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NWPA Fishing Report, 5-10-17

May 11, 2017
By Darl Black , Blackwolfe Communications LLC

Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism

Published by Blackwolfe Communications LLC

Latest County by County Reports

Article Photos

This impressive black crappie - measuring 20' and weighing 4.8lbs - was netted during a PA Fish Commission Survey recently at Pymatuning Lake. Photo courtesy of Keystone Outdoors

FRENCH CREEK Flowing through all four counties

Tabitha @ Myers Sportsman's Connection; filed 5/8: Due to the unusual amounts of rain, fishing has been slow in French Creek and Woodcock Creek Lake. Water levels are high and fast. This has not deterred all anglers, as some have reported catching trout on Rosie Red minnows in streams, plus crappies and perch at Sugar Lake.


Fact Box

Upcoming Events

Fish & Boat Commission Informational Event: May 13, noon to 2 p.m. at Nature Lodge in Two Mile Run County Park. John Arway, Executive Director Fish & Boat, will be there to discuss laws and regulations affecting anglers and boaters.

Pymatuning Lake

Dave @ Richter's Tackle; filed 5-8: This has been a horrible week for first part of May. Hardly anyone fishing. Prior to storms, crappies had been biting the end of April but that has tapered off. A few guys are out getting walleyes very few anglers and few fish. Winds have been terrible. The bright spot has been the dam outflow bite given the good flow restored to Shenango River with the new gates. That bite will not last long. Everyone expects the lake to rebound for good crappie and walleye fishing in next few days. Muskies are still turning up everywhere in the lake.

Norm @ Jamestown Boat Livery; filed 5-8: It's been quite a week with rain, wind and cold. No one out on lake in boats. However, with new gates in the dam, the river flow has been restored and anglers had a good opening weekend of walleye with multiple respectable catches. My son got 11 keeper 'eyes in two day at the outflow. But bite depends on flow not to low or too high, needs to be just right. This is the first time in two years the gates have controlled the outflow rather than water going over the overflow.

Vickie @ Duck-n-Drake; filed 5-8: A week we would just as soon forget. Business was very slow; no report from customers. Heard they were catching a few crappies from the causeway.

Brandi @ Poff's Place; filed 5-8: What can I say? Bad week for May! Winds kicked everyone off the lake. Anglers clinging to the causeway caught a few bluegills, perch and catfish.

Sam @ Robinson's Bait; filed 5-8: Cold, windy and plain miserable. Have not heard much because hardly anyone out fishing. Back at end of April, fishing was good, had a picture of nice musky caught by customer. Most recent reports for the North End have a few walleye caught drifting between Harris Island and Tuttle Point, crappie in 8 to 10 feet of water, and perch sitting outside the bays. And it was a good opening weekend for inland water walleyes at the dam outflow; picture from there, too. Don't forget we will have the Someday Isle Tackle Fishing Team here on the 13th for Meet and Greet. And since we don't sell roses, for Mother's Day the 14th, we will give each Mom that stops in a dozen Rosie Reds!

Jim McClave (Andover); filed 5-4: I caught this nice 18 inch walleye with a nightcrawler on the South End of Pymatuning. Had to brave inclement weather, but it was well worth the challenge.

Danny Jones (Erie); filed 5-1: I spent the past couple weeks at Pymatuning and fishing has been hot. Last weekend we caught a 2 man limit of crappie out of my boat, as did my dad out of his boat. All crappies were caught in one foot water in the pads. As for bass fishing, we caught 75 largemouths, mostly on spinnerbait up in the pads and some flipping wood. My dad caught a musky about 40 inches long on a square-bill crankbait.

Marilyn Black (Cochranton); filed 4-23: Late Sunday afternoon, Darl and I ran over the North End of Pymatuning for our first crappie outing of the year. Darl needed to check out crappies for upcoming guide trips he put me on the spots and I caught the fish! Just a quick tour to find fish and out.

Jim Felix (Pittsburgh); filed 4-23: Jim caught this 24.5 inch walleye weighing 4.75 pounds using a red/chartreuse crappie jig tipped with nightcrawler. He was drifting in 7 to 8 feet of water among stumps in the North End.

Canadohta Lake, Bull Dam and Sugar Lake

Jerry @ Timberland Bait; filed 5-8: Really a bad day for opening walleye season on Canadohta. However, couple guys from Pittsburgh staying a cottage on the lake caught several pike and musky. Had reports from Bull Dam and Sugar Lake that crappies and bluegills were biting at both lakes. Muddy Creek was stocked with in season trout before the rain, and no one was on it due to high water this weekend so it might be a good spot to check this week as water goes down

Trout Streams

Bill @ Griffin's Bait & Tackle; filed 4-30: While fishing Woodcock Creek with his children, Elias Raber caught this 21 inch 4-pound Golden Trout!

