Walleye and yellow perch picture becoming clearer

The walleye and yellow perch picture is starting to get a little clearer, but anglers may have to travel to get near-limit catches.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club annual Walleye Derby is scheduled to take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A rundown of the rules and regulations will be provided in Friday’s paper, along with a schedule of activities. Most anglers will probably head out toward the Canadian border, or east toward Sturgeon Point.

My contact at the Department of Environmental Conservation Fisheries Station reports that the creel census personnel have been stationed Tuesday and Wednesday out of Barcelona and Sturgeon Point. Walleye anglers fishing out of Barcelona have reported inconsistent catches coming from the 70-foot mark all the way out to 130 feet. Bigger numbers of fish have been coming from deeper water. Lately anglers fishing out of Dunkirk have not been marking a lot of fish or bait. However, anglers continue to pick up fish and don’t overlook the top 20 to 30 feet of water, as fish in those depths may not show up on your electronics.

The report from Cattaraugus Creek shows that anglers have been hitting some walleye in the shallows of 25 to 40 feet. Sturgeon Point reports a lot more fish (walleye, bass and perch) being caught, as well as a lot more anglers. Again, bigger boxes of fish are being reported taken near the borderline and at the 60- to 70-foot mark. Last weekend a number of the successful anglers fishing in the Sunset Bay Walleye Shoot Out reported catching bigger fish depths of 64 to 68 feet and east of the “Cat”. Again, many anglers found the fish were high and were not showing up on the electronics. Renosky stick baits in a variety of colors have been the main producer as well as bomber baits while presentations have been on 3-4-and 5 colors of lead core line set off to the side on planner boards, as well as off down riggers and dipsey divers. Scratching the bottom with 10 colors of leadcore may also yield a fish or two.

Rick Miller reports that yellow perch have been hitting also off the “Cat” just east of the mouth in 40 to 45 feet of water. Another report from DEC Creel personnel also indicated that anglers may want to check out 62 feet by Eagle Bay. Anglers targeting walleye in that area with worm harnesses have reported hitting numerous perch. The Creel census people also reported that many of the anglers fishing out of Sturgeon Point think that the big school of walleye that was reported near the Buffalo small-boat harbor departure buoy, is moving west toward Sturgeon Point and Cattaraugus Creek.

Weber’s Bait & Tackle, from Derby, reported that perch anglers out of Sturgeon Point have found the fish in the 60-foot-plus range.

Skip, from Hogan’s Hut, on Chautauqua Lake, reported the bluegill bite continues near Warner’s Bar while walleye have been slow and may have headed toward deeper water during the cold front. The muskie bite has been improving with reports of 36 inchers coming in steadily while yellow perch have been elusive. Big, white perch have been reported out of Burtis Bay and largemouth bass have been holding near docks, as well as structure and weed edges.


Note that the Captain’s meeting for the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Walleye Tournament will take place today at 6 p.m., at the Conservation Club. Their derby will be Friday Saturday and Sunday.

The Cattaraugus County Sportsmen’s Rendezvous will be held August 9-11 at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds, in Little Valley. The show will feature archery, black powder, trapping, fishing, guns, taxidermy dealers, Big Buck displays, live seminars, food and a Saturday night auction. Camping is permitted, but there will be no alcoholic beverages for sale. For more information, call 492-0432. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 8 a.m.- 6 p.m. and 8 a.m.- 3 p.m., respectively.

The Westfield Fish & Game Club, located on Ogden Road, in Westfield, will host a hunter safety training course for firearms beginning on Monday, Aug. 12. at 7 p.m. The class will run until 10 p.m., and will resume on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 9 a.m. and run until 4 p.m. Students must attend both days and be at least 12 years old. For more information, call 326-3218. On Sunday, Sept. 15, the club will hold its Memorial Shoot & Gun Raffle.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will host a firearms safety course on Aug. 21 and Aug. 22, from 5 until 10 p.m. Two-day attendance is mandatory for certification. The bow course will be held on Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., while the trapping course will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host a 30 3-D target archery shoot on Aug. 11 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The Annual Hunting Expo held at the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, located at 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., in Salamanca, will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, contact Jim Buck at 569-6810 or visit

There will be a gun show at the Frewsburg Firemen’s Rec Hall, 25 Hazzard St., in Frewsburg, on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. Call 569-6810 for more information.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to