WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 05/08/02: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 08, 2002

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Posted by WCO John Bowser on May 08, 2002 at 00:07:30:


With docks and launch ramps in at Walnut Access and most other areas, boaters and anglers are taking to the water. May 1st is traditionally the unofficial start of boating season in our area. Anglers are already out looking for the perch schools although success has been limited. Perch anglers are having some success north of the Conneaut harbor in Ohio. Perch and crappie fishing in Presque Isle Bay has been good. Bass anglers are having success in the Bay as well as in the lake near the International Paper Company west of the.

A few anglers have been spotted night fishing for Walleye off of the Walnut Access shoreline and near Godfrey run. Many anglers question the success of night time shore fishing and in fact it is an art. It can be done many fish have been put on the stringer for those willing to try. Anglers targeting shoreline Walleye typically have the most success with 6 to 8" floating Rapellas in the rainbow, silver and perch patterns. Cast the Rapella as far as possible and let it lie, giving it only an occasional twitch to simulate and injured fish. Walleye coming in this close to shore at night are easily spooked making silence and no artificial light a must. Successful anglers often say that a clear moon lit night makes the best conditions.

Boating Reminder
Boaters are reminded that even though boating season is getting underway, the water temperatures are still only in the low 50's and can be deadly in the event of an accident. Be sure to review your safety equipment and check that all is in serviceable condition. Officers are now "on the water" and will be checking for compliance.

Last Reminder:
State Representative John Evans has invited the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) to present a program on the agency's continuing efforts to "Keep Pennsylvania Fishing" at a sportsmen's forum on to be held on Thursday, May 9, from 7-9 p.m. at Fairview High School, Route 98 South, Fairview, PA.
Commission staff will be on hand to answer questions about fishing and boating in Pennsylvania. The sportsmen's forum in Fairview will provide anglers with an opportunity to share their views about fishing programs and efforts to "Keep Pennsylvania Fishing." Bring your questions and show your support by attending this important program.

As of last Saturday (05-04-02), all Eastern-Erie County inseason stockings
were completed. In Western-Warren County, both Spring Creek and the Little
Brokenstraw were stocked this week; that only leaves Blue Eye Run, which is
scheduled for next week.

Stocked with a 50/50 mix of browns and rainbows (2000 total) on 05-04-02,
those anglers present were immediately rewarded for their trip. Within
minutes of getting placed, these fish were almost jumping into many of the
creels which lined the east shoreline. Orange 'power bait' and any
blue/silver spinner combination seemed to do the trick.

More and more are now being caught in that area extending from the Union
City Dam (outflow) through to the Erie/Crawford County Line(s). Haven't,
as yet, firmed down the most all around useful bait; however, spinners,
light in color (whitish), seem to be producing some good strikes.

Twentymile Creek received its final inseason stocking on 05-03-02. My
apologies for the erroneous info on last week's post. Seems there was a
bit of confusion, mainly on my part, regarding the exact date... I made it
though! All the little critters got into the water just fine. Activity
has been steady from the SR20 bridge downstream to the mouth.
Additionally, there still seems to be a few Steelhead lingering in many of
the eastern tributaries.

Anglers are beginning to report good numbers of small-mouth catches within
the Eastern Basin. The majority of activity seems to center on the 27'-31'
depth range. Catches are averaging 4lb +; and, the largest I heard
reported, during this last weekend, was 6 1/4 lb.

HOT SPOTS have been producing fair catches of bass in the recent week:
Chestnut St. public access pier and S. Pier, (remember 1 Bass measuring at least 20 inches).

Crappie fishing has dropped off considerably at the boat livery on Presque Isle and at the condos across from Cascade. Small catches are still being taken at the West Pier and by boat at the head of the park.

Perch fishing is still pretty decent for those who wish to put the time into it at the North Pier and at Dobbins.

Northern Pike were being caught in the lagoons and at Horseshoe Pond as of late, nothing huge but most all above the size limit.

Water temperature is still in the low 50's (52) so be sure to have your PFD's onboard.

While preparing your boat for this season be sure to check your trailer prior to getting on the highway. Lights, safety chains, safety straps and of course your tires and wheel bearings should all be looked over prior to use.

Wednesday: A mix of clouds and sun in the morning followed by mostly cloudy skies during the afternoon. High around 66F. Winds ESE 5 to 10 mph.
Wednesday night: Rain showers early, becoming a steady, soaking rain later at night with a few rumbles of thunder possible. Low near 62F. Winds S 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Rainfall around a quarter of an inch.
Thursday: Thunderstorms. High around 71F. Winds WSW 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80%. Rainfall around a quarter of an inch.
Thursday (24 hours): Thunderstorms. Highs in the low 70s and lows in the mid 40s.
Friday (24 hours): Mix of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the low 40s.
Saturday (24 hours): Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the low 60s and lows in the low 40s.

Pymatuning Lake- The first nice weekend in a while and several tournaments made for some very crowded boating this weekend on the lake. The bass anglers had a mixed bag with some doing really well and others not landing a fish. Water temps continue to rise (it was 56-58 this weekend) and they tell me they think the bass angling will get much better when it warms up some. Walleye were biting this weekend as well and some of the bass anglers even landed big walleye with spinner baits, and rattle traps. Worms continue to be the best bait of choice and the bottom seems to be were most of the feeding is being done. Shore fishermen that are targeting the walleye on the southern end of the lake are telling me that they are having quite a bit of trouble with the amount of muskies that they keep catching, and the rest of the fish shut down when they are around. The crappies and perch have been hitting as well but not in huge numbers but the fish they are catching are good sizes. Fishermen and boaters should remember to keep an eye on the weather as it can change quickly this time of year, and we have already had 4 boat accidents/swampings/capsizings. Luckily we have had no one seriously hurt and only equipment has been damaged or lost. Remember to check all of your required safety equipment before you go out just in case you might need it

Conneaut Lake- I haven't made it over to Conneaut Lake this week because Pymatuning has kept me so busy, so unfortunately I don't know how the fishing is over there right now. If anyone has any success stories they are always appreciated.

Conneaut Creek-Very little if any pressure has gone to this stream lately and if you are looking for a quiet trout stream with trout left in it I would suggest this one.

Shenango River/ Pymatuning outflow-With the start of inland walleye season last Saturday this area looked like Walnut Creek during the Steelhead run. Lanterns shone on both sides of the river up and down stream for as far as you could see and at midnight Friday night even the high water didn't keep people away. I haven't seen or heard of any success stories from hear yet but it sure is getting its fair share of pressure.

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