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NWPA Fishing Report 7-26-17

July 27, 2017
By Darl Black , Blackwolfe Communications LLC

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

County by County Reports

FRENCH CREEK flowing through all four counties

Article Photos

Bryan Stuyvesant with nice Lake Erie smallmouth bass.

Tabatha @ Myers Sportsman's Connection; filed 7-24: French Creek anglers report bass and walleyes are hitting Gitzit Jigs (tube jigs). Lots of success on the creek by kayakers!

Matt Watson (Franklin); filed 7-23: I've been catching a few small walleyes and smallies from French Creek. Hopefully this summer weather will settle down and bring the creek level down and water clarity up.


Fact Box

Bowfins are apparently plentiful in Woodcock Creek Lake now. Some anglers are leaving them on the bank to die. Bowfins are a native fish. We have heard reports of fines upwards of $300 being levied by Fish Commission WCOs on anglers caught leaving bowfin on the bank to die.

Pymatuning Lake

Dave @ Richter's Bait & Tackle; filed 7-24: You can quote me on this after this miserable spring and storm-filled summer, we are going to have a splendid fall with lots of hungry fish. Actually, the walleye bite on the South End of Pymatuning is pretty dang good for this late in the summer. Anglers on the lake are catching decent numbers of legal 'eye during daylight in relatively shallow water drifting in 4 to 7 feet of water with crawler harnesses. The 'eye night bite is excellent on some nights usually late. Fishing Frank and I had a good time on walleyes with lipless rattle baits after dark this past week. Bass are biting, too, especially after dark; recently Frank caught 4 smallies with one over 20 inches. Anglers are still catching decent walleye in the river outflow area because the outgoing water flow remains strong.

Norm @ Jamestown Boat Livery; filed 7-24: It was another good weekend for anglers on our rental pontoons. I saw quite a few walleyes come in on stringers no limits but lots of 2 to 4 fishdarn well for late July. And eyes were being taken shallow in 5 to 6 feet of water. With lake still 4 inches high and dropping, the river has good flow and a good bite, too.

Laurie @ Duck-N-Drake; filed 7-24: There are not a lot of anglers on the lake. That is too bad because guys who are fishing are catching fish. I've been surprised by how shallow the walleyes are being caught. This past week, there were more reports of 'eyes from 5 to 6 feet than deep trolling with crankbaits. One customer stood on shore, casting a Walleye Wizard and caught walleye and catfish. Another customer was fishing out in front of Ohio campground and brought in a mixed bag of 32 panfish, including a 13" crappie, 11" perch and 10.5 inch bluegill. Fishing is good; come on over!

Russ @ Gateway Bait & Tackle; filed 7-24: Catching has picked up but those fishing have slowed down. There are lots of catfish and small perch being caught from the North End, and crappies south of Causeway in 11 feet of water. I've had reports of several muskies, including a couple in the 47" to 48" range. One musky angler told me he lost his biggest fish ever right at the boat.

Patty @ Poff's Place; filed 7-24: My customers say the walleye fishing lately is better south of the Andover Causeway. I also have reports of some decent size crappies.

Lunker Mike (Conneautville); filed 7-24: I had a great weekend at Pymatuning fishing for bass. I spent Saturday and Sunday at the lake. Caught them on soft plastics and crankbaits didn't matter, they were chewing. Good Times!

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 7-22: Brother Steve and I spent the early morning hours on Pymie. We drug crawler harnesses until 9 am but only managed to catch catfish. Then a breeze picked up, and we decided to wind drift pieces on crawlers on 1/8-ounce jigs. We caught small perch, crappies, sunfish, bluegills, catfish and walleyes, but only one catfish and one legal walleye made the trip home with us.

Ken Smith (Sharon)

7-15: after sitting in the apartment for three days to stay out of the heat, I headed back to Pymie. I wanted to see how far away the crappies had moved from the brushpiles after the storms. None were shallower than 13 feet, and all were right in the brush. I had to bump cover to get them to bite. I caught 20 keepers with only five over 11 inches. Couple of 'em were skinny white crappies but majority were fat blacks. They hit the Bobby Garland Itty Bit Swimm'r best, followed by BG Baby Shads tipped with Berkley Crappie Nibbles.

7-16: Went back to Pymie this morning with coach Odem. We hang glided the deepwater brush and humps on South End. Put 35 crappies in the box including a couple big ones. Bobby Garland Baby Shads did the job.

Conneaut Lake

Dustin Pegher; filed 7-22: This past Sunday I caught this nice smallmouth on a crankbait at Conneaut.

