Northwest Pennsylvania Fishing Report – January 17th, 2014

Presque Isle Bay (Erie County) — As of Jan. 5, the bay had fishable ice in places and anglers were catching bluegills, crappies and perch. In the open water of mid-December, perch and crappies were on fire when winds weren’t blowing. Hot spots were the marina docks and the South Pier, and live and salted minnows were the ticket. Burbot (freshwater cod) were hitting larger minnows. Steelhead were at the mouth of Mill Creek and hitting single eggs, grubs and minnows on Mini-Foo jigs under bobbers.

Steelhead streams — As of Jan. 5, a few anglers were breaking ice to catch steelhead in the upper reaches of Elk Creek. In mid-December, when creeks were a little more open and there was just edge ice and slush, numbers of steelhead were reported, with hand-tied black marabou jigs tipped with fathead minnows productive for some anglers. (Sixteenmile Creek doesn’t freeze like other tribs because of warm-water discharges from North East.)

Lake Pleasant (Erie County) — Ice anglers were catching crappies and perch on live and salted minnows in weedbeds, and trout beyond the weeds toward the center of this 25-acre natural lake.

French Creek (Erie, Crawford, Venango, Mercer counties) — Anglers landed several small northern pike and lost a couple of big pike and a 25-inch walleye, all on creek chubs in December.

Pymatuning Reservoir and River (Crawford County) — Several nice walleye catches were reported in the river below the dam in mid-December.

Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Ice anglers caught numbers of crappies and bluegills, but mostly in small sizes, on jigs with soft plastic and maggots, in 8 feet of water over sunken brush.

Kahle Lake (Venango County) — Ice anglers fishing Swedish pimples and small jigs tipped with maggots reported numbers of big perch, a few crappies and some large bluegills, along with a few small bass in December. A couple of nice walleyes also were reported.

Allegheny River — An angler in early December caught three smallmouths, three walleyes and two northern pike, all on large creek chubs. The hits were very soft, and the fish were small to average sizes.

Lake Arthur (Butler County) — Ice fishing was intermittent as conditions allowed. As of Jan. 5, anglers were icing a few nice northern pike up to 30 inches and numbers of largemouth bass on shiners.

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