overnight and went for perch in the morning, but could not locate them and bugs were bad (note: likely mayfly hatch). We stopped at Pymatuning on the way, fished out of Linesville and caught three nice walleye and some perch by drifting crawlers."

Paul Stewart (Butler) filed 6/7: "Mike LeDonne and I fished Erie of the north Pier on the 25th. Fishing was good despite the cold front. We hooked 8 smallmouth bass and landed 6 of them, including a 4.5 pounder. We also caught two dozen perch and at least two dozen rock bass some fought as hard as smallmouths!"

Ed Atts (Cochranton) filed 6/6: "Fly fishing for nice bluegills at Presque Isle Bay has been pretty good if you search the flats to find them. They just recently started to build nests. Each trip the bedding area is someplace different. The cottonwood bloom was strong on June 5 making fly fishing impossible by late morning. My buddy kept 18 and I kept 22. On June 3, I caught an 18-inch smallmouth on my Orvis 7'9" Superfine which made for a real battle. All the bluegills have come on a hand-tied nymph."

Ric Gauriloff (Trout Run Bait) filed 6/6: "Perch are moving in steadily off both west and east side of town. They are on the move, so you must look for them. Many anglers are getting limits, and size of fish is good. I cleaned a 14.5 incher this week. Walleye are being caught in better numbers. Anglers are getting fish out deeper during the day but still trolling close to shore at night when lake is calm; the F15 Rapala is working. Smallmouths are in Elk Creek as well as Bay; crayfish and leeches are good bet. Anglers on North and South Piers are catching nice perch and rock bass. Fly fishermen are having blast in the Bay on bluegills and smallmouth and fun with the unexpected pike. Enclose picture of lake trout taken couple weeks ago."

Thomas Watral (Erie) filed 6/4: "I went down to the South Pier for perch and had my limit by noon. Biggest perch was 14 inches caught on a fathead minnow. Other big perch came on a Bobby Garland crappie jig. Hooked four bass but lost them since I did not have a net. The last week in May I caught a few crappies in the West Slip. Got them on a Love Bug Jig; most were about 10 inches. That week I also fished for trout in Four Mile Creek; tried minnows and corn but ended up catching ten trout on a Bobby Garland crappie jig!"

Robert Muller (Scranton, PA) filed 5/25: "Just home from a week at Erie. Overall, not bad. PIB was the place to catch 'em. The average smallmouth weighed two pounds. The bass hit various plastics in watermelon red flake and Sand Tubes, Beavers, Spider Jigs. I just drifted the flats in the Bay, picking up fish occasionally. I tried the lake for bigger fish. One day it was flat and gin clear I could see big smallmouth in 13 feet but not get them to bite. Next day the visibility went from 13 feet to 4 feet. I fished rocky bottom structure. The third day we got blown off the lake. Thank goodness for the Bay."


Shenango River Lake

Ken Smith (Sharon) filed 6/8: "I finally had the chance to take my granddaughter fishing and we had great time on Shenango Lake. We started out casting jigs to shallow brush, catching quite a few crappies but all were small (6 to 8 inches). Decided to check one of my bluegill spots the fish were there. We caught over 30 'gills but kept only a dozen since Mya loves eating fish. Hope this is just the first of many fishing trips together with her for years to come. I have been spending most of time fishing the Linesville Stumps at Pymatuning; the crappie bite is awesome, averaging 50 fish per out."

Editor's note: On Friday in parking lot in Meadville, I talked with a gentleman (no name provided) with a kayak on his car roof. Said he was going to Shenango Lake for stripers. Stated they had been catching them near the Chestnut Run Swim Beach in the evening.

Kevin Austin (Farrell) filed 6/1: "I'm back in the game this spring. Attached several pictures of crappies I caught from Shenango Lake. All were taken on a green jig tipped with a minnow and fished a few inches below a bobber in 7 feet of water."

Wilhelm Lake

Bob Mohra (Fergie's Bait) filed 6/6: "Anglers are catching lots of bluegills and crappies at Wilhelm this week. Bluegills are being taking on Sam's Ant tipped with a maggot or wax worm, and crappies mostly on live minnows or pearl-colored Southern Pro Stinger. Also, I have heard reports of nice bass being caught off Cemetery Road."

Stoneboro Lake

Chuck Papinchak (Cochranton) filed 6/10: "I fished Stoneboro Lake over the weekend. Water was high at least a foot higher than normal. I caught four largemouth bass none of noteworthy size."

Neshannock Creek

Bob Shuey (Neshannock Creek Fly Shop) filed 6/6: "Neshannock Creek is low and clear but some much needed rain is expected. The Caddis hatches are still good and some Sulphurs. This rain should help stream levels for the next 7 to 10 days. The Young Anglers School will be conducted behind the shop from June 10th to 14th from 8 AM to 1 PM. Thanks for your cooperation."


Allegheny River

Gene Winger (Oil City)

- Filed 6/10: "I fished the river on Thursday, 6/6, and Friday 6/7. With heavy rains on Wednesday, the level was rising and I only landed a dozen smallmouths all on Winco Wacky Worms in blue/black. Friday was tough, with river running higher and very muddy; a few bass were caught with spinnerbaits tight against the shore."

- Filed 5/28: "On Thursday, May 23, George and I landed 65 smallmouth bass on Winco River Darters and Winco Wacky Worms. Most fish were shallow in slow moving water. In the evening I went out with my son-in-law Jeremy and we caught 10 morean amazing day! Memorial Day weekend, the river temp dropped from 72 to 55 degrees by Saturday morning. Fishing went from amazing to tough. Fishing with both my son-in-laws, Chris and Jeremy, we boated several smallies. The Winco Tastee Tube was the big producer. Found fish in 4' to 6' of water close to weedbeds."

Venango County Trout Streams

East Sandy Creek: John Hummel says trout fishing has been fantastic on the creek.

Sugar Creek: Al Bell says back in May, a visiting friend and he caught over 20 rainbow trout from Sugar in two hours. Al plans on providing current fishing information for Sugar Creek and French Creek.



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