Will the warmer weather activate the fish?

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“The fishing success this week has been really uneven. We need warmer weather! exclaimed Jake to FishUSA. “Steelhead is still at bay. Trolling spoons and stickbaits were the ticket. The number of small mouths is increasing in the bay, although the bite has been temperamental due to ever-changing conditions; anglers have had success with jerkbaits like the Vision 110 and the Lucky Craft Pointer.”

Warmer conditions and more consistent weather would be a big help for anglers in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Elk Creek Sports Store hopes this weekend will provide better conditions. “With temperatures in the 70s, no high winds and only a little rain forecast for this weekend, it looks like a really good time to fish,” Chris told Elk Creek Sports. “The lower part of Elk Creek is stocked with browns, smallmouth bass and suckers; some rainbow trout are still hooked in there too.

Brittany at Poor Richard’s said perch continues to strike in the shallow waters of Près Isle Bay, while deep-water bite along the north and south jetties increases. “There is also increasing smallmouth bass and northern pike action in the bay. Anglers catch bass with small paddle-tail swimbaits. We are preparing for the opening of the walleye season on May 1st.

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Focusing on the major lake reports, Kirk at East End Angler said lake trout were caught in 40 to 55 feet of water just inside the mountain directly out of Northeast Marina – when you can to go out. However, a mud line now exists at 45 feet with one foot of visibility. Closer to shore in about 25 to 30 feet of water, the smallmouth bass hits the Vib-E blade baits.

Last week’s snowmelt and cold rains affected inland waters to a greater extent than Lake Erie and Almost Isle Bay. Various inland waterways reported temperatures between 8 and 15 degrees.

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“The Allegheny River temperature is starting to recover,” Mike told Mike’s Custom Tackle. “I managed to catch and release a few smallmouth bass on Wednesday night – nothing huge, but all were big and healthy. Smallies hit tube baits, but I would also recommend hard jerkbaits and Ned Rigs as river conditions continue to improve.

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“Last weekend’s wild weather pretty much shut down Pymatuning,” said Dave of Richter’s Bait. “But with improving temperatures, fish are getting back on track. Muskies are on a full yard press for spawning; many shore catches reported. Smallmouth bass are moving to gravel bumps and points as the walleyes go in. With highs expected in the 70s for the weekend, the bite of crappie and bluegill should be very good.

“The temperature of Shenango Lake has dropped to 40 degrees; the fish have to readjust again,” said Randy of Fish West PA. “The crappie bite is top to bottom, the white bass hasn’t entered the river yet, and there’s no sign of hybrid stripes in the shallows. I think we have more than one week late. A prolonged warming trend will move everything.”

SONS of Lake Erie Event

Save Our Native Species, (SONS) of Lake Erie is hosting an open house this weekend at its hatchery at 340 West Bayfront Parkway in Erie.

The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. “The walleyes are hatching,” said group manager Bob Zawadzki.

They have about 1.3 million walleye eggs hatching and the young fish will soon be stocked in Almost Isle Bay.

“Bring the youth in,” he said of the event which showcases what the organization does. There will be games for children. There will be a tank full of brown trout where people can guess how many fish there are for a chance to win a fishing rod.

As well as raising fish, the organization’s approximately 2,500 members advocate for public access to waterways as well as improvements to help physically disabled anglers find places to go.

Members provide fishing trips and clinics to approximately 1,000 children each year. The organization also helps veterans go fishing on some of the lead boats and on the At The Lake Ministries boat which has special accommodations for those with physical challenges and wheelchairs.

Contributors:

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

To note: Brian Whipkey contributed to this report.

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