WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 01/28/02: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: January 28, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on January 28, 2003 at 10:02:05:


Ice conditions around the area are good with most area reports indicating 8 to 10" of solid ice. Long term forcasts indicate we will have good ice for a while. Presque Isle Bay has been covered with ice huts and schools of fish are being located. The hottest spots on the Bay have been at the West end near the Erie Yacht Club (again, watch out for ice boats in this area), off the waterworks launch on the south side of the Bay and off the Condos on the South side of the Bay. Shiners are the bait of choice, although jigs tipped with waxworms or maggots have also done well. Good catches of perch were observed this past weekend with a good number in the 10" plus size. Anglers targeting steelhead at the Walnut Creek Marina basin are having some success, mostly on the West end of the basin near the entrance to Walnut Creek. Minnows and tipped jigs are the bait of choice in the basin. Reports have been fair to good for steelhead along the shore ice at Trout Run. Several ice huts were observed at the Fairview gravel pit pond, but there are no reports on the success rate at this time.

Check list of popular gear for ice fishing:
Fishing rods-Large guides, sensitive tip, with some backbone, preferably the short ones made specifically for ice angling
Reels- Micro-spinning reel-
Line- 2 to 6 lb test ice line
Bobber stops with beads
split shot
Foam ice fishing bobbers.
Fingernail clipper to cut line
Ice scoop / ladle / dipper-for removing slush from the hole
Micro and ice igs and spoons, hooks...etc.
bait wax worms, fatheads, crappie, minnows, grubs etc...
5 gallon bucket to sit on, and carry fish
Hand warmers (I still like the Jon E's best)
Needle nose pliers
Fishing License (current of course)
Proper Personal Identification
Ice auger (Regulations permit hole diameter to be 10")
Sled for auger and gear or 4 wheeler if the ice is thick enough.
Bait bucket
Small shovel collapsable if possible
Ice picks-could be a lifesaver!
A compass (can be easy to loose sense of direction in a blizzard)
Mouth spreader
Gaff for larger fish should you get lucky
Hook sharpener
Ice Shelter
Propane heater
Spud bar (for checking ice thickness)
Tip-ups-preferably the freeze-free type (regulations permit a maximum of 5 tip ups or combination of tip ups and rods or handlines. A maximum of 2 rods or handlines is allowed. For example. 2 rods and 3 tip ups are permitted)
Leaders for tip-ups
Quickstrike rigs for tip-ups
Bait for tip-ups , smelt , shiners, etc.
"Glow-buster" glo-jig light. (they are new this year and pretty cool!)
Camera (disposable works best and you wont fret if you lose it)
Ice cleats
Small flashlight.
Matches or Lighter (for propane heater)
For those with a few extra bucks:
Aqua-view or underwater camera
Two-way radios to talk to your buddies
Strike sensors for tip-ups

Cabin Fever?, (Erie Safe Boating Class is filling up fast, but still time to sign up:
Local PFBC officers will be conducting a safe boating class on February 11th and 12th from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM at the Stull Interpretive Center on Presque Isle. This is a must for the new boater with lots of valuable information, interesting video presentations, and all the latest updates on boating regulations and safety. Its also an excellent refresher for those in need. Successful completion of the course will qualify the individual for a Pennsylvania Safe Boating Certificate, a requirement for all personal watercraft operators. The Pennsylvania Safe Boating Certificate will also be required for anyone born after 1981 to operate a motorized vessel greater than 25 HP. (new for this year) This popular class fills up quickly and early registration is suggested. Pre registration is required. All materials are provided at no charge. To register email DWCO Randy Leighton at rglerie@aol.com or WCO Tom Edwards at Pafishcop13@yahoo.com or if necessary phone Officer Edwards at 814-864-6566


Pymatuning Lake:
People are showing up more and more frequently on the lake now that we have better ice. Tuttle point has been opened for your convenience. The main concentration of fishermen seems to be off of the main beach area on the south west side of the lake, around the handicap point where we put all the gravel bars in this year for fish habitat, at Tuttle point southwest of the boat ramp in the camp area, and off of red cross. I have heard of some sporadic walleye caught off of the main beach and perch being caught at just about all of the areas. Live bait seems to be working the best right now but most guys are also jigging.

