WCO Report for Erie County 03/12/2008: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: March 12, 2008

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on March 12, 2008 at 09:36:59:

March 12th, 2008

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


The Erie area took the brunt of the big snow storm this past weekend dumping a foot and a half of snow and plenty wind to create deep drifting. Although there was a fair amount of open fast water in the upper stretches of the tribs, getting streamside in the deep snow was difficult. A few sunny days have started a slow melt, however there is still plenty of white stuff remaining. A number of anglers have been taking advantage of the open water and doing surprisingly well. Two anglers were observed on Monday fishing some open lake water at Trout Run hooking fish after fish until they seemingly got bored. The lower stretches at the mouths of Elk and Walnut Creeks are ice jammed for now. Anglers have been venturing out on Presque Isle Bay in small numbers, with the heavy snow making the walk difficult.

The Passing of a Good Friend to the Erie Fishing Community:
This past weekend saw the passing of Bill Blackman, a sincere friend to all that knew him. Bill was not the president of any club, nor a politician, or the leader of any causes. He was however, a humble individual that recognized and loved the fishing opportunities that the Erie area has to offer and took every opportunity to take advantage, especially through out his long retirement. Bill was among the most dedicated members of the SONS of Lake Erie, rarely missing a meeting or a sponsored event, He rarely if ever, spoke a harsh word and always had a story to tell. He rarely missed a SONS meeting or sponsored event. He was always the first to volunteer when it came working with youngsters new to the sport, taking great satisfaction in helping others. Those that knew Bill well, were always treated to a warm and genuine hug every time they were greeted and it was clear the Bill genuinely enjoyed sharing company with all the many people he knew. Bill was well known by area officers and we along with his many, many friends will miss him deeply. One last hug for you Bill......

PA Steelhead Meeting for March Changed:
The PA Steelhead Association has postponed its monthly meeting Wednesday, March 12th, 2008. The membership meeting has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 29, 2008 at 7 p.m. This is the same day as the PSA Spring Run Banquet. Officer elections will be held at this meeting. The meeting will take place at the American Legion Post 773 at 4109 West 12th Street in Erie. This is on the south side of West 12th Street (State Route 5), just east of the Erie Airport.

The Spring Run Banquet is a catch & release tournament based on length of fish. It is open to PSA members only ( you must have a fellow member verify the catch ). Fishing is from 7am - 5pm and limited to Pennsylvania waters. Plaques will be awarded to the top three catches at the spring banquet, to be held that night from 6pm - 9 pm. at the American Legion Post 773 . The banquet will also serve as our regular March meeting, and election night.

<>Catching Spring Crappie:
Spring is, by the calendar, only a few weeks away. Many types of fishing tend to slow down dramatically in the winter as the fish become more dormant. In the cold water they become lethargic and difficult to catch unless the lure passes right in front of their noses. Crappie on the other hand, are great to fish for year round. They actually like the cooler waters and can be found in the cooler deeper waters in the summer time too. In the late winter and spring, during their spawning, like most fish, they move into the warmer shallow waters of Presque Isle Bay.. Spring time crappie fishing can be spectacular in our area with the hot spot being Presque Isle, specifically Misery Bay and the shoreline on the north side of the bay west of the Marina Bay channel. Since crappie tend to prefer brush piles and other underwater cover, try to locate any structures. Ask rangers, or park officials, and bait shops where they can be found, or easier yet, just look for the crowds. Misery bay has a good amount of natural and artificial cover.

Rig up an ultra light rod with 2-4 pound test line and a jig or live minnow with a stand-up crappie bobber or in line pencil type float and hang on. Noodle rods used for steelhead fishing work great. Fish it with a lot of action to attract crappie in the 5-18 ft. depths. 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, night time fishing for crappie can prove very successful. These fish are really attracted to a large lamp pointing into the water.

Crappie are excellent table fare and can be rivaled only by our mouthwatering perch. Filleted, and pan fried, they are hard to beat.

Cabin Fever?, Basic Boating Class, Only a Few Spots Left:
Area officers from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, will be conducting a safe boating class on Tuesday and Thursday, March 25th and 27th from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM each evening. The class will be held at the Girard United Methodist Church at 48 Main Street Girard PA 16417 with plenty of room for anyone interested. 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 and is especially recommended for the new boater and their families. 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. This class typically fills up and early sign up is recommended. To register for this class, email DWCO Randy Leighton at rglerie@msn.com with your name, address, phone, age, and number of people you would like to register or you can phone WCO Brook Tolbert at (814) 774-4672
Upon successful completion of the course , the Agency will require a processing fee for your Basic Boating Safety Certificate (card) if desired.

Do You or Your Family Need a Boating Safety Certificate?:
Boating Safety Certificates (Actually a plastic card) are required for anyone operating a personal watercraft (jet ski) and anyone born on or after January 1st 1982 operating a boat powered by motors greater than 25 Horsepower.

Walnut Creek Fishing Hours Change, Effective Immediately:?
From September 2nd until the opening day of trout season in April, all Lake Erie tributary streams are closed to fishing from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. on the following day except for Walnut Creek, north of the Manchester Bridge
and Elk Creek north of Route 5.
The Important change here is that Walnut Creek specifically and effective immediately, is now closed to fishing south of the Manchester Bridge between the hours of 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. the following day through the opening day
of Trout Season. Anglers should be aware that this now an enforceable regulation

Local Weather:
Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy in the evening...then mostly cloudy with a chance of snow showers after midnight. Lows in the mid 20s. West winds 5 to 10 mph...becoming south after midnight. Chance of snow 50 percent.

Thursday...Cloudy with a chance of snow showers in the morning...then a chance of rain showers in the afternoon. Not as cool with highs in the upper 40s. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 50 percent.

Thursday Night...Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain after midnight. Lows in the mid 30s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Friday...Rain likely. Highs in the mid 40s. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 20s.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain and snow. Highs in the upper 30s. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

Saturday Night...Cloudy. Snow likely in the evening...then a chance of snow showers after midnight. Lows in the mid 20s. Chance of snow 50 percent.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the upper 30s.

Sunday Night...Partly cloudy. A chance of snow showers in the evening. Lows in the lower 20s. Chance of snow 30 percent.

Monday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 40s.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s.

Tuesday...Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain showers. Highs in the lower 40s.

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