WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 01/09/02: Erie area, PA,
Fishing Report Posted: January 09, 2002

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Posted by WCO John Bowser on January 09, 2002 at 08:37:15:

Western Erie County ... Randy G. Leighton / Deputy Water Conservation Officer
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission

Anglers are still fighting icy conditions on the tribs but are catching fish in the open pockets of water..especially at the Manchester hole and the Project waters at Walnut Creek. Jigs and shiners can be deadly this time of year. Fishing will continue to be good along the shorelines at Trout and Godfrey runs when the lake is calm and if the "mudline" / loose ice subsides. Anglers are venturing out on the ice on Presque Isle Bay mainly within a few hundred yards of Dobbins Landing and to some extent on Misery Bay. Officers have reported ice conditions ranging from 1" to 3" which is still considered unsafe ice. Extreme caution is advised until the ice thickens. Weather reports for the next week indicate a sporadic warming trend which can make ice conditions unpredictable. If there are any doubts as to ice thickness...don't take the risk. Anglers are advised to wear PFD's and carry a pair of "ice awls" and never ice fish alone (its more fun with a friend anyway).

Winter Trib Tips
1) Frozen water and shorelines are best negotiated with ice cleats or felt soled
wading boots. The rubber lug boots can be very slippery.

2) Frozen lines and eyelet's can really be annoying. Try a little lip balm or petroleum
jelly on your rod eyelet's to prevent freezing. A little silicone sprayed on the line
spool can slow down ice build up on your line.

3) Loose layered clothing will do best to keep you warm. Pocket handwarmers can
make the day more enjoyable as well,

4) There are many types of glove options available from neoprene diving gloves to
mittens. I prefer the "fingerless" rag wool gloves. Wool will retain its insulating
value even when wet.

5) Taking frequent breaks to snack or just warm up and walking will help to keep
circulation moving.

6) Keep your catch in the water to keep it from freezing. Tossing the fish on the
bank in freezing weather will take the meat from cold to frozen adversely affecting
the meat.

7) In the extreme winter weather, its a good idea to let someone know where you
expect to fish and how long you expect to be gone.

8) Avoid getting your reel wet. Water and ice will ruin the effect of your drag system.

9) Keep eggs and minnows from freezing. Keeping containers of eggs in your
pocket will help and keeping minnow
buckets in the water will help keep the bucket water from freezing.

10) Avoid alcohol as it does little to keep you warm and can impair good judgment
in poor weather and ice conditions.

Cabin Fever??...Safe Boating Course
A PFBC Basic Boating Course is scheduled for February 25th and 26th
(Mon. & Tues) from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. at the Nature Center on Presque Isle (Stull Interpretive Center). This is an eight hour course that covers the basics of boating safety. Materials are provided and there is no cost for the class. This is a great course for the beginning boater or to freshen up your boating skills. Successful completion of the course earns the participant a boaters safety certificate as required for personal watercraft operation. For more information or to register you can email Officers Bowser or Leighton at Jwb014@aol.com or Rglerie@aol.com or you may call 774-0928

Western Crawford County ... WCO Joe Russel

Pymatuning Lake - The ice season has started with one or two brave souls (or
foolish) venturing out onto the ice. Today (Jan 7th)I went to check the
condition of the ice and along the shore fell through up to my knees. In
most of the spots it looks like there is only at the most two to possibly
three inches however it is the real milky punky ice and it is not very safe.
There are also numerous spots where the water is coming up through the ice
and melting the snow cover so there is pools of standing water. I spoke with
the park today and they agreed with me that the ice was not safe and are
going to leave the gate to Tuttle Point Campground closed until conditions
improve. The news is also calling for warm weather and rain in this area for
the next couple of days so that will not help conditions at all.

Conneaut Lake - Open water still is exists on most of the southern end of the
lake and I have yet to see anyone go out here and try drilling holes.
Unfortunately there is enough ice that boating is out of the question here
as well.

As soon as we have conditions change I will let you all know, but it looks
like we are in that in between period where it is just better to get the
jobs done around the house and keep the significant other happy.

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