WCO Report for Erie County 05/18/2010: Erie area, PA,
WCO Report Posted: May 18, 2010

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Posted by DWCO Randy Leighton on May 18, 2010 at 22:01:28:

May 18th, 2010

West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, rglerie@msn.com

With nice weather starting to move into the Erie area, anglers are hitting the lake and have had fair to good success, wind and waves permitting. Perch are being caught in 35 to 45 feet of water North of General Electric and off the point on the East side of Erie although as the perch schools begin to form, staying on the move can be helpful. On the West side try 35' of water just East of Trout Run. Perch rigs, available at all the local bait shops, fished on the bottom and trimmed with emerald shiners are always the favorite.

Bass action has been good to excellent in Presque Isle Bay and in 25 to 30 feet of water East of the Bay along the Lake Erie shoreline. Trolling can be a good way to locate bass when fishing the lake. Once found, jigging tube baits usually works well. Three to four inch tubes, especially salted ones in black, chartreuse, pumpkin seed, and brown colors are good choices.

Walleye action has been sporadic at best, but it's still early. Deep water anglers have found some steelhead and lake trout action. Current Lake Erie water temperature off Erie is 53 degrees.

How to fish a Tube Jig:
Insert a light (1/16 - 1/8 oz.) lead head jig with a 2/0 spring wire hook into the inside of the tube, pushing the jig's eye through the top of the tube. Cast the bait letting it spiral down like a dying baitfish. Fluorocarbon line can be helpful with Lake Erie and the bay being extremely clear. Jumbo tubes in the 4 1/2" to 5" length are popular for those anglers targeting a trophy fish. The larger tubes require a larger lead head jig.

Let the bait fall on slack line but be aware of your line at all times. Any movement of the line will indicate a strike while it is falling. Reel down, and with a snap of your wrist, set the hook.

If the bait reaches the bottom, gently raise your rod tip until you feel the bait. Do this two or three times and if it feels funny, set the hook. If you do not feel anything after the two or three lift and drops, reel in and repeat the process.

Use tube jigs while searching for large or small mouth bass in the shallows

In and around Presque Isle Bay, try rigging it weedless by using a Shaw Grigsby High Performance hook in the 2/0 size with a small weight inside the tube.

Use as light a weight as you can get away with without losing the delicate feel of the tube bait (Lighter weights in the Bay and heavier in the Lake).

Fish the tube bait around docks and brush or any other available cover with no weight, the slow fall will drive bass crazy.

Out in open water for smallmouth, fish the outside edges of large deep weed lines or large weed beds. As the day progresses, throw a weedless tube rig inside the weeds as bass tend to go deeper in the weeds as the sun rises.

Tighten your drag down for a better hook set. Once the fish is away from cover let off on the drag and let the bass tire itself out. The advantage of a longer rod comes into play here as it does the work of tiring the bass so you can land it.

Use different styles of lead heads ( round, darter, and chicklet are a few) to do different kinds of fishing with the tube. Each one produces a different type of fall.

There are many different types of plastics used in the process of making tubes. Use a soft plastic for open water fishing and a harder type for cover fishing such as brush and Lilly pads.

There are also many different colors to use but stay with the basics of greens and browns (pumpkinseed, motor oil, black with speckles, olive are all popular) for imitating crayfish and clear or pearl with metal flake colors for imitating baitfish. These are not hard and true colors, but day in and day out, produce the best.

Bass On The Table: Small and Largemouth Bass are turned down by many as good table fare more often than not because of their strong flavor compared to say perch and walleye. Broiling or baking works well with Bass and the strong taste can be tamed a bit with the addition of a little white wine. Here is a simple recipe:

6-8 T. butter
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Chopped shallot to taste
2-1/2 pound Bass fillets (Trout works too)
Dry white wine (the real deal, none of that cooking wine)
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, quartered (Try shitake mushrooms for a bit more flavor and texture)
Freshly chopped chives
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450F. Melt butter in a saucepan, add garlic cloves and remove from heat allowing cloves to steep for 10 minutes; remove garlic and discard. Brush pan with garlic butter; place fillets skin side down. Brush fillets liberally with garlic butter. Pour a little wine or water around fillets to keep them from sticking. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 5-7 minutes or until fish is done. Meanwhile, sauté mushrooms and shallots in remaining garlic butter until lightly browned. Remove fish to heated serving plates along with cooking juices. Cover with sautéed mushrooms and sprinkle with chives. Serves 6.

