Good fishing available? Fall fish tales say yes

Posted on: November 2, 2016 | Bob Frye | Comments

Rick Ross walleyeRick Ross with his big Allegheny River walleye.

Sportsmen still putting their fishing rods to work are having some success lately.

Rick and Brent Ross of Greensburg, for example, were fishing recently on the Allegheny River by the lock at Highland Park. It’s a spot they hit frequently with good results. On this particular trip they got 15 walleye and some sauger, for example.

This trip, though, was unlike  any other.

Using an orange jig tipped with a minnow, Rick Ross caught a 27-inch, 8-pound, 2-ounce walleye.

“We have been fishing the river for walleye for over 20 years and never caught one this big,” said Brent Ross.

Ray Porco of Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has a wild fish tale to tell.

His son, Nick, came up from Nashville for a day of fishing recently. They went to Raccoon Lake in Beaver County but had no luck, so they switched to bait fishing an old pond.

What a decision that turned out to be.

The pair was fishing ultralight rods with 4-pound test. Nick quickly caught a big bluegill, then a very fat yellow bullhead. Things were going well.

He re-rigged his rod, baited it with a shiner, and promptly hooked a bass that the pair thought might go about 5 pounds. They had to estimate the weight because it broke off right at shore.

When Nick then moved down the bank, Ray Porco took over at his original spot. He caught a small bluegill, then switched to using it as bait. He, proceeded to catch a huge bass, one that seemed the twin of the one Nick had gotten earlier. It, too, snapped the line and got away.

“We just looked at each other, and even though I was so ticked, we started to laugh like crazy. Again, not even a picture. Who would believe us?” Ray Porco said.

That’s not the end of the story, though.

Nick returned home, but a few days later Ray went back to the pond to try his luck again – this time with a rod loaded with heavier, 8-pound line.

He caught a few small bass on shiners so switched to using a bluegill for bait.

The result?

First he caught a channel catfish that went 23 inches and 4 pounds, 1.6 ounces, then a largemouth bass that went 23 inches and 4 pounds, 11.9 ounces.

“The first thing I could think of was, ‘I’ve got to text Nick.’ He can’t wait to come visit again,” Porco said.

Who could blame him?

Porco 2ARay Porco with his big channel cat and largemouth bass.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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