The yellow perch are on the feed, which means anglers will have ample opportunity to limit-out on 50 yellow perch per day, if they choose to do so.
This is an offshore bite that is taking place on Lake Erie, with anglers finding fish active off Dunkirk, Cattaraugus Creek, North East and parts in between. Live and salted minnows are the bait of choice, with anglers resorting to worms, power bait, fish eyes and belly strips in a pinch when they run out of bait. Once you locate the fish, hang tight because the fish will usually come to you.
Locally, yellow perch have been reported out in 62 to 70 feet of water a tad west of the departure buoy. Off the "Cat," anglers have found fish in 50 feet of water, 62 feet on out to 70 feet or deeper. If you spot a congregation of boats, most likely you have found the fish, especially if you see flocks of seagulls hanging around. Chances are good you will not have to drop anchor right on top of someone catching fish. Rather, use your electronics to spot bait and/or fish on the bottom and ease your anchor in the water.
OBSERVER?Photo by Gene Pauszek
Lots of yellow perch have been reported on Lake Erie lately.
The reason the seagulls are hanging around is because many anglers toss back smaller-sized perch. However, because the fish are coming up from deep water, they usually blow out their bladders, which makes it look like the fish swallowed a pink balloon. The fish cannot sink back to the bottom and became easy prey for the gulls. You can try fizzing the fish you intend to release by puncturing the bladder with a hook point and hold them, applying slight pressure on their bellies before releasing them. Often this will allow them a chance to sink. The daily limit for one person is a generous 50 yellow perch per day. White perch do not count against that daily limit.
To preserve the delicious flavor of these tasty fish, be sure to store them on ice. When the weather is calm, it is a great opportunity to get the youngsters "hooked" on fishing, even if you have to bait and set the hook for them until they get the hang of it. Be sure the kids are wearing their life jackets or PFD's. Perch are fun to catch, but keep only what you are willing to clean.
As predicted, there are lots of trout in any stream with a decent flowage of water. There have been limit catches of trout reported taken off the mouth of the Cattaraugus Creek by boaters trolling and local anglers are reporting many of the trout caught in Canadaway Creek are sporting lamprey scars, with several fish spotted with the lampreys still attached.
Bow season opens up Oct. 1 in Western New York. There is still time to sign up for archery contests, but hurry. Also, the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will continue their non-perishable food collection "Hunters Helping the Hungry" during the Big Game hunting season. Club members are reminded to bring their canned goods to the club for donation to be distributed during the Christmas holiday season. Thanks!
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host a 200-yard rifle/gun shoot Sunday, Oct. 6, with registration from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Classes will be open to sight and scope. Cash prizes will be awarded at the shoot. The format will be timed shooting with three rounds standing, three rounds prone, three rounds kneeling and one round off a bench. The scoring will be based on a point system. Call 485-3773 for more information.
Charles Alsheimer, renowned wildlife photographer/writer and editor of Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine, will return to our area to present his new video program "Whitetails, A Photographic Journey Through The Seasons." Alsheimer will be the guest speaker at the West Portland Baptist Church sportsmen's dinner, held at the Mission Meadows Camp located on Route 430 in Dewittville. This facility has a smaller capacity than the previous building, so the committee is limiting the tickets to 250 people. There will be a nominal fee of $5 per ticket. To order tickets, email WestPortlandBC@fairpoint.net, or call 326-3417. The event is scheduled for this Friday. The doors will open at 5 p.m., with dinner served at 5:45, and the presentation around 7. A number of wild game specialties are usually available, as well as some superb home cooking from the ladies on the committee. A dish to pass is not required, but will be greatly appreciated. Checks for the event can be made payable to West Portland Baptist Church mailed to West Portland Baptist Church, 7081 E. Route 20, Westfield, N.Y. 14787.
The SAREP Youth Fly Fishing program is open for it's 15th season starting on Oct. 7. The program will start at 7 p.m., in the Fredonia Middle School cafeteria. The fly tying/fly fishing classes are every Monday from 7- 8:30 p.m., with field trips scheduled throughout the fall and spring. Classes are canceled when school is closed. The classes are open to the public and are free of charge. All materials are provided. Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call Alberto Rey at 716-679-7002.
The Ellery Snow Cruisers will present their 22nd annual Snowmobile outdoors sport show on Sunday, Oct. 6, at the Village Casino, in Bemus Point, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The event will feature a live auction starting at 2 p.m., new vendors, a Chinese auction, and music provided by the Harbor Knights from noon until 2 p.m. There will also be raffles scheduled throughout the day. For more information, go to www.ellerysno-cruisers.org
Free fly-tying and fly-fishing classes have resumed on Monday evenings at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, from 6-8 p.m. Fly tyers at all stages are invited to attend, from beginners to expert. The Monday night tyers will provide fly tying vises and all materials for anyone who would like to learn how to tie a fly or how to start fly fishing. Ken Hollander and Willie Fedrick, along with guest tyers, will provide the know how, in a safe, enjoyable facility located at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, on Mullet Street, in Dunkirk. Note: Participants will get to keep what they tie and will receive one-on-one attention. No registration required, so just show up!
Upcoming trapping classes - Falconer Rod & Gun Club located on the Buffalo Street extension in Falconer, Wednesday, Sept. 25, from 6-10 p.m., returning on Friday, Sept. 27, from 6-10 p.m. Register at first class. Limited to 30 students.
Trapping class at Westfield Fish & Game on Oct. 4 from 6-10 p.m., returning on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Call Rich at 595-3917 for a work book. Limited to 35 students.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club trapping course will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
The Lake Erie Seaway Trail Center, on Route 5, in Hamburg, will feature guest speaker Cameron Daboin, founder of the Greater Western New York Paranormal Society speaking on "Paranormal Activity" at 7 p.m., on Oct. 24. The event is open to the public and is free.
The Annual Hunting Expo held at the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, located at 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, contact Jim Buck at 569-6810 or visit www.yorkpennshows.com.
There will be a gun show at the Frewsburg Firemen's Rec Hall, 25 Hazzard St., in Frewsburg, on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. Call 569-6810 for more information.
The 48th annual Shooters Committee on Political Education (SCOPE) banquet will be held on Oct. 11, at Lucarelli's Banquet Center, which is located at 1830 Abbott Road, in Lackawanna. For more information on SCOPE, and other events, go to scopeny.org/events.html.
The Evans Rod & Gun Club will host their annual "Sighting-in Day" on Saturday, Nov. 2. from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The event is open to the public and those interested can use the opportunity to sight-in their deer slugs, rifles, handguns and Muzzleloaders. The club has a covered firing line with concrete shooting benches. Targets are provided at 25, 50, 75 and 100 yards. NRA certified Range Safety Officers and experienced shooters will be in attendance to provide assistance. There is a $5 fee per gun. Refreshments will also be available.
If your club is hosting a shooting event or training course (turkey shoot, etc.) drop a line and I will be glad to place an announcement in the calendar.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.