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NWPA Fishing Report, 7-13-16

July 14, 2016
By Darl Black ,

This Report is brought to you by 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?"

French Creek Flowing through all four counties

Article Photos

Darl Black with a few Pymatuning summer crappies. Photo courtesy of Darl Black

Mark Posego; filed 7/8: My wife Marla and I floated the Sugar Creek section of French Creek the evening of the 6th. We landed 20 smallies and lost or missed many more. I have had some of my best days on French Creek this year just hours before a storm rolls in. Here are two of the best fish: Marla's 16-incher and my 19-incher; both came on Yum Dingers. CRAWFORD COUNTY

Pymatuning Lake

Dave @ Richter's Bait & Tackle; filed 7/11: "The bite is a little slow - about normal for this time of year. Some guys are still getting walleyes at night by waking long minnow baits over the shallows alewives are everywhere. I got out the other day for a couple hours during the morning, and we caught a few walleyes by tossing nightcrawlers into weedbeds. Anglers report decent number of crappies from the cribs. Catfish are biting, of course. I had reports of a 40 inch and 45 inch musky being caught this past week."

Fact Box


Lake Erie

Tim at North East Marina - "The walleye catch is Good+ with some limits being caught in several different locations. Inshore bite is on and off at 46/60 feet inside the Mountain; target 38 to 45 feet down with worms is best lots of non-targeted species inside so take extra crawlers; Marina to state line, Greenfield to Freeport."

Norm @ Jamestown Marina; filed 7/11: "I had a couple customers report catching keeper walleyes this past week on blade baits; they did not say if they were casting blades or vertically jigging them. Lots of panfish especially perch are coming in; not many crappies."

Vickie @ Duck & Drake; filed 7/11: "The only reports I had over the weekend were some anglers were catching walleyes in the North Stumps."

Russ @ Gateway Bait; filed 7/11: "They are catching a few crappies on minnows off the causeway in the early morning and late afternoon. Trolling Storm Hot & Tots and Berkley Flicker Shads on leadcore line has been producing walleyes for some anglers. Others are using worm harnesses."

Shon @ Espyville Marina; filed 7/11: "Walleyes are still being caught using worm harnesses, Storm Hot-n-Tots and Rapala Shad Raps. The crappie bite has slowed, but good size perch are being caught."

Brandi @ Poff's Place; filed 7/11: "Customers brought in a couple 25 inch walleyes and a 20 inch walleye this weekend; they caught them north of the causeway. Seems a little bit of everything is being caught but no spectacular bite."

RJ Graham @ Graham Jigs; filed 7/8: "I fished Pymatuning for bass on the 7th. It was one of the best weed bites I've ever had. We fished north in some great scenery! I flipped a beaver tail bait on Gamma Torque Braid with Trokar Hook and Reins 1/4 ounce Tungsten!"

Fishing with Darl Black; filed 7/5: "I had Ray and his son Jay onboard the day after the 4th. We caught crappies off cribs early, but when moving to other cribs later in morning, discovered crappies had apparently moved off to chase roving baitfish schools. The hot bait in the morning was with Bobby Garland Swimming Minnow with tail dipped in chartreuse dye. A 2-inch red/chartreuse tube also produced. It seemed the tail of any bait had to be chartreuse to get the low light morning bite."

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 6/30: "My fishing buddy Stan and I were on Pymatuning Lake at daylight. From then till around 8 am the walleye bite wasn't bad. Thereafter is slowed. We trolled chartreuse & orange willow blade harnesses in 14 to 20 feet of water to catch our fish."

Notice: Bob's Place Walleye Tournament will be this coming Saturday, July 16th. All signups will be at Bob's Place, Jamestown. For information, call 724-456-4511.

Conneaut Lake

RJ Graham @ Graham Jigs; filed 7/8: "Before fishing Pymatuning yesterday, we stopped at Conneaut Lake. It was on fire! We caught a good number of fish by flipping the weeds and also some by drop-shotting the deep weed edge."

