Free fishing days set for Saturday and Sunday across NY

This Saturday and Sunday are Free Fishing Days in New York State.

That means that regardless of how old you are, you will not be required to have a New York State Fishing license to fish during this weekend in the boundaries of New York State. This could be an excellent opportunity to try your luck fishing for yellow perch or walleye on Lake Erie, catch calicos or muskies or bass on neighboring inland lakes like Cassadaga, or Chautauqua lakes, or cast a line in Canadaway or Cattaraugus creeks and see what bites. For more free fishing events go to the DEC website at

Skip, my contact at Hogan’s Hut Bait & Tackle Store, on Chautauqua Lake, in Stow, reports that the walleye fishing has been very good lately off Cheney’s Point and Shorewood. Using the most basic of fishing tools – a hook tipped with either leeches, or worms (green worms have been hot lately) – anglers should add a few split-shot and troll along the weedline edges in the 8-10 foot range and concentrate on floating dead vegetation. Large-mouth bass continue to haunt the shallows favoring docksand shoreline structure and smallies are further out around the 10-12 foot mark. Anglers continue to connect with crappie.

The DEC creel census report indicates that for numbers of walleye in the two-inch range, anglers are bottom-bouncing around the windmills in the Athol Springs area. For larger fish, the best bet has been deep-water presentations out of the Barcelona area.

Yellow perch have been on the feed locally, but can be finicky at times. Live bait, which will continue to be harder to obtain this time of year, remains the best enticer. Emerald shiners are usually best, with golden shiners, a hardier species, an adequate substitute.

This past Friday, I got to take my daughter Rebecca Glowniak, and my granddaughter Rachel out fishing. We opted to try for perch out of the Dunkirk harbor and managed to boat 31 yellow perch using golden shiners. Listening to my girls shriek with delight as they pulled up triple headers sometimes and lose an occasional fish, was a fun experience. I hope to repeat that success all summer long.

Over the course of the next few days, I fished with several other partners, but we found the perch did not attack the bait, but rather held on to it or mouthed the minnows. The bite was very subtle and took a certain amount of concentration to detect. Several anglers did very well drifting with perch rigs tipped with minnows and found that the moving target provoked a harder strike. Concentrate on 44 to 52 feet of water with east of the outer red buoy being productive lately. Sharp hooks improve your catch ratio as well.

Rick Miller, in Irving, reports that anglers are still connecting with catfish in the “Cat” and perch fishing has been decent when anglers can get out.

The Lew Mead Memorial Kids Fishing event in Cassadaga is set for this Saturday.


If you are hoping the crossbow bill will surface or survive, it is important to contact our senators and request they support Senate Bill S1699B. Call or write and let your legislators know if you are a current or former bowhunter or if you have any current or former archery/crossbow affiliation. Be sure to let them know that you support crossbow regulatory authority being given to the DEC. Rick McDermott is the rep for the New York Crossbow Coalition at

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 course. For information, call Gary Dudek at 366-3397.

The Southtowns Walleye Association is hosting their 21st Catch and Release Kids Fishing Derby on Saturday, July 21 at the Tifft Nature Preserve, located on Furman Blvd., Buffalo. The event is free to all kids 15 years old and younger. Bring your own tackle. Sign-up starts at 7:30 a.m. with the weigh-in from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. A picnic-style lunch, including free hot dogs and goodies, will be served from 11 a.m. until noon. Coffee, milk, donuts and juice will be served from 7:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. All kids receive a grab bag and winners will receive awards starting at noon. For more information, call Dennis at 861-5687 or Doug at 649-8202.

Correction: The New York Walleye Association will host its annual walleye tournament next month. The AMARA-CAN Walleye Tournament , which is a two-day, two four-man team event. It is set to take place July 13-14. Interested anglers can register for this event on Friday July 12 at the Clarion.

The Lakeshore Longbeards will be hosting their annual youth day, known as JAKES Day, on July 13, 2013 at the Westfield Fish and Game Club. Registration starts at 9 a.m. with activities and learning stations from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Lunch will be served for the kids and adults. To register call Bob and Judi Turk at 934-4538.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to