Saturday is opening day of walleye season

Going, going … Almost gone!

The Icepack on Lake Erie will soon be a memory as reports of the ice boom being, at least partially removed, will speed up the process. But we will still need a couple of days of warm sunshine to speed up the expectations of Spring.

Spring turkey season starts today. Give me a call with success stories or other interesting stories I can share, at 366-1772.

Saturday is the opening day of walleye season across the state and I, for one, do not expect a lot of limit catches locally. Best bets for walleye success will probably focus on fishing Chautauqua Lake, especially near the traditional spawning grounds. Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut reports that, lately, the fishing for calicos has been lousy, with the wind and rain churning the lake up almost from one end to the other.

Fishing from shore in the canals has produced a few fish, but even the yellow perch bite has slowed down. If the crappie are not in the close to shore haunts, fish the bottom for a bullhead bite, as the warming murky water is to their liking. If you are focusing on walleye, try using stick baits by the Stow Ferry area, Long Point and Mayville Park.

Skip also reported that a few of his customers try their luck fishing from the beach areas off Barcelona. The anglers drag out a folding step ladder with their chest high waders and straddle the top part to get deeper access and avoid errant wave action that sometimes will crest above the waders uppermost limit. With a little ingenuity, you could probably rig up a rod holder or two as well. It’s cheaper than a boat, and you don’t have to pay for a registration or inspection.

Mike Sperry, at Chautauqua Reel Outdoors, in Lakewood, reports that the lake temperature on Chautauqua lake was 48 degrees on Sunday when he tried his luck. Hot walleye baits last year for Mike and his friends were: X Raps, which were about four inches in length in rusty craw and Olive green. Silver black Rapalas are an old standby as well, as straight Smith Wicks, Hot & Tots, Casting at night in areas like Prendergast, DeWittville, Ashville and Bemus Creek will work. Success can be a day-to-day event as the weather warms up.

Rick Miller in Irving reports that the creeks have been fishable, even as late as Wednesday, in spite of the wind and rain.

DEC biologist Jim Markham reports that steelhead were stocked in Cattaraugus Creek recently by the Springville Dam and brown trout were stocked at the mouth of the “Cat.” Trout have to be a minimum of 12 inches to be a keeper.

Saturday is also opening day of the lunker bass season on Lake Erie, allowing anglers to keep one bass a minimum of 20 inches in length, per day.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club Flea Market will be held Saturday at the club located on Cassadaga/Stockton Road, starting at 9 a.m., rain or shine. See the calendar below for details.


Note that Markham will be giving a presentation on our regional steelhead fishery and Canadaway Creek on Monday May 12 at 7 p.m., at the Fredonia Middle School Cafeteria. The event is hosted by the SAREP Youth Fly Fishing Program.

Application forms for the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club’s Take-A-Kid Fishing Day on June 7 are available now at the “Con Club. “

There will be several benefits for Brian Noody, the owner of Westwind Archery/Taxidermy, who suffered a devastating property loss due to fire. On Sunday, May 4, starting at 1 p.m., the Nickel Plate Depot will host a spaghetti dinner that will include a Chinese auction, big ticket raffle items, live entertainment, auction, photo booth, fun bike run and more. For information, contact Ashley Dumas at 680-8384 or 597-6953.

Point Blank Outdoors, a group of local outdoorsmen, will appear on the sportsmen’s channel in May with film footage from the Dunkirk area. The show will be starting Saturday, May 10 at 7:30 a.m., Monday, May 12 at 1 p.m. and Friday, May 16 at 4 p.m.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club has a list of activities planned for this year, starting with a huge yard sale at the club property located at 4391 Cassadaga-Stockton Road on Saturday, May 3, starting at 9 a.m. Anyone interested in selling gear, boats, cars, farm equipment, etc. can rent a spot by calling Tom at 680-0209, or Kim at 450-4659 or the club phone at 595-3334. You can also email them at Open to the public. Food and beverage available on site, and no admission or parking fee. Rain or shine.

The Bear Lake Club will also hold a trail camera contest May 18 and Sept. 14. Send pictures to the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club, P.O. Box 151 Stockton, N.Y. 14784, or bring your pictures to the club the day of the contest. Entry fee is $5 per photo. You can enter new and old photos and the public is invited to attend to help vote on the winners. For more information, contact Tom Kessler at 680-0209 or Tim Abbey at 792-6519. The Bear Lake Club will host 3-D archery shoots May 18, May 25, June 22, July 13, Aug. 24 and Sept. 14. They will also host a 200-yard gun shoot June 8 and Sept. 21. New members are welcome and the club’s monthly meetings are on the first Sunday of the month at 4 p.m. They start the meeting off with a hot meal, so come hungry.

Plans are being made for the GLE to take place at Dunkirk’s Memorial Park on June 21.

Southtowns walleye will host a one-day yellow perch contest on May 17 for $10 per entry. Cash prizes, free perch dinner and lots of fun are on the agenda. Participants must be a member. Southtown Walleye’s annual walleye tournament is June 7-14. Must be a member and $35 entry per contestant. Note that there will be numerous prize giveaways at the monthly meetings in May and June for members entered in the Walleye tournament. Be sure to bring your tournament form or sign up at the May meeting . Southtowns walleye will also host a chicken BBQ on Saturday, May 10 from 4-7 p.m. Open to the public.

The Falconer Rod & Gun Club will host a trapping course on Sept. 24 and 26 from 5:30-10 p.m. each day. Register the first day.

The archery course at the Bear Lake Club will be Aug. 20-21 from 6-10 p.m. Two-day attendance is required, as well as pre-registration. Their trapping course will be Oct. 16-17 from 6-10 p.m. both days with a limit of 35 students.

If your club is hosting a shooting event, or training course (turkey shoot, etc.), drop a line and I will be glad to place an announcement in the calendar.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to