January 3rd, 2007|
West Erie County, DWCO Randy Leighton, WCO Brook Tolbert
Reminder: Be sure your fishing license now says 2007 and is properly displayed
Anyone living in Erie has to be giving at least some merit to the global warming trend. With daily temperatures in the high forties and low fifties, Erieites are enjoying one of the mildest winters on record. Of course, things can change quickly here on Pennsylvania's North Coast. Eager anglers have been capitalizing on weather spreading themselves throughout the tribs and taking advantage of the spring like weather and the less crowded conditions. Many anglers have been working the upper stretches of the tribs along Elk and Walnut with the access areas being left relatively quiet. Water conditions have been relatively clear with good flow with just enough rain to maintain good conditions. The small amounts of rain have not brought in any large numbers of new fish and what has come in from the lake has been on the small side. The Commission has released several hundred spawned out breed stock in both the Mckean hole on I-79 and the Gloski Hole in West County adding additional opportunities. Experienced anglers know that the Mckean Hole has some relatively deep spots with the fish holding the bottom. Current West County Trib conditions as of Tuesday afternoon were clearing with good flow and levels.
Support Your Local Sportsmen's Clubs:
The PA Steelhead Association will have their monthly meeting Wednesday January 10th at 7:00 PM. at the American Legion Post on Route 5 just East of the Airport. Your support at this meeting is appreciated and as always, the public is welcome.
Small presentations and light line and tippets will remain a key to good catch rates in the clear to lightly stained water we have had. Fish will be easily spooked and not as aggressive in the colder temperatures. "Working" micro jigs can be very productive this time of year especially the marabou variety as they have a natural movement of their own. They can be effective alone or with a tipped grub or maggot and come in an infinite variety of colors. Nymphs, sucker spawn and egg patterns in pink, orange and white can be productive for the fly anglers. Natural baits should be kept small and dead drifted with the current. A single waxworm, single cured eggs, or one or two grubs on a 16 to 18 egg hook can work well. Shiners both live and salted can be killer baits during the winter months. Fly anglers swear by the tried and true wooly buggers in olive, brown and black. Terminal tackle and floats should be well balance for the spin anglers to see the often subtle strikes that the average angler misses. These subtle winter strikes are often over looked and simply may be the difference between the the angler "that is hammering them" and the rest of the crowd that hasn't had a hook up. It is so often said that 10 percent of the anglers catch 90 percent of the fish. Very often a change of presentation or drift may be all that's necessary to produce a strike. Finicky winter fish can often be coaxed into striking by simply changing baits. Very often the angler will stick with one bait, and a low catch rate, simply due to the trouble it can be to make a change with cold hands and fingers. Take a variety of baits and presentations and change often if you are not getting strikes.
Transitions to 2007:
I think most anglers will agree that in 2006 the Erie area offered a smorgasbord of some of the most productive angling opportunities on record. A good ice season last year gave way to some great spring thaw crappie fishing on Presque Isle bay with shoreline anglers and boaters both having a great season. Spring gave way to one of the best walleye seasons in years not to mention an above average perch season that just never seems to end. Perch and walleye season blended into a steelhead season that has not as of yet seen ice over on the tribs and weather that has created longer fishing seasons and added new opportunities, such as Burbot fishing for anglers seeking new curiosities. 2007 looks to be just as good. Although public access is at the center of concern for those fishing our area, there are still, and will continue to be plenty of opportunities for all. Respect for the area and the owners of the land surrounding our waterways is key to keeping as much public access open as possible and is something that can be a strong individual contribution. This individual respect and effort combined with the collective efforts of local sportsmen's clubs, the local legislatures, local business, and the support of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission should go a long way in preserving our precious public access and keeping Pennsylvania's North Coast one of the greatest fisheries in the country. Best wishes for a safe and productive 2007.
Local Radar from the National Weather Service
Partly cloudy. Lows in the mid 30s. Southwest winds 15 to 20 mph.