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NWPA Fishing Report, 10-11-17

October 11, 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

A nice Shenango Lake hydrid striper. Photo courtesy of Fish West PA

Tabitha @ Myers Sportsman's Connection; filed 10-9: Even though French Creek flow is very low, we've have reports of walleyes being caught. The bigger 'eyes are coming on our GeeTee Jigs made locally in Meadville. Also it's that time of year when anglers typically start catching both bass and walleyes in Woodcock Creek Lake.

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 10-5: On Thursday the 5th, from 6 pm to 7 pm I drifted creek minnows along a current shoot that slipped into a decent pool. Just as a live minnow would drift into the pool, a smallmouth bass would hammer it. I caught and released seven smallies before they shut off.


Fact Box


Lake Erie & Tributaries

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 10-9: The tributaries have been up and down with the sudden but short lived rain twice this week. When high and muddy like this morning steelies are running upstream. When the stream clears a bit, they are catching fish pretty good.

Pymatuning Lake

Norm @ Jamestown Marina; filed 10-9: With combination of wind and rain the last few days, not many anglers are out. Seems the walleye and crappie bite for many anglers has died. However, Ken Smith of Sharon was catching good crappies this week according to a park ranger who talked to him over the weekend. Many anglers are taking their boats out; the marina will be closing the end of October.

Dave @ Richter's Bait & Tackle; filed 10-9: We sure can use the rain. Now only if the water temperature would start to drop. The lake temp actually rose to the high 60s following the warm spell we had. Not a good thing when temp should be falling. I am hearing of some crappies being caught, but nothing on walleyes in the lake. However, a few anglers are still catching walleyes in the river below the dam. Best bite in the lake right now might be perch they are getting some nice ones.

Laurie @ Duck-N-Drake; filed 10-9: With water temp climbing instead of falling, I'm not hearing much about walleyes. I had a good report on crappies this weekend from one group they caught them on medium minnows. I'm also hearing about small perch and catfish. Hope the water temp starts dropping to improve the fall bite. We will be open through the end of October for your fishing needs.

Russ @ Gateway Bait & Tackle; filed 10-9: Not much happening. They are catching a few walleyes off the causeway, as well as some crappies off the causeway at night. Couple customers are running Yellow Bird side planers along the shore on the South End and picking up occasional walleye. I'm looking forward to the water temp dropping to bring on the fall bite.

Patty @ Poff's Place; filed 10-9: Well it seems the walleye bite is a bit better since the last time we talked. I have customers picking up a walleye or two each time out. One fellow caught a 28-incher over the weekend he was pleased! Not hearing anything on crappies right now.

Ken Smith (Sharon)

- Oct 4th: Went up to Pymatuning today. Started slow but bite picked up once I found the right color. Put a limit in the box including a 14-1/4 inch black. Caught them in 9 to 12 feet of water. Bobby Garland Baby Shads ruled the day. Dead carp smell wasn't bad on South End, and I only saw a few rotting bodies of carp.

- Oct 7th: Coach Odem and I headed to Pymatuning today. We did real well on slab crappies. Hot Grubs and Bobby Garland Shads put them in the box.

Conneaut Lake

Marilyn Black (Cochranton); filed 10-7: Decided I didn't want to chance the smell dead carp at Pymie, so Darl and I went to Conneaut Lake. Bit of a mistake; should have gone to lake with more wind protection. That projected 10 to 20 mph wind was all of 20 mph out of south. White caps across most of lake forced us to fish the far south end. It was crowded with all the other fishing boats tucked into same area. We could not get any big fish bite going, so we had a contest for smallest fish on a lure. I won with a perch the same size as the blade bait I was using.

Woodcock Creek Lake

Marilyn Black (Cochranton); filed 10-7: I did not have time to fish today on this holiday, but I did drive by Woodcock Lake. With the water being drawn down, you can see various fish-attracting habitat enhancements. For instance, there are 18 wooden cribs along the shoreline west of the causeway road. Now is the time to take your camera and sketch pad to record structures for future fishing!


Lake Erie & Tributaries

Lynne @ East End Angler; filed 10-9: It's been a little windy up here lately so not many people are getting out on the lake. But I did have some reports of walleyes still being taken. Best report was off Shades Beach at 50' down over 65' to 85'. Also perch at 73 feet off Shades. Shore fishermen are catching perch off the Border Patrol Dock. Steelheads are in the lower holes on Four Mile and Twenty Mile. One of the best steelheads this past week was a 12 pound 32-incher taken by Steve Mitchell.

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 10-9: The tributaries have been up and down with the sudden but short lived rain twice this week. When high and muddy like this morning steelies are running upstream. When the stream clears a bit, they are catching fish pretty good. With decent rain expected on Wednesday the 11th, we should good have very good fishing by the weekend.

