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NWPA Fishing Report, 10-10-18
October 18, 2018

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FRENCH CREEK flowing through all four counties

Editor's note: Water level of French Creek has been bouncing up and down as result of recent thunderstorms blasting through the region. Currently French Creek is high and very muddy. But during periods of fishable flow, local anglers have been catching an occasional nice walleye.

CRAWFORD COUNTY

Pymatuning Lake

Dave @ Richter's Bait & Tackle; filed 10/8: Not a lot of walleye activity to get excited about yet. A handful of guys are catching a few 'eye on blade baits in the early morning and late evening. The musky bite remains fairly strong for those with the skill set and willing to put in the time; last weekend, Woody Knis caught four muskies and lost one. Other than that, fishermen are catching a lot of perch. We need cooler water temps!

Norm @ Jamestown Marina; filed 10/8: I sum it up in two words 'Perch & Catfish' it's been so long since I've seen a walleye at the marina that I am worried I may have forgotten what they look like. Water temperature is way too warm for October. Better days are coming!

Laurie @ Duck-N-Drake; filed 10/8: The shop held a walleye tournament last weekendit was won by an angler with one legal walleye! No additional reports of walleyes or crappies. Anglers are catching a lot perch and catfish. The perch are being caught closer to shore and the size is improving. I'm closing the shop of October 14. See you in the spring.

Becky @ Gateway Bait & Tackle; filed 10/8: Perch and bluegills are being caught off the causeway and by guys in kayaks are catching some panfish on the South End. I'm hearing the occasional walleye catch some by trolling and others by jigging Vib-E blades.

RJ Graham (Tionesta); filed 10/8; On Sunday I had a great day catching smallmouth bass at Pymatuning Lake. Also some nice largemouth on jigs out of shoreline trees.

Conneaut Lake

Marilyn Black (Cochranton); filed 9/27: Darl and I fished Conneaut Lake for a couple hours on September 27. Not as good as we expected, but we did come up with a few perch and bluegills, a pike and a couple small bass.

ERIE COUNTY

Presque Isle Bay

Mike @ Lake Erie Bait & Tackle; filed 10/8: The bay bite is a little slow for this time of year, but customers have reported getting a few crappies in Misery Bay and Marina Lake even a few crappies on the East & West Pier. One customer explained that if crappies were biting on Pier, perch were not. But when perch moved in and started biting, the crappies apparently left. I'm also hearing about some decent perch coming from the Water Works, Dobbins and Liberty Park. On Sunday, one guy caught a 20-inch walleye off the North Pier.

Kayak masters Dave Lefebre and Dave report the pike are beginning to bite in the Bay!

Main Lake and Tributaries

Lynne @ East End Angler; filed 10/8: Steelheads are in all the east side tributaries but not in high numbers. Creeks all came up with the rain over weekend but are fishable by today Monday. Walleyes are still being caught in 80 to 90 feet on the East side. One angler brought in a 34-pound catfish from the lake over the weekend; Kirk got a 9.4 pound walleye. A couple anglers did well on perch in the lake off McCord's Point 60 feet. Piers in PIB have been hot and cold with Liberty Park giving up the biggest perch. At Lake Pleasant anglers are catching perch and bluegills on minnows and trout with Berkley Paste Bait.

Keith @ Dutch Fork Custom Lures; filed 10/8: Keith Eshbaugh of Dutch Fork Custom Lures and Marvin from MC Overhead Doors in Cochranton, fishing walleye on Lake Erie out of Walnut Creek on Sept 30. Trolled Dipsys with custom painted Renosky and Thundersticks on the #3-1/2 setting 140 feet back, and the #2 setting at 85 feet back; speed was 1/7 mph. Also ran Rapala Tail Dancers #9 with four ounce snap weights 150 feet back. We limited out in 2 hours in 69 to 72 feet of water. Moved shallower in 60 feet of water and jigged spoons vertically, catching giant white bass, sheephead, walleye and yellow perch. It was a truly fun day. White bass were 16-17 inches and sheephead were giants! Dutch Fork Custom Lures had moved to Cochranton so we can fish more!

