Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report – April 26th, 2013

Several days of rainfall made for tough to unfishable conditions on streams in many parts of the state opening day weekend (April 13). Lakes were more stable. For a complete in-season stocking schedule, visit

Presque Isle Bay (Erie County)

Strong winds put the kibosh on bass fishing at the start of April, even forcing cancellation of a local bass tournament. Once conditions settled down, anglers reported perch and crappies from the North Pier and some nice perch in Marina Lake. The condo slips and marina docks were also yielding some very nice perch up to 14 and 15 inches on minnows. One angler caught 30 perch in the nine- to 12-inch range on minnow rigs and grubs.

Erie tributaries

Spring steelhead fishing was productive for some anglers, one of whom released a 15-pound steelhead on Elk Creek. Winter holdovers were in the upper reaches of Elk and Conneaut, while jacks 14 to 20 inches were in the lower sections. Egg patterns and small nymphs were productive for fly-anglers, while spin fishermen did well on single eggs and minnows.

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

Excellent smallmouth bass fishing in near-perfect flow was reported in early April, with one angler releasing 11 bass in less than two hours and 13 on another day, with tube jigs and hand-tied hair jigs effective. Incidental catches included a couple of walleyes and muskie just over 40 inches long.

Pymatuning Lake (Crawford County)

The shallow bays on the north end were giving up big black crappies on minnows or maggots, and jumbo perch were hitting minnows or crawlers in the old pad beds. Wade fishermen and boat fishermen were successful. Crappies, along with perch, were reported in the Padanaram area, with minnows suspended under bobbers in less than 6 feet of water productive for crappies. Perch were on the bottom and hitting minnows or crawlers. Crappies also were reported in Stewart’s Bay, and perch at Bridge 20. The walleye bite was slow to start, with evening waders beginning to get decent catches around April 8. Traditional crankbaits and assorted stickbaits or jig-n-tails were the tickets.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County)

Nice perch, crappies and bluegills were reported from the Sheakleyville Causeway, with maggots and wax worms the tickets.

Allegheny River (Venango County)

Smallmouth bass hung  in their winter sites longer than usual because winter weather prevailed until early April, but once weather broke and temperatures began to climb, the bass bite got hot. Tubes were the top producer overall. One angler reported big numbers in the 15- to 19-inch range on tube jigs in the pools and hard jerkbaits on rocky flats below Emlenton. The water temperature was around 46 degrees in early April. One angler released smallies up to 3 pounds on chain tubes in green pumpkin. The Oil City eddy also was productive for an angler who said the key was to work small jigs on the bottom in 18 to 20 feet as slowly as possible. A bass fisherman using hand-tied red bucktail jigs also released a northern pike.

Lake Arthur (Butler County)

A number of fishermen were on the water opening day weekend, and reporting nice releases of bass, as well as perch, crappies and bluegills.  

Categories: North West, Pennsylvania Fishing Reports

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