April 13th, 2011|
West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, rglerie@ms..com
Mild temperatures and minor precipitation over the last week have left
the area tribs on the low side and very clear. There are still steelhead in the tribs and there have been fresh fish caught. There are plenty of suckers throughout most areas and anglers are finding them selves working their way through the recently stocked steelhead smolts. This week's stocked trout for the opener on Saturday should provide plenty of fun. Early weather forecasts are calling for the low 40's and a chance of snow showers, with little to no accumulation for opening day. Anglers have been heading to Presque Isle State Park for spring crappie and perch action on the Bay. Action has been fair to good in the deeper areas with many anglers targeting the "Stink Hole" just off shore between the third and fourth parking lots entering the park. Current trib conditions as of this writing were on the low side and clear with some flow.
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, April 30th. 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. Stocked trout for the pond will be provided by 3CU and Billy Hetz. Bait will be provided by the Elk Creek Sports store and prizes will be donated by the Elk Valley Sportsmen's Club. 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.
The State Line Ponds just north of Intersate 90 near the Ohio line can offer nice alternative to get away from the crowds with lots of exploring for kids to do. Bluegills are always available and Crappies are starting to appear. Small Bass are being hooked regularly but the waters also hold some lunkers.
Opening Day Etiquette:
It is Its important to reiterate that cooperation and consideration in crowded fishing areas will make for a great day of angling for all. Area officers will be out and covering as much of the area as possible. There are plenty of fish to be caught and sharing your secrets with others can develop into life long friend ships and the memories made with the youngsters will last a life time. As always be aware that many areas of our tributaries run through private land and your behavior is a direct influence as to how many areas will remain open to public fishing in the future. Be especially considerate of younger anglers and the elderly .....we were all young once and we certainly are all getting older.....and please police your area for litter before you leave, even if its not your own. Good Luck!!
Boating Yet?, Check Your Validation Sticker:
PFBC boat validation stickers and registration are good for two years expirations occurring on March 31. If for example your sticker says 2011, it actually expired on March 31st of this year and should have been renewed with a 2013 sticker and registration. Current stickers are good through March 31st of 2012 or 2013. Make sure you are current.
Teaching a Child to Fish:
The opening day of trout season in Pennsylvania for many is a family tradition with rich history. It is often a child's first exposure to angling and can be the catalyst to a life time passion for the sport. The following is courtesy of James "Scott" Hammons & Preserve the Art of Fishing, Northville NY.
"Teaching a Kid to Fish"
Teaching a child to fish can be done at just about any age. If the child can grasp a fishing pole, a child can fish. At an early such as this your are not really teaching, but exposing the child to fishing. This where we have to decide how much to teach and how much to expose the child to. All children learn at different ages, some quicker than others. This is a self paced course and there are not passing or failing grades. But before we go on we must understand the difference between teaching and exposing the child to fishing.
There are three major steps to a child learning how to fish, our own knowledge, exposure and teaching. It is harder to teach something that we don't know about, so we must possess some knowledge on what we will be teaching. We don't need to be an expert, just the need to pass on our knowledge. Exposure is taking a child fishing with no expectations of learning how to fish by you or the child. The child holds the rod and fishes with someone's help. The power of example is teaching and exposure. This is were teaching and exposure interlock. 'Do as I do' is the key here. Teaching a child how to fish is showing the child with hands on how to acquire a passion of fishing or just to enjoy it.
There are no rules to follow on when to start exposing a child to fishing. However there are important safety rules that need to be followed. Water safety (Lifejackets! If the child has a bad experience schools out for the summer, but if child's drowns schools out forever.), hooks are sharp, some fish have spines that are sharp, and any other thing that protects the child from harm's way (for that matter, us too).
There are many ways to start the teaching process. The easiest way to start is to find out if the child wants to go fishing. If the child does not, don't push it. There is always next time. Remember that not all children are going to want to go fishing and that is their choice. Anytime that we are exposing or teaching anything about fishing there are some things that will make the tasks easier.
Don't bring your own fishing tackle, unless the child doesn't have his own. This will allow you to concentrate on the child fishing. If the child doesn't have fishing tackle, only bring the items that are needed for the child to fish. The right type of equipment is important also. You can't expect a three year old to fly cast on his/her own. Best type of tackle for kid.
Try to get the child involved in any and all parts of this adventure.
Try to find the place that has the most fish that are easy to catch. A good example of this is the local panfish pond. The size of the fish is not as important as the ease of catching. Explain about the fish. What type is it? Explain how to handle the fish. The child's comfort is of great importance, BUT SAFETY IS MOST IMPORTANT, PERIOD! This would include reading about water safety, proper clothing, snacks, plenty to drink, and any type of 'buddy' toy (this sometimes allows the child to share the experience or to show something how to do it also). Ask the child what he/she would like to bring, but limit the size of the item. If you are going to have lunch while fishing, bring a small garbage bag (even if you are not having lunch). This will teach a respect for environment.
Children need to play safely. Don't be disappointed if the child decides he/she wants to play instead of fish, instead encourage it as long as it respects others on the water. If the play does not respect others on the water, it should be stopped and explained why. Try skipping small flat rocks or floating sticks. The most important thing is to have fun.
The child needs praise and approval on his/her skills. This builds self-confidence. Once it is decided that the child wants to go fishing, the exposure process can begin. This can be just about anything that will expose the child to fishing in a positive way. This is were we hone our own knowledge too. What ever it is it has to be appropriate for the child's age. We can't expect a 8 month old infant to fly cast, but we can expect the infant to put the cork grip into his/her mouth. This is were you have to decide what is appropriate, and if it is not, usually the child will let you know. As a general rule the younger the child the more exposure and less teaching.
Thursday...Partly sunny. Highs in the mid 50s. Northwest winds 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 30s. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph.
Friday...Partly sunny in the morning...then mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon. Highs in the mid 50s. Chance of rain 40 percent.
Friday Night...Showers and thunderstorms. Lows in the lower 40s. Chance of rain 80 percent.
Saturday...Showers and thunderstorms. Breezy with highs in the mid 50s. Chance of rain 90 percent.
Saturday Night...Showers likely. Snow showers likely after midnight. Lows in the mid 30s. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.
Sunday...Rain and snow showers likely. Cooler with highs in the lower 40s. Chance of precipitation 70 percent.
Sunday Night...Mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow showers. Lows in the lower 30s.
Monday...Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of rain showers. Highs in the mid 40s.
Monday Night...Mostly cloudy. Lows in the lower 30s.
Tuesday...Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain showers and thunderstorms. Not as cool with highs in the upper 50s. Chance of rain 30 percent.