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NWPA Fishing Report, 11-11-15

November 16, 2015
By Darl Black ,

This Report is brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism with additional sponsorship from Wiegel Brothers Marnie 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

Ken Smith with two nice Pymatuning crappies. Photo by Darl Black

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 11/6: "A pretty afternoon now that the rain moved out. I wade-fished French Creek last eveningmissed two fish using big live creek chubs and landed one pike. Today I did battle with a huge pike of better than 30 inches but the fish cut my line before I could net him!"

Lou Letterle (Franklin); filed 11/6: "My kids and I were out on the Allegheny River and French Creek a couple times before the heavy rains brought the level up and muddied the water. We have not been catching loads of fish, but have been catching some walleyes. Out best fish in the last two weeks was a 6-pound walleye caught on a large jerkbait."


Fact Box


Lake Erie

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 11/9: "Most lake anglers have winterized their boats, but if you have an outboard you should be taking advantage of some excellent fishing on the lake right now. Perch fishing on the lake is great if you can get out!"

Pymatuning Lake

Patty @ Poff's; filed 11/9: "They are still catching perch off the causeway and jigging walleyes with blades on the South End. Our top selling lures are blades right now, including the Vib-E, Sonars and locally made Sam's Blade."

Dave @ Richter's Bait & Tackle Shop; filed 11/9: "With the nice days, I'm seeing some casual anglers stop in for bait they buy worms and go out to drift crawlers as they would in summer, but don't catch anything. The best lure going right now are blades; some anglers are scoring walleye and crappies on blades. With the Jamestown Livery Boat Docks now open to fishing, guys have been catching larger than normal crappies off the docks this week, along with bluegills."

John Braymer (Sharon); filed 11/9: "Came up this morning to fish from the docks at Jamestown Marina. The crappies were biting early, but nothing after 1 pm. Crappies were eating small plastic body jigs better than live minnows."

Dave Lefebre (Erie); filed 11/9: "I'm down at Pymatuning for the week, fishing with my father and other friends who come in for a day or two. Today, Monday, we only caught one legal walleye between the three of us. But the crappie fishing was great. We kept 32 nice-size crappies, mostly black crappies. Some came on blades, but most came on small jigs in depths from 14 to 17 feet."

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 11/9: "I fished Pymatuning twice in November. On the 2nd, my brother Rich and I got a mixed bag of crappies, 'gills, perch and rock bass. We drifted the South End with Bobby Garland Baby Shads on 1/8-ounce heads tipped with Crappie Nibbles. On the 9th, I fished alone. I hand glided the Jamestown area in depths from 8 to 16 feet. I caught close to 50 crappies, gills and perch. I kept 30. All were caught with set-up described in Darl Black's latest blog ( and mentioned on his Facebook Page Fishing with Darl Black. Water temp is still unseasonably high for this time of year but should be dropping to near normal soon."

Rick Lang (Saegertown); filed 11/6: "Back on the 4th of November, Tom Parks and I fished Pymatuning. Water temp was still above 56 degrees. We only caught a handful of undersized walleyes."

Bill Cusick; filed 11/6: "Back on the 2nd of November, I caught a 17" and 21" walleye plus a crappie on blades on the South End of Pymatuning. On Friday, the 6th, I caught a 26" 5.5 pound walleye on a blue/silver blade near the dam."

Conneaut Lake

Dave Lehman (Espyville); filed 11/9: "Chad and I fished Conneaut today. We ended up with two of each of the following species: smallmouth bass, largemouth bass and pike. Our bigger fish were as follows: Chad caught a 4 pound smallmouth and 3-3/4 pound largemouth; I got a 3-1/4 pound smallmouth."

Marilyn Black (Cochranton); filed 11/8: "It was a tough bite on Conneaut Lake on Sunday. Too nice bluebird sky and flat as a windless summer day and water temp still in the mid-50s. I caught one pike on a Rapala X-Rap and Darl caught one smallmouth bass on a Jimmy D River Bug hair jig. No crappies were observed schooled over deep points and humps yet."

