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Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report - November 9th, 2012

Posted on November 8, 2012

Lake Erie

Big smallmouth bass were feeding shallow in recent weeks, with jerkbaits and crankbaits the best bet. Nice numbers were reported up to 5½ pounds.

Lake Erie tributaries

Steelhead season started with good runs, but low clear streams prevailed through Oct. 26 although heavy rains from Hurricane Sandy were expected to hammer streams. Steelhead numbers were down, but some big fish were reported. Three steelhead over 15 pounds, one over 14 pounds and two over 13 pounds were weighed at Poor Richard’s in recent weeks. Some fish were reported 10 miles up Elk Creek, and farther up Walnut than in recent years. Nice numbers of brown trout in the 5 to 7 pound range also were reported. The best baits varied day to day, with single eggs, live minnows and small flies all working. On Four Mile Creek – one of the smaller tribs – limits of steelhead were released on black Wooly Buggers.

Presque Isle Bay (Erie County)

Crappies were hitting on small jigs and live emerald shiners in 8 to 12 feet of water around docks in mid- to late October, with soft plastic minnows effective. A few steelhead were released on minnows from the East and West piers; boaters did well trolling minnows. Northern pike and perch were reported off the Ferry Dock at Waterworks. Perch were reported off the north pier, thanks to falling temperatures, and largemouth bass on the city side around the yacht club.

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

Up until the end of October, fishing was good, with releases of numbers of smallmouths up to 2½ pounds and 17 inches reported on live chubs. Numbers of walleyes in mixed sizes were also taken on live bait. 

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County)

One angler landed eight northern pike on spinnerbaits. Bluegills also were reported. Muskies taken to Conneaut from the drawn-down Tamarack were sighted in recent weeks.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County)

Perch were reported off the causeway, with most running 9 to 11 inches, although there were some 13 inchers in the mix. Jigheads with No. 4 or 6 hooks and pieces of crawlers or medium-size fatheads were the ticket. Some jumbo perch were reported around gravel points and deep weedlines. Crappies also were reported, with nice catches in the midlake sections. One angler did well fishing deeper brush by hang-gliding jigs. Walleyes were caught along the causeway on jigheads with white or chartreuse curly-tails tipped with minnows, or on blade baits. A few limits of walleyes were reported out of Snodgrass area in mid- to late October.

Neshannock Creek (Mercer County)

The October 2 trout stocking generated some activity, but low water and leaves were a challenge to anglers. 

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County)

Shore anglers were catching bluegills around Launch No. 4 and off Sheakleyville causeway on small jigs or ants tipped with wax worms or maggots below bobbers. Bluegills were biting from about 2 p.m. to dusk, when crappies became active. Shore anglers reported a few bass, too, with black buzzbaits the ticket. One angler saw a lot of shad in the water and released a dozen largemouths up to 3 pounds on crankbaits.

Shenango Lake/River (Crawford County)

Numbers of channel catfish were reported from shore around the Big Bend area of the river, but the real buzz was about the lake’s excellent crappie bite in recent weeks. Keeper-size crappies and some slabs, both white and black, were caught at the Jamestown end of the lake on minnows and crawlers. One angler caught numbers of crappies around the lake’s shallow brush by hang-gliding jigs and microspoons.  Another pair of anglers caught numbers of black crappies by casting toward a hump. Hybrid striped bass also were reported in the lake.

Otter Creek (Crawford County)

Some anglers were targeting northern pike with Jitterbugs and big shiners in recent weeks.

Woodcock Lake (Crawford County)

A few walleyes were reported during the fall drawdown.

Allegheny River (Venango County)

Numbers of smallmouth bass up to 18-plus inches were reported on tubes, rubber worms, and a hand-tied bucktail-rabbit fur jig. One angler caught numbers up to 4-plus pounds on a soft jerkbait. Although some nice fish were still in shallow summer spots near current, falling temperatures sent many to classic fall spots, such as deeper rock areas, and deep fast water. A few walleyes also were reported.

Justus Lake (Venango County)

Some nice trout were reported in recent weeks.

Oil Creek (Venango County)

Up until Hurricane Sandy was expected to wreak havoc, low, clear conditions were reported. Anglers were releasing trout on streamers and nymphs. Blue-winged olive and midge hatches were expected.

Kahle Lake (Venango, Clarion counties)

Nice crappies and panfish were reported in recent weeks. With the drawdown, anglers are advised to use caution when wading the shoreline areas.

Piney Dam (Clarion County)

Some walleyes and yellow perch were reported by anglers trolling the shorelines.

Clarion River (Clarion County)

Some nice walleyes and an occasional muskie were reported in the lower reaches of the river, and walleyes and trout at the upper end of the river, at the end of October.

Lake Arthur (Butler County)

Numbers of channel catfish were reported on chicken livers and cut bait near dark. Largemouth bass were active through mid- to late October, and falling temperatures were expected to spur the walleye bite, which had been sporadic.

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