The weather has kept off-shore fishermen guessing with forecasts of strong winds and thunderstorms.
Those anglers who have found a window of opportunity have also found fish. My contacts from the local Dept. of Environmental Conservation Fisheries Station reported that creel census personnel have confirmed reports of numerous limit-catches coming from the Cattaraugus Creek area, as well as out of Dunkirk this past weekend.
Rick Miller, in Irving, helped with providing the 'where' and 'with what' pieces of the puzzle by offering that the fishermen out of 'the Cat' were finding the fish in about 80 feet of water. Stick baits and worm harnesses were the hot baits, with double copper blades with orange tape being productive for some.
OBSERVER Photos by Gene Pauszek
Pictured above, at left, from left are Tom Gaiser, Joe Geraci, Lee Gilham and Dave Wilson displaying their nice catch of walleye, which included an 11-pounder caught by Wilson while fishing this past Saturday. Pictured above, at right, is Skip Bianco from Hogan’s Hut, in Stow. Bianco has the information and bait information for Chautauqua Lake.
Out of Dunkirk, 75 feet was the magic depth with worm harnesses being productive for a number of anglers. One couple reported doing well using 10 colors of leadcore line, dipsey divers, and downriggers. Most of the fish were hanging at 65-feet deep over 75 feet of water. On Saturday, four anglers from the Hamburg area, fishing with Sassafras Charters, boated nine walleye using strictly bombers and rebel stick baits. Fishing in 85 feet to 105 feet, they got half of their catch early in the morning, then experienced a lull from noon until 1:30 p.m. The wind picked up again and the bigger fish started to bite, including an 11.5-pound walleye that taped out over 30 inches in length. The guys were all smiling in the photo, rubbing it in that their other buddy, Jim Eischem, canceled at the last minute.
Yellow perch continue to be spotty according to Miller out of the "Cat," but September usually is when the fish go on the feed. There are reports that a huge school of yellow perch has been targeted in about 52 feet of water off North East Pa., with close to 100 boats fishing there on the weekend.
Rich Lazarczyk, from Cassadaga, reports he, his son Richie, and two other guests were fishing with Capt. Bob Stevens on Sunrise Charters out of Oak Orchard on Lake Ontario recently, when the group boated several king salmon and a brown trout over 14 pounds that is in the top 10 of the LOC fishing tournament.
Skip, from Hogan's Hut on Chautauqua Lake, reports that fishing has slowed down recently on Chautauqua Lake, but one woman reportedly hooked a 54-inch muskie. The hot muskie bite has been better on the north end of the lake on the east side from Ball Creek to Bemus Creek. Walleyes have been hanging around the deeper holes.
The NYS DEC on Monday announced several changes to the early goose season called resident or nuisance goose season. Season dates for most of NYS will be Sept. 1 until Sept. 25. Lake Champlain and Central and Eastern Long Island will open on Sept. 3, and Western Long Island is closed. The daily bag limit is 15 per day instead of eight.
In addition, three other rule changes will be in effect: During the September season only, shooting hours will be extended one half hour after sunset, instead of the usual closing at sunset; and hunters will be allowed to use electronic calling devices to entice geese within shooting range (usually 50 yards or less). Hunters will be allowed to use shotguns capable of holding more than three shells at a time, but no more than seven. The only time or place where these three measures are not allowed is during Sept. 21-22 in the Northeastern Waterfowl Hunting Zone. That is the Youth Waterfowl Hunt weekend in that area, when juniors will be allowed afield hunting both ducks and geese.
Federal regulations do not allow the special measures for Canada Geese whenever any other waterfowl hunting seasons are open. Updates on the regulations are on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/28496.html.
The DEC will host a waterfowl hunter information meeting tonight from 7-9 p.m., at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, located on Casey Road in Alabama. Take NYS Thruway to Exit 48A (Pembroke) and travel north on Route 77 to Alabama Center. Continue north on Route 63 for one mile, turn left on Casey Road. The office is about a mile on the right.
LOC Fall Derby on Lake Ontario - Species are Salmon and Trout from any port. The event is from Aug. 16 until Sept. 2. Log on to www.loc.org for details.
King of the Lake from Port Dalhousie, Lake Ontario, Canada Species - salmon from Port Pier Marina. Five salmon per day for two days. On Aug. 31 to Sept. 1. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Walleye Hunter Shootout - Port Maitland Lake Erie, Canada. Target species are walleye. Fish out of Grand River Dunnville Ontario. Four walleye/one day. Sept. 7. email: email@example.com.
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 bow course will be held on Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The course has reached it's capacity size of students. The instructors ask that those who signed up be sure to attend. The trapping course will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
The Lake Erie Seaway Trail Center, Route 5 in Hamburg will feature Bruce Fisher, Professor of Economics at SUNY Buffalo speaking on the economics of Lake Erie on Thursday Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. The free event is open to the public.
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host its Memorial Shoot & Gun Raffle on Sept. 15.
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.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.