Landing Net by Darl Black: Fishing Report Summer 2021

Landing Net by Darl Black

As we move into July, the vast majority of fish species have spawned and are relocating for summer feeding. The emphasis shifts to deeper, offshore spots.  That’s not to say certain species cannot be caught in shallow water near the bank in particular environments or under certain weather conditions. But now is the time of year to have a good sonar fish-finding unit on your boat – and know how to use it. Don’t miss Jeff Knapp’s sonar tip on the Garmin Page.  However, if you don’t have a boat, there are plenty of summer opportunities in the rivers and creeks. Check out the smallmouth wading tips from wade guide Pete Cartwright on the Gamma Page.

Canadohta Lake

Jerry @ Timberland Bait Shop; filed 6/27: Our first annual Father’s Day Bass Tournament was a success. Todd Young took first place with a 17-1/2-inch largemouth bass. I recently bought out the stock of another tackle shop. We will be having a huge Tackle Rummage and Clearance Sale under the picnic shelter at Timberland Bait over the weekend. Saturday, July 3: 7 am to 4 pm; Sunday, July 4: 7 am to 2 pm. Hope to see you there.

Pymatuning Lake

Dave @ Richter’s Bait & Tackle; filed 6/27: I am still hearing about a lot of walleye catches – at least on the South End of the lake. Drifting and pulling worm harnesses along deep weed edges to depths of 16 feet or so; also trolling shadshape crankbaits. Channel catfish (aka silver cats) are being caught everywhere. Lots of perch – but you got to go through a many small ones to get some keepers. The crappies have been quiet; even the guys who fish only crappies are spending the entire day to catch a few to take home. Anglers are still catching those worn-out muskies left in the tailrace of the dam; these fish are being caught over and over.
Duck-N-Drake; filed 6/27: The reports coming into the shop have been few; only hearing of the occasional walleye catch. Anglers continue to bring in big crappies to have them entered in the Crappie Madness – which runs until the last day of July.

Russ @ Gateway Tackle; filed 6/27: Fish catches seem to have slowed down. I’m hearing of crappies being caught from the Andover Causeway at night. Also, walleyes are being taken on worm harnesses and Flicker Shads off Tuttle Point. And the same muskies are being caught and re-caught below the dam.

Stan Teitelbaum; filed 6/27: It was humid yesterday early morning but thanks to the wind, temperature became more comfortable as noon approached. Numbers of bass were down (maybe 5 before noon) on the South End – but length and weight were higher than weeks past. I tried a new spot and returned to one I had given up on. I love Pymatuning South End but will probably venture towards the middle section of lake for new experience next time.

  Darl @ Blackwolfe Communications; filed 6/27: Late in the afternoon on Friday, Marilyn and I headed to Pymatuning. I was hoping to make a comeback on the smallmouth bass after the whooping Marilyn put on me two weeks ago. With the heavy cloud cover, advancing rain front and full Strawberry Moon, I visualized this could be a banner evening on smallmouth. Started with topwater, but the chop was too much. Went to swimbaits and spinnerbaits. Nope. Broke out the cranking rods. Of course, Marilyn wanted the 12-foot diving Timber Tiger in Emerald Green color she had used previously to catch those big Pymie smallmouth. Working it through the sparse deep weeds, she received a few pecks but she felt they were only perch. I decided to go deeper, with an old tri-lobe bill with near-vertical dive (can’t recall the name) designed by Tom Seward – same individual who later designed the Timber Tiger Depth Control series. I fired it to open water and cranked it slowly (no way to crank this baby fast) back to boat. As it hit the 14-foot breakline beside the boat, I paused it. A rod jolting smack! At first, I imagined it was a smallmouth until I saw a long body at about 10 feet in the clear water – at which point I thought it was a small musky. A few feet closer, I realized it was a walleye. Once in the net, we measured it at 23 inches. A few more C&R walleyes on crankbaits by casting to open water and working them back to the deep weed edge – but no smallmouth. However, with darkness approaching and rain starting ahead of schedule, our last stop was a gravel hump where Marilyn managed to crank in an 11-inch smallmouth – once again besting me in our smallmouth quest on Pymatuning!

Oil Creek

Angler Al @ Buttermilk Hill; filed 6/26: My brother-in-law and I spent back-to-back days fishing on Oil Creek. Most of our success came from the Artificial Only Section using a fly rod. However, we did catch some trout some below that section using worms and smaller minnows. I caught the nicest fish – a colorful 17.5-inch brown trout. It hit a #10 Gridle Bug. Other trout were taken on San Juan worms, Purple Squirmies and Royal Price Nymphs.

Area Guide Services contribute to the NW PA Fishing Report

Click here to read the full report

Looking for a trip on a Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango county water?

Check them out!

Dutch Fork Guide Service: Lake Erie Walleye trolling, casting and jigging. Keith Eshbaugh; 724-884-3977;

Keystone Connection Guide Service: Allegheny River Smallmouth, Walleye and Musky plus Pymatuning Walleye. Jeff Knapp; 724-902-6082;;

Smallies on the Yough LLC: wading for Smallmouth Bass on the Yough River, Allegheny River and other streams. Pete Cartwright; 412-215-6254;;

Wildwood Outfitters: Fly fishing for Trout, Steelhead and other species. Nick DelVecchio;;

Bo’s Guide Service: Panfish by boat and kayak; special bowfin trips into the marsh. Email

The NW PA Fishing Report provides timely angling information for Crawford, Erie, Mercer and Venango counties. Fishing comments and photos are offered by regional tackle shops and area anglers. The NWPAFR is based on experiences, observations and opinions of individual contributors; information is considered reliable but comments are not independently verified. In providing information or pictures, you are agreeing to your comments being edited for clarity and brevity, and posted to websites and distributed electronically.  For the full report, please click here 


Hero Image Credit: Mike Mainhart