Jeff @ Poor Richards; filed 10/8: There were some steelheads in the lower part of the creeks after the high dirty water on Sunday, there may be more fish. But we need colder water temps in the streams to get really good numbers. Walleyes are still being caught in 60 to 70 feet west of Walnut when boats can get out.

Dan @ Elk Creek Sports; filed 10/8: Elk is high and muddy right now but will be fishable in a day or so if we don't get a lot more rain. I anticipate some more fish have moved in during the high water, and anticipate even more fish moving upstream with the cold temps coming this weekend. Looking like it could be a big fish fall already we have weighed two 13-pound steelhead and a 10 pounder this past week.

MERCER COUNTY

Shenango Lake

Rick Como (Sharpsville); filed 10/7: Fishing is just about the same at Shenango as last report. Hybrid stripers are still hitting fairly well at certain time of the day. Crappies are schooled up and moving toward there fall areas; some nice size ones have been caught. White bass are spotty but if you find a feeding school it can be fast and furious till they scatter. Still no sign of walleyes in the shallows as the water temperature in the lake has risen due to unusual warm weather. Colder temps are due later this week. Pike should begin to show up soon.

Randy @ Fish West PA; filed 10/6: Fish are on fire with falling water temps. Most species are schooled up when you find them and they are hungry. They are feeding in approach of winter and boat traffic is minimal.

Ken Smith (Sharon); filed 10/5: I fished Shenango on 10/1, 10/2 and 10/3, and did well each day. Same pattern worked in three different areas of lake. Bobby Garland Shooters were outstanding. Either casting suspended below a bobber, or hang gliding in deeper water, Shooters are putting big fish in the box. The BG Baby Shads were awesome, too, in different colors.

Shenango River

Editor's note: Although there is an EPA warning not to consume any fish taken in the Shenango River downstream of the Shenango Dam at Sharpsville due to PCBs, anglers may still fish that section. The couple mile stretch below the dam has always been a great fishing spot for smallmouth bass and catfish since I was a young lad back in the 1960s. More recently, river has produced nice northern pike, walleyes and stocked trout until the stocking ban due to PCBs.

Brock "Captain Hook" Morocco; filed 9/28: I landed 7 smallmouth bass in one hour fishing below the Shenango Dam. The lower Shenango River still holds a good number of Smallmouth Bass. Fishing pressure is non-existent with the fish consumption advisory. The area from the dam outflow to the lower bridges all hold fish. Live minnows, spinner or small stick baits all work. Best fishing is when four gates or less are open on the dam. This river requires wading to get into the best spots and wading should be avoided when the flow is strong. River reports are updated and recorded daily at 724-962-4384.

VENANGO COUNTY

Angler Al (Franklin); filed 8/6: Delora Petress, a guest from Fort Lauderdale, FL, was staying at my place for Applefest weekend. I handed her a fishing rod tipped with a live shiner and on the first cast into my pond she hooked and landed a 5-pound plus largemouth. The big bass gave her quite a battle.

Allegheny River

Gene Winger (Oil City); filed 10/8: After two weeks of down time, my boat is finally running like new again thanks to Kneal and the crew at Wiegel Brothers Marine great job guys! The fall bite is really starting to heat up. Even with the recent high muddy water conditions we're catching good numbers of bass, including several in the three to four pound range! Most productive baits have been stick worms, small tubes and spinnerbaits from Mike's Custom Tackle. The high turbid waters have pushed bass into backwater eddies around islands and at the mouth of small streams so targeting these areas has been very productive.

Jeff @ Keystone Connection Guide Service; filed 10/7: The middle Allegheny has been high, dirty and unfishable for much of the last two weeks. Despite this, we've managed to squeeze in a few guide trips which have produced smallmouth up to 20 inches as well as a few quality size walleyes. With the higher, cooler water we're finding more bass on deeper, slower water protected from the main current. Moderate current pools near incoming (clear) tributaries are also producing, as are some tail-out sections of large pools. Spinnerbaits and soft swimbaits are producing. When the fish aren't responding to large profile baits, the Z-Man Hula Stickz and TRD Tubez have been grinding out bites. With all this high water during early fall and more limited feeding opportunities the late fall bite which typically starts in late October/early November, might be exceptionalif it ever stops raining.

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