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NWPA Fishing Report, 11-8-17

November 9, 2017
By Darl Black , Blackwolfe Communications LLC

County by County Reports for PA Great Lakes Region of Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango Counties

Published by Blackwolfe Communications, LLC

FRENCH CREEK flowing through all four counties

Article Photos

Lake Erie shoreline steelhead caught by Denny Beggs. Photo courtesy of Denny Beggs

Editor's Note: French Creek is currently blown out as result of the November 5 storm. After the surge of flood water works through the system and water color improves some, French Creek should be prime for excellent late fall walleye and musky fishingperhaps by this coming weekend.


Pymatuning Lake

Dave @ Richter's Bait & Tackle; filed 11-6: Prior to Sunday's storm, anglers had been catching some nice crappies along with perch and bluegills off the docks at Jamestown Marina. A few guys have been jigging blades from boats on South End with some success on walleyes. Blade bite hopefully improves as water cools. Over the weekend, walleyes and a musky were reported in the river below the dam. The Outflow area has continued to produce fish all season likely due to increased flow after Gatehouse repair.

Laurie @ Duck-N-Drake; filed 11-6: We will be closing the store for the winter this coming weekend Saturday will be our last day. Only fishing report I've had is from guys stopping by to buy blades catching walleye in South End of lake.

Russ @ Gateway Bait & Tackle; filed 11-6: It's been slow; only a few anglers are out on lake. Causeway fishermen are picking up a few walleye especially those jigging blades on the PA bridge. Vibe-B and Heddon Sonar are the baits to use, and we have them in stock. I picked up a couple walleyes the other day; they had a lot of fat layers when I cleaned them, indicating they have been well fed.

Marilyn Black (Cochranton); filed 10-27: Darl and I headed over for crappie fishing. It started out slow, picking up one crappie here and there along creek edge stumps. I had to take a conference call on my cell phone right at lunch time so Darl moved the boat to a different spot out of the wind. That's when the crappies decided to bite. I'm talking on the phone with representatives from a dozen different Heritage Parks watching Darl setting the hook on crappie after crappie. With phone in one hand and net in the other, I'm landing the bigger ones. When the business call was done, so was the crappie bite! I did manage to pick up a couple crappies and my first legal Pymatuning walleye of the year. Drop shotting Bobby Garland Baby Shads in 17 to 22 feet of water took all the crappies as well as the walleye.

Jim McClave (Andover); filed 10-26: We had a good day at the South End of Pymatuning Lake. We caught a few nice-size crappies and some decent perch. We got them in about 20 feet of water over structure by jigging live minnows. With leaves changing color, it was a beautiful day on the water.

Conneaut Lake

Darl Black (Cochranton); filed 11-4: Old fishing buddy Dave Lehman had been catching some nice largemouth bass in past couple weeks at Conneaut. The first week of November has usually been a good time for me to tag a couple BIG Conneaut Lake smallmouths. So we got together for a day of trophy hunting. However, apparently the trophy fish didn't get the email that we would be on the lake. Fished deep and shallow on some of our most productive banks without hooking a serious fish. I did manage to land two smallmouths from a school I observed on my Garmin GSPMAP unit on a break in 17 to 22 feet. I caught them on old Silver Lucky blade bait. Problem was both fish were only 8 to 9 inches. After two small smallies, we left the school alone. Most exciting thing I can show you is what a school of 9 inch smallmouth look like sitting on a break below a school of baitfish!


Presque Isle Bay

Dominic @ Lake Erie Bait & Tackle; filed 11-6: Fishing was okay before the big storm. But I am uncertain how it will be the rest of week. Our customers had been catching decent size crappies and small perch from Marina Lake and the dock at Waterworks. No report from any action in Misery Bay. Lots of steelhead in the Bay.

Presque Isle Angler; filed 11-6: Prior to the storm, anglers had been catching perch and steelhead from city-side docks and E/W Pier and N/S Pier, moving from one dock to another to find active fish. They were also getting steelhead from shore at East Ave Launch.

Lynne @ East End Angler; filed 11-6: Well, before we got 3.5 inches of rain on Sunday evening, anglers were enjoying one of the best steelhead seasons in many years. The numbers of steelhead in the streams has been incredible. They were catching fish in every stream. Now it's going to be a day or two before anglers can get back on the streams. In the Bay, reports were good for panfish and steelhead. South pier was producing some nice perch. The baits for steelhead have been nightcrawlers, egg sacks and single eggs. Our lake minnows have some small gizzard shad mixed in with them, and anglers have reported those steelheads are hitting the gizzard shad as soon as they hit the water.

