Fishing is great, even when weather is not

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek T.J. Shahan and Nick Good, from Preston County, West Virginia have been enjoying our Lake Erie Bass fishing for a number of years.

To who it applies, Happy Mother’s Day! This is the first Mothers Day that my family will observe without our Mom Annie. We miss her dearly, but she remains alive in all our thoughts and in our hearts. Be sure to read the column written by our sister Julie Root.

Getting back to the outdoors stuff, there is a lot of activity at the City of Dunkirk boat launch area. Traditionally a lot of bass rigs show up along our shore line to experience the World Class bass fishery. I for one am thankful that there is at least one floating dock at the city launch.

The winter of 2018-19 was devastating to boat slips in the harbor. It wasn’t until February when the temperature started to dip and answer the question, whether the lake would indeed freeze over. The Lake Erie water level also appears to be up too. If you do plan on launching a boat at Dunkirk, bring boots. All week long, viewers can see license plates on boat trailers that hail from West Virginia, Georgia, Ontario, Ohio and more. I would like to point out that the construction crews did provide additional parking areas this weekend by the boat launch area by moving equipment etc. Thank you!

DEC Fisheries Unit leader Jason Robinson indicated earlier in the week that the DEC was stocking lake trout, off shore, but the dock construction crew, accommodated the process by allowing the hatchery trucks access to the pier to unload their cargo onto the ARGO. I spoke with two anglers from West Virginia, T.J. Shahan and Nick Good who were just coming in on Saturday evening. The anglers reported the bass fishing was good, and they were here since Friday and will return on Monday. They fished outside the harbor in 14 feet of water and probed the bottom with jigging techniques. Their largest bass weighed 6 lbs 5 oz, and they returned all their fish. On Friday they visited Cassadaga lake and caught four muskies including a monster. The duo like many other anglers spend their evenings in comfort at the Clarion. Both anglers have been making the Dunkirk trip for close to a decade.

The fishing is great, even if the weather is not. The Lake Erie water temperature was reported at 48 degrees. Welcome to Dunkirk! Hopefully we will still have adequate parking areas for you for next year and in the future. We hope you can come back during the summer and experience our world class walleye fishery too. A tip of the hat to Robert Woodworth “Woody” the celebrated former president of South Towns Walleye Association, who recently had a roast celebration on Friday that was well attended. Great job buddy!

Calendar: Monday night was the last fly tying instruction class of the season held at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, in Dunkirk. The tyers will be back in action on Saturday, June 1 for the Take-A-Kid Fishing day event.

Sign-up sheets for the Con Club annual Take-A-kid-Fishing Day on June 1, are now available at the Con Club.

The Southhtowns Walleye Association will host their monthly meeting on Thursday May 16 at their club located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd. Hamburg. That will be the last chance to sign up for their in-club perch fishing contest on Saturday May 18. Membership in the SWA is $35. The perch contest is $10. The SWA annual walleye tournament is upcoming on June 8-16. Derby fee is $50 . Membership is mandatory. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. with food and beverage available.

Walleye season opened statewide on the first Saturday of May. NYS fishing regulations used to have a lunker bass season that opened up also on the first Saturday in May. That regulation has now changed and opens on Lake Erie and it’s tributaries on December 1 until the third Saturday in June and allows anglers to harvest one 20-inch minimum bass per day. (See page 46 of Rules and Regulations.)

There will be a Safe Boating Course offered by the NYS Sheriff Department held on Saturday, May 18 at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Attendees are advised to bring a lunch.

There will be a pistol course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on May 25 from 5:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. There is an $80 fee for this course. Contact Gary at 366-3397 for details.

The Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association will be meeting on Friday, May 17, at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club at 7 p.m. Agenda will include drug testing requirements, conservation issues, NYS non-resident Great Lakes charter boat decals, set-up standard first aid and CPR classes for those in need. VIP Day and WNY Heroes Day June 28.

May 18 is The Southtowns Walleye Association Perch Tournament from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Must be a member. Call 649-8202 for details.

May 19 is the Crappie Team OPEN at Chautauqua Lake. Contact Mike Russo at 640-6915 for info.

From May 10-19, Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Spring Trout and Salmon Derby. Info call 1-888-REEL-2-IN. or www.loc.org.

The next State of Lake Erie meeting will be on Wednesday May 22 at Woodlawn State Park. The event will start at 6:30 p.m. and conclude at 9 p.m. Open to the public. Guest speakers to be announced. This event is Open to the public.

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, NY 14048, or call the sports department 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. or email sports@observertoday.com.