It was a great opening weekend of trout fishing season. There have been reports of many very nice brown trout. Was that due to the mild winter? This weekend trout anglers should look for red worms and nightcrawler halves to be effective baits.
Steelhead fishing is running down in the Lake Erie tributaries. Very few steelhead remain in the creek, but with a couple of exceptions. On the east side of Erie, fish Sixteen Mile Creek above the water treatment plant. These are fish that were transported there by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.
Elk Creek still holds a good number of steelhead. Quite a lot is happening here. Smallmouth bass numbers have increased. A 23-inch smallmouth bass was reported and released. This smallmouth bass run rivals the steelhead fishery. Thank goodness most smallmouth bass anglers release these valuable fish. Try it with a fly rod. This is a very good Plan B if you are in Erie County this weekend to fish for steelhead. Try a Muddler Minnow and a large Wooly Bugger, either black, brown or medium olive. Add a bright red tag as a tail on some of your streamers.
Lake trout fishing out of North East seems to have been no better than fair this week.
Perch numbers have dwindled in Presque Isle Bay. The hot spots are the North Pier and the South Pier, which is typical when numbers in the bay are going down. Limit catches with nothing under 10 inches have been reported at the South Pier. The bay is loaded with steelhead, with a respectable number of brown trout. Marina Lake holds numerous crappie and perch. Underwater cameras show there are many more fish than anglers might guess.
Crappie fishing is hot at Eaton Reservoir. Size is good by the standards of this lake. Weeds still have not done much growing, so there is the possibility of good shore fishing. Use tip jigs with small shiners or large grubs.
Look for crappie and bluegill in The Fingers at Edinboro Lake.
Anglers at Pymatuning Lake are catching good numbers of nice perch. They appear to be scattered. Fishing for crappie and walleye has been fair. Muskie fishing has been quiet, but it is about time for a surge in muskie action.
Some crappie in the 9-inch to 12-inch class were caught near the dam at Lake Wilhelm. A fair number of crappie and bluegill have been caught near Launch No. 3 and at the Sheakleyville Causeway.
— Mike Bleech
Lake Erie Bait and Tackle, 317 Peninsula Drive, 790-5728
Elk Creek Sports Store, 10543 Old Lake Road, Lake City, 774-8755
Poor Richard’s Bait & Tackle, 6821 West Lake Road, 474-5623
East End Angler, 4702 East Lake Road, 898-3474
FishUSA.com, 6960 West Ridge Road, Fairview, 1-800-922-1219
Edinboro Outdoors, 211 Mill Street, Edinboro, 814-734-4727
Poff’s Place, Route 285 and Perry Drive, Espyville, 724-927-2462
Richter’s, 2936 Williams Field Road, Jamestown, 724-932-5372
Hogan’s Hut, 3503 Old Bridge Road, Stowe, N.Y. 716-789-2148
Fergie’s Bait & Tackle, 857 Georgetown Road, Sandy Lake, 724-253-3655
Bill’s Hooks, 5139 West Lake Road, Dunkirk, N.Y., 716-366-0268