The rain and the cold has put a lot of outdoor events on hold recently.
I spoke with Mike Sperry at Chautauqua Reel Outdoors Bait & Tackle, in Lakewood, on Wednesday, and he said the water line level on Chautauqua Lake was up over an inch after the rainfall the area received Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning. He reported that over four inches of rain fell in that time frame.
Prior to that event, the fishing was turning on with crappie biting along all weed-line edges. Walleye anglers were utilizing bottom bouncers along weed edges and trolling worm harnesses with some success. Crappie were biting at the south end of the lake at the Cribs, Grass Island and the Lakewood Bar. The bullhead bite has been everywhere. Skip Bianco, at Hogans Hut, also acknowledged that there was a lot of debris floating on the lake after the recent deluge. Walleye were reported by the Bell Tower and north of that area, the Midway Park area at evening time and the perch were hitting at Mayville. Large mouth bass catch and release fishing has also been good.
Photos by Gene Pauszek
Dunkirk School No. 3 was visited recently by County Executive Vince Horrigan, his assistant Daniel Heitzenrater and members of the Chautauqua County Sports Fishery Advisory Board, including Zen Olow and Captain Lance Ehrhardt. Pictured at left is Angela DiCara’s class while at right is Pam Plezewski’s class. Both are pictured with Horgan, Heitzenrater, Olow and Ehrhardt.
The Southtowns Walleye Association's yellow perch contest was a success on Saturday. The results will be posted later. One angler reportedly caught a 10-pound walleye on a perch rig.
Rick Miller, from Miller's Bait & Tackle in Irving, reports that the yellow perch bite was good on Tuesday, with many of the anglers reporting catching male perch full of milt. Wednesday, the threatening weather kept a lot of the anglers off the water. Productive areas for yellow perch continue to be off Evangola State Park and anglers were also finding fish straight off the mouth of the Cattaraugus Creek in 56 or 57-feet of water. Miller also reported the water in the creek is stained with the recent rainfall, which has brought on a sustained catfish/bullhead bite. Suggested baits are gobs of nightcrawlers, large live minnows, cut bait and stink bait. Some of the magazine articles written about catfishing suggest using whatever is available, like the dead shad. I suggest wearing disposable gloves when handling the stuff. Cut up strips of the fish and thread it on to treble hooks. Hot spots for catfish are from the mouth of the Cattaraugus Creek up to the railroad trestle.
Small mouth bass turned up recently for anglers fishing from the Dunkirk pier. Jigging smaller-sized jigs was the ticket. Lake Erie has a lunker bass season, which allows anglers to harvest one 20-inch long bass or larger per day, until the start of the regular bass season, which starts the third Saturday in June. An occasional trout has been landed from the pier also. Note to out-of town visitors: The area inside the harbor is a no wake zone.
Walleye fishing has been very slow. Jim Markham at the Dunkirk Department of Environmental Conservation Fisheries Station reports that the Lake Erie water temperature is edging up into the low 50s in the shallows and the bite could turn on this weekend with some stable, warm weather.
Application forms for the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club's Take-A-Kid Fishing day on June 7 are available now at the club. We urge you to sign up early so you will have a T -shirt reserved and in your size.
The "Con Club Ladies Auxiliary is also hosting a chicken barbecue on June 1, at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 1 to 3 p.m. Pre-sale tickets are available at the club.
Point Blank Outdoors, a group of local outdoorsmen, will appear on the sportsmen's channel in May with film footage from the Dunkirk area. PBO will also be filming the entire Sunset Bay Walleye Shootout in July this year. This event will host a compliment of 65 teams with a waiting list. The event is unique, too, in that they offer a 100-percent payout. More information later.
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host 3-D archery shoots on May 25, June 22, July 13, Aug. 24 and Sept. 14. They will also host a 200-yard gun shoot June 8 and Sept. 21. New members are welcome and the club's monthly meetings are on the first Sunday of the month at 4 p.m. They start the meeting off with a hot meal, so come hungry.
Southtown Walleye's annual walleye tournament is June 7-14. You must be a member and $35 entry per contestant. Note that there will be numerous prize giveaways at the monthly meetings in May and June for members entered in the Walleye tournament. Be sure to bring your tournament form or sign up at the June 5 meeting which will be starting at 7:30 p.m.
The Cassadaga Lakes Association will be holding their 21st annual Lew Mead Youth Fishing Tournament on Saturday, June 28, at the DEC boat launch on Dale Drive, Cassadaga from 7 until 11:30 a.m. The contest is FREE and open to youths 16 years of age and under. Sign up at the site before fishing. More information will be printed at a later date.
The Chautauqua County Sports Fishing Advisory Board has finished reading and judging over 400 essays written by Chautauqua County youngsters. Various CCSFAB members and our County Executive, Vince Horrigan, will be visiting local schools and handing out awards and certificates in the near future.
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. I also am available to take photos and hear your success stories by calling 366-1772 or 467-2079.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.