Bob Grinarml (Cambridge Springs); filed 11/6: "I fished Conneaut Lake on the 5th. The weather was beautiful. But the fishing was poorjust a few panfish. The weedbeds are dying back making them difficult to fish. Pieces of dead weeds were constantly snagged on hooks."


Lake Erie

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 11/9: "Most lake anglers have winterized their boats, but if you have an outboard you should be taking advantage of some excellent fishing on the lake right now. One of my customers was out on the main lake during a calm day this past week. He caught a 36 pound catfish, a 7.5 pound smallmouth bass, and his limit of perch. Perch fishing on the lake is great if you can get out!"

Mark Hughes (Saegertown); filed 11/7: "Darl, I was out on Lake Erie on November 5th. We fished out of North East; weather was nice for boating. We caught 14 smallmouth bass; biggest was 2.5 pounds. We caught them on drop-shot rigs in 30 to 35 feet of water. We also landed one 10 pound lake trout. We lost three other lakers that pulled off our blade baits. Water temp was in the upper 50s."

Dave Lefebre (Erie); filed 11/6: "I finally got out on the big lake a couple evenings in a row. Mainly I was testing out the Troller for the fall trips to Pymatuning and Allegheny River for walleyes. After the huge wind and waves while I was in Kentucky last week, I figured the shallow bite on Erie would be ruined. Although it wasn't on fire, I did manage to catch my biggest smallmouth of the year one close to 7 poundsguessing 6 lbs. 12 ounces. I also caught another one over 6 pounds and a couple 5 pounders. I caught three bass one evening and 6 the second night, hitting the water both days around 3:30 pm and fishing until sunset. Bass were in 10 to 15 feet of water near points between Shades and Northeast. I caught a 3-1/2 pounder in the Bay and the biggest one came on a Mardi Gras colored Rapala Scatter Rap Crank in the new #7 size. It dives to nearly 10 feet and has a tiny bill. We smashed the bass in the spring on this bait as well. All the rest came on a Rapala DT 10 Helsinki Shad with 10 lb. fluorocarbon. The water was surprisingly clear. My phone died so I didn't get a shot of the pig smallies makes me sick!"

Presque Isle Bay

Ric @ Trout Run Bait; filed 11/9: "The emerald shiners have moved into the Bay from the lake and they are catching nice perch on the North & South Pier and at the docks. Crappies and 'gills are being caught in Marina Bay Lake by a few anglers who have secret bait that they are not disclosing."

Paul Stewart (Butler); filed 11/2: "We went perch fishing in PIB on Sunday and Monday, the 1st & 2nd. Between two of us we had 15 pounds live weight of perch we kept, threw back many small ones. Sunday was very windy, while Monday was sunny and beautiful."

Erie Steelhead Tribs

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 11/9: "Anglers are doing pretty well in the lower sections of Elk and Walnut. Not many fish further upstream due to lack of flow. Single eggs and minnows are producing. Nice brown trout on the shorelines."

Ric @ Trout Run Bait; filed 11/9: "When the winds are calm, anglers are catching good numbers of big brown trout all along the shoreline at creek mouths. But the tributaries are as low as anyone can remember for a November. There are steelheads in the lower parts but only a few fish moving up. We need rain! Those who are catching fish seem to be using all sorts of different baits. I pretty much recommend single eggs and minnows for the clear, low water. Or small natural color nymphs or suck spawn if fly-fishing. Experienced anglers are catching fish, but not everyone. My advice is to keep moving and be sure to check pocket water rather just the big pool areas.

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 11/9: "Lots of fish in lower parts of streams waiting to move up but the creeks lack water flow. Hopefully the rain scheduled for this week will bring the levels up and fishing will be good up and down the streams for the weekend."

Bob Grinarml (Cambridge Springs); filed 11/6: "I checked out Trout Run on Wednesday about noon. Fishermen were shoulder to shoulder all along the mouth of the stream. Steelhead and brown trout were being caught at a fast pace. I observed for about an hour and someone was fighting a fish all the time. One fisherman caught and released 18 trout that morning."

