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NW PA Fishing Report, 11-9-16

November 10, 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 Line.

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


Article Photos

John Veto of Greenburg, PA with a nice steelhead.

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 11-1: My neighbor Corey Breene sent me a short summary of his success at French Creek. Using a Rapala XR8 in red & black shad during high & muddy water, he caught three walleyes. The biggest was 25 inches.


Pymatuning Lake

Fact Box

Lake Erie and Tributaries

Becky @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 11-8: With the nice weather, the lower sections of the tributaries are flooded with anglers. There are lots of fish, too. But with the water low and clear plus all the angler commotion, the bite is tough. We've been stressing to everyone that the steelhead have moved upstream with the last rain and anglers don't need to crowd into the lower sections.

Dave @ Richter's Bait and Tackle; filed 11-7: Customers are telling me the crappie bite has been extremely difficult in the last few days. One regular customer big on crappies, said he was struggling for last two days, and only managed five crappies. No one reporting walleyes; however, I think a few are being taken right at dusk on blades. Surface water temp is currently 53 degrees.

Patty @ Poff's Place; filed 11-8: Still getting reports of catfish being caught. Walleyes are few and far between. One really big walleye was reported caught at the Spillway. Generally slow fishing given the nice weather.

Dave Lefebre (Erie); summary of 11-9 phone call: The Lefebre clan made their annual fall week-long trek to Pymatuning Lake. For the last four days, Dave, his brother, father, uncle and family friend have been on the lake from sunrise to sunset. The walleye bite is practically non-existent; catching only one each day right a dark. However, the one caught Tuesday evening weighed 9 pounds; taken by Frank Lefebre on a Silver Buddy. Crappies have been the main action with some nice fat black crappies taken; in four days of angling the five anglers have caught 135 crappies.

Shawn Gross (Farrell); filed 11-7: I caught a stringer of crappies and bluegills from the docks at the Jamestown Marina.

Jason Phillips; filed 11-7: My Dad and I caught a nice mess of bluegills off the docks at the boat livery.

Conneaut Lake

Fishing with Darl Black; filed 11-2: When Bob Shirey and I launched the boat at Fireman's Beach on November 2nd, I briefly chatted with a musky fisherman who was also launching. I mentioned that with the low number of muskies in Conneaut these days, I could only catch one by luck. Said he didn't believe in luck got all his fish with skill. Asked how many musky he caught from Conneaut this year; answer: none. Told him I would never discount luck in fishing. Water temperature was cool 55 degrees. However the normally very clear lake water had a dark appearance to it more like clear black coffee, making it almost impossible to visually follow the deep weed edge. Not a problem since I expected bass to be fairly shallow. However, the anticipated Rattle Trap and swimbait bite did not materialize. We worked hard with drop-shot rigs on the weedline to get our first several largemouths all under 2.5 pounds. During a break, we pondered why the bite was unusually difficultas a gentle breeze moved the boat off the weedline with our shaky worms dragging unattended on the bottom. As luck would have it, at the 26-foot depth one shaky worm was engulfed by a 3 pound smallie and the second worm by a 20-inch largemouth one of Bob's biggest largemouths ever.


Presque Isle Bay

Mike @ Lake Erie Bait & Tackle: filed 11/6: Our customers are catching crappies and bluegills off the Marina Docks, but all the crappies are really small. Perch are finally moving in the Bay and are being caught at all the regular places North and South Pier; East & West Pier; Waterworks; Dobbin's Landing; Border Patrol Dock. Size should pick up soon as water continues to cool. Also had report of several walleyes taken off North Pier.

Paul Stewart (Butler)

-10-31: Went up for perch in PIB Saturday morning. We did pretty good with 15 keepers apiece and threw back three times that many small ones.

-11-7: Went perch fishing to PIB this weekend with similar results to last weekend. A lot of hookups but we threw back a lot of smaller ones. Still had a decent number of keepers. For bait we were using a mix of emerald shiners, flatheads and golden shiners. Surprisingly the golden shiners worked best maybe because they looked a little like gobies which were abundant where we were fishing. The cooler weather should bring bigger perch into the Bay soon.

Lake and Tributaries

Dave @ Poor Richards; filed 11-8: The creeks are low and clear making for tough steelhead fishing success. Most steelheads are coming from Elk from the Legion to Seritania. The Marina Basin at Walnut Creek opened to shoreline fishing the other day, but the North Wall on the stream remains closed. When you can get out on the lake, perch are being caught in 30 to 35 feet of water off Walnut.

Becky @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 11-8: With the nice weather, the lower sections of the tributaries are flooded with anglers. There are lots of fish, too. But with the water low and clear plus all the angler commotion, the bite is tough. We've been stressing to everyone that the steelhead have moved upstream with the last rain and anglers don't need to crowd into the lower sections. Because there are so many anglers, some steelheads are being caught but the ratio of fish to angler is low. To improve your chances of success, fish higher in Elk or take a little walk off the beaten track on the other streams. Hopefully with the rain forecast for Tuesday night and Wednesday, the streams will get a little color and the increased flow will bring in more fish.