Bob Grinarml (Cambridge Springs); filed 7/8: "We fished Conneaut Lake the last two weeks for bluegills. We did very well both times. Probably threw back 5 for every one we kept. The bluegills were still on beds on the humps! The second trip wasn't as good as the first. The fish are leaving the beds!"


Lake Erie

Tim @ North East Marina; filed 7/9: "The perch bite is slow. Some fish are being caught at 56 feet of water off Gay Road, which is about 1/2 mile east of 20 Mile Creek. Reports of fishermen trolling for walleye are picking up jumbo size perch in 70 fow off Greenfield (in small numbers).

"The walleye catch is Good+ with some limits being caught in several different locations. Inshore bite is on and off at 46/60 feet inside the Mountain; target 38 to 45 feet down with worms is best lots of non-targeted species inside so take extra crawlers; Marina to state line, Greenfield to Freeport. The off-shore bite is setting up nicely: boards with 7 colors of leadcore, deep divers and shallows diving plugs working depending on the day. Plugs: Renosky, Bay Rats, Reef Runners. Color of the week was Pink. Go out to 85 to 105 feet of water (fow) from the W's to Freeport, due north of Marina to state line. The thermocline is 50 to 55 feet down; you should target 38 to 45 feet down with lure presentation.

"Steelheads are being caught in 85 to 105 fow in same area as walleye but right in the thermocline with spoons is best. Lake trout with 10 colors of leadcore are being fished 10 to 15 feet below the thermocline; same area as walleyes being caught."

Paul @ Lake Erie Bait & Tackle; filed 7/11: "Not a lot to report. Anglers are catching a few smallmouths off the Piers. Perch are spotty in the lake. Had reports of walleyes being taken in 42 feet of water out from Walnut, trolling willow-leaf worm harnesses and Challenger plugs."

Rich @ Erie Sports Store; filed 7/11: "Here is a pix showing 4 of 18 walleye caught on June 29th. Pictured are Bob Hinton and Rich Weber. These fish were caught east of the Point of Presque Isle fishing in 45 to 55 feet of water using nothing but spinners and nightcrawlers. Since then, the walleye fishing has slowed down. Few limits have been taken and reports are generally slow.

"Perch fishing is still hit and miss situation. Many of the perch fishermen are trying their luck with walleyes due to the poor perch fishing over the last several weeks. Just west of the PA line the perch fishing has been reported to be a real early bite while in PA it is very sporadic. On Wednesday July 6th two of use caught our limit of perch in 48 feet of water off Walnut Creek. On Sunday, July 10th, two of us fished the same area and caught 27 perch and 10 sheepshead. We fished Sunday from 5 to 8 PM.

Frank @Poor Richards; filed 7/11: "Reports of walleyes in the First Trench in 70 to 75 feet of water. Perch are picking up in 38 to 45 feet of water."

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 7/11: "Elk Creek is exceptionally low the rain the other day didn't do much. Wind has been a problem on the lake guys are not getting out regularly. Perch are hard to find. Walleye bite is mediocre at the best on the West Side. Although there are reports of walleyes moving into the 30 to 35 feet of water on the rock piles out from the old Camp Sequoia."

Thomas Watral (Erie); filed 7/10: "Anglers have been catching walleye at 70 feet off the Point using crawler harnesses and bright colored plugs. Perch have been hard to find most action seems to be off Shades Beach around 60 feet. South Pier has been good for bass and Walnut Creek at night for catfish. North Pier anglers are catching bass and bluegills. At Liberty Park they are getting some bass right at dark. Don't forget to stop by my tackle shop at 2407 McKinley Ave, east side; we have sinker sale in progress with all types available in bulk. Open 6 am to 5 pm."

Bill Logan (Pleasantville); filed 6/30: "I blew a trailer tire on I-79 on the way to Erie. Found Chestnut Ramp had one boat trailer when I arrived at 7:30 a.m. The bay was beautiful all day but bass bites were thin. I caught three largemouth bass, three smallmouth bass, one rock bass and one dink walleye. In front of the boat ramp I caught 8 or more drum on swimbaits! Most drum were over 5 pounds with two going over 8 pounds."


