With the ice gone on most waterways in northwestern Pennsylvania, open-water fishing opportunities will burst everywhere like yellow daffodils. Spring kicks off with warm stings for yellow perch, crappie, suckers and – only at Pymatuning – walleye.
According to Erie Tackle Stores on the West Side, the spring rainbow trout season has already been excellent and they expect it to continue for a few more weeks. However, Kirk at East End Angler said comments from anglers on east side tributaries indicate a less robust spring sting.
“Stream conditions are near perfect and there are still good numbers of fish in the west side streams,” said Chris of Elk Creek Sports. “Anglers are having success with wax worms and egg sacks.”
Details were provided by Bill at Tudor Hook-N-Nook. “Overwintering rainbow trout back into streams. Also, there are random reports of fresh steelies in the lower sections of Elk Creek, as well as fresh fish coming into Walnut at night and leaving in the morning. The next high water event should tell us a lot about any rainbow trout waiting to enter the streams – as well as suckers. The smolts head downstream.
“With the opening day of the trout regular season just two weeks away, you just don’t know what you might catch. Good luck everyone, but please exercise caution when unhooking and fishing. releasing the smolts – preserving them during their journey ensures a bright future for our rainbow trout fishery.
Brittany at Poor Richard’s and Kirk at East End reported perch being caught at several sites along the bay town. “The numbers have been remarkable over the past two days, but the size seems to vary from day to day at each site, suggesting schools are moving,” Kirk said.
A second hot perch bite takes place from the Linesville Marina docks on Pymatuning. Dale Clemmer reported the ice cleared Wednesday and anglers were starting to catch 9-11 inch perch; this bite usually lasts a few weeks. National park docks remain open for fishing only until April 1.
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Also performing on Pymatuning, Dave from Richter’s Bait Shop confirmed that early walleye biting was taking place at two usual sites – the current flow at the Linesville Spillway and the current flow at the Pennsylvania Bridge over the Causeway. Espyville/Andover. It may only be a matter of days before waders cast the tips over the main lake at night with long minnow plugs and jigs in search of spawning walleye.
It only takes a few mild sunny days to warm the well-protected mud flats of Pymatuning and other lakes enough to trigger the bite of thawed crappie. Ken Smith once reported catching a few shore crappie at Shenango Lake.
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The trout opener returned on a single date statewide. This year’s trout season opens on April 2, 2022, with Youth Mentee Trout Day on March 26. Under special regulations, tributaries to Lake Erie remain open for fishing until 12:01 a.m. the Friday before the regular trout season opens. Study the regulations before fishing.
East End Angler, 4702 East Lake Road; 814-898-3474
FishUSA Pro Shop, 6960 W. Ridge Rd., Fairview; 800-922-1219
Poor Richard’s Bait & Tackle, 6821 West Lake Road, Lake City; 814-474-5623
Elk Creek Sports, 10543 Old Lake Road, Lake City; 814-774-8755
Tudor Hook-N-Nook, 10079 Cross Station Ext., Girard; 814-323-5886
Richter’s Bait & Tackle, 2936 Williamsfield Road, Jamestown, PA; 724-932-5372