The weatherman can keep you guessing about whether or not to try offshore fishing for yellow perch.
On Saturday, Lake Erie was very fishable and a lot of perch-seekers were rewarded with ample ringbacks in a variety of depths and areas. If you were fishing out of Dunkirk, there were reports of fish caught around the red marker buoys as well as out to 60-71 feet of water. A school of perch moved into the shallows for a few hours in the morning and people fishing from the City of Dunkirk pier were hooking up with perch. Off of Saint Columbian's was also a hot spot in 55 feet or deeper.
The Department of Environmental Conservation creel census lady informed us that there were numerous 50 perch per fisherman limits that came in on Saturday out of the Cattaraugus Creek area.
OBSERVER Photos by Gene Pauszek
This columnist had to work for these perch on Sunday.
On Sunday, the weather started out okay and then took a turn for the worse, just like the Buffalo Bills football game.
This columnist, along with my brother Ray, headed out to 70 feet of water with one boat on the horizon in 71 feet of water. A noticeable chop only got worse as the rain moved in. We struggled to get a dozen fish using salted minnows and squid, but when the rain came, we started getting double-headers and bigger fish before we had to head in.
Monday was another rough day with few fish to show for our effort, even though we were fishing in 62 feet out of Dunkirk and were continuously marking fish in the bottom 25 feet of water. Two baits that we tried that did catch a few fish were a sliver of perch with the skin still on and a piece of bait one of the fish spit up. Hey, whatever it takes.
Cattaraugus Creek with its greater flow of water has some trout action going on all the way to Gowanda at times, but the local streams will need another significant amount of rainfall to bring in a fresh run.
There have been a few deer taken, but this columnist received a phone call from an irate land owner complaining about people using spotlights on her property, shining the light at and into the house from 8:30 p.m. until 2 a.m., especially on the weekend. If you check the regulations booklet (page 17 and 51) it is illegal to use lights within 500 feet of a home or farm building, unless you have permission from the owner.
If you are a landowner and suspect poaching, if you are being harassed or any other legitimate complaint, call the DEC 24-hour dispatch center at 1-877-457-5680. Do NOT confront the perpetrators yourself. Do NOT put yourself in harm's way. Get a description of the vehicle and a license number if possible and call the authorities.
These slobs are not to be confused with real hunters. Wildlife violators are stealing from you and me. A list of Law enforcement phone numbers is available by picking up a free Hunting and Trapping Guide wherever hunting licenses are sold (page 64).
Remember, the Youth Deer Hunt is this weekend. Call 366-1772 or 467-2079 if you have a story or photo opportunity.
Ken Hollander and Willie Fedrick teach free fly tying clinics on Monday evenings at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club starting at 6 p.m. All equipment, vises and materials are provided FREE. You are invited.
The Westfield Fish & Game Club will host turkey shoots at its club located on Ogden Road on Sunday, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4. The events will start at noon and last until they're finished. These events will be held rain or shine. The public is welcome. All legal centerfire firearms are permitted. Ammunition will be provided for birdshot and deer slugs only. There will be 22 caliber shoots on the indoor range. Bring your own ammo.
If your club is holding a similar event contact the OBSERVER at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 5 p.m.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will resume its annual Hunters Helping the Hungry program starting this Tuesday. Con Club members are urged to bring a non-perishable food item with them to the club on Tuesdays. A monetary donation is also a suitable choice. All donations will be distributed to the needy in the community through the efforts of the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Youth Organization during the Christmas season. Please help! In the spirit of competition, donation boxes will be split up into several categories to see which group of members are the most generous. All proceeds will go to charity.
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club has scheduled a two-day trapping course on Oct. 18 & 19 from 6-10 p.m. You must pre-register by phone by calling Roger Witt at 595-3418.
There is a two-day trapping course at the Westfield Fish & Game Club on Oct. 5 from 6-10 p.m. returning on Oct. 6 from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Register at the first class.
Fly tying classes have resumed on Monday evenings from 6-8 p.m., at the Sinclairville Free Library. Classes will continue until May. All tools and materials are provided free. For more information, call 962-3635 or 485-3919 or log on www.countrykidsonthefly.blogspot.com.
The Gowanda Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its annual Fall Fishing Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 20, in Cattaraugus Creek. Sign-in gets under way at 5 a.m. at the Gowanda Moose Club, located on Aldrich Street. The tournament begins at sunrise and is a catch-and-release event following DEC rules and regulations, with tournament personnel on site to measure and weigh-in the catch. There will be awards, door prizes and food for the participants at the Moose Club after 3:30 p.m. For more information, log on to www.gowandanychamber.org, or call 532-2834 or 532-2288.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.