WCO Report for Erie County 05/04/2011: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 03, 2011

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on May 03, 2011 at 20:45:45:

May 4th, 2011

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


Considerable precipitation over the last week and a particularly hard all day soaker on Tuesday has taken the area tribs to high and muddy conditions and disrupted fishing in and around Presque. Rain fall has been relentless this spring. Stockies will be scattered when the tribs finally subside. Anglers targeting stocked trout might be wise to target inland areas....the Upper Gravel Pit, Lake Pleasant and the Waterworks Ponds at Presque Isle. With temperatures on the cold side, especially at night, we may see a few more fresh steelhead, not typical for May.

Shoreline Fishing at Night for Walleye
Walleye season opens on Lake Erie, Presque Isle Bay, and the PA tributaries to Lake Erie on May 7th. Although Lake temperatures are a little cold yet for migratory walleye, early season anglers will be trying their luck along the shorelines near the Walnut access area and Trout and Godfrey runs. The jetties just east of the Walnut Creek Channel are the most popular spots at night. Resident walleye often will come in close to shore after sunset in search of stocked smolts and shiners. Patient anglers can cash in with a little skill and finesse. It is arguable how successful anglers are with these early season walleye, but be assured we have observed many successful night time outings. Wading the shoreline or fishing from shore with light line (4 to 6 lb.) using large Rapellas in rainbow, silver, and fire tiger patterns are the ticket. Cast out as far as you can and let the lure rest, giving it an occasional twitch. Patience in and allowing the lure to float motionless at times is critical for success. Typically the strikes are hard and obvious since these "resident" walleye are often the "lunkers." Secrets to success are patience, keeping quiet and not using any light. Successful anglers say even a lit cigarette can scare them away from the shore at night. Calm moon lit evenings and a glass lake surface tend to be the most productive although the action can start shortly after sunset at times.

Boaters often have success as well this time of year staying close to shore and either casting or trolling. Planer boards are almost a must for near shore walleye when trolling. A reminder that the walleye limits have changed for this year. The minimum size is 15" with a daily creel limit of 6 fish.

Boat Registration:
Questions always come up early in the season regarding requirements for boat registration. The following offers guidelines for registration:
Boats propelled by machinery, including electric motors, must be registered, and they must properly display numbers and a boat registration validation decal. This includes all motorboats regardless of the boat's length and type of motor.

No other number may be displayed on either side of the bow. These numbers may not be removed, altered, tampered with, or defaced except by the owner or representative. Documented vessels, as well as kayaks, sculls, sailboards, and other low-volume boats of similar design, are exempt from the display of numbers but they must display the validation decal. Inflatable boats may carry their numbers and validation decal on boards lashed to each side of the bow. Powered canoes are not exempt and must display the numbers and the decal.

Often, boaters tell us that they "just sent in their renewal" or "I have my canceled check" and is it okay to boat. The response to this is the boat is considered to be legally registered when the validation sticker is on the boat and the registration card is received and signed. A boat without a current validation sticker and numbers affixed to both sides the bow and a signed registration card are no more legal than an automobile without a current license plate sticker and signed registration card.

Unpowered boats using Commission lakes and access areas must be registered OR display a Commission use permit OR display a State Parks launch or mooring permit. Presque Isle State Park is an exception and does not require registration or a State Parks permit for unpowered boats.

Any boat purchased, transferred or sold, must be titled if the boat is:

Powered by an inboard motor, including personal watercraft, 1997 model year or newer.
Powered by an outboard motor, 14 feet or longer, 1997 model year or newer.
Currently titled in Pennsylvania.
Currently titled in another state when Pennsylvania becomes the state of primary use.
Once a boat is titled, it must remain titled by all future owners.

Any boat can be voluntarily titled. Boat titling assures the buyer of a boat that the seller has clear ownership of a boat offered for sale. Some lenders wont finance a boat without a title, so securing a loan to purchase a boat may be easier if the boat is titled. Titling is also a deterrent to boat theft. Boat dealers and other purchasers are more certain that someone offering a boat for sale has the legal right to do so.

Stocked Trout are Great for 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...Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain in the morning. Highs around 50. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 30s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 50s. West winds 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy in the evening...then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 40s. West winds 5 to 10 mph... Becoming south after midnight.

Friday...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers. Highs in the mid 50s.

Friday Night...Cloudy in the evening...then clearing. A 30 percent chance of showers. Lows in the mid 40s.

Saturday...Partly sunny with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 50s. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Saturday Night...Cloudy in the evening...then clearing. A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 50s. Chance of rain 40 percent.

Sunday...Partly sunny in the morning...then becoming cloudy. A 30 percent chance of showers. Highs in the upper 50s.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening...then clearing. Lows around 50.

Monday...Partly sunny. Highs in the mid 60s.

Monday Night...Partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Lows in the lower 50s.

Tuesday...Partly sunny with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.

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