June 18th, 2008
West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert
The past week has seen spectacular walleye fishing in 20-45 feet of water along the Erie shoreline. Smaller boats were trying their luck and having some success in as little as 10-15 feet of water. Lake Erie patrols on Sunday saw anglers netting fish after fish. Limits were the norm. Crawler harnesses, plugs, and stick baits trolled on weighted flat lines were all working well. Many boats were making their catches off of wide spread planer boards. Many said the fishing has been as good as Lake Erie can offer. The recent cold snap the area has experienced may help to keep the large numbers of walleye in the shallower water keeping access easy. Perch have still been a bit elusive, but have started to school in 40 to 45 feet of water Northwest of Walnut Creek. Many of the perch being brought in have been jumbo size. Perhaps this will be the year for another perch size record. A few catfish and bass have been caught in the early evening hours along the channel at the Walnut Creek Access and north of the Elk Creek Access. Current Lake Erie water temperature off Toledo is 69 degrees, off Cleveland, 63 degrees and off the Port of Erie, 70 degrees.
Launch Ramp Etiquette:
With the summer fishing and boating season already in full swing, area launch ramps can become extremely congested especially the Lampe Marina, Chestnut Street, and the Walnut Creek Access Area. If you are new to the launch ramps take some time in an empty lot to practice backing up until you are comfortable doing so. Many launch ramps have signs indicating which ramps are open for launching and which are open to retrieving such as those at the Walnut Access area launch. Be courteous and obey these signs to help ease congestion.
1) Be sure all required safety equipment and registration are on board. Load your food, fishing gear and other equipment at home and or in the parking lot but most definitely before you get to the ramp.
2) Ensure tongue is securely fastened to ball hitch, remove tie downs.
3) Check condition of battery, motor and angle of drive unit. Know that your boat will start before arriving at the ramps. Nothing is more frustrating then a boat with mechanical failure blocking a ramp. If you are unable to start your boat at the launch area, do not attempt to do repairs while blocking the ramp. Instead, remove the boat from the water as a courtesy to others.
4) Be sure boat plug(s) are firmly in place.
5) Move to the ramp and launch. Check drive unit prior to backing down ramp to be sure it will not bottom out and that the power trim is working properly if applicable. (Having a lookout or someone in the boat is helpful)
6) If possible, use two people to launch your boat - the driver and the boat tender.
7) Unhook bow safety restraint, power or pull off trailer. Be courteous and wait your turn. Unless you are alone, it really shouldn't be necessary to tie your boat to the launch docks.
8) Run blower, start boat, move to the docks for passenger pickup (courtesy dock). The courtesy docks at the Walnut Creek Access launch are at the South end of the basin. (If alone, secure boat quickly and move vehicle off ramp.) Be courteous, the less time you spend on the ramp or at the dock the more other boaters will appreciate you.
9) If you have an assistant, instruct the person tending the boat to move it far enough away from the ramp and adjacent dock that it doesn't impede other boaters launching or loading. Do not allow small children to act as "boat tenders".
11) After the boat is on the trailer, secure the bow safety restraint, and move the vehicle and trailer to the tie down area so you don't impede traffic trying to launch or retrieve.
12) Carefully tie down your vehicle, check that your hitch is secure and lights are plugged in, remove all items that could blow out of boat during travel and move out of the tie-down area to make room for others.
It is generally pretty easy to spot a novice boater attempting to anchor. He will typically be the one standing in the boat swinging the anchor line in an attempt to throw the anchor as far from the boat as he possibly can in a style that could only be bettered by a cowboy roping a calf. Typically this effort is rarely successful in securing the boat and is an unsafe practice as well.
Anchors hold best when the pull of the rode (fancy nautical term for line) on the anchor is as near to horizontal as possible. The holding power of an anchor increases as the scope ratio increases. A ratio of 7:1 is standard; 10:1 is better in rough water. For example, if boating in eight feet of water and the bow is two feet above the waterline, 70 feet of rode is recommended. Boaters should carry at least two anchors (not required, but recommended). A smaller, lighter anchor is good for use in calm weather and for positioning a boat, and a larger anchor is best for bad weather or when anchoring overnight. Boats should never be anchored from the stern (back of the boat), especially in current or high wind.
To anchor properly, the boat should be headed bow into the wind or current. The engine is then reversed or the boat is allowed to back off. When the boat starts to go backward through the water, the anchor is lowered from the bow (front of the boat). As the line goes over the side of the boat, no one should be standing on any part of it. The end of the anchor rode (called the bitter end) must be secured to the boat. When about a third of the rode is out, the rode is tied off to a forward cleat to make the anchor dig into the bottom. Once the anchor digs in, the remaining rode is let out. A sight bearing is then taken on some stationary objects to make certain that the anchor is not dragging on the bottom. Typically, the best sight bearings are stationary points on land if close enough to shore. Do not use other boats for sight bearings.
Wednesday Night...Cloudy. A chance of showers in the evening. Cool with lows in the upper 40s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Thursday...Cloudy. Highs in the upper 60s. West winds 10 to 15 mph.
Thursday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the lower 50s. West winds 5 to 10 mph.
Friday...Mostly cloudy. Highs in the lower 70s.
Friday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s.
Saturday...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the mid 70s. Chance of rain 30 percent.
Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s.
Sunday...Partly sunny. Highs in the mid 70s.
Sunday Night...Partly cloudy in the evening...then becoming mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s.
Monday...Partly sunny. Highs in the upper 70s.
Monday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s.
Tuesday...Partly sunny. Highs in the upper 70s.