Lake Erie — A few folks reported a good nighttime walleye bite by trolling minnow plugs in 1 to 17 feet over 38 feet of water in late October.
Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — Excellent angling was reported in early November, with crappies hitting in Marina Lake, and brown trout and steelhead hitting around the Water Works. Browns also were reported near East Avenue ramp. Minnows or grubs on one-ounce crappie rigs were taking numbers of perch up to 14 inches off the docks, including the border patrol dock and Johns slip. The north and south piers also were hot. Anglers were catching largemouth bass up to 4 pounds, although one 5-plus pounder was reported. A few gar were inadvertently snagged and released by the bass anglers. Some anglers got into nice panfish and largemouth bass on jigs tipped with crawlers or shiners near the yacht club.
Erie tributaries — Brown trout were reported in Fourmile and Sixteenmile creeks as of Nov. 7. Numbers of steelhead up to 29 inches were in the streams, and fishing pressure was expected to thin during archery deer and duck hunting seasons. Creeks were fishable for folks willing to deal with fallen leaves. In high, tinted water, big bright egg-sacks and skein were the tickets. In dropping conditions, single eggs, wax worms and maggots work better, and nymphs like the Prince Nymph are more effective than streamers. A few anglers picked up steelhead and smallmouth bass trolling the mouth of Walnut Creek with jointed crankbaits.
French Creek (Erie, Crawford, Venango, Mercer counties) — Floating debris in early November skunked some anglers, although catches of northern pike were reported, with one 26-incher released on a floating jighead and creek chub setup. In late October, anglers reported smallmouth bass on swimbaits and walleyes up to 22 inches on jigs tipped with big shiners.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Water was being drawn-down to winter pool in early November. Nice catches of walleyes were reported on bladebaits over deep water points on the south end and by boaters trolling crankbaits. Shore anglers were catching walleyes on perch-pattern crankbaits. Crappies were hitting off the docks, which were opened to fishing Nov. 1. Perch were reported all over the lake, with one angler catching 16 between 10 and 13 inches on pieces of crawler on the bottom.
Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — This large natural lake was yielding nice-size bluegills in recent weeks.
Woodcock Creek Lake (Crawford County) — A smallmouth angler came up empty but reported a follow by a 45-inch muskie on a topwater bait.
Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Hybrid striped bass were being picked up by anglers trolling deep water near the Sharpsville end of the lake. Crappie fishing also was productive on jigs tipped with minnows or minnow or grub patterns over deep stumps and brush piles. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was dropping water levels.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Walleye fishing was hit or miss. The bass bite was more consistent in recent weeks.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — Bank fishermen reported smallmouth bass up to 20-plus inches in recent weeks. As of Nov. 2, one angler fishing tubes found smallmouths, including an 18-incher and a 20-incher, were still near shore in water averaging 44 degrees. Another angler released 16 smallmouth bass and a lamprey. A couple of shore anglers reported slow action, but landed a couple of legal walleyes and observed a 30-inch walleye taken on a creek chub.
Kahle Lake (Venango County) — Panfish were reported on split tails and ice jigs tipped with maggots in recent weeks.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Late-season fishermen were busy deer-hunting during special seasons for muzzleloader, youth and senior citizens, making for few anglers on the lake in early November. Hybrid stripers were fairly active and were expected to bite until water temperatures drop to the 40s. Perch and crappies also were hitting. Largemouth bass and catfish also were biting as of Nov. 10.