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NWPA Fishing Report, 9-27-17

September 28, 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

Gene Winger with his grandson and a nice Allegheny River smallmouth. Photo courtesy of Gene Winger

Tabatha @ Myers Sportsman's Connection; filed 9-25: Fishing is picking up this week on French Creek. With water level low, bass have been biting. Dustin Shay of Meadville caught a really nice smallie this past week. We will need more water in the stream and cooler temps to get walleyes moving. Rain and cooler temps are expected late this coming week.

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 9-22: I took 9 year old Mikey Galkowski to French Creek. Using a large creek sucker with a suspended float presentation, Mikey caught his first walleye. Although walleyes are good eating, we released the 20 inch fish to battle again. Sorry, the pic of Mikey's fish didn't turn out because I forgot to turn off my head lamp.


Pymatuning Lake

Editor's note: Several weeks ago, large numbers of carp began dying at Pymatuning. Samples of the fish were sent to a lab to discover for sure what was killing them. The findings were returned late this past week, and PF&BC reported in a news release that the culprit was the Koi Virus which only affects Koi and carp. According to the PF&BC, other species are not impacted and the virus is not harmful to humans. There is nothing to be done except to let the virus run its course. Although the dead carp are emitting a foul smell, there are there are no health advisories on the lake. Someone releasing aquarium koi (goldfish) into the lake is the likely suspect.

Norm @ Jamestown Boat Livery; filed 9-25: This is a pretty tough time on the lake right now for walleyes and crappies. Water needs to cool down some to get the fall bite started. Lake temperature has actually gone up several degrees since this unusually extended heat spell started, which makes the dead carp smell even more.

Dave @ Richter's Bait & Tackle; filed 9-25: Not heard much. There is hardly anyone fishing on the lake in large part to the smell of dead carp. I've only heard about some catfish being taken. Several anglers are still catching walleyes below the dam in the Shenango River.

Laurie @ Duck-n-Drake; filed 9-25: Other than catfish, the only report I have is about crappies and perch in 9 to 11 feet of water in the North End.

Becky @ Gateway Bait & Tackle; filed 9-25: With weird spring, summer and early fall weather plus the tough bites, this has been one crazy year at Pymatuning. Right now the only thing I have heard this week is from a few customers who are catching crappies at night off the causeway and catfish of course.

RJ Graham (Tionesta); filed 9-24: I fished the North End on Saturday the 23rd for largemouth bass and did very well. We caught nice ones by flipping a Berkley Jigger Craw into pads and wood cover. Then my Dad and I fished the South End on Sunday the 24th. The smallmouths were eating crankbaits including catching two smallmouths on one bait on a single cast!

Lunker Mike (Conneautville); filed 9-23: I was out of action for about a month but now back fishing. This week I was catching largemouth from shore with a jig on North End.

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 9-24: I fished Pymie this past Tuesday and Saturday. Tuesday was an 'okay' day. I put 15 in the box by 11:00 am by fishing deep brush with Bobby Garland Baby Shads. Saturday was a different story. Two of us struggled to put five crappies in the box. Between the two of us, we tried twenty different baits trying to find the one they would hit. Didn't happen. On the lake at 8 am and off at 10:30 because it started getting hot. Hopefully these water temps will eventually start coming down. Water temp of 75 degrees isn't right for this time of year.

Marilyn Black (Cochranton); filed 9-19: Darl and I fished Pymatuning in search of bigger crappies. We checked spots from Snodgrass area south to the dam. It was a tough bite. Came up with more 9 to 12 inch crappies than Darl did the previous week, but total numbers were lower than expected about 15 total fish. Everything came on Bobby Garland Baby Shads. The odor of decaying fish permeated the air.

Woodcock Creek Lake

Tabatha @ Myers Sportsman's Connection; filed 9-25: Few reports filtering in from the lake that smallmouth bass action seems to be picking up somewhat just not a lot of people fishing.

Randy Byham; filed 9-19: Darl, recently I sent you a pic of my 7-year old granddaughter Ava Walton with a 22 inch smallmouth she caught fishing from shore at Woodcock. This week her 10-year-old sister, Emma Walton, almost matched her with this 21-inch 4-pound-plus smallmouth taken on a Firetiger Jitterbug. We haven't been catching many this year but the few caught have been big ones!

