Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report – October 11th, 2013

Lake Erie and tributaries (Erie County) — In the lake, walleyes were moving west and perch were hitting in about 55 feet, as conditions allowed in late September. Anglers fishing out of Conneaut Harbor launch limited out on walleyes and caught big numbers of white bass and freshwater drum. The smallmouth bite was slow, but one angler caught some 4-pounders. In the tribs, steelhead were as far as Route 5 in Walnut Creek and as far as Legion Hole in Elk Creek after late September rainfall. The East Side streams had fish, too, with Fourmile and Sixteenmile yielding steelies on sucker spawn. One angler released numbers on Walnut by drifting a Mini Foo jig tipped with crawler through the pools. Trib conditions can change quickly in Erie. In low, clear water, anglers often fish the fast water at the head of a pool and the tailout.  Most steelhead so far have been males.

Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — Big numbers of crappies were reported on small tube jigs in late September. Largemouth bass up to 3.5 pounds were reported on crankbaits, flipping tubes and jigs. One smallmouth bass and a 12-pound bowfin were released. Perch, including jumbos up to 13 and 14 inches, were hitting off the South Pier, and some steelhead off the North Pier. The docks were yielding perch up to 10 and 12 inches on minnows.

French Creek (Erie, Venango, Crawford, Mercer counties) — Smallmouth bass and walleyes were reported, with one angler doing well on a suspended float set-up just outside a matted weedline. Using creek bait, another angler caught his limit of walleyes up to 22 inches and numbers of smallmouth bass, from sublegal to 17 inches. Tubes and soft jerkbaits also were taking bass.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — A few anglers were catching walleyes on bladebaits in the evenings, although water was still too warm in late September to yield big numbers. Some large crappies were reported in deep weeds, and others on a swimming minnow at the drop-off of a long point onto the main river channel. Bluegills were reported in the weeds in six to eight feet. Channel catfish continued to hit.

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — Largemouth bass were reported on drop-shot rigs, and northern pike on jigs flipped into weeds. Several small largemouth on drop-shot rig and two pike on jigs flipped into weeds during a cold front. Bluegills and a few perch were reported on white split-tails tipped with maggots.

Canadohta Lake (Crawford County) — Walleyes were hitting jigs and crawlers. Smallmouth bass up to 20 inches also were reported.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Some walleyes were being taken on worm harnesses and Hot-N-Tots. Bluegill fishing off the Sheakleyville causeway was picking up in late September, when crappies were moving in just before dark. Anglers caught a couple of bass on jigs, spinnerbaits, and rubber worms from weeds south of the causeway. A 6.32- pound largemouth was the lunker in a recent tournament.

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Hybrid striped bass were reported in the lower part of the lake near Sharpsville. A good crappie bite continued, with sizes improving in recent weeks.

Shenango River (Mercer County) — A kayaker caught over 30 smallmouths up to 4 pounds on a fly-rod during a recent float trip.

Justus Lake (Venango County) — Smallmouth bass were reported on the fall feed. One angler released a 7-pounder on a drop-shot rig.

Allegheny River (Venango County) — Late September anglers reported numbers of smallmouth bass up to 4 pounds on a variety of lures, mostly soft plastics, or live riffle minnows, with the Oil City area especially productive. Floating weeds were a problem. Some did well on soft plastics in shallow water, while others worked the bottom in deeper water with small jigs. A nice pike and a walleye also were reported. Catfish were hitting live and cut baits and crawlers from Eagle Rock to Oil City.

Piney Dam (Clarion County)  — Bass, walleyes and perch were hitting in the early morning and late evening hours, while catfish were biting at night.

Upper Clarion River (Clarion County) — Anglers were catching smallmouth bass in recent weeks.

Beaver Creek Ponds Project (Clarion County) — This series of small ponds was yielding panfish and bass in recent weeks.

Kahle Lake (Clarion County) — Bass and  panfish were reported through late September.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — The fall doldrums were reported Sept. 29, with hybrid striped bass hit-or-miss. Numbers of crappies were reported, but they were tending on the small side. Largemouth bass were hitting, but only a few were legal size. Fishing pressure was down.

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