Crappie are biting all day thanks to warmer weather

The calico bite on Chautauqua Lake has improved with the weather.

Skip, my contact at Hogan’s Hut in Stow, reports the anglers are, “Killin’ them.”

The crappie are biting all day, but the bigger ones seem to bite after 2 p.m. Hot spots are Burtis Bay, Lakewood Bay – the north end of Bemus Bay – and the big weed flat off Mayville. Also with the warm weather, the crappie have moved back into the channels. Productive colors of tube jigs have been John Deer Green, green and red, red and white, and white with gold flecks.

Yellow perch are showing up now that the spawning is over and walleye are visible in the shallows with the statewide season opening on Saturday. Anglers will have a good chance of hooking up with a walleye fishing from shore using stick baits, or a spinner and worm combo. Focus on rocky points for perch and the blue gills and bullhead seem to be everywhere.

Anglers fishing on Lake Erie in New York have been having a good time using artificials and catch-and-release bass. This time of year it is not uncommon to hook-up with over 100 bass per day. Many anglers will compress the barbs on their hooks to make releasing the fish easier.

Rick Miller, in Irving, reports the yellow perch fishing has been a little more challenging lately with the bite being hit or miss. Anglers have moved a little deeper lately keying on 58-feet straight out of the Cattaraugus Creek and to the east.

If you intend to try the night bite on Saturday, be prepared for the unexpected. Lake Erie’s water level is down and there is a lot of floating debris, as well as sub-surface rocky structure. Carry a cell phone, and a spare propeller and make sure the lights work.


The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Ladies Auxiliary is hosting a chicken barbecue on Sunday from 1-3 p.m. Get pre-sale tickets now at the club before they sell out.

The Lake Erie lunker bass season opens May 4 and allows anglers to harvest one bass – 20 inches in length minimum – per day until the third Saturday in June. Note this is for Lake Erie and tributaries only! Starting on May 4, the walleye limit for Lake Erie will be six per day. For the rest of the state’s waters, the limit will remain five per day.

Spring turkey season opened May 1. I will be looking for stories and photos to publish. Call 366-1772, 467-2079, or the OBSERVER at 366-3000, ext. 5 after 5 p.m. Good luck and be safe!

Note the Conservation Club Monday night fly tyers concluded their 2012-13 season on Monday, April 29.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun club will host a 3-D archery shoot on May 5 from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., as well as Sunday, May 19. They will also offer a special night shoot, featuring raccoon targets, on Saturday, May 11 at 8 p.m. Watch for their special rifle shoot on June 9, featuring a 200-yard open rifle shoot from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. For more information on these shoots, or on the Bear Lake Club, call either Rob at 485-3773, Tom at 680- 0209 or the club house at 595-3334. All shoots are open to the public.

If your club is hosting a hunter safety training/archery/trapper/pistol course, turkey shoot or any event that pertains to the outdoors, call 366-1772 or 366-3000 ext. 5 after 5 p.m.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Take A Kid Fishing Day is set for June 8. Sign-up sheets will be available at the Club.

Saturday, June 15 marks the first time the Fish and Wildlife Festival will be held in Dunkirk. This event is a sister event to the one held in Buffalo since 2001. More information to come.

The Cassadaga Lakes Association will host their 20th annual Lew Mead Youth Fishing Tournament on June 29 at the DEC boat launch on Dale Drive in Cassadaga from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. This event is free for all youth ages 16 and younger. If you would like to donate a door prize, volunteer or are looking for more information, call 595-3950

Several safe boating courses are being offered in the area. These classes are New York state-approved boater safety classes required for anyone between 10 and 18 years old to operate a motor boat and everyone age 14 and above to operate a personal watercraft like a jet ski. There is no pre-registration required for any of these courses. All registration will be done on site. Parents of attendees under the age of 18 must sign a release form. There is a course May 4 at the Cassadaga American Legion, 228 Maple Ave., Cassadaga. The course starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m. Bring a bagged lunch.

The course on May 11 will be at the Lawson Center, 73 Lakeside Dr., Bemus Point from is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with lunch provided.

On May 18, the course will be at Southwestern Middle School, 600 Hunt Road, Jamestown from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring a lunch.

Finally, on June 15, the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will host the course at 1 North Mullet Street. The course is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with lunch provided. These courses are free to anyone ages 10-17. Those attendees age 18 and over will have to pay a $10 fee to New York State prior to receiving the certificate card.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to