Fishing slowing down as hunting approaches
Strong winds appear to be making this year’s walleye season come to an end. Those die hards that did try to head out into deep water this last week reported not doing very well. There is a train of thought that anglers might have better luck if they move in closer to shore and start working over structures like rock piles, reefs, breakwalls and dropoffs. Switching over to a hand-on technique might pay off. Try using weight forward spinners like Erie Dearies, tipped with a hunk of worm, or jigs tipped with minnow or worm.
Chautauqua Lake smallmouth bass fishing has turned up according to my buddy Captain Larry Jones. Reportedly there was a bass tournament last weekend and one angler weighed in over 75 pounds of smallies over a three-day period. Jones commented that the fish are in shallow water between the shoreline and the weeds, in roughly 2 feet of water. Anglers are also focusing around docks, edges and the drops with the Mayville area drawing a lot of attention. Drop shots have been the hot lure.
Jones also reports anglers are still hitting salmon on the Lower Niagara River around Art Park. Drifting beads in pink or orange seems to be the ticket, while eggs sacks seem to be attracting lake trout. Some steelhead trout are also reportedly starting to show up. For you readers unfamiliar with bass fishing tournaments, this is catch and release.
Locally your best bet for trout action remains at Cattaraugus Creek, although there have been a few reports of trout in Walnut Creek. This angler found barely a trickle of water when driving by Thursday afternoon, but a good old-fashioned gully washer will change that in a hurry. No word on Chautauqua Creek and Canadaway Creek is still sealed off at the mouth.
On the plus side, Rick Miller reported that on Wednesday a few anglers were able to get out for perch in the 50- to 60-foot range out of the “Cat.” Most of them reported getting fish. There has been construction at the railroad tracks by Millers’ place but the work crew was laying blacktop Thursday and the project should be done by the weekend. As of Thursday there still were docks in at Hanover launch. No word on when those docks will be pulled. Best advice is be prepared and bring waders. There was also a notice published in the OBSERVER that the state launch at Lily Dale on Cassadaga Lake has been blocked off for the season.
Bow hunting opened up on Oct. 1. Crossbow season will open up on Nov. 7 to Nov. 20. Regular firearm season opens up on Nov. 21 to Dec. 13.
Pheasant season opens up on Saturday, Oct. 17. Limit two per day. Turkey season also opens up on Saturday until Oct. 30. Limit one bird. Duck season opens Saturday until Nov. 08 with a split season re-opening Nov. 28 to Jan. 3.
Already open seasons: ruffled grouse, (four per day); woodcock (three per day) season ends Nov. 14. Note you need a HIP number to hunt them and any other migratory bird. Cottontail rabbits (six per day); squirrel (six per day); coyote (no limit) and raccoon, fox, opossum weasels and skunk opens on Oct. 25 to Feb. 15 with no limit.