Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report – November 23rd, 2012

Lake Erie (Erie County)

Smallmouth bass from 3 to 5 pounds were reported in late October, with 15 to 18 feet or 35 feet of water productive. Anglers were using crankbaits, tubes, and drop-shotting goby-style baits.

Erie tributaries (Erie County)

As conditions allowed, anglers were catching fresh steelhead on a variety of baits, from wooly buggers to egg sacks to skein. Black was productive as rainfall sent fresh steelies into the tribs; softer colors worked in clearing water. A 17-plus pound steelhead was landed at the mouth of Elk Creek and a 9-pounder at the mouth of Trout Run in recent weeks; fish 14 and 15 pounds were reported in the creeks. One angler lost some nice steelhead on PowerBait at Four Mile Creek, where conditions made them easily spooked. Upper Walnut Creek was yielding numbers of smaller steelhead, many on single red eggs, behind Millcreek Mall. Nice numbers also were reported in Sixteen Mile and Twenty Mile creeks. Some anglers were catching big brown trout.

Presque Isle Bay (Erie County)

Very nice crappies were caught on emerald shiners, small jigs and soft plastic minnows around docks. A nice walleye was landed from the North Pier. The South Pier was yielding bass and perch, with the perch hitting minnows. Steelhead were taken in Marina Lake and the East Pier. Perch fishing was hit or miss. A brown trout was taken off the border dock.

French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Venango, Crawford counties)

Numbers of smallmouth bass up to 17 inches were reported on live chubs through early November. Small walleyes were hitting on shiners.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County)

Rainfall in late October was expected to improve water levels. Perch were hitting on crawlers from the causeway, or ball jigs tipped with live minnows off the bottom near where small feeder streams and ditches dropped into the main river channel. The crappie bite was slow heading into November. Walleyes also were slow.

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County)

Northern pike, small bass, bluegills and perch were reported in recent weeks, with the bluegills and perch hitting on chunks of crawlers in 24 feet of water. A big largemouth bass was released on a fluke. Small crappies were reported on blade baits.

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County)

The crappie bite improved heading into October, with anglers making nice catches on jigs and minnows around rocky bottom areas, by hang-gliding grub patterns over deep open-water stumps, and over stumps and brush piles closer to shore.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County)

Bluegills were reported around Launch No. 4.

Allegheny River (Venango County)

Walleyes were hitting on jigs and curly tails or jigs and minnows, or tube jigs. Two anglers released legal muskies, one on a sucker color Grandma Lure and the other on a black Mepps Muskie Spinner. Smallmouth bass up to 3-plus pounds were reported. Artificial baits such as tube jigs, rubber worms rigged wacky style, swim baits, and 4-inch grubs were out-producing live creek chubs and suckers for bass and walleyes. A 20-incher was taken on a tube jig. In a recent tournament, four smallmouths totaling more than 14 pounds took top prize. The lunker was a 5.94-pound smallmouth taken on a 3-inch soft plastic leech.

Lake Arthur (Butler County)

Hybrid striped bass up to 10 pounds and channel catfish up to 28 inches long were routinely reported through Nov. 10, with the cats hitting crawlers and shiners. Nice crappies and perch also were reported on fathead minnows, with some perch running up to 10 and 12 inches. A couple of anglers caught walleyes in the 6- to 8-pound class. 

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