From largemouth bass to walleye, Pennsylvania anglers target and catch a grand variety of fish every year, and every year some of those anglers’ best catches end up on the list of Pennsylvania’s biggest fish.
Northwestern Pennsylvania, with its proximity to the great fishing in Lake Erie, Pymatuning, Shenango Lake and other prime waters, always is well represented on that list. That’s particularly true of the 2011 list that was recently published on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission web site.
Regional anglers had the top registered catches in two categories and made the top five in 10 species. And visiting anglers also caught Angler Award program-worthy fish in five northwestern Pennsylvania waters.
Tyler Orr of Linesville takes the prize with a 45-pound 9-ounce, 49 1/2-inch muskie that he caught March 27, 2011, in Pymatuning Lake. The muskie, which went for a plastic worm, was the heaviest registered in the state in 2011.
Girard’s Stephen Murray caught the No. 1 white bass, a 2-pound 6-ounce fish he pulled from Lake Erie July 24. It was 17 inches long and 12 1/2 inches around.
Bob Einodshofer, of Erie, caught the No. 2 rock bass in Presque Isle Bay July 1 on a Roostertail. It weighed 1 pound and was 11 1/2 inches long.
Erie’s Jerry Fijal caught the No. 5 channel catfish out of Lake Erie. The 19-pound 12-ounce, 32-inch fish took a minnow Oct. 4. The catfish had a 21-inch girth.
Moe Crowner, of Erie, reeled in the No. 3 crappie Oct. 31 from Presque Isle Bay. It weighed 3 pounds 2 ounces and was 16 inches long and 14 inches around. It hit Power Bait.
Raymond Peterson, of Transfer, and Timothy Rapp, or Clarion, caught the No.’s 2 and 3 muskie behind Orr. Peterson’s 53 1/4-inch, 45-pound beast came out of Pymatuning Lake May 4. It followed a horned chub. Rapp’s 52-inch, 43-pound 14-ounce muskie took a Hot N Tot June 10 in Shenango Lake.
Tyler Lafferty, of North East, had the fourth-biggest white perch of 2011. The 13 1/2-inch fish bit on a minnow Aug. 19 in Lake Erie. It weighed 1 pound 0.75 ounces.
Pleasantville’s Michael Sample grabbed the No. 5 white perch, a 15-ounce, 12-inch trophy he caught on a worm harness July 19 in Lake Erie.
Erie’s George Kickel caught the only submitted Chinook salmon of 2011, a 19-pound 2-ounce, 36-inch fish that was 20 3/4 inches around. He caught it July 31 in Lake Erie on a Glow Alewife.
Dan Nangle, of Erie, caught the No. 4 lake trout on Lake Erie out of North East. The 17-pound, 32-ounce fish took a Stinger May 29. The No. 1 lake trout this year, of course, is the pending state record Dan young caught Sunday.
Kirk Rudzinski, of Erie and East End Angler, caught the No. 2 steelhead, out of Lake Erie. The steelhead, which took a spoon Aug. 14, weighed 14 pounds 8.4 ounces and was 29 inches long.
Erie’s Ed Cieslak caught the No. 4 steelhead, a 31 1/2-inch, 14-pound 4-ounce trophy that came out of 18 Mile Creek. He used a salmon egg.
Wayne Cunningham’s Lake Erie walleye was No. 4 on the list. The Erie man’s catch was 30 1/2 inches and weighed 11 pounds 4 ounces. He caught it June 15 on a Bagley Long.
Lake Erie also gave up the No. 1 largemouth and No.’s 2 and 3 brown trout. Pymatuning held the top bullhead catfish. East Branch Dam offered up the No. 2 northern pike. And Allegheny Reservoir held the No. 4 brown trout.