With the Eighth Annual Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club walleye derby now history, I thought you might be interested in a few footnotes from the event.
On Friday, the first day of the three-day event, anglers were weighing in their catch at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club's scale. A gentleman approached the event personnel and asked if he could weigh in a fish, even though he was not in the contest. No problemo! Jim Christy, a Fredonia resident, then opened his cooler and pulled out a walleye that pulled down the scales at 11. 53 pounds. He also had several other fish in the 8-pound range back at the boat.
Christy was not entered in the event and had just recently purchased a larger fishing-sized boat. He took his fish off the State Park in deep water using 10 colors of leadcore. Christy weighed his fish on a digital scale on board his boat when he first caught the fish and reported it was close to 12 pounds. He just wanted to check the scales accuracy.
Master Trapping instructor Rich Lazarczyk, Steve Purol and Tim Mullard.
Chances are, Mr. Christy would have a hard time getting into the Con Club event in 2013 as there are already 29 boats on the waiting list. Something to ponder.
Christy caught his fish, weighed it and came to the scales within a few hours. He kept his fish on ice and in a few hours it lost close to 8 ounces of weight. Gene Strianse, fishing with Richard Snyder Jr., and Dan Salansky caught their 10.87 walleye on Saturday evening around 8:45 p.m., on a dipsey renosky combo. They weighed their fish around noon on Sunday and missed the heaviest fish of the derby prize by two tenths of an ounce. Ouch!
Renosky stick baits were some of the top walleye producers in the contest this year. The presence of a lot of rough fish or "un-wanted species" prompted many anglers to use the baits. Fish like silver bass, white perch, sheephead and even yellow perch, tend to attack worm-tipped baits, hence the anglers opted for the stick baits and they obviously catch fish.
Gary Marcinkowski, who brought in an amazing three-fish total of 29.23 pounds did not use renosky stick baits, rather he used smaller sized bomber baits, and removed the front treble hook. By removing the front treble hook you change the action of the lure, which must appeal to the fish.
Color selection was also broad as Bob Rustowicz reported good luck with blue/orange belly renoskys while Bill Beiger used a blue/yellow belly renosky on a whim. Tommy Owczarczak's crew reported using fire tiger renoskys on wire line dipseys.
Bob Katta reported using Dream Weaver spoons off the riggers, 55-feet down over deep water, when they put their 10-pound fish in the cooler. Don Ruppert gave a detailed report on his Saturday catch, opting to speed up his trolling speed to 2.3 mph to avoid smaller fish and sending 10 colors of lead-core line way out to the side on the planer boards. In-Line planer boards by Church Tackle and Off-Shore have been making many converts, however, one disgruntled angler proclaimed that his board slid down and smacked a large walleye in the snout, sending it into a renewed frenzy and back to the bottom of the lake.
Hi-Tech worm harnesses work well too. Bob Gloff fished them all day Saturday and landed a 10-pound money fish , as well as the Hi-Tech sponsor prize.
There are a lot of memories from this year's event, as well as a lot of big fish that got away. At least a dozen boats reported losing "monster" sized walleye right behind the boat, etched in memory but just out of reach of the landing net. Next time!
The new hunting, fishing and trapping licenses will go on sale on Aug. 13, for the period of Oct. 1, through Sept. 30, 2013. These licenses can be purchased online, by phone, or in person at several DEC offices, and most sporting goods stores and town clerk's offices. For outings before Oct. 1, you will need to purchase a valid 2011-2012 license. Those hunters who would like to participate in the early goose season will need to have a valid small game license or sportsman's license from the 2011-12 time period. They will also need to get the new HIP number by calling 1-888-427-5447. You will also need to purchase a new duck stamp or migratory bird stamp. My contact informs me that Wal-Mart currently is the only place locally that has them.
Individuals interested in obtaining a license to use leashed tracking dogs for the purpose of pursuing wounded or injured big game animals, are advised that the next examination date will be Aug. 24 from 10 a.m. until noon, at designated NYS Department of Environmental Conservation regional offices across the state. Applications should be submitted by Aug. 17. A list of regional offices can be found at dec.ny.gov/about/50230.html. To apply call (518) 402-8985, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write: NYS DEC Special Licenses Unit; 625 Broadway, Albany, N.Y. 12233-4752.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek