Plenty of hot spots around to get a big catch

Strong winds have kept Lake Erie boaters shore-bound “wishing for fishing.” When the opportunity arrives, use your electronics to find the fish, because the hot spots can turn cold overnight.

The walleye bite, according to numerous reports ,had turned on towards Barcelona with many anglers reporting limit or near limit catches of “big” walleye. At the monthly meeting of the Chautauqua County Federation of Sportsmen last Thursday, Captain Larry Jones reported his crew had caught close to a four-man limit of walleye with the largest weighing a reported 13 1/2 pounds. That fish together with four heavy nine pounders put together a five-fish stringer weighing more than 50 pounds. Imagine that total in a tournament scenario! Dipsey divers, downriggers and six colors of lead core line took most of the fish. Another successful duo of walleye hunters proclaimed taking 11 large walleye from the same general area, using 10 colors of leadcore line.

Yellow perch fishing is improving, but you will have to find hungry fish, usually spotted in 60 feet of water or deeper. On Friday, I tried my luck for walleye out front in 85 feet of water, heading out to 105 feet. After a late start, we boated the first walleye, a heavy 8 pounder on a dipsey diver/renosky combo. Two hours later in shallower water, we boated another walleye on a similar combo, followed by a big silver bass. Searching for yellow perch only resulted in two. Don Ryan at Chadwick Bay Marina reported one angler had to return several times to purchase live minnows on Thursday because the perch fishing was that good in 55 feet of water straight out of the harbor. On Sunday, equipped with live seined minnows, we headed out of Dunkirk to 61 feet of water and marked plenty of fish. We boated 45 perch and released about a dozen others that made it back to the bottom. By 11 a.m., the screen went blank and the fish moved. Returning to the same area on Monday, we didn’t mark a fish. By 10:30 we got chased off the lake and talked with several other anglers who reported finally finding the perch in 90 feet of water but only boating a few. The Department of Environmental Conservation Creel census personnel reported anglers were doing good numbers of perch out of the “Cat” in 60 to 75 feet of water. Another boater reported targeting walleye in deep water off the Center Road area, but encountering several jumbo perch hitting their worm harnesses in 75-78 feet of water. They pulled in their lines and switched to salted minnows and reportedly boated 130 jack perch.

Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut/Chautauqua Lake, reports a young angler reported hooking a 46-inch musky and two other smaller fish south of the Bridge area, confirmed with a nice photo. Yellow perch fishing has been slow with anglers having to cull through smaller ones. Crawfish lured a 6-pound-plus smallie and large mouth bass continue to haunt the shallows.


There will be a Pistol course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Saturday 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.

FREE fly tying and fly fishing classes will resume on Monday evenings at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, starting Monday, Sept. 16 from 6-8 p.m. Fly tyers at all stages are invited to attend, from beginners to expert. The Monday night tyers will provide fly tying vises and all materials for anyone who would like to learn how to tie a fly or how to start fly fishing. Ken Hollander and Willie Fedrick along with guest tyers will provide the know how, in a safe enjoyable facility located at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Mullet Street in Dunkirk. Note this group of fly tyers made their services available at the Great Lakes Experience, The “Con Club Take-A-Kid Fishing day” and at the Chautauqua County Fair grounds in the Conservation Building. You get to keep what you tie and will receive one-on-one attention. No registration required, just show up!

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:

Upcoming trapping classes – Falconer Rod & Gun Club located on the Buffalo Street extension in Falconer, Wednesday Sept. 25 from 6-10 p.m., returning on Friday Sept. 27 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 bow course will be held on Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The course has reached its capacity size of students. The instructors ask that those who signed up be sure to attend. The trapping course will be held on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

The Lake Erie Seaway Trail Center, Route 5 in Hamburg will feature Bruce Fisher, professor of economics at SUNY Buffalo, speaking on the economics of Lake Erie on Thursday Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public and free.

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. 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