WCO Report for Erie County 04/02/2008: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: April 01, 2008

Brought to you by FishLakeErie.com

[FishLakeErie.com] [ PA Fish Reports ] [ News/Articles ] [ More WCO Reports & Photos ] [ Recent WCO ]

Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on April 01, 2008 at 21:31:44:

April 2nd, 2008

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


Rain and mild temperatures have melted the remaining snow throughout the county and have raised trib levels. Tuesday afternoon the West county tribs were high side and flowing well. There are still plenty of steelhead remaining in the tribs and the suckers have arrived. There is still drifting ice on Lake Erie, but it seems the final meltdown is underway. Presque Isle Bay is ice free and the Crappie action has been kicking up. A good number of boats were huddled over the "stink hole" on the Bay chasing the monster "slabs" that Presque Isle has to offer. Current Lake Erie water temperature off Toledo is 39 degrees, off Toledo, 33 degrees and off the Port of Erie, 36 degrees. Although much of the Lake ice has melted, Lake Erie remains partially covered with a considerable amount of drift ice.

The Big Day is Just Around the Corner:
The big Trout opener for Northwest Pennsylvania is April 12th at 8:00 am. The Erie Tribs can be a spectacular place for the opener. With the "stockies" mixed in with a potential run of fresh Steelhead, lots of suckers and the occasional early small mouth, angling in our area can be exciting. Popular areas in West County for the opener are the Streuchen Flats area on Elk Creek, Crooked Creek, Fairview Gravel Pit pond, the Mckean Hole at the Mckean exit on I-79, the Whitemen's bridge area in Girard, and the Legion Park Holes on Elk Creek. (For a nominal fee, you can enjoy a great breakfast at sunrise at the Legion Park picnic pavilion.) Newly developed parking at Whitemen's bridge in Girard should be a hot area this year. A good rule of thumb is to look for the areas where there is a lot of parking....the number of parking spaces is often in direct correlation to the number of fish stocked in those waters.
Anglers fishing the Fairview Gravel pit pond are reminded that this is Fish and Boat Commission property. Open fires, camping and cooking are prohibited, as are erecting any permanent structures. Officers will be on the lookout for litter problems in these busy areas. Boats on the Gravel Pit Pond, as well as all PFBC owned waters, require PFBC or DCNR State Parks registration. Internal combustion engines are not permitted. Water temperatures will still be bone chilling on opening day and the reality of hypothermia in the event of a spill will be reality...make sure your safety equipment is in order. A PFD is required for all persons on board . They must be U.S. Coast Guard approved, in good serviceable condition and be easily accessible.

A Few Reminders for Opening Day in the Erie Area : It is unlawful to fish or possess trout or salmon in or along any Lake Erie tributary stream from 12:01 a.m. on April 11 until 8 a.m. on April 12 (32 hours total). Anglers fishing the Lake Erie Tributaries on opening day are reminded that a Lake Erie Permit is required along with the Trout stamp.

Select Trout Stocked Lake Program for the Erie Area:
The Fairview Gravel Pit Pond, Lake Pleasant, and the East and West Basin Ponds at Presque Isle State Park were open to trout fishing through March 31st 2008. These areas are now closed to fishing from April 1st, 2008 until April 12th, 2008 at 8:00 AM. (The opening day of Trout Season)

Some opening day suggestions:

Light or ultra light spinning or spin cast reels filled with two to four lb. test line are best suited for our area streams. Closed faced reels work best for the kids to avoid tangles. Rods should be no longer than six feet (five feet is better) so you can keep your bait out of trees and away from others while casting. Noodle rods which are popular in our area, can work well to detect those subtle strikes. Tie a short shank, size 10 to 14 hook and add one or two small (size BB or bird seed) split shot 12-18 inches above the hook. The removable type split shot works better as it allows you to change weights easily. If you are using larger baits like whole nightcrawlers, larger hooks (size 6 or 8) might work better. Float the bait under a small float just large enough to carry the bait. Large floats do little more than spook the fish and make it difficult to detect strikes. Adjust the float to keep the bait near the bottom, or as deep as possible at the Gravel Pit Pond

Popular trout baits include corn, red worms, night crawlers, crickets, salmon eggs (fresh cured or jarred types in different colors), the powerbaits, marshmallows and the favorite, emerald shiners (everyone has a secret weapon). Try a variety of baits in case the trout are finicky (and they usually are.) Put just enough bait on to just cover the hook, but do not go overboard. For example, on a size 10 hook use: a) one or two pieces of corn or, b) one cricket or, c) one red worm d) one or two salmon eggs or, e) one-third to one-half of a night crawler or a single minnow. Typically the smaller the presentation, the better. It doesn't hurt to watch what the guy catching all the fish is using either (My favorite technique).

VHS Reminder: It is unlawful to transport or cause the transportation of VHS-susceptible species of fish out of the portion of the Lake Erie Watershed in this Commonwealth into other watersheds of this Commonwealth except when certain conditions are met. It is illegal to use VHS-susceptible fish species, fish parts and eggs taken from the Lake Erie Watershed as fishbait in Commonwealth waters outside the Lake Erie Watershed except when the fish are certified as VHS-negative. It is legal to transport dead recreationally caught fish out of the Lake Erie Watershed solely for the purpose of human consumption.

Regarding trout fishing in our area, this includes Lake Erie Emerald Shiners, a popular bait in this area for trout. Many bait shops are now selling certified VHS free shiners for bait and a few are not. Non certified VHS free shiners can not used on inland waters such as the Fairview Gravel Pit Pond or Lake Pleasant nor should they be transported to any other inland body of water.

