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Walleye action picking up with tournaments over for 2021

Submitted Photo Blake Kenny caught a 9.26-pound walleye last Saturday while fishing with his father Dennis an friend Mike Nicosia during the Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge.

Walleye tournament fishing on Lake Erie may be done for 2021, but the walleye action is picking up. Rick Miller in Irving reports that a lot of anglers are encountering limit catches of walleye in depths of 50 to 80 feet of water.

Worm harnesses seem to be outproducing stick baits, but it pays to have an ample supply of both. Some reports indicate that the evening bite is also going hot and heavy. Anglers are setting up in 60 to 70 feet of water off Center Road and trolling East. By the time they arrive by the Hanover tower, they have a limit of walleye.

Miller indicated that the yellow perch bite has picked up also off the Catt. in 60 to 72 feet of water. The weekly report from the DEC fisheries station also supports the information with warm-water biologist Pascal Wilkins reporting that the creel census personnel report most of the action is out of the Catt. Buffalo Harbor has slowed down and the reports from Barcelona have varied with some anglers doing well and others doing a bit more searching. Note that the shallow waters near and west of Barcelona also hold a lot of structure-oriented walleye in 50 to 60 feet of water. Productive colors on the worm harnesses indicate that larger size copper blades with a pink stripe or the old favorite black and purple are a good choice. There have been reports of some yellow perch action out of Dunkirk in 52 to 65 feet of water off the Light House.

Now that the tournaments are done, anglers are stocking up on walleye for the winter. Many anglers like to bleed the fish they intend to keep. Once the fish is caught, place it on a metal or plastic stringer. Take a pair of shears or a sharp knife and cut the gills. Place the fish over board and allow them to bleed. This will remove most of the strong flavor in the fish and leave you with nice white fillets, after you remove the lateral line and the pink or gray skin found close to the outer layer of scales. You may want to hit the fish on the top of the head above the eyes to keep them from jumping out of your hands while attempting to place them on the stringer. Veteran anglers use a small billie-type club for this purpose. The term for the club is called a “priest,” supposedly to administer the last rites to the fish. You can also cut the gills and place the fish head first in plastic bucket for a few minutes. Remember to retrieve your fish before powering up your boat, to avoid loss.

Zach over at Hogan’s Hut reports that the fishing has improved recently on Chautauqua Lake. Most of the action takes place as the sun goes down and in the shallows. Hit the weed edges on the north end of the lake. Active white and yellow perch in the 10 to 12 inch range. Muskie action has been slow lately.

Dennis Kenny of Team One Less caught the largest walleye during the main event of last week’s Innovative Outdoors walleye challenge. The lunker weighed in at 9.26 pounds and was caught on a green Renosky stick bait presented on six colors of lead core line while fishing in 100 feet of water off Lake Erie State Park. Dennis was fishing with his son Blake and Mike Nicosia. They caught that fish around 9:30 a.m. and were able to add five more smaller walleye to finish in the ninth place of the main event with a 27.89-pound total.

There is a new New York State record for white crappie. Roy Issac, 62, was reportedly fishing from a dock on Sleepy Hollow Lake in Greene County in about 25 feet of water. Using a live shiner presented on a hook and split shot rig he felt the hit and started reeling in. As the fish got near the surface Isaac realized it was big, because at first he thought it was a bass. Once it was near the surface he dropped his rod and landed the record fish by hand. It weighed in at 4 pounds, 7 ounces. Over the last four weeks Isaac had landed big crappie from the same spot and each week they kept getting bigger. Congratulations!

If you have a fishing or hunting related story /photo you would like to share, call at 366-1772 or 785-3659. Leave a message and I will get back to you.

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