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Southtowns Walleye tournament concludes Sunday

Submitted Photo The state boat launch is open now at Cassadaga Lake off Lily Dale drive.

The 37th annual Southtowns Walleye Association walleye tournament will conclude on Sunday.

This event will probably come down to the wire with bigger-sized fish being elusive.

Anglers are always tight lipped during derby week, but most of the comments pertain to fish in the 22-to-26-inch range and having to deal with strong winds. Several of my contacts informed me that they have had to resort to fishing in one direction, pulling in their gear and heading back to their starting point and repeating the process.

Thursday was a decent day for most anglers fishing out of Dunkirk and Barcelona. Limit catches of walleye were reported fishing near the Brocton Shoals to DJ’s Campground in 40 to 45 feet of water, about 25 feet down. Productive hardware appeared to be stick baits, like Berkley flicker minnows in fire tiger pattern, presented on lead core line or mono with snap weights.

One angler commented that they found trolling speeds at 2.4 to 2.5 seemed to produce better results. As of Friday at 4:30 p.m., no fish were weighed in at Dunkirk and three were weighed in at Barcelona. On Thursday, the numbers were about the same. There was a 12-pound walleye weighed in at Dunkirk last Saturday and several 11- and 10-pounders weighed in so far. Hitting that 26-inch length minimum should put your fish in the money, if you are entered.

Submitted Photo From his kayak, Charlie Hebner Jr. caught and released a nice northern pike caught near the bridge on Cassadaga Lake last week using a spinner.

Note that Buffalo Harbor is being closed off to boater access due to the air show until Sunday afternoon. Expect heavier boat traffic locally. The Cassadaga Boat launch is now open.

Check out the free Kids Day event at Lily Dale on June 26 (see calendar).

Justin Stevens at Catt Creek Bait & Tackle has another catfish catch-and-release event on Father’s Day. See calendar for details.

Steven’s weekly catfish scramble on Wednesdays from 7-10 p.m. is gaining in popularity, too. This Wednesday there were 18 people who paid $10 to try their skill, despite the cold and windy conditions. Boaters had the edge on the shorebound anglers with only four people weighing in by the 10 p.m. deadline. Ricky Orzechowski used cut bait suckers and shrimp to bring in a 13-pound cat and win $162 for his effort. It was feast or famine for the catfish seekers as those who caught fish caught multiple fish and those who didn’t “cut bait.”

Captain Larry Jones reported that the musky bite on Chautauqua Lake has been better at the north end lately, fishing the flats in 20-23 feet of water using 5- or 6-inch crank baits.

CALENDAR

¯ Southtowns Walleye Association annual walleye derby concludes on Sunday. The awards picnic will be on July 10 at the club located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg from 1-5 p.m.

¯ The First Father’s Day Catfish contest will be Sunday. Pr-registration started on June 14 but you can still sign up on Father’s Day from 8-10 a.m. at the Hanover Boat Launch. The contest is for two-person teams at $100 per team There are Big Catfish side pots. Teams are allowed to bring up to six catfish in for total weight. Two rod limit per person. Entire Cattaraugus Creek waters and Lake Erie are the eligible fish zone. Anglers can weigh their catch starting at 1 p.m. at the Hanover Launch site. The deadline is 8 p.m. The final weigh-in will be at 8:30 p.m. Winners will be then be announced and awarded. Look for the results to be posted in the Sportman’s Journal on Tuesday.

¯ Catt Creek Bait & Tackle has a weekly event called a Catfish scramble usually on Wednesdays from 7-10 p.m. Entry fee is $10 per person with the biggest catfish weighed in between 10-10:15 p.m. taking the prize. All the catfish tournaments are catch and release. Fish brought for weigh-in must be in an aerated live well. Some anglers use a tote or cooler with a bubbler.

¯ Western New York Heroes fishing event out of Dunkirk will be on June 25. Launch time at Chadwick Bay Marina will be 7 a.m. Fish weigh-in will be at 1 p.m.

¯ The Lew Mead Memorial Kids Fishing tournament will be June 26 at the state boat launch in Lily Dale. This free kids event is made possible by the Cassadaga Lakes Association and numerous other sponsors. Children up to the age of 16 will compete for prizes including trophies for age groups for both boys and girls. Almost every child will receive a prize. Sign-up starts at 7 a.m. and the weigh-in will take place at the same area ending by 11 a.m. Free hot dogs and beverage for everyone.

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