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NW PA Fishing Report, 6-9-14

June 19, 2014
By Darl Black ,

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 outlets and websites.

Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism

Article Photos

Bob Davis with his first Allegheny River smallmouth of the year.

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

FRENCH CREEK Flowing through all four counties

John @ John's Flowers & Bait; filed 6/9: "I want to remind everyone that we have moved from our Meadville location down Rt. 322 to just outside Cochranton. We have a full line of live bait from grubs/larva to nightcrawlers and minnows, plus tackle. Right now suckers are in demand by French Creek anglers to catch walleye, pike and musky. The Creek is clearing and coming down slowly good for fishing."

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Jody Maurer @ Maurer's Trading Post; filed 6/7: "The water in French Creek has come down and the fishing has improved, with the Creek giving up nice smallmouth and walleye. John Pleger of Franklin caught three walleyes 17", 19" and 24.5" on French Creek in just an hour of fishing near Wyatteville. He caught them on a fire tiger Rapala, running it close to the bottom."

Mike Martin (Cochranton); filed 5/29: "I did some French Creek kayak fishing last week of May one evening at Utica during the high water. I had no success going upstream on the west bank, however, I ferried the kayak to the east bank for the ride back, and that area was a different story. The bronzebacks were holding in the shallow current breaks close to the shoreline in 2 to 3 feet of water. Using my go-to bait (Texas rigged Yum Dinger), I manage 12 decent smallmouths. I believe they were all males based on their size and appearance. Most fish were in the 12- to 15-inch range. Some had abrasion on the top of their heads. The water was at 4.5' on the gauge and clarity very unclear. Bedding expected shortly. All fish returned safely to the water."

Dustin Shay (Meadville) relates that he has been searching for a big musky on French Creek this year. So far in 2104, he has caught and released 16 muskies with four of them being of legal size but none in the trophy size he desires.


Pymatuning Lake

Dave Richter @ Richter's Tackle Shop; filed 6/9: "From my view, the walleye bite is pretty good right now, although some anglers are complaining they cannot catch them. Most of my customers are getting them drifting a plain nightcrawler or jig-n-nightcrawler, plus some on worm harnesses and even some on leeches. Crappie bite has slowed as fish move out of spawning areas to deeper brush. Saw some nice bluegills recently, but bedding seems about done. Of course, plenty of channels cats being caught."

Steve Hughes (Clarion); filed 6/9: "I fished Pymie on Saturday and Sunday for bass. Bass were caught from both shallow wood and deep weeds down to 5 or 6 feet of water. Leo Cancilla won the District 6 tournament over the weekend with just over 15 pounds for 5 bass."

RJ Graham (Tionesta); filed 6/9: "I fished Pymie on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday the bass were biting every place I stopped, eating a Chatter Bait and a flipping jig. But during the stormy weather on Sunday during the District 6 tournament, all my bass came on Graham Bass Jig from flooded bushes."

Chuck Sari (Franklin); filed 6/8: "Along with my son Kevin and my grandson Reece, I've been to Pymatuning three times over the past two weeks, fishing strictly for walleyes. On all three trips the lake was absolutely glass smooth without a hint of wind. So we trolled Storm Hot-n-Tots in silver or silver/green. We fished the North End of the lake. On May 25, we picked up three nice eyes; on May 31 we got skunked. On June 7 we were back again, catching 6 'eyes and keeping 4 of them between 17 and 19 inches. There were a lot of fishermen out on June 7 but other than our fish I only saw one other fish netted."

Hooker @ Hills Country Store; filed 6/7: "The Yankee Hooker has been on the water all month, and we are still batting 1000 since April of last year with my guests catching walleye, bass and crappie. As been the trend all spring, the fish are not in the traditional places for this time of year. We are still catching crappies in shallow water but mainly near a significant break into deeper water. Walleyes have been coming on Bobby Garland Baits tipped with minnows and suspended 6 to 8 inches under a slip bobber. The key for both species seems to be a vertical, slow moving presentation over hard bottom with scattered weeds. We are using long B-n-M rods set in Driftmaster Rod Holders to accomplish this. The weeds need to be fresh and green. Dave Kohta and his buddy Tim have catching Erie- size yellow perch on the North End of Pymatuning on bottom and depths previously mentioned. This appears to be strong pattern that may last as long as the lake levels stay high."

Chris @ Espyville Outdoors; filed 6/1: "On Pymatuning we are getting into summer patterns for walleyes see photo of anglers at the shop."

