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NWPA Fishing Report, 2-16-18

February 19, 2018
By Darl Black , Blackwolfe Communications LLC

Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region

Published by Blackwolfe Communications LLC

News Items:

Article Photos

Kris Miller, of Franklin, PA with an impressive musky from the Allegheny River. Miller and friend Roger Jenkins have been having a grand ice fishing season with some grand toothy critter fish! Photo courtesy of Kris Miller

Ice Fishing Clinic at Lake Wilhelm: Feb 24, 9 AM, Launch 1. Check with Park office to be sure it will held pending ice conditions.

PA Fish Commission Sportsmen's Forum: March 2, 1 PM, Bayfront Convention Center. Fish Commission soliciting anglers input on future of fishing. Voice your opinion.


Fact Box

PA Fish Commission Sportsmen's Forum: March 2, 1 PM, Bayfront Convention Center. Fish Commission soliciting anglers input on future of fishing. Voice your opinion.

Pymatuning Lake

Russ @Gateway Bait & Tackle; filed 2-14: Anglers have been doing very well on crappie and perch, and some have been getting walleyes. Walleye anglers are fishing down around Stocker Island. I weighed a 6 pounder this week. The Spillway has some open water, and guys are fishing for crappies there. There is also open water around the PA bridge on Andover Causeway, and it won't be long before they start jigging for 'eye off the bridge.

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 2-14: Ken reports fishing Pymie South End a couple times in past two weeks. He made decent catches of crappies and bluegills. Says there is 9 inches of ice.

Conneaut Lake

Jerry @ Timberland Bait Shop; filed 2-14: Jerry has scheduled the annual Timberland Bait Shop Conneaut Ice Tourney for February 24. Headquarters will be Fireman's Beach. There will be no makeup date if the ice is not safe. Registration fee is $20. For complete details, visit Timberland Bait Shop website. Or if local to Conneaut, stop by Chuck's Bait at Anchor Beer Distributors to register.

Dale Clemmer (Cochranton); filed 2-14: Dale says Conneaut Lake has been the hot spot for pike. Dale and two others have been out several times in February. They have landed 23 pike between the three of them and missed a number of other flags. Dale's biggest pike was 32.5 inches. He also caught a 30-inch musky. They were catching toothy fish with shiners on tip ups and by jigging Swedish Pimples. They also had a couple good days on bluegills.

Tom @ Myers Sportsman's Connection; filed 2-14: Anglers have been doing very well at Woodcock Lake on both crappies and walleyes. Crappies have been running 12" to 14.5". Some guys have been limiting out on walleyes. Crappies are coming on minnows and walleyes on golden shiners. However, if we get the expected rain and warm temps this coming week, ice fishing on Woodcock will be over. The Corps will hold back water, breaking the ice from shore contact and flooding the top of the ice.

Sugar Lake

Dale Clemmer; filed 2-14: Dale and his crew have been fishing Sugar Lake, too, catching mostly chain pickerel. Dale's biggest pickerel has been 18 inches, but one of the crew got a 24-incher.

Canadohta Lake

Jerry @ Timberland Bait: Timberland held their annual Canadohta Lake Ice Fishing Tournament this past weekend. Photos of the winners appear on the Livewell Page. No other information was available.


Mike @ Lake Erie Bait & Tackle; filed 2-14: We have a lot of good ice on the Bay 11 inches in most areas. The perch bite has been very good in deep water around the West Pier and Chestnut, but it's slowing down in these areas. However, bite is starting to pick up more towards west section of PIB and the Head of the Bay. The perch seem to be moving towards the spawning areas.

Kirk @ East End Angler; filed 2-14: Steelheads are being caught in 16 Mile Creek from the water treatment plant to the lake. Most of the other east side streams are jammed with ice. But the anticipated warmup and rain this coming week should open everything up. Most of the fish in 16 Mile are spawned out steelhead from the Fish Commission hatchery; they are very dark in color and the meat is mushy and the skin very tough to cut. I certainly do not recommend keeping any of them. Keep fresh silver ones or slightly off silver they are fresh ones entering the streams.

