Chautauqua Lake improving

Photo by Gene Pauszek John Woefle, Rob Ebersole and Vinny Costello had a big day last Sunday during the Big Dawg Walleye Tournament.

Last weekend saw some Jekyll & Hyde weather patterns for those trying to fish, especially those anglers entered in the COVID-19 revised Big Dawg Walleye tournament.

Most of the 35 teams that were registered reported to the weigh-in scales with their coolers and reported manageable fishing conditions for most of the day.

Tournament winner Bob Rustowicz put together a three-walleye limit that totaled 18.52 pounds with his largest walleye weighing in at 7.58 pounds. Rustowicz commented that they found most of their fish right out front of Dunkirk fishing in 90 feet of water. That strategy changed on Sunday when the wind picked up. The morning started out fishable but soon got tough, even for seasoned veterans. Rustowicz returned to the deep water but when 8-footers showed up, he and his crew moved in shallower. Sunday he utilized lead core line presentations using Bomber Long A’s and Yawleye stick baits to catch only seven walleye but the three heaviest fish totaled 31.60 pounds beating out the Alguire team who landed the tournament’s heaviest walleye on Saturday weighing 9.48 pounds.

Alicia Alguire commented that their team fished northeast of the “Cat Creek” area using 10 colors of lead core and added weight. Her team finished second with a two-day total weight of 30.64 pounds. John Woelfle, Rob Ebersole and Vinny Costello “Team Crazy Eyes” were tied on Sunday with Rustowicz for the second heaviest box of fish at 13.08 pounds. They reported fishing in 52 feet of water using dipsey divers set back 40 feet and lead core line presentations. Their hot lure was worm harnesses in white color called nuclear glo. Pete Smith Jr. also ended up in the money and found active fish near Center Road. The winds got worse as the day progressed with 11 foot waves reported.

There has been little angling effort until Thursday. Captain Larry Jones reports that for numbers of walleye anglers are heading west out of Barcelona. Head 6 miles west to the Red Barn visible on shore. When you hit the red building, head north to 65 feet of water to set up, trolling north south. Jones also commented that the musky fishing on Chautauqua lake has improved with 45 fish caught and released in the north end. Troll the open water, about 15 to 25 feet down, with 6-inch plugs. Water temperature has been 76 degrees.


¯ Pistol permit courses will be offered at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club. There are a few openings left for the course offered on Monday. The course will run from 5:30-10 p.m. There is an $80 fee for attending these courses. There will also be another course offered at the same time frame/same facility on Aug. 17. To register call Gary Dudek at 366-3397.

¯ Schools out for Summer, but wannabe hunters can still take the mandatory Hunter Education Class by going online. This course was first available in April when COVID-19 shut down our everyday life situations. The Hunter Education course will remain available through Aug. 31. The course is offered by Kalkomey Enterprises which specializes in hunter education. The course is open to anyone ages 11 and up. It can be completed on a computer, tablet or smartphone at any time. Students who complete the online course and virtual field day and pass the final exam, will receive their hunter Education certificate and can purchase a hunting license. Only hunters ages 12 and older may purchase a license and hunt in New York. The cost for taking the course is $19.95. To find the course go to Kalkomey’s website. Note that this course could be a game changer especially for students who are in sports programs that will not excuse anyone from mandatory practices.


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