Great outings in deep water this time of year

A memorial get together at the Sheridan VFW was held on Saturday for a local fisherman/outdoorsman Gary Pleva, who was a friend to many of us.

Like millions of fans, I sure am glad that football season has not been canceled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Go Bills!

As the weather turns cooler, the fishing bite will also cool off, at least for some species. The walleye bite locally has got anglers working for their catch once again. Rick Miller in Irving reports that anglers heading out of the “Catt” continue to find walleye out at the 80-85 foot mark, but the numbers have decreased lately. That’s when the weather allows for offshore fishing. Strong winds have got anglers second guessing how uncomfortable it will get once they get into deeper water.

One of my contacts commented that on Tuesday he set out after 3 p.m. out of Dunkirk heading east and was able to put five walleye in the boat after two hours. All the fish were caught in the 80-85 foot depth and came on deep run rigs, like down riggers, 10 and 7 colors of leadcore line off the side planners. Black & purple stick baits continue to be the go-to color. Captain Larry Jones commented that anglers continue to hook up with keeper-size walleye by the outer breakwalls out of the Buffalo Small harbor, after dark, and Sturgeon Point boat launch is reportedly filling in again, with several anglers reporting propeller damage.

There have been some good reports on yellow perch fishing lately. I spoke with DEC Fisheries biologist Jason Robinson on Thursday and the chief of the Dunkirk unit commented that several weeks ago, the ARGO vessel pulled in the largest haul of perch in the 30-year recorded history of the fisheries station, in 70 feet of water straight out of the Catt. Anglers looking for perch may have to head east out of Dunkirk or west if they launch out of the Catt.

Going through some of my personal records, I have discovered we have had some great outings in deep water this time of year, and live minnows can really make a difference. Captain Jones also offered that anglers are marking a lot of walleye at the north end of Chautauqua Lake in about 35 feet of water. Troll the weed edges.

I would like to express my condolences for another angler who passed away recently, Mr. Karl Davis. Karl’s handle was the Okiebug. I had the pleasure of fishing with him on several occasions . He was a southern gentleman with a passion for fishing. He was all business when he was working at the OBSERVER, but always found time to talk about fishing. Once he was on the water, he was Huck Finn. We miss you buddy!

Anne Rothrock the Regional Wildlife manager, sent a DEC Wildlife Report for WNYEF on Sept. 13. There is a proposal for a “holiday” deer hunt for the NY southern zone only. The proposal would affect muzzleloading and bow-hunting opportunities only, from Dec. 26 until Jan. 1. Hunters would have to purchase the muzzleloading or bow hunting carcass tags valid during those late seasons. They would be able to use all carcass tags valid during the late seasons. The proposal will not impact when snowmobile trails may open. Public comments are accepted until Nov. 8 and may be submitted by email or writing to: Jeremy Hurst, NYSDEC Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, 5th Floor, Albany, 12233-4754.


≤ There will be a pistol permit course offered today at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 2:30-7:30 p.m.. COVID-19, with its myriad of restrictions, has disrupted advance scheduling for numerous events, including this one. The course will cost $80. You can still sign up for this course by contacting Gary Dudek at 366-3397. Plans are in the works for a course to be scheduled on a Monday in the near future.

≤ 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 a half-hour before sunrise and a 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 outdoor-related event and would like the information to appear in the calendar section, contact me at 366-1772 or 785-3659.


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