Dennis Beggs (Franklin); filed 11/6: "Kim Slye (Cranberry), Jeff Dinger (Oil City) and I fished the shoreline at Trout Run on the 11/4 and 10/28. We did not do great but had some success. Pictures are attached. Baits used were single eggs, minnows, egg sacs, sucker spawn fly and bead-head streamer fly. All fish were released. It is a lot of fun when the drag hums, rods bend and it feels like the fish is swimming to Canada."


Shenango River Lake

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 11/9:

- October 27: I fished Shenango with Reuban Austin, Jr. Jigs and Crappie Nibbles put 53 eaters in the boat. That's enough to get him through the winter.

- October 31: I fished Shenango with my brother Rich. Fished multiple areas to get some fish for his freezer. Tried deep stumps with no luck, so we went shallower to 9 foot over wood. With Bobby Garland Baby Shads we put a limit of 10" to 12" black crappies in the boat.

- November 3: On Shenango by myself. Fished a couple spots I hadn't fished since early summer and the fish were still there. I caught and released most of the day, but 15 fish that were 10" or better. Hang Glided small jigs and Nibbles in 12 feet over brush.

Darl Black (Cochranton); filed 11/5: "I fished Shenango for several hours with Ken Smith. Ken demonstrated why he is the King of Crappie Angling on Shenango. The details of his technique can be found in my recent blog at One tip that I saved for the Fishing Report was this: Ken always uses a Berkley Crappie Nibble on his jigs at this time of year. Stick a fresh Nibble on the hook and it comes off at the first hit. Ken's secret is to dump several Nibbles into the open lid top of the jar and let them air dry a bit. A slightly dried Nibble stays on the hook so much better!"


Bill @ Griffins Bait & Tackle; filed 11/9: "This time of year the Sonar-type blade bait is extremely popular for walleye and bass in lakes as well as in the river. I offer locally made blade baits in ? and ?-ounce sizes in any color requested. At $2.99 and $3.99, these blades are offered at significantly lower price than the big brand name ones."

Justus Lake

Dean (Belle Vernon); filed 11/6: "My first trip to Justus Lake was very unusual and a lot of fun. A buddy and I set for smallmouth bass. We managed 1 largemouth and saw some other bass but no smallies. It turned out to be a blast because we accidentally caught over 30 trout. They were biting almost anything, even crayfish jigs. There was one brown trout and the rest were rainbows up to 16 inches. A very nice lake that I will try again!"

Allegheny River

Dale @ GAMMA Fishing; filed 11/9: "I made up for not fishing during all my business travel by hitting almost every day last week.

Tuesday, 11/3, I fished with Darl Black for a couple hours; we landed a total of 7 or 8 smallies; most were taken on tube jigs.

Wednesday, 11/4, I fished with Doug Caldwell of Kane. We landed 9 smallies. All on tubes.

Thursday & Friday, 11/5 and 11/6, I fished with my son Jake. Thursday we had 8 and Friday we had 16 bass. All on tubes.

Saturday and Sunday, 11/7 and 11/8, I fished with my Uncle Rich. 13 the first day and 7 the second. All on tubes.

Fish size has been improving. I am looking forward to cooler water bite."

Bill Logan (Pleasantville); filed 11/9: "I finally caught bass in the river today. I had 3 on blade baits and 8 on tubes. I talked to a young guy who had caught 24 bass!"

Ken Anderson (Tionesta); filed 11/9: "Using a live chub, I captured a 19-7/8" smallmouth bass from the Allegheny River south of Emlenton on 11/4. I released three other smallies over 15 inches and a 22-inch pike. I was fishing with Steven Griffith; he caught 6 small walleyes and 5 bass. Steven released a 21.5" smallmouth on October 14th in the same area."

RJ Graham (Tionesta); filed 11/8: "I fished the Oil City pool yesterday. With the river still flowing at 11000cfps it was tough. We only managed 6 bass. All taken on tubes. Not many big fish present with the unseasonably warm water temp at 54 degrees. With cooler temps for this coming week and dropping water level, I look for the river to turn on. Also, the leaves are gone!"



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