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Walleye bite remains strong on Lake Erie

Submitted Photo Head out to deep water for Lake Erie Walleye action.

The Labor Day weekend is upon us and who cares?

This used to be a cause for celebration with barbecues, preseason football games, baseball, back-to-school jitters for the kids and a sigh of relief for parents. Anglers would plan a last hurrah for the boating season while hunters would trim out their shooting lanes and archers would fine tune their skill and apparatus. This year COVID-19 has changed all that.

I believe most of us have hoped that the gloom of the pandemic would have disappeared by now. But No!

Strong winds and the threat of thunderstorms have kept offshore fishing pressure to a minimum locally. The best walleye reports continue to come from areas of deep water. Pascal Wilkens from the Dunkirk-based DEC fisheries station reported that there were recent good catches of walleye coming from straight out of the “Cat” in 80 to 90 feet of water. In addition Wilkens commented that the research vessel the Argo located a large school of yellow perch in 70 to 80 feet of water in the same area. Rick Miller’s bait shop in Irving commented that a few anglers did report decent caches of perch from the general area in 60 feet of water, but that action seems to change daily. Captain Larry Jones of Mostly Muskies charters commented that successful anglers fishing off the “Cat” report that black and purple or purple and pink color combinations presented 50 to 60 feet down, seem to be working in stick baits and worm harness offerings. One angler ,on Thursday offered that anglers were doing well near the border line in North East in 85 feet of water. Good numbers of walleye and occasional trout are being taken. Captain Jones also offered that crappie are being taken at Silver Lake, on the west side near the gray condos near the 18-to-20-foot drop-off. Trout magnets in black and green are the ticket for crappie in the 9- to 10¢-inch range.

For muskie action on Chautauqua Lake try the north end of the lake on the Mayville flats in 25 feet of water. Five to 6-inch plugs seem to be working well. For Lake Ontario action, Jones commented that the fish have moved out to 240-280 feet suspending at 55 to 60 feet. Flasher /flies combinations are a good starting point in chartreuse/silver combinations.

CALENDAR

¯ The Lake Ontario Counties Fall Trout and Salmon Derby will conclude on Sept. 7. Fishermen can still get in. For more information go to www.loc.org.

¯ The Early Goose season also called the nuisance goose season started on Sept. 1 and runs for 25 days. There is a generous 15-bird daily limit, except the Lake Champlain Region, which allows eight. Hunters 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 Gene Pauszek at 366-1772 or 785-3659.

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