Tourists visit Dunkirk for its ‘world class’ bass fishing

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek Eric Low, Matt Jannaron, “Binky” Schutt, Jim Funkhouser and Kevin Powers have been enjoying some good Lake Erie small mouth bass fishing, despite the cold weather.

The weather has been on the cool side and there never seems to be any lack of wind, but that isn’t stopping the annual out-of-town bass fishing traffic. I had the pleasure of speaking with several bass anglers on Wednesday as they were heading in for the day. “Binky” Schutt, who hails from North Virginia, commented that he and his two friends caught and released 31 bass on Wednesday. The largest was close to 6 pounds. His buddy, Kevin Powers, caught the biggest one thus far, which pulled down the scales at 6 pounds, 11 ounces. That “hawg” hit a Pro Blue jerk bait.

As we were talking, two other buddies pulled alongside, who hailed from Maine. They too had come to experience the small mouth bass fishery on Lake Erie. The guys estimate they have been coming to our area for over 15 years. On average, they estimate two guys will spend $800 – $900 for a week on room and board. Figure $50 per meal another $40 daily for ice, beverages and snacks, then add on thruway tolls, gas, taxes etc. … It all adds up, but it’s worth it to experience the world class bass fishery that we take for granted. The guys estimate they will be joined by about 40 more fishing buddies this weekend, and the weather looks like it could finally warm up. Good luck, and welcome to Chautauqua County.

Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut/Stow commented that on Chautauqua Lake, perch are biting shallow during the daytime and the walleye have gone nocturnal. Be aware that there will be spraying of algaecide near Long Point. Rick Miller in Irving commented that the yellow perch are still biting east of the “Cat” in 50 to 60 feet. Note that Hidden Harbor is now open at Sunset Bay under new management. Stop by and see what’s new! Jim Markham at the Department of Environmental Conservation fisheries station in Dunkirk reports that anglers are still getting limit catches of walleye at night off Shorewood, weather permitting. Markham also reminds readers that the State of Lake Erie meeting will be on May 22 at Woodlawn State Park. See Calendar for details.

Calendar: The Southtowns Walleye Association will host their monthly meeting today at their club located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd. Hamburg. This will be the last chance to sign up for their in-club perch fishing contest on Saturday. 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.

The last fly tying instruction class of the season was 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.

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 its 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 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 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.

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

Sunday 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.