Farm Pond Hawg

Michael Finazzo; filed 4-26: Caught this 25-3/4 inch largemouth bass from a local farm pond. Full of eggs; I quickly released it after photo and length measurement. Online size charts to the nearest 1/8 inch say it weighed approximately 10.7 pounds. I used my G. Loomis 843 rod, with Power Pro Super 8 Slick 30 lb. test. Farm Pond Hawg!


Presque Isle Bay & Main Lake

Mike @ Erie Bait & Tackle; filed 5-8: We've had some rough weather lately so not a lot of anglers out recently. However, they have been doing very well on smallmouth bass that are moving into the Bay right now. Perch fishing is hit and miss with most of the catches coming from the North and South Pier. No reports on crappies. Likely the reason for poor perch and crappie fishing is the missing schools of emerald shiners. Up and down the Lake, emeralds have not shown up like they should have by now, and everyone is concerned.

Andy @ Presque Isle Angler; filed 5-8: If you love to fish in wind, rain and cold this is the place to have been this past week or two. It's been tough. Perch are hard to come by. But smallmouth fishing is great some boats are getting triple digits in half day of fishing. This is best bass fishing I've seen in years. Sportsmen are not catching perch in any number or size after a good ice out season however, commercial boats are getting them good out in lake. Lack of emeralds is a major problem and investigation needs to be done bait is down all over lake according to Ohio and New York reports. The main Lake is colder than normal for this time, with temps offshore in the mid-40s. I'm still fishing for lake trout and catching a few nice ones but they are spread out and not grouped up. I'm not seeing baitfish schools on the main lake.

Richard @ Someday Isle Tackle Company; filed 5-7: Despite lousy weather, we've been out and about. The smallmouth fishing in Erie has been good by fishing a jig under a bobber from the piers. Got nice gills at Chautauqua and managed a few walleye keepers at Kinzua on opening weekend.

Pete Cartwright @ Smallies on the Yough; filed 5-4: Back on May 1, I was helping a friend put in a new boat in water at PIB and fished for an hour before storms rolled in. Caught a 5.6 pound smallie on 412ube. Today the 4th, I fished the Bay for a few hours today under blue skies. We caught 8 nice smallmouths on a soft bite. The biggest was a 19 inch 4.8 pound smallies on a 412ube from 412bait Company. We caught fish in 4 to 6 feet and 9 to 12 feet.

Danny @ Erie Bass Charters; filed 5-1: I've been out to PIB a few times this week. Smallmouth bass are on fire. They are coming into the Bay in full force and should start spawning in next couple weeks depending on weather. May and June are the best months to catch smallies. Dates are filling up so book your trip today.

Paul Stewart (Butler); filed 4-24: Went perch fishing afternoon of April 23rd in PIB. Beautiful day, fishing was slow but got a nice one. Heard the bite was better in the morning.

Erie Tributaries

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 5-8: Creeks are blown out. No recent catches to repot. Before the rains, they were catching a few steelheads in Elk. With the wind and waves, no one was fishing for walleyes from the shore during opening weekend.

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 5-8: No one was fishing the creeks recent days due to high water; might be fishable this week. Last reports said the bass had moved out of lower Elk and likely went higher in stream. Catfish are moving in already. There was a run of fresh steelhead into Elk 10 days ago, but spring runs don't hang aroundhard to say if any will be there when creek comes down. No one was fishing for walleye from shore due to weather.

Edinboro Lake

Dave Horvath (Edinboro); I can't believe his crazy weather. Edinboro Lake bite was just starting to heat up until the cold and wind and rain. There was good panfish bite in the Fingers until weather shut it down. Little guy in photo was tearing them up. Also had been muskie action by couple boaters.


Lake Wilhelm

Vickie @ Fergie's Bait; filed 5-8: Nothing happening at Wilhelm. Weather too rough lately.

Corey @ Wilhelm Marina; filed 5-8: We are not operating with regular hours yet. Planning regular hours by Memorial Day. We do have boats available to rent, but best to call ahead to 724-427-7062 to make someone will be here; only takes me minutes to get to the lake from my place.

Shenango River Lake

Rich Como (Sharpsville); filed 5-8: The fishing on Shenango the last week of April was hot. Stripers and white bass began showing up on points and rock shoals. Average size was very impressive. Pike continued to hit well in shallow water. Nice size channel cats were being caught in shallow water. The most impressive fishing has been for crappies. Very large black and shite crappies were being caught from shore and in boats. Average size is best I've seen in years. On one trip Julie and I keep 35; each crappie was 12 to 15 inches. The bad news the lake is now two feet high from all the rain. Dry weather on the way and we will be targeting walleye and stripers all month long. White bass will be moving into the Shenango River Pymatuning Creek for their spawn run during May, also.

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 5-8: I fished Shenango on Sunday. High winds and high water and dropping water temp shut down the crappie bite for me. I only caught 12 crappies and 'gills, and only two of them were over my 10 inch keeper size. Good luck out there!

