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NWPA Fishing Report, 11-22-17

November 22, 2017
By Darl Black , Blackwolfe Communications LLC

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

Compiled and Published by Blackwolfe Communications, LLC

French Creek Flowing through all four counties

Article Photos

Rick Como with a nice Shenango Lake white bass. Photo by Darl Black

Editor's Note: No reports were received from anglers regarding French Creek in the past two weeks. Normally, French Creek in late November would be primed for a good walleye bite. However, following the heavy rains from this past Saturday (11-18), French Creek is presently blown out. Unlike the Erie tributaries with small watersheds, the French Creek drainage covers a large section of NW PA. Typically it takes days for French Creek to carry rain water out of the area and return to near normal flow.


Pymatuning Lake

Dave @ Richter's Bait & Tackle; filed 11-20: The good news is the water temp is at a good point for walleyes. But it's the time of year when only a handful of anglers are to be found on Pymatuning and the rough weather this past weekend reduced that number even more! A handful of guys and I mean just a handful; probably less than a dozen are catching walleyes with blades. A few 'eye are being taken during the day, but the best bite is right at dusk just like when ice fishing. Several tons of baitfish in the South End of lake are probably keeping everyone from catching a bunch of fish. Anglers are catching some perch, bluegills and few nice crappies off the Jamestown Docks. In addition, I have several customers who were casting bobber and jig from shore this past week to catch a mess of bluegill, perch and bass; one buddy caught 14 bass while fishing for panfish. I'm still getting reports of some walleye and musky being caught in the Shenango River below Pymie Dam. We have fingers crossed for prolonged good ice season to kill off preyfish, thereby yielding good walleye catches next spring.

Patty @ Poff's Place; filed 11-20: I was receiving some positive reports of walleyes being caught by boat anglers with blade baits under the Causeway Bridge last week, but that might have slowed after the rough weather weekend. No reports of Spillway success. However, if going for walleye by boat, keep in mind it's Heddon Sonar and Vib-E time of the year I have a good selection of these baits.

Marilyn Black (Cochranton); filed 11-10: Got out with Darl for likely my last crappie outing of the year. Lots of small crappies in stumps and snags in 16 to 20 feet along river channel, but bigger crappies had moved even deeper since our last trip a week ago. Found the biggest ones in the channel. With the exception of a couple fish taken on a blade bait, all crappies were caught by drop-shotting Bobby Garland Baby Shads on 6-pound Gamma Panfish Line in over 20 feet of water. Bite was slow but consistent. Bonus white bass gave a good tussle.

Conneaut Lake

Darl @ Fishing with Darl Black; filed 11-9: Dave Lehman and I returned to Conneaut Lake in search of big bass after a failed attempt the week before. It was a calm, bluebird sky kind of day not the best for a big fish bite. Dave scored midway through the day with a 4 pound, 2 ounce largemouth bass taken on a jig. Trying to beat his largemouth with a big smallmouth, I struck out. Likely our last trip of 2017 unless Indian Summer makes an appearance!


Presque Isle Bay

Dominic @ Lake Erie Bait & Tackle; filed 11-20: For the previous Report, I had stated the perch being caught were on the small size. But now two weeks later with colder water, anglers are getting nicer size perch in the 10/11 inch range. The Waterworks Dock and Marina Lake are the two best hotspots right now. Anglers are picking up the occasional steelhead in the Bay, too.

Ken @ Presque Isle Angler; filed 11-20: Perch and an occasional walleye are being taken on the North and South Pier. Steelhead trout are spotty in the Bay.

Paul Stewart (Butler); filed 11-18: Got my limit from PIB in 2-1/2 hours! Bite was very light Berkley Fireline Crystal was a key to success.

Tom Watral (Erie); filed 11-13: Fishing in the Bay has picked up with minnows the best bait. Minnow, single eggs, egg sacs and small jigs tipped with maggots are doing it for steelheads in the Bay and in the tribs.

