Trying to locate a school of active and hungry yellow perch might be a bit more challenging right now, but as one veteran perch angler put it, with the warm weather we had this year, let's face it, we are fishing for perch in August conditions!
The Department of Environmental Conservation assures us that there is no shortage of yellow perch nor should there be for quite some time to come. In a pamphlet recently published titled New York's 2011 Lake Erie Fishers Program Highlights, the DEC reported the yellow perch population has experienced wide oscillations over the last 30 years. In the early 1990's the population was at a dangerously low level, but has made a great recovery over the last 10 years. A large adult population of perch has produced good angler catches, especially in the spring and fall. The DEC conducts trawling and gill net surveys, and the results have shown a large amount of one year old perch especially in 2011. Translation: the higher and more stable abundance of yellow perch will extend at least another few years.
Finding them this time of year will require moving out to deeper water. Walleye anglers for weeks now have been reporting incidental catches of good sized perch while fishing for walleye usually while towing worm harnesses. Marking these location on your GPS should help anglers locate active schools.
Helen Domske from Sea Grant hooked into a trophy-sized fish on Tuesday while fishing aboard Clean Living Charters.
While fishing on Tuesday with the joint effort from Erie and Chautauqua counties, I had the pleasure of fishing with Helen Domske from Sea Grant, Tom Marks, from Erie County, Kim Thurn , representing Assembly Man Andy Goodell and the Beiger Brothers from Clean Living Charters. I commented that on a recent outing for yellow perch we had caught several smaller sized perch that were spitting up wads of water fleas - that stuff that collects on your fishing line while long lining. Domske commented that although the fish's stomach were full, they were not getting a nutritious meal, as the fleas nutrient content was mostly calcium, which was akin to having a stomach full of "nails." Wow, even fish eat junk food.
I did learn something else while fishing with the ladies. Now this may come across as humorous, but in the event you intend to go on a charter, keep this in mind: several cups of coffee and medication that includes water pills will eventually lead to a "Nature Call." Most well equipped charter boats are equipped with functioning bathroom facilities called a head. However, they may not be built for "trophy sized anglers" like me.
It was a pleasure to fish on the charter, and in the company I was with. Watching Bill and Pete Beiger set up a rig of poles in water that was in continuous motion was a treat. Speaking of treats, dining on fresh caught walleye back at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club was exceptional. Good food, good company and good times could only have been exceeded by good weather. Next time!
The DEC is looking for volunteers to participate in the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey.
It's easy. Record sightings during the month of August only. Include your county, town, the date, the nearest village and the birds observed. Example: adult males, adult females, poults and unknown sex/age. Fill out a separate card for each flock observed. In August there is a noticeable size difference between poults and adult turkeys, so you will generally be counting big birds and little birds. Adult flocks will usually all be the same sex. Try not to record the same flock multiple times. Use binoculars when possible. Send the report cards to Turkey Survey, NYSDEC 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y., 12233-4754. Thanks!
The Westfield Fish & Game Club will host a two-day Hunter Safety Training Course on Monday, Aug. 6 from 7-10 p.m., returning on Saturday, Aug. 11 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. This is a mandatory two-day class for certification and students must be at least 12 years old. For more information call 326-3218.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will be holding its annual three-day walleye tournament on Aug. 3, 4 and 5. The 100-team field is full with a waiting list, but the public is invited to watch the weigh-in and awards as well and take part in the refreshments and activities. More on this event later.
The "Con Club" will also conduct a hunter safety training course on Aug. 22 and 23 from 5-10 p.m. both evenings. You must pre-register at the club on Aug. 2 from 6-8 p.m. and the class size is limited to 40 students.
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host archery class on Aug. 4 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Students must pre-register at Cassadaga Shurfine between July 20 and July 31.
The "Con Club" will host an archery course on Sept. 11 from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Students must pre-register on Sept. 5 from 6-8 p.m. Class is limited to 40 students.
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.
This is HUGE: On Wednesday, Aug. 8 at Chautauqua Suites, 215 West Lake Road, Mayville, NY, the No. 1 Whitetail event will be taking place. Country Western Star Ricky Lee, T.V. celebrities Pat and Nicole from their show "DRIVEN", and more will be on hand for celebrity signings, giveaways, raffles, live auctions, great Whitetail hunts and Xtreme raffles. Think of it like a Ducks Unlimited dinner for deer. Doors open at 5 p.m. and dinner is at 7:15 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person. Get tickets by calling Scott Dibble at 595-3897or Rich Lazarczyk at 595-3917.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.