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NWPA Fishing Report, 4-11-18

April 13, 2018
By Darl Black , Blackwolfe Communications LLC

With Special Report from PFBC Area Fisheries Biologists

Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region

Published by Blackwolfe Communications LLC

Article Photos

Monster walleye collected during the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission trap net survey recently from Lake Wilhelm. Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission


TROUT SEASON OPENS on Saturday, April 14 at 8 a.m.


Fact Box

Both Fergie's Bait & Tackle and the Lake Wilhelm Marina wanted to call attention to the walleye caught and released alive last week by biologists from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. The three hawg walleyes pictured here were caught in a trap net as part of spring survey.

The Pymatuning Lake Association will hold their annual Crappie Tournament on Saturday, May 5th. Two-person team; $45 entry per team. For more information go to or call tournament director at 724-418-1501.


Pymatuning Sportsmen's Club 6pm to 8pm. Presenters include crappie tournament anglers and tackle company representatives. Seminar is free, but you must have a ticket because seating is limited. Obtain ticket at: Poff's Place (Espyville), Gateway Bait (Andover), Duck-N-Drake (Andover), Richter's Tackle (Jamestown), Myer's Sportsmen Connection (Saegertown).


The annual "Bluegill Bev" tourney will be held on June 9th sponsored by Loby's Premier Entertainment and Walt's Tavern. For more information, contact Loby at


Pymatuning Lake

Dave @ Richter's Bait & Tackle; filed 4/9: Weather-wise it's been a rough spring so far which translates to a difficult fishing success. Crappie bite has been up and down day to day depending on the weather. I had a good day on crappies up North on Wednesday the 4th. Returned on Thursday and I didn't get a bite as the cold front rolled in. So Saturday I went for walleyes down South and struck out. Meanwhile other customers report a very good crappie bite up North on Saturday. However, the walleye bite is improving for those willing to put in the time. There is a good late evening/night bite for waders if you pick the right location. Casting Rapala Minnows or similar minnow lures are producing, as well as some are getting them on Sonars and Vib-Es. Anglers may not be catching a lot of walleyes, but they are getting nice size ones. Hoping improvement in the weather for later this week brings on a better bite and more anglers to the lake.

Laurie @ Duck-N-Drake; filed 4/9: Everything has slowed down after that major cold snap pushed into area. Crappies have lockjaw right now. Walleye bite is spotty; a few waders are picking them up at night. Bring on some warmer weather!

Russ @ Gateway Bait & Tackle; filed 4/9: Reports are of fewer fish in last few days with latest cold snap, but the ones they are getting are nice size crappies, perch and walleyes. A few anglers are catching walleyes by walking the causeway in the evening and tossing a Rapala Minnow or Sonar.

Patty @ Poff's Place; filed 4/9: Reports indicate a fairly good bite at the Spillway some days, followed by a slowdown the next. Anglers are catching some impressive 'eyes some over 10 pounds. Of course not everyone is having success. Seems the crappie bite has slowed down since last week. I had a couple state citation crappies come in last week.

Editor's note: Angler Awards is the new name for the old "citation" fish program. The minimum weight for a Crappie Angler Award is 1 pound 4 ounces.

Sam @ Robinson's Bait; filed 4/9: The Spillway has gone crazy again with anglers stacking up to catch a few walleyes. Anglers are still having some success on crappies and perch in Stewart's Bay. Bridge 20 is producing a few crappies and perch. I have had reports of large crappies coming out of Blackjackif you can get into the bay due to the thick pad growth.

Jeramie Joy (Guys Mills); filed 4/7: On Friday we had a slow day at the Spillway. I ended up with three for the table. Back on April 2, I did very well at the Spillway, leaving with a limit. Productive colors have been blue, chrome, chartreuse with orange, and purple & white. Hopefully the weather will warm up soon so I can get the boat out for crappies.

Editor's Note: Saturday, Jeramie caught his personal best walleye at the Spillway 11.5 pounds.

Kevin Austin; filed 4/2: I made it up to Pymatuning to catch my first walleyes of the year. Got them on a 3/16-oz. blade bait. (See photo)

Special Note from Area Fisheries Manager Tim Wilson currently involved in spring trap-netting of walleyes at Pymatuning:

We have been catching many walleyes. At this point we are doing better than last year, and the spring of 2018 is likely to be the second best year since 1989. We are averaging over 100 walleye per net, and the average length is 18 inches.

Forage seems to be down from last year, but still caching plenty of shiners, alewives and gizzard shad.

Perch, crappies and muskies have been hit and miss in the nets as water temperatrues keep fluctuating between upper 30s and low 40s. Hopefully a real warm-up starts this week.

