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Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report – August 31st, 2012

Lake Erie (Erie County)

As conditions allowed, perch were hitting in about 49 feet just west of Walnut, with small golden shiners more available than emerald shiners. Limits of perch were reported in 45 feet near Shades Beach, with fish ranging 10 to 15 inches on perch rigs with glow beads tipped with shiners. When the perch bite slowed, walleyes hit on the same rig, with one walleye measuring 28 inches. Walleyes were hitting anywhere from 35 feet to the Trenches, with 62 to 67 feet key in decent conditions. Worm harnesses, deep-diving plugs and even a few walleyes on trolling spoons were productive. One angler caught walleyes and perch in 20 to 30 feet. Smallmouth bass were hitting on crankbaits, jerkbaits and topwater baits in shallower water. A few bass were reported in 18 to 20 feet.

Presque Isle Bay

Nice catches of smallmouth bass were reported on crawfish-colored tube jigs, worked slowly off rocky areas near the South Pier.  Crappies up to 12 inches also were hitting off the South Pier and border patrol dock, with Mini Foo jigs suspended 4 feet below bobbers and tipped with shiners the best bet. Some nice largemouth bass also were reported. A few smallmouth bass were hitting on crawlers.

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

Reports on bass were mixed, with some anglers catching a few on plastic worms, and others doing better on top-water lures. Some of the deeper holes were yielding crappies on tubes and minnow-patterned micro-jigs.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County)

Despite low water in mid-August, some anglers made decent walleye catches in 12 to 14 feet by drifting with worm harnesses and floating jigheads. The better bite was after 9 p.m. Hot n Tots and Bombers also took a few walleyes. Crappies were hitting in various depths. Some were surprisingly shallow and taking 1⁄32-ounce jigs and grubs, or jigs and minnows. Others were reported in 16 to 25 feet on brush structures. A few perch were reported. Channel cats were hitting at dusk, near Linesville, on live chubs and crawlers. There were unconfirmed reports of muskie releases. Largemouth bass up to 5 pounds were reported in shallow water under pontoon boats, with blue and black tubes the ticket.

Sugar Lake Crawford County)

A generally slow largemouth bass bite was reported on soft plastics behind jigs.

Canadohta Lake (Crawford County)

Perch up to 9 inches, sunfish up to 8¼ inches, smallmouth and largemouth bass and rock bass were reported on this natural lake in mid-August.

Shenango Reservoir, Shenango River (Crawford County)

Mixed sizes of panfish, including crappies, and largemouth bass were hitting in the lake. Although the catfish bite slowed in mid-August, a 31-incher weighing 11-plus pounds was reported. A 46.5-inch muskie also was reported. Anglers also caught carp and hybrid striped bass.

Allegheny River (Venango County)

Smallmouth bass up to 19.5 inches and walleyes up to 21 inches were reported on hard and soft jerkbaits, soft stickbaits, and crankbaits, with silver a productive color. Floating grass was a problem in recent weeks, and will probably get worse as vegetation dies off. Live chubs were also productive for bass. A incidental catch of a mooneye was released; the species was confirmed by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission.

Lake Arthur (Butler County)

Numbers of catfish and bass, and few hybrid stripers were reported in mid-August. Catfish were hitting on chicken livers, and bass on topwater lures, jitterbugs and plastic worms. Blue and silver bombers and crankbaits were the tickets for wipers, with some anglers wading but most activity coming from boats. No walleyes were reported since July; but bluegills and crappies were active on mealworms and maggots.

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