Improving weather good for hunting, fishing

Submitted Photo Fifteen-year-old Aiden Gatto is pictured with a nice gobbler taken on May 9.

Hunting and fishing opportunities seem to be improving along with the weather.

When anglers are able to get out offshore, the yellow perch bite has been decent. Several anglers fishing out of Dunkirk on Friday did well in 61 feet of water. Their day started out slow reporting a couple dozen fish by 9 a.m. But by 1 p.m. that number zoomed up to 85 before freezing. Live minnows are the ticket.

Captain Larry Jones, my contact, reports that the bass bite is “hot” in and around the Buffalo Small Boat Harbor with lots of smallies in the 4-to-6-pound range. There is a lot of bass action on the Niagara Bar area too. Anglers report taking king salmon just north east of Wilson and Olcott using Spin Doctor rigs in silver blue combos. The fish are reportedly in 240 feet of water and 75 feet down.

On Chautauqua Lake, Dean from Hogan’s Hut reports that the crappie action continues to be hit and miss. At the south end of the lake most of the crappie seem to be around 9-inchers. Crystal clear water has also been giving up lots of yellow perch around the lake. The night bite for walleye has been good for lots of anglers. At the north end try Long Point, Victoria bar and Bemus Bay. Rapalas in straight or jointed are a good starting point. Some anglers report doing very well in 4-to-6 feet of water fishing inside of the Warner Bar area, trolling size 13 straight rapalas inge. Troll slow. Casting from shore after dark is also good, black and silver pattern after sundown. Lots of fish in the 22-to-26-inch range.

Catfish have been moving in to the Cattaraugus Creek as well as a lot of small mouth bass along with occasional trout and suckers. Bass fishing out of Dunkirk has been decent. The walleye night bite has slowed down locally, but there have been reports of walleye success out of Dunkirk during the day time in 30 feet of water. There is still only one dock in at the Dunkirk launch site and progress with the docks in the marina has been steady. There is a rally scheduled at Sturgeon Point today from noon-2 p.m. with a number of politicians offering input. Free hot dogs and cookies, and possibly balloons with no shortage of hot air.

Fifteen-year-old Aiden Gatto tagged a nice gobbler on Sunday, May 9. Aiden has managed to harvest seven turkeys in his four years of turkey hunting. This was his first bird that he called in. What made the hunt even more special is the gun he was using. The Browning BP 12 gauge he used has harvested birds for four generations of the Gatto family. Great Grandpa Joe, who passed away last year took one bird with that gun and his son Tim, Aiden’s grandfather, has taken numerous birds with it. Dave Gatto, Aiden’s father, took one bird with it and now Aiden makes it four generations. The Tom weighed in at 21 pounds, sporting a 10-inch beard. Congratulations on your success, and may the tradition continue for many more years.


¯ On May 20 at 7 p.m., the Department of Environmental Conservation Fisheries will be conducting a virtual meeting in a webinar format. This Anglers Outreach will focus on the warm and cold water fisheries of Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River. The program, which reminds me of the former state of Lake Erie seminars, will include a forecast for 2021. Included will be a summary of emerging management issues, a Lake Erie Basin research up date and a question-and-answer period. The program is being sponsored by the DEC’s Lake Erie research Unit as well as the Region 9 Fisheries office. To access the meeting go to http://on.ny.gov/reg9fishmeeting.

¯ On May 29, the fourth annual cat fishing tournament out of the Hanover Boat launch. Two-person teams (limit 60 teams) will compete for the $200 first-place prize. Register at Catt Creek Bait and Tackle at 11158 Route 20 Irving, next to Heron’s landing.

¯ Northern Chautauqua Ducks Unlimited Summer Kickoff Sportsmans party will be Sunday, June 6 at the Beaver Club 64 Prospect St., Fredonia, starting at 1 p.m. For details and tickets call Ron Romance at 969-5166, Nick Renkens at 785-1409, Nick Berdyck at 410-2409, Justin Nichols at 467-4600 or Darin Katta at 785-0713.


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