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 5/31: "Stan Huefner and I went to Pymatuning for the day. We used the state park ramp at Jamestown, where participants of bass tournament were preparing to launch. Once on the water, we traveled north along the west side of the lake, dragging orange and chartreuse crawler harnesses in 7 to 10 feet of water. Immediately we started catching walleyes. Nice walleyes! Five of them were 22 inches or greater. We also caught 1/2 dozen blue catfish (channel cats), which I kept. Those catfish were fantastic broiled on the grill with lemon, garlic and salt & pepper. Attached is a picture of Stan's 24 inches."

Marilyn Black (Cochranton); filed 6/1: "Darl and I ran over to Pymatuning on Saturday, May 31, in the afternoon to check out the bluegill spawn. Water was high and dingy, and it was blowing pretty strong. We launched at Jamestown, and fished several bays and behind Ackerman Island. Could not find quality bluegills, but sure caught a mixture of species in addition to 'gills, including pumpkinseeds, warmouth, green sunfish, carp and largemouth bass. This was the first time I've caught warmouth and green sunfish at Pymatuning."

Woodcock Creek Lake

Jerry VanTassel @ Timberland Bait; filed 6/9: "Woodcock has been giving up quite a few walleyes to anglers who are slow-trolling crawler harnesses; hot color is a chartreuse blade."

Trevor Pavilk; filed 6/8: "On Friday evening two buddies and I fished Woodcock Lake. We caught 18 smallmouth bass, with the biggest one going 5.5 pounds. We also caught a 19-inch walleye."

Steve Monoyoudis @ HC Baits; filed 6/4: "I've been very good success on smallmouth bass at Woodcock Lake fishing from my kayak. Yesterday I had luck with the 3" Hubs Chub in Crawdaddy, as well as the 5-3/4" Yamamoto Cutail Worm in watermelon/red flake on a ?-oz black Spot Remover jighead. I also caught an 18" walleye on the Cutail Worm. Today I caught smallies on a Super Fluke in watermelon on a 5/0 Gamakatsu hook; a 5: Yamamoto Cutail in watermelon with black & gold flake. However bigger bass were slamming the black 3" Hubs Chub. Black was the hot topwater color until late afternoon when Crawdaddy seemed to grab their attention."

Conneaut Lake

Bryan Stuyvesant (Meadville); filed 6/8: "I made it out to Conneaut Lake this morning and ended up with a 10 largemouth bass on a number of different baits at varying depthsno pattern that's about it."

Chad Templin (Meadville); filed 6/8: "Fishing has been slow at Conneaut Lake for bass and pike. Water temps are already into the mid-70s. Yesterday, my father George Templin caught a 7 lb. 10 oz. pike on a lime green spinnerbait."


Lake Erie

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 6/9: "Area schools are late letting out for summer this spring, so it's been a slow week with customers. With school finally out and heat coming in later in week, visits to Erie should pick up. The fish are waitinggood perch in 35 to 41 feet off Walnut; walleye bit a little slower, but customers are catching them in 58 feet off the Point with worm harnesses producing best."

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 6/9: "I'm seeing a lot of big perch already this year solid limits of 13 to 14 inchers; try 40 feet deep west out of Walnut or 40 feet out of Elk. Walleye are reported in 45 to 50 feet with bigger fish in the 9 to 10 pound class coming from near the Ohio/Pa line as the schools move east."

Andy @Trout Run Bait; filed 6/9: "Our customers report doing well on perch in 40 feet off of Walnut Creek and Trout Run. Local walleyes are in 25 to 35 feet. There are plenty of smallmouth bass up and down the lake. And if you are interested in stocked trout, get out to the Fairview Gravel Pit early in the morning good bite at first light but they go deep with sun up."

Destin DeMarion (Grove City); filed 6/8: Erie Blog

- 6/1: "First time back on the big water since early May and fishing had changedfor the better. There were lots of bass in predictable areas, looking to fatten up before the spawn on the lake kicks in. Water temp was in mid-50s with sunny skies and slight wind. Good numbers of bass in mid- depth-shallow areas. They were chewing soft plastic Whip Em Baits Whip Sticks (sinking worm) were the deal for me all day. I was able to located concentrations of 3 to 4 pounders with the occasional 5-plus pounder."

- 6/2: I fished with clients. We hit the water around 8 am and Zach struck gold putting the first fish in the boat which turned out to be a new Personal Best for him. Quality bites early on moving baits, but when the sun came out and wind calmed, plastics became the deal. We managed around 30 bites, landing a number of bass in the 2 to 3.5 lb. range and a couple 4-pounders. A storm loomed in the distance and when the lightening cracked we booked it back to the ramp."

- 6/6: "I hit the big water with buddy Alex and found everything on East side muddied from the strong winds earlier in week. Visibility on lake was only 1 to 2 feet. Jumped around a lot looking at graph and catching a random fish here or there. Frustrated, we headed back into PIB where we caught around 30 bass on tubes.

- 6/7: "Back on water with client Zach. We managed only a few bass in the still-muddy East side water, so we headed back to PIB to salvage the trip. Managed to catch between 20 and 30 bass on the flats. Can't wait to get back to Erie!"

Marilyn Black (Cochranton); filed 5/24: "Only day I had the opportunity to head up to Erie so far: Saturday of Memorial Day weekend bad mistake. We could not find a place to park at any of the ramps on the Peninsula; had to park out along the road some distance from ramp. I've never seen the Bay so loaded with fishing boats in 30-some years we been coming to Erie; could not find a place to fish in PIB without a cast hitting another boat. We went out on the lake, but water was dirty and it was breezy. Even the drift sock could not slow us down enough; caught a couple little bass on a drift by Four Mile Creek. We ended up fishing over towards Gull Point near the tip of Peninsula on the sand flats. I caught several male smallmouths on Get Bit Tubes between dodging boats. Called it day and went to dinner."

Presque Isle Bay

Al @ B.A.C. Baits; filed 6/9: "Cooler temperatures this week have kept visitor number down. They are caching walleye out in the lake around 60 to 70 feet both west and east of Erie. Perch are at 48 to 56 feet according to customers. In PIB, the perch bite is very spotty on the Piers. Solid reports of northern pike being caught in Misery Bay; bluegill bedding in Misery Bay, and bass all over the flats! Lots of fish activity this week!"

Paul Stewart (Butler); filed 5/27: "We fished PIB last Saturday to fish from the piers. The smallies were biting in the morning, catching 8 bass. We also got a dozen perch. Mike LeDonne got the pig of the day (see photo). All smallies were released to fight another day; perch took a trip to the freezer!"

Paul Stewart (Butler); filed 6/2: "Like the old saying goes, 'Wind from the West, fishing is best. Wind from the East, fishing is least.' Yesterday was an East wind for most of morning, and fishing was slow on the piers. I hooked three smallies but landed only 1. No perch. Looks like PIB pier fishing is done until fall. It is time for main Lake Erie perch fishing on a head boat, plus visits to Pymatuning Lake."

Keith Eshbaugh @ Dutch Fork Lures; filed 5/23: "My buddy Brian and I went to PIB on May 22 during a fog laden cold front. We caught a bunch of largemouth and smallmouth bass, plus rock bass, crappie and 4 nice northern pike on custom Dutch Fork Lures crankbait model. Our custom Krome Krappie pattern was best! Tubes also worked. It was tough fishing during the wind and cold fog but got better when the sun came out."

Elk Creek

Dan Seaman @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 6/9: "Elk Creek is still loaded with smallmouth bass. Anglers are catching them spinners and long minnow plugs. The best live bait is crayfish we got crayfish. Channel cats are being caught at night in the creek, but no real big ones reported yet. Catfish love crayfish, too!"

Lake LeBoeuf

Jerry VanTassel @ Timberland Bait; filed 6/9: "Crappie bite at LeBoeuf is hot right now. Customers are also reporting good catches of bass and pike in the outflow of Union City Dam."


Shenango River Lake

Jon @ CDS; filed 6/9: "We have not heard anything from Shenango this week from customers. Everyone is headed to Erie the smallmouth bite is going crazy; customers bought out all my Galida Grubz for Erie smallmouth! Others are going to Pymatuning for walleye. The high water on Shenango the end of May probably has anglers avoiding the lake right now.

Marilyn Black (Cochranton); filed 6/8: "Darl and I ran down to Shenango for a couple hours Saturday morning. Water was still up a bit and had more color than normal to it. Bluebird sky didn't help. Basically, we just ran the shoreline near the dam area to see what we could catch. Darl was interested in seeing if there were smallmouth bass up on the shore as was the case in mid-May when he was last down there. Alternating with panfish jigs, Galida Grubz and Hubs Chub topwater, we caught an assortment of largemouth, bluegill, green sunfish, crappie and pumpkinseed all on the small side. The largemouth were spawned out and vey skinny. One good sign was the tremendous number of bass fry observed on almost every shallow stump or log; I've never seen so many."

