WCO Report for Erie County 02/28/2007: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: February 27, 2007

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on February 27, 2007 at 21:18:30:

February 28th, 2007

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


Plenty of ice remains along the frigid North coast of Pennsylvania although a few daily highs above freezing, some sun and a little rain have created a layer of slush in most areas and softened the ice somewhat. Anglers reported hard ice on Presque Isle Bay at 12 to 15 inches as of Tuesday afternoon with lots of slush. Catch rates were all over the board this past week depending on who you talked to and where they drilled. Anglers coming in off the Chestnut street launch showed sporadic catches of perch and gills with not a lot of large quantities. Anglers moving around the shallower west end of the bay generally have done a little better with fair to good catches of gills and perch with an occasional bass or pike being picked up. Misery Bay has been fairly productive for gills and a few steelhead.

There is now some open water in the upper stretches of the West county tribs but, generally they remain mostly ice covered. Anglers have been doing some ice fishing on Walnut Creek near the Access area and up to the Manchester Hole as well as on the Lake near shore at trout run. Patient anglers in these areas have been picking up a few steelhead. As always, ice anglers should be cautious of changing temperatures and ice that has formed over moving water.

The Big Show is This Weekend:
The 23rd annual Erie Outdoor Sport and Travel Expo will be held March 2nd through the 4th at the Family First Sports Park, 8155 Oliver Road in Erie (I-90 at Peach Street, Exit 24)
With 23 years under its belt, this expo has developed into the definitive cabin fever event for area hunters and anglers. The expo is a fabulous mix of the latest in hunting and fishing information and gear blended with exhibits by local clubs, bait shops and sport and travel stores. Great buys, informative demonstration, and noted guest speaker clinics round out the expo. Area PFBC officers and representatives from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission as always will be on hand through out the weekend to answer questions and listen to your comments. See you there..... For more information go to Erie Sport and Travel Expo

Safe Boating Class Coming Up, a Great Cabin Fever Buster:
Area officers from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission will be conducting a safe boating class on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 20th and 21st from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM each evening. The class will be held at the new Tom Ridge Environmental Center at the entrance to Presque Isle State Park with plenty of room for anyone interested. This comprehensive 8 hour class is designed for the novice boater or boater to be, as well as the experienced boater who would like to refresh his knowledge. The class covers basic boating safety, boating laws and regulations, and equipment. Successful completion of the course qualifies the individual for a Pennsylvania boating education safety certificate (card). There is no charge for the course or materials, although registration is required. This class typically fills up quickly and early sign up is recommended. Upon successful completion of the course , the Agency will require a processing fee for your Basic Boating Safety Card if one is desired.
To register for this class, email DWCO Randy Leighton at rglerie@msn.com with your name, address, phone, age, and number of people you would like to register or if necessary you can phone Keith Edwards at the PFBC Northwest Region office at 814-336-2426

Cabin Fever: Even though we have gotten out of the single digits for now, there is likely plenty of cold weather yet to come. Consider spending a cold weekend afternoon getting that gear in shape for the Spring season. It really isn't all that far away and its always nice to be prepared for that unexpected Spring thaw. Now is the time to thaw out the reels, lubricate and respool with fresh line. When was the last time you cleaned and waxed that $150.00 rod and checked for loose guides and damage. Updating that fly or tackle box is always fun. Do a little spring cleaning by discarding some of those unused items and especially those items that are unrecognizable. Rust build up can quickly ruin a lure or hook. Make your wife happy by ridding your refrigerator of all those little plastic bottles of spoiled fish eggs, maggots, and wax worms. One of my favorite pastimes is going through all the pockets of my vest and wading jacket. It's amazing what you will find and how many lost items you will recover. Hooks can be finely honed and leaky waders can be repaired. . Browsing the local sport and bait shops as well as the upcoming sports shows to see the latest in "must have" items is can be fun however, all too often a little expensive. Of course, those long winter afternoons are a great time to tie new flies and share what you learn with friends.

A Few Tips for the Hard Water Anglers: Find the fish. If you do not have a locater (a portable locater can be invaluable), go where the other guys are. If you have not hooked anything within a half hour or so...its time to move to another spot.

Noise scares fish, always has...always will. The initial noise of an auger or "setting up the hut" may initially scare the fish away..but curiosity and good bait will bring them back. If you are walking out with a group, spread out. Not only does it cut down the noise, but it's safer. From there on give them the silent treatment.
Keep the bait fresh. If using live shiners....keep them alive and lively as much as possible.

Use as light weight of line as possible..in most cases, 2 lb. is plenty for panfish.

Keep the guides or eyes on your rod free of ice to minimize line wear. A thin smear of petroleum jelly each guide will often do the trick.

Fish metabolism slows dramatically in frigid water (yours would too). This means using the smallest of lures and very slow presentations. Use very short, slow jigging strokes and long pauses in between.

Fish most often strike between jigging strokes and very often the strike is quite subtle. Paying close attention will produce more fish.

Bottled fish attractants can be helpful on artificial baits.

If your minnow supply gets low, fish eyes from your catch make excellent

In general, keep your bait near the bottom.

Remember to save some energy for the often long walk back.

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 20s. Temperature rising into the lower 30s after midnight. East winds 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday Occasional rain showers with a chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 40s. Southeast winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 80 percent.

Thursday Night Occasional rain showers with a chance of thunderstorms in the evening...Then rain showers likely after midnight. Lows in the lower 30s. South winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 80 percent.

Friday Partly sunny in the morning...Then becoming cloudy. A chance of rain or snow showers. Highs in the lower 40s. Chance of precipitation 40 percent.

Friday Night Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Lows in the upper 20s.

Saturday Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the mid 30s.

Saturday Night Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Lows in the lower 20s.

Sunday Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the lower 30s.

Sunday Night Mostly cloudy. Lows around 20.

Monday Partly sunny. Highs in the upper 20s.

Monday Night Cloudy with a chance of rain or snow showers. Lows 15 to 20. Chance of precipitation 30 percent.

Tuesday Mostly cloudy. Highs in the lower 30s.

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