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NWPA Fishing Report, 10-28-15

November 3, 2015
By Darl Black ,

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

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


Article Photos

Eric Marsh and Don Dick with bass club first place catch of smallmouth from Allegheny River.

Pymatuning Lake

Dave @ Richter's Bait and Tackle; filed 10/26: "Between the low water and start of hunting season, there are not a lot of anglers on Pymatuning. A few anglers are catching some nice walleyes on blades. There are reports coming in of walleyes being caught in the Shenango River below Pymatuning, too."

Norm @ Jamestown Boat Livery; filed 10/26: "The word is blades for walleyes in the southern-most part of the lake. Also, crappies seem to be active. I had one regular who fishes every day who reports catching 125 crappies this past week with most of the fish ranging from 9 to 11 inches; reported depth was 14 to 18 feet."

Fact Box


Pymatuning Lake

Norm @ Jamestown Boat Livery; "The word is blades for walleyes in the southern-most part of the lake. Also, crappies seem to be active. I had one regular who fishes every day who reports catching 125 crappies this past week with most of the fish ranging from 9 to 11 inches; reported depth was 14 to 18 feet."

Patty @ Poff's Place; filed 10/26: "Not a lot happening in the north end of the lake. Some anglers are catching yellow perch off the causeway. A handful of guys who really know what they are doing are catching some walleye on the South End. A slow bite coupled with low water that makes launching very difficult in the mid and north end of the lake has reduced the number of anglers out there."

Darl @ Fishing with Darl Black; filed 10/23: "First time back on Pymatuning since early July of course it had to be a bluebird cold front day. We fished the South End near Jamestown Boat Livery. There were only two other trailers in the parking lot. I talked to one angler who had fished the last two days with only a couple small walleyes and perch to show. On the water, I did not see the big balls of suspended shad with big marks below them as I had hoped for; water temp was still in the upper 50s, so hopefully better action to come in November. My Garmin electronics marked some smaller fish in 14 to 16 feet of water around cribs and drop-offs. Our catch consisted of a few small crappies, small perch, small bluegills, couple sublegal walleyes and one lonesome small smallmouth bass. Most fish came on a jig-n-minnow with a few on a blade. Then the starter went out on my Merc; made it back on electric motor. Our best catch of the day was a scenic shot of the colorful Pymatuning shoreline taken by Rick Lang."

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 10/15: "On October 15, I fished Pymatuning with my neighbor Shawn Hailstock. We caught lots of crappies on jigs and Crappie Nibbles in shallow water."

Conneaut Lake

Loby @ Loby Entertainment (Conneaut Lake); filed 10/27: Due to slow walleye bite and low water Pymatuning, Loby has been hunting the big bluegills at Conneaut Lake for the last couple weeks. A week ago he hit them pretty good in 25 feet of water. Fishing again this past Thursday and Friday, he had to search for them again. "I did find some bluegills on, 10/23, in 27 feet of water on the north end of Conneaut. The bite was steady and I came away with some good ones." He says they are concentrated in small areas at those depths.

Marilyn Black (Cochranton); filed 10/25: "On Sunday the 25th, the only day we could fish together, Darl and I set out on Conneaut for big smallmouths. Instead we encountered a big north wind and the open water of the lake capping white. We managed to fish a few areas of the lake, but the bass were not on at all. However, another fish species was biting. I landed three pike that totaled 75 inches a 32", 28" and a 15" pike. Two were taken on a lipless rattle bait and one on a jig-n-minnow. Darl caught an 8" bass on a swimbait."


Presque Isle Bay

Jim @ Lake Erie Bait & Tackle; filed 10/26: "This past week customers were catching perch on the North Pier and Marina Lake. Wind has played havoc lately."

Erie Tributaries

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 10/26: "Given the low water flows, anglers are catching steelhead pretty good in the lower sections of creeks near the mouth. Not enough water in streams to get a run moving upstream. Best baits are minnows or single eggs. Many steelhead catches are being made casting the lakeshore at creek mouths and trolling just off shore. Bright, fluorescent colored Reef Runner plugs are working for boat trollers, while shoreline casters rely on green/chrome or blue/chrome Cleo Spoons."

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 10/26: "We need rain. Creeks are too low and too clear. There are many steelheads low in the stream and in the lake waiting to move. Stream anglers are catching them in the lower sections of Elk and as far upstream as the Legion Hole. Anglers on the lakeshore are making nice catches when there is a south breeze but too often the wind is from the west or norththat is a wash out for lakeshore anglers. Spoons and spinners for lakeshore fish; single eggs and minnows for stream fish under the low, clear situation. Wednesday we are expecting a big rain. Come on! Bring those streams up! Rain on Wednesday and Thursday might translate to perfect conditions for the weekendif we don't end up getting a complete blow out of the streams!"