Canadohta Lake

Jerry @ Timberland Bait; filed 9-25: With the nice weather this past weekend, there were lots of people stopping in the shop for bait. Many had already put their boats away, and were now wishing they had not done so. Anglers trolling the lake with spoons continue to catch some northern pike and small muskies. Two fellows had to make a return trip for more minnows because they ran out after finding a brushpile with lots of crappies on it. I'm gearing up for ice fishing season. But here's the twist: there are two different Farmer's Almanac publications one claims it is going to be a very cold old-fashioned winter; the other one says it's going to be a mild winter like last year. These guys sure have their you-know-what covered!


Rich @ Erie Sport Store; filed 9-25: John Wood caught a 31-inch walleye while fishing for perch on Sunday 9-24. Perch fishing picked up in a big way during the middle of last week. Perch fishing was good off Walnut towards the Ohio line in 65 to 70 feet. On the East Side, the big action was off Shades Beach. It started around 64 feet and move to 72/77 feet. Bait dealers at East Ave and State Street have wonderful emerald shiners. Walleye fishing has been excellent in many depths but most guys are fishing in 70 to 80 feet.

A note to archery huntersthe season starts Saturday 9-30-17 and we have our annual Buck contest that is free to enter. All you have to do is sign up to be eligible for hundreds of dollars in prizes.

Lynne @ East End Angler; filed 9-25: Going into fall, perch fishing is HOT! So many perch are coming into our cleaning station we can barely keep up. The hot bite is in 73 feet of water off Shades Beach. They are also doing well in 64 feet of water off Shorewood and Twelve Mile Creek. The report is the bite is slower out of North East Marina for perch but very good for walleyes. The walleyes are 60 feet down over 105 to 110 feet of water. They are also getting walleye at 69 to 75 feet out of Shades. Steelhead are in the lower sections of creeks at Twenty Mile, Sixteen Mile and Four Mile but water is very low and clear; we need rain to get steelhead motivated. Here are some pics of Jesse Chadsey and Kirk's catch of walleye, steelhead and one pink salmon from a week ago.

Andy @ Presque Isle Angler; filed 9-25: Fishing is absolutely awesome on the East Side of Erie. Super good time for perch. It's the traditional fall movement of perch, setting up on East Side between The Point to Shorewood. Perch are in 65 to 78 feet of water. Some walleye out there, but more 'eye at 55 to 58 feet. Steelheads are on the beaches breaking every morning, but no one is fishing for them. Everyone is after perch and to a lesser degree, walleye. And the emerald shiners have been pushed to shore; I have plenty of bait. This is the time of year when emerald is more desired than gold!

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 9-25: Walleyes are still going strong, perch are spotty, and steelheads are stalled. Walleyes are in 60 to 70 feet on West Side; being taken on harnesses, spoons and plugs. Best colors are copper and blue. Perch are in 55 to 75 east of Walnut and 65 to 75 west of Walnut. Some steelheads are in the streams, but only a few have moved upstream very far; creeks are too low, too warm and too clear. Single eggs and small black nymphs are best offerings. Hopefully rain comes in later this week.

Doug @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 9-25: Not much is happening in Elk because water is too low and clear. We are looking for some rain coming in a few days. Walleyes biting in 50 to 60 feet. Perch are spotty.

Paul @ Someday Isle Tackle; filed 9-25: WOW what a couple of weekends! We spent some extra time fishing Erie. Walleye, walleye, walleye! We caught them jigging, on boards, dipsys, leadcore, plugs, spoons, jigs, worm harnesses it didn't matter. The fish were schooled up and dropping into the Trench getting ready to head west to winter over and spawn. It's not over yet, but darn close! Have fun out there!

Rebecca @ Uncle John's Elk Creek Campground; filed 9-18: Our guests have been catching steelhead in Elk for the last week. Lots of fish!

Erie Bass Report

Jerry Hanna @ CDS Grove City, Jeff Barkley and friends battled glass flat seas, blue skies and bright sun this past weekend on Erie to come up with a few smallmouths. Due to conditions it was a tough bite but they connected with some nice bass. Fish came on tubes and Galida's Grubz.

Pete @ A few friends and I decided to fish Erie for smallmouth bass on the 16th. We got to a spot in shallow water (5 to 8 feet) around 8 am. We caught a few right away using 412ubes from 412 Bait Company. The bite died in short order and the lake went to glass. It was hot with blue skies the entire day. I was using Gamma 8 lb. Edge for its abrasion resistance and didn't lose a fish or a lure.


