Lake Erie — East-side anglers reported numbers of smallmouth bass and freshwater drum. Tubes were taking the bass. The walleye bite out of North East marina was hit or miss, although planer boards with shallow-diving plugs and deep-divers fished behind five colors of lead core were producing nice catches from the marina to the state line in 72 to 105 feet of water as of July 9.
Shallower water was yielding walleyes on crawler harnesses fished on the bottom at slow troll from Boathouses to Barrels on Freeport Beach. The perch bite off Twentymile Creek in 26 feet was good, with some jumbos and limits reported. Perch also were hitting on minnow rigs in 52 feet off Greenfield and the W’s. Some steelhead and brown trout, along with the occasional walleye, were hitting in 100 feet of water off the Pennsylvania/New York line.
Bass were reported in 28 feet at the W’s and just west of the Freeport Yacht Club in 18 feet, with a ¾-ounce jighead and goby-color tube the ticket.
On the west side of Erie, the perch bite was hit or miss as of July 11, but the walleye bite was good in 45 to 55 feet and at the First Trench. One angler reported catching a 27-inch and a 28-inch walleye, plus four others in 64 to 68 feet, plus numbers of white bass and a few jumbo perch, trolling plugs and crawler harnesses. Perch had not schooled tightly by July 11. For current Lake Erie conditions, call North East Marina at 814-725-8244.
Eaton Reservoir, Lake LeBoeuf, Lake Pleasant (Erie County) — Panfish were reported on grubs and minnows.
Shenango River Reservoir (Mercer County) — High, muddy conditions and a toxic blue-green algae bloom were reported in early July, turning off the fishing.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Nice numbers of medium-size bluegills were reported through mid-July, with some small to average bluegills hitting drop-shot rigs in 12 feet of water. Some crappies were reported, including one that measured 17 inches with 14-inch girth and weighed 3.9 pounds. Some nice walleyes up to 26 inches were reported, with Hot-n-Tots the ticket. Bass up to 4 pounds were reported, with the bigger fish hitting in shallower water.
French Creek (Erie, Crawford, Venango, Mercer counties) — Water was unfishable from constant rainfall in early July, but returning to normal levels and colors by July 12.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — The muskie bite turned on in early July, with most anglers trolling. Walleye anglers reported a good bite in 15 to 19 feet in the south end and in 10 to 11 feet on the north end. Trolling plugs was the best bet. Some walleye anglers connected with muskies. The nighttime walleye bite was sporadic. Channel catfish were reported all over the lake. Crappies were deep and hit or miss for anglers. One angler caught 10 bluegills and a couple of perch on drop-shot rigs in 12 feet on a hump in the south end. Bass up to 2 pounds were reported by some anglers.
Sugar Lake (Crawford County) — Panfish were hitting in recent weeks.
Justus Lake (Venango County) — Nice numbers of largemouth and smallmouth bass were reported on drop-shots and rubber worms. A rainbow trout and some bluegills also were reported, with golden shiners trolled slowly around weedbeds near the swimming area productive.
Kahle Lake (Venango County) — Some small bass were hitting swim baits and lizards.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — High, stained water prevailed through early July, making bass fishing difficult. Anglers targeting tributaries reported a nice smallmouths on stickbaits, but action was generally slow.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Hybrid striped bass were hitting, especially at night, through mid-July, with most access areas productive from shore, and shiny stick baits effective.
Thorn Run Reservoir (Butler County) — Channel catfish were reported on chicken livers in the main creek channel. The Love Road bridge area on the upper end of the lake was a productive spot, although anglers are reminded that the reservoir is closed from dusk until dawn.
Glades Lake/State Game Land 95 (Butler County) — Catfish were hitting chicken livers through mid-July.