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.