Shenango Lake

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 8-11: "I fished Shenango today. The crappies were on deep brush. Still no consistent bigger fish, but did manage to put 23 crappies from 9 to 9.5 inches in the cooler. All blacks. Southern Pro Triple Tips and Fin-S-Fish caught the majority of them. Lots of throwbacks to keep you busy, too."

Drew @ 5 Points Country Store; filed 7/11: "I've been picking up crappies by trolling crankbaits, including Salmo Hornet and Storm Hot-n-Tot; casting is not producing crappies for me. There are a few walleyes being caught. I've not heard anything about stripers."

Lake Wilhelm

Vicki @ Fergies; filed 7/9: "This week we've had variety of big fish reported to the shop largemouth bass, walleyes, and crappies. The area around Launch 3 has been good for shore anglers. On Sunday we had customer reports of algae bloom or the lake turning over down by the dam but don't know what's going on. I included pictures of Tim Weaver's 4-pound bass, Vince Klonoski's 17-inch crappie and Jeff Wasser's 26-inch walleye."

Cory @ Lake Wilhelm Marina; filed 7/12: "This is Cory at Lake Wilhelm Marina. Lake Wilhelm fish have really been biting over the weekend. We saw many walleyes from 24 to 28 inches, plus one that went 31.5 inches and 10.5 pounds. We also had anglers catching bass up to 22 inches. Plus stringers of crappies. Attached are two pictures of our current leaders in our fishing contest both fish caught this past weekend."

RJ Graham @ Graham Jigs; filed 7/3: RJ has been having a good summer for bass on Wilhelm. He won the BMCC tournament on Sunday the 3rd even though he fished part of the day with a hook in his foot!


Bill @ Griffin's Bait; filed 7-10: "Brii Smith caught this northern pike while fishing the Allegheny River recently. Chris Coxson also caught a nice northern pike from the Allegheny River earlier this season. On Father's Day Weekend, Scott Selle caught a nice largemouth while fishing Lake Wilhelm. Scott mentioned the bass bite was light even though he landed five largemouths which were 14 inches and over. Scott's son Rob (not pictured) caught 3 largemouth bass."

Allegheny River

Jeff @ Keystone Connection Guide Service; filed 8-9: "During much of the past two weeks, the middle Allegheny has been running low, clear and warm. Not much water to run a boat in, but not a problem for the Rockproof Boat's custom River Rocket! On my many guide trips during the period we've experienced excellent fishing, with active fish holding in their typical summertime spots tail-outs of major pools, edges of riffle area, soft spots (mid-river depressions) within riffles, and below islands. Everything has come on Rapala X-Raps, Winco's Solid Body River Darters, and Bass Pro Shop Speed Shad swimbaits. All sizes of bass including many in the 17 to 19 inch range."

Jim Allen (Oil City); filed 9/10: "My daughter Paige and I fished the river with Steve Udick over the 4th of July weekend. She reeled in her first two bass ever. Bite was better than it was a week ago. I got a 19 inch smallmouth on a Jitterbug right at dark."

Keith @ Dutch Fork Custom Lures; filed 7/8: "Brian Conroy and I fished the 3 Rivers area on July 7th. Some muddy water was coming down the Mon but the Allegheny was clear. We caught walleye, sauger, saugeye, wipers and a few channel cats all jigging jigs-n-plastics and blade baits. Bite was off in the morning but picked up around 6:30 am. No big fish on this trip. Only saw one other boat fishing on the river."

Matt Watson (Franklin); filed 6/30: "I made it to the river tonight. Something hit my Rebel Craw about 10 pm while I was wading in waist deep water. It took me right off my feet and left me with a set of waders to dry out! I'm thinking it might have been a big flathead! Good thing I didn't lose my pole or my smile!"



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