Bluegill - Big Bluegill

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Just got back from my visit to northwestern Pennsylvania and fished with a group of crappie and bass fishing experts at the 2014 Pennsylvania Crappie Camp, organized and set up by PA outdoor writer Darl Black. Great time, great people and great fishing in this part of the state. Here's the short version...

We had 5 boats in the water from Monday thru Thursday, with writers and crappie tourney pros and local experts fishing Pymatuning, Shenango, Conneaut and then Ohio's Mosquito Lake. I view Pymatuning as a premier crappie fishery in the Eastern part of the country. Here's the proof...

Slabs like these were the norm, with a high percentage of our catch running 13 to 15 inches. Mostly all blacks, the whites haven't moved shallow yet. Our team of 6 to 8 anglers caught and released upwards of 250 crappie over 13 inches throughout the week, releasing most of them. I kept a few for the pan...

My new, best fishing buddy Ken put us on some dandies in the shallow stumpfields of the Linesville area. Here he is with some toads...

Males dominated the catch, but females showed up, too. We drifted 1/8 oz jigheads with various plastics and Crappie Nibbles as an inticer. Fish were 4 to 6 feet down in water 7 to 8 feet deep.

Then, we went to Shenango, an Army Corps of Engineer reservoir at 3800 acres and caught mostly smallish white crappie. I fished with 2011 & 2012 Crappie Angler of the Year Dan Dannenmueller and we spider rigged. Best fish of the day was this near 15 inch female white...

Meanwhile, behind my cabin at the Jamestown Area of Pymatuning State Park, I used my Dixie Cricket hairjig, untipped, to smash over 100 bluegills between sessions that ran from 7.5 to almost 9 inches, along with crappies  from 10 to 13 inches. It was a great trip, and the bass fishing was also outstanding at Shenango and especially Conneaut Lake. This is a great place to think about a small vacation if you want outstanding angling with multiple species opportunities.

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Comment by Mo Fish on February 19, 2015 at 7:59am

Jim, I can' t wait to move out East and fish PA!

Comment by John Sheehan on November 12, 2014 at 12:04pm

What a great report ,size Fish and catch rate !Thanks Jim !

Comment by Slip Sinker on November 12, 2014 at 11:48am

Holy crappie!

looks like a great outing Jim!

Good fisherman on a quality lake

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