Northwest Pennsylvania Fish Report – October 9th, 2015
Lake Erie — Perch were hitting in nice numbers and some jumbo sizes in 58 feet near the Ohio line in mid-September. One angler reported catching a 7-pound smallmouth bass. Earlier in September, one angler caught some nice walleyes and steelhead in 105 feet near the Canadian line. Lots of smelt and shiners were spotted. Blue-green sunfish-color plugs were productive in the morning, and a willow-blade crawler harness trolled behind a Dipsy diver worked better in the afternoon, with pink colors effective. A few steelhead and brown trout anglers were catching fish near shore and at the mouths of the creeks in mid-September, with spoons and PowerBait productive. Rainfall and cool temperatures drive the steelhead runs.
Presque Isle Bay — Perch fishing was starting to pick up in recent weeks, with smaller shiners effective. Crappies and bluegills were reported on grubs and small red worms near the Borders Dock.
Lake LeBoeuf (Erie County) —Largemouth bass were reported on soft plastics. Crappies also were reported.
French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Crawford, Venango counties) —Smallmouth bass and walleyes were reported on spinners and tubes and jigs, with anglers targeting riffles during low water. One walleye angler reported catching 25 fish – more than half over 15 inches and two that measured over 30 inches, on crankbaits during six days in late August. The 30-plus inchers hit just before and on the night of a full moon. In September, he caught a couple of 20-inch walleyes at the mouth of the creek where it meets the Allegheny River. A catfish angler caught a northern pike, a smallmouth bass, and a 20-inch flathead on live bait in late September. Muskies and pike were reported on spinnerbaits and stick baits near Cambridge Springs in late September.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — As weather conditions allowed, anglers reported a few walleyes in about 5 feet of water. Low water in much of September made boat-launching a challenge, but made for nice catches of perch on crawlers in 10 feet off one of the islands. Stumps and humps also were yielding some nice panfish.
Conneaut Lake (Crawford County) —Largemouth bass were hitting around weed beds, with some fish reported on slow-sinking plastic worms on this 925-acre natural lake. Big bluegills and pumpkinseeds were hitting in 14 to 20 feet on hard-bottom points and humps, with 1/32nd-ounce jigheads and tiny tubes, or drop-shot rigs, drifted.
Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Crappies were biting on jigs, but sizes were running smaller than in past years, according to some anglers. Most were under 9 inches, but a few were 10 to 13 inches.
Shenango River (Mercer County) — The stretch from Sharpsville to Wheatland yielded a couple of channel catfish and some flatheads in recent weeks.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) —The walleye bite tapered off in September. Some anglers were catching a few largemouths and some panfish.
Justus Lake (Venango County) — Reports on largemouth bass were mixed with swimbaits less productive than live bait. Anglers also reported smallmouth bass, perch and bluegills, but not in any numbers.
Sugar Creek (Venango County) — A 15-inch brown trout was reported on a yellow spinner, and a 17-plus inch brown on a red worm in recent weeks. Rainbow trout also were reported.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — Walleyes and smallmouth bass were reported on plastic worms, flukes, and spinnerbaits from Franklin to Fisherman’s Cove through late September. The lunker in a recent tournament was a 4.25-pound smallmouth. One participant caught a 6-plus pound walleye, jigging. The winning weight was five bass totaling 13.54 pounds. Uprooted weeds were becoming a problem for some anglers. During low-water conditions, smallmouths were hitting in shallow, fast-moving riffles and in the three-to-five feet transitions between riffles and deeper pools. Some smallies were in the 17- to 19-inch range. Soft plastics were productive. Catfish, including channel cats up to 22 inches, and flatheads up to 34-plus inches and 15 pounds, were hitting at night.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) —Some nice largemouth bass up to 3 pounds were reported in recent weeks.