Lake Wilhelm

Corey @ Lake Wilhelm Marina; filed 9-25: Not a lot to report; we are in process of closing up for the winter the first week of October. Some crappies and perch are being caught. No walleyes that we have heard about. A young woman caught a nice largemouth bass over a week ago.

Shenango Lake and Shenango River

Editor's note: Shenango Lake Manger John Kolodziejski informed me today that the PA Fish Commission has agreed to move the stocking of the fall allocation of trout originally scheduled for below the Shenango Dam to the Shenango River upstream of Shenango Lake. The specific area to be stocked will be from New Hamburg to the point upstream of Big Bend. This will be done on Monday, October 2. (As announced in this publication last issue, the Fish Commission ceased stocking the river immediately below the Shenango Dam due to PCBs found in river fish. Shenango Lake fish have been found to be free of PCBs.)

Rick Como (Sharpsville); filed 9-24: With the lake level dropping, the fishing is getting very good. Shad are being forced into the main lake due to lower water, and gamefish are feeding heavily on them. Topwater action is the norm; the action may last for long periods of time. Lots of big heavy white bass and small stripers are feeding together so care must be taken to release the undersize hybrid stripers. Many hybrids are in the 15 to 19 inch range so we will have great hybrid fishing for the next few years. Shad imitation crankbaits either trolled or cast are working right now. Lots of smallmouth and largemouth bass are hitting too, along with catfish. Crappies are starting to feed and are scattered out in the main lake in large schools. Walleyes are spotty but the bite should get better as cold weather settles in. Looks like it will be getting colder by week's end. The best fishing of the season is soon to be upon us. Time to get out and fish!

Randy Hedderick @ Fish West Pa; filed 9-21: As summer winds down and fall begins, the fishing at Shenango is picking up. We've been catching multiple species while fishing for hybrid stripers. What do you like? Shenango has it!

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 9-25: I went to Shenango for crappies on Wednesday and Friday of this past week. The size is getting better as season continues. Lots of 10-inch blacks and 12-inch whites were caught on Wednesday using Pour House Nervous Wreck Baits. We jigged over brush in 9 feet of water. Friday was a little different. The fish were suspended over the brush, only five feet down in 12 feet of water. We were fishing under them for an hour before we figured it out. When we raised the baits higher, we started catching crappies by hang gliding. Dropped a buoy and started casting Bobby Garland Baby Shads to them. We kept 20 fish each day with most being 11 inches or better. The whites were long and the blacks were thick.


Bill @ Griffin's Bait & Tackle Shop; filed 9-25: Eryka Slomer caught her first bluegill this week. She did everything from casting, hook setting and landing the fish except she had help from her father Nick in removing the fish from the hook. See photo.

Allegheny River

Steve Udick (Oil City); filed 9-25: We had a good time fishing Jitterbugs on the river during the day this past week. Jim Allen's biggest bass came on a black Jitterbug. I landed a lamprey attached to a 19 inch smallie while fishing near Rockmere. I had a little streak of four bass of 18 inches or longer in a row. But when we went out on my birthday on 9-20, all we caught were 10 to 12 inchers. That's fishing!

Gene Winger (Oil City); filed 9-25: I've been on the river almost every day during the past two weeks, excluding last weekend's dirty water event. The smallmouth bite is really heating up catching a lot of average size bass and few over 16 inches. Floating weeds are a problem so I've pretty much stuck to bottom crawling baits using smaller Winco Tubes and drop-shot rigged swimbaits. Fishing 4 to 6 feet of water in the tail section of pools, we hit pockets where larger bass were stacked upgame over!

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of taking my three-year old grandson out for his first ever fishing trip. He's still talking about the "monster fishes" he helped his Dad Jeremy and I catch. I think we have a future river rat in the making!

Pete @; filed 9-23: Foggy start but fish were eating as fog burned off. But with blazing sun, the bite stopped. My clients were first time wade fishermen as well as first time river fishermen. They did great and caught some fish in tough conditions. River was loaded with floating weeds, and we had to clean off lure on every cast.

Angler Al (Franklin) filed 9-18: One evening 9-year old Mikey Galkowski and I decided to go catfishing. When we arrived at Oil City Marina, we discovered how tough the conditions could be. The river was up a few feet, chocolate stained and loaded with floating weeds. We headed out anyway. Just prior to dark and ready to quit, we had a run on one rodand Mikey won the battle!



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