John @ Uncle John's Elk Creek Campround; filed 11-6: We've had a great week on our section of creek. Lots of guys catching fish such as ones in the photo. We had a group of Canadians stay with us this week boy can they ever fly fish! They had a lot of fun with steelheads and even caught a big brown trout!

Jerry Hanna @ CDS Sports; filed 11-2: Had a chance to fish the main lake with buddy Dave McKissick last week. Weather was great but fishing was tough. We caught a few, but the main lake water temp is still too warm for a really good fall smallmouth bite.

Edinboro Lake

Dave Harding (Edinboro); filed 11-8: Not much to report- swapped by fishing pole for my bow. I did see a few boats on Edinboro appeared to be trolling for muskies or working shoreline for bass. I think the water is still too warm for good action. Steelheads are in streams, but PIB perch bite is light. We need cooler weather.


Lake Wilhelm

Vicki @ Fergies Bait & Tackle; filed 11-8: Hardly anyone fishing down here this week. The panfish bite is slow; no info on bass or walleye. With the boats pulled from the Marina, you can now fish from the docks. Always a few panfish over there.

Shenango River Lake

Drew @ Five Points Country Store; filed 11-8: The fishing at Shenango has picked up considerably. Our customers are catching crappies nice crappies up to 14 inches in about 15 feet of water on live minnows. The best bite starts around 3:30 pm and lasts until dark.

Rick Como (Sharpsville); filed 11-6: White bass and stripers are heavily schooled and feeding hard as the cold water period approaches. Crappies are hitting very well, also. Smallmouth and largemouth bass are also feeding on the schools of shad that have moved to deep water. We are even catching a few walleyes see photo of my cousin Gary Smiley with a Shenango 'eye. It is an awesome time to be fishing Shenango! The last of the warm weather is upon us and things will begin to slow down later in November.

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 11-5: I fished Shenango three times the first week of November. The crappie bite is great. Fished jigs in the deep stumps and put some big crappies in the livewell. Remember thisStumps and Humps for Big Crappie Bumps!


Allegheny River

Jeff Knapp @ Keystone Connection Guide Service; filed 11-5: We've had two high water events during the past three weeks that have moved Allegheny River smallmouth bass into typical late-fall locations. As of last Saturday the river was running about a foot higher than what I consider optimum late-fall level. We're catching fish in protected shoreline pockets adjacent to deeper runs and pools. Most fish are coming on Jimmy D's River Bugs, rabbit fur jigs, tube jigs and Galida's Grubz. Very few smaller bass caught. Smallies are between 14 and 18 inches. A few walleyes, too. With the river falling and clearing, I expect suspending hard jerkbaits to become productive, too. Water temperature is 51 to 52 degrees. Plenty of leaves on the river surface. Check out the photo of Steve Gierl with an 18-inch river smallmouth; Keystone Connection photo.

Gene Winger (Oil City); filed 11-8: Denny and I hit the river last Wednesday, October 26, to get some fishing in before the reins came and messed up the river again. We fished between Franklin and Rockmere but only connected with bass in the Oil City Pool. The river was still a little dirty and high but we managed half a dozen on Winco C.W. Smallie Delights. I fished again on Thursday, 11-3, for a few hours picking up several bass and a nice walleyes all on Winco Tubes.

Bill Logan (Pleasantville)

11-4: There was a foot of visibility with lots of weeds and leaves plus a stiff North wind. Still, in three hours, I managed to catch 7 bass with three of them around 2-pounds each. Ya Bay Bee! The fall bite starts! Spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits.

11-7: Today I had 10 bass with many over two pounds plus three pike. Spinnerbaits, Chatterbaits, tubes and grubs from 2 feet to 14 feet. I lost three bass and a pike as well.

Steve Udick (Oil City); filed 10-27: I had a tremendous day on the river this week, catching 16 smallies of which 14 were 15 to 19 inches. All but two of those bass came on black tubes; two smaller ones came on a Fluke. That was the first day of rain and the river got colored very nice but came up only a couple inches. I caught them all in a 30 yard stretch behind a wing dam. I had caught a big one there the day before and five more big ones were chasing it. It was a tip off they were stacking up by size. Sad to say I found this spot asking a guy how he was doing and he pulled a stringer of huge bass out to show me. Said he was from Pittsburgh and came there every fall to catch big ones. I had to remind him it was a three bass limit now that is was after October 15. He did not like that. I had fished twice in the mud getting five each day including a 19.5 incher; probably the fattest one since spring. I have only seen one other boat on the river this week.



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