Darl @ Fishing with Darl Black; filed 7-19: I was on Conneaut Wednesday afternoon checking out the crappie and big sunfish. The crappies I caught were small well below keeper size; I need to check the morning crappie bite. But I can now proclaim Saucer-Size Sunfish Season is on at Conneaut! Quick check of couple deepwater sites produced Pumpkinseeds in the 8.5 to 9 inch range. Now before you boohoo these as simply pumpkinseeds, how many have ever caught even a 7 inch pumpkinseed in PA waters? In the realm of panfish species, these are true trophies for our region. And fight! When bringing in one of these on light line and light rod, I drew a crowd of watchers. My buddy Al Moore caught three big bluegills with the biggest going 11-1/4 inches while drop-shotting for smallmouth. He thought he had hooked a big smallie. These Saucers fight! The bite does not last all summer. Usually diminishes in late August. If you want to experience trophy 'gill and 'seed fishing this summer, give me call to book a trip.

Woodcock Lake

Tabatha @ Myers Sportsman's Connection; filed 7-24: Bowfins are apparently plentiful in Woodcock Creek Lake now. Some anglers are leaving them on the bank to die. Bowfins are a native fish. We have heard reports of fines upwards of $300 being levied by Fish Commission WCOs on anglers caught leaving bowfin on the bank to die.

Paul Stewart (Butler); filed 7-24: The weekend before last, we headed to Woodcock Creek Lake. Water level was so high we could not launch our boat. So we fished the dam outflow. We caught several small walleye, largemouth bass and bluegills. The 'gills came on crawlers, and other species took shiners.


Lake Erie & Presque Isle Bay

Rich @ Erie Sport Store; filed 7-24: The perch bite has finally shown some signs of life. There have been limits of perch reported in Ohio and PA. Some fine catches off Walnut and west of Walnut in 50 to 60 feet. Also off The Point in 50 to 60 feet. Two of us caught our limit on the evening of 7-21 in 54 feet of water off The Point. Then Sunday morning we went back to same area and only caught 6 perch and couple small walleyes. Just like the last couple years, it's very hard to stay on top of the perch from day to day. However, walleye fishing has been simply outstandingdrifting or trolling does not matter. Our best colors have been black/purple, but it probably does not matter everything seems to work. Best depth range is 50 to 70 feet. I'm told the deeper you go, the bigger the fish.

We are in the last week of our fishing sale with rods, reels, combos and lures at 20% off regular prices.

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 7-24: Over the weekend, a number of anglers got limits of perch in 55 to 57 feet of water off Walnut. Walleyes are still biting from 30 to 70 feet. The greatest numbers of 'eyes are coming from 50 to 60 feet, with the biggest fish coming from 70 feet. Crawler harnesses in purple/black, copper and watermelon are doing it.

Becky @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 7-24: They have been doing very good on walleyes. Although it has slowed down slightly, anglers are still catching limits. We received reports of lots of perch in 57 feet of water off Conneaut Harbor but they are on the small side.

John @ Galida's Grubz; filed 7-24: A boat floor filled with dead Grubz means one thing you've had a good day of fishing. Galida's Grubz are known for catching three or more fish on each grub before it is torn up. Based on the number of Grubz on the floor, it looks like Jeff and buddy Jason had a fantastic day of bass fishing on Erie over a week ago.

Paul @ Someday Isle Tackle; filed 7-24: The jig bite for walleye on Lake Erie continues to be hot. There is no better time to give drifting a try; we've noticed more guys are drifting this year than trolling. Even small fish are fun to catch and can be released. And the big ones are more thrilling to catch when drifting. Check the local wind and wave conditions before heading out. And don't forget to pick up your Water Puppets! Have fun out there!

Dave Horvath (Edinboro); filed 7-24: Walleyes seem to be everywhere from near shore out to 70 feet. Worm harnesses are working both drifting and trollingbut lots of short 'eyes. Perch bite is slow; they hit for a while and shut down. Drifters are picking up a few.

Uncle John's Elk Creek Campground; filed 7-20: Nothing happening in Elk Creek, but our campers are enjoying catching walleyes and perch on the main lake.

Edinboro Lake

Dave Horvath (Edinboro); filed 7-24: Bass fishing has been very good along the shorelines at Edinboro during the mornings and late evenings. A variety of baits are working. Also heard of catfish and bowfin being caught, plus a nice musky that didn't make it into the boat!


Shenango Lake

Rick Como (Sharpsville); filed 7-26: It's late July and we are at the mid-summer peak right now. White bass is the species that really shines this time of year at Shenango. Large schools are feeding on the first hatches of shad (about 2 inches long). Surface feeding can be observed throughout the day at any time. Walleyes are hitting fairly well as they too are targeting small shad. All Species can be caught trolling crankbaits on deep flats around the lake. Hybrid stripers are hitting through the day but are mainly being caught on live shad or large shiners; I've also been catching them by trolling crankbaits. At time of this post, the lake is finally at normal summer pool, and fishing has been fantastic for all species. Get out and fish!

