Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report – December 21st, 2012

Presque Isle Bay (Erie County)

A very good perch bite was reported, with anglers having success on a variety of baits, including minnows on crappie rigs and small jigs, or just minnows. Limits were reported along with sizes up to 12 and 13 inches. One angler caught a few up to 15 inches. The south pier and the docks were productive. Perch fishing in the bay provides a nice alternative for steelheaders when creeks are low. One angler released numbers of largemouth bass up to 2 pounds.

Erie tributaries

As conditions allowed, anglers were catching steelhead on small black nymphs (14 and 16), single eggs, blood dots and other standard baits and flies. One angler caught three steelhead on a jerkbait and tube jig on Elk Creek. Numbers of fish were in the streams in recent weeks, including fresh-run steelhead, but low clear conditions have made catching them tough. The mouths can be the best bet in these situations. Winter steelheading can be productive, as long as tribs don’t freeze over.

French Creek (Erie, Crawford, Venango, Mercer counties)

Good walleye and northern pike bites were reported, with the pike hitting chartreuse curly-tail jigs tipped with creek chubs. One angler released a 16-inch smallmouth bass on a creature bait dragged slowly across the bottom.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County)

Nice catches of bluegills and a few crappies were reported, but the walleye bite slowed in late November, a time of year when the blade bait typically is productive. 

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County)

Anglers had mixed success on smallmouth bass, with one angler getting about seven hits and releasing three bass up to 3 pounds on tube jigs.

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County)

The crappie bite was in deep water. Some anglers caught near limits jigging in 12 to 15 feet around sunken brush and stumps.

Allegheny River (Venango County)

Numbers of smallmouth bass were reported around Thanksgiving, with some fish in the 4-pound range, and a couple close to 5 pounds. Bladebaits, tubes, spinnerbaits, minnow-tipped jigs, and live shiners, drifted, were all productive. One angler also caught a perch and lost a big northern pike. Walleyes up to 24 inches were reported on creek chubs and suckers.

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