Father-son duo turns in impressive catch off Olcott

Submitted Photo Dave Gatto with a 14-pound steelhead caught at Olcott on July 5.

Ideal fishing conditions have been sparse this year, so anglers have to make the most of fishing opportunities.

Dave and his son Aiden Gatto set out for Lake Ontario early on July 5. The duo headed for Olcott Harbor and stopped at a tackle shop there for the lowdown on what to use and where to go. Launching their 16-foot Aluma-Craft boat they headed straight out of Olcott to about 180 feet of water equipped with A Tom Mic flies, Dreamweaver Spin doctors primarily in green patterns. They rigged their gear on leadcore line, downriggers and dipsey divers and in about 30 minutes they had their first of seven fish on. Aiden caught the heaviest fish of the day a 17-pound king salmon and his dad Dave settled for a 14-pound steelhead. They had a total of 14 hook-ups landing half of them, by 10:30 a.m. Not bad for their first time fishing the area. Dave reported that the bigger boats reported doing about 40 hook-ups a day landing about half of their fish also.

It’s a great time to get out while the fish are in.

Locally the fishing effort has been slow. The train of thought is that the weather reports are potentially keeping a lot of fishermen on shore and people are traveling now that COVID restrictions have relaxed. That and graduation parties, memorial services and weddings were backlogged. Walleye anglers report that anglers have been doing decent catches straight out of Dunkirk in about 60-70 feet of water. Worm harnesses in watermelon pattern have been hot. Anglers are still finding walleye in closer in 20-30 feet of water west of Van Buren.

The catfish bite has slowed in Cattaraugus Creek, but the bass are active especially around the Routes 5/20 bridge. Catfish activity has improved out in the lake around the mouth of the Catt, off Woodlawn Beach and off Dunkirk.

Submitted Photo Aiden Gatto with a 17-pound king salmon from Olcott.

Not much news on yellow perch lately. On Chautauqua Lake, Zach from Hogan’s Hut commented that the yellow perch and white perch bite continues to be awesome in 8 to 12 feet of water around the bridge, Prendergast, Mayville and Celoron. Muskies are active in shallow around the weed edges hitting crank baits. Walleye action has been slow.

Walleye Tournament action will pick up next week. Southtowns Walleye will have their awards banquet today starting at 1 p.m. with the doors open at noon.


¯ There will be a pistol course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club located at the foot of Mullet Street in Dunkirk on Saturday, July 24 from 2:30-7:30 p.m. There is an $80 fee for this course. Call 366-3397 for details.

¯ A Sportsman’s Rendezvous will be presented by the Cattaraugus County Trappers Association on Aug. 13-15 at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds. Admission is $5 with kids under 16 admitted free with an adult.

¯ The Barts Cove Walleye Invitational presented by Mark Mohr and Joel Ruggerio will be July 31 and Aug. 1. This is a two-day total weight event similar to the defunct Amar-Can derby. This tournament is an invitational only with only a 50-team capacity at $500 per team. There is no Big Fish Friday. Three legal-size walleye daily can be weighed. Payout will be for the top five places each day. There is a potential $10,000 prize with a 100% cash payout. Captains meeting at Barts at 6 p.m. on Friday. Contest starts at 6 a.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m. New York Lake Erie waters only. Optional Calcuttas available. Call Mohr at 998-9871 or Joel at 868-3418 for details. Coverage in the OBSERVER.

¯ The richest paying walleye event around will be coming to Sunset Bay on July 16-17. Now in it’s 11th year the Sunset Bay (Walleye) ShootOut is ready to roll with a potential full field of 150 teams competing in this year’s event. Attracting teams from 24 states this contest will host a Big Fish Friday followed by the main event on Saturday. BFF will start at 6 a.m. and conclude with a cooler dropoff by 4:30 p.m. The live weigh-in will start at 5 p.m. The Saturday main event starts at 7 a.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m. with cooler dropoff by 4:30 p.m. The live weigh-in starts at 5 p.m. There are bleachers set up on the beach at Sunset Bay and the public is invited. Look for coverage of these two days in the OBSERVER.

¯ The Con Club walleye derby is Aug. 6-8.

¯ The Innovative Walleye Outdoor walleye Challenge will be Aug. 20-21, presented by Jim & Diane Steel.

If you have a story or photo you would like to share call 366-1772 or 785-3659.


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