See photos of our largest walleye so far, typical net catch, pictures of forage including the four major forage species (gizzard shad, golden shiner, alewife, spottail shiner) and the three year classes of alewives.

Conneaut Lake

Tom @ Myers Sportsmen's Connection; filed 4/9: Not much happening right now with French Creek high and muddy, and trout season opening this coming weekend. Most of my customers are heading to Pymatuning or to Conneaut Lake. Reports continue of BIG bluegills being taken at Conneaut.

Loby @ Loby's Premier Entertainment: Don't forget about the annual "Bluegill Bev" Fishing Tournament on June 9. Contact me for an application at


Lynne @ East End Angler; filed 4/7: All creeks on the East side have steelhead in them 4 Mile, 7 Mile, 12 Mile, 16 Mile and 20 Mile. Water level currently is low, but some rain is expected this week. Creek fishing must cease by Thursday 10 PM, and creeks remain closed until opening hour of trout season on Saturday. Anglers are also catching steelhead in North East Marina basin. Getting reports of good perch bite off Liberty Park in PIB.

Mike @ Lake Erie Bait & Tackle; filed 4/7: This is one of the best perch springs in some time for good size fish. Apparently the revolving cold weather pattern is keeping the perch deeper in the Bay. Shore anglers are not doing real good, but boat anglers off the shore are try off Liberty Park, Don John, and Yacht Club. If we get the anticipated warm up, we hope to see everything starting to hit in the shallows perch, crappies and bluegills.

Brittney @ Poor Richards; filed 4/7: Stream anglers are still catching steelheads Perch in the Bay. Not much else to report.

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 4/7: Sum it up in three words - cold, cold and cold. We sure could use a warm-up. Streams are fishing OK not fantastic. High water last week brought in a fresh run of 8 to 9 pound chromers. Not seen any browns. There should be plenty of steelhead still in the streams for opening day of trout.

Rebecca @ Uncle John's Elk Creek Campground; filed 4/5: Our guests continue to catch steelhead from Elk Creek. Here is a picture on a recent catch from right at the mouth of Elk Creek Tubes.

Tom Watral (Erie); filed 4/4: Presque Isle Bay has been producing lots of perch at certain hotspots including Border Pier and Liberty Park. Best bait has been minnows on crappie rigs. Perch are running between 9" to 14" on days when the wind isn't blow too hard. East side creeks are loaded with steelhead; best baits are minnow under a bobber or egg sacks. They are catching some crappies in the boat rental bay at the entrance to Lagoons on Presque Isle using a jig tipped with a minnow.


Lake Wilhelm

Although there is nothing to report as far as angler catches from Wilhelm except for a few small crappies being taken in Marina Bay, there is BIG news. Both Fergie's Bait & Tackle and the Lake Wilhelm Marina wanted to call attention to the walleye caught and released alive last week by biologists from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. The three hawg walleyes pictured here were caught in a trap net as part of spring survey. After information was recorded from these three and many more walleyes, the fish were returned to the lake. Anyone want to try walleye fishing at Wilhelm this summer?

Shenango Lake

No reports from any anglers at Shenango Lake.


Angler Al's Diary (Franklin)

Friday 4/6: It wasn't a particularly pleasant day to venture out fishing, but when I asked Mikey Galkowsi what he wanted for this 10th birthday, he wanted me to take him fishing! Off to a pond in the woods we went. Mikey caught 7 hearty size bluegills and he asked if we could take them back to stock my pond. So I carried a 5 gallon bucket full of water and those fish a half mile up a hill to the van.

Saturday, 4/7: The following day weather wasn't very favorable early on, but I did manage to get Mikey on the water for Mentored Youth Trout Day. We went to Lower Two Mile Run. He was able to catch two rainbows and lost another one. Corn-colored Salmon eggs drifted with the current with a small indicator float did the trick.

Allegheny River

Pete Cartwright @ Smallies on the Yough Guide Service:

4/2 Allegheny River On a nice sunny day we caught smallies by slow rolling soft plastic. Most of the bites were soft but still decent for water temps in the low 40s. Biggest fish were in the 18 to 19 inch range. The pike bite was great, as we landed five and lost several others. All the pike were between 20 to 25 inches.

4/6 Allegheny River Cold rain and high water today on the river. The fish were inactive today, but we managed a few. Biggest smallmouth was 19 inches. The pike were eating some but not as much as last week.

Bill Logan (Pleasantville) filed 3/28: I fished 7 hours to land 12 smallmouth bass on tubes and Galida's Grubz. It started slow, but then POW! It got worse and sprinkled. Two hours without a hit before I picked up a couple more.



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