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NWPA Fishing Report, 4-25-18

April 27, 2018
By Darl Black , Blackwolfe Communications LLC

Brought to you by PA Great Lakes Region

Published by Blackwolfe Communications LLC

Fishing News and Announcements

Article Photos

Darl Black with a nice smallie caught recently. Photo courtesy of Darl Black

PLA Crappie Tournament: Pymatuning Lake; May 5, 2018; $45.00 team event. For more info go to

Duck-N-Drake Walleye Tournament: Pymatuning Lake; May 12; $45.00. For more info go to Duck-N-Drake Facebook page or call the shop at 440-293-2439.

Crappie Fishing Seminar: May 16, 2018; 6 pm to 8 pm; Pymatuning Sportsman's Club. Seminar features pro crappie fishing team of Dan and Sue Dannenmueller plus local presenters representing Gamma Fishing Line, Garmin Electronics and B-n-M Poles. Seminar is free but due to limited seating, you must have a ticket; free tickets available at Richter's Bait, Duck-N-Drake, Gateway Bait and Myers Sportsman's Connection.

Fact Box

Angler Al's Diary

April 15: From my perspective, the annual trout season opener in our region was the best turnout in many years. The exceptionally nice weather may have been the leading factor, but perhaps the interest in fishing has grown. Thanks Darl, because of what you have created with the fishing, thanks to the Report and other avenues, you're "watering" the seeds to further our sport.

"Bluegill Bev" Conneaut Lake Fishing Tournament: June 9, 2018; panfish species. More info visit

BMCC Father's Day Buddy Tournament: Presque Isle Bay, June 17, 2018. For more info call 814-758-6876.

A Word about Prizes Awarded on the NW PA Fishing Report

For the 2018 season, three prizes are announced for each issue (two issues a month):

1. For the contributed photo selected as the cover shot (a) a pack of Galida's Grubz "original swimbaits" or (b) a pack of soft plastic baits from 412 Bait Company.

2. First random drawing among contributors for either (a) Polarized Sunglasses from Angler Al's American First Aid, plus pack of Someday Isle Tackle Jigheads or (b) Spool of Gamma Line plus Jigheads.

3. Second random drawing for either (a) Panfish Pack of Road Runner Lures and Someday Isle Tackle panfish bobber jigs, or (b) Bass/Walleye pack of Yum baits and Someday Isle Jigheads.

Names of winners are posted on the Gamma Tip Page. To claim your prize, you must email your shipping address to The Fishing Report does not contact you. If you do not contact me to claim your prize by the time the next Report is issued, the items will go back in the prize pot.

County by County Reports


Pymatuning Lake

Norm @ Jamestown Boat Livery; filed 4/23: There isn't much to report from daytime boat anglers this past weekend. Catches on the South End were spotty during the day. The crappie and perch action is up North and walleye action at night. One customer caught a 39.5 inch musky his first musky ever. Hoping the warm up continues to get more anglers excited about getting out.

Dave @ Richter's Bait; filed 4/23: North End still seeing some crappie action but it's sporadic bites not widespread; here one day, gone the next. No crappies reported down South yet; water unseasonably cold. Walleye night bite has been very good best in several years. My son limited out the other night. One customer brought in 29-inch 'eye. I have heard about a couple walleyes coming during the day on jig and minnow. Musky bite has been very good too, with multiple muskies reported some days from South End. They are catching perch in the river at the outflow.

Laurie @ Duck-N-Drake; filed 4/23: One customer stopped in with a good catch of perch and a few crappies taken in Stewart's Bay this weekend. I'm hearing crappies and perch in about 3 feet here and there up North. NE Ohio Crappie Club had a good tournament on Saturday following a bad practice day on Friday.

Water temp is still in the 40s on main lake. Walleye have been hit and miss up North. I am hearing better reports from South with one customer limiting out on 'eye with large minnows in one spot.

Becky @ Gateway Bait; filed 4/23: As typical this time of year, reports indicated bite is hot and cold. Last week they were slamming crappies until the recent cold snap late in week.

Patty @ Poff's Place; filed 4/23: Some are catching them, some are not it's the story of fishing. I had one customer limit out on crappies in short order after fishing all day without a bite until they found one bay with a pocket of 53 degree water. Another customer stopped by with nice catch of walleye taken on live bait over the weekend. I've seen some nice trout brought into the store from nearby streams, including a big rainbow.

