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NWPA Fishing Report 7-12-17

July 12, 2017
By Darl Black , Blackwolfe Communications LLC

Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region tourism. Published by Blackwolfe Communications LLC

News Items

Pymatuning State Park Campground Jamestown, July 4: On Fish For Free Day, Darl and Marilyn Black conducted their annual "Red, White and Bluegill" fishing clinic at The Dock at Jamestown campground. Assisted by Environmental Educator Linda Armstrong, Marilyn and Darl offered basic instruction on how to catch panfish, and then provided rigged rods and reels for participants to fish for a period of time with individual catches recorded. At 11:30 a.m., the angler with the longest panfish won a grand prize of several tackle items. All other participants received a pack of panfish baits or hooks.

Article Photos

Ken Smith with Pymatuning crappies. Photo by Darl Black

BMCC's Father's Day Open Bass Tournament on June 18th at Presque Isle Bay was won by Ben Lipiec and Paul Hirosky with six smallmouths going 23.72 pounds.

August: Goddard State Park: Don't miss "Music at the Marina" in August at the Lake Wilhelm Marina. Check Wilhelm Marina Facebook Page for details.

Latest County by County Reports

FRENCH CREEK flowing through all four counties

Tabatha @ Myers Sportsman's Connection; filed 7-10: With French Creek water level at fishable levels finally, we are receiving reports of decent smallmouth bass and walleye catches.


Pymatuning Lake

Dave @ Richter's Bait & Tackle; filed 7-10: "Finally, fishing is very good" is Dave's opening statement. Anglers are catching decent numbers of walleyes during daylight hours by drifting jig-n-crawler or crawler harnesses off the weedbeds. Had a report from Fishing Frank that he caught several walleyes at night by casting shallow-running minnow baits over weeds. But the good news is you do not need to fish at night to catch walleyes right now. Crappie reports are good finally. Catfish are everywhere, and there are still reports of numerous muskies in the 30" to 40" range being caught. It's July and life is great at the Lake. Come on over!

Norm @ Jamestown Boat Livery; filed 7-10: Fishing is a lot better now than it was during mid-spring. Everyday anglers are catching walleyes by drifting. A good chop on the lake helps the walleye bite. This past weekend, I saw more walleyes come off the boats than I have all season. I just tell guys renting pontoons to find a weedbed and drift the deeper edge with crawlers.

Gateway Bait &Tackle; filed 7-10: The hot bites this week are catfish, bluegills and crappies around the islands on the North End and off the Andover Causeway. A few muskies have been reported as well.

Patty @ Poff's Place; filed 7-10: More anglers are catching fish than in previous weeks. The walleye bite up North is okay, but not great. Lots of bluegills, crappies and small perch are being caught.

RJ Graham (Tionesta); filed 7-9: The plant where I work was closed down the entire week for 4th of July, and I was fishing a lot. With high water and then the approaching full moon, Pymatuning has been hot.

July 1: We caught over 30 bass in a small stretch of shallow water. Got all but six of the bass by throwing a Strike King KVD 1.5 Square Bill on scattered grass and rock. Lake is even higher than last week with water way back in the bushes.

July 7: We caught 47 bass today. All but six were smallmouths.

July 8: My buddy and I each caught a limit of crappies by drop-shotting live minnows in 13 to 16 feet of water. Full moon bite is hot!

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 7-6: This is my favorite time of the year to fish crappies at Pymatuning. Crappies are grouped up on brushpiles or cribs in deeper water. I've been up several times in the last couple weeks, and always manage to catch some crappies with my slow vertical troll technique called Hang Gliding. Of course some days are better than others. I do not use live minnows but small plastic baits, including Bobby Garland Baby Shads and Pour Hose Custom Baits. Darl Black fished with me on July 6th for an article about my technique that will appear in a future issue of CRAPPIE NOW online magazine. By the way, he conceded that my hang gliding technique attracts more hits than his deepwater drop-shotting technique at this time of year.

Marilyn Black (Cochranton) filed 7-4: With Darl having a break from crappie and bluegill guide trips, I persuaded him to take me bass fishing to Pymatuning. The lake level was high just the way I like it. It took Darl awhile to get into the groove of throwing lures with a baitcaster after all that 4-pound panfish spinning stuff he has been using all spring. So I guess I had an unfair advantage. I landed more fish than Darl, including this nice smallmouth bass taken on a Terminator Swim Jig with Lunker Grub trailer.

