When weather allows, local fishing has been great

The fishing has been good lately, but the weather has kept a lot of fishermen at home guessing on the conditions.

Rick Miller of Miller’s Bait & Tackle in Irving, reports fishing for yellow perch has been excellent lately with limit catches reported coming from 46 to 56 feet of water, straight out the mouth of the Cattaraugus Creek.

There have not been a lot of boats out lately. After the end of the week-long Southtowns Walleye Tournament, maybe a lot of anglers are catching up on the neglected yard work, and “Honey do” lists.

This columnist and team members tried our luck Friday out of Dunkirk, this time heading east past the Purina Silo. We headed out to 80 feet of water with no results and opted to head in shallower. The day started out sunny with blue skies and a few clouds with barely a breeze. Because I did not have enough time to re-rig several rods that got into a tangled mess, when we hooked into some small junk fish, we opted to try using rods with six and seven colors of lead core line, even though we were fishing in 60 to 63 feet of water.

By 10 a.m., we had the seven-color rod dragged right down the middle of the boat, bouncing away. I figured we snagged bottom, and was pleasantly surprized to be wrong with a fish pulling back. An 8-pound plus walleye came to the net on a worm harness. Next was a release on the planner board with three colors of lead core. Just as the first of the lead core was in sight, the fish shook free.

Of course it was big.

You never seem to lose small fish. The next fish hit six colors of lead core off the planner boards, with Joe Aguglia up next. After adjusting the drag so Aguglia could make head way, he managed to break his sheep head hex, with another nice 8-pound plus walleye. That’s when we noticed the weather turning really lousy, so we slowly broke down our equipment and headed for home. Saturday was another day of rough conditions, leaving many anglers on shore. We will be looking for the winners at the Saturday awards picnic in Hamburg.

Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut at Chautauqua Lake reports the walleye fishing has been great north of Long Point, at Midway and north in the shallows and the Lakewood Beach weedline. Catch and release for bass has been good, and anglers anticipate the state-wide opening of bass season this Saturday. Yellow perch fishing seems to be locked in at Mayville, and the crappie have moved into deeper water. The outlook for musky fishing should be good as the DEC capture nets caught 20 fish over 40 pounds, and a catfish, reportedly weighing 35 pounds.

A younger fisherman also reported catching a cat over 30 pounds, and bass fishermen reported sighting a huge catfish off the mouth of Bemus Creek. Rick Miller in Irving also reports the catfish are still biting good in the “Cat.”

Note, there will be several members of the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club available at Memorial Park on Saturday for any youngster who would like to fish from shore in the park. We will supply worms, and rods if necessary, but anglers are urged to bring their own gear. This is not a contest or derby, just an opportunity to catch some local fish, and offer some tips and help land fish if needed from 8-10 a.m. Youngsters must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Hope to see you at the Great Lakes Experience, this Saturday, at Memorial Park.

Calendar:

The DEC will has closed the Dunkirk Fishing Platform, also known as the Probst Platform, until June 20 for repairs. The area will be closed to the public until then.

The Great Lakes Experience is happening June 21 in Dunkirk’s Memorial Park. Momentum for this project continues to grow to present an “outdoors-themed event” that is geared towards all ages, and a focus on the youngsters. Building on the success of last year’s event, the GLE will return bigger and even better this year with The Buffalo Zoo mobile, the reptile exhibit, Raptors Bird of prey, the Jamestown Audubon, Center, The Trappers Association, The Monday Night Fly tyers and more to name just a few of the exhibits. And it’s FREE.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host 3-D archery shoots on 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.

The Cassadaga Lakes Association will be holding its 21st annual Lew Mead Youth Fishing Tournament on Saturday, June 28, at the DEC boat launch on Dale Drive, Cassadaga from 7 until 11:30 a.m. The contest is free and open to youths 16 years of age and under. Sign up at the site before fishing. More information will be printed at a later date.

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. I also am available to take photos and hear your success stories by calling 366-1772 or 467-2079.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to sports@observertoday.com.