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Conneaut Creek steelhead hot spot

Joined:
2006/9/14 20:03
Posts: 255
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Dad told me about this overlooked fishery the other day and was being very evasive about the details, insisting he would send me the information by courier (USPS). Here’s the contents of the secret dispatch:
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06344/744988-358.stm
It sounds interesting, catch musky, walleye, bass and steelhead. Has anybody here fished it and do I need a steelhead stamp to target musky?

Posted on: 2006/12/20 1:33


Re: Conneaut Creek steelhead hot spot
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Joined:
2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
Posts: 21708
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The permit is not only a steelhead permit, but is required for the Lake and tributaries. However, Conneaut Creek is excepted according to the info on the PFBC web page:

Lake Erie Permit
All anglers fishing Pennsylvania waters of Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay, and their tributaries are required to possess a valid Lake Erie or Combo permit.
The main tributaries where a permit is required are: Cascade Creek, Crooked Creek, Eightmile Creek, Elk Creek, Fourmile Creek, Mill Creek, Raccoon Creek, Sevenmile Creek, Sixmile Creek, Sixteenmile Creek, Twelvemile Creek, Twentymile Creek, and Walnut Creek.

Conneaut Creek, although partially in the Commonwealth, does actually enter into Lake Erie within the border of the state of Ohio. Therefore, anglers are not required to possess a Lake Erie Permit.

Anglers fishing the East and West Basin ponds (Waterworks Ponds, Presque Isle State Park) are not required to possess a Lake Erie Permit.

Anglers fishing inland ponds, lakes, and reservoirs in Erie County are not required to possess a Lake Erie Permit.


Posted on: 2006/12/20 6:12
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Re: Conneaut Creek steelhead hot spot

Joined:
2006/9/18 8:28
From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Posts: 810
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>>It sounds interesting, catch musky, walleye, bass and steelhead. Has anybody here fished it and do I need a steelhead stamp to target musky?>>

Been a few years, but I used to fish Conneaut Creek often. Not nearly so much for steelhead as for smallmouth, though. Somebody else will have to tell you about the steelhead fishery, although as I recall, the Albion Sportsman's Club is active in raising and stocking smolt into Temple Run, A Conneaut trib near Albion. Another interesting thing about the drainage is that according to Craig Billingsley, who was AFM at the time (late 90's), Conneaut Creek produces the vast majority of wild steelhead found anywhere in open water (excluding Trout and Godfrey Runs) in the Lake Erie drainage in PA. PFBC surveys at the time found a fair number of wild steelhead way up the drainage in Crawford County, upstream from Dicksonburg. There are very few wild steelhead in any of the tribs. there, but the preponderance of them come from Conneaut. Just as a guess, Crooked Creek might turn the next most wild fish.

I know a little more about the warm/coolwater fisheries in Conneaut Creek. Basically, while there are smallmouth all the way up to at least Conneautville as well as largemouth in a branch (East Br. maybe?) that comes in near Albion, the best bass fishing is in the last several miles above the Ohio line. Part of the reason for this is that all through the Albion section, Conneaut is a very slow moving, fairly deep and trench like waterway and isn't very good smallmouth habitat. However, a couple of miles above the US 6 bridge by a place called Cherry Hill, there is a significant increase in the gradient and the bottom turns to that Lake Erie shale with a little gravel here and there. Lots of short pools and good pocket water fishing for bass here. As I recall (this is all from memory..), Mckee Road above Route 6 is about the point where the creek changes. From McKee Road to the state line is actually floatable in a canoe, if we define floatable in a fairly loose fashion. You'll do a fair share of pulling in Summer. However, it may be preferable to walking the creek. I know of no place in NW PA with more hellacious and dense brush along it than some of these sections of Conneaut Creek. It really is a bear to walk and wade here.This makes floating, for as much of a PITA as it can be, sometimes preferable.

The best muskie fishing has traditionally been in the deeper, slower section roughly bisected by the PA 215 bridge downstream from Albion. This water is also eminently floatable.

So, good bass fishing on Conneaut Creek isn't just anywhere. You have to get downstream of the gradient change.

I know nothing about Walleye in Conneaut, although I would imagine the same water that holds muskie would be the best for them. None of it ever looked like very good walleye water to me.

Posted on: 2006/12/20 10:53


Re: Conneaut Creek steelhead hot spot

Joined:
2006/12/13 9:28
From Other side of the tracks
Posts: 17595
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I fished it a couple of times in the past, but haven't fished it for steelhead on the PA side yet. Pretty nice water in the areas already described (considering the location). Fished it for smallmouth once. Didn't catch any because every time i casted, my bird dog wanted to retrieve it. It was more of a scouting trip, and I was just getting out and enjoying a beautiful day with my dog and my wife. Nobody else around. The other time i fished it for trout in about May. Again, nobody else around, but you could see there had been quite a croud about a week or two earlier. People following the white truck, I'm sure. PA stocks brown trout in it in Crawford County, but it hadn't been stocked in a couple weeks which explains why I had the whole area to myself. Caught one of those wild steelhead smolts that day. Or at least I assumed it was wild. Perfect condition and very colorful. It was very brushy where I was at, so I used the spinning gear. Unfortunately, he hit like a ton a bricks and took a spinner down deep and didn't make it. Well, he did made it to the frying pan. It happens sometimes when casting downstream and retrieving. Was fishing between Dicksonburg and Conneauteville that day.

I plan to fish it more often in the future because it is the closest steelhead stream to where I live now.

Posted on: 2006/12/20 11:56


Re: Conneaut Creek steelhead hot spot

Joined:
2006/9/14 20:03
Posts: 255
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Thanks for all the tips. I'm definitely moving that one up my to-do list. The idea of possibly catching wild steelhead without the crowds or stamp sounds particularly inviting. Even the smolt sound like they would be fun catching. And if all else fails, smallmouth would be a fine consolation prize.

Posted on: 2006/12/20 20:35






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