Experiencing the Great Lakes in one-of-a-kind style

Summer-like weather has finally arrived and many of us are spending as much of our free time as possible enjoying the Outdoors in western New York. Now if only we could spread some of the congested activities out over a bigger time frame. For instance, The annual Southtowns Walleye Association, nine day tournament is on-going until Sunday (today). Most of the walleye reports are inconsistent, with the fish moving on a daily basis.

What works one day, may not work the next. There is some solid information that large schools of 16 to 18 inch fish are close to shore in 22 to 30 feet of water off Barcelona as well as in front of Dunkirk. The Eastern Lake Erie Charter Association representatives heard from bass fishermen on Saturday that there were fish stacked up by the outer breakwall, that were encountered while fishing for small mouth bass.

A check with the Aqua view underwater television, confirmed their suspicions. At Barcelona on the return to the harbor, anglers were marking lots of “hooks,” and Barry Ball’s grandson hooked a hefty walleye there that he entered in the Youth Division of the SWA tournament. The Bass anglers also commented they hooked up with about a 100 bass also on Saturday.

The Great Lakes Experience returned to our city after a one year absence but at a new location. Instead of being at Memorial park, this year the event was nudged into the east side of the Clarion hotel. Many people I talked with liked the new location and set up, including having the Thursday night Music event at the same location instead of on the “pier.” With the prospect of potential ground breaking in the same area in the near future, this site may no longer be available. That should pose no problem because the City of Dunkirk has several other beautiful, spacious sites that could be utilized.

This year GLE was made possible by donations from the city of Dunkirk, the Northern Community Foundation, the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, the OBSERVER, Nestle Purina, Sea Grant NY, the Lake Erie Management Commission, Jim Nichols Home Town Auto Service, Lakeside Precision, and WNY STEM. Exhibitors for this year event included: Monarch butterfly tent, sponsored by the OBSERVER, USFWS Habitat Restoration /Aquatic invasive Species/Native Species. Lake Erie Bird club, Skyhunters USA Birds of Prey, the NYS police dive troop, the Buffalo Zoomobile, Primate Sanctuary, Roger Tory Peterson Institute/ NY S Parks, Jamestown Audobon, USFW Allegheny Fish Hatchery, Niagara CFCC Air rifle trailer,and more. An exit questionnaire was presented which will help provide valuable information on possible future “Experiences!”

The Cattaraugus Creek clean-up took place also on Saturday, and the state wide Opening Day of bass season. Like I said earlier.” Too Much to do and not enough time to do it all.” Happy father’s Day to my father Ray Pauszek and to all the rest of the wonderful fathers who earned this day of recognition!


The 24th Annual Lew Mead Memorial Youth fishing tournament will be on Saturday June 24 starting at 7 a.m. with registration at the state boat launch located at Dale Drive, Middle Cassadaga Lake. There is no registration fee. In addition the Cassadaga Lakes Association applied for and received from the Department of Environmental Conservation, a permit for a free fishing day during the event, so no fishing license necessary at the event. The Award ceremony is at 11:30 a.m. Age groups included: 7 year old and under, 8-10 years, 11 through 13 and 14 to 16 year olds. There are first-place trophies awarded for boys and girls in each age group. In addition there are sign-up goody bags and prizes awarded by lottery drawing. Annually, there are so many prizes each kid is a winner. Free hot dogs and beverages are dispensed at the award site too. You are invited! For details contact Ron Gross at 595-3950. Adults must accompany youths.

Perrysburg Conservation Club announces that they will host a Children’s fishing derby at Peck Hill Road, Perrysburg, on June 24 from 8 a.m. until noon. Kids under 15 can fish the private pond and compete for prizes in various categories. Pre-register by calling Tracy Wendel at 560-8914. Bring your own fishing gear and have fun. Youths must be accompanied by an adult.

The Southtowns Walleye Association is holding their annual nine-day walleye tournament for members only from June 10-18. Rob Ray’s third annual Big Dawg Walleye tournament is scheduled for July 8 run from the Chadwick Bay Marina. Optional Big Fish Friday is July 7. For details call Mark Mohr at 998-9871 or visit www.razorsbigdawg.com.

The seventh annual Sunset Bay Walleye Shootout is July 22 with an optional Big Fish Friday on July 21. For details call Don Ruppert at 498-7770 or Bob Rustowitz at 830-6394.

The Northern Chautauqua three-day walleye tournament will be held August 4-6. For details contact Zen Olow at 640-2776.

The Bear Lake Rod 7 Gun Club will host a 3-D archery shoot on Sunday June 25 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. On July 2 the club will host a 3-D shoot “money shoot” starting at 9 a

.m. with a shotgun start. Contact Rudy Abersold at 397-9717 for details.

The Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge from Chadwick Bay marina is August 26, with optional big fish Friday. For details contact Jim Steel at 983-7867 or visit https://lakeeriewalleyetournament.com.

Boating safety courses offered by the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 34, will be held on J June 24 at the Ashville Flasher, 5338 Stow Road, Ashville, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. For information, or to register, call Judy at 785-2198. The department of Environmental Conservation will be holding their annual Angler Outreach for Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River on June 27 at Woodlawn Beach State Park Lodge from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. This free seminar will include presentations and discussion on steelhead, walleye and sturgeon. For details contact the DEC Fisheries Unit at 366-0228 on weekdays.

If your club or organization is holding a hunter safety training/trapping course or a turkey shoot or any other outdoors event, and would like to see it posted in the calendar, send information to the OBSERVER, 10 East Second Street, Dunkirk, N.Y. 14048, or call the Sports Dept. at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 6 p.m.

Note: If you have a big-game fishing or trapping success story you would like to share, call 366-1772, or 467-2079 and leave a name, phone number and a time you can be reached. You can also call 366-3000, ext. 5, after 6 p.m.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to sports@observertoday.com.