This week’s Erie-area fishing report from Randy Leighton, deputy waterways conservation officer for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission:
Erie has been part of the Arctic blast that has sent the mercury into the single digits over much of the last week. High winds and drifting snow have made travel difficult and many have been content to stay in the warmth and safety of their homes or workplaces. On the other hand, the popularity of ice fishing our area, especially on Presque Isle Bay, seems to grow every year. This past weekend found countless huts on the bay and many hard-water folks trying their luck on the Walnut Creek channel and along the shore at Trout Run. Frigid temperatures have accelerated ice thickness around the area. Anglers coming off Presque Isle Bay Tuesday afternoon reported ice as thick as 10 inches to 12 inches in many areas. Although there is plenty of thick ice, a heavy blanket of snow has slowed the formation of hard “black ice” in some areas. With the wind howling, temperatures in the single digits, the shelter of a hut is a necessity. As always, ice-fishing reports vary greatly, depending on who you talk to, but in general, fish are being caught. Lake Erie, although not quite completely frozen, seems to be well on its way.