Rod Jig

is fishing in kinzua dam good?

i wnat to go on a fishing trip to kinzua dam and warren pa but i dint know if is good help me out if ya know

Since the mid-1970s, the New York/Pennsylvania-border reservoir has a strong history of producing monster walleye.

Most of these fish were caught through the ice and were the largest walleye caught in either state each year.

The Keystone State record was pressured several times before finally being destroyed in 1979 by a slob 16-pound, 12-ounce, 34¼-inch walleye.

The following year, Mike Holly of Bradford pulled the current record — 17 pounds, 9 ounces, 36½ inches — through the ice.

Walleye
Stretch out a line of tip-ups from shore for walleye on Allegheny/Kinzua Reservoir.
Eleven years later a fish fell 2 ounces shy of the record.

The New York state record — 16 pounds, 7 ounces — was also caught at Kinzua in 1994, though it wasn't caught through the ice.

The lake also produced the current Pennsylvania state-record northern pike.

Though it too wasn't an ice fish, fishing for northerns still remains excellent during the winter.

Brown trout have become regular part of the ice fishing on Kinzua, though they aren't caught as frequently as walleye or pike.

Trout up to 6 pounds are common. Ice anglers sometimes hook into musky, but the bigger ones are too large to pull through the 6 to 8-inch holes drilled by most ice fishermen.

Rainbow trout are stocked in Kinzua, but they aren't caught as often as browns.

Catfish up to 12 pounds were fairly common during the late 1970s, but they are unusual now.

Lake trout and Atlantic salmon have been stocked as well, but are also fairly uncommon through the ice.

Tip-up central

Tip-ups are the mainstay on this reservoir. Most ice anglers use at least four tip-ups and no more than one jigging rod.

Jigging rods left unattended quickly become structure on the bottom of the reservoir.

Emerald shiners are the staple tip-up bait; in fact, some of the most successful ice anglers will not fish without them.

Fortunately, they are usually available at area bait shops.

The favorite size bait for big-fish anglers is 4 to 6 inches. Either way you hook the fish — through the lips or through the back dorsal fin — will work.

Running these shiners with a treble hook single-wide gap is most likely the best approach. Early season, the fish are more aggressive, so either tactic works well.

Strategies

Everyone has a different view when it comes to fishing Kinzua and how to set your rigs.

From what I've determined, there's no right answer, but I tend to set my tip-ups at a variety of depths.

Tip-up 1 is set near a shoreline boulder with the bait about 5 feet under the ice.

This is a great set-up for pike, trout or musky.

Tip-ups 2, 3 and 4 — intended primarily for walleye, though they might catch anything — are set with their baits about a foot above the bottom.

Tip-up 5 is set just a few feet under the ice over deep water. It is intended to catch trout primarily, but perhaps pike.

Start your tip-up pattern near shore, and near some type of steep structure such as a steep point, cliff or large boulder.

Pike and trout often roam just a few feet under the ice, and pike, especially, near shore. Set the bait about 3 to 4 feet beneath the ice.

If pike are your primary objective, set two or three tip-ups close to shore with a reasonable distance between them.

If the water is deep enough, vary the depths of the baits. For example, if the depth is about 15 feet, set one at 3 feet, one at 8 and another at 12.

Keep in mind that the fishing regulations require that tip-ups be close enough to be under your immediate control.

J-pattern not just for ducks

If you want a tip-up spread that is ready for any Kinzua big fish, run your tip-ups in a line, or a "J" shape, out from shore to a depth of no more than 30 feet.

Beyond 30 feet you will catch mostly smaller walleye, and bringing them up from depths greater than about 33 feet will kill most.

If the bottom slope is relatively gentle, the line should be roughly perpendicular to the shoreline.

On steeper slopes, run the line at a more acute angle so you can spread the holes at least 20 feet apart.

This will cover a reasonable amount of water, and it will usually avoid fish tangling two lines.

Walleye seldom take out more than 10 to 15 feet of line. Pike and trout often take much more.

Setting the depth of the bait depends on the fish you hope to catch. For walleye, the bait should usually be set within a foot of the bottom.

If trout are your objective, set at least a couple of baits no more than 5 feet under the ice, no matter what the depth.

If you see most hits coming on one or two tip-ups, concentrate more of your rigs in that same depth range.

I prefer, regardless of the pattern, to keep at least one tip-up close to shore.

I also reserve one of my five allotted rigs for jigging.

I drill several holes for this, with at least one close to each tip-up — no more than five feet away — so I can jig there if it appears that a school of w

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