WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert|
The Erie tribs have been high and rolling as of late with warmer than normal temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall. There are good numbers of steelhead still to be caught but they are pretty well spread out and finding them can be a challenge. The Manchester hole is still holding good numbers of fish. The PFBC moved a good number of steelhead from Trout Run to the Walnut Creek marina basin helping to increase catch rates there. With the lack of any ice fishing yet, a good number of anglers are frequenting the tribs conditions permitting. New Years Eve saw a surprising number of anglers lining up along the lake shore at Trout Run in very rough conditions in attempt to take advantage of a day off. Forecasts are calling for a good chance of rain and snow for the remainder of the week along with a number of flood watches all of which may keep the tribs high for a while. On the bright side, it may also set the stage for fresh fish to move in.
Some perch and panfish are being caught of the North and South piers along the Erie channel entering Presque Isle Bay.
Current Lake Erie Water temperature as of this writing is 36 degrees. Current tributary conditions as of this writing are high, muddy and flowing hard.
Support Your Local Sportsmen's Clubs:
The PA Steelhead Association will have its monthly meeting beginning at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 12, 2005 at the Elk Creek Inn. The public is welcome.
Preparing for Ice Fishing Season if it Ever Arrives:
Consider the following check list of items (enhanced from last year) to make your ice outing more enjoyable and productive:
Fishing rods - Large guides, sensitive tip, with some backbone, preferably the short ones made specifically for ice angling
Reels - Micro-spinning reel
Line - 2 to 6 LB test ice line
Bobber stops with beads
Split shot, a variety of sizes
Foam ice fishing bobbers
Fingernail clipper or line cutters to cut line
Ice scoop/ladle/dipper - for removing slush from the hole, a must have item
Micro and ice jigs and spoons, hooks...etc.
Bait - wax worms, fatheads, crappie, minnows, grubs etc. Small jigging blades tipped with shiners are good bait.
5 gallon bucket to sit on, and carry fish in
Hand warmers (I still like the Jon E's best)
Needle nose pliers or forceps
Fishing License (current of course)
Proper Personal Identification (regulations require an additional form of ID when fishing)
Ice auger (Regulations permit hole diameter to be 10")
Sled for auger and gear (The light weight kids plastic toboggans work great)
Small light weight shovel, collapsible if possible
Ice picks - could be a lifesaver! (A couple of screw drivers tied on the end of a light cord will work in a pinch)
A compass (can be easy to loose sense of direction in a blizzard)
Mouth spreader (for the fish of course)
Gaff for larger fish should you get lucky
"Another sled for more gear"
Spud bar (for checking ice thickness)
Tip-ups - preferably the freeze-free type
Leaders for tip-ups
Quickstrike rigs for tip-ups
Bait for tip-ups, smelt, shiners, etc.
GPS (a white out on Presque Isle Bay can be pretty confusing)
Camera (disposable works best and you wont fret if you lose it)
Lantern, Matches or Lighter (for propane heater)
Sun glasses, You'll appreciate them when coming out of your hut on a bright sunny day
A buddy whenever possible
Neoprene waterproof gloves
Tasty snacks and beverages
"Another sled for more gear"
For those with a few extra bucks:
Aqua-view or underwater camera
Two-way radios to talk to your buddies
Strike sensors for tip-ups
Ice Fishing Tackle Recap:
It is unlawful while ice fishing to use more than five fishing devices, which may consist of rods, hand lines, tip-ups or any combination. Each device shall contain a single fishing line with no more than three hooks attached to each line. Holes cut in ice may not exceed 10 inches between the farthest points as measured in any direction. All lines, rods or tip-ups shall be under the immediate control of the person using them. On Fish & Boat Commission lakes, shelters or shanties must be removed when through fishing for the
Freezing rain, mixing with or changing to rain. Evening lows in the upper 20s, then temperatures rising to the lower 30s. Ice accumulation of up to one quarter of an inch. East winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of precipitation 100 percent.
Mostly cloudy. Freezing rain and rain likely in the morning. A chance of snow showers in the afternoon. Brisk with highs in the upper 30s. Southeast winds 15 to 20 mph in the morning, becoming southwest 15 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Brisk with lows in the upper 20s. West winds 15 to 25 mph.
Mostly cloudy. Highs in the lower 30s.
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s.
Partly cloudy in the morning. Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain showers in the afternoon. Highs around 40.
Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain. Lows in the lower 30s.
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain showers. Highs in the mid 40s.
Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 30s.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 40s.
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain. Lows in the lower 30s.
Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of rain. Highs in the mid 40s.