Lake and Tributaries

Lynne @ East End Angler; filed 11-20: The east side creeks had been low and clear before the rain event on Saturday. All were blown out by Sunday, but are on the way down right now. Snow melt might keep them up a bit this week but by Thanksgiving weekend the creeks will be low and clear again unless we get some rainwhich is a possibility. Twenty Mile, Twelve Mile and Four Mile have been fishing well. Seven Mile has been off and on. From the Bay, I've heard good reports on Perch taken from the Border Dock; South Pier has been off and on.

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 11-20: With the storms and high water, it was a slow weekend. However, streams are recovering fast. Walnut is fishable today, and Elk will be fishable on Tuesday. Most streams likely back to clear water by Wednesday except for possible snow melt on the larger watersheds. Chance of rain on Saturday may make for good color and good flow for weekend. High and discolored translates to egg sacks, skein and nightcrawlers; low and clear brings out the single eggs and minnows. Lake has been too rough to fish the creek mouths this past week.

Doug @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 11-20: Elk is still up and dirty today; should be fishable by Tuesday. All streams were fishing well until the storm. Can't really call what weekend fishing will be like depends if we get any serious rain during the week. Slow melt of heavier snow inland may keep good flow in Elk. Lake shore is a mess 10 to 11 footers over weekend; 6 to 7 footers right now.

Rebecca @ Uncle John's Elk Creek Campground; filed 11-20: Before the weekend rain, our guests were catching a good number of steelhead from Elk Creek. See their success in attached photos.


Shenango Lake

Rick Como (Sharpsville); filed 11-20: I finally got out for a couple trips on Shenango this past week. One day with my cousin Gary Smiley in his Sports Pal canoe to try for walleyes. We had a very good day. Surprisingly, we caught over 50 perch that morning while jigging for walleyes. However, most were on the small size; but in the next few years these perch should be frying pan size! We managed several impressive walleyes including one a tad shy of 28 inches. There are good numbers of walleye in the lake, but they have been tough to catch due to all the baitfish in the lake. However, with water temperature dropping, the walleyes are concentrating in the river channel. White bass and hybrid stripers are also feeding in these areas. I've been catching many white bass and some small hybrids in these areas, too. Crappies are being caught; they are very nice sized crappies this time of year. Also channel cats. All species in the lake are hitting right now. Search around the channel and deepwater drop-offs you will find all species. Get out this week if you cancolder water is coming and soon we will be ice fishing.


Allegheny River

Editor's note: The Allegheny had just receded to a fishable level this past week when the heavy rains on Saturday 11-18 blew the river out again. Likely another week of high water; hopefully fishable by Thanksgiving weekend.

Steve Udick (Oil City); filed 11-18: With the river at the 7-8 foot level at Oil City all week long, finding access to fishing spots wasn't easy. I found a nice spot along Colbert Avenue with access Tuesday, 11-14, the fish were aggressive as I've ever seen in cold water. In two hours I landed seven bass and four walleyes. I landed fish on six consecutive casts, most of them hitting within two feet of shore. My most interesting catch was a bass with lamprey attached. I posted in the last report about seeing a bass jumping repeatedly likely in an attempt to throw an attached lamprey. Well I caught this bass with lamprey right where the one last week was jumping. Bass now free of lamprey. Rapala Shad Rap in Firetiger and a walleye pattern caught all the fish. Plug worked with slow twitch and jerk method. Most of bass were in the 16 to 17 inch lengths but still catching some 12 inchers in the 40-ish degree water.

Jeff Knapp @ Keystone Connection Guide Service; filed 11-18; I got back on the Allegheny after about a two-week period of high water, and managed to squeeze in a couple scouting trips before the rain returned last weekend. Smallmouth bass were gathering in their traditional wintering holes. Walleyes were also part of the mix. Most bass and walleye were quality size. We caught them on Rapala Husky Jerk, hair jigs, tubes, Z-Man Hula StickZ, BPS Speed Shad soft swimbait and Galida's Grubz. Water temperature was 44 degrees on our last outing on Nov 17.

Bill Logan (Pleasantville); filed 11-17: S-l-o-w start. Had one hit the first hour. Then 10 bass on a blade, 2 on Galida's Grubz, 5 on tubes and 1 on swimbait plus 2 pike on a swimbait. Big bass was 3.5 pounds.



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