WCO Report for Erie County 05/20/2009: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 20, 2009

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on May 20, 2009 at 08:05:35:

May 20th, 2009

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


Bass are pretty much the word right now. Fish over 20" are not uncommon and large girths are the norm. (Current season limits Bass to one fish with a minimum length of 20" on Lake Erie and its tribs.) Hot spots are off of Godfrey Run and Crooked Creek in 20-25' of water. Rattle traps, tube jigs, Hot n Tots, Carolina Rigs and live shiners are all good choices for bait. Generally, baits should be fished deep with jigs being bounced off the bottom. Many anglers troll until they find a school and then settle in to the still fishing. Some perch are being caught but not in any big numbers yet. Anglers are still searching for the large schools that form off of Walnut Creek. The Lake temperatures are still only in the mid fifties . No large catches of Walleye have been reported and those that have been caught have generally been resident fish near shore. Another 10 degrees in water temperature should get the Eastern migration moving our way. Current Lake Erie water temperatures off Toledo are 57 degrees, off Cleveland 53 degrees, and off the port of Erie, 54 degrees.

Walnut Creek Access Area:
The new traffic pattern construction is in the downhill phase and boaters using the area this weekend should be running into the new, enhanced traffic flow pattern. Boaters entering the area at the stop sign will now go straight along Walnut Creek instead of making the right turn at the entrance. Signage should be in place from there to guide you through the "ready area" and on to the launch area. The Walnut Creek Channel dredging is underway and should be completed by this weekend. All this combined with the much improved launch docks should ease congestion dramatically.

Boating The Holiday Weekend:
Even though the Lake temperature is still hovering in the low to mid fifties, eager boaters are expected to be out in good numbers for the upcoming holiday weekend and who can blame them with the long winter we've endured. With cold water temperatures, proper safety equipment is most important this time of year and boaters are reminded to assure that their vessel is properly equipped. Its often easy to forget how cold the Lake can be on a sunny spring day and current temperatures are still cold enough to cause an extremely quick onset of hypothermia. PFBC Officers will be actively checking for proper safety equipment this holiday weekend. Be sure those PFD's are at least with in arm's reach as required by regulation, or better yet put them on. Have a safe Holiday weekend on the water.

Fish for Free Days:
Have a little free time on your hands? Grab a friend or family member and try some free fishing. Thanks to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), the only thing you'll have to spend is some quality time together.

The PFBC has designated Saturday, May 23, and Sunday, June 7, as Fish For Free Days in the Commonwealth. Fish For Free Days allow anyone - not just license holders or youth under the age of 16 - to legally fish in Pennsylvania. From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on both days, no fishing license is needed to fish in Pennsylvania's waterways.

"Fish For Free Days provide an opportunity for active anglers to introduce a friend or relative to the lifelong sport of fishing," said PFBC Executive Director Douglas Austen. "It's also a great way for families to have fun, create new memories and spend quality time together."

The May 23 Fish For Free Day was specifically designated to coincide with the Memorial Day weekend, a traditional time for families to gather, and the unofficial start of many outdoor recreational activities in the state. The June 7 date is part of the observation of National Fishing and Boating Week, June 6-14.

To make it even easier to get started - or restarted - in fishing, visit the PFBC's web site at www.fishandboat.com and select "Fish" from the left-hand navigation bar. From the drop-down menu, select Fishing Fundamentals.

For more information, visit the PFBC's web site at www.fishandboat.com. The mission of the Fish and Boat Commission is to protect, conserve, and enhance the Commonwealth's aquatic resources and provide fishing and boating opportunities.

Local Weather:
Wednesday Night...Clear. Lows in the lower 50s. South winds 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday...Sunny. Highs around 80. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

Friday...Partly sunny. Highs around 70.

Friday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows around 50.

Saturday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 60s.

Saturday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows around 50.

Sunday...Partly cloudy. Highs around 70.

Sunday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 50s.

Memorial Day...Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 50s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

Tuesday...Partly sunny with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs around 70. Chance of rain 30 percent

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