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 6/6: "I fished Shenango Lake on Wednesday, 6/4. The crappie bite was very good. I got well over 50 fish but only 11 were over 10 inches. I kept 15 of the 9" fat black crappies as we need to remove some of the smaller fish. These are the best eaters. I got most of the crappies a jig tipped with a nibble and fished over brush in 8 to 10 feet of water."

Lake Wilhelm

Chuck Sari (Franklin); filed 6/8: "On June 6, I went to Lake Wilhelm with my wife Bettie and grandson Reece. We were strictly fishing for bass. I had not been there in several years, but decided that I would try the lake again. We fished the south end of the lake for about three hours. Using rubber worms and slip sinkers, we managed to catch five bass including a 22-inch lunker! Maybe bass fishing at Wilhelm is on the upswing!"

Bob @ Fergie's Bait; filed 6/7: "A fair number of walleyes are being caught on worm harnesses. Orange blades seem to be working best. Crappies are being caught on Southern Pro Stingers tipped with a maggot; pearl is the best color, although I'm hearing gray twister grubs are doing well, too. Bluegills are hitting on spit-tails or guinea feather jigs tipped with a maggot or waxworm."

Bill Logan (Pleasantville); filed 6/3: "On Memorial Day I fished Wilhelm in the stump filed with a Zipper Worm. I caught 3 small bass and one big'em!" (Livewell photo)


Oil Creek

Mike Laskowski @ Oil Creek Outfitters; filed 6/9: "Today is not a good day on Oil Creek but tomorrow may be better. Creek is high and muddy as of the 9th. But when the creek level drops and water clears up, Oil Creek has been fishing very well. If we don't get more rain this week (fat chance) then we should be in good shape for the weekend. Cahills and Blue Wing Olives are coming off right now. My recommendation for high water in Oil Creekfish for smallmouths."

Chris Wolfgong (Oil City); filed 6/8: "My cousin Ed Wolfgong caught a nice smallmouth on a fly rod in Oil Creek this past week. He said it was slow fishing for trout and bass."

Sugar Creek

Bill @ Griffins Bait; filed 6/2: "Here is a picture of Jeff Shields of Franklin with nice brown trout from Sugar Creek."

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 5/26: "I took a guest of mine (Tom Yancy from Bellwood PA) trout fishing on E. Branch of Sugar Creek. His two day total was 28 trout. He caught all his fish on nightcrawlers and wax worms. I, on the other hand, offered up large creek minnows, and caught 8 smallmouths and 1 nice walleye." (Livewell photo)

Justus Lake

Bill @ Griffins Bait; filed 6/2: "Here is a photo of Jeff Shields of Franklin with a largemouth bass from Justus Lake."

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 5/26: "Last Monday morning a fishing buddy Stan Huefner and I fish Justus Lake. We trolled live minnows and crawlers. We landed a total of 9 trout and 1 smallmouth."

Kahle Lake

Bill Logan (Pleasantville); filed 6/3: "This past week I fished Kahle Lake, catching 11 bass on small worms. I fished the river on Friday; it was windy and the water was stained. I took 6 smallmouths up to 3 pounds on Friday on swimbaits and flipping jig. On Saturday, I had 4 bass and 1 walleye."

East Sandy Creek

John Hummel (Kennerdell); filed 5/27: "A beautiful Memorial Day weekend, except the Allegheny was blown out! In contrast, the tributaries were perfect shape, so back to East Sandy we went to catch trout. See picture of Tim Hummel landing a trout."

Allegheny River

Jody @ Maurer's Trading Post; filed 6/7: "With the river finally down, more anglers are fishing. I sent two photos of Lonnie Donaldson with walleyes from the Allegheny River. He didn't say on what or exactly where other than Oil City area. These are nice fish!"

Pete Cartwright (Pittsburgh); filed 6/2: "We fished the Allegheny near Tionesta on Sunday, June 1. We had a great day. Bass were active in faster water and eating stick worms. We caught mainly 12 to 15 inchers, but also several in the 18 inch category."

Darl Black (Cochranton); filed May 30: "I invited Bob Davis of Tidioute to fish the river with me at Tionesta. I thought the river had come down and cleared up some I was mistaken. Smallmouths were not on the flats or shoreline gravel as expected. Bob caught his first Allegheny smallmouth of the year, taken on a tube jig. Most bass we caught where on Chatterbaits on the downstream eddy of islands. Also picked up a nice northern. An attractive musky broke off a Chatterbait while we were admiring it alongside boat and trying to figure how to land it without injuring it or us. My musky cradle has now been returned to the jet boat!"



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