Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lake Erie Pa ice fishing report Jan 26th

This week’s regional fishing report from Randy Leighton, deputy waterways conservation officers for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission:
The Arctic blast that hit the Northeast over the last week put the Erie area into deep freeze with temperatures in the low teens and at times dropping below zero. The frigid temperatures gave a good boost to ice conditions around the area. Most areas including Presque Isle Bay have been reported to be anywhere from 6 inches to 10 inches thick. The exceptions to this would be any ice on the faster moving areas of the tributaries. Ice-fishing activity has been a good in the Erie area with anglers taking to the hard water in search of some action in spite of the cold snap. The most popular area on Presque Isle Bay has been just north of the Bayfront Convention Center near Dobbins Landing. Reports have been varied and widely scattered with reports of good catches of perch and gills to “tried everywhere, and came up short.” Fishing in one stationary area certainly does stack the odds against the angler, and in winter conditions moving around and drilling more holes often doesn’t seem worth it. However, the patient angler and one who knows when to give up on a spot is more likely to score. Many anglers miss the subtle strikes that are common when ice fishing simply because they aren’t paying attention as well as they could be. Watching for light strikes on five tip-ups requires some concentration. Changing baits or jigs from time to time can also help. The noise factor certainly can come in to play as well, once the holes are drilled and you are settled in, its probably best to go into stealth mode. Temperature forecasts are predicted to be well below freezing over the next few week. Lake Erie is partially frozen, although there are still large areas of open water. Winter conditions can be tough in Erie and, as such, anglers coming from out of town would be wise to check weather forecasts and road conditions.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lake Erie Pa Tackle Swap

The Erie PA Sport Fishing Association‘s second annual Tackle Swap and Meet is scheduled for Jan. 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Grover Cleveland School, 1540 W. 38th Street.
Check out new and used tackles, seminars, fishing club presentations, kids activities and food and beverages.
Those who wish to trade, sell or represent merchandise can buy a table for $15. For information, call 452-0648 or e-mail or
Proceeds benefit EPSFA programs for children, brown trout raceway and fish testing.
Tickets at the door are $3 for adults and $1 for children ages 13-18. Children 12 and under will be admitted free of charge.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Presque Isle Bay Ice Report

Just when ice conditions took a turn for the better on Presque Isle Bay, this warning is in place:
The Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority has issued a public advisory for Presque Isle Bay and adjacent waters, effective Friday through Jan. 19.
DonJon Shipbuilding & Repair, 200 block of East Bayfront Parkway, is expecting the arrival of three freighters, possibly accompanied by an ice-breaking vessel, Port Authority officials said.
While the disruption of ice is expected to be limited to the eastern portion of Presque Isle Bay, all ice on the bay could be affected, Port Authority officials said.
Ice angers started getting back onto the ice this past weekend. Marina Bay and Misery Bay each had a few huts in place and a few bucket-sitters as well.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pittsburgh Downriggers Club

Need a new home with some friendly faces, fellowship and competition?  The Pittsburgh Downriggers Club meets throughout the year and holds several events on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.  Consider visiting them at

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ice Fishing Safety Tips

Safety tips from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission:
  • Wear a personal flotation device, or at least carry a floatation cushion to sit on and don’t fish alone.
  • Leave information about your plans with someone, where you intend to fish and when you plan to return.
  • Know the conditions of the ice before venturing out; taking into consideration recent possible effects changes in the weather have had on the ice.
  • Children should always be supervised on the ice.
  • Use an ice spud bar or an auger to test the ice ahead of you.
  • Before venturing out onto the ice, check with local sources, such as bait and tackle shops, for the most up-to-date information and always consider any information on ice thickness as suggestion, not fact.
  • Avoid ice formed over flowing water near shore and around inlets and outlet
  • Avoid aeration devices such as warm water bubblers used near marinas.
  • Temperature fluctuations typically occurring in early winter and spring will again make for uncertain ice. Be suspicious of gray, dark or porous spots in the ice as these may be soft areas. Ice is generally strongest where it is hard and blue.
  • Heavy snow cover insulates ice and prevents it from freezing as evenly and as quickly as it would if the snow weren’t there. Snow cover is also deceptive and makes evaluating the ice cover difficult.
  • Be especially wary of tributary ice, as it can be highly variable in thickness due to the erosive action of the underlying water current. Many anglers like to ice fish the Walnut Project waters, which has some deep holes. One can be standing on ice eight inches thick on a trib and just a few feet away, the ice may be only two inches thick.
  • Carry a set of “grippers” (a couple screwdrivers on a length of nylon cord will do in a pinch). If you should go through the ice, they can provide a “grip” on the slippery surface and aid in getting out.
  • Should you break through the ice, try not to panic. Remember to turn toward the direction you came from, toward the ice that supported you. Use you “grippers” or your hands to gain a hold on the unbroken surface of the ice, and advance by kicking your feet.
  • Once you are out of the water and are lying on the ice, don’t stand. Roll away from the point where you broke through until you are on solid ice.
  • If you do see someone fall through the ice, do not run toward them. Carefully extend a rope, ladder, pole or line to the victim.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lake Erie Pa Fishing Report

