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NWPA Fishing Report, 12-13-17

December 14, 2017
By Darl Black , Blackwolfe Communications LLC

Published by Blackwolfe Communications, L.L.C.

County by County Reports

French Creek - Flowing through all four counties

Article Photos

Nice brown trout from Erie’s Steelhead stream. Photo courtesy of Uncle John’s Elk Creek Campground

Dave Horvath (Edinboro); filed 12/10: I observed several anglers fishing French Creek where Conneautee Creek joins French. Reports from anglers indicated a good walleye bite during recent high water period.


Pymatuning Lake

Fact Box

All ramp courtesy docks on Pymatuning have been pulled except for the ones at Jamestown Ramp. They will leave those docks in through the winter so they will be available to late and early season anglers.

Dan Bickel, Pymatuning State Park Manager; filed 12/10: All ramp courtesy docks on Pymatuning have been pulled except for the ones at Jamestown Ramp. We will leave those docks in through the winter so they will be available to late and early season anglers.

Dave @ Richter's Bait & Tackle; filed 12/11: Not many anglers on Pymatuning this past weekend. Now during that little warm up after Thanksgiving, anglers were catching crappies and perch pretty good, including getting them from shore in the backs of bays over mud bottom. There were a lot of very small fingerling bluegills in the warmed up shallows, and it seemed the larger crappies and perch were feeding on them. Bobby Garland Baby Shad baits did the trick for my buddy Frank and me. However, the bays iced over this past weekend. The main lake is still open, and Jamestown boat ramp bay is open. If anyone wants to get out for walleyes, better do it this coming weekend during the anticipated warm up may be your last chance!

(Editor's note: While Dave and friends were catching crappies in two feet of water, only days before I finished up my season with biggest crappies of season taken in 20 to 25 feet of water in the channel; could not catch a keeper shallower than 20 feet. At the same time, Ken Smith was racking up the big white crappies at Shenango with many coming from 8 to 13 feet of water. So we had crappies at 2 feet, 8 feet and 20 feet on same river lake system during same week in late fall. Very interesting!

Russ @ Gateway Bait & Tackle; filed 12/11: Wind has been pretty rough this past week so only a few anglers fishing off causeway. They reported some crappies and perch. However, going back two weeks to the end of November, my buddy and I were doing pretty good on the walleyes. Using both blades (Sonars or Vib-E) and minnow-tipped jigs we had our limit of walleyes on a couple different days. I also caught 47 inch musky on a jig. Bays are icing up on Pymie but I hope to get out one more time.

Woodcock Creek Lake

Joshua @Myers Sportsman's Connection; filed 12/11: With hunting season going on, not many people fishing. The only report I have is for Woodcock Lake. Anglers are catching walleyes and perch along the main creek channel in the drawn-down lake pool.


Presque Isle Perch Report

Darl Black: A visit to PIB on Saturday revealed only a handful of anglers fishing for perch from city side and not a single fisherman at Dobbin's Landing. However, three of the four anglers at Liberty Park harbor wall revealed some very nice perch. Ed, Stan and Ron each were catching big perch. No one had been fishing there very long. They stated that with the Bay water temperature finally falling they anticipated more big perch moving into the key areas very soon.

Paul Stewart (Butler)

-11/25: Went up for perch on Saturday. We had to move around PIB to find them. After the wind settled down, the bite was great. We got 34 keepers between us, and fish size was better than last week.

-12/5: Went up to PIB on Sunday. Again had to move around to find them. We kept 20 of the bigger ones between the two of us. The bite was very light; with the clear sky, the fish stopped biting once the sun got high.

Erie Steelhead Report

Lynn @ East End Angler; filed 12/11: East side creeks are freezing up. Ice reported on Four Mile and Six Mile. The lower end of Twenty Mile still open but ice reported in upper reaches. Sixteen Mile Creek is still open and usually remains so through the winter due to the water treatment discharge.

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 12/11: West side creeks are low and clear with ice forming. Anglers are still catching steelheads in some upper areas of creeks. Single eggs and minnows for the bait guys; fly fishermen are using egg patterns, sucker spawn in light colors, small nymphs and Wooly Buggers. We had a guy report a 15 pound 6 ounce Brown Trout at 26 inches from mouth of Trout Runthat is a nice fish!

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 12/11: With no rain or snow melt, creeks are low and clear. But anglers are still catching fish. The lower portion of Elk is now frozen. But on Saturday, one of our customers caught 14 steelheads around the access area simply by advancing upstream as the pool water iced over! We've got the fish in the streams but we don't have the water, and the water we do have is freezing. Conditions are going to get tougher this week before we see an improvement. Hoping for warm up next week.

Rebecca @ Uncle John's Elk Creek Campground; filed 12/8: Our campers have been catching fish even in the low and clear water. See a couple of our best pics. Hoping for a bit of warm up to open water.