Bryan Stuyvesant (Meadville); filed 4/23: My buddy Mike Reams and I fished Pymie Sunday night from 5 to 10 pm, catching 10 walleyes from rocky shoals. Some were taken on homemade blade baits and some on chartreuse F11 Rapala Minnows.

Lunker Mike (Conneautville); filed 4/22: After catching some nice bass in area ponds as a warmup, I fished the Bassmasters of Crawford County tournament this past weekend. Tough bite all around. I blanked along with everyone else in the club except three guys who caught 1 legal bass each. Total weight for those 3 bass was 5.96 pounds. Water temp was 42 to 48 degrees. Looking forward to next trip out.

Editor's Note: After talking with tournament anglers on the water at Pymie this weekend and reviewing Facebook posts, it seems this may have been a record bad week for bass fishing at Pymie. There were at least 5 club tournaments on Saturday and Sunday. Same story only one to four small legal bass caught in each club. Majority of anglers blanked. Normally it would take a five-fish limit going 12 to 18 pounds to win a tournament this time of year on the lake. Story was it was tough all week long. Most are blaming it on the unusually cold water for this time of year.

Woodcock Creek and Dam

Tabitha @ Myers Sportsman's Connection; filed 4/23: Trout season is in full swing on Woodcock Creek. The bite has been slow as the Corps has been letting water out of the lake creating high and fast water in the creek. Reports say trout are biting nightcrawlers, minnows and spinners. Fish Commission restocking Woodcock Creek on 4/25. Excitement brewing as Walleye comes back in on French Creek on May 5th.

Canadohta Lake

Jerry @ Timberland Bait; filed 4/23: They are starting to pick up crappies in Canadohta Lake, as well as in Edinboro Lake. I've heard about a good number of big trout being caught in area streams; most guys are releasing them.


Lake, Bay and Tributaries

Mike @ Lake Erie Bait and Tackle; filed 4/23: Perch are on fire in the deeper water of Presque Isle Bay. Crappies are not doing anything in the Bay. We had fresh run of steelhead this past week during the big rain; that's a late run that should keep steelheads in the tribs for a few more weeks. There are still steelheads in the Bay, too. Predictions are for a great walleye season on the Lake; PF&BC Chuck Murray says the 2015 year class will be well over 15 inches this year the '15 year class was one of the best hatches in 20 years.

Lynne @ East End Angler; filed 4/23: In the Bay, they have been doing very well on perch out in front of Don Johns. I'm starting to see some bass boats running out on lake, but no reports. Creeks still have steelheads. Fish Commission will be stocking 4 Mile and 20 Mile with brown trout this week.

Brittney @ Poor Richards; filed 4/23: Still very good perch fishing in the Bay in 25 to 35 feet of water need a boat to reach them. Spring steelhead run still going.

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 4/23: There are good numbers of steelhead still in Elk Creek particularly the lower section. Catchable brown trout were stocked in Elk this past Thursday and will be again stocked on the 26th for final time this spring. Creek is filled with suckers, and I'm seeing a few bass starting to move in just a few.

Tom Watral (Erie); filed 4/23: I had a blast showing DJ Tony J how to fish for trout. After seeing how low the creeks were, we had to go to 4 lb. test and small hooks with minnows or corn. We managed to get some trout and had a good day.

Edinboro Lake

Dave Horvath (Edinboro); filed 4/21: Edinboro Masons held the kids only trout derby on 4/14 at Mallory Run. We had between 50 and 70 kids participating. All had a blast including adults. Field and Stream donated the prizes in all three age groups; gift cards so kids could select what they wanted. $30, $20 and $10 for 1st through 3rd and Ugly Stick for longest fish. Lots of fish caught thanks to PA Fish Commission.


Lake Wilhelm

Vickie @ Fergie's Bait; filed 4/23: Not much to report. Water is only in the 40s and few anglers are about. They were catching some bluegills from shore at Launch 3 during the sunny days recently.

Deer Creek

The Northern Deer Creek TU Chapter hosted children on the opening day of trout season at the special Kids Area on Deer Creek. Everyone had a good time and most managed to catch a few fish.

