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Dave AdamsDave Adams is a member of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association. He is a Licensed U.S.C.G. Master and has over 20 Years experience fishing on Lake Erie And Lake Ontario. Dave Adams's full bio and more articles

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Trout Fishing Erie County, Pennsylvania

Current Rating: 2.75 / 2,434 rates      

Trout Fishing Erie County, Pennsylvania Trout Fishing Erie County, Pennsylvania
By Dave Adams

The 3.8 million adult trout slated for stocking in 2002 represents a reduction of about 1.4 million trout (28%) from the 5.2 million or so stocked in 2001. This will mean that the Commission will stock about four adult trout per license buyer in 2002 versus about 5.5 trout per license buyer in 2001.

On opening day, this will mean little to the Erie angler. Because, in many of those waters, any reduction of stocked trout is offset by spring run steelhead. Besides, this holiday of sorts is the perfect opportunity for first time anglers (children and adults alike) to enjoy angling at its most simple and purest form – bait fishing.

To be successful, though, you must be like a chef. To please the patron, cook only what the customer desires. Then serve the dinner in such a manner that is both appealing to the eyes and the taste. Enticing a trout to the hook is no different; bait should look delectable and taste good as well.

The typical menu to prepare for trout on Lake Erie tributaries, streams, or lakes can include mealworms, maggots, waxworms, redworms, nightcrawlers, salmon eggs, and minnows. Of course, similar to your little brother, who always orders a hotdog at the finest restaurant, some stocked trout (and steelhead) with odd taste will prefer corn, Velveeta cheese (dipped in anise extract), or marshmallows.

Rainbow trout, the most common of stocked trout, are easy to please. At the top of their preferred taste list is the mealworm, followed by waxworm and then a maggot. 2450 rainbow trout will be stocked in French Creek; while there, try a single mealworm, size 14 hook and a single split shot. Cast slightly upstream and allow the bait to flow with the current. Or in the deeper pools, cast Berkley Power Bait, salmon eggs, nightcrawlers, or even Velveeta Cheese to entice unseen trout.

Brown trout, which most trout anglers agree is the wariest of all trout, can be frustrating to catch. But they have one weakness. Whether live or salted, these buggers can't resist a free meal of minnows ala carte. At the Twenty Mile Creek or Elk Creek, which are stocked with a total of 9500 brown trout, try a rigged minnow (live or salted). Commercial minnow rigs - those already equipped with a wire and hook - make the process easy. The minnow is threaded; and then, you simply cast and retrieve. The rigged minnow also is a great tactic to use when imitating an injured minnow. In fact, if you were able to ask any brown trout, it would say that many of its less fortunate friends have been duped into eating a rigged minnow that was seen helplessly rolling along the current.

Lakes offer many opportunities for trout anglers because fishing, normally, is in a more relaxed atmosphere. Plus, according to Erie Waterways Conservation Officer, John Bowser, "They all have easy access and are a great spot to take kids," For this year`s opening day, Upper Gravel Pit, Waterworks Pond, and Lake Pleasant will be stocked with brook, brown, and rainbow trout. And a favorite lake tactic is those colorful fluorescent orange and green wooden bobbers (floats) seen dotting the water. These simple, yet effective floats are used because of their casting ease, which gets the bait out to the fish, and little resistance offered when a fish tugs on the bait. Top baits to use when float fishing are mealworms, waxworms, or small minnow suspended below the float. Float fishing tip: Use a three foot leader below the float and add a small split shot six inches above the hook.

When bottom fishing on lakes, try salmon eggs, Power Bait, nightcrawlers, or miniature marshmallows. Bottom fishing tip: Use a slip weight on bait setups. The best tactic is a slip weight followed by a small split shot (two feet from the hook), then the hook. This allows the bait to move freely when taken by a trout.

Steelhead, meanwhile, have continued to enter the tributaries throughout the winter and early spring. And any angler heading to Elk, Walnut, or Twenty Mile Creeks can expect to encounter quite a few. For instance, during last year’s opening day, more steelhead were observed finning in the currents than stocked brown trout. If you're thinking about trying Walnut Creek, it will be crowded, Bowser says, because many steelhead anglers will be thinking that everyone else is on the stocked tributaries. Even so, minnows, Power Bait, maggots, waxworms will catch spring run steelhead. A simple drift with little weight is best.

Bait fishing isn’t a science. It is, however, easy, effective, and fun. Keep presentations simple, check the stocking list to see what trout are in the waterway in which you intend to fish, and bring the appropriate bait. Most important, take a kid fishing, the opportunity for fun and catching fish is now.

2002 TROUT STOCKING FOR ERIE COUNTY

CONNEAUTTEE CK Brook - 0 Brown - 150 Rainbow - 150

FRENCH CK-South Branch Brook - 0 Brown - 2450 Rainbow - 2450

LAKE PLEASANT Brook - 0 Brown - 740 Rainbow - 2960

WATERWORKS PONDS Brook - 1100 Brown - 1100 Rainbow - 0

UPPER GRAVEL PIT Brook - 0 Brown - 2700 Rainbow - 0

CASCADE CK Brook - 0 Brown - 600 Rainbow - 0

CROOKED CK Brook - 0 Brown - 600 Rainbow - 0

ELK CK Brook - 0 Brown - 8400 Rainbow - 0

TWENTYMILE CK Brook - 0 Brown - 1100 Rainbow - 0

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