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Walleye Classic underway in Barcelona with Big Fish Friday

Submitted Photo Pictured above, from left, are second-place winners of the Western New York Walleye Classic Big Fish Friday, Pete Szklanka, Bob Wasson and Joe Vaccarella with a 9.22-pound walleye; Tom Kinmartin Chuck Pohlman and Tim Duffy with the first-place walleye at 11.4 pounds and Bob Rustowicz; and Tom Brunn, Gregg Sheluay and Phil Leone with the third-place fish weighing 9.11 pounds.

The Western New York Walleye Classic got underway with Big Fish Friday. This new walleye tournament is based out of Barcelona and is operated by Primitive Patriot Outdoors of Frewsburg.

This tournament will be part of a three-part series of Lake Erie walleye tournaments to be held this year.

All three events host a Big Fish Friday event the day before the main event which is scheduled for the next day. Teams registered in the main event pay $100 per team to compete in BFF. There is a cash payout for the three heaviest walleye brought in. This event is limited to a maximum of 50 teams. BFF and the main event both start at 7 a.m. and coolers must be dropped off at the weigh-in site located at When Pigs Fly Barbecue in Westfield.

The weigh-in will start at 5 p.m. There will be a cash award for the top three heaviest walleye today also. The winners of Big Fish Friday were: Team Catch the Best, led by Chuck Pohlman along with Tom Kinmartin and Tim Duffy with an 11.4-pounder.

Second place was Team Triple Threat led by Pete Szklanka with Bob Wasson and Joe Vaccarella, entering a 9.22-pounder.

Third place was no stranger to the winner’s circle, Bob Rustowicz of Team Forever Fishin’ along with Tom Brunn, Gregg Sheluay and Phil Leone with a 9.11-pound walleye, and 18 were entered for BFF in total.

Today, the teams which paid a $500-per-team entry fee are allowed to bring in a maximum of six walleye to determine the heaviest total weight.

Cash prizes worth $20,000 will be awarded to the top-10 heaviest total weights. In addition, winning teams will accumulate points toward determining which team will be the eventual winner of the three tournaments. The weigh-in will be at When Pigs Fly BBQ.

After the winners are announced there will be live music provided by the band “Bucked Up!” open to the public. Look for the results of the tournament to be announced in the OBSERVER and The Post-Journal on Monday.

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A cold front that moved though the area along with an easterly wind to put a damper on walleye and perch bite locally. Earlier in the week, a few limit catches of yellow perch were reported from east and west of the Cattaraugus Creek area in 58 to 62 feet of water. Toward the end of the week, that bite slowed. Captain Larry Jones reported that he and a friend caught nine walleye in the 20-inch range fishing in 30 feet of water off the Buffalo wind mill area by bottom bouncing renosky stick baits in the crystalina/perch pattern. Pascal Wilkens from the Dunkirk-based DEC Fisheries station reports that the creel census personnel report that a few anglers have been taking limit catches of walleye off Dunkirk and Van Buren, fishing near the bottom during the daytime, using stick baits and jigging techniques. The nightime walleye bite has slowed down, reportedly.

The muskie bite at Chautauqua Lake has also slowed. Concentrate on the south end in 13 feet of water. On Lake Erie, if you are fishing from or near shore consider downsizing your bait. Rock bass have moved in shallow and can provide a lot of action as well as a tasty treat. Rockies love small jigs, worms and minnows.

Catfish are still active in Cattaraugus Creek according to Rick Miller and Justin Stevens. Catt Creek Bait and Tackle will be holding a new Catfish contest on June 20 for Father’s Day. Entry fee is $100 per two-person team and weigh-in will be at Hanover Boat Launch.

Contest hours will be from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Register at Catt Creek Bait and Tackle next to Heron’s Landing. The Southtowns Walleye tournament will be from June 12-20, and you can sign up at Bill’s Hooks by calling 366-0268, Catt Creek Bait and Tackle or Barcelona Market until Monday. For more information go to hhttps://southtownswalley.com/derby.

Captain Jones commented that the Buffalo Small Boat Harbor will be closed to boat launching from June 17-20 due to an air show. Sturgeon Point will be open for boat launching on Wednesday. The boat slips will not be available and the fire rescue boat reportedly will be moored there.

CALENDAR

¯ The Southtowns Walleye Tournament is June 12-20. The monthly meeting will be on Thursday June 10 starting at 7:30 p.m., at the club located on Southwestern Boulevard. Open to the public.

¯ A Father’s Day Catfish tournament. From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. $100 per two-person team. Stop at Catt Creek Bait and Tackle for registration and information.

¯ Pistol Permit course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Monday from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. There is an $80 fee. For details call Gary at 366-3397.

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