Head to deeper water if you are fishing for Walleye
It’s the middle of August and by this time Lake Erie anglers usually have a pretty good idea of where the walleye are staged up and what to use. Three days of strong winds changed all of that and a visible pattern has yet to materialize especially with continued shifting winds.
My most reliable source reports anglers should head for deep water with 80 to 100 feet a good starting point. The walleye are everywhere, so set out a variety of presentations covering a lot of depths, and you will quite possibly catch fish on all of them. Numerous reports indicate that the fish are scattered, and not showing up on the electronics, en mass, rather they could be top to bottom and in between. With an estimated population over 20 million fish, they should be hard to miss.
Lake Erie yellow perch is another story. This year has been feast or famine targeting the delicious ring backs, and lately it has been famine. One veteran angler I talked with reports that the guys who target the perch have been having a hard time finding them, despite moving shallow and deep and east and west.
Once the bait returns, so to will the fish. If you are fishing in deep water in search of walleye and want some action, put on a bigger sized spoon and troll deep. Usually an offering on the bottom will trigger a lure stopping bite from a lake trout, but anglers have reported they will also suspend mid way.
You are allowed one per angler and they do tend to make a mess once they are on board, but there are numerous recipes to try and they are very good when smoked. The bigger ones will bull dog your line for awhile so be prepared. If you decide to release them, snap a quick photo for a nice momento.
Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut reports that the Chautauqua Lake walleye bite can be elusive at times, with another feast or famine scenario. Anglers have had best luck focusing along the 20 foot mark weedline. In the southern end of the lake anglers report occasionally hooking up with crappie while trolling worm harnesses.
Anglers enquiring about how to prepare white bass should go to the internet for instruction on how to fillet and cook all types of fish. Or consider asking a veteran angler for some tips. The City of Dunkirk Pier sure looks nice after the make over. The boat races are this weekend so expect interruption with boat launching out of Dunkirk this weekend during the event.
Calendar: Aug. 23 and 24 are the dates for one of the last walleye tournaments locally. This event is Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge run by Jim and Diane Steel. The deadline to enter this year’s event is Saturday at midnight. Entry fee is $500 for the main event on Saturday and an additional $100 for the Big Fish Friday event. For more information contact Steel at 481-5348 or go to www.innovative-outdoors.com
The 43 annual Greater Niagara Fall Classic Fish Odyssey Derby, a multi species fishing event is Aug. 17-25. Kids fish free with $14,000 in prizes. Go to www.fishodyssey.net.
The Erie County Fair is going on from Aug. 7 until 18. Make sure you stop by the Conservation Building and say Hi!
The Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Fall fishing derby is Aug. 16-Sept. 2. Go to www.loc.org.
Aug. 16 is a one day, Ladies Only tournament out of Olcott harbor called Reeling for a Cure. Call Stephanie at 716-481-6388 for details.
Lakeshore Longbeards our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will conduct JAKES Day Youth event on Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Westfield Fish & Game Club. Registration will start at 9 a.m. Fee is $10 per youth. Numerous hands-on learning stations and lunch will be provided for all. Open to the public. For more information contact Bob Turk at 673-6703.
Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge out of Dunkirk is Aug. 23-24. Contact Jim Steel at 481-5348 or go to www.innovative-outdoors.com.
There will be a Hunter Safety Training Course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Aug. 21 and 22 from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Two day attendance is mandatory. There will be a bow course at the Con Club on Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The trapping course will be on Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host: Bow Course on Aug. 14 and 15, from 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. The Hunter Education Course will be on Aug. 28 and 29, from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
There will be a bow Course at the Westfield Fish & Game Club on Sept. 11 and 12, from 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. There will be a Trapping Course at the Falconer Rod & Gun Club on Sept. 25 and 27, from 5:30 p.m. until 10. For more information Call Gary at 366-3397.
Before you know it waterfowl season will be upon us. Anyone wishing to hunt any of the national or state Waterfowl refuges or state parks, has to complete a NY Waterfowl Identification Course. First you must register for the course at https:register-ed.co/programs/new-york/129. Then complete the assigned homework before attending the class. Figure on two hours. You can get help by referencing Ducks at a Distance: A Waterfowl ID Guide found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/92272.html. For more information call 379-6376. Remaining courses are at: Aug. 18- Alden Rod & Gun Club 12 County line Road. Alden from 8 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. – Aug. 19 at Somerset Conservation Club 1129 Johnson Creek Road, Baker from 6 to 10 p.m.
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.