Shenango Lake

Rick Como (Sharpsville); filed 4/22: It has been a rough spring on Shenango Lake this year so far. Cold water temps and heavy rain have slowed down the normal spring patterns. I finally got out during a rare warm spell with good results. White bass and stripers were hitting in the usual spring areas. Northern pike were active along the shoreline areas. Shallow running crankbaits cast along the shoreline did the trick. Largemouth bass are beginning to show up in the shallows, also some nice size ones! The latest cold front this past week shut this down. Warmer temperatures predicted for this coming week should bring water temps up and increase the spring bite.

Randy @ Fish West PA; filed 4/21: We are starting to pick up bass and crappie along with a few pike at Shenango Lake. Most fish seem to be in transition from deep to shallow. We caught fish in both deep and shallow. Water temp on the 21st was 52 degrees. Better fishing will come as temps rise near the magical 60 degrees. Tight lines!


Sugar Creek

Denny Beggs (Franklin); filed 4/16: Attached are photos of my son Devin and I with trout caught and released on Sugar Creek. We fished two hours on Sunday and caught & released 27 rainbows, 1 brown. Devin was the leader with 15 trout. Lots of fun! We were drifting salmon eggs.

Angler Al's Diary

April 15: From my perspective, the annual trout season opener in our region was the best turnout in many years. The exceptionally nice weather may have been the leading factor, but perhaps the interest in fishing has grown. Thanks Darl, because of what you have created with the fishing, thanks to the Report and other avenues, you're "watering" the seeds to further our sport. And that's an "angle" I'm happy to be part of. I took two friends to Sugar Creek. We went to the last bridge the commission stocked. A yellow Rooster Tail spinner, wax worms tipped with corn colored salmon eggs or red fireball eggs, nightcrawlers and small fathead minnows all worked to entice fish. Overall though, the bite wasn't all that great.

April 23: I slipped down during the last hour of evening daylight. This place is one my favorite spots on Sugar Creek. I initially started using corn colored salmon eggs tipped with wax worm which produced several stocked rainbow trout. Closer to dark I switched to a large creek bait minnow. Something tapped it twice, so I decided to downsize to a nightcrawler. Bam! A 22 inch brown trout slammed it. Caught and released.

Allegheny River

Pete Cartwright @ Smallies on the Yough Guide Service; filed 4/22: Cold and high water this weekend (4/21 & 4/22) on the Allegheny had smallies sluggish but as the day went on they turned on and my clients got some nice fish including both of them landing their PB one 19-incher and one 20-incher. We used 412ubes from 412 Bait Company and Gamma Line to land all our fish.

Jeff Knapp @ Keystone Connection Guide Service; filed 4/22: Tremendous action on the Allegheny though the weekend of April 14 and 15. Lots of brown bass, including some big brown bass to 19 inches. Plus a few walleyes, northerns and small muskies, too. Mostly on Z-Man TRD TubeZ, some on Rapala Husky Jerks and RipStop. Heavy rains washed out the river for few days. Looks like it will be fine by April 25.

Gene Winger (Franklin); filed 4/22: Two really great days on the river! Our Friday the 13th started with boat issues but Wiegel Bros. promptly got us back on the river by noon. Thanks Kneal! By 6 pm, Denny Watson and I had landed well over 75 smallies with the sore arms to prove it. Saturday the bite was a little slower but still managed to catch fish all day long. Most productive presentation was small tubes worked in 5 to 8 feet of slower moving water. Last week's heavy rains messed the river up but levels are finally headed below 8 feet so this coming week should be great.

Steve Udick (Franklin); filed 4/22: I spent trout opener weekend fishing for early bass. Warm temps got the bass into fast water with flow under 5 feet. Saturday they would only take a slow move Rapala Shad Rap in walleye color. Sunday was a different story. A black tube was the ticket. I landed six beauties in the first hour, all in very fast current. As temps started dropping the bass moved to deeper water just inside the current line. It took lots of wiggling the tube to get bites, but I managed a couple more bass with this technique.

Rodd Seifarth (Sewickley); filed 4/22: Thought you might enjoy these pics. My sons John, Jake and Nate caught these smallmouths on the Allegheny River below Franklin. All fish were taken on 3-inch green/brown Gitzits and Venom Tubes.

Dale Black @ Gamma Line; filed 4/22: I had a great three days on the river on the 13th, 14th and 15th fishing with Darl Black and then my kids. Tremendous catches of between 50 and 100 smallies each day. I live for this time of year on the river.



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