WCO Report for Erie County 05/05/2004: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 05, 2004

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Posted by DWCO on May 05, 2004 at 08:19:47:

WEST ERIE COUNTY / DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert

Bass fishing in and around Presque Isle has been good. Crappie fishing continues to pick up along the South side of the Peninsula. A few boats have already been spotted off shore due north of the Presque Isle light house and North of the Walnut access in search of early season perch schools although no catch rates have been reported yet. Perch and rock bass have been hitting on shiners along both the North and south piers along the Erie channel. Suckers can be caught through out most of the slow moving pools on most of the area tribs. This is a good time of year to try the State line ponds for panfish, especially if you are looking for quiet out of the way fishing. The State line ponds are located just south of Interstate 90 along the PA. / OH. line. This is a great area for bank fishing and for small unpowered boats.

Walnut Creek Access Information:
The Walnut Creek Access office will be open full time beginning this Saturday, May 8th. Hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 AM to 6:30 PM, Friday and Saturday 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM, and Sundays 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM. The docks and launch ramps are now in at the marina however, boaters are again advised that the Walnut Creek Channel entering the Lake has not as of this writing been dredged. Anglers exiting and entering the channel are advised to stay close to the East wall and use extreme caution due to shallow water and possible hull or prop damage.

Local Sportsmen's Fishing Derbies A Huge Success this Past Weekend:
3CU Veterans Derby
With the assistance of 3CU supporters, SONS members, and Gem City members, the annual Vets Derby drew a large crowd of veterans and their families from the Soldiers and Sailors Home in Erie. Vets fished for the 3CU stocked trout at the new 3CU Mission Co-Op Hatchery. While the vets fished, volunteers filleted over two hundred freshly caught fish to be prepared. The fish along with mouth watering sides and deserts were served for everyone at Gem City Sportsmen Club.

This special day not only invigorates the veterans, but also inspires the volunteers. One can sit back and watch the smiles on the faces of the vets, when they catch a nice Brook Trout, or listen to fishing buddies tell their stories about days gone past and simply be overwhelmed by the feelings of appreciation and satisfaction.

This was my first 3CU Vets Derby, but definitely not my last. I simply want to say thank you to all of the volunteers and a big thank you to all the veterans who have allowed all of us to live in the greatest country in the world.

Elk Valley Sportsmen Club Derby
The annual Elk Valley Sportsmen Club Derby was held at Girard Boro Pond. The fish were stocked by 3CU in preparation for the event. Well over 100 children from ages 12 and under signed up to participate in the event. Awards were given out for the largest fish in every age class. Even if a child didn't win an award, every child went home with something, thanks to the donations of several local business. Another fantastic family fishing experience compliments of Elk Valley Sportsmen Club.

Northwestern Sportsmen Club Derby
The annual Northwestern Sportsmen Club Derby was held on club grounds at their pond. Some trout were stocked by Albion Sportsmen Club and other fish were caught and released that had already been in the pond. Close to 100 kids from ages 15 and down participated in the derby. The top angler who caught the largest fish won a shot gun donated by Northwestern Sportsmen Club. Watching those kids have a great time out fishing is another great reason to join and be active in your local sportsmen club.

Suckers have invaded the tribs. Although often considered a nuisance fish when steelhead fishing, suckers can be great fun to catch and provide easy action for the impatient young anglers and can put up a nice fight for the veteran angler as well.. Suckers can be caught on just about any tackle. The most effective method is light or ultralight spinning tackle. Four to six pound test monofilament should be used, along with small, sharp hooks. Noodle rods work great for suckers on our tribs. Worms, live aquatic nymphs, maggots and waxworms are the best baits for suckers. Fish directly on the bottom, either with a stationary rig with a sliding sinker, or with a drifting rig that moves along the bottom with the current. In short, you can fish them the same way that you would fish for steelhead or stocked trout. Suckers are also easy to catch on fly tackle and can provide great action. They hammer flies like the Pheasant Tail, Scud Patterns, and the Gold-Ribbed Hare's Ear. Fly-fishing for suckers is great sport. The best flyfishing rig for white sucker fishing is the deadly shot-and-indicator nymphing rig. Set your indicator at the right depth to get your fly right on the bottom, and drift it naturally with the current. The strike of a sucker is very subtle and easily mistaken for a steelhead in the Spring. The indicator will either pause or dip for a fraction of a second before the fish spits out the fly. You must set the hook quickly, but softly, to avoid breaking your tippet. Always have a forceps or needle nosed pliers on hand while sucker fishing, since their rubbery lips are tough and it's hard to get a deeply imbedded hook out without harming the fish.

Pickled Suckers (why not?):
Sucker fillets
Salt solution: 3/4 cup pickling salt mixed with one quart soft water
distilled white vinegar
Pickling solution: 1 cup soft water, 2 cups white vinegar, 3/4 cup white sugar, 3 heaping tablespoons pickling spice

1) Pan dress and fillet, then cut the fillets into bite sized chunks. Let stand in salt solution for 24 hours.

2) Rinse chunks, then soak in distilled white vinegar for another 24 hours

3) When fish is ready for pickling, prepare sterile pickling jars as well as your pickling solution by simmering it for 15 minutes

4) Let pickling solution cool, fill jars with fish chunks, and top with pickling solution. Add flavor enhancers to taste (onion, lemon slices, hot peppers, pimentos etc.) before sealing let cure for several days

Local Weather:

Wednesday night
Mostly clear. Lows around 40. Northwest winds around 10 mph, becoming southwest after midnight.
Partly cloudy. A chance of showers and thunderstorms in the late afternoon. Highs in the lower 70s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Thursday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 50s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph in the evening, becoming northwest around 10 mph after midnight. Chance of rain 50 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 70s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Friday night
Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers in the evening, then partly cloudy after midnight. Lows in the mid 50s.
Partly cloudy. Highs in the lower 70s.
Saturday night
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the mid 50s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Sunday and Sunday night
Partly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70s. Lows in the mid 50s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Highs in the mid 70s.
Monday night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 50s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 60s. Chance of rain 40 percent

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