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 11-6: We had a great Saturday of steelhead fishing. Lots of fish have been caught all fall. Then the storms arrived Sunday evening. Everything is blown out. Some may be fishable by Tuesday, others by Wednesday. All the high water should have brought in fresh fish and moved more fish upstream. The boat basin at Walnut Creek is now open, which is a good option when the lake shore is too rough to fish.

Becky @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 11-6: Steelhead fishing has been phenomenal this season. Fish are in all streams and the weekend storm with all the high water will being more steelhead into the streams and move them upstream. We needed big waves and wind to change the access at the mouth of Elk. The prevailing wind for a period of time had changed the flow and made it too shallow for fish to get in. We haven't checked yet today, but we expect this high water will have cut a new access route for steelhead to move into Elk.

Rebecca @ Uncle John's Campground; filed 11-6: Angler success this fall has been wild! We haven't seen this many steelhead in a long time. It has been exciting for all our guests. We can only hope it continues. We've seen a couple browns caught but steelhead numbers are out of sight.

Denny Beggs (Franklin); filed 11-6: This has been a wonderful steelhead season. Friends Kim Slye, Kory Slye and I have enjoyed great trips. We have been fishing the lakeshore at the mouth of Trout Run using power bait to catch our fish. Fly anglers are using sucker spawn patterns.

Thomas Watral (Erie); filed 10-28: Steelheads are everywhere. Baitfish are loaded in the shop yard, and large perch are hitting at Dobbin's Landing; many limits taken. Heard from one guy he had fish four days in a row and had 43 pounds of perch; catching them on minnows.


Shenango Lake

Ken Smith (Sharon)

-10-27 Brother Rick in the boat with me today. Crappies were real shallow. Got these casting a 1/16 ounce jig with a Bobby Garland Shooter plastic body around brush in 6 feet of water. Also got some keepers from brush in 15 feet water hang gliding Jenko Baits from Russ Bailey.

-10-28: Didn't get a picture on the water, but I got some real nice crappies from 11 to 15.5 inches today. Only fished three hours. Got them on Bobby Garland Baby Shads and Berkley Crappie Nibbles from shallow and deep brush. Caught at least 30 but only kept nine of the bigger ones.

-11-5: The crappie bite is in full swing on Shenango Lake right now. The biggest crappies of the season are being caught. Crappies are in shoreline blow-downs and sunken brush in both shallow and deep water. Being caught with both live bait and jigs. I'm using Bobby Garland plastic to put fish in the boat. My buddies, the Savage brothers are using minnows. Leo Savage caught a 15-inch white crappie on Saturday.

Randy @ Fish West PA; filed 11-3: The bass fishing has been really hot during recent nicer days, although a big cold front is coming. Larger bass particularly smallmouth - have turned on recently. Hybrids are hitting, too. Bass on blade baits and hybrids on soft plastic worked very SLOWLY.


Allegheny River

Steve Udick (Franklin); filed 11-6: with the small creeks running high on the 5th, I got my minnows in the morning from backwater areas on the creeks. Then I headed to the river in the afternoon before the storm rolled in. I was able to land three walleyes and lost one in the grass edge. Although the river was high, the color was nice for roaming walleye. The other day when on the river, I observed a bass jump and thrash around for 10 minutes. It had a big lamprey hanging on it. That jumping smallmouth made me wonder whether the lamprey had recently attached itself to the bass. Whatever the reason, the bass didn't like it. I've never seen anything like that in my days of fishing.

Jeff Knapp @ Keystone Connection Guide Service; filed 11-3: We've done several river trips over past two weeks. During that time the water temperature has dropped from nearly 60 degrees to below 50 degrees. Rain late last week coupled with the drawdown from Kinzua has raised the level in excess of what I'll fish. Up until then we were catching plenty of smallies, with a pronounced shift in bass location to classic late-fall sports. Getting them on Z-Man Hula StickZ, skirted jigs tipped with craw trailers, tubes, Yum Speed Craws and hair jigs. Once the river drops, conditions should be primed for big late season smallies and walleyes. With the river too high, I returned to Keystone Power Dam and had a good scouting trip landing several nice largemouths.

Bill Logan (Enterprise); filed 10-27: On Oct 26, I had a slow start on the river, but did manage 8 bass on tubes and Galida's Grubz. Today, it started well with 5 bass landed before the wind came up and hampered presentation. Still I managed to pick up five more even in white caps.



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