Anglers asked to stay off smallmouth bass nests in Lake Erie tributaries
ERIE, Pa. -- Steve doesn’t want his neighbors to know he spoke to an outsider about his fishing secret. It’s a lifelong passion that the Erie resident hides, and he didn’t want his last name to be used in this report.
Every year when the time is right, Steve loves catching stream-spawning smallmouth bass.
“Everybody up here knows about the runs but we don’t talk about it,” he said. “People come to Erie from all over to catch smallmouths in the lake, and [the state Fish and Boat Commission] sets the season based on the spawn in the near shore. But the fishing is even better when they’re running in the creeks.”
Smallmouth bass spawn when the water temperature reaches 60 degrees. On Tuesday, near-shore water temperatures off Erie County remained in the high 40s to mid-50s. Generally, the streams warm earlier and a small percentage of smallmouths take advantage of the opportunity to give their progeny a head start. This year, a major tributary reached 60 degrees on May 6, and the smallmouth run was on.
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