Northwest Pennsylvania Weekly Fishing Report
Reporting date: March 20, 2011
Sponsored by: PA Great Lakes Region
Connect to all counties at www.PaGreatLakes.com
- Crawford County Convention &Visitors Bureau at www.visitcrawford.org
- VisitErie at www.visiterie.com
- VisitMercerCountyPA at www.visitmercercountypa.com
- Oil Region Alliance at www.oilregion.org
Information contributed by:
- Chris’ Tackle Box, Jamestown, PA
- Maurer’s Trading Post, Franklin, PA
- Oil Creek Outfitters, Titusville, PA
- John’s Bait & Tackle, Meadville, PA
- Van Tassel’s Timberland Bait, Canadohta Lake, PA
- Fergie’s Bait & Tackle, Sandy Lake, PA
- R & L Bait & Tackle, Greenville, PA
- B.A.C. Bait & Tackle, Erie, PA
- Poor Richards Bait & Tackle, Fairview, PA
- Presque Isle Angler, Erie, PA
- Neshannock Creek Fly Shop, Volant, PA
- Erie Sports Store, Erie, PA
- Espyville Outdoors, Espyville, PA
- Area anglers
Note: The information in the NW PA Weekly Fishing Report is based on the observations and opinions of individuals at the reporting tackle shops and expert area anglers. Although the information is reliable, it is not independently verified.
If you have fishing information or a picture of your catch from one of the waters in the following counties, please contact Darl Black at firstname.lastname@example.org
In providing a picture, you are agreeing to it being posted on the Fishing Report.
- I would like to welcome Espyville Outdoors as a new contributor to the NW PA Fishing Report; owner Chris Hall will provide current fishing information on the north end of Pymatuning Lake.
- March 2011 will go down as a dismal month from a fishing standpoint. Ice anglers were dismayed when heavy rains came early in the month and wiped out the final weeks of the ice season. River anglers were dismayed when those same rains resulted in flood conditions on the Allegheny and French Creek. Open water anglers are dismayed because the ice is late coming off the lakes while other impoundments are flooded. Like I said, a dismal month. However, expect spring fishing to break out all over in the next couple weeks.
- Given the unsettled conditions the last couple weeks, I was pleased to have the opportunity to visit Dream Lake Lodge in Alabama with friends from G.Loomis. Check out my blog entry on the trip at www.darlblack.blogspot.com
Crawford County Waters
Small areas of open water on Pymatuning can be found near both causeways and in the backwater bays.
At the Linesville Spillway on Saturday afternoon, fish-catching was slow. Sandy Stetson (Conneaut Lake Boro) had just caught a nice black crappie on a live minnow when I stopped by to check things out. Six anglers standing on the Spillway wall jigging blade baits had not scored a keeper walleye – but they were snagging a carp on almost every cast. One angler in a car-top boat had been fishing in the current flow for five hours, but only had one 15-inch walleye to show for his efforts.
Dave Richter (Chris’ Tackle Box) and a buddy launched a boat at Bridge 20 off the Linesville causeway Saturday morning and motored out to the edge of the ice pack. They caught a number of perch on live minnows, but only a single walleye.
Chris Hall (Espyville Outdoors) says anglers are catching walleye off the Espyville-Andover causeway, and off the Espyville marina wall. Most action seems to be occurring late in the evening just after dark, with many anglers fishing live minnows. He said there were nine boats off the causeway at 9 PM Friday night and the causeway parking lot on the Ohio side was filled with cars.
John Ensworth (John’s Bait) said some of his customers are catching nice crappie from shore in the backwater bays on the north end of Pymatuning where the ice had melted.
Rotten ice covers most of the lake. Unlike Pymatuning which warms quickly, Conneaut is slow to warm so serious fishing action is down the road on the main lake. However, expect crappie fishermen to be hitting the canals at the north end of the lake any day now.
Joe Arnett, Park Ranger at Woodcock Creek Lake, reports the fish cover structure program for the lake continues. “We put 100 trees in the lake this winter and will be building and placing cribs on June 10 from the boat launch.” He also relayed information from the PFBC Union City Hatchery that they netted 60 adult musky last spring at Woodcock for egg and milt stripping to spawn muskies in the hatchery. The fish were returned to the lake. “It’s a 300 acre lake…60 adult muskies! Unbelievable!” says Joe.
Jerry VanTassel (Timberland Bait) states his shop is open by appointment only until the crappie run starts at Canadohta or the week before trout season – whichever comes first. Check their website for the number to call.
Erie County Waters
Presque Isle Bay
Destin DeMarion (Erie): “It’s almost bass-catching time in Presque Isle Bay. Ice is off the main bay and lagoons. There is still some ice on Marina Lake. I will be fishing the lagoons as soon as I return from the FLW College Fishing Tournament at Smith Mountain Lake, VA. Our team from Gannon is really excited to get out to the event.”
Al Nacopoulos (B.A.C. Bait, Erie): “My customers are catching crappie from shore and from boats in the Lagoons and the Stink Hole. No reports of perch yet. Marina Lake was still ice covered as of March 19, as well as parts of Misery Bay.”
Lake Erie tributaries
Bill Logan (Pleasantville): “I fished on Tuesday (3/15) and caught 4 steelheads. On Thursday, I got one beat-up male steelhead and a 2 pound lake-run brown trout. Fish-catching was slow, but at least I was fishing.”
Destin DeMarion (Erie): “I did manage to go steelheading on March 18. We found Twenty Mile Creek blown out and muddy, so we tried Sixteen Mile for a couple hours; hooked one fish but lost it. Our last stop was the mouth of Four Mile Creek; it was high and muddy with limited visibility. I ended up catching a jack steelhead on a homemade egg sack fished under a float. Most of the fish I saw caught were fresh-run jacks.”
Poor Richards: Reports decent fishing the last couple days with good water levels on Elk and Walnut. Small jacks at the mouth of the west side streams, and a few winter-over fish further upstream. With rain starting Monday and lasting several days, tribs will be high and dirty for the coming week.
Mercer County Waters
Saturday afternoon, March 19, there were six anglers fishing from the bank on the Sheakleyville causeway; ice is gone from the upper backwaters. Mark Arbuckle (Deer Creek Township) said this was his third trip to the causeway this year, but the first day that the bluegills had finally started hitting. The angler next to him had half a bucket of ‘gills, mainly on the small side. Bluegills were being taken with an ice dot lure tipped with maggots suspended below a bobber. Rotten ice covers the lake from I-79 south.
Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait): “The reservoir is a mess. The water is extremely high, with all the docks at Clark marina under water and only the top of the picnic shelter visible. It’s going to be some time before anyone can get out fishing on the lake.”
Laurie Frantz (R&L Bait): “Currently the river is high and swift; no one is fishing. However, as soon as the river drops back into its normal bank, anglers will be testing the waters for the white bass run from Shenango Lake. April is a good month for white bass, with fish making it at least up to Wasser Bridge at Greenville – perhaps further.”
Bob Shuey (NC Fly Shop): “The stream is dropping slowly and the creek has a nice green color. It fished OK on Saturday (3-19) and should be good the next few days. It’s about time!”
Venango County Waters
Mike Horrobin (CLTackle.com) says the river is looking a little better each day, but it’s still too high with too much debris to launch a boat. Besides, as of Saturday morning, the Franklin ramp was still under water. Some very eager fishermen have been fishing selected shoreline spots, such as the Oil City Marina.
Mike Horrobin: “Little Sandy is fishable and has some new trout to test your skill. I didn’t fish or take the water temperature but the water is cold and the trout, I’m sure, want it right on their nose. There were a few fly-fishermen on the stream catching a few fish with low-and-slow techniques.
French Creek (Erie, Crawford and Venango Counties)
French Creek is coming down, but still too high to fish. However, with water backed up the tributary mouths, as soon as the main creek drops a bit more, anglers will most likely be catching crappies in select quiet water spots at the mouth of the tribs. One of the most popular is the winding bends of Conneauttee Creek just before it enters French Creek at The Point several miles below Cambridge Springs.
What’s New at Your Local Tackle Shop?
Neshannock Creek Fly Shop: Pick up all your spring fly fishing supplies; be ready to fish when the stream comes down. We still have a few rods on clearance at 25% off.
Espyville Outdoors: This shop offers a line of locally handcrafted lures and jigs, including custom bucktail jigs. Chris also carries a good selection of Northland tackle; he said the new Fish Trap was his hottest seller for ice season and suspects it will be great for crappie in open water.
R&L Bait & Tackle: New store hours starting April 1 will be 6 AM to 9 PM everyday, except closed on Mondays. Laurie handles special orders on a wide array of musky baits, and says customers are currently ordering for the upcoming season.
Outdoor Calendar of Events
March 26 Neshannock Creek Chapter TU Banquet 724-533-3212
Radisson Hotel, Sharon/W. Middlesex
April 2 Linesville Fish Hatchery Open House 814-863-5126
11 AM – 3:30 PM; 13300 Hartstown Rd.
May 1 BMCC Spring Bass Classic 814-382-0686
Pymatuning Lake; $80.00 per team
June 19 BMCC Father’s Day Open Bass Tourney 814-382-0686
Presque Isle Bay; $100 per team
Keep Up with More NW PA Fishing at http://darlblack.blogspot.com