Lake Erie — As of Sept. 25, steelhead anglers were waiting for rainfall to bring steelhead into the creeks. Some fish were crowded into the lower reaches in the early morning and late afternoon hours. There wasn’t much trolling pressure at the mouths of the creeks as of Sept. 25, where steelhead were staging, and water was about 67 degrees. In the open lake, walleye action was pretty much over, as walleyes continued heading westward toward Ohio. As conditions allowed, perch limits were reported in 67 feet straight out of Walnut Creek. As fall progresses, perch fishing becomes more difficult, owning to lower pressure systems and windy conditions.
Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — Perch were hitting off the north, south, and east piers in the mornings and evenings and off the docks, with sizes running up to 14 inches, and spot-tail shiners, minnows, and wax worms effective in mid-September. The bay also was yielding largemouth bass. Crappies were hitting split-tail jigs tipped with wax worms.
French Creek (Erie, Venango, Crawford, Mercer counties) — As conditions allowed, anglers caught walleyes in mixed sizes up to 23 inches in mid-September, and a few smallmouth bass, with jigs and twister tails effective for some.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Mercer County) — Walleyes were reported on hot-n-tots trolled in 18 to 22 feet, on bladebaits, and, at night, on jigs and crawlers in as few as 5 feet. Crappies were coming off deep structure and starting to hit in late September off the causeway from dusk to about an hour after full darkness. Numbers of perch were reported. Sizes were running small in mid-September but started to inch upward in more recent weeks. Catfish were biting. In the Shenango River below the Pymatuning dam, water was running high in mid-September and some walleyes and a few crappies were reported.
Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) — Anglers reported nice bluegills jigs and two-inch crawlers, and on drop-shot rigs. Some targeting bluegills caught bass up to 20 inches. Bass also were hitting on tubes.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — Smallmouth bass in mixed sizes were hitting in recent weeks. Swimbaits were effective around islands in faster moving water or in pockets at the lower end of a few pools, where creature baits also were productive. Tubes and crankbaits were the ticket for some anglers. Nice-size walleyes were reported on swim jigs. Catfish were hitting in the evenings and at night.
Sugar Creek (Venango County) — Small walleyes and a brown trout were reported on minnows. One angler caught a 14-inch rainbow on a dead minnow he found on the bank.
Tionesta Creek (Forest County) — The outflow yielded a 43-inch muskie on a white tube jig below the crib dam in recent weeks.