WCO Report for Erie County 04/06/2011: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: April 05, 2011

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on April 05, 2011 at 20:24:28:

April 6th, 1010

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, rglerie@msn.com


This past weekend angler's found generally good conditions with nearly all areas of the tribs flowing well with some stain. Anglers fishing the Lake at Trout Run doing fair to good at times with a decent number of fish caught. A slight warming trend into the forties on Monday and Tuesday combined with steady rainfall late Monday night Tuesday brought the tribs up significantly with high and stained conditions on Elk and Walnut by Tuesday morning. Boaters have been braving the cold and hitting Presque Isle Bay in small numbers with much of the area attention turning to perch and crappie fishing for now. Forecasts are calling for very warm temperatures by the weekend perhaps closing the curtain on steelhead season. West County trib conditions as of Tuesday evening were slightly stained with good flow.

Support Your Local Sportsmen's Clubs:
The Pennsylvania Steelhead Association will be holding their monthly meeting on Wednesday April 13th at the American Legion Post on West 12th street (route 5 near the Airport) at 7:00 PM. The public is welcome

SONS of Lake Erie Annual Ice Out Party: The SONS of Lake Erie will be holding their annual Ice Out Party on April 10th from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM at the Perry Highway Hose Co. which is located at 8281 Oliver Rd. (Just west of Family First Sports Park). This annual fun for all is a great family event with great food and a boat load of prizes. For more information call (814)453-2270

Perch Regulations Change April 1st to November 30th: A reminder that the 7" size limit for perch is lifted April 1st. on Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay and the tributaries The creel limit remains at 30 fish.

Some opening day suggestions:
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. Noodle rods which are popular in our area, can work well to detect those subtle strikes. 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. If you are using larger baits like whole night crawlers, 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

Popular trout baits include corn, red worms, night crawlers, crickets, salmon eggs (fresh cured or jarred types in different colors), the powerbaits, marshmallows and small spinners (everyone has a secret weapon). Try a variety of baits in case the trout are finicky (and they usually are.) Put just enough bait on to just cover the hook, but do not go overboard. For example, on a size 10 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. 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).

The key to catching trout is to "read" a stream for good spots and then "present" your bait in a natural manner. "Read" the water for spots that offer trout a place to hide from predators while watching for food to drift by. Trout are usually found near the bottom in pools and in slower "pockets" around rocks, boulders. or submerged trees.
Stand downstream of a spot you think a trout might be. "Present" your bait by casting several feet upstream of the target area. Let the bait drift downstream into the target area while slowly reeling in the slack line. If your bait does not tick along the bottom, add more weight to the line. If your bait hangs up on the bottom. take some weight off. Cast two or three times into the same spot. If you do not get a bite, change baits or try a different area if possible. A stop in the downstream drift of your line along with a sharp tap in your line signals a bite. Give the fish a second or two at most to take the bait, then pull back on the rod and set the hook. A strong set is not necessary if you are using sharp hooks.

The Gravel Pit Pond in Fairview is literally a mined out gravel pit and as such is quite deep and pending weather, very clear. Small baits with very light line should be fished deep under a float or without any float at all. With a little patience, you may be rewarded with a tough fight from a beautiful brown trout!

Cooperation and consideration in crowded fishing areas for both your fellow anglers and local landowners on the opening day of the regular Trout season will make for a great day of angling for all. Area parking can be hectic on opening day. Watch for signs and park only in designated areas taking care to not to block driveways or right of ways and do not park on private property.

The traditions of the opening day of trout season are rich and widespread and for many youngsters, their first exposure to the great sport of fishing and all the our area and Pennsylvania have to offer. Be especially considerate of younger anglers .....we were all young once.....and please police your area for litter before leaving.
Good Luck!!

Local Regulations Reminder: The Upper Gravel Pit Pond, Lake Pleasant, and the East and West Basin Ponds at Presque Isle State Park are now closed to fishing until 8:00 AM, April 16th, the opening of regular trout season.

It is unlawful to fish or possess trout or salmon in or along any Lake Erie tributary stream from 12:01 AM on April 15th until 8:00 AM on April 16th, a period of 32 hours. All anglers fishing Pennsylvania waters of Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay, and their tributaries are required to possess a valid Lake Erie permit. Inland ponds do not require a Lake Erie Permit.

Transportation of VHS Suseptable Fish Out of the Lake Erie Watershed Reminder: An infectious fish disease, caused by a variant of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHS), has caused fish mortalities in the Great Lakes. The initial list of fish species that are susceptible to VHS includes black crappie, bluegill, bluntnose minnow, brown bullhead, brown trout, burbot, channel catfish, chinook salmon, coho salmon, emerald shiner, freshwater drum, gizzard shad, herring, largemouth bass, muskellunge, northern pike, pink salmon, pumpkinseed, rainbow trout, redhorse sucker, rock bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, white bass, white perch, whitefish and yellow perch.

It is unlawful to transport or cause the transportation of VHS-susceptible species of fish out of the portion of the Lake Erie Watershed in this Commonwealth into other watersheds of this Commonwealth except when certain conditions are met. It is illegal to use VHS-susceptible fish species, fish parts and eggs taken from the Lake Erie Watershed as fish .bait in Commonwealth waters outside the Lake Erie Watershed except when the fish are certified as VHS-negative. It is legal to transport dead recreationally caught fish out of the Lake Erie Watershed solely for the purpose of human consumption.

Because of diseases and invasive species, the Commission recommends as a good conservation practice that anglers not transport any live fish out of the Lake Erie Watershed and introduce those fish into other watersheds. For more information on invasive species, please see “Stop Aquatic Nuisance Species.” For more information on VHS, please contact the Commission’s Northwest Regional Office or visit our VHS information page.

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Rain likely. Lows in the mid 30s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph...becoming southeast after midnight. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Thursday...Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain in the morning... Then partly sunny in the afternoon. Highs around 50. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Thursday Night...Showers likely with a chance of thunderstorms. Lows around 40. East winds around 10 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Friday...Showers likely with a chance of thunderstorms. Breezy with highs in the upper 40s. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers. Lows in the lower 40s.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy. A chance of showers in the morning. Highs in the mid 50s. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Saturday Night...Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Lows in the upper 40s.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. A chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Much warmer with highs in the lower 70s. Chance of rain 40 percent.

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

Monday...Showers and thunderstorms likely. Highs in the lower 60s. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with showers and thunderstorms likely in the evening...then partly cloudy with a chance of showers after midnight. Cooler with lows in the lower 40s. Chance of rain 60 percent.

Tuesday...Partly sunny. A chance of showers in the morning. Cooler with highs in the lower 50s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

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