Fall-like weather has been upon us, and many of us are still awaiting summer.
Over the weekend, there were excellent reports of offshore walleye fishing with Dunkirk and Evangola State Park being two hot spots. Jim Markham, from the Dunkirk-based Department of Environmental Conservation Fisheries station, commented the DEC Creel census people confirmed numerous limit catches coming from the Evangola area in 70-foot plus water near the border.
The Dunkirk area has been straight out in 75 to 105 feet of water with anglers heading towards the Van Buren area in 75 to 90 feet of water if the bite slows down. Markham also commented Lake trout have been active in the deeper waters from Dunkirk all the way to the Pennsylvania line. One angler sent word he had been hooking up with coho salmon on the Canadian side, and even sent photos to confirm his story.
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
Dan Hertzenrater, assistant to County Executive Vince Horrigan, caught the biggest fish of his life while fishing with Captain Don Berger and mate Tim Fedesen during the Lake Erie Experience on Aug. 7.
Anglers have been reporting brown trout, steelhead and lake trout hook ups, while targeting walleye. Cohos are a rarity, as well as chinooks. With recent heavy rainfall, and cooler temperatures lately, we might see an early salmonid/trout run in late August or September, especially in Cattaraugus and Canadaway creeks.
Yellow Perch have been hard to figure out lately.
Markham also reported one group of anglers were fishing this weekend out of the "Cat" and managed to boat 108 ring backs with salted minnows. Rick Miller in Irving reported the fishing is hot in 40 feet of water one day and over 70 feet the next. It would make you wonder if the constant ping of the depth finders might be "spooking" the fish.
Skip Bianco at Hogan's Hut on Chautauqua Lake reports the muskie fishing has been crazy lately with some anglers reporting 9 to 14 muskie hook ups per day. At the north end of the lake, Prendergast has been hot lately, while Chautauqua Reel Outdoors in Lakewood reports fisher Mike Sperry has been doing great at the south end. His helper reported jointed Leo Lures and Stackers have been hot, as well as Bakers. Hot colors have been Fie tiger and perch.
Bianco also reported large-mouth bass continue to haunt the docks and weeds if you can locate them, and smallies are along the dropoffs.
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host 3-D archery shoots Aug. 24 and Sept. 14. They will also host a 200-yard gun shoot on 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.
There will be a Pistol Course on Aug. 16 at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Note the price for attending these courses is now set by the county, and is now $75. Pre-sign for the course by calling Gary at 366-3397.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will also host the following free courses: Firearms (gun) hunter training Aug. 27-28 from 5-10 p.m. each day with two-day attendance mandatory.
Another gun course will be held Sept. 24-25 from 5-10 p.m., with two-day attendance mandatory.
A one-day archery course will be held at the Con Club on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., with a lunch break. Note: To register for all courses, you must register online at the DEC website.
The Westfield Fish & Game Club will offer a trapping Class on Sept. 17-18 from 6-10 p.m. Call Vince Luce at 753-6347 for information.
The Westfield Club will also offer a Hunter Safety Training course Monday, Sept. 22 from 7-10 p.m., returning on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Two-day attendance is mandatory. Call 326-3218 for information.
A Pistol course at the club will be held Oct. 19, starting at 1 p.m. Call Dave Nichols at 581-0739 for information. Note there is a charge of $75 for this course set by Chautauqua County.
The Falconer Rod & Gun Club, located on Buffalo Street Extension, will host a trapping course Sept. 24 and Sept. 26 from 5:30-10 p.m. Two-day attendance is mandatory. Call Tim at 485-3376 for information.
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club, located at Route 310 Cassadaga/Stockton Road, will offer a trapping course on Oct. 17-18 from 6-10 p.m. Two-day attendance is mandatory. Call 595-3418 for information.
The First Greater Niagara Frontier Fishing & Hunting Show at the Getzville Fire Co., 630 Dodge Road (Corner Campbell Blvd and Doge Road), Getzville, will be Sept. 13 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Admission is $5 and children under 15 years of age is free. Tables are $20 (No guns or ammo) New and used items for fishing and hunting. For information, contact Chuck Booker at 957-3566.
Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation raffle tickets will be on sale soon. Ticket price will be $50 per ticket with $66,000 in cash and prizes. Proceeds from this event enable children with terminal disabilities to partake in a fishing or hunting trip of their choosing.
The Warren, Pa. Gun Show will be Oct. 11-12 at the Warren Mall, located at Route 62 in North Warren, Pa. The event is sponsored by the Kinzua Country Auctions. This event will have tables available for $35. For information, call (814) 723-1446.
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.