Fish are active in certain areas only

Better walleye fishing has returned to the Dunkirk area, but anglers may have to do a little trolling to find active fish.

At least three teams, using identical 19-foot aluminum boats from last weekend’s Con Club Walleye Derby, located active walleye right out front in about 85 feet of water. Team Strictly Fishin’ – the Dolly family – reported utilizing side planner boards in the rough water to get their presentations down and off to the side as well as a dipsey diver program. On the side planners, they used 10 colors of leadcore to reach the fish in 85 feet of water. Renosky stick baits in purple/pink were “hot.” On the dipseys they used a large dipsey + the outer “O” ring set back 180 feet. They also used a size 40 jet diver plus 4 ounces of lead to get deep. They used the new purple color dipseys sold locally at Bill’s Hooks, towing either stick baits or 3-D worm harnesses. The dipseys have an eight foot fluoro carbon leader in 17-pound test. They also use a double swivel on the leader at the dipsey end and a small round end snap to secure the stick bait (no swivel). Many of the captains add scent to the baits. Make sure the stick baits have a split ring attached to the nose end of the bait and remove the front treble hook. Many anglers also replace the original hooks with stronger sharper hooks with a slightly larger hook on the tail end of the bait. Using a double dipsey diver setup on each side of the boat is also gaining popularity, due to it’s productivity , especially in rough water. Run the longer dispsey out about 180 feet on a three setting and the other dipsey on a 1 1/2 setting about 120-145 feet back. Most of the captains report using Power Pro or Fireline or Spider Line weave lines in at least 30-pound test.

A number of walleye anglers last weekend reported running into huge schools of yellow perch in 85 feet of water east of Dunkirk roughly from Ralston Purina all the way to Cattaraugus Creek.

Rick Miller in Irving reports anglers earlier in the week found active schools of yellow perch off the Cat in 50 feet of water.

Skip at Hogan’s Hut on Chautauqua Lake reports the large mouth bass fishing has been great lately over most of the lake while smallies have been elusive.

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to fish with Captain Don Walter from “Eerie Eyes Charters” along with Maria Whyte, Commissioner of Planning for Erie County, and her 10-year-old son Liam, as part of the VIP Day outing. The lake kicked up to 4-footers or more, but we managed two walleyes taken from 75 to 85 feet of water straight out front before we headed back in. Both fish were on stick baits, one off a downrigger, and one off a dipsey presentation.

Note: Two sponsors I forgot to mention for the Annual Conservation Club Walleye Derby were DFT and Bahgat and Laurito-Bahgat Certified Public Accountants of Fredonia.


The Cattaraugus County Sportsmen’s Rendezvous will be held Aug. 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. to 6 p.m., 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., respectively. This is gearing up to be quite an event . My sources tell me that due to the rising prices of furs this event is drawing a lot of attention from the outdoors related industry. Over 100 vendors were already pre-paid to attend with more anticipated. Admission to the event is $5 per car per day.

Upcoming trapping classes: Falconer Rod & Gun Club located on the Buffalo St. extension in Falconer, Sept. 25 from 6-10 p.m. returning on Sept. 28 (Friday ) from 6-10 p.m. Register at first class. Limited to 30 students.

Trapping class at Westfield Fish & Game on Oct. 4 from 6-10 p.m. returning on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Call Rich at 595-3917 for a work book. Limited to 35 students.

The Westfield Fish & Game Club, located on Ogden Road, in Westfield, will host 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