The winds and weather have kept anglers guessing whether to go fishing or wait for a better day.
Walleye catching was starting to improve until the lake started to kick up, with lead core long lines and size 30 jet divers presenting worm harnesses off planner boards accounting for most fish. Barcelona was the hot spot for the top three winners of the Southtowns Walleye Association annual walleye tournament. William Shaffer took the top prize with an 11.72-pound walleye taken off Barcelona on leadcore, an in-line planner board and a 3-D worm harness. Shaffer was fishing by himself in his 16-foot boat when the rod bent back. Looking at the way the fishing stick was bent, he surmized he had a good one and eased the throttle back on his craft and started to reel in. Steering a boat, reeling and trying to net a tournament-winning walleye by yourself is no easy feat, but Shaffer got the job done and, first-place prize money, and a few sponsor prizes. More tournament reports later.
Coping with weed growth is a fact of life this time of year on most any body of water where you intend to fish. Chautauqua Lake can also test your patience, as well as your angling skill, with emergent weed growth. Anglers report marking lots of fish in the deeper holes and traditional hot spots.
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
Ray Pauszek II, and his son Tim, display a nice catch of yellow perch caught Sunday evening off Dunkirk.
Lake Erie yellow perch showed up again over the weekend and numerous anglers cashed in on the action, as long as they could find bait, which will become scarce as the summer heat rolls in. This columnist finally got to wet a line with family on Sunday evening heading out to the Dunkirk perch grounds after 7 p.m., with a few seined minnows.
Young Tim Pauszek had the hot hand, landing the majority of the four dozen perch we kept. Noticing Tim was outfishing me handily, I asked how he was hooking the bait, and learned he opted for through the back instead of through the lips. That did the trick. We were the last boat off the lake and we noticed that as the sun went down, the fish showed a preference for the Colorado blade spinner, perch spreader, over crappie rigs. Bigger fish too!
The New York walleye Association will present their two day team walleye tournament the AMARA-Can on July 7-8. Signups will be available on Thursday and Friday July 5-6 at Chadwick Bay Marina facility, under the Big Top.
National Wild Turkey Federation local chapter of the Lake Shore Long beards will host its annual Youth JAKES Day on July 21 at the Westfield Fish & Game Club.
The Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY will host their Catch & Release Kids Fishing Derby on July 21 at the Tift Nature Preserve, Fuhrman Blvd., in Buffalo, for children aged 15 years and younger. Signup is at 7:30 a.m., with the last weigh-in at 11. Free hot dogs and goodies from 11 until noon will be available, and coffee juice, milk and donuts from 7:30-10 a.m. Awards will be presented at noon and all participants are asked to bring their own fishing gear. Call 861-5687 for details or call 649- 8202.
The Lake Erie Chapter of the Federation of Fly Fishers will be having a Kids Fly Fishing course on Sunday, July 22 starting at 9 a.m., at the Commissioner Cabin at Chestnut Ridge, in Orchard Park. The event is for ages 8-15, who are accompanied by an adult. The event will include fly tying, casting, entomology, inspecting the lake for insect life and testing casting skills, as well as fly fishing on the lake during the day. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife will also host a seminar. The event charge is $10 for the parent and child participant. Each additional child is $5. To sign up call (716) 675-4766 or 549-1977. Picnic cuisine and soda will be provided.
There will be a yellow perch fishing tournament at the North East Marina on Saturday July 28. For details go to www.nechamber.org or call (814) 725-4262.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.