Free Fishing Days Coming Up:
May 22nd and June 6th are designated as free fishing days by the PFBC. Licenses are not required to fish on these days although all fishing regulations do apply. This is a terrific opportunity to try the sport or to introduce someone to angling. For those new to fishing there are many great spots to start out in our area. Try the far end of Presque Isle near the Perry monument or the Waterworks Ponds on the North side of the Pennisula. Edinboro Lake, The Gravel Pit Pond in Fairview, and Lake Pleasant are all good learning spots as well. All the local bait shops are more than willing to help you on that first outing and to give suggestions as to "what they are biting on"

North American Safe Boating Week, May 22-28, 2010, "THERE'S NO REASON NOT TO WEAR IT": (Washington, D.C.) It’s too hot! It doesn’t look cool. I know how to swim. Nothing is going to happen to me. These are just some of the many reasons people claim that they do not wear their life jackets. But with approximately 700 people drowning each year from recreational boating accidents, it is imperative for you to wear your life jacket at all times while you are on the water. Life jackets are no longer the orange, hot and bulky life jackets that are commonly associated with on the water safety gear. New innovations and developments in life jackets have produced a smaller, sleeker, and much more comfortable version of a life jacket, leaving you with no reason not to WEAR IT!!

Much like a helmet to a biker or skate boarder, life jackets are an essential part of your boating safety equipment and should be worn at all times while on the water. In 2008 of the 709 recreational boating fatalities, over 89% of those victims not wearing their life jackets. Life jackets are now lighter, less obtrusive and more attractive than ever before. The new inflatable life jackets allows you the mobility and flexibility that you need when boating, fishing, paddling or hunting and are much cooler in the warmer weather. There are many different varieties of inflatable jackets ranging from those that inflate instantly when you hit the water to those that are manually inflated. All are designed to be more comfortable and wearable than the traditional life jacket. Accidents can happen at an alarming speed anyplace or anytime you are on the water.

Although many boaters stow life jackets on their boat, very few choose to wear it. There just isn’t time to grab a life jacket and put it on properly before you are in the water. If you are faced with a strong current or unfavorable weather conditions you will not only have trouble making sure you are safe and secure in your life jacket, but you will be unable to help your friends, relatives, children or passengers that have accompanied you in your boat. Wearing your life jacket will allow you to be safe in case of an accident and will also allow you the ability to assist others that may be in danger

This year during National Safe Boating Week, and throughout the boating season remember to practice safe and responsible boating, always wear your life jacket, and be alert and aware while on the water. By practicing these simple steps you can save your life as well as the lives of the people boating with you. Life jackets are now more comfortable and lightweight than ever, with many new styles to fit the style you want. Safe boating saves lives so for this year’s North American Safe Boating Week (May 22 – 28, 2010) and throughout the boating season remember to WEAR IT!

For more information on the National Safe Boating Council and the North American Safe Boating Campaign, visit www.SafeBoatingCouncil.org

Local Weather:

Wednesday Night...Mostly cloudy in the evening...then becoming partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 40s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.

Thursday...Mostly sunny. Highs around 70. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday Night...Mostly clear. Lows in the lower 50s. Southwest winds 5 to 10 mph.

Friday...Mostly sunny in the morning...then becoming partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 70s.

Friday Night...Mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the upper 50s. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Saturday...Cloudy with a chance of showers. Highs in the lower 70s. Chance of rain 50 percent.

Saturday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers. Lows in the mid 50s.

Sunday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers. Highs in the mid 70s.

Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the mid 50s.

Monday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s.

Monday Night...Partly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50s.

Tuesday...Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s.

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