January 14th, 2009|
West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert
Considerable snow and the onset of bitter cold conditions have quickly thrown the Erie area into winter deep freeze. Area tribs are frozen in most areas with the remaining open water likely to succumb to predicted single digit temperatures. Presque Isle Bay is ice covered along with a thick blanket of snow. The thick snow can actually act as insulation over the ice making it difficult to gage how safe conditions really are. The extreme cold front moving into the area should help strengthen ice conditions. Lake Erie has begun to freeze with considerable drifting ice and build up along the shorelines. Anglers attempting any hard water angling should as always use extreme caution. Ice conditions are not monitored by any agency and bait shop reports are often hear say from the anglers. The decision of whether or not conditions are safe is yours and yours alone. Be cautious and responsible in your decision to "walk the ice"
Support Your Local Sportsmen's Clubs:
The Pennsylvania Steelhead Association will be holding their monthly meeting on Wednesday January 14th at the American Legion Post on West 12th street (route 5 near the Airport) at 7:00 PM. The public is welcome.
As ice builds along the lake shore, so does the formation of "ice dunes". These beautiful formations occur as the waves and spray pound the shoreline and gradually build up frozen mounds. As spectacular as they are to view, they are equally dangerous to walk on. Many of these dunes are hollow inside with open water underneath. A fall through a dune can leave an individual trapped with little chance of escape.
Tips for Ice Angling: 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.
2) 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. From there on give them the silent treatment.
3) Keep the bait fresh. If using live shiners....keep them alive and lively as much as possible.
4) Use as light weight of line as possible..in most cases, 2 lb. is plenty for pan fish.
5) 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.
6) 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
7) Fish most often strike between jigging strokes and very often the strike is quite subtle. Paying close attention will produce more fish.
8) Bottled fish attractants can be helpful on artificial baits.
9) If your minnow supply gets low, fish eyes from your catch make excellent bait.
10) Keep your bait near the bottom.
Local Weather: Wednesday Night...Snow showers. Additional snow accumulation 1 to 3 inches. Cold with lows around 8 above. North winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 90 percent.
Thursday...Snow showers. Additional light snow accumulation. Cold with highs around 8 above. Northwest winds 15 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 80 percent.
Thursday Night...Snow showers likely. Cold with lows around 5 above. West winds 15 to 20 mph with gusts up to 30 mph. Chance of snow 60 percent.
Friday...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Brisk and cold with highs 5 to 10 above.
Friday Night...Mostly cloudy. Snow showers likely in the evening. Cold with lows zero to 5 above zero. Chance of snow 60 percent.
Saturday...Partly sunny with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Not as cold with highs around 20.
Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Not as cold with lows 10 to 15.
Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the mid 20s.
Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 10 to 15.
Martin Luther King Jr Day...Cloudy with a 30 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the mid 20s.
Monday Night...Cloudy with a 50 percent chance of snow showers. Lows 15 to 20.
Tuesday...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Highs in the lower 20s.