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Local fisherman nabs trophy steelhead

| Sunday, Nov. 25, 2001

A McKees Rocks fisherman has come up with trophy steelhead.

"Frank J. Sulzer Jr. caught a 19-pound, 8-ounce steelhead Nov. 12 on Elk Creek," said Marilyn Soltis of the Fish and Boat Commission's Walnut Creek staff.

The Pennsylvania record is the 20-pound, 3-ounce steelhead caught April 1 by Corey Brown of Osterburg from Walnut Creek.

"Sulzer's fish was 34 inches long and had a girth of 22¾ inches," Soltis said. "It was caught on a homemade brown bucktail and 6-pound test line."

Brown's fish, which hit an egg-fly creation, was 36½ inches long, with a girth of 21½ inches.

"Sulver is having the fish mounted," Soltis said.

Several Angler Recognition Awards have been issued for coho salmon.

"Frank Cokel, 75, of Washington, caught a 10-pound, 2-ounce coho salmon from Lake Erie," said Carole Painter of the commission's Harrisburg staff.

Dan Skelley of Ambridge caught an 8-pound, 12-ounce coho from Elk Creek while Ricky Hansen of Charleroi landed a 7-pound, 6-ounce coho, also from Elk Creek.

"Russell Davis made the trip from Virginia to Elk Creek to catch a 9-pound, 6-ounce coho," Painter said.

On the steelhead side, Jack Derfler of Bridgeport caught a 15-pound, 6-ounce steelhead while Wanda Biss of Marion Center was honored for her 12-pound, 7-ounce fish. Others awards: Joe Bentley, Kittanning, 10 pounds, 10 ounces; Jeff Peteuil, Clearfield, 10 pounds, 9 ounces; Patti Dallas, Mansfield, Ohio, 10.52 pounds; William Evak, Adamsburg, 10 pounds, 2 ounces; and Mark McCarrison, Pitcairn, 10 pounds.

It hardly seems possible but John Bowser, western Erie County waterways conservation officer, cited four anglers for not having a fishing license the other weekend. Two also were fined for not possessing a trout stamp. He also said "that officers have found numbers of fish along the Trout Run Beach that had been slit open for eggs and then discarded. This is considered littering and illegal disposition and can result in costly fines."

Beginning Dec. 7, the Walnut Creek office will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Dec. 23 and then will close until April 12.

Fishing licenses will be available at the Walnut Creek office beginning in December.

Additional citation fish are being caught besides steelheads.

For instance, the 25-inch, 6-pound brown trout caught earlier this month out of Evitts Creek in Bedford County. "Steve Emrick of Hyndman caught it on a waxworm," Painter said.

Randy Brandt of Newell caught a 9-pound, 4-ounce walleye in the Ohio River, Allegheny County, on Nov. 3. A day later, Allen Brandt of Pittsburgh landed a 9-pound walleye, also from the Ohio River.

Ed Young of Erie caught a 11-pound, 15-ounce walleye and Jason Goodwill of Northeast, a 9-pound, 2-ounce walleye, both from Lake Erie.

  • "They're still pounding the walleyes and sauger," said Rick DeMichele of Allegheny Bait & Tackle at Tarentum on the Allegheny River. "The walleyes are 5-7 pounds," he said. "I haven't seen any sauger over 15 inches. but they are fat." ... Lee Murray of Lock-3 Bait & Tackle, Cheswick, said the sauger action remains fine there. "There have been some decent ones, going 17-18 inches." As for walleyes, "just an occasional one," he said. ... John Ashburn of Sharpsburg Gun & Tackle reports sauger up to 18 inches being caught at Highland Park. The walleyes are peaking at 24 inches. "The fishing has been decent," he said. ... Although pressure is light, those turning out are catching walleyes, said Bob Hawk of Hawk's Bait & Tackle, Kittanning. "I talked to one guy who said he was catching them one after another. He released them all, including two nice ones."

  • Ten muskies were caught during last month's Lake Arthur Charity Challenge at Lake Arthur, held by the Three Rivers Chapter of Muskies Inc. Rich Studebaker was the winner with a 48-inch musky. Other catches: Bill Conlon, 47 inches; Harry Martin, 46.5 inches; Jim Buss, 46.5 inches; Fred Kahrer, 43 inches; Mike Coyne, 43 inches; Bill Andresky, 40 inches; Bill Studebaker, 38.5 inches; Jim Burr, 34 inches; and George Hudacko Jr., 31.5 inches. ... Ron Anderson of BB Inc. said one angler caught three muskies going 36-38 inches in three outings at Lake Arthur. "He also caught 25 perch each day. He caught the muskies when they moved in to feed on the perch," Anderson said. Another angler caught three walleyes, with the largest more than 6 pounds. He also caught a 17-inch smallmouth and perch.

  • Wayne Lykens of Island Firearms reports walleyes up to 8 pounds being caught at night on the Ohio River. "The daytime walleyes are running 15 inches," he said. Sauger up to 17 inches also are being caught. ... Tom Reese of Reese's Bait Shop said the fine walleye action is continuing at Pymatuning Reservoir, with Stan Smith of Meadville picking up an 8-pound, 4-ounce fish. "John Paladino of Brockway took his limit going 16-22 inches, plus a 17-inch white bass. He lost a musky because his net wasn't big enough," Reese said. ... Joan Plants of Shad Lure & Tackle of West Elizabeth said that fishing pressure is still strong, "but I don't have any reports of catches in the Monongahela River." ... "Nothing is happening on the Mon down here," said Kipp Finley of Sunset Marina, Millsboro. ... "No one is down on the Mon," said John Ozohonish of Ozzie's Sports Shop, Rices Landing. ... Keystone Lake, Armstrong County, was recently stocked with 100,000 brook trout measuring 6-8 inches by the Fish and Boat Commission.

  • The Fish and Boat Commission is having problems with vandals at Donegal Lake. In the latest incident, a boat was cut loose and "riddled with bullet holes," said Tom Qualters, southwest region assistant supervisor. Other incidents include the tipping over of restrooms, tearing down signs and reckless driving in the parking lots. ... The Fish and Boat Commission has announced a burning ban on its properties. In addition to the open-fire ban, Peter A. Colangelo, executive director, called for anglers and boaters who smoke to exercise additional caution by extinguishing cigarettes, cigars, pipes and matches. ... Low water and the hunting season have cut into fishing pressure on the delayed-harvest area of Loyalhanna Creek, said Rich Kacsuta of Loyalhanna Fishing Post. ... Dan Boyle of Star Junction Sports Shops said, "Decent trout are still being caught at Virgin Run Dam." Some anglers are out on the Youghiogheny River.

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