WCO Report for Erie County 04/06/2005: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: April 05, 2005

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on April 05, 2005 at 22:11:11:

WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert

A surprise Spring snow storm dumped a foot of snow and in some areas over two feet on the area on Sunday swelling area tribs. A quick warming trend causing a very rapid melting has kept the tribs high and flowing fast. The warming trend and high water has brought additional steelhead into the tribs and as water levels subside we could be in for a great weekend of fishing. Anglers were out Tuesday afternoon along the "Wall" at the Walnut Creek Access searching for that anticipated "Spring Run" and were not disappointed. A good number of fresh fish in the 20" to 25" range were being caught pretty much at will. Egg sacs were the preferred bait. Anglers were also starting to line up at Trout Run with a fair number of catches observed.

Warmer temperatures found anglers trying their luck along the Bayfront on Presque Isle Bay. Panfish catches were fair to good. With the Presque Isle Bay now ice free, spring crappie season is just around the corner.

Current Lake Erie water temperature is 34 degrees with drifting ice. Presque Isle Bay is now ice free through the channel and into Lake Erie. Current tributary conditions as of Tuesday afternoon were high and flowing but very fishable.

Trophy Bass Season on Lake Erie:
Trophy bass season on Lake Erie, it's tributaries, and Presque Isle bay opens April 16th and extends through June 17th. Minimum size during this period is 20" with a one fish daily creel limit.

Tributary Closings Before Regular Trout Season:
Anglers are again reminded that it is unlawful to fish or possess trout or salmon in or along any Lake Erie tributary stream from 12:01 a.m. on April 15 until 8 a.m. on April 16 (32 hours total).

New Dredging Machine Unveiled:
The PFBC has purchased a mobil watercraft designed specifically for dredging. The machine, powered by a 300 horsepower John Deere diesel engine is appropriately called the "Dredge". It sports two large paddle wheels at the stern that allow tight maneuvering. The boat drafts (will float in) a modest 22" of water. Currently moored at the Walnut Creek Marina, the machine will be used to dredge the basin and the channel entering Lake Erie. The rig will then be move to the Northeast Marina for additional work there. The craft has a large auger system under the bow used to break up silt and gravel. The material is then mixed with water to a slurry that can be pumped up to a maximum horizontal distance of one mile. Normal pumping distances are one thousand to two thousand feet. At Walnut Creek, the machine will be able to dredge the channel and basin and pump the material directly along the lakeshore eliminating the need for front end loaders and dump trucks.

Some opening day suggestions

Tackle - Light or ultra light spinning or spincast reels filled with two to four lb. test line are best suited for our area streams. Closed faced reels work best for the kids to avoid tangles. Rods should be no longer than six feet (five feet is better) so you can keep your bait out of trees and away from others while casting. The exception to this would be if you are fishing the Erie Tribs. In that case a noodle rod may be more in order to handle the potential steelhead or sucker strike. Tie a short shank, size 10 to 14 hook and add one or two small (size BB or bird seed) split shot 12-18 inches above the hook. The removable type split shot works better as it allows you to change weights easily depending on the water flow. If you are using larger baits like whole nightcrawlers, larger hooks (size 6 or 8) might work better. Float the bait under a small float just large enough to carry the bait. Large floats do little more than spook the fish and make it difficult to detect strikes. Adjust the float to keep the bait near the bottom, or as deep as possible at the Gravel Pit Pond. The Gravel Pit pond in Fairview is actually a mined out gravel pit and quite deep.

Bait - Popular trout baits include corn, red worms, nightcrawlers, crickets, salmon eggs (fresh cured or jarred types in different colors), the powerbaits, marshmallows and emerald shiners both live and salted (everyone has a favorite secret weapon). Try a variety of baits in case the trout are finicky or if the weather isn't cooperating. Put just enough bait on to just cover the hook and do not go overboard. Trout will often shy away from a large presentation. For example, on a size 10 or 12 hook use: a) one or two pieces of corn or, b) one cricket or, c) one red worm d) one or two salmon eggs or, e) one-third to one-half of a nightcrawler or a single minnow. Typically the smaller the presentation, the better. It doesn't hurt to watch what the guy catching all the fish is using either. (My favorite technique).

Etiquette - Cooperation and consideration in crowded fishing areas will make for a great day of angling for all. Area officers will be out and covering as much of the area as possible. There are plenty of fish to be caught and sharing your secrets with others can develop into life long friend ships. As always be aware that many areas of our tributaries run through private land and your behavior is a direct influence as to how many areas will remain open to public fishing in the future. Be especially considerate of younger anglers and the elderly .....we were all young once and we certainly are all getting older.....and please police your area for litter before you leave, even if its not your own. Good Luck!!

Local Weather:
Wednesday night
Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows around 50. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph.
Showers likely with a chance of thunderstorms. Highs around 60. West winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.
Thursday night
Showers likely. Lows around 40. Chance of rain 60 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers. Highs in the mid 50s.
Friday night and Saturday
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s. Highs in the mid 50s.
Saturday night through Monday
Mostly clear. Lows around 40. Highs in the upper 50s.

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