Fishing on the Great Lakes will be great eventually

The fishing on the Great Lakes will probably be “great” once Mother Nature lets anglers get offshore.

Cold fronts, strong winds, various forms of precipitation and walleye lock jaw have put a damper on Lake Erie fishing prospects. There have been a number of reports of anglers who have tried their luck on local walleye spawning sites with varying degrees of success.

Anglers are reporting spying “eyes” when they shine a light into the shallows, but the catching part has been tricky. Blaming the water temperature is a common occurrence. Depending on what publication you read, the walleye bite isn’t supposed to happen until the water temperature rises anywhere from 51 degrees to the mid 60’s. One thing is certain, when you find the right temperature and place, those fish are going to go on a feed.

Chautauqua Lake is experiencing the best calico fishing anglers have seen in a long time according to Skip at Hogan’s Hut in Stow. Bluegills are coming on strong and bullheads are biting at their traditional haunts. Anglers are culling lots of runt yellow perch to find keeper sized ones, and walleyes are biting on worm harnesses trolled over 8 to 10 feet of water at the edge of weed lines during the daytime. Some fish are also coming around the deeper holes, too.

If you like to add the thrill of fishing for money, the Southtowns Walleye Association is hosting a one-day Yellow perch tournament this Saturday from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. Entry fee is $10 per person. You must be a member of Southtowns Walleye. You also must be a member to fish in their walleye tournament which is from June 8 until June 22. The perch event entry fee will also feature an all you can eat perch dinner at the club house located at S-5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, also on May 18. A cash prizes will be awarded for the best five perch by weight, with an 8-inch minimum. Deadline to register at the club is Friday, May 17 at 4 p.m. The weather is looking good for Saturday and the perch fishing off Cattaraugus Creek has been decent at times.

Calendar:

Spring turkey season opened May 1. I am 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!

Our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Lakeshore Longbeards, will meet Tuesday, May 21. The meting will start at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. Discussion will focus on their upcoming Youth Day called JAKES Day. The Longbeards are looking for ideas for hands-on activities, for youth of many ages that pertain to the outdoors. They still have seed corn available, too. The meeting is open to the public.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun club will host a 3-D archery shoot from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., on Sunday, May 19. 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 are now available at the Club.

Saturday, June 15 marks the first time the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Festival and the Great Lakes Experience (GLE) will be held in Dunkirk. This event is a sister event to the one held in Buffalo since 2001. GLE is looking for fish & wild life related exhibitors and regional environmental groups to participate. The goal is to engage the community and work with local stakeholders to protect and enhance the natural resources of the lower Great Lakes. There is still time to get on board by emailing Jennifer Colon at colon@fredonia.edu or to register an exhibit contact Beth Smeader at bsmeader-gle@yahoo.com.

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 water craft 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.

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.

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. 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 sports@observertoday.com.