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 7-22: Today I found a hump in eight feet of water that crappies were using. I usually don't catch white crappies shallow at this time of year, but these were nice ones for sure!

Lake Wilhelm

Cory @ Wilhelm Marina; filed 7-23: Not a lot happening this past week. The biggest fish we saw come in was a channel cat see photo. It is leading the catfish division in our contest. Also, don't forget Music at the Marina celebration on August 12 with fireworks.

Darl Black (Cochranton) filed 7-23: RJ Graham invited me down to Wilhelm for the weigh-in of the Reynoldsville Bassmasters Open on Sunday afternoon. This was the first bass tournament weigh-in I have been to in two years. I figured RJ was on fish, and wanted me to see the numbers and size of bass being caught. Well, it turned out to be a Senior Angler blowout by old timers I used to fish against in bass competition back in the 70s and 80s Bill Alley and John Keene, a couple fellows I had not seen in years. I almost referred to them as the Over the Hill Gang, but when the seniors take 1st and 2nd there is nothing Over the Hill with these guys! Team Alley won the event with 15 pounds and change. Team Keene came in with around 12-1/2 pounds, and Team Graham had to settle for third with a few ounces less. There were several bass over five pounds weighed in.

Matt Watson (Franklin); filed 7-23: I had some luck at Wilhelm during recent trips. I caught four walleyes and 14 crappies on one trip. The walleyes were 18 to 20 inches and 8 of the crappies were 10 to 12 inches. The next trip I only caught a single walleye, but it was 30 inches plus 8 crappies. I caught all this using a bottom bouncer and very small crankbait in 14 to 16 feet of water.


Angler Al's Venango Journal

7-14: My brother and I took my friend's Kelli's son, Mikey Galkowski, to Justus Lake. With largemouth bass plentiful, it's a great compound for him to practice his fishing skills. The weedline around the back of the swimming zone is one of the better areas. Nightcrawlers and live shiners slowly drifted or trolled is our usual technique, but Steve dropped-shot a black & purple worm to catch some bass, too. (See photo)

7-19: Off to the Allegheny River for cats. Mikey's first time on the river. We launched from Oil City Marian ramp at 9 pm and stayed until 2 am. Total was 3 channel cats, one flathead cat and a big snapping turtle. And we missed five other runs.

7-22: Sugar Creek trout fishing is still going strong. Drifting crawlers resulted in 8 rainbows and 2 browns in an hour. As I write this report, the rain is again going to foul the streams!

Kahle Lake

Bill Logan (Pleasantville); filed 7-22: I hit Kahle Lake this week, boating 9 largemouth bass on a Booyah Skirted Jig I won on the Fishing Report.

Allegheny River

Gene Winger (Oil City); filed 7-24: I've been on the river several times over the past two weeks. Fishing has been slow with the exception of some really good late evening topwater bites. I am picking up lots of small bass in riffles and shallow water, and few bigger bass in deep pools using Winco 3.5" Tubes and River Darter Swim Bait. The evening bite (45 minutes before dark) is heating up; my best evening was landing 4 nice bass and 4 walleyes in the tail waters of larger pools, all on Winco Precision Poppers. Now that water levels have dropped to normal summer levels, I'm expecting the action to pick up over the next week or so.

Bill Logan; filed 7-22: I fished the river today. I took five smallmouths on a swim jig. The smallmouth came from fast water and flats averaging 4 feet deep.

Steve Udick (Oil City); filed 7-22: There is nothing better than having kids on the boat catching fish! I love teaching the next generation how to catch bass when they are eager to learn. The weather finally broke, and we got our four grandkids and friends out to camp and fish for four days. My 11-year old granddaughter, Addison Knight, lead the way by catching 14" and 15" smallmouths. She was very happy to out-catch Papa. Drew Knight, 8 yrs. old, landed plump bass of 11 inches and Luke Johnson, age 5, caught a 9 incher. All bass came on Mizmo 4-inch Tubes. Weedless hooked tubes are safe for kids to throw on a boat. Jim Allen or I could not connect with fish that Saturday too busy helping others. However, I had a nice float on Friday, catching two bass and two walleyes using a black Bandit 100.

Jeff Knapp @ Keystone Connection Guide Service; filed 7-22: The past two weeks bear witness to the versatility needed to consistently catch river smallies from the middle Allegheny River. Water conditions have ranged from high and muddy to more typical summertime flow and reasonable clarity, while water temperature has risen from the low 70s to over 80 degrees. Throughout this period river guide trips have produced good numbers of bass plenty of 16 to 20-inch smallmouths, along with numerous walleyes to 28 inches. Higher flows meant working shoreline cover with Terminator Spinnerbaits, BPS Speed Shad, and Rapala Rippin' Raps. As flows diminished, mid-river holding spots added to the mix, with Rapala X-Raps and Winco River Darters becoming productive.



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