If you like trapping and related activities, then head to the Dunkirk fairgrounds.
Setup is scheduled for Thursday, but a full list of activities is available on the following website: www.furtakersofamerica.com. Seminars will start as early as 8 a.m., on Friday, with Gary Jepson doing a presentation on lure and bait. Every hour a new seminar is scheduled covering turtles, coyotes, coon, mink, otter and bobcats. The activities will also start on Friday at 8 a.m., and last until after 4 p.m. It's not all trapping either, with activities like Dutch oven cooking, fur hat making, ladies skillet toss and displays on new and used outdoor gear. This event is a nationally advertised event and will attract some of the largest names in the fur trade industry.
Locally the yellow perch fishing has been spotty, with the catching running hot and cold. Anglers report catching 50 one day and struggling for a dozen the next. Finding live bait minnows can also be a struggle, so call in advance. Salted minnows have worked in the past, but many anglers prefer to "get the fish biting first" before opting to fish with salted.
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
Local trappers Gary Dudek, left, and Rich Lazarczyk, right, will be on hand at the Fur Takers of America Rendezvous this weekend at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds, along with many national dealers and exhibitors.
Bass season is in full swing across the state, with numerous areas offering opportunity to catch a keeper. Looking to the future, several anglers report hooking into 8- and 9-inch walleye in the harbor and in Cattaraugus Creek. These fish are not stocked, but are the result of natural spawning and should be carefully released for future fishing. Rich Zimmar at the DEC fisheries station reports that those sized fish are a result of last year's hatch. Locally, the walleye fishing has been spotty also, but look for the bite to improve in the coming weeks.
The Cassadaga Lakes Association will host its 18th Annual Lew Mead Memorial Youth Fishing Tournament on Saturday, June 25. Signups begins at 7 a.m., at the DEC boat launch on Dale Drive Middle Lake. There is no registration fee for this event. Trophies for the largest fish caught will be awarded to both boys and girls in the following age groups: 7-under, 8-10-year-olds, 11-13-year-olds and 14-16-year-olds. There is a sign up for goody bags for each youth, as well as prizes, awarded by lottery, donated by area merchants. The awards ceremony is the same day at the launch site after 11:30 a.m. Free hot dogs and juice will be presented by volunteers of the CLA. You are invited!
Fur Takers Of America will host its National Rendezvous at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds on June 23-25. This is a huge event for our area, with most of the Fairground's buildings, as well as the midway, already assigned for the event. Dealers and more information can be obtained by contacting Dave Miller at (607) 522-4707 or log on firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details, go to www.furtakersofamerica.com, or check out the Fur Taker Magazine.
On Thursday, June 23, from 7-8 p.m., there will be a free fishing seminar at the Chautauqua Marina, located at 104 West Lake Road, Mayville. The presentation "Muskies Chautauqua" will be presented by Mike Sperry, "Chautauqua Reel Outdoors Guide and Tackle." Although registration is free, it is limited to the first 50 and children 15 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
If you were entered in the Southtowns Walleye Derby or would like to attend the award presentation, the event is this Saturday from noon until 4 p.m. at the Armor Volunteer Fire Company Groove.
There will be some safe boating courses at Chautauqua Marina. There is a one-day course Sunday, June 26, starting at 9:30 a.m. Another one-day course will be held Sunday, July 17, starting at 9:30 a.m., and a two-day course Saturday Aug. 6, starting at 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., returning on Sunday, Aug. 7 from 9 until 11 a.m. Note the Safe Boating Courses meet all the requirements for the New York Safe Boating Program for ages 10 years old to adult. All forementioned courses will be held at Chautauqua Marina. For information or to register for courses, call Deb Clementi, NTS Certified Instructor at 753-0409 or e-mail email@example.com. For information on courses or events at Chautauqua Marina, call 753-3913 or go to www.ChautauquaMarina.com.
The Lakeshore Longbeards will present their annual Juniors Acquiring Knowledge and Ethics (JAKES) day event on Saturday July 23, at the Westfield Fish & Game Club located on Ogden Road in Westfield. For information and to sign -up contact Bob & Judi Turk at 934-4538.
The Cattaraugus County Sportsman's Rendezvous at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds, in Little Valley, will be held on Aug. 12-14. For more information, call 492-0432.
If your club is hosting an event which pertains to the outdoors and you would like to pass along the information, or your favorite hunter/fisherperson has a good story to share, contact the OBSERVER at 366-3000, ext. 5 after 5 p.m.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to sports@observer.