March 11, 2013 7:22 am Published by 1 Comment


Quiet Day on the Bay

Quiet Day on the Bay

Very much like most years in Erie, Presque Isle Bay starts March with a thin but safe skim of ice at the very beginning of the month, yet these waters are usually open by the end of the month.  2013 is proving to be quite normal.   One of the larger problems with this is that LATE ICE on the bay, which is the time just before it becomes unsafe, also tends to be the best and most productive time of the whole winter season.   This is the time when crappies, perch, bluegills and steelhead begin biting really well through the ice.  They don’t worry about the thin ice.   The combination of thin ice, nice weather, good fishing and cabin fever can and have created some terrible examples of unsafe fishing.

Hopefully these problems are over for this season as I do not see the bay freezing over from now on.   With open water now developing on the bay and at most streams flowing into Lake Erie, steelhead fishing is kicking into action.  A friend of mine caught and released twelve fish on Thursday.  Three were caught in the bay, seven in Elk Creek and the rest at Walnut Creek.   Live and salted minnows seem to work best.  He said the fish had a more than usual tendency to jump and run during the landing.   By the way, he lost an additional six in the bay.

Over the next few weeks the pike spawn begins in Presque Isle Bay and the bass and crappies slowly begin to feed as the bay and lake waters warm.  By the beginning of April, Presque Isle Bay will indeed start to come alive with fishing activity as fish of all sorts start biting in good numbers.  At this time, small mouth bass begin to enter the bay and the largemouth bass become more active in the lagoons and shallows. Usually the steelhead fishing is still fairly good in the bay, but slows as the month goes on.

According to some avid lake fishermen I talked to on Saturday, on the open waters of Lake Erie the Lake Trout will become the main target in April.  Now if you have not hooked a Lake Trout before, you are in for a treat.  A Lake Trout can weigh nearly 20 pounds and put up quite a fight.   For the shore bound fishermen (or women), the Waterworks Basin Pond on the park, is stocked with catchable trout and is an excellent choice for family fishing.

Crappie--National Fish and Wildlife

Crappie–National Fish and Wildlife

You will find that this time of year brings out the crappie fishermen.   There are three reasons for that.  Number one, they are easy to find and plentiful this time of year because they move to shallow water to spawn. The second reason is that crappie fishing is easy, convenient and inexpensive.  The last reason for liking this fishing is that these fish are genuinely easy to catch.  Children often get started with crappie fishing and once they know the thrill of catching a few, you just might have a lifetime angler on your hands.  Since spring crappies have such great taste, you will be able to cook them almost any way you like.  Coated with a very little cornstarch and pan fried in butter makes for one wonderful meal.



            Fishing tips for spring crappies.

  1.  Don’t set the hook to hard.  They have very thin mouth and you can pull the hook right through it.
  2. Use light line and small and light rods.  Heavy tackle will not be needed here.
  3. Go tiny!  These fish have very small mouths so your bait, hooks and lures need to be small too.
  4. Fishing for crappie is best done on cloudy days or in shaded areas.
  5. Fish areas around empty boat slips, breakwalls or piers.
  6. I have heard the best rig for crappies and by the way blue-gills too, is a small grub or tube jig below a slip bobber (This allows you to work the bait up and down while away from the shore).

I hope some of you will grab your kids or grandkids and try spring fishing on or near the park.

See you on the Park!! 


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