WCO Report for Erie and Crawford County 10/22/03: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: October 21, 2003

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on October 21, 2003 at 22:01:04:


Trib conditions remain low and clear with some color in the deeper pools. We have had enough rain to keep the water levels reasonable. Weekend crowds have been excessive at the access areas at Walnut and Elk Creeks with anglers lining up elbow to elbow from the Project waters up to the "chutes area". Weekdays are somewhat less crowded. A good number of browns and coho are being caught along with many citation size steelhead. Good numbers of fish can be found throughout lower Elk near the access area. A good number of limits were taken from both areas this past weekend. Less crowded conditions can be found on Elk Creek near the Girard Boro Park up to and including the Legion Park area off of Route 20. Fish are holding near the Struchean flats off of Sterretania Road up to Folley's End as well. The upper areas of the Tribs may require a little walking to find fish but should be less crowded. Small wooly buggers, sucker spawn and egg patterns, micro jigs, maggots, along with single cured eggs have been popular in the clear water. Light line or leaders in fluorocarbon are nearly a must in the present conditions.

A Very Reliable Report:
Our good friend Bill Blackman, one of our veteran local anglers, says that perch fishing has been very good in Presque Isle Bay and along the North and South piers along the Erie Channel. Bill also mentioned that a good number of steelhead have been seen jumping in Presque Isle Bay. Many anglers are unaware that the Bay holds many migratory steelhead in the fall and winter months with very little angling pressure.

Law Enforcement:
A larger than usual number of snagging cases have surfaced this year. Anglers should be aware that an accidental foul hooking necessitates immediately releasing the fish unharmed. This means playing the fish no more than necessary (or cutting it loose if need be for it's survival) and if possible removing the hook while the fish is still in the water. So often we see an angler reel in a foul hooked fish, net it, toss it on the bank, admire it, show it to his buddies, and in some cases, of all things he will the time to take a photo. After all this, he will release it thinking he did the right thing only to have the fish float belly up down stream. It is important to remember that regulations state "catch, kill or possess". Taking possession of a foul hooked fish obviously would be a violation but equally so, not immediately releasing the same fish unharmed and causing a kill through careless over handling would be equally in violation.

The littering messages are not getting through especially at the Walnut and Elk Creek Accesses. With dumpsters at every corner of the Walnut Creek parking lot, there is no excuse for anything left on the ground. Plans are in the works for additional trash containers. All area officers have been advised to keep a close watch for litter problems and maximum fines will be levied for any such violations. Take a responsibility for the area you are fishing and take a little extra trash to the dumpster, even if wasn't yours. It will make you feel good and a little effort by everyone will go a long way towards keeping our area a little cleaner.

Walnut Basin:
The Walnut Creek marina basin is tentatively scheduled to be open to fishing on October 31st at 4:00 PM. Dock removal is scheduled to begin shortly, weather permitting, to have the marina cleared by the 31st.

Local Weather:
Wednesday night
Cloudy with a chance of rain showers, may mix with some wet snow late. No snow accumulation. Lows in the mid 30s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation 30 percent.
Mostly cloudy. Highs in the mid 40s.
Thursday night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 30s.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 50s.
Friday night
Partly cloudy. Lows in the lower 40s.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Highs in the upper 50s.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers. Lows in the lower 40s and highs in the mid 50s.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain showers, possibly mixed with snow by midnight. Lows in the lower 40s and highs 50 to 55.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of snow or rain showers. Breezy. Lows in the upper 30s and highs in the lower 40s.


Pymatuning Lake:
Fishing at the spillway has slowed somewhat with only a few anglers being spotted there over the last week. I have had the opportunity to check several fishermen on the northern end of the lake fishing from shore with success. Wilson boat launch area had a man and his wife yesterday with several very nice perch in the 14” range and several fishermen were catching perch in the Red Cross area. Minnows and worms are the bait of choice and they are floating them about three feet under a bobber. Towards evening seems to be the time of choice. Walleye are being caught on the south end by boat and seem to be hanging around at the twenty-eight foot mark. Drift fishing Jigs and Sonar’s seem to be the way to go here and most of the action seems to be just out from the pines below the Jamestown marina. This is also the same area that we put the artificial reefs in with the gravel so it looks like they are paying off.

Conneaut Lake:
I want to thank Nick Carlisle for sending me the info on his catches this past week, this is what he had to say,” We have been slamming the Northerns the past 3 weekends. We've been averaging roughly about a dozen or so landed per outing, with the biggest being 36". All of the fish we caught were by trolling the weed beds in 5-15 ft. of water. The best lures by far have been BIG tandem spinner baits made of bucktail, especially chartreuse ones. Our two most consistent trolling runs is from the first buoy on the end of Huidekoper all the way to Fireman's, and from your PFBC launch to the park. Just keep it in the depths above, and troll as fast as you can without the lures flying out of the water. “ I have also talked to other fishermen who have told me similar stories about catching northerns in the thirty inch range. White bass are supposedly hitting now as well and guys are having good luck at catching them also.

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