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NWPA Fishing Report, 7-13-15

July 13, 2015
By Darl Black ,

This report is brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism with additional sponsorship from Wiegel Brothers Marina and Gamma Fishing.

We answer the question "What's biting in the lakes, streams and rivers of Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties?"

FRENCH CREEK Flowing through all four counties

Article Photos

RJ Graham with a couple of nice bass, taken with a crankbait at Lake Wilhelm. Photo by Darl Black

Editor's note: No reports from French Creek. Water level is finally dropping to reasonable fishing level and water color is improving. Griffin's Baits mentioned several of their customers were headed out French Creek today, but not expected to hear back from them in time for inclusion in this Report.


Pymatuning Lake

Fact Box

Allegheny River

Chris Wolfgong (Oil City); filed 7/5: "Dale and I hit the river this morning. The river is still up and pretty stained. I only had one bass on for a second. The fish hit a jerkbait as I was picking it up for another cast, then it threw the hook. The most exciting part of the morning is what we saw swimming across the river between Oil City and Franklin. Picture attached of the black bear."

Dave @ Richter's Bait & Tackle; filed 7/11: "The muskies are finally turning on. There have been a number of musky fishermen through the shop since the first of July; most of them are trolling. The fact that they are fishing means muskies are hitting. Walleye fishermen are also connecting with a few muskies. The walleye bite remains strong with the best catches from 19 to 15 feet in the South End and 10 to 11 feet in the North End; trolling plugs seem to be best approach. The walleye night bite is very sporadic. Silver cats (channel cats) are being caught everywhere. More people are finally targeting cats. We've got a phenomenal population of them in the lake, and those cats less than 20 inches are best eating if you like catfish! Crappies are deep; only a few anglers are catching them."

Sydney @ Robinson's Bait didn't have any customer fishing success to report this weekend, although she said the weekend of July 4th was good to many anglers.

Marilyn Black (Cochranton); filed 7/4: "This being Fish for Free Day, Darl and I started our 4th of July off by heading to Jamestown Campground to provide a fishing information session for kids. We talked to a number of shoreline anglers and helped a few with tackle problems or questions."

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 7/4: "On Monday, June 29, Stan and I fished Pymatuning. We ended up boating 3 walleyes and 6 channel cats."

Jeff Reichel (Meadville); filed 7/3: "My son Jacob and I fished Pymatuning on the 3rd, from 8 am to 4 pm. I hooked 1 bass about 2 pounds from a weedbed on the North End. I fished a hump in the South End for a couple hours for panfish, catching 10 bluegills and 2 perch on drop-shot rigs in 12 feet of water. Quite a letdown since we fished PIB for smallmouth in May!"

Conneaut Lake

Editor's note: Nothing to report. Anyone who fishes Conneaut Lake in the next couple weeks, please send a report.


Lake Erie East

RJ Graham (Tionesta); filed 7/12: "We fished Lake Erie today, catching many smallmouth bass and, unfortunately, many sheephead. We caught 36 smallmouths, mainly on tubes. About 1/2 dozen came from PIB, the rest out on the main lake."

Tim @ North East Marina; filed 7/9: "WALLEYE - The best way to describe the walleye bite is that it's running hot and cold due to the full moon and bug hatches. Planer boards with shallow diving plugs and deep divers fished behind 5 colors of lead core are producing some really nice catches from Marina to state line in 72 to 105 feet of water. Best deep divers are Reef Runners, Bay Rats and Renosky plugs. On the shallow divers the Renoskys and Bay Rats get the nod. Inside bite in the shallower water is with worm harnesses fished on bottom at slow troll from Boathouses to Barrels on Freeport Beach. We are seeing at least three different year classes of walleyes being caught. PERCH Bite is good off Twenty Mile in 26 feet of water. Jumbos and limit catches when they turn on!! Also perch in 52 fow off Greenfield and the W's. Best baits are live minnows fished on Sibiki Rigs. STEELHEAD & BROWN TROUT some have been caught off the PA/NY line in 100 fow; incidental catches while fishing for walleyes. BASS in 28 fow at the Ws and just west of Freeport Yacht Club in 18 fow; top lure is 1/4 oz. jighead with Venom Tube in Goby color."

Lake Erie West

Gary @ Poor Richards; filed 7/11: "Short and sweetthe perch are slow but the walleye bite is good in 45 to 55 feet and at the First Trench."

Dave Horvath (Mercer)

Filed 7/5: "Since Shenango Lake was 8 feet over summer pool and all ramps were closed except the main ramp at the Campground at Clark, I jumped ship and went to Erie on the 3rd. Perch are not yet schooled, plus Friday was an east wind. Hate it. NOA weather called for 2 feet. The missed it again. We had mostly 2 to 4 feet all day. I ran to 73 feet and fished west. Ran Dispsy and crawler harness. All we caught were white bass and other junk fish. I wanted to alert those traveling to Erie that the lake has a lot of floating debris from the launch out to deep water. We saw whole trees at 9 to 12 miles out. Be careful."

