Northwest Pennsylvania Fish Report – January 15th, 2016
Lake Erie tributaries (Erie County) — Poor Richard’s Bait & Tackle reported Dec. 31 that streams were finally coming down and were expected to have fresh runs of steelhead. Streams were blown-out through the holidays and unfishable. Single eggs and minnows were effective before conditions changed.
Presque Isle Bay — Anglers were reporting catches of nice-size yellow perch in the bay’s Marina Lake in late December. The north and south piers were yielding burbot (freshwater cod) and walleyes. The burbot were hitting cut bait, and the walleyes were biting large shiners. Anglers said this winter’s burbot spawning runs were the best they have seen in years.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County) — Crappies were reported throughout the lake with depths of 12 to 16 feet over brush through late December. Soft plastics and live bait were the tickets.
French Creek (Erie, Mercer, Crawford, Venango counties) — Water rose 4 feet in late December, putting the kibosh on fishing and boating. Before conditions changed, walleyes were hitting floating jigheads tipped with shiners targeted to current breaks.
Justus Lake (Venango County) — Anglers were catching recently stocked trout through late December.
Kahle Lake (Venango County) — Bluegills and crappies were biting through late December.
Allegheny River (Venango County) — Water rose in late December, and was averaging 42 degrees. As conditions allowed, anglers were catching smallmouth bass and walleyes around the Oil City area. The occasional muskie also was reported.
Shenango Reservoir (Mercer County) — Anglers reported nice catches of crappies on jigs and minnows through Jan. 1.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County) — Fergie’s tackle shop reported Jan. 1 that before a cold front moved in anglers were catching medium to small size bluegills and crappies on the main lake.
Lake Arthur (Butler County) — O’Donnell’s tackle shop reported Jan. 1 that during previously mild conditions, nice catches of walleyes and perch were reported. Walleyes were hitting in mixed sizes on sonars jigged over the old road bed, by the dam, and off humps. Perch were reported in deeper water and crappies were biting off the weed beds. Water was in the 40s on New Year’s Day.