Full moons frustrating for local anglers

If you have been having a tough time getting the fish to bite, blame it on the full moon!

More than one old fisherman I have spoken to claims that a full moon can disrupt fishes’ feeding pattern. The reasoning is that the fish will feed heavily most of the night and will lay on or near the bottom during the daytime. You might catch a few early in the morning, but it can really be a tough time for some.

My buddy Skip at Hogan’s Hut on Chautauqua Lake reports that the calico bite continues for anglers probing the weedline edge. Muskies have been more cooperative lately with the bigger fish hitting the larger perch-colored Salmo baits. Large-mouth bass have been holding near cover like boat docks and structures while walleyes have been staging at various depths near the deeper holes.

Rick Miller, in Irving, reports that yellow perch have been taken at 48, 60 and 70-foot depths out of the Cattaraugus Creek area, with better reports coming from the shallower depths and most of the walleye anglers have been heading west.

On Sunday, my brother Ray and I were fishing with two buckets of live emerald shinners and headed to 63 feet of water off North Roberts Road. We marked lots of suspected perch and we had one quick flurry of fish resulting in five yellow perch, two silver bass and a couple of white perch, but we couldn’t coax a bite no matter what or where we tried for two more hours. Must have been the moon!

I happened to drive by the Dunkirk pier on Monday afternoon and caught four happy anglers cleaning a nice batch of fish at the Dunkirk Fish Cleaning Station. Mike Casey and Brian McCoy were fishing with Lance Erhardt and Joe Jemiolo on Sassafras Charters. The crew boated eight nice walleye, three lake trout, two rainbow trout and a hefty brown trout. It was a real nice mixed bag of fish. They reported the day was gorgeous and all the fish hit bombers and renoskys presented off the down riggers, dipsey divers and lead core line with added weight as well as 10 colors of lead core off the back of the boat. The next day the wind picked up and the fish had lock jaw in the same area. Blame it on the moon!

McCoy is the former mayor of a Wayland, N.Y. He, as well as a number of other perturbed fishermen, wrote the city of Dunkirk about their dissatisfaction with the loss of parking due to the boardwalk and Music on the Pier on Thursday evenings. As a season pass holder for the Dunkirk Boat launch, I for one am not happy with the recent announcement of the extension into September for the Music on the Pier.

I need a partner in order to fish due to several disabilities and my partner works days and has physical therapy on three evenings. That leaves Tuesday and Thursday open. Check that, Tuesday. And that’s if the weather cooperates. How about Music by the Clarion, or Point Gratiot, or our parks and leave the boat launch area accessible to the fishermen and boaters. Please!


Sporting licenses went on sale last week.

Fishing Tournaments: Niagara Fish Odesey- On Lake Ontario and the Lower River – This is a multi-species event out of any port. The event runs from Aug. 17 until Aug. 25. Go to www.fishodyssey.net

LOC Fall Derby on Lake Ontario. Species are salmon and trout from any port. The event is from Aug. 16 until Sept. 2. Log on www.loc.org for details.

King of the Lake from Port Dalhousie, Lake Ontario, Canada Species -salmon from Port Pier Marina. Five salmon per day for two days. On Aug. 31-Sept. 1. Email: ycharios@cogeco.ca for details.

Walleye Hunter Shootout – Port Maitland Lake Erie, Canada. Target species are walleye. Fish out of Grand River Dunnville Ontario. Four walleye/one day. Sept. 7. Email: fishmaster@hotmail.com.

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

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host their Memorial shoot & Gun Raffle on Sept. 15.

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

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 sports@observertoday.com.