Anglers shift focus to trout, yellow perch
For five months Walleye has been the primary target species for a lot of anglers but anglers now seem to be focusing on trout and yellow perch, and there seems to be plenty to go around.
Rick Miller in Irving reports that anglers have been connecting with trout from the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek all the way up to Zoar Valley. The Catt has been running a little fast and muddy for a couple of days with the recent rainfall, but Silver Creek and Walnut Creek are providing a lot of action also.
Pascal Wilkins from the Dunkirk based DEC fisheries office commented that the trout have been active in Canadaway, Chautauqua Creek and numerous other smaller streams. Walleye fishing has slowed down with a lot of the offshore anglers putting their boats away for the year, but September was a very good month for walleye anglers who were able to find the time to get on the water — when the weather was willing to co-operate.
There has been no shortage of wind this year… again. Justin Stevens at Catt Creek bait and tackle offered that pink is the hot color lately for trout seekers using artificial, skein and egg sacs. Don Szwejbka commented on Monday at the Conservation Club Monday night fly tying class, that he tried his luck last Friday at Canadaway Creek. Just up from the Route five bridge, Don spied a nice school of trout in a variety of sizes. He opted to cast a gold color Blue Fox spinner (size No. 1) and watched as every trout in the school seemed to want to give chase to the moving target. In a half hour he had three nice trout ready for the smoker.
Anglers have been reporting plenty of trout under the bridge, at the rail road trestle and by the nursing home. How long the fish will hang around is anyone’s guess with a week of warm weather in the forecast, but a drop in temperature and some significant rainfall should trigger numerous other trout runs.
The focus on walleye has taken back seat to yellow perch. Miller and Stevens both commented that on a nice day there are over 50 boats headed off shore with anglers targeting 50-feet deep up to 64-feet. Straight out of the Catt has been working for some, while others head either east or west. Some anglers report that when you do find the fish the schools are dense.
Live golden shiners and salted emeralds are the way to go if you are after ring backs. Some times you have to finesse the fish to trigger a bite, but many anglers are reporting hooking up with enough fish to make them happy, before getting blown off the lake. Anglers should note that they have been pulling the boat slips at the state launch and no word how long the launch docks will be left in. Anglers can still launch at Hanover and Hidden Harbor. The Dunkirk Boat launch is still open but no word on the fishing effort from that area.
Zach at Hogan’s Hut/Stow reports that the yellow perch action remains steady on Chautauqua Lake. The southern end of the lake is dealing with an algae bloom, but most of the action has been at the north end. At Long Point check out the bay area in about 6-feet of water on the weed edge. In Mayville check out the flats. Musky fishing has improved for anglers fishing the weedline in 15 to 18-feet. Walleye anglers are also trolling with worm harnesses along the weedline and jigging the 30-foot holes. Bass anglers who competed at Chautauqua Lake reportedly commented the bass action was steady, but the fish were on the smaller side.
Fellow Outdoor writer Dave Barus alias Forest Fisher commented that Chautauqua Lake will be host for a walleye championship in the near future. You can watch this event by going to Head2Head.com/walleye. The competitors will be staying at the Lakewood Hotel. Johnny Kandle will be the co-cordinator for the event which will be livestreamed on television. There is a special event planned for the first 50 kids that show up for the event.
There have been a few deer reportedly taken but it is still early. If you have a story/photo you would like to share call 785-3659, 366-3000 ext #1 after 6pm. Or 366-1772 and leave a message and a time and number where you can be reached.
If your club or organization is hosting an outdoors themed event, like a turkey shoot, sight- in day, hunter safety training course etc. Give me a call and I will post it in the column.
There will be a pistol Course on Saturday 10/23/21 at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 2:30pm until 7:30pm. There is an $80 fee for taking this course. For details Call 366-3397 and ask for Gary Dudek.