And more from Erie

Lynn @ East End Angler reports anglers have been catching walleyes off the South Pier in the evening using swimbaits. The fish are being caught off the east end by casting into the open lake. She says this isn't one or two fish once in a while; some guys are getting limits. "I've never heard of this happening since we've had the tackle shop very unusual."(See photo of 28 inch 8 lb. walleye from South Pier)

Lynn has no reports of solid ice on inland lakes, but expects Easton Reservoir may be the first to freeze if the cold weather continues. She says this is a good ice fishing lake for panfish.

Dave Horvath reports musky anglers were hard at it on Edinboro Lake two weeks ago trolling and casting. But he did not hear of any musky being caught.


Shenango Lake

Kevin Austin; filed 12/9: Yes, I've been fishing the last couple weeks. I did catch a lot of nice 14 and 15 inch crappie before the bite slowed. I was using a 1/32 ounce jighead with either a straight tail or tube body, usually in white/chartreuse or red/chartreuse. I fished the jig 18 inches off the bottom.

Rick Como (Sharpsville); filed 12/10: With lower air temperature and very low lake levels, the fishing on Shenango has slowed. The lake is now around 6 feet below normal pool and dropping. My last trip out was the slowest of the fall season. Perch were still on fire but mostly small ones. A few white bass and crappies were caught, but they were small too. No walleyes or hybrid stripers. So I decided to store the boat and wait for safe ice to form. Hopefully in the next Report we will have ice fishing photos to share. I would like to take this time to wish all of you who read the Fishing Report a Very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season. See ya on da lake!

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 12-10: Summarizing recent fishing, the first week of December was very good crappie fishing on Shenango. I found nice crappies in several areas in depths from 8 to 13 feet of water, over brush and structure put in by USACE. Productive baits included Bobby Garland Crappie Shooters and Pico plastics. I kept some crappies to clean each trip. Put my boat away earlier this week and now waiting on safe ice.


Sugar Creek

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 11-25: My brother-in-law Doc Das from Hendersonville, NC and I had a two-day friendly fly fishing competition on Sugar Creek. On Day One we started at Cooperstown and fished down to Sleepy Hollow Golf Course. He caught 11 rainbows and I caught three. On Day Two, we started where we had stopped and finished up at Red Bridge in Sugarcreek. I caught 13 and he got 5. So our annual meet ended in a tie. A #10 Girdle Bug and #12 Price Nymph were my go-to flies; Doc primarily use an orange salmon egg.

Allegheny River

Steve Udick (Oil City); filed 12-10: It looks like river fishing will be on hold for a while. I saw some shore ice on Saturday and three days of low teens temps are coming. Pat Murray of Oil City and I got out on Dec 4. We fished upper Rockmere where we set up along a current line. We picked up three plump walleye in a couple hours, missing several more. I downsized to a Shad Rap SR5 to catch a few bass last weekbut the bite bass is gone for me now since water temperature dropped from 42 to 33 degrees this week.

Jeff Knapp @ Keystone Connection Guide Service; filed 12-9: My boat partners and I during both guide trips and fun trips with friends have enjoyed excellent fishing on the middle Allegheny since the last Report. The river receded after a period of high flow, and warmed up a few degrees during the warm spell after Thanksgiving Weekend. We caught lots and lots of smallmouth bass and walleyes, with plenty of quality-size fish; northerns and muskies, too. Most bass came on tube jigs; most walleyes on hair jigs. The period around the full moon (though I'm reluctant to say it was due to the full moonseen slow fishing on full moons, too) was particularly good for walleyes, with a good bite in all areas of the river I fished. Plus I heard great walleye reports from friends fishing other river sections. With the onset of more seasonable temperatures, smallmouths will be tougher to come by. But the other three species will be available as long as the river and boat ramps remain open. Since sub-freezing air temps are now reality, I switch from braided Gamma Torque to Gamma Copolymer. In addition to river trips on the middle Allegheny, I also run walleye trips on the lower Allegheny (which is dammed) where we really rack up the numbers most days. Visit my Facebook page for more info and updates.

Pete Cartwright @; filed 12-6: It was a nice day on the water sunny and mild 52 degree air temp. I got on the river around 7:30 am and caught my first smallie on my third cast. I ended up with 13 total fish including a few walleyes. My biggest smallmouth went 18.5 inches and biggest walleye went 24 inches. All fish were caught while wade-fishing the Allegheny in the Oil City/Franklin area. I used 412ubes from 412 Bait Company and 8-pound Gamma line. If interested in a wading trip, email me at

RJ Graham (Tionesta); filed 12-3: I had a fantastic weekend on the river during the Super Moon on December 2nd and 3rd. On Saturday, we caught 37 smallmouth bass and 18 walleyes. On Sunday, we caught fewer bass, but some very nice size ones. On Saturday, bass were everywhere, while 'eyes were at 15 feet. It took a while to figure out the bass on Sunday, but eventually got the bigger ones in 17 feet plus water dragging a tube or Ned Rig. Green pumpkin was color for bass and orange tubes for walleyes. Fun weekend before putting boat away.

Bill Logan (Pleasantville); filed 12-3: On Friday the 2nd I had 9 bass and a walleye. On Sunday I had 10 bass. All fish came on Galida's Grubz and blade baits. The party is over for now. Wind and snow and cold on the waysigh.



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