Conneaut Lake:
The ice here is thick enough to hold fishermen and shed as was witnessed this weekend. I saw several huts late in the day on the south end behind Nye's Marina and scattered huts throughout the rest of the lake. Watch were you walk here though because this lake has numerous springs that feed it especially on the northeast side and the ice can become very thin in no time at all.

Crystal Lake:
Bass and Bluegill continue to be caught here on a regular basis and guys are still hitting it daily. The key here seems to be mobility though. Drill a couple of holes and jig for a while then if you don't catch anything move to a different area of the lake. Live bait is also the preferred method here.

Don't forget this weekend is the Pymatuning Winter Festival. I will be there doing ice fishing demonstrations, and going into the water to demonstrate ice rescue (twice on Sat. and twice on Sun.). It should prove to be a fun day for the whole family. If you make it be sure you find me and say Hi, It would be great to hear from you.


Skillful anglers have been doing well on Presque Isle and in and around Misery Bay near the end of the Peninsula. Those that are successful indicate that minnows are the most successful bait for perch under the ice. Many novice anglers have trouble detecting the subtle ice water strikes and miss many fish as a result. Patience and paying close attention to the rod, float and line are critical to limiting out. There is good ice on Edinboro Lake with panfish and perch being taken in the headwaters of the lake. Many anglers have taken to four wheelers on Presque Isle Bay. Please use caution and common sense, especially with the crowded weekend condtions.

FOREST COUNTY / WCO Erik P. Shellgren

Tionesta Lake :
Ice fishing on Tionesta Lake is picking up. Anglers are catching crappie,
perch and bluegill. The best area to currently fish seems to be around the
main U.S. Army Corps of Engineers launch area. Ice thickness is about 10
inches however the lake is rising causing the shore line ice to break, use

Tionesta Creek:
The water is open on Tionesta Creek below the dam which could produce some
walleye, pike and an occasional musky.

Trout season is approaching and that means we will be busy in Forest County
stocking numerous trout streams. If you have some free time and would like
to assist us stock trout the following are the dates, times and stream

March 07, 2003: East Hickory Creek
West Hickory Creek
Little Hickory Run
Queen Creek
12:30 West Hickory Access
March 20, 2003: Tionesta Creek
12:30 Barnes SR 666 and SR 948
March 21, 2003: Maple Creek
Ross Run
11:30 Marienville Uni-Mart
March 25, 2003: Bluejay Creek
West Branch Millstone
11:30 Marienville Uni-Mart
April 07, 2003: Beaver Run
Big Coon Creek
11:45 Leeper SR 36 and SR 66
April 08, 2003: Salmon Creek
11:30 Marienville Uni-Mart
April 09, 2003: Toms Run
The Branch
11:30 Cook Forest State Park
Brook Trout: 19,840
Brown Trout: 10,360
Rainbow Trout: 7,400

Another Safe Boating Class:
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is offering a Safe Boating class on Sunday February 23, 2003 from 9:00am to 5:00pm at the Tionesta Fish Culture
Station, Forest County. Class and materials are no charge. Successful completion of the course will qualify the individual for the boating safety certificate required for all personal watercraft operators and individuals born after 1981 that desire to operate watercraft greater than 25 HP. (new for this year) For additional information and to register please call 1-814-755-7727, class size is limited.


Lake Pleasant was stocked in December and is scheduled for another on 02-12-03. Plenty of trout to be had.Lake LeBoeuf has had ice fishermen on it, especially in that area from the PF&BC access area south and towards the island. What they have been catching is anybody's guess.Eaton & Union City Reservoir have seen good panfish action, with Eaton also showing some catches on pike (nothing of legal size; as usual, most are in the 19-22" range) and walleye (biggest I have heard reported was +/- 23")

Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 20s.
Wednesday night:
Mostly clear. Lows 5 to 10 above.
Mostly cloudy. Highs in the lower 30s.
Thursday night:
Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s.
Snow or rain likely. Breezy. Highs in the lower 30s.
Cloudy with a chance of snow showers or rain. Nighttime temperatures steady in the lower 30s and daytime
temperatures steady in the lower 30s.
Cloudy with a chance of rain. Nighttime temperatures steady in the lower 30s and highs in the upper 30s.
Rain likely until midnight nighttime temperatures steady in the mid 30s and highs in the lower 40s.

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