Cattaraugus Creek hot spot
Early season goose hunting has kicked off along with squirrel season and the walleye bite continues in deeper water.
Rick Miller in Irving even had some good news lately that the yellow perch bite has picked up out of the “Catt.”
For the last week or so Miller has commented that anglers have been doing well on walleye off the mouth of the “Catt” in 80 to 85 feet of water. Over the Labor Day weekend, the parking lot at the state boat launch was jammed to capacity as well as the launches farther up stream. Well over 100 fishing boats were reported with a lot of anglers getting limits or enough walleye to make satisfied customers. That bite continued later in the week with well over 150 boats reported in the same are on Thursday.
My buddy Dave Crouse along with his friend Jim Kinner launched out of the “Catt” and headed for the 80-85 foot range and fished west. The action didn’t start until after 7 a.m. but was a steady pick all morning long. The fish got bigger as the morning progressed. All the presentations were deep with seven colors of lead core taking the lion’s share of fish along with downrigger presentations and dipsey divers. Purple/pink, copper orange and black-and-purple color schemes all worked as long as they were on worm harnesses. Dave’s last fish hit the line while he was attaching it to the side planner. They saved the best for last as a 30-inch walleye came to the boat, ending with a 12-fish, two-man limit. The down side of fishing with worms is hooking up with sheep of the deep. They do liven up the day especially when they weigh over 10 pounds. On the plus side, worm harnesses often attract yellow perch too as numerous anglers reported encountering a few bonus perch while targeting walleye.
This angler along with two buddies tried out of Dunkirk on Thursday and contended with fog, drizzle chop, changing wind and overcast skies. We fished east in 80 feet of water, and boated seven fat walleye that appeared to be on the feed, for the fall.
Captain Larry Jones offered that anglers may want to try fishing a little deeper as there is a temperature break at around 90 feet that is attracting bait and walleye. Rick Miller also commented that the perch anglers are doing better lately in 68 feet of water out of the “Catt.” Captain Jones reported that walleye action is picking up at the north end of Chautauqua Lake in 30 feet of water by the Bell Tower, using worm harnesses presented about 25 feet down.
Gov. Cuomo has been busy making policy with COVID-19 concerns, but sportsmen will be happy to learn that on Aug. 24, he signed into law two bills that the New York Conservation Council have been pushing for years. 4-H-certified shooting instructors will now be permitted to supervise and instruct persons under 16 years of age at shooting ranges. Also Tompkins County will now be able to hunt big game using rifles. Thanks go out to NYSCC leadership and the people who wrote letters and campaigned to bring about these changes and the politicians who supported these bills.
If you haven’t purchased your hunting/fishing/trapping license yet, consider spending an extra $5 and purchase a Habitat & Access stamp. That money supports projects that conserve wildlife habitat and provide public access for fish-and-wildlife-related activities. This years stamp features a northern leopard frog. Last year was a bull moose and sold over 25,000 stamps.
The early goose season also called the nuisance goose season will end on Sept. 25. There is a generous 15-bird daily limit, except the Lake Champlain Region, which allows eight. You will need a Harvest Information Program number, available through the state DECALS licensing system. You also need a Federal Migratory Duck stamp. Hunting hours allow for half-hour before sunrise and half-hour after sunset during the special season. The Western New York youth hunt is scheduled for Oct. 3-4.
If you or your organization(s) are planning an outdoors related event and would like the information to appear in the Calendar section, contact me at 366-1772 or 785-3659.