In the Bay, they are catching a lot of perch. Be careful you can get into schools of small perch, barely legal ones. But there are also schools of nice perch. I recommend moving around to find larger perch. We are seeing a lot of non-locals fishing perch here on the Bay and I'm hearing they don't know the regulations. Remember, in PIB the size limit is 7 inches and the bay limit if 30 fish not 50 like statewide inland limit. Crappie catches have been decent too, but seem to be tapering off now. Stay away from the ice in the eastern most section of the bay because the big ships are being repositioned and they are breaking up the ice.

Over at Eaton (Bull Dam), anglers are catching nice crappies, a few perch and some smallmouth bass through the ice. At Lake Pleasant, it's all about trout plus some crappies and bluegills in the north end.

Doug @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 2-14: Ice on the upper parts of Elk has migrated north to form big jams from R. 5 to the lake. But there is open water south of Rt. 5, and guys are catching steelhead. With the anticipated rain and warm temps in the forecast, all streams should open up this coming week.

Randy @ Fish West PA; filed 2-13: We have gotten a few steelheads through the ice at Walnut Marina. But rising temps will change that now and probably end the hardwater seasonat least for us. Spring pike run will happen soon at Shenango, and we are all excited. Please tell anglers to be careful on all ice this coming week especially at Shenango and Pymatuning, Some spots are thicker than others and don't see how there will be "good ice" anywhere soon given the long range forecast.


Lake Wilhelm

Tom @ Myers Sportsman's Connection; filed 2-14: Down at Wilhelm, anglers had been doing very well on bluegills in the stumps and upper part of lake. We now hear the bite has shifted to down around the Dam, and crappies are being caught.

John @ Fergie's Bait; filed 2-14: Not hearing a lot from anglers. We had reports of decent crappies down lake. But lots of water on the ice, and with anticipated warmup and rain, ice may weaken before end of February.

Shenango Lake

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 2-14: Ken reports some decent mixed bag catches of panfish in past week. Crappies, bluegills and some perch are being taken on ice jigs tipped with waxworm. Ten feet of water in front of Swim Beach was hot several days ago. He reports about 7 inches of ice at Shenango. He also cautions that forecast rain and warmup will likely ruin the ice, especially when the Corps begins to hold water back in Shenango Dam.

Neshannock Creek

Bob Shuey @ Neshannock Creek Fly Shop; filed 2-14: Before you know it spring will be here. And with spring comes our two biggest events of the year (1) Annual Pre-Season Trout Stocking on March 3 and Lunker Stocking and Rod Raffle on March 10. We will be open every Sunday beginning on March 4. Also, we will conduct Fly Fishing Schools for females and young anglers, and Fly Fishing Lessons. For more information, phone 724-533-3212 or visit our website.


Sugar Creek

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 1-20: The temperature warmed. Today was my initial attempt to catch my first fish of 2018. I planned to go to a particular native trout stream which feeds Sugar Creek. Glad I did it turned out to be one very impressive outing for a January day. Five brown trout and one rainbow aggressively hit pieces of nightcrawler. All fish were healthy, displaying vibrant colors. All released!

On my way to the tributary, I saw a truck parked at a popular Sugar Creek hole. I stopped by to chat. Turned out to be two men I went to school with Chris and Ron Graham from Sugarcreek. Chris had caught a 21-inch brown for his first fish of 2018 and Ron had an 18-inch brown for his second fish. They also practice catch & release!

Allegheny River

Jeff @; filed 2-14: Nothing to report. All of the river ramps I've checked are either buried under sheets of ice or are snow covered. Forecast warm weather and rain should take care of the snow. Hope to be on the river soon.

Kris Miller (Franklin); filed 2-4: Kris Miller and friend Roger Jenkins have been having a grand ice fishing season with some grand toothy critter fish! They have caught a number of muskies by ice fishing slack backwater pools on the river from Tionesta to Franklin. They catch their own bait including crappies, shad and large river chubs. "Readers need to know that like the summer saying Musky is a Fish of a 1,000 casts, and in the winter the percentage is even lower due to fish interest, water level and short ice duration in our area." See Photos on cover and on this pagenot a walk in the park to catch these fish. Kris and Roger also fish Sugar Lake for pickerel.



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