The key to catching trout is to "read" a stream for good spots and then "present" your bait in a natural manner. "Read" the water for spots that offer trout a place to hide from predators while watching for food to drift by. Trout are usually found near the bottom in pools and in slower "pockets" around rocks, boulders. or submerged trees.
Stand downstream of a spot you think a trout might be. "Present" your bait by casting several feet upstream of the target area. Let the bait drift downstream into the target area while slowly reeling in the slack line. If your bait does not tick along the bottom, add more weight to the line. If your bait hangs up on the bottom. take some weight off. Cast two or three times into the same spot. If you do not get a bite, change baits or try a different area if possible. A stop in the downstream drift of your line along with a sharp tap in your line signals a bite. Give the fish a second or two at most to take the bait, then pull back on the rod and set the hook. A strong set is not necessary if you are using sharp hooks.

The Gravel Pit Pond in Fairview is literally a mined out gravel pit and as such is quite deep and pending weather, very clear. Small baits with very light line should be fished deep under a float or without any float at all. With a little patience, you may be rewarded with a tough fight from a beautiful brown trout!

Cooperation and consideration in crowded fishing areas will make for a great day of angling for all. Area parking can be hectic on opening day. Watch for signs and park only in designated areas taking care to not to block driveways or right of ways. Be especially considerate of younger anglers .....we were all young once.....and please police your area for litter before leaving.
Good Luck!!

Local Campgrounds in Our Area: The following is a list of a number of local camping areas. There may be others and there may be a few of these that are not open yet. Call ahead to be sure. Many people combine an early season camping trip with the opening day of regular Trout season. Open fires and camping typically are not permitted with out land owner permission and overnight camping on PFBC controlled property is not permitted. This list may be helpful in fulfilling your camping needs

Uncle Johns Elk Creek Campground 575 Elk Creek Road., Lake City, PA. 16423 (814) 774-8672 (bear right at the Elk Creek Sports Store to the bottom of the hill)

Camp Eriez
9356 W. Lake Rd., Lake City, PA 16423 (814) 774-8381

Cassidys Presque Isle Trailer Park & Campground
3749 Zimmerly Rd., Erie, PA 16506 (814) 833-6035

Creekside Campgrounds
10834 Route 89, North East, PA 16428 (814) 725-5523

Erie KOA Kampground
6645 West Rd., Mc Kean, PA 16426 (814) 476-7706

Family Affair Camp Ground
9640 Findley Lake Rd., North East, PA 16428 (814) 725-8112

Follys End Campground
Rt. 98 R D 2, Girard, PA 16417 (814) 474-5730

Harecreek Campground
375 Sciota St., Corry, PA 16407 (814) 664-9684

Erie/Waterford Boondocking
Waterford, PA 16441 (814) 796-1018:

Hemlock Lakes Park
RD 3, Box 83, Spartansburg, PA 16434 (814) 664-2994

Higbys 3-M Campgrounds
24360 Lakeview Dr, Union City, PA 16438 (814) 694-2501

Hill's Family Campground
6300 Sterrettania Rd., Fairview, PA 16415 (814) 833-3272

Lampe Marina Campground
Foot of Port Access Road, Erie, PA 16507 (814) 455-7557 Ext. 234

Liana's Lake Park
10827 Eureka Rd, Edinboro, PA 16412 (814) 734-3201

Moon Meadows Campground
9915 Station Rd., Erie, PA 16510 (814) 725-9360

Pine Lane Campground
11709 W Lake Rd., East Springfield, PA 16411 (814) 774-4808

R & K Campground
6601 Sterrettania Rd., Fairview, PA 16415 (814) 838-1082

Sara's Beachcomber Campground
50 Peninsula Dr., Erie, PA 16505 (814) 833-4560

Virginia's Beach Campground On The Lake
352 Holliday Rd., PO Box 75, North Springfield, PA 16430 (814) 922-3261

Boating Class Information: Last week, we conducted the first Basic Boating class of the season for our area. We were overwhelmed at the response with over 40 people successfully completing the class. Many were new to boating, some were looking for a refresher, and a good number of students were there due to the age requirements put into place a few years ago. In addition to a Boaters Safety card being required by all PWC operators, the Boaters Safety card requirement now applies to anyone born on or after January 1st, 1982 operating a boat powered with an engine 25 horsepower or greater. For example, if your son or daughter is home from college for the summer and will be operating mom and dad's large powerboat, they likely will now require the card to operate. Additional instructor led courses for the year can be found at Pennsylvania Basic Boating Courses Any additional local Basic Boating courses coming up will be posted in this forum.

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 20s. Northwest winds around 5 mph...becoming southeast after midnight.

Thursday...Partly cloudy in the morning...then becoming mostly cloudy. Highs in the lower 50s. Southeast winds 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday Night...Showers likely. Lows in the mid 30s. Southeast winds around 10 mph. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Friday...Occasional rain showers. Highs around 50. Chance of rain 90 percent.

Friday Night...Rain showers likely in the evening...then a chance of rain showers after midnight. Lows in the mid 30s. Chance of rain 70 percent.

Saturday...Partly sunny. Highs in the lower 50s.

Saturday Night...Partly cloudy in the evening...then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the lower 30s.

Sunday...Partly sunny. Highs in the lower 50s.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s.

Monday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain showers. Highs in the mid 50s.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Lows in the mid 30s.

Tuesday...Partly sunny with a 40 percent chance of rain showers. Highs in the upper 50s.

[FishLakeErie.com] [ PA Fish Reports ] [ News/Articles ] [ More WCO Reports & Photos ] [ Recent WCO ]