Following an unusually long cold period, the recent warm-up has led to a relative novelty in angling – ice fishing in warmish weather. Ice on some regional lakes has had months to thicken, unusual at this latitude. Even west of the Allegheny Mountains, ice was abundant – two weeks ago Lake Arthur in Butler County had an 18-inch cap. A week or two of seasonable weather in the 40s and 50s has resulted in some melting, but on many lakes the wet ice has remained safe – March 8 anglers in light jackets comfortably fished through solid ice on lower Twin Lakes outside of Greensburg. Those favorable conditions won't last forever. Ice anglers are reminded that 4 inches of solid ice is the minimum required to support one person and gear.
Lake Erie and tributaries (Erie County): On Presque Isle Bay ice was beginning break up near shore. Caution advised. A few anglers reported nice catches of perch, but fishing success was waning overall. On the tribs, big ice jams made steelhead fishing impossible.
Pymatuning Reservoir (Crawford County): Ice remained sold but fishing was generally slow.
Lake Wilhelm (Mercer County): Poor fishing reported with some panfish caught near the dam.
Lake Arthur (Butler County): Some perch and panfish were caught through good ice. Anglers said the catch rate was in decline.
Bradys Run Lake (Beaver County): Fish and Boat stocked rainbows March 11 at this Approved Trout Waters Open to Year-Round Fishing lake. Some open water was available. Ice was questionable, caution advised.
Raccoon Lake (Beaver County): A state stocking of rainbows is planned for March 28. Not part of a special program, trout fishing is prohibited at Raccoon Lake until April 12.
North Park Lake (Allegheny County): Ice was wet and softening, extreme caution is advised. Little shore access was available at this Approved Trout Waters Open to Year-Round Fishing lake. A state stocking of rainbow trout is scheduled for March 26. Want to help? The truck meets 1 p.m. at the North Park Boat House.
Loyalhanna Creek (Westmoreland County): Steven Baur of Monroeville released three browns on nymphs in the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only stretch, which was stocked with browns and rainbows March 8.
Dunkard Creek (Greene County): Flatheads were taken at the mouth.
Monongahela River (Washington, Greene counties): With the weather slowly breaking, good fishing was reported. Bass, muskies, crappies, walleye and sauger were taken in 10-12 feet on soft plastics.
Laurel Hill Creek (Somerset County): Fly anglers took trout at both of the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only sections.
Clear Shade Creek (Somerset County): Some nice brook trout were released at the Catch and Release Fly Fishing Only stretch.
Cranberry Glade Lake (Somerset County): Fish and Boat reported a 31-inch northern was caught on a tip-up.
Lake Somerset (Somerset County): Anglers said despite good ice, the lake's draw-down had slowed this year's ice fishing. Some panfish were caught, mostly on live minnows or maggot-tipped jigs.
Spring Creek (Centre County): Good weather brought out the anglers, and many were successful. Wet flies, streamers and Blue-winged Olives worked, as well as spinners and live bait.
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