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NWPA Fishing Report, 10-24-18

October 24, 2018
By Darl Black , Blackwolfe Communications LLC

Report by Blackwolfe Communications


French Creek Flowing through all four counties

Article Photos

Julie with nice largemouth bass rom Shenango Lake.

Editor note: Flow and color of French Creek currently looks great. Get fishing on it before the big rain event this coming Saturday and Sunday.

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 10/20: I fished French Creek on the 15th. I caught 7 average-size smallmouth bass, 2 northern pike and 2 walleyes. All taken by jigging Road Runners tipped with live bait.


Pymatuning Lake

Dave @ Richter's Bait & Tackle; filed 10/22: The walleye bite has improved a bit or perhaps there are just a few more anglers out there focusing on walleye and therefore catching a few more. It's not hot and heavy by any means, but if you keep pumping those blade baits you will eventually get bit. Actually musky fishermen appear to be catching muskies at a better rate than walleye anglers catching walleyes. This has been a very good year for muskies in the 35 to 45-inch range. The river outflow has been hot the last couple weeks for both walleyes and muskies; I am amazed at number of muskies caught in this small stretch of river immediately below the dam. No word whatsoever on crappies, except one customer mentioned catching a few nice ones at the Spillway one day but the next day the fish were gone. (Musky pic with Dave)

Russ @ Gateway Tackle; filed 10/22: It's been a slow week. Customers reported catching a few walleyes off the causeway on blades. Muskies remain active; one customer brought one to the shop the other day 43 inches long and weighed 33 pounds. Not hearing anything on crappies. Catfish are making big waves in the lake with the recent tournaments hosted by NW Catfish Addicts. Catfishing makes for great late summer opportunities, and if we can draw more anglers to the lake at that time of year, I say go for it. All the reports are about channel catfish, but some years back when I was much younger, I recall anglers catching some big flatheads from the lake. Every once in a while someone still catches a big flathead.

Sam @ Robinson's Bait: Our own Mark Upton put Dave Lefebre on a 14-pound channel cat at 1:00 am on October 15. Lefebre had been in Linesville at the haunted hotel taping his Erie Extreme TV show until late and decided he needed to catch a big night prowling fish to make the show complete.

Patty @ Poff's Place; filed 10/22: A few anglers have been pulling in an occasional walleye or two on blades. Blade bite not strong yet need water temp to drop more. However, musky fishing at the Lake has been very good this season and it continues into the fall.

Conneaut Lake

Dale Clemmer (Cochranton): Dale continues to catch a variety of fish including largemouth bass from Conneaut. He also fishes Conneaut Outflow Marsh near overhead dams where he catches bowfin and northern pike.


Presque Isle Bay

Dominic @ Lake Erie Bait and Tackle; filed 10/22: Presque Isle Bay fishing has been kind of slow the past week due in part to windy weather. Our customers have reported catching a few crappies and perch off the piers and in Marina Lake, and some steelhead have been caught as well. Main lake has been too rough to get out.

Lake Erie & Tributaries

Lynne @ East End Angler; filed 10/22: There are decent numbers of steelhead in the East Side streams, including Four Mile (lower part accessed on golf course side); Twelve Mile at the Tubes; lower part of Sixteen Mile; and upper Twenty Mile in the Tomato Patch. They are also catching some steelhead in the North East Marina. I'm also hearing from customers that perch in 7 to 10 inch range are being caught in PIB at Liberty Park and Conventions Center dock. And there are a few anglers working blade baits off the end of the South Pier and catching walleyes hot colors are orange/gold and blue/silver.

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 10/22: A week ago after the rain we had good movement of steelhead into the streams and the caught them pretty good last Saturday through Monday until the stream level dropped. With recent rain over the weekend, streams came up and we expect more fish came in. Fishing should be good this week as streams clear and drop a bit. Single eggs and live minnows (or minnow patterns & egg patterns if fly fishing) for low clear water. When the streams are high and dirty, go to bigger baits and brighter colors. Last year the steelhead seemed to be running smaller than normal. But so far this season we are seeing many more 6.5 to 8.5 pound fish.

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 10/22: Given the wild weather of rain and wind, fishing has been okay in the streams. This should be good week with recent rise in water, then more rain coming in for weekend. Of course not everyone is catching fish, but those who apply themselves and adjust presentations to the conditions are doing okay. There are good numbers of fish in all the West Side streams not just Elk. Check out Crooked and Raccoon.

Pete Cartwright @; filed 10/11: Back on October 9th, we fished Erie, and got some nice smallmouth and a few walleyes late in day in shallow water only 8 feet deep. We were using 412ubes from 412 Bait Company. Water temp was 68 degrees.

Keith @ Dutch Fork Custom Lures; filed 10/10: On October 9th, I joined Bob Henton of Big Head guide Service and buddy Ken for a day of walleye fishing Erie. Fishing 74 feet of water we boated 18 walleyes in one hour and 10 minutes using Dutch Fork Custom painted Renoskys and Bombers off Dipsys. We made one trolling pass from Trout Run to Walnut for steelhead but no action. Water temp was still 69 degrees.


Shenango River

Randy @ Fish West PA; filed 10/21: We switched from lake fishing to fishing the Upper Shenango River for the annual feeding festival and it was on! Good numbers of exceptionally big smallmouths staging and feeding before returning to the depths of the lake. Smallmouth fishing is way too much fun, plus it's a beautiful time of year to be out. Steelhead can wait another week or so for us! Tight lines all!

Rick Como (Sharpsville); filed 10/21: It's been a mixed bag of weather the past two weeks here on Shenango Lake. We went from warm water period the first week of the month to current cool water period almost overnight. Hybrid striper fishing is still very good, and they are hitting well all day long. White bass fishing has improved and they are feeding heavily during this cool water period. Both smallmouth and largemouth bass are being caught all day long in the shallows. Crappie fishing is really coming on strong with nice size fish being caught. Still no news on walleye or northern pike; both should show up soon as water temps have fallen from the 70s to 50s in past two weeks.

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 10/20: I fished Shenango on Tuesday the 16th. I found some nice size white crappies in the deep end of shoreline blowdowns. Jig and bobber did most of the damage but hang gliding also produced some.

Darl Black @ Fishing with Darl Black; filed 10/15: I joined Rick Como on Oct. 12 for an afternoon of white bass fishing on Shenango, but all we caught were several 8 to 10 pound hybrid stripers! Actually it was reverse psychology: two years ago I went to Shenango to fish stripers with Rick and all we caught were white bass. So this time, I told him I was only interested in white bass and we only caught stripers! I landed a 10 pounder and lost something likely larger; striper of unknown size stripped line from my reel to where I was seeing bare metal spool before it stopped running. But I recovered all the line with fish almost within sight when line suddenly went limp no broke line, no bent hook, no slack line but fish was gone.


Angler Al Diary

-10/10: My guest for the day was Kathy West. She was in town from Daytona Beach, Florida. We spent a warm autumn day drifting large size live creek chubs on Justus Lake. She caught 7 largemouth bass, 2 smallmouth bass and a beautiful 18-inch rainbow trout.

-10/20: I took 10 year old Mikey Galkowski to several different holes on Sugar Creek in search of fall trout. Together we caught a total of 14 trout 12 rainbows and 2 browns. Most of the trout fell for pieces of nightcrawler. But I did use my fly rod to catch a couple on a #12 Girdlebug.

Allegheny River

Gene Winger (Oil City); filed 10/21: After weeks of high muddy water the river is finally back to normal autumn levels with the bite improving significantly. Our best day was last Thursday when Kinzua Dam dropped the river level two feet in 24 hours. We found big bass stacked up in their normal fall hotspots, catching six to eight smallies at each location! The most productive baits were 3.75" swim baits and Z-Man TRD Crawz. As conditions continue to improve I'm looking forward to some great fall fishing over the next several weeks.Fish On!

RJ Graham (Tionesta); filed 10/21: Darl, the fall river feed bag is on heavy! We fished the river today and caught well over 50 smallmouths majority of bass were quality size fish! All fish came on tubes. Power Team Lures in green pumpkin on a 3/8-ounce head did the trick. We fished tubes on Gamma Torque braid without a leader tied braid direct to jig. Fish were shallow in 8 to 14 foot range. River is up slightly and a little stained perfect conditions right now!

Jeff Knapp @ Keystone Connection Guide Service; filed 10/21: The higher flow and cold weather have inspired Allegheny River smallmouth bass to move into fall locations. We're catching them in and around deeper water with mild current. Fish are responding to tubes, Galida's Gurbz, hair jigs and other bottom-oriented baits. As of today (Oct 21) the river is in the best condition it's been in for the past several weeks.

Dave Lehman (Espyville); filed 10/20: We had a pretty good day on the river with 25 to 30 smallmouths up to 3.5 pounds between the three of us.

Bill Logan (Pleasantville); filed 10/19: Fished the river today. Caught nine smallmouths; most of them quality size fish. I had a flurry of 5 bass in 30 minutes on tubes.

Pete Cartwright @; filed 10/19: We fished the Allegheny on the 18th. Smallies were in an eating mood. We used Rapala DT Series Crankbait in some areas, plus 412ubes and Small Jaw Craws from 412 Bait Company to land smallmouths up to 19 inches along with a few bonus walleye. The water had many leaves and floating weeds so it was difficult to get a clean presentation. I use a 7'4" G.Loomis Bronzeback Rod and Shimano Stradic 2500 C14 reel spooled with 8 pound Gamma Edge to fish these baits.



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