Weekend storms make the hunt for walleye difficult

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek. Ray Pauszek displays a typical walleye catch for his crew.

The weekend stormy weather turned the waters of Lake Erie upside down, and turned a previous “hot walleye bite” into a search mode.

There were a lot of limit catches leading up to the weekend, and even the columnist and crew put together a stringer of a dozen eater sized walleye last Friday. We found our fish in 64 feet of water, while heading east, and stuck to a way point that produced active walleye every time we approached it. Everything was working including dipsey divers with spoons and stick baits. Popping small spoons off the bottom on down riggers and long line lead core presentations, off the side planner boards, all were working.

There were reports of similar catches on Saturday, but Saturday night’s torrential downpour and sustained strong winds changed all that. Anglers that headed out on Monday found that 43 degree water had moved in close to shore. Where walleye had been cruising, was now ruled by lake trout in a variety of sizes. Bonus steelhead also were in the mix, but walleye had moved out to over 112 feet deep.

Tuesday found my crew moving west past Van Buren. Out front at Dunkirk, the lake trout and steelhead still ruled. It wasn’t until the guys moved to 120 feet past the second tower that they found active walleye. Note that the wave action increased later in the day on Tuesday.

Wednesday my brother Ray and I got a late start after 10 a.m., knowing full well we were going to get cooked. The lake was flat and the walleye action matched. Heading out west and deep, we scored one walleye and two lake trout. An estimated 45 million walleye in Lake Erie and we found one hungry one.

Reports from other anglers indicate that the walleye fishing has been less than stellar lately, for now. On the plus side, when we returned to port on Wednesday afternoon, an angler confided to Ray that he and his partner were doing well on yellow perch out of Dunkirk. The fish reportedly are showing up on the electronics, as a large bottom based plume in water as shallow as 20 feet up to 40 feet. Go figure.

Rick Miller in Irving reports that the walleye and perch fishing have also been hit and miss lately and Skip Bianco from Hogan’s Hut/Stow reports that at Chautauqua Lake the fishing has been good for musky and walleye, but the large mouth bass fishing has been very good along shore line structure. Now that warm weather has finally set in, be sure to use adequate sun screen and protective clothing. Enjoy!

Calendar: June 29 – July 28 is the 10th annual Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Summer derby. Go to www.loc.org.

July 22 at 4:30 p.m. the Lakeshore Longbeards our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold an organizational meeting, at Liberty Vineyards in Sheridan, for the JAKES Day Youth event. It will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Westfield Fish & Game Club. The meeting is open to the public. They need more volunteers for the Jakes Day event so please stop by.

July 19-20 is the Sunset Bay Shootout. Contact Captain Don Ruppert at 435-4137.

July 28 is the Chautauqua Lake Summer Bass Team OPEN. At Chautauqua Lake, Long Point State Park. Contact Mike Russo at (716) 640-6915.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Walleye Tournament is August 2-4. Contact person is Zen Olow at 640-2776.

VIP Day is Aug, 7. Contact Zen Olow at 640-2776.

Aug. 11 is the Chautauqua Bassmasters Tournament No. 3 on Chautauqua Lake/Long Point State Park. Contact Mike Russo at 640-6915. Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge out of Dunkirk. Contact Jim Steel at 481-5348 or go to www.innovative-outdoors.com.