Ric @ Trout Run Bait & Tackle; filed 10/26: "We've been cleaning a decent number of steelhead. Anglers are killing them along the lakeshore when the lake is calm. Spoons and Power Bait seem to top the list of lakeshore baits. Eastern number streams are in worse shape than our western streams. Some fish are as far upstream on Elk as Folly's, but not many. Single eggs and minnows for streams are best. With low clear water, fish in the holes are spooky from pressure. Don't overlook fishing the shallower runs in the stream under these conditions. If we get a good rain in the watershed without a blow-out situation, this coming weekend could be greatso be ready."


Lake Wilhelm

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 10/26 sent from his phone: "They must be making repairs on the dam at Wilhelm because the lake level is down a good 4 feet. We've been trolling along this morning with crawlers and Hot-N-Tots without a strike so far"

Scott Kinard (Michigan); filed 10/25: "Hi Darl, I hope all is well. It's been a busy year since I moved to Michigan, but had the opportunity to come back home to PA this past week for a few days. It's very nice to come back and fish familiar waters! On Thursday, 10/22, I fished Lake Wilhelm to see if the lake has made a comeback this year. Knowing that this time of year can be primetime for size and numbers, I set off with crankbaits and jigs tied and ready! I had good day with about 25 total bass with several of them over 4 pounds. This time of year you can fish for a mile without a hit until you find the right spots and then you can load the boat all in a small area. That's the great part about coming back to familiar waters! All fish were caught on crankbaits and football jigs in 5 to 10 feet of water. A few were caught on plastics while flipping weed humps on the edge of breaks. Look for bait popping in the shallow weeds and go out from there to the nearest ledge to find bass holding on cover."

Shenango Lake

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 10/25: "I caught over 50 crappies yesterday, 10/24, on Shenango. Also caught a walleye while crappie fishing. I used Bobby Garland Baby Shads in 8 to 14 feet of water over and near brush. I released most of the crappies as I did not feel like cleaning that many. I kept eight of them over 11 inches plus the 17 inch walleye."


Allegheny River

Gene Winger (Oil City); filed 10/26: "The past two weeks have been challenging. With river levels below normal and water temps in the mid-50s, we just haven't experienced what would normally be the Fall Bite for this time of year. We've had some good early morning action where we found some exceptional bass (18" to 20") stacked in their normal fall locations only to find that once the fog clears and sun comes out the bite pretty much stops. We've also hit the Oil City pool for an hour or so during each outing only to find dinks which means the bigger fish haven't moved in yet, or they have a serious case of lockjaw! Most of the fish have been caught on Winco Solid Body River Darters and Winco C.W. Smallies Delight jigs. With cooler temperatures and rain in the forecast for this coming week, I'm expecting the Fall Bite is just around the cornerlet's hope!"

Pete @ Smallies on the Yough; filed 10/26: "It was a tough few days of fishing on the Allegheny River on the 23rd and 24th. Tons of leaves and weeds floating down the river made it tough to get a clear lure presentation. We found some scattered smallmouth here and there, but no real pattern."

Scott Kinard (Michigan); filed 10/24: "I fished the Allegheny River on Saturday with my buddy Mike Doerflinger for a few hours to see how the bite is coming along this year. Surprisingly, I feel it's too early for the big bite in the areas we fished. The water is low and clear with tons of weeds! Being out of state all year, I was unaware that mild and dry weather has been the fall weather pattern in PA. Water temp was around 55 degrees. Some rain, cold and water dump from Kinzua will hopefully get the big ones moving. We did land around 30smallmouts, but nothing bigger than 2.5 pounds. Looking forward to another trip around Thanksgivinghopefully the harsh cold lays off for a while."

RJ Graham (Tionesta); filed 10/24:

I fished Tionesta Lake on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. The smallmouth bass are definitely schooled up for the most part in deep water. I got an average of 30 bass a night. There were some scattered bass in the shallows they were the larger fish. But most were deep. I started the week catching them on a drop-shot rig with Bass Pro Shop Squirmin' Squirt 2 inch tube. By the end of the week, I was catching them on a Kastmaster Spoon.

The Bassmasters of Crawford County held their final tournament of the season on the Allegheny River on October 18. Eric Marsh won with 4 bass going a total of 10.77 pounds. Mark Hughes came in second with 4 bass going 10.24 pounds. Don Dick was third with a single bass going 2.80 pounds. It was a tough bite for most participants. I caught one legal bass, a nice walleye and a huge sheepshead.



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