WCO Report for Erie County 04/23/2008: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: April 23, 2008

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on April 23, 2008 at 19:22:24:

April 23rd, 2008

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert


The Erie tribs are very low and very clear with the steelhead season pretty much winding down, although there are still pretty good numbers of stockies spread throughout Elk and Crooked Creeks. Although a few steelhead remain they are spread out pretty thin. Anglers are still catching a few steelhead along the shoreline at Trout and Godfrey Runs. Many anglers have turned to the Bay and the Lake for Perch, Crappie and Bass and boats have already been spotted on Lake Erie in search of Perch and Lakers. (Walleye season on the Lake begins May 3rd) Lake conditions have been pretty calm over the last week and Bay fishing has been fair to good, depending on who you talk to. Current Lake Erie water temperature off Toledo is 51 degrees, off Cleveland, 42 degrees and off the Port of Erie, 44 degrees.

Another PFBC Basic Boating Course Offered:
Area officers from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, will be conducting a safe boating class on Monday and Wednesday, June 2nd and 4th from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM each evening. The class will be held at the Gem City Outdoorsmen Club The club is located at 6701 Van Camp Road in Fairview. There should be 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 and is especially recommended for the new boater and their families. 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. These classes typically fill up and early sign up is recommended. 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 you can phone WCO Brook Tolbert at (814) 774-4672
Upon successful completion of the course , the Agency will require a processing fee for your Basic Boating Safety Certificate (card) if desired.

Do You or Your Family Need a Boating Safety Certificate?:
Boating Safety Certificates (Actually a plastic card) are required for anyone operating a personal watercraft (jet ski) and anyone born on or after January 1st 1982 operating a boat powered by motors greater than 25 Horsepower.

Shoreline Fishing at Night for Walleye:
Walleye season opens on May 3rd and early season anglers will be trying their luck along the shorelines near the Walnut access area and Trout and Godfrey runs. The jettys just east of the Walnut Creek Channel are the most popular spots at night. Resident walleye often will come in close to shore after sunset in search of stocked smolts and shiners. Patient anglers can cash in with a little skill and finesse. It is arguable how successful anglers are with these early season walleye, but be assured we have observed many successful night time outings.

Wading the shoreline or fishing from shore with light line (4 to 6 lb.) using large Rapellas in rainbow, silver, and fire tiger patterns are the ticket. Cast out as far as you can and let the lure rest, giving it an occasional twitch. Patience in and allowing the lure to float motionless at times is critical for success. Typically the strikes are hard and obvious since these "resident" walleye are often the "lunkers". Secrets to success are patience, keeping quiet and not using any light. Successful anglers say even a lit cigarette can scare them away from the shore at night. Calm moon lit evenings and a glass lake surface tend to be the most productive although the action can start shortly after sunset at times.

Boaters often have success as well this time of year staying close to shore and either casting or trolling. Planer boards are almost a must for near shore walleye when trolling.

Boating Season:
Boaters are already taking to the Bay and the Lake. Spring boating season in our area begins often times when water temperatures are still in the 40's. At these temperatures, a fall overboard can be bone chilling and the risk of rapid hypothermia great. Safety equipment, especially PFDs (properly sized and worn) along with a throwable device (ring or cushion) within arms reach can literally mean the difference between life and death this time of year. Check your safety equipment list to be sure all is in order for your boat and that each piece of gear is in good serviceable condition.

Fish & Boat Commission Boating Course Hotline: 1-888-PAFISH-1 (1-888-723-4741)
Bureau of Boating and Education: 717-705-7833
Bureau of Law Enforcement: 717-705-7861
Boat Registration Office: TOLL-FREE 1-866-BOATREG (1-866-262-8734)

Elk Valley Sportsmen's Annual Club Kids Fishing Derby:
The Elk Valley Sportsmen's Association will be holding its annual fishing derby for kids 12 and under at the Girard Boro Park pond on Saturday, May 4th. Kickoff is at 1:00 PM till 3:00 PM with great prizes and refreshments for the kids. This is a terrific event for the kids (and great entertainment for the parents) and is always well attended. This is a great introduction to fishing for the youngsters. Get there early for that "hot spot". Any child 12 years of age or younger is welcome to join in the fun. Fishing gear and help is available for those kids in need and refreshments for the kids are provided. Club members and PFBC officers are always on hand to help out. To get the Girard Boro Park turn north on Route 18 in Girard. Turn left on Lake street go several blocks and turn left at the Park Entrance (Lake Street). The pond is at the bottom of the hill. This is one of the most popular area fishing events of the season with plenty of fish to be caught..... don't miss it.

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 40s. North winds 5 to 10 mph shifting to the east after midnight.

Thursday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s. Northeast winds 5 to 15 mph.

Thursday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 40s. East winds 5 to 10 mph shifting to the southeast after midnight.

Friday...Partly sunny with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs in the lower 70s.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 40s.

Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms. Cooler with highs in the lower 60s.

Saturday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows around 40.

Sunday...Partly sunny. Highs in the lower 60s.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the lower 40s.

Monday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain showers. Highs around 60.

Monday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain showers. Lows around 40.

Tuesday...Partly sunny with a 30 percent chance of rain showers. Highs in the upper 50s.

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