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Turnaround in sight

Local weather improving for fishermen

The weather pattern is finally turning in the fisherman’s favor with warming temperatures, manageable winds and mostly clear skies in the forecast for the immediate future.

Now if only the fish will cooperate.

Captain Larry Jones has been my go-to guy for fishing information. Yellow perch fishing has been slow lately with the schools broken up, following a post-spawn pattern. According to the State of Lake Erie telecast last week, 2020 should be a good year for perch. The young-of-the-year numbers indicate that this year should be good, but it could be tough in the near future. One of the questions brought up during the presentation was, would the DEC consider lowering the limit on perch. The answer was no. Commercial fishing and angler harvest for each jurisdiction on the entire lake has an allowable quota. New York state has been consistently under their quota.

Jones commented that Lake Ontario is still yielding impressive catches of trout and salmon with the action moving out to 70-90 feet. Fluorescent orange is still the go-to color. For Lake Erie walleye, go to the windmills and target the 25 to 30 foot area using bottom bouncing techniques. Copper orange blades tipped with a night crawler is the mainstay. Anglers have had some success off Purina in the 60 to 80 foot mark. Locally there has been some success jigging for walleye in the 25-foot zone. A decent walleye bite was reported in 55 feet of water off Barcelona with the fish suspended at the 35-foot mark. Watermelon color stick baits or rainbow trout pattern might be a good starting point. As of Thursday there was a reported mud line extending a mile offshore in some areas. Fishing for catfish in Cattaraugus Creek has been improving lately. The walleye bite continues to improve at Chautauqua Lake during the daytime. Target the weedline at around 15 feet and consider using paddletail jigs in perch pattern. We Wan Chu and Prendergast have been active.

Page 8 in the June-July issue of Great Lakes Angler has a remedy for those ankle biting flies that attack all offshore anglers. The elixir is called Picaridin and it comes in spray and lotion. It reportedly is much better than Deet. The product is made by Sawyer, Cutter and Avon. A tip of the hat to Captain Mike Schoonveld for the information.

Calendar: Southtowns Walleye Association 2020 walleye tournament will be a go. They as a group will adhere to safety protocols and will be following all federal, state and local mandated regulations. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic they remained optimistic that they would still be able to conduct the annual walleye tournament scheduled for June 13-21. They are still working out the details on weigh-in sites. Weigh station attendants will be wearing masks and gloves as well as liberal usage of sanitizer for mutual safety. No large groups of people will be admitted during the process. As of Thursday evening, June 4, almost all the weigh sites have been assigned volunteers. The Dunkirk weigh station will be designated as the Gary Pleva Memorial weigh station, in recognition for his dedication to getting a weigh station at the Dunkirk area. Gary was the ramrod at the Dunkirk site for the previous two years, before he passed away this spring. For new volunteers working the weigh stations this year, there is an instruction video on the SWA website and Facebook.

If you have any questions, you can call the club. The annual post-tournament picnic will be canceled, with a possibility of another event later in the year. Members and potential members can still renew their memberships, sign up for the walleye derby, register the kids for the Kid’s Day event, or volunteer for working a weigh-station spot all by going to their website at www.southtownswalleye.com. Dues are $50, tournament fee is $50 and walleye wallet is $5. Calcuttas are also optional. So far there has been a very good turnout for this year’s event.

You can also keep in touch with the club by calling 649-8202 and leaving a message. The SWA club sends word that they have secured all of their corporate day sponsors for 2020, so once the virus threat is over, they can hit the ground running. For more details go to Facebook at www.facebook.com/SouthtownsWalleyeAssociationOfWnyInc/.

The federal government has issued restrictions on crossing over into Canada at least until June 22. Therefore SWA anglers competing in the walleye tournament this year will not be allowed to enter fish caught on the Canadian side. The only way this rule could change is if the ban is lifted on or before June 10. Former participants in the SWA tournament will be receiving reminder cards in the mail. Deadline for entries in the mail was May 30. You can also call the club to enter via telephone on June 11 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. and June 12 from noon until 6 p.m. The club will also be open at that time if you want to stop and pay. However you will wait in your car until called to maintain crowd control/safe distancing. You can also enter by stopping at Bill’s Hooks, Dave’s Bait Tackle, Westfield Bait & Tackle and Cabela’s. Entrants are expected to exhibit good sportsmanship and obey safety and fishing rules.

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