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 6-29: I had the pleasure of taking my good friend Steve Terpak (visiting from Massachusetts) to Pymatuning Lake. He had never caught a walleye, so I was hoping to make that happen. The first few fish, before 7 a.m., were flathead and channel catfish along with bluegills and perch. Then a 17-inch walleye hit an orange/chartreuse crawler harness Steve scored!

Woodcock Creek Lake

Tabatha @ Myers Sportsman's Connection; filed 7-10: Even with the high water or maybe because of it smallmouth bass are being caught in shallow water at Woodcock Creek Lake. One customer reported catching three nice smallies casting a tube jig from shore. Joshua & Alexis Myers and Jude Mattocks were also fishing from shore, catching bass.


PIB & Lake Erie

Rich @ Erie Sport Store; filed 7-10: See the attached picture of my fishing pal Jim Rzomp with an 18-inch walleye caught yesterday west of Walnut Creek in 55 feet of water. We caught our limit of walleye out there Sunday morning. Due to high winds we were drifting with worm harnesses in 53 to 60 feet of water. We marked and caught fish the whole time we were out there. We probably threw back 30 walleyes. Earlier in the week we tried our luck perch fishing but didn't catch anyso we turned to walleye and caught plenty; one day off Walnut in 50 feet, the other day off the Point in 53 feet. There have been some reports of perch limits East of Shades Beach around 50 feet and some catches off Walnut in 53 feet. Unfortunately there is no consistency to the perch bite. Here at Erie Sports Store, we are continuing our fishing saleswith rods, reels and lures at 20% off. We also just started our firearm ammo sale with huge savings on guns and ammo.

Mike @ Lake Erie Bait & Tackle; filed 7-10: On the main lake right now, it's the best walleye fishing we have seen in years. There are many sub-legal 'eyes being caught along with legal fish, too maybe 20 to 30 throwbacks for each legal walleye. However, the perch fishing is hit or miss no consistent catchesno one is having a good perch season so far; lots of guys switching to walleye. The smallmouth bass have pretty much moved out of PIB and back to the lake; but largemouth bass are in the bay and biting. Emerald shiners are missing as well. We got a good load of emeralds in our nets the other day, but it's not consistent.

Andy @ Presque Isle Angler: filed 7-10: The Erie Story this year is the missing yellow perch and emerald shiners. I've got to spend most of my day hunting emeralds so I can get just enough for our shops to survive. But don't need a big load of shiners because no one is catching perch. Go figure. I've talked to state resource officials in PA, OH and NY, and commercial fishermen across the lake no one has an answer to what is going on with perch and emerald shiners. But walleyes small ones at least are everywhere. Anglers are catching so many sublegal walleye that I'm worried about survival of these short fishwhen you tow around a little walleye hooked with a big treble on a board for a period of time before you realize it what are its survival chances? For example, one charter captain told me that his boat caught 680 short walleye before landing a limit of walleyes over the weekend. Our head boat sat in the dock over the weekend due to a lack of bookings as result of poor perch fishing.

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 7-10: Walleye, walleye, walleye everywhere from 35 feet to 70 feet. Lots of small ones in close; need to get out to 60 to 70 feet to up the catch percentage of keeper fish. Best colors for harnesses have been purple & black, copper and watermelon. I have not seen any 'eyes over 10 pounds yet. Perch? They were catching some in 50 to 55 feet of water west of Walnut the other day, but likely they will be gone when anglers can get back out after this blow. Looks like it is going to be a rough weather week.

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 7-10: Beginning to sound like a broken recordlots of small walleyes with some keepers mixed in and practically no perch. With so many walleyes in shallower water, guys in small boats can have a lot of fun just catching fish is fun, and they will catch 'eyesundersize as well as legal ones. You don't need a really big boat to get way offshore this season so far. Of course the big problem with this season has been the winds and the weather this coming week does not look inviting to be out on the lake.

Paul @ Someday Isle Tackle; 7-9: Rich and I boated 100 plus walleyes in three trips to Lake Erie. Drifting jigs in 45 to 55 feet of water. Take caution if you are planning on hitting Erie; it's been kicking up bad by late morning. There are plenty of fish out there on the west side and east side. You'll do a lot of measuring to find legal ones in the mix. Wonder bread, melon and purples were best colors. Have fun out there!

Danny Jones at Erie Bass Charters; filed 7-9: We have been fishing PIB and the main lake when wind has been favorable. On Monday, July 3, we fished the main lake. It was calm as glass and we managed to catch 35 smallmouths. The bigger ones were over 5 pounds. We caught them on drop shot in 25 feet of water; six pound Gamma Edge was key to getting more and bigger bites. The largemouth fishing is hot in the bay, too. We boated 20 fish in just a couple hours today. Most were caught in grass beds on variety of Texas rigged plastics.

