WCO Report for Erie County 04/20/2011: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: April 20, 2011

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on April 20, 2011 at 09:01:23:

April 20th, 2011

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


Area anglers are quickly moving into the spring crappie and perch bite with many anglers spotted around the Bay and along the North and South Piers. Perch and crappie fishing in the Bay has been fair to good with anglers doing best at the West End. Bay temperatures are now hovering in the low 50s and have warmed enough to spark the Spring pan fish spawn. Some steelhead remain in the Bay but will soon migrate to the Lake as the water warms. Stocked trout will remain in the tribs for another week or two giving anglers additional opportunities and there are still plenty of trout to be landed at the Gravel Pit Pond, Lake Pleasant and the Basin Ponds at Presque Isle. Cool temperatures and reasonable precipitation have kept a fair number of steelhead in the tribs and fresh fish can be found near the mouths and along the lake shore. The water temperature off Toledo is 46 degrees, off Cleveland 41, and off shored of Erie, 40 degrees. West County Trib conditions were at good levels, clear to slightly stained with good flow as of this writing.
The Gravel Pit Pond is scheduled for additional trout stocking on Saturday the 30th, Elk Creek from the Legion Hole in Girard to the mouth is scheduled for April 26th and at the Mckean Hole area April 20th. Crooked Creek is scheduled for additional stocking on April 26th. For detailed stocking schedules go to 2011 Trout Stocking Schedule by County

Elk Valley Sportsmen's Annual Club Kids Fishing Derby:
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, April 30th. Kickoff is at 1:00 PM till 3:00 PM 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 the youngsters. Get there early for that "hot spot". Any child 12 years of age or younger is welcome to join in the fun. Fishing gear and help is available for those kids in need and refreshments for the kids are provided. Club members and PFBC officers are always on hand to help out. Stocked trout for the pond will be provided by 3CU and Billy Hetz. Bait will be provided by the Elk Creek Sports store and prizes will be donated by the Elk Valley Sportsmen's Club. To get the Girard Boro Park turn north on Route 18 in Girard. Turn left on Lake street go several blocks and turn left at the Park Entrance (Lake Street). The pond is at the bottom of the hill. This is one of the most popular area fishing events of the season with plenty of fish to be caught..... don't miss it.

A Few Tips To Save Fuel This Boating Season:

No need to dwell on the cost of fuel but with a little extra care and maintenance on your boat and trailer you can go a long way to maximize your fuel economy. Consider the following fuel saving tips:

Be sure your engine is in proper tune and inspect the prop for any bends or signs of damage. A bent propeller, even only a few degrees, can significantly affect the performance and fuel mileage of your boat.

A clean hull with a few good coats of wax will have dramatically less resistance when moving through the water equating to additional fuel savings. Keeping the hull clean throughout the boating season when possible can maintain this savings.

Your engine and boat operate most efficiently when at an idle or when up on plane. Bring your boat up on plane quickly rather than "plowing" along slowly can save fuel.

A small trolling motor can often run all day on a few gallons of fuel and is far more fuel efficient than lugging a large engine. Trolling plates on a large outboard or I/O engine may work well but counteract fuel efficiency by intentionally creating drag in the water. Having the extra little engine on Lake Erie can be a lifesaver as well.

Use only the manufacturers recommended octane level for your boat engine as well as your vehicle. Octane levels higher than the manufacturer's recommendation do little to improve fuel mileage.

Keep a gage in your glove box and check tire pressure on your vehicle and trailer often. Low tire pressure can cause unnecessary drag on both the vehicle and trailer reducing fuel mileage. Low tire pressure can also lead to premature tire wear and possibly failure due to overheating

Never exceed the manufacturers tongue weight for your hitch. Proper tongue weight should be between 5 to 7 percent of the total tow package, which will include the weight of the boat, all loaded gear and the trailer weight. This helps the trailer package the follow the vehicle efficiently by reducing sway and bob and maintaining balance between the vehicle and the trailer.

Make sure the boat is level on the trailer and the trailer is level when hooked to the vehicle. In adjusting the boat on the trailer, V-frame trailers allow for the lowest adjustment of the boat to the trailer and at the same time enable easy loading and unloading of the boat without any damage to the trailer or boat. Proper boat and trailer height and assuring that the boat is centered on the trailer also reduces wind resistance and maintains safety.

