Some fish are biting while others are staying away

Here is hoping for good weather on Saturday morning for the annual Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Take-A-Kid-Fishing Day.

If the weather is not stormy, we will meet at 8 a.m., at the Dunkirk Yacht Club. If you arrive late, no problem. If it is storming out, we will all meet at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club. The wind may keep a lot of the boat pressure off the bass for a few days and the kids should have a lot of good luck!

Late last week, after an evening perch trip, we returned after dark and spied the DEC at work with one of its illuminated fishing electroshocking boats working the inner harbor. According to its report, the harbor is loaded with bass. The DEC also encountered carp, gar pike, white perch and shiners. The report showed no walleye or silver bass however. Earlier in the week there were some limit catches of yellow perch coming from the outer red buoy area. After the hard rainfall this weekend, a visible mud line had set up and perch will often hang along that area looking for bait that hides in the turbid water.

Rick Miller, in Irving, reports that there have been occasional good perch catches when the anglers can get out, but the hot bite has been catfish in the Cattaraugus Creek. You may have noticed all that white fuzzy stuff floating everywhere lately, and the old saying goes, “the catfish bite when the cotton flies!”

There have been good reports of walleye catches coming from the Athol Springs area in 30 feet of water, with anglers utilizing bottom-bouncing rigs. Locally, walleye angling success is tight-lipped with tournament time around the corner.

Skip, from Hogans Hut, reports that walleye catches have been picking up even during the daytime with anglers focusing along the edge of weedlines. Trolling a worm harness, or working a blade bait like a cicada or a salt water shad type jig, tipped with a worm, has also been good. The blue gills have been huge and the bass are moving farther away from the shoreline, but still hanging around structures like boat docks. Crappie are still being taken on the north end of the lake with some real slabs coming in after dark.


The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host a special rifle shoot on June 9, featuring a 200-yard open rifle shoot from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information on these shoots, or on the Bear Lake Club, call Rob at 485-3773, Tom at 680-0209 or the club house at 595-3334. All shoots are open to the public.

There will be a pistol course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on July 6, from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. There is a $55 fee for the pistol courses only. For information, call Gary Dudek at 366-3397.

The Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY will host their annual walleye tournament starting on Saturday and ending June 19. Deadline to enter is Friday at the Southtowns Walleye Club House, located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg. Entry fee is $50, which includes a membership and tournament fee. Optional Calcutta fee is $20 while a walleye wallet is $5. You can signup locally at Bill’s Hook’s, or at their June meeting being held today at 7:30 p.m. The club has changed a lot since it got its own club house, so check it out.

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. For more information, email Jennifer Colon at .

The Cassadaga Lakes Association will host its 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. All registration will be done on site. Parents of attendees under the age of 18 must sign a release form.

On June 15, the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will host a course at 1 North Mullet Street. The course is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Lunch will be provided. The course is 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.

Note there was no event calendar printed this year for Hunter Safety Courses, trapping, or archery courses. In addition, there will be a limited number of courses with limited seating. So attend the earliest course possible or you may have to do some traveling. There will be a mandatory two-day Firearms hunting course at the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club on Friday, July 19, from 6-10 p.m., returning on Saturday, July 20, from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Call Rich at 595-3917 to pre-register. The class is limited to 30 students. The archery training course is August 17 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Call 595-3917 to pre-register.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Clubs’s firearms course is also a two-day course, which will be held on August 15 and 16, from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. both days. Call Gary at 366-3397 to pre-register. A bow course at the “Con Club” is September 21, from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The trapping course is scheduled for September 28, from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Pre-register at 366- 3397 or 595-3917

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to