WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 8/27/03: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: August 26, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on August 26, 2003 at 21:42:44:


Rough lake conditions this past weekend slowed things down a bit. As Summer begins to wind down, lake conditions can be very unpredictable and anglers venturing out are advised to pay close attention to wind and wave reports and keep an eye on the sky. Perch are still schooled north and northwest of Walnut Creek. Walleye catches have started to slow somewhat. A few steelhead have been brought in from the trenches but there are still no confirmed reports of any being caught in the tribs or off the Wall at the access area. A walk along the Walnut Creek Project waters this week revealed a few bass scattered in the holes but no steelhead or browns yet. A number of anglers were observed at day break on Sunday trying there luck along the shore at Trout Run, however they did not appear to be having much success. Current Lake temperature as of this writing is 75 degrees. For now, weather permitting, perch and walleye would be the easiest targets.

Getting Ready for Steelhead Season:
No, they are not here yet, however it's not too early to spend a rainy day (certainly plenty of those) checking your gear. Cleaning and lubricating those reels and re-spooling with fresh line will pay off when the first opportunity to hit the tribs arrives. Early season steelhead will usually mean clear conditions dictating light line and small presentations. An update of your fly box and jig collection can keep you busy on a rainy evening. Take a little time and go through the pockets of your favorite vest. You'll be surprised how many things you find that you thought were lost forever. Now is also a good time to check over the fly and noodle rods. Look for loose, bent, or broken eyes, especially at the rod tip. Be sure all hooks are sharp. Dull hooks are easily spit by a lively Steelhead. Waders should be checked for leaks and repaired, particular those that have been hanging in a hot garage all summer. With very little activity on the tribs now, it can be a great opportunity to walk the tribs where permitted and take advantage of the clear conditions to observe structure and changes in flow from last year. Now is also a good time brush up on local regulations and be familiar with any areas you plan to fish. It won't be but a few weeks before the final days of summer will be giving way to the start of another great Steelhead season.

The Marine Radio:
With the unpredictable conditions that Lake Erie can produce this time of year, a marine radio can be a live saver. Although not a required piece of equipment, a marine radio is highly recommended on Lake Erie and will be your best shore or boat to boat connection in an emergency. The USCG constantly monitors channel 16 24/7 for boats in distress or in need of assistance. The radio is also useful in requesting non distress towing help, fishing information, navigational information, and can even be used to call ship to shore. A cell phone can be useful, but on Lake Erie tower signals can be weak. Cell phones on Lake Erie will often pick up Canadian towers as well making the calls expensive, and virtually useless when attempting a 911 call. Consider and use the following guidelines for Marine radio use:

Channel 16 - DISTRESS SAFETY AND CALLING - To get the attention of another station (calling) or in emergencies (distress and safety).

Channel 6 - INTERSHIP SAFETY - For ship-to-ship safety messages and for search and rescue messages and ships and aircraft of the Coast Guard.

Channels 96, 68, 69, 71, 72, 78, 794, 804, 677 - NONCOMMERCIAL - Messages must be about the needs of the ship. Usually, messages concern fishing reports, rendezvous information, and repair and berthing information. (Use Channels 67 and 72 only for ship-to-ship messages.)

Channels 13 and 67 - NAVIGATIONAL - (Also known as the bridge-to-bridge channel.) Messages must be about navigation with other ships. Messages must be short. Power output must not be more than 1 watt. This is also the main working channel at most locks and drawbridges.

Fish Fry:
The annual Walnut Creek Fish Fry is scheduled for September 7th starting at 12:00 PM at the Walnut Creek Access office. This growing annual event has been an overwhelming success over the last few years. A sign up sheet is up at the Walnut Access office for those attending and the dish you will be bringing. Cleaned fish are needed and as always, our gourmet chefs will do the cooking. Those donating cleaned fish are asked to bring their catch to the Walnut office no later than September 4th. Bring your outdoor chairs, a tasty dish to share and your appetite. For more details and a list of items needed you can call the Walnut Creek Access office at (814)-833-2464.

Labor Day Weekend:
The Labor Day Weekend traditionally begins the wind down of boating season in our area, although September and even October often offer many beautiful weekends. With good wind and wave conditions, this Holiday weekend can be one of the busiest of the season. Be sure your boat has all the required safety equipment and remember that boating and alcohol can be a dangerous combination. Have a safe Holiday weekend.

Local Weather:
Wednesday night
Mostly clear. Lows in the mid 50s. Northeast winds 5 to 15 mph.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s.
Thursday night
Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 60s.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Breezy. Highs in the upper 70s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Friday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 50s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms from early afternoon on. Highs in the lower 70s.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 50s and highs in the lower 70s.
Labor Day and Tuesday
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s and highs in the lower 70s


Pymatuning Lake:
The waters are warming again slowly with all the nice days we have been having so that should mean we are due for rain if the weather stays true to form. Muskies are being caught trolling and I am told the water temps for them right now are ideal and the Musky fishermen love it. Lake levels are close to normal pool now so boating is not a problem.

Conneaut Lake:
Bowfin are still being caught on a regular basis at night and mostly on the bottom. Catfish and bullheads are also being taken using the same techniques. Fishing after dark right on the bottom using Minnie’s or worms seems to be what is producing. Bluegills are also hitting on the weed beds on bait and small jigs floated under a bobber. The Bluegills are hitting during the day after the boat traffic dies down somewhat, Try after dinner right up until dark for the best results.


There was a lot of activity over the weekend in beautiful Erie, PA. Despite some wind and a choppy lake, many anglers caught their limit of perch about 4-5 miles north of Walnut Creek in 52-55 feet of water. Only but a few steelhead have made it into Walnut as well, but they have either died or look ready to die! With the amount of direct sunlight and lack of rain in the past week, the tribs are still pretty warm.

Anglers along the North Pier were picking up some nice bass, and even the small ones were putting up a spectacular fights for the young people out with the parents or grandparents enjoying our beautiful evenings and world famous sunsets.

We have continued reports of operators on PWCs that are exceeding minimum swell height in the "No Wake" areas at Beach 11. Officers will be on the look out for such activity especially around crowded swimming areas.

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