WCO Report for Erie County 05/19/2004: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 18, 2004

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on May 18, 2004 at 22:49:03:

WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert
Conditions:

Small mouth fishing is certainly the hot topic in our area right now. Good numbers can be found hanging in the slower moving pools on most of the tribs

Anglers targeting Presque Isle Bay and the Lake are having a banner year. Most of the smallmouth seem to be averaging in the 3 to 4 LB. range. Tube jigs, jerk baits, jigging spoons, blade baits and live shiners and crayfish have all been successful. 25 to 35 feet of water anywhere off the lake shore can be hot.

Perch fishing is picking up in 25 to 35 feet of water due north of Walnut Creek. Reports from local charter captains have been good for this early in the season for Lake trout and steelhead. A few walleye are being brought in but catches are sporadic.

Current Lake Erie Temperature as of this writing is 58 degrees.

Northeast Marina Update:
The paving contractor will be paving at North East Marina from 5/24/04 to 5/26/04. The marina can remain open on the 24th and 25th, but will have to close on the 26th while the contractor is placing the wearing course (top coat) The new paving is a significant upgrade to the Northeast Marina.

Walnut Creek Access Update:
The Walnut Creek Access channel dredging is going a little slower than expected. The channel is currently open while the dredging continues. For up to the minute conditions on the channel and dredging progress you can call the Walnut Creek Office at 814-833-2464

How to fish a Tube Jig:
Insert a light (1/16 - 1/8 oz.) lead head jig with a 2/0 spring wire hook into the inside of the tube, pushing the jig's eye through the top of the tube. Cast the bait letting it spiral down like a dying baitfish. Fluorocarbon line can be helpful with Lake Erie and the bay being extremely clear. Jumbo tubes in the 4 1/2" to 5" length are popular for those anglers targeting a trophy fish. The larger tubes require a larger lead head jig.

Let the bait fall on slack line but be aware of your line at all times. Any movement of the line will indicate a strike while it is falling. Reel down, and with a snap of your wrist, set the hook.

If the bait reaches the bottom, gently raise your rod tip until you feel the bait. Do this two or three times and if it feels funny, set the hook. If you do not feel anything after the two or three lift and drops, reel in and repeat the process.

Use tube jigs while searching for large or small mouth bass in the shallows

In and around Presque Isle Bay, try rigging it weedless by using a Shaw Grigsby High Performance hook in the 2/0 size with a small weight inside the tube.

Use as light a weight as you can get away with without losing the delicate feel of the tube bait (Lighter weights in the Bay and heavier in the Lake).

Fish the tube bait around docks and brush or any other available cover with no weight, the slow fall will drive bass crazy.

Out in open water for smallmouth, fish the outside edges of large deep weed lines or large weed beds. As the day progresses, throw a weedless tube rig inside the weeds as bass tend to go deeper in the weeds as the sun rises.

Tighten your drag down for a better hook set. Once the fish is away from cover let off on the drag and let the bass tire itself out. The advantage of a longer rod comes into play here as it does the work of tiring the bass so you can land it.

Use different styles of lead heads ( round, darter, and chicklet are a few) to do different kinds of fishing with the tube. Each one produces a different type of fall.

There are many different types of plastics used in the process of making tubes. Use a soft plastic for open water fishing and a harder type for cover fishing such as brush and Lilly pads.

There are also many different colors to use but stay with the basics of greens and browns (pumpkinseed, motoroil, black with speckles, olive are all popular) for imitating crayfish and clear or pearl with metal flake colors for imitating baitfish. These are not hard and true colors, but day in and day out, produce the best.

Know Our Area Before You Launch:
Boaters, especially those from out of town that are not familiar with the area should take note of the regulations specific to our area. Although much of the following is marked, boaters should know these regulations. Boats are limited to slow, minimum height swell speed (no wake areas) in the following areas:

Through the Erie Harbor Entrance between the North Pierhead Light (foghorn) and Inter Range Tower.

In the area adjacent to the Erie Public Dock, extending from the Erie Sand and Gravel Company on the West to the Continental Grain Company piers on the East. The restricted area will include the Canal Basin and extend northward to the harbor line (In short, the channel connecting Presque Isle to Lake Erie).

Within the boundaries of Presque Isle State Park, including the waters of Marina and Misery Bays and the waters along the bay and lake shore for a distance of 500 feet from the shore.

Water skiing, other than for the purpose of take off or approach, is prohibited within 500 feet of the shoreline of Presque Isle peninsula.

The anchoring of watercraft in the entrance channel to Horseshoe Pond, Fox Pond, Marina Bay, the Lagoons or the bridge at Misery Bay in a manner that interferes with the public use of these areas or in a manner which creates a hazard to other watercraft is prohibited.

The mooring of boats to any dock, wharf, pier, ship or boat launching facility in a manner that interferes with public use or creates a hazard to other watercraft is prohibited. Boats are prohibited within 100 feet of designated swimming beaches at Presque Isle State Park.

The internal lagoons from Marina Drive Bridge at the West end of the Long Pond through the northern entrance of Graveyard Pond shall be limited non powered watercraft and electric motors only.

Maps of the area can be found at most area bait shops and on many on line sites.

Fish for Free Days:
Fish for Free Days allow anyone to legally fish for Pennsylvania�s most popular fish without a fishing license. Each year the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission's Executive Director designates 2 Fish for Free Days. No fishing license is required to fish on Pennsylvania's waterways all day May 29 and June 5, 2004. All other fishing regulations still apply. Copies of the Anglers Summary booklet can obtained at most area bait and tackle shops and at the Walnut Creek Access office free of charge. The Erie area offers a bonanza of fishing opportunities for the new angler. Plenty of shore fishing is available to new anglers along the Bay Front Highway on Presque Isle Bay as well as much of the shore line at Presque Isle State Park. Fish for fee days are the opportunity for the inexperienced angler to try his luck as well as a great opportunity to introduce a friend to fishing.

Local Weather:
Wednesday night
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 50s. East winds around 10 mph in the evening, becoming southeast after midnight. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Thursday
Partly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s. Southwest winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Thursday night
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 60s. West winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Friday
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Friday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows around 60. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Saturday
Partly cloudy in the morning, then becoming mostly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 80s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Saturday night
Mostly cloudy in the evening, then becoming partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Sunday
Partly cloudy in the morning, then becoming mostly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Sunday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 50s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Monday
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Monday night and Tuesday
Mostly cloudy in the evening, then becoming partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 50s. Highs in the lower 70s. Chance of rain 30 percent




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