Steelhead fishing early this week was lousy to good depending on whom you talked with. A nice run of fresh steelhead came into Elk Creek. Fishing was good Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but by Wednesday it was apparent that the steelhead were moving upstream. Elk Creek was still in good shape Thursday, but if it goes the way of most creeks, we can anticipate shore ice and slush. Snow will likely aggravate the running slush problem. Twentymile Creek also fished well Monday through Wednesday. The largest steelhead reported from Twentymile Creek weighed 13.1 pounds and measured 32 inches. It was caught close to the lake on an egg sac. Most of the fish caught this week fell for skein or minnows. Eastside creeks were getting shore ice and were running full of slush Thursday.
Ice fishing at Presque Isle Bay took a bad turn with the recent warm weather. There were several open areas Thursday, and there was a gap between shore and the ice along most of the peninsula side and just somewhat less on the city side. Conditions are shaky at best. Some ice-fishermen were headed for Misery Bay and Horseshoe Pond Thursday, but first word was that ice was very thin in places.
If you want to fish through the ice, one of the inland lakes may be a better option, although even there the ice may be questionable. Nice crappie are being caught with black ants and minnows near Tuttle Point, at Pymatuning Lake, and some 5-pound to 6-pound walleye have been caught in the Jamestown area using cicadas or chubs. At Lake Wilhelm, ice-anglers have been catching some very nice bluegill along with crappie and perch that have been on the small side. Ice is still thickest toward the south end of Chautauqua Lake, about 7 inches in Burtis Bay, where bluegill and perch have made up the bulk of the catch. Ice is reported to be 3 inches to 5 inches in the Mayville area. Some walleye have been caught, but most have been undersized. Unfortunately, 8 inches of fresh snow has fallen on the ice. The best ice fishing in Erie County may be at Lake Pleasant. Trout, bluegill and crappie have been hitting with some consistency. Crappie have not been numerous, but those caught have been in the 10-inch to 11-inch class. Pike and bluegill are coming through the ice at Eaton Reservoir. At the Allegheny Reservoir, ice along shore is gone.
— Mike Bleech, contributing writer

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lake Erie Pa Walleye Fishing Charters....Where, When and Why

When the central basin of Lake Erie begins to warm and the water temperature reaches the mid-50's, low-60's, the walleye begin to group up in wide spread schools along the 50-60 feet depth of water. Normally, on any lake or reservoir as the water temperature warms the bigger fish move to deeper, more comfortable water. Lake Erie is a prime example of this. Easy accesses to colder water and bait fish such as smelts and alewives ( high protein forage fish found in cooler water) make it simple to understand why trophy walleye find their home in the waters off Erie, Pa.

Later, in mid July and August, the fish move even deeper into the depths of Lake Erie. Walleye are caught on planner boards, while the Steeled and Salmon are caught with downriggers at the same time. How's that for excitement?

Late August and September still provide trophy size walleye in deep water. The fall Salmon and Trout begin to school in front of the creek mouths. If its 3-6 pound Smallmouth Bass you like to catch, late September and October are the time. The big female Bass feed heavily at this time to help develop their eggs for the spawning period.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lake Erie Pa Fishing Report

The first Erie-area fishing report of the year from Randy Leighton, deputy waterways conservation officer for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission:
With the mercury topping 50 degrees this past weekend and considerable rain and drizzle, meltdown came as fast as the freeze with nearly all of the area tribs thawed and flowing well. Trib conditions are good at present until the next freeze hits. Most of the area snow and ice has melted, although the southern areas of the county still have snow and potential additional runoff, but for now there is plenty of soft-water fishing to be had with more than ample elbow room. Walnut Creek displayed excellent conditions as of late Monday afternoon.
Presque Isle Bay was just starting to get to the solid ice stage when the thaw hit. The existing ice suffered considerable melting and what remains has softened considerably. As of Monday afternoon better than two thirds of the Presque Isle Bay was ice-free with the remaining ice risky at best. Many stress cracks are visible and the bay should be considered very unstable for now. Daytime temperatures in the 20′s may make the window of opportunity for trib fishing short lived, but for now conditions are good. The Walnut Creek marina basin was ice free as of late Monday. The shoreline at Trout Run, although not frozen, was scattered with loose drifting ice and slush. Current west county trib conditions as of Tuesday were high and flowing nicely with good color.

Lake Erie Pa Walleye Charters 3-rod rule?

Finally, the Pa Fish Commission has looked into changing our current 2-rod per person rule into a 3-rod per person rule.  This would make huge dividends for us fisherman without sacrificing the creel limits and fish populations.  See links below.... 

******Please use the link below to comment on the proposed Three Rod Rule with the PFBC.
Please use the following link to support a change of the regulations from a 2 rod limit in PA waters to a 3 rod limit.
Number of Rulemaking or Title Notice: Title 58. Recreation Part II. Fish & Boat Commission Chapter 63 Fishing

Monday, January 3, 2011

Presque Isle Bay Ice Report

Ice is UNSAFE!  Due to a few days of warming temps, there is now open water and broken ice everywhere.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Historical Facts of Lake Erie, Pa

Lake Erie was gouged out by glacial ice between 1 million and 12,600 years ago.
It was one of the first Great Lakes to be uncovered during the last retreat of the glacial ice.
The oldest rocks from which the Lake Erie basin was carved are about 400 million years old and formed in a tropical ocean-reef environment.
Lake Erie and its shoreline are a major source of many minerals. The largest sandstone quarry in the world is located in Amherst, Lorain County, Ohio. Salt mines in Cuyahoga and Lake Counties extend out under Lake Erie and are an important source of revenue to the State. Sand, gypsum, and limestone used for construction purposes are found in abundance. Large reserves of natural gas, over 3 trillion cubic feet, are located under Lake Erie.