WCO Report for Erie County 05/03/2005: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 04, 2005

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on May 04, 2005 at 09:17:31:

WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert

The page has all but turned on another great steelhead season with the next wave of great Erie area fishing upon us. Spring Bass and crappie season is picking up as Bay temperatures slowly rise. Most area launch ramps are in and boaters are taking to the bay and even the Lake when the weather permits. As the Lake temperatures slowly warm, and it has been slow, it wont be long before the perch schools form and the migrating walleye move in from the Western Basin. Perch and Bass fishing were fair to good along the North and South Piers this past weekend. Bass anglers are reporting the action is getting better throughout Presque Isle Bay. Possible temperatures in the 70s this weekend may be an open invitation to start the boating season.
Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 45 degrees. Presque Isle Bay water temperature is in the low 50s as of this writing

Reading and Fishing Go Well Together for These Kids:
On May 2, 2005 the top ten readers of Springfield and Northwestern Elementary Schools participated in a fishing Derby at Albion Park sponsored by the Albion Sportsmen Club. Children from the elementary schools began counting the minutes of reading books about the environment back in October of 2004 until April of 2005. Once the totals were in the top ten children form both schools got the opportunity to come out during school to fish.

Many, never fished before, and everyone caught fish. The Albion Sportsmen Club, sponsors, and volunteers donated fish, fishing poles, grab bags, and snacks for the children. WCO Brook Tolbert attended the event and handed out PLAY patches to every child and donated two books to each school to add to their library collection. The books were Pennsylvania Fishes & Pennsylvania Amphibians & Reptiles.

It was a fantastic time enjoyed by all the children and volunteers. The PA Fish & Boat Commission expresses their gratitude to the teachers and administrators of the Northwestern School District for creating these possibilities for these children to experience fishing and learning the importance of having a clean environment. In addition, the Commission wants to thank the Albion Sportsmen Club and volunteers for taking part in helping introduce children to fishing, an invaluable task.

Walleye, Pike, and Muskellunge Season Reopens May 7th:
Creel limits and sizes for Walleye, Pike, and Muskellunge for Lake Erie, it's tributaries, and Presque Isle Bay are as follows:
Walleye, 4 fish with a minimum size of 18"
Pike, 2 fish with a minimum size of 24"
Muskellunge, 1 fish with a minimum size of 40"

Walnut Creek Access:
The Walnut Creek Access Office will open full time for the season beginning this Saturday, May 7th. Dredging of the marina basin and the channel is now complete and docks are in.

Lake Erie Fisheries Status and Trends Report:
Chuck Murray reminds everyone that the Lake Erie Research Unit's Annual Lake Erie Committee Report is now available on the PFCB website at:
This comprehensive report has interesting information and statistics on sport fishing, steelhead stocking and population trends of various species in Lake Erie that anglers will find interesting and useful.

Shoreline Fishing at Night for Walleye
Although Lake temperatures are a little cold yet for migratory walleye, early season anglers will be trying their luck along the shorelines near the Walnut access area and Trout and Godfrey runs. The jetties just east of the Walnut Creek Channel are the most popular spots at night. Resident walleye often will come in close to shore after sunset in search of stocked smolts and shiners. Patient anglers can cash in with a little skill and finesse. It is arguable how successful anglers are with these early season walleye, but be assured we have observed many successful night time outings. Wading the shoreline or fishing from shore with light line (4 to 6 lb.) using large Rapellas in rainbow, silver, and fire tiger patterns are the ticket. Cast out as far as you can and let the lure rest, giving it an occasional twitch. Patience in and allowing the lure to float motionless at times is critical for success. Typically the strikes are hard and obvious since these "resident" walleye are often the "lunkers." Secrets to success are patience, keeping quiet and not using any light. Successful anglers say even a lit cigarette can scare them away from the shore at night. Calm moon lit evenings and a glass lake surface tend to be the most productive although the action can start shortly after sunset at times.

Boaters often have success as well this time of year staying close to shore and either casting or trolling. Planer boards are almost a must for near shore walleye when trolling. A reminder that the walleye limits have changed for this year. The minimum size is 18" with a daily creel limit of 4 fish.

Elk Valley Sportsmen's Club Kids Fishing Derby, Last Minute Reminder:
The Elk Valley Sportsmen's Association will be holding its annual fishing derby for kids 12 and under at the Girard Boro Park pond on Saturday, May 7th. Kickoff is at 1:00 till 3:00 p.m. with great prizes and refreshments for the kids. This is a terrific event for the kids (and great entertainment for the parents) and is always well attended. This is a great introduction to fishing for youngsters. Get there early for that "hot spot." Fishing gear and help is available for those kids in need. Club members and PFBC officers are always on hand to help out. (Hint: shiners are generally the best bait)

Local Weather:
Wednesday night Mostly clear. Lows around 30. North winds around 5 mph becoming light.
Mostly sunny. Highs around 60. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday night
Partly cloudy. Not as cool with lows around 40. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph.
Friday through Saturday
Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 60s. Lows in the mid 40s.
Saturday night
Partly cloudy. Lows around 50.
Sunday and Sunday night
Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 70s. Lows around 50.
Monday and Monday night
Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs around 70. Lows around 50.
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 60s.

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