It may be worth your while to drive by or call for lake conditions before making plans for a fishing trip this weekend.
The weather man has been giving reports of thunderstorms lately which have kept a lot of fishermen on shore. However, an offshore wind has allowed angling opportunity during the earlier part of the week.
This columnist had the pleasure of fishing for yellow perch off the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek on Saturday that netted my three-man team 56 yellow perch keepers and a 10-pound walleye caught by yours truly on a perch rig and 6-pound test line. A number of boats caught good numbers of perch out of the same area and east of the "Cat" in the 53 to 65 foot range. The following day, after a night of wind, the water temperature reportedly dropped in the same area and put the skids to the perch bite over there.
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
Ray Pauszek, left, and Gary Pleva, right, display some of their three-man team catch from last Saturday.
However, the yellow perch turned on locally off the outer buoy marking the Dunkirk Harbor. One report told of perch limits on both Saturday and Sunday during the daytime and several boats were also anchored in the same area during the evening. If you don't hook up, try drifting or using your fish finder to locate active fish. Earlier reports found the fish in 50 to 55 feet of water, east of the buoy.
There have been numerous reports of limit catches of walleye during the evening for anglers long line trolling rapala like stick baits, off the Lake Erie State Park area, Van Buren and Hamburg, Athol Springs area. Again, keep an eye on the sky as no fish are worth risking your life.
"Skip" at Hogan's Hut reports the action has been great on Chautauqua Lake. All the bay areas are producing crappie usually at low light. The weed growth is starting up, so it may take a little finesse. Big white perch and lots of action can be found in rocky bottom areas and the catch and release bass fishing has been great in the shallows. Large roving gar pike have also provided lots of shallow water action and the bullheads have turned their taste buds towards crayfish and shrimp.
Keep an eye on the Dunkirk Harbor with lots of bait in the shallows and surface activity during the evenings indicating shad, rock bass, black bass, carp and silver bass on the feed. Try a minnow and bobber presentation or small silver spinners on 4 to 6 pound test line. Bring a net.
The spring turkey and walleye seasons are open. I will be looking for hunting and fishing stories and photos to publish. Call 366-1772, 467-2079 or the OBSERVER at 366-3000, ext. 5 after 5 p.m. Good luck and be safe!
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun club will host a special rifle shoot on June 9, featuring a 200-yard open rifle shoot from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information on these shoots or on the Bear Lake Club, call either Rob at 485-3773, Tom at 680- 0209 or the club house at 595-3334. All shoots are open to the public.
If your club is hosting a hunter safety training/archery/trapper/pistol course, turkey shoot or any event that pertains to the outdoors, call 366-1772 or 366-3000 ext. 5 after 5 p.m. There will be a pistol course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on June 5 from 5-10.p.m. There will also be another pistol course at the "Con Club" on July 6 from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. There is a $55 fee for the pistol courses. For information, call Gary Dudek at 366-3397.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Take A Kid Fishing Day is set for June 8. Sign-up sheets are now available at the club. Sign up by June 1 to assure getting a T-shirt that fits.
The Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY will host their annual walleye tournament starting on June 8 and ending on June 19. Deadline to enter is Friday June 7 at the Southtowns Walleye Club house, located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg. Entry fee is $50 which includes a memberships and tournament fee. Optional Calcutta fee is $20, and walleye wallet is $5. You can sign up at their June monthly meeting on June 6 at 7:30 p.m. The club has changed a lot since they got their own club house so check it out.
Saturday, June 15 marks the first time the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Festival and the Great Lakes Experience (GLE) will be held in Dunkirk. This event is a sister event to the one held in Buffalo since 2001. GLE is looking for fish and wildlife-related exhibitors and regional environmental groups to participate. The goal is to engage the community and work with local stakeholders to protect and enhance the natural resources of the Lower Great Lakes. There is still time to get on board by emailing Jennifer Colon at firstname.lastname@example.org or, to register an exhibit, contact Beth Smeader at email@example.com.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.