WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert|
Area tribs continue to be an on again, off again fishing scenario with skim ice and slush one day and free flowing waters the next. We seem to have developed a trend of week to week of freezing temperatures leaving little to no open water and then a mid to late week warming trend to open things up. This week seems to be no exception with temperature ranges from the teens to the forties. The tribs have been generally on the low side and very often clear making fishing difficult at best. On the plus side, elbow room is relaxed and the quiet fishing experience that so many long for in our area can for now, be enjoyed. The larger, slower moving pools are still holding fish but the majority of the remaining fish are dark colored and well winter worn. We still have plenty of potential for incoming fresh fish. It will be interesting to see if we actually have a spring steelhead season or whether the mild weather will just taper off the season. Anglers looking for fresh steelhead would likely find the best success at the access areas of Walnut and Elk Creeks or shore line fishing at Trout and Godfrey Runs when wind and waves permit. The Walnut basin has been somewhat productive and anglers braving the wind along the wall at Walnut Access have also had some luck
Boating Safety Classes are Hot This Year:
As was mentioned last week, the PFBC safe boating class scheduled for March 5th and 6th filled up in only a few weeks making it necessary to schedule a second class for April 10th and 11th. The April class is already on its way to filling up and those interested are advised to get their names in soon. Boating season is just around the corner and the winter months are a great time to take this course. The class scheduled for April 10th and 11th will also be held at the Stull Interpretive Center (Nature Center) at Presque Isle State Park.
Area PFBC officers will be instructing this class. This comprehensive 8 hour class is designed for the novice boater or boater to be, as well as the experienced boater who would like to refresh his knowledge. It is also a great activity for the boating family and is a great cabin fever outing. The class covers basic boating safety, boating laws and regulations, and equipment. Successful completion of the course qualifies the individual for a Pennsylvania boating education safety certificate (card). There is no charge for the course or materials, although registration is required. These classes typically fill up quickly and class size will be limited to 35 people so early sign up is recommended. Upon successful completion of the course and the final exam , the Agency will require a processing fee for your Basic Boating Safety Card if one is desired. To register for this class, email DWCO Randy Leighton at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, address, phone, age, and number of people you would like to register if necessary you can phone 814-774-4672.
Rig up an light to ultra-light rod with 2-4 pound test line and a jig or live minnow with a stand-up crappie bobber or inline pencil type float. Grubs can be good baits at times and a change of jigs or tipping a jig with a live minnow can help to get the action started. Noodle rods used for steelhead fishing work great or even your standard trout set up. Any type of light set up will do to help detect the occasion sensitive strikes. Fish it with a lot of action to attract crappie in the 5-18 ft. depths. Crappie have delicate mouths that tear easy. 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 pan fish, will put up a great fight, especially on light tackle. When possible, nighttime fishing for crappie can prove very successful. These fish are really attracted to a large lamp pointing into the water. For my money a cooler full of crappie filleted and fried will rival the best perch Lake Erie has to offer.
Last Reminder on the Big Show: