Western Erie County / WCO John Bowser & DWCO Randy Leighton|
Steelhead season is winding down with only a few big ones left. Record warm temperatures have almost insured the lack of a major spring run. I think all will agree that this past year's Steelhead season will be memorable. Plenty of stocked trout are scattered through out the tribs. The Fairview Gravel Pit has been busy and catches have been good. Added stockings will keep trout fishing good for a while. Baits of choice are maggots, grubs, and shiners fished 3 to 5 feet under a float. Anglers continue to hammer nice slab crappie at Presque Isle in the lagoon area, Misery Bay, and Horse Shoe Pond. Small mouth fanatics have been successful just east of the entrance to Marina Bay, near the Perry Monument and just outside the entrance to Horse Shoe Pond (watch for shallow water and large rocks in this area)
Boating season is just around the corner:
Now is the time to ready your vessel for the water. If you did a proper job of winterizing your boat, spring maintenance should be minimal. Boats stored outdoors are inviting homes for critters that love to gnaw on wires and make nests out of PFD stuffing. Doing a thorough preseason inspection of your boat can prevent problems and surprises on the water and unnecessary embarrassment at the launch ramp. Any local boat dealer or repair facility can help you with a preseason check if you are not comfortable doing it yourself. The following suggestions will provide a basic guide however, be sure to refer to your owners manual for your particular vessel.
Do a general cleaning of hull, deck and topsides using a mild detergent
Make sure drains and scuppers are clear
Put on a good coat of wax
Clean and polish metal with a good metal polish
Clean teak and oil
Clean windows and hatches
Clean canvas, bimini and dodger
Clean interior including bilge
Check spare parts and tools and replace as necessary
Make sure registration is current and onboard and that numbers are legible
Check and replace wiper blades if necessary
Check for hull abrasions, scratches, gouges, etc., and repair
Check and replace zinc's
Check for blisters and refinish is necessary
Check rub rails
Check swim platform and/or ladder. Be sure they are secure.
Inspect and test trim tabs if applicable
Check shaft, cutlass bearing, strut and prop
Check rudder and fittings
Touch up or replace antifouling paint
DECK, FITTINGS, SAFETY EQUIPMENT:
Check stanchion, pulpits and lifelines for integrity
Check ground tackle, lines, fenders, etc.
Check chainplates and cleats
Check hull/deck joint
Check deck, windows, and port lights for leaks
Inspect anchor windlass and lubricate
Clean and grease winches
Check and lubricate blocks, pad eyes, etc.
Check dinghy, and life raft
Check, test and lubricate seacocks
Check condition of hoses and clamps
Make sure below waterline hoses are double clamped
Check bilge pumps for automatic and manual operation
Check for oil in bilges
Check limber holes and make sure they are clear of debris
ELECTRICAL SYSTEM AND COMPONENTS:
Check battery water level
Check terminals for corrosion, clean and lubricate
Inspect all wiring for wear and chaffing, replace anything questionable
Test all gauges for operability
Check shore power and charger
Have spare fuses on board
Inspect all lighting fixtures (including navigation lights) and make sure you have spare bulbs on board
Check all electronics for proper operation
REQUIRED AND RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT:
Sound signaling device must work
Inspect visual distress signals and expiration date (Required on Lake Erie)
Check Pfds, be sure there is one for every potential person on board and that they are out of their wrappers.
Inspect life rings and cushions (A throwable device is required on boats over 16' in addition to required PFDs)
Inspect fire extinguishers and recharge or replace if necessary
Check and adjust compass
Check navigation lights for proper operation
Check charts and replace as necessary
Check radar reflector
Inspect and replace first aid supplies as necessary
Check bailer and hand pump or bilge pump operation as applicable
Change batteries in all portable devices such as flashlights, handheld GPS units and marine radios
Inspect anchor lines for fraying, fish hooks, and weak spots
Change oil and have spare filter on board
Check and change fuel filters - have spares onboard
Check and change engine zincs
Check cooling system, change coolant if necessary
Inspect belts for tension and wear
Check transmission fluid
Inspect and clean backfire flame arrestor (required in Pennsylvania)
Check bilge blower operation
Checked for smooth operation - lubricate and clean as necessary
If equipped with treatment system, have chemicals on hand
Y-valve operation checked, valve labeled & secured
Flush water tank
Check water system and pump for leaks and proper operation
Check hot water tank working on both AC and engines
Check for tank cap keys on board
Check and clean shower sump pump screens
Fill propane tank, check electric & manual valves, check storage box vent to make sure it is clear
Check refrigerator, clean and freshen, operate on AC and DC
Clean stove, check that all burners and oven are working
Check microwave, if fitted
Replace spark plugs
Check plug wires for wear
Check prop for nicks and bends
Change/fill lower unit gear lube
Inspect fuel lines, primer bulb and tank for leaks
Lubricate and spray moveable parts per manufacturers instructions
Check for current registration
Check rollers and pads
Look for broken springs
Check and lubricate wheel bearings
Clean and lubricate winch
Lubricate tongue jack and wheel
Test lights and electrical connections
Check tire pressure and condition.
Check brakes (if equipped)
Check safety chains
Check tongue lock
Check general condition
Look for wear and chafing
Check battens and batten pockets
Check all sail attachments
Inspect bolt rope
MAST AND RIGGING:
Check mast and spreaders for corrosion or damage
Inspect spreader boots and shrouds
Inspect rivets and screw connections for corrosion
Check reefing points and reefing gear
Clean sail track
Check rigging, turnbuckles and clevis pins for wear and corrosion
Inspect stays for fraying and "fish hooks"
Check forestay and backstay connections
Check masthead fitting and pulleys
Check and lubricate roller furling
Check halyards and consider replacing or swapping end for end
Stocking this Week...
Upper Elk (I-79 to just below Rt. 98)
Saturday is announced in-season stocking of the Fairview Gravel Pit
There are two events scheduled on Saturday, May 4th-
Northwest Sportsmen Club (Rt. 6N - 1 mile South of I-90) 11 AM - 2 PM
Elk Valley Sportsmen (Girard Boro Pond) 1 PM - 3 PM
Both of these fine clubs provide prizes ... soda,,, etc. for the kids ... take advantage of their generosity but think about joining the club while you are there ... your support would be welcomed.
CENTRAL ERIE COUNTY / WCO Tom Edwards
WATERWORKS POND AT PRESQUE ISLE STATE PARK HAS BEEN STOCKED FOR THE SECOND TIME WITH TROUT AND THE CATCH HAS BEEN VERY GOOD. ALONG WITH TROUT ANGLERS ARE CATCHING GOOD NUMBERS OF SMALL BLUEGILL.
THE WATERS ON THE EAST SIDE OF THE PARK ENTRANCE HAVE BEEN PRODUCING VERY GOOD NUMBERS OF LARGE BLUEGILL AS WELL AS CRAPPIE. BOATERS ARE REMINDED TO CHECK THEIR SAFETY EQUIPMENT BEFORE LAUNCHING.
MARINA BAY AND THE BOAT LIVERY CONTINUE TO PRODUCE VERY NICE YELLOW PERCH AND CRAPPIE. THE WEST PIER IN THE PARK IS ALSO DOING VERY WELL.
THE SAME OLD HAUNTS ON THE BAYFRONT ARE PRODUCING WELL IN THE NUMBERS OF CRAPPIE CAUGHT OFF OF THE CASCADE CONDOS AND YELLOW PERCH ON THE REST OF THE BAYFRONT.
THIS TRIB HAS BEEN STOCKED FOR THE SECOND TIME ALSO SINCE LAST WEDNESDAY AND ANGLERS ARE SEEING DECENT CREELS. THE CLASS 3 RAPIDS WHICH WERE SEEN FROM THE HIGH RAINS ARE NOW GONE AND THE WATER IS FLOWING NICELY.
CONNEAUTTEE CK IS PRODUCING GOOD TROUT CREELS FOR THE PATIENT ANGLER, THIS STREAM WILL RECEIVE ANOTHER STOCKING IN ROUGHLY TWO MORE WEEKS.
THE FINGERS (PENINSULA PARK) HAS DIED DOWN FOR THE MOST PART WITH LIMITED ANGLER PRESSURE.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO THE LOCAL SCOUT TROOP WHICH PROVIDED CUT RATE PRICED COFFEE, HOT DOGS AND OTHER VARIOUS GOODIES AT WATERWORKS PONDS ON THE OPENING DAY, IT WAS APPRECIATED BY ALL.
THE STEELHEAD FISHING IS SEEMINGLY AT AN END WITH MOST OF THE FISH ALREADY MOVED OUT. I WOULD LIKE TO REMIND ANGLERS OF STOCKED TROUT TO PLEASE BE GENTLE WHEN RELEASING SMOLTS CAUGHT ON YOUR TRIPS.
Eastern Erie County / WCO Mark Kerr
Wednesday: Partly cloudy early. Scattered thunderstorms developing later in the day. High around 77F. Winds SW 15 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
Wednesday night: Isolated thunderstorms during the evening, then partly cloudy overnight. Low near 57F. Light WSW winds. Chance of rain 40%.
Thursday: A few clouds from time to time. High near 81F. Winds SSW 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday (24 hours): Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the mid 50s.
Friday (24 hours): Chance of showers. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the mid 40s.
Saturday (24 hours): Partial sunshine. Highs in the upper 50s and lows in the upper 30s.
Western Crawford County / WCO Joe Russell
Pymatuning Lake- Walleye fishing is finally here with the water warming up into the fifties, fishermen are having all sorts of luck both wading and out of boats. I checked several very nice catches at Espyville ramp on Friday night before the rains came and the average fish probably was in the 18” range. The recent rain has made it a little more difficult though to catch them with the lake being over a foot above normal pool. Shore fishermen seem to be having good luck using creek chubs or minnies, and the waders are doing real well with Rappalas. Sonar’s are continuing to be the big producers out of boats. The place that seems to be producing constantly right now seems to be the shallows or the spillway but you better come early there if you want to get a spot. If you are boating the lake the Espyville and Linesville marinas are open and in full operation and Jamestown Livery should be opening soon. As of April 22, to the beginning of July fishermen should be aware that the road going over the dam (Dam Road) at the South end of the lake will be closed for repairs and you will have to go around. Work will also be starting soon on the Jamestown/Turnersville and Manning boat ramps and they will be closed but I am not sure yet as to the exact date so I will let you know that later.
Conneaut Lake- Crappies seem to be the fish of choice here with the channel at the North end being hit real hard. I am not sure if it is producing as many fish as what the pressure reflects but it is getting fished very regularly.
Conneaut Creek- As I am sure you are all aware the opening of trout season was this last weekend, April 13 at 08:00 am. The water was rather high with the inch of rain we had the night before and it was running rather muddy, however even with all this against them I still counted 170 people on the stream. This weeks fishing moment of mention has to be a little girl by the name of Wendy Latsko who is 6 years old and came from Cleveland with her brother Joe, who is 10, and Luke who is 8 and dad. This was this young ladies first time to fish camp (she was the first girl to ever go), and even with all that was against her with the weather, water conditions, and the 17 other avid anglers out of this camp she was the first to land a nice 10” brown trout (also the first trout I saw caught of the season). The excitement and pure joy of watching her land this fish, as if it were a 28” Steelhead, was incredible and it made standing in the rain all day well worth it. It was definitely one of the better aspects of this job. As soon as she landed it though she promptly turned to dad and exclaimed “YOUR NOT FRYING THAT.” Her brothers didn't get skunked either with Joe landing a brown trout (and falling in) and Luke landing a brook. The other 2 youngsters in camp Corey Delmastro age 11 and Tommy Bohm age 9 hadn't landed fish yet while I was there but if determination was any indication I am sure they did not get skunked either. Thanks to this camp for letting me share in this moment with them and GOOD JOB Wendy. Sorry I don't have any pictures but the digital camera died a while ago.