Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report – January 18th, 2013

Lake Erie steelhead streams

Good steelhead numbers were reported through the holidays. A late run made for nice catch rates on lower Walnut and Elk creeks. Fish were spread out on Crooked Creek, but angler pressure was light.

Presque Isle Bay

There was little ice as of Jan. 5, except for some skim ice at the head of the bay. Anglers were catching large perch in the open water, as wind and other conditions allowed. Anglers also were catching perch from the docks, with some icing problems.

Lake Pleasant (Erie County)

Two state trout stockings were performed in December on this 25-acre natural lake. Another is set for Feb. 4.

Chapman Reservoir (Warren County)

A trout stocking was slated for Jan. 15.

Lake Oneida (Butler County)

Despite low water levels in preparation for repairs at the dam breast, this impoundment remains open for fishing (except ice fishing, which is prohibited). 

Harbar Acres (Butler County)

A trout stocking was slated for Jan. 15.

Piney Dam (Clarion County)

Anglers were catching walleyes and yellow perch trolling crankbaits and Hot n Tots or by drifting crawlers or minnows as open water allowed.

Lower Clarion River (Clarion County)

Some walleyes and the occasional muskie and northern pike were reported.

Beaver Creek Ponds Project (Clarion County)

Panfish were reported in this series of small impoundments as conditions allowed.

Kahle Lake (Clarion County)

Quality panfish were reported in recent weeks. Anglers are advised to exercise caution when wading the shoreline, because of the drawdown.

Allegheny River

In previous weeks, some nice walleyes and smallmouth bass were reported along with the occasional muskie and northern pike.

French Creek (Crawford, Venango, Mercer counties)

Edge ice was reported as of Jan. 5.

Conneaut Lake (Crawford County)

With completion of the Fish & Boat Commission access dredging project, the access is now open.

Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County)

December precipitation raised water levels, and anglers were picking up some nice walleyes. The tailrace of the dam was considered a good bet in early January.

Shenango River (Mercer County)

The tailrace of the dam was considered good. The river also was yielding walleyes. 

Allegheny River (Crawford County)

Edge ice was chunking up at Oil City as of Jan. 5. Ramps were iced up. The ice-control device spanning the river upstream of the State Street (Veteran’s) Bridge in Oil City is now in place. Boaters are urged to use caution when operating in this area as this device stretches the entire length of the river. Prior to ice forming, walleyes were hitting off the bottom in swift water. Jigging was the ticket.

Lake Arthur (Butler County)

Ice fishing was reported in early January, with the eastern bays getting the most action. Trophy catches during the Jan. 5 weekend included a 6-pound, 2-ounce, 221⁄4-inch largemouth bass on a shiner, and a 2-pound, 10-ounce, 16-inch crappie on a fathead minnow, and several 1-plus pound crappies. Northern pike 28 to 30 inches and some nice walleyes also were reported on jigging rods and tipups. A warming trend forecast for later could jeopardize ice quality. Anglers are reminded that they should exercise extreme caution when venturing onto the frozen surfaces of lakes.

Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County)

A few ice anglers were fishing Jan. 6 in “the stumps” area, which was yielding bluegills, crappies and a few perch.  Thickness was at most 4 inches, calling safety into question, and the warming trend in the forecast was expected to put the kibosh on ice-fishing. Prior to icing up, most panfish were being caught from the docks.  

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