Match the vehicle's recommended tow rating to trailer weight. When towing, make sure the tow vehicle is capable of towing the boat and trailer package by checking the vehicle's tow rating in the owner's manual. The weight of the boat should include all gear and fuel.
Using a 2,000-lb. vehicle tow package to pull a 3,000-lb. boat and trailer package will reduce fuel mileage. Worse yet, it can overheat your vehicles cooling system and engine and is unsafe. (Be sure that safety chains are connecting in an X- pattern as required by law in Pennsylvania and that the hitch diameter matches the trailer socket exactly).

Investing in a good quality boat cover and cross bows to take up cover slack if necessary can help reduce wind resistance. This will reduce the wind drag when towing down the highway. A cover also protects the boat from the elements. It is imperative that the cover fit properly and be tightly and completely secured to avoid excess stress on the cover tie downs and snaps. This is best achieved with a custom fit cover for your boat rather than and "off the shelf" cover.

Double check bearing protectors or "bearing buddies. Most trailers come with bearing protectors to keep the hubs properly lubed. These need to be checked regularly to make sure they are full of grease. Most bearing protectors can be tested by simply pressing the spring-loaded piston. If the hub has adequate grease, it will rock back and forth slightly, but it will not fully compress. Do not over fill "bearing buddies" as the grease will break through the seal on the inside of the wheel and may cause damage. Refer to the trailer owner's manual for specific instructions.

When towing, accelerate slowly and steadily from complete stops. Jack Rabbit starts waste fuel. Maintain consistent speeds when possible, especially with interstate driving (your vehicle's cruise control will help).

Support Your Local Sportsmens Clubs: The S.O.N.S. of Lake Erie will have their regular monthly meeting on Monday, April 26th, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at the Polish Falcons Club, 431 E. 3rd Street, Erie, PA. The public is welcome to attend.

Stocked Trout are Great for Hot Smoking:
Because of their relatively small size, even texture and great flavor, Trout are a perfect fish to hot smoke. Hot smoking, as opposed to cold smoking which is used to preserve fish, cooks the trout while it adds that great smoke flavor. Water smokers either electric or charcoal fired work great. Smoked trout are a great meal and can be used to flavor many dishes from fish soup to smoked trout dip. Brining will help to flavor and moisten the fish. Combine about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt to 1 cup of water. You will, of course need enough brine to completely cover the fish. Add small amounts of seasonings to the brine to your liking. Fresh dill weed is my favorite.

Smaller fish like trout, dont need to spend a lot of time in a brine. About 1 hour will do for smaller fish. You want these fish to be cleaned and ready for the smoker before you brine then and have them laid open so the brine can get inside. Brining can be completely optional for smoked trout. While the trout brine you can prepare the smoker. Small trout (about 9 inches) can be completely smoked in as little as an hour or so, but more time will add extra flavor. Watch the fish to make sure they dont dry out, but leave them in the smoker for up to 4 hours. Use a mild wood like a fruit wood or oak to smoke with. Traditionally alder is used with fish and if you can get some it makes a great smoke flavor. Try to place the trout in such a way as to let the smoke get to the insides of the fish.

Once the trout is smoked it will be easy to remove the bones because the slow cooking process helps to separate the meat from the bones. Once the trout is completely smoked y you can eat them just the way they are, or you can use the smoked trout almost like smoked salmon as an appetizer or an ingredient in other dishes. Try adding about 1 cup of smoked trout meat to 2 cups of cream cheese. Season with garlic and Tabasco and serve it as a dip. (Oh yeah babe).

Smoked trout can be frozen for months or refrigerated for days, but remember that hot smoked fish isnt preserved and if you do not intend to eat it right away then you need to refrigerate it or feeze it. It is generally a good idea to remove the skin and bones before freezing.

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain and snow showers. Cooler with lows in the lower 30s. West winds 15 to 20 mph. Gusts up to 35 mph in the evening. Chance of precipitation 30 percent.

Thursday...Partly sunny. Cooler with highs in the upper 40s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Gusts up to 30 mph in the morning.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s. North winds 5 to 10 mph...becoming east after midnight.

Friday...A chance of snow showers in the morning. Mostly cloudy with rain showers likely with a chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 50s. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.

Friday Night...Showers likely with a chance of thunderstorms. Not as cool with lows in the mid 40s. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Saturday...Showers and thunderstorms likely. Not as cool with highs in the mid 60s. Chance of rain 60 percent.

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

Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers. Highs in the upper 50s.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the lower 40s.

Monday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Highs in the lower 60s.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening...then clearing. Not as cool with lows in the lower 50s.

Tuesday...Partly sunny with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Warmer with highs in the mid 70s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

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