WCO Report for Western Crawford County 5/21/03: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 20, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on May 20, 2003 at 22:22:42:


Bass are pretty much the word right now. Fish over 20" are not uncommon and large girths are the norm. (Current season limits Bass to one fish with a minimum length of 20" on Lake Erie and its tribs.) Hot spots are off of Godfrey Run and Crooked Creek in 20-25' of water. Rattle traps, tube jigs, Hot n Tots, Carolina Rigs and live shiners are all good choices for bait. Generally, baits should be fished deep with jigs being bounced off the bottom. Many anglers troll until they find a school and then settle in to the still fishing. Some perch are being caught but not in any big numbers yet. Anglers are still searching for the large schools that form off of Walnut Creek. The Lake temperature is still hovering around 50' . No large catches of Walleye have been reported and those that have been caught have generally been resident fish near shore. Another 10 degrees in water temperature should get the Eastern migration moving.

Last Sons Meeting till Fall:
This Tuesday evening is the last meeting for the Sons of Lake Erie till Fall. Meetings are at 7:00 at the East Erie Turners Club. These meetings are always informative and are a good way to help support fishing in our local area.

Free Fishing This Saturday:
This Saturday is the first of two days (May 24th and June 7th) that fishing licenses are not required to fish. If you have never fished before and would like to start, there is a wealth of information at your fingertips, from local baitshops, PFBC Waterways Conservation Officers, other anglers you may encounter not to mention the Internet. A wealth of general angling information as well as the regulations governing fishing and boating can be found at our website PFBC Main Page Most anglers on the water are generally very helpful and are more than willing to assist a new angler. Simply observing those around you (especially those that are catching fish) can be most helpful.

Arguably, most anglers start out the sport by targeting panfish either by choice or by accident and frankly there are many seasoned anglers that fish for nothing else simply for the mouthwatering taste and the great action. Bluegill, Sunfish, Pumpkin seeds, or Bream as they are collectively called are the easiest fish to catch, are plentiful, and make darn good table fare. Crickets, worms, small jigs and spinners, grubs, micro crank baits, and small spider imitations are all great baits. Ounce for ounce, these fish will provide great action and are always plentiful enough to keep the even the most impatient angler busy. Try areas near shore where there is cover such as down trees or rocks and especially around docks and ramps where fishing is permitted. A rod, reel, small hooks, some splitshot, small bobbers, a stringer or bucket to keep your catch, a small knife and a small pair of pliers should be enough to get you started. Panfish are eager biters and with a little patience you can have a great day of fun.

Have a Safe Holiday Weekend:
A reminder that alcohol and boating can be a bad combination. Fines and penalties can be stiff for those boating under the influence. not to mention the danger to yourself and the lives of those around you. The penalties for operation of a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance could lead to a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $7,500, or imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both, plus the loss of boating privileges for a period of 12 months. Homicide by watercraft while under the influence carries a fine of not less than $2,500 nor exceeding $15,000, or imprisonment of no less than three and no more than seven years, or both. In addition to the offenses described above, operating a watercraft under the influence may also violate other laws. These may include prohibitions against reckless or negligent operation of boats, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and underage drinking.

CENTRAL ERIE COUNTY, WCO Tom Edwards / DWCO Bryan Brendley PHD

Presque Isle:
Bass have been hitting well in the Bay. Good numbers of boats have been out on the weekends targeting a variety of fish but generally bass are the big story right now. Spinner baits, tube jigs, and a variety of plastic baits seem to be popular. Some nice crappie have been pulled in in the West end of the bay but action is sporadic. Rock bass and perch are being caught off the North and South piers but again, the time of day and weather are big factors here. Generally, daybreak and dusk are the time to go.

Perch are beginning to school off the point in 35 to 45 feet of water. As always, shiners fished on weighted perch rigs near the bottom are the only way to go. An increase in water temperature should fatten up these schools.

Thanks to Those That Participated in Our Free Safety Inspections:
This past week end brought a surprising number of boaters to the Walnut Access Launch area to have their boats checked for required and recommended safety equipment. Some boats came by water, however, many boaters trailered their boats in just for this inspection. It was great to see so many boaters concerned about safety and it was our pleasure to answer your questions. Thank you for your participation.


Pymatuning Lake:
Good catches of walleye are happening in 16 to 18 feet of water. Drifting worms or leeches on jig heads are good baits as well as jigging blades. Generally the rougher the water the better the bite. Some Muskie of decent size are being taken with some consistency in the shallower water, generally 5 to 8 feet. Crappie, perch and white bass are being picked up near the spillway on worms and jigs 2 feet down under a float.

Conneaut Lake:
There still is no real fishing pressure yet making it a good time to get out there and try your luck. A good number of boats are hitting the water hoping for Mother Nature to cooperate this Holiday weekend. A fireworks display is scheduled at Conneaut for Saturday May 24th at 10:00 PM., weather permitting.

WCO Mark Kerr / DWCO Michael McSkimming PHD

Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 50s. North winds around 20 mph.
Wednesday night
Mostly clear. Lows in the upper 30s. Northeast winds 5 to 15 mph.
Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower 60s.
Thursday night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 40s.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Highs in the lower 60s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Friday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Lows in the upper 40s. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Highs in the lower 60s.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Lows in the mid 40s and highs in the mid 60s.
Memorial day
Cloudy with a chance of showers. Lows in the mid 40s and highs in the upper 60s.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Lows near 50 and highs in the mid 60s.

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