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 10-9: Elk is a bit high and muddy this morning so fish should be moving on up. Elk will likely be fishable by Tuesday and Wednesday. Then more rain on Wednesday and hopefully clear enough have a good weekend of fishing. I am astonished at the number of steelheads that have already arrived in the lower holes of west side streams. Estimated count the other day in Walnut was over 4,000 steelheads. Elk and Crooked have lots of fish waiting to move also. Latest report had walleyes at 70 feet but the bite is slowing; likely will not last much longer. No word on perch.

Rebecca @ Uncle Johns Elk Creek Campground; filed 10-7: Anglers staying at our campground have been having a great time catching steelhead this past week. Excellent steelhead catches so far this fall. At daylight the other morning, we observed over 200 steelhead move upstream past the campground.


Lake Wilhelm

Vickie @ Fergie's; filed 10-9: After being in the low 60s weeks ago, the lake temperature has risen to 70 degrees with the recent heat wave. Temp is going in the wrong direction! We had a report of some nice walleyes being taken down around Launch 2. Also, the word is crappies are hitting in the Marina.

Brandon Hanna @ Consumer Direct Sports; filed 10-9: I got out fishing on Wilhelm for a little while on Saturday the 7th. I caught quite a few bass on spinnerbaits under windy conditions, including this 5.02 pound. Hoping to get back up to Wilhelm for a repeat performance soon.

Shenango Lake

Randy @ Fish West PA; filed 10-9: Fish are absolutely getting active as water temperatures come down. All Species are feeding now. Boat traffic is low right now and this is a gorgeous time of year to be on the water. Great time to go fishing!

Rich Como (Sharpsville); filed 10-8: With water temperature and lake levels both dropping very slowly, the fishing on Shenango is still very good. Warm weather this past week has kept the hybrid stripers and big white bass very active. Lots of fish are still feeding heavily and pushing baitfish to the top. Action can be any time of the day this time of year. Crankbaits and shad imitating lures are very productive both shallow and deep. Smallmouth bass have started moving shallower; very impressive size. Channel cats are still hitting and following the schools of hybrid stripers. Both white and black crappies are being taken in shallow water. Walleyes are spotty. Get out and fish before the really cold weather gets here!

Ken Smith (Sharon)

-Filed Oct 2: Fished Shenango today for crappies. The bite was really good and size was good as well. Crappies were shallow today. Got almost all of them 5 feet down over less than 10 feet of water. Bobby Garland Baby Shads in variety of colors put them in the box.

-Filed Oct. 3: At Shenango again today. Got a nice perch along with very nice white crappies. Same program as yesterday, but in different area.


Justus Lake

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 10-4: I spent a few mid-day hours today on Justus Lake drifting large creek minnows on the outside weedlines and around the coves. I landed seven largemouth bass and two smallmouth bass very aggressive bites from all bass today.

Allegheny River

Gene Winger (Oil City); filed 10-9: With water temperature dropping into the low 60s, the smallmouth bite has really been heating up with the big boys hungry for a fight. Hitting the river for a few hours every evening, I'm landing a lot of nice sized smallies, most over 16 inches with some pushing 20 inchesreally great action just before dusk. Finding some bass scattered around structure in shallow water but most have been stocked up at the tail end of larger pools in 3 to 4 feet of water. The killer bait has been Winco 3.75 inch Amazing Dace Swim Bait on a 1/8-ounce jighead. Floating weeds are a problem, so most of the time the hits come on the initial drop. If you can keep out of the floating weeds, a very slow retrieve with a pause every few feet works.

Jeff Knapp @ Keystone Connection Guide Service; filed 10-6: Between guide trips and fun trips with friends & family, I've been on the river nearly every day the last two weeks. The continuation of summer-like weather, shorter days combined with a scattering of cold nights, has the river smallies in a variety of locations. We've been catching them in slower, deeper pools, and extended tail-outs, typical of fall fishing. But also we are still getting them along shallow riffle areas, especially later in the afternoon after the water has warmed up some. Rapala X-Raps, soft jerkbaits and soft swimbaits, and Z-Man's Hula Stickz fished on a 1/8-ounce jighead have all been productive. We are getting lots of smallies (plenty of 15 to 20-inch bass) and some quality-size walleyes as well. Gamma Torque combined with a Gamma Edge leader of four feet has been the delivery system for these baits. Looks like we're off to a great fall! Although I have lots of dates booked, I still have some open dates as of right now.

Pete Cartwright; filed 10-9: We fished the Allegheny on Oct 4th. The bite was good in the morning, but tapered off in the afternoon. We caught a few nice smallies.

Bill Logan (Pleasantville); filed 10-9: Fishing upriver north of Oil City has been tough. I have found bass on shallow, slow pools with a 4-inch Dinger rigged weedless the go to bait amid the floating weeds. The last three trips I have averaged a dozen fish, but no really big bruisers.

RJ Graham (Tionesta); filled 10-7: My buddy and I fished the Oil City pool today. We caught around 30 smallmouths mostly on tubes.



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