Kevin Austin (Shenango Valley); filed 5-8: I caught these crappies on Shenango in 4 feet of water fishing 18 inches deep with a red and green tube jig below a weighted bobber.

Trout Steams

Dennis Beggs (Franklin); filed 4-23: This nice 18inch brown trout was caught on 4-22 by Kin Slye on Cool Spring Creek in Mercer County. Slye was drifting salmon eggs and salted minnows.


Allegheny River

Steve Udick (Oil City); filed 5-8: The river has been high and muddy for some time, but I was able to catch this flathead catfish on a Mizmo Green Pumpkin tube. It put up a nice fight, pulling the drag before I finally landed it. I've been catching a few bass along the edges, mostly on drop-offs. The low visibility has kept me to one or two bass per time out. Black tubes work well in the stained water.

Gene Winger (Oil City); filed 5-8: Rain, rain go away, you're screwing up my fishing day! Between the two storm fronts that produced the heavy rains and high muddy water, we've managed some days where the river was fishable and the smallie bite was heating up. Most bass were found in shallow backwater eddies and shallow current breaks using jerkbaits, tubes and Winco's 3.75 River Darter Swim Baits. Frank Malek and I had a memorable day on April 28 landing lots of bass, some 4 pound plus, and all mix with a ton of laughs. We started in Oil City and fished North hitting all the hot spots to Tionesta but the further North we went the fewer fish we caughtso we headed back to Oil City where Franks split his time between pulling bass and snatching up jerkbaits he had lost on a previous outingnot just one bait but two baits recovered! Luck or skill?

Matt Watson (Franklin); filed 5-6: I had some fun last night at mouth of Oil Creek...caught four walleyes between 20 and 24 inches on crankbaits!

Jeff @ Keystone Connection Guide Service; filed 5-4: In between high water events my middle Allegheny guide trips have been productive, with smallmouth bass showing up near spawning flats and nearby staging areas. Catching very few bass under 12 inches; most between 14 and 20 inches. I've seen no evidence of bass on beds yet, the spawning process retarded due to persistent high water and cool temps. The water temp was 59 degrees on my last river guide trip on May 1, before the next slug of high water. Rapala Husky Jerks and Winco's Solid Body River Daters are producing.

Bill Logan (Pleasantville); filed 4-17: Yea Bay...bee!!! A fiver! Okay, it was actually 4 pounds 14 ounces. Taken on the hottest smallmouth and walleye grub on the Allegheny River: Galida Grubz the only one I fish. (Watch for some news from Galida Grubz in the near future!)

Trout Streams

Steve Udick; filed 5-8: A couple trout pics from West Pithole Creek at the Kiddie Hole. Luka Johnson (4yrs) lands his first trout. Paige Allen (9yrs) landing a nice 12 inch Rainbow. She had a great day Tuesday landing eight trout.

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 5-2: I took 9 yr. old Mikey Galkowski trout fishing on Sugar Creek. He caught a few rainbows on nightcrawlers and then hooked into a nice smallmouth. It hit a live minnow. All released to do battle another day!

Jeff Reichel (Meadville): Back on the 4-28 when the weather was still nice, I fished a small tributary to the Allegheny in Venango County from 11 am to 3 pm. I caught 8 native brookies and a long line released 2 more. Sizes ranged from 7 inches to 3 inches. All were caught on an Adams Comparadunn. It was a great day for the 1 mile hike in to experience the splendor of Penn's Woods and our state fish!

Upcoming Events

Fish & Boat Commission Informational Event: May 13, noon to 2 p.m. at Nature Lodge in Two Mile Run County Park. John Arway, Executive Director Fish & Boat, will be there to discuss laws and regulations affecting anglers and boaters. (Sounds like a very good opportunity for area anglers to ask the Director when we will get a Waterways Conservation Office for Western Crawford/Pymatuning Lake; the most popular inland lake in state has been with consistent law enforcement for more than a year and with new crappie regs on the lake this year, we need an enforcement presence.)

Robinson's Tackle Shop on Rt. 6 outside of Linesville will host the fishing team from Someday Isle Tackle for an all-day question and answer session. Check Robinson's Facebook Page for times.

Bassmasters of Crawford County postponed their May 7th Spring Classic Tournament at Pymatuning due to high wind forecast and cold temperatures. It has been rescheduled for May 13th. For updates/questions, contact

The 24th Annual Bob Reddick Memorial Crappie Tournament will be held on May 21 at Lake Arthur. For more information, contact Gay Holmes at 814-229-4904.

Pymatuning Lake Association held their Crappie Tournament on April 29. Go to their Facebook Page to see results; be sure to have a magnifying glass to read the super small print! The PLA Walleye tournament is May 20th. Go to their website or FB page for more information.

Fish & Boat Family Fishing Festival: June 3, M.K. Goddard State Park, Launch 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more info and to register on line, go to F&B website.



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