RJ Graham (Franklin); filed 7-9: Fishing with Brandon Blystone and two others today, Sunday, we boated 22 legal walleyes between the four of us. It's easy.

Jeramie Joy; filed 7-8: We have been doing very well out on the big water as of late! Seems like there are fish anywhere from 30 to 70 feet! Doesn't seem to matter what you put down, they are eating it. The key for me is running slow; much slower than other boats. Anything from 1.0 to 1.5 mph has been very productive. A lot of short 'eyes are hitting, but with little persistence you can land a very nice fish. Attached is a 29 inch hog my friend Jordan reeled in on Thursday. Hope to find more of those!

Thomas Watral (Erie); filed 7-8: Presque Isle Bay has been on fire with nice perch and even some walleyes, taken by shore fishermen. Early morning is best time 5 am to 10 am. I've been using crawlers on rigs. Stop in our bait shop for the best colors and rigs.


Shenango Lake

Jon @ CDS; filed 7-10: We know the stripers are hitting at Lake Arthur and Shenango Lake because we cannot keep Bomber Long A Minnows in stock! Got to reorderagain!

Rick Como (Sharpsville); filed 7-9: The fishing at Shenango the past 10 days has been tough due to very high lake levels and extremely heavy boat traffic for the July 4th holiday. Channel cats have been hitting very good, even with the lake four feet above summer pool. White bass and stripers are now feeding on top in the early morning and late afternoon periods lots of action. Crappies are hitting just about everywhere in the lake, but the average size is running small. As of July 9th, the lake has finally returned to normal summer pool level and fishing for all species should really improve.

Lake Wilhelm

John @ Fergies; filed 7-10: We are not hearing much from customers. Lake is still high and dirty. Some bluegill being caught, but no other reports.

Cory @ Lake Wilhelm Marina and Snack Shop; filed 7-10: The Big news is the Bigmouth Bass Bite! We've had a number of largemouths recorded this past week including several over 20 inches. The big crappie bite of a few weeks ago seems to have waned but we know there are still big ones out there!

Bill @ Griffin's Bait & Tackle; filed 7-10: Scott Selle caught this 20 inch largemouth at Lake Wilhelm on a purple Senko Worm back on June 24.


Allegheny River

Steve Udick (Oil City); filed 7-10: We got some good fishing time in with the grandkids on Sunday. Tube jigs in any color did the trick on the kid's poles. Addison Knight age 11, Drew Knight age 8 and Rory age 5 all posed with their bass. We spent the day on and around Alcorn Island fishing, swimming and having a picnic. The grandkids are visiting from Germany and enjoying the Allegheny River.

Jeff Knapp @ Keystone Connection Guide Service; filed 7-9: The middle Allegheny was high and discolored for much of the past two weeks. When it receded to a fishable level, my guide clients scored well on Terminator Spinnerbaits, BPS Speed Shad and Galida's Grubz. As the water continued to clear (weekend of 8th & 9th) productive baits shifted to Winco's River Darters and Rapala X-Raps, with the Speed Shad remaining in the mix. My guide trip on Sunday, July 9th produced over 50 smallmouths, with plenty of quality size bass up to 19 inches, along with bonus walleyes. Water clarity at this point was about two feet with water temp of 75 degrees. (Caption info for photo: Keystone Connection guide client Luke Twerdock with a 19-inch smallmouth taken on Terminator Spinnerbait; Knapp photo)

Justus Lake

Angler Al (Franklin)

June 30th: After a morning storm, my brother Steve and I headed to Justus Lake. We had a fun day of boating 22 largemouth and smallmouth bass. Most fish were caught near the outer edge of the weed lines in 9 to 11 feet of water. Only one bass met the legal 15 inch length.

July 2: After landing a Tiger Musky estimated at 45 inches, my brother in-law Dr. Amal Das also caught three largemouths and six bluegills. All fish were caught on a red nightcrawler harness.

Sugar Creek

Angler Al; filed 7-1: With brother Steve home for a few weeks, we made our annual trout fishing trip on Sugar Creek. Although the stream was blown out, we still managed to catch fish: total of 18 rainbows, 4 browns and 7 smallmouth bass. They all hit pieces of drifted nightcrawler. One of the smallies was an exceptional 20-inch fish.



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