Erie fishing report for Dec. 29
The final Erie-area fishing report of 2010 from Randy Leighton, deputy waterways conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission:
Cold temperatures continue to strengthen the already formed ice on most of the areas waters although there are still areas of unstable ice. Presque Isle Bay remains ice covered with reports on thickness from 4 inches to 6 inches. Some areas in the center of the bay remain thin and there is still slush in some areas. Anglers are reminded that the heavy snow cover can make ice thickness deceiving and caution is still advised. Anglers coming off the bay this past weekend reported moderate catches of perch although bluegills and smelt seemed to be plentiful. There were no complaints though; just being able to finally do a little hardwater fishing seemed to be enough to bring out the smiles.
Anglers have had some success targeting steelhead through the ice at the Walnut Creek basin and in the channel just outside the basin. Broken drift ice has built up along the Lake Erie shoreline. This ice is not solid or stable and should be considered unsafe. The Manchester Hole, although mostly ice covered, still has open water in the center. Fast-flowing water under the ice in this area is a recipe for danger.
A few anglers found good ice fishing at the Upper Gravel Pit Pond in Fairview this past weekend, bringing in a few nice perch and a a few leftover stockies. Shiners were the ticket. The Gravel Pit Pond is somewhat sheltered from the high winds that often blow on Presque Isle Bay and can be a good place for those without a portable ice shanty. The gravel pit, although not a large body of water, is quite deep. Be sure to check ice thickness carefully.