WEST ERIE COUNTY/ DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert|
Crappie fishing around Presque Isle has been hot with a number of limits observed this past weekend. Good areas to try have been off the second and third parking lots on Presque Isle. Shiners and a variety of tube jigs have been pulling them in. Perch fishing off the North and South Piers along the Erie Channel has been very good with several limits observed this past week end. A good number of jumbos were spotted in the mix. Shiners fished off the bottom on perch rigs are the ticket.
With this weeks in season trout stockings, Elk Creek both the upper and lower areas, and the Upper Gravel Pit Pond in Fairview will be good choices for stockies. Anglers have been having good luck at the Gravel Pit Pond with shiners and red worms.
Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 49 degrees.
Shoreline Fishing at Night for Walleye:
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. A reminder that the walleye limits have changed for this year. The minimum size is 18" with a daily creel limit of 4 fish.
Walnut Creek Access Information:
Anglers fishing the wall are advised that boaters entering and exiting the Walnut Creek Channel have the right of way over angler lines by regulation. With the current conditions, boats will be hugging the wall. Boaters exiting the channel are asked to sound their horns as a courtesy to alert anglers on the wall to pull in their lines and avoid line tangled props.
Stocked Trout are Great for Hot Smoking:
Smaller fish like trout, donít need to spend a lot of time in a brine. About 1 hour will do for smaller fish. You want these fish to be cleaned and ready for the smoker before you brine then and have them laid open so the brine can get inside. Brining can be completely optional for smoked trout. While the trout brine you can prepare the smoker. Small trout (about 9 inches) can be completely smoked in as little as an hour or so, but more time will add extra flavor. Watch the fish to make sure they donít dry out, but leave them in the smoker for up to 4 hours. Use a mild wood like a fruit wood or oak to smoke with. Traditionally alder is used with fish and if you can get some it makes a great smoke flavor. Try to place the trout in such a way as to let the smoke get to the insides of the fish.
Once the trout is smoked it will be easy to remove the bones because the slow cooking process helps to separate the meat from the bones. Once the trout is completely smoked y you can eat them just the way they are, or you can use the smoked trout almost like smoked salmon as an appetizer or an ingredient in other dishes. Try adding about 1 cup of smoked trout meat to 2 cups of cream cheese. Season with garlic and Tabasco and serve it as a dip. (Oh yeah babe).
Smoked trout can be frozen for months or refrigerated for days, but remember that hot smoked fish isnít preserved and if you do not intend to eat it right away then you need to refrigerate it or feeze it. It is generally a good idea to remove the skin and bones before freezing.