WEST ERIE COUNTY, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert|
Perch fishing should be good into the Fall months wind and waves permitting with the largest schools settling in between 50 and 65 feet of water north of Walnut Creek.
With the summer weather finally hitting the area, now is a good time to target panfish in and around Presque Isle Bay. Presque Isle Bay is a great place fill the cooler with slab gills and sunfish. Other good local "Gill spots" include areas along the South side of Presque Isle Bay, Edinboro Lake, and the State Line ponds just South of I-90 at the Ohio line. Bluegill will eat anything they can get into their mouths. Worms and crickets are anglers favorite baits, but bluegill will take, small poppers, flies, small spinners and jigs. At times they will even hit cheese baits and corn. Bluegill are gregarious, so when you catch one, there are usually more in the same place. A frying pan full of fresh filleted bluegills and sunfish are mouthwatering tablefare.
Current Lake Erie water temperature as of this writing is 73 degrees.
A Few USCG Safety Tips On Waterskiing and Tubing:
ALWAYS have an competent observer in the boat. This is a legal requirement in Pennsylvania and most states. The boat driver cannot watch the skier and operate the boat safely at the same time.
ALWAYS wear a Coast Guard approved wearable Personal Flotation Device (PFD) designed for water skiing. Ski belts are not permitted in Pennsyvania nor are inflatable PFDs
Never ski in rough water. High waves or a choppy sea will prevent the tow boat from maintaining a steady course and speed and can make retrieving a downed skier dangerous.
Stay well clear of congested areas and obstructions. Water-skiing requires a lot of open area.
Don't spray or "buzz" swimmers, boats, or other skiers. Such stunts are dangerous, discourteous, and could cause an unintentional collision.
NEVER ski after dark. It is hazardous and a violation of the law. Watersking and other similar activities are not permitted between the hours of sunset and sunrise. Any boat traveling fast enough to tow a skier is traveling too fast to navigate safely at night.
NEVER water-ski while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Such activity is extremely dangerous because of the impairment to your judgment and ability to respond. A recent study conducted with expert skiers who were deliberately intoxicated indicated that even their ability to ski was dramatically reduced.
Use hand signals between the skier and observer. Agree before you start what each signal means so there is no confusion at a critical moment.
Retrieving a Downed Skier:
While waiting to be picked up, the skier should hold up a ski to increase their chances of being recognized in the water. The boat operator reduces speed immediately while the observer maintains visual contact with the skier and directs the operator. Return to pick up the fallen skier with the boat at reduced speed and headed into the wind or current, whichever is stronger.
Always turn off engine when approaching the skier. The observer is to watch for the skier's signal to indicate the skier is all right. If the signal is not seen, the operator must assume the skier is injured and needs immediate assistance. If the skier is injured but is able to grasp and hold a line, maneuver the boat upwind and close to the injured person. Turn off the engine, throw the injured skier a line and gently haul them in. If they cannot grasp and hold a line, follow the same procedure, but let the boat drift towards them without power.
Always keep the operator's side toward the victim and NEVER retrieve anyone from the water with the engine running. Put a swimmer in the water to retrieve a skier only as a last resort.
Boating Tip of the Week: