West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton|
Tributary conditions have been favorable over the last week with generally good flow and color in most areas. Tuesday's brutal winter storm and the 8 to 10" of snow it has left behind will have impact on area conditions with increased levels and color and of course high and fast flow as the snow melts off later this week and next. With water levels high, fresh fish continue to move into tribs and silver steelhead can be found now from the mouths to the upper stretches. The lake shore near Trout Run was a hot spot this past weekend with the area nearly ice free except for some build up right at the shoreline. The Manchester Hole and the "Chutes" area given up good numbers as well.
A fair number of the smaller "jack" sized steelhead have moved in to the access area on Elk Creek up to and around the first bend by the boat launch.
The Gravel Pit pond in Fairview has yielded a few pre season stocked trout, but catches there have been sporadic. A number of anglers are targeting spring crappie along Presque Isle with limited success. As the temperature in the bay gradually rises above the 40 degree mark, critical for spawning migration, the action should pick up quickly.
Lake Erie Water temperature as of this writing is 35 degrees.
Take Care Of Stocked Steelhead Smolts:
Steelhead smolts look like small rainbows and are often mistaken for stocked trout. They are typically smaller then the "stockies" and should be carefully released. They hold the future of Steelhead fishing in our area. If a Steelhead smolt is hooked, reel it in quickly without overstressing the fish. Gently release the smolt as quickly as you can. If the hook is swallowed it is generally best to just cut the line and release the fish for the best chance of survival.
Catching Spring Crappie:
Many types of fishing tend to slow down dramatically in the winter as the fish become more dormant. In the cold water they become lethargic and difficult to catch unless the lure passes right in front of their noses. Crappie on the other hand, are great to fish for year round. They actually like the cooler waters and can be found in the cooler deeper waters in the summer time too. In the spring, during their spawning, like most fish, they move into the warmer shallow waters of Presque Isle Bay.. Spring time crappie fishing can be spectacular in our area with the hot spot being Presque Isle, specifically Misery Bay and the shoreline on the north side of the bay west of the Marina Bay channel. Since crappie tend to prefer brush piles and other underwater cover, try to locate any structures. Ask rangers, or park officials, and bait shops where they can be found, or easier yet, just look for the crowds. Misery bay has a good amount of natural and artificial cover.
Rig up an ultralight rod with 2-4 pound test line and a jig or live minnow with a stand-up crappie bobber or in line pencil type float. Noodle rods used for steelhead fishing work great. Fish it with a lot of action to attract crappie in the 5-18 ft. depths. When you get a strike, pull back on the rod tip and carefully begin reeling the fish in. Be sure not to let the line go slack or the fish can sometimes back the hook out before you land it. Crappie, like most panfish will put up a great fight, especially on light tackle. When possible, night time fishing for crappie can prove very successful. These fish are really attracted to a large lamp pointing into the water.
Crappie are excellent table fare and can be rivaled only by our mouthwatering perch. Filleted, and pan fried, they are hard to beat.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow showers. Little or no snow accumulation. Lows in the lower 20s. North winds 5 to 10 mph becoming west toward daybreak. Chance of snow 40 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow. Highs in the upper 30s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 30 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow showers. Lows in the upper 20s. Light and variable winds. Chance of snow 40 percent.
Mostly cloudy. Highs near 40.
Mostly cloudy. Lows 30 to 35.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Highs in the mid 40s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow or rain showers. Breezy. Lows in the lower 30s. Chance of precipitation 30 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow showers. Highs in the upper 30s. Chance of snow is 30 percent.
Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s.
Mostly cloudy. Highs in the lower 40s.
Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 20s.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow or rain showers. Highs in the lower 40s. Chance of precipitation 30 percent.