Filed 7/10: "Hi Darl. We had a great day walleye fishing on Lake Erie west side. Our two biggest hogs were 27" at 6 pounds and 28" at 7 pounds. We caught total of six walleye in 64 to 68 feet of water and dropped several at the boat all nice fish. We also caught a load of white bass and some jumbo perch. All trolling plugs and worm harnesses. Perch have not schooled tight yet; one boat limits our and next door neighbor gets only a handful. See our photos of the big walleyes and jumbo perch."

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 7/6: "Brother Steve and I spent a day on Lake Erie. The perch bite was slow but we managed a number of good fish on minnow harnesses at 48 feet down. We were approximately 3 miles northwest from Walnut Access."


Shenango River Lake

Editor's note: Recently Shenango has been high, muddy and suffered from a toxic blue-green algae bloom which can be harmful to people and animals if you are in the immediate area of the scummy bloom. All ramps except Shenango Recreation Area at Clark were closed over the 4th. I have not received any fishing reports from Shenango in two weeks. On July 4th, Marilyn and I stopped by the lake to check out conditions. As of today, water has receded to allow some additional ramps to open up. Go to Shenango Lake FB page to find the latest info; also posting updates on my FB page Fishing with Darl Black."

Lake Wilhelm

Vicki @ Fergies Bait; filed 7/11: "Customers have been reporting catching good numbers of medium-size bluegills. However, one customer brought in a 17" crappie with a 14" girth weighing 3.9 pounds that sure is bigger than the average crappie!"

Marci @ Lake Wilhelm Marina; filed 7/11: "Walleye and bass are biting. We had several nice walleye entered in our fishing contest by young people this week. The biggest one was 26-incher caught by 13 year old Braden Sutter. Storm Hot-n-Tot has been hot! Check out some of the catches on Livewell Page."

Jeff Reichel (Meadville); filed 7/2: "Jacob and I fished Wilhelm from 10 am to 4 pm on July 2. We fished deep for bass most of the day without a bite. We fished about an hour and a half for panfish, catching 12 bluegills between 3 and 6 inches from 12 feet of water by drop-shotting."

RJ Graham (Tionesta); filed 7/2: "Darl Black joined me for several hours on the morning of July 2. The bite started out much slower than my two previous trips to Wilhelm. My better deepwater spots were not producing. Finally Darl connected with one over four pounds on one of his old original Poe's crankbait. Then I got a 3 pounder, and Darl got another 2-pounder. When Darl left, I went shallow and ended up catching 8 bass with the largest being four pounds."


Janice @ Griffins Bait Shop; filed 7/11: "With all the high water on French Creek, Sugar Creek and the Allegheny, it's been another slow week of fishing success. Some of our customers have been going to Sugar Lake to catch some panfish. The new Berkley Flicker Shads we have in stock have been selling like crazy; most anglers are taking them to Wilhelm or Pymatuning to troll for walleyes."

Justus Lake

RJ Graham (Franklin); filed 7/9: "On Friday night I went to Justus Lake. We caught about 20 bass in a few hours of fishing. All fish came on drop-shot and Senkos."

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 7/11:

July 4th "For Fish for Free Day on July 4th I took my friend Pam fishing to Justus Lake. She caught 5 largemouth bass, 2 smallmouth bass and one rainbow trout."

July 10th "On Friday, my guest Karen Lovett from Gainsville, FL, purchased a one day out-of-state fishing license at Sue's Bait and Tackle Shop. We then proceeded to Justus Lake where she caught 4 largemouth bass and a big bluegill. Golden shiners on a long shank Aberdeen hook did the trick when trolled slowly along a weedbed near the swimming area."

Kahle Lake

Bill Logan (Pleasantville); filed 7/4: "On July 4th at Kahle Lake there were only 3 boats on the water. I took 12 bass on swim baits and lizards. The hawg of the group may have weighed 1.5 pounds. The rest were thin and short."

Allegheny River

Chris Wolfgong (Oil City); filed 7/5: "Dale and I hit the river this morning. The river is still up and pretty stained. I only had one bass on for a second. The fish hit a jerkbait as I was picking it up for another cast, then it threw the hook. The most exciting part of the morning is what we saw swimming across the river between Oil City and Franklin. Picture attached of the black bear."

Pete Cartwright @ Smallies on the Yough; filed 7/11: "We fished the 4th of July weekend on the Allegheny near our camp. The Allegheny was high and stained so we targeted the tributaries. We caught a few nice smallies, but all the action was slow. Our fish came on 412 Baits and stickbaits."



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