Weather puts good fishing on hold

The recent strong winds and threat of thunderstorms has put Lake Erie offshore fishing on hold since Sunday.

That is too bad because the fishing had started to turn on for both walleye and yellow perch.

Awaiting the return of the first wave of fishermen from the AMARA-CAN Walleye Classic, some of the members of the New York Walleye Association chose to try their hand at fishing for yellow perch. Many of the fishermen returned with limit catches out of Dunkirk around the 40-foot mark. One group informed me they separated themselves from the “pack” and went out a little further and did even better and found bigger fish. I had the opportunity to speak with Rick Kacmarski, the captain of the first-place finisher of this year’s one-day AMARA-CAN event, and had to chuckle on their hot presentation. The guys of team 93 originally started out west towards Van Buren, but got a call from their friends to head east past Purina. One of the guys showed Rick a handful of lures he had bought at a yard sale for a buck a piece and put one on the downrigger. The big fish of the day/tournament hit it, weighing in at 10.44 pounds. As a matter of fact, the next four fish hit the same lure.

You can’t argue with success.

Tim Gaul, fishing with Nick Schmitt, also caught the number two largest fish, weighing in at 9.90 pounds on a stick bait presented on lead core line while fishing out of Eagle Bay in 85-plus feet of water. A flashy perch color renosky was the ticket, but purple frog has also been a hot bait. Renosky stick baits are hard to find with Bill’s Hooks being the best spot to find these treasured fish getters.

Walleye fishing on Chautauqua Lake has been good, especially if you can locate a weed patch, according to Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut in Stow. Muskie fishing was hot, too, recently with the third-place finisher in a local muskie tournament, reporting catching 14 fish in two days. Many of the fish seem to be located in the shallows of the North end of the lake. Those fish in deeper water are usually found under huge schools of bait. Look for walleye in the shallows off Thompson’s Point, Maple Springs the east side of the bridge. Bass are still haunting the numerous docks and if you are looking for bigger sized smallies, head to the 9-15 foot range.

JAKES Day is this Saturday. Read the Calender for details.

Calendar:

Upcoming Lake Erie fishing tournaments include:

The Sunset Bay Shoot Out Big Fish Friday is July 25, and the main event is Saturday, July 26. This event is sold out. For details, contact djruppert@derrick.com.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Walleye Derby is a three-day event that is also sold out. The event is Aug. 1-3. Contact information is available by calling 640-2776.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host 3-D archery shoots on Aug. 24 and Sept. 14. They will also host a 200-yard gun shoot on 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 Lakeshore Longbeards, our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, will be holding the Youth Day event called JAKES Day, on Saturday, July 19 at the Westfield Fish & Game Club, located on Ogden Road in Westfield. During JAKES Day, sign in starts at 9 a.m. and the groups will visit various learning stations located at the Westfield Fish & Game Club. Youngsters must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and there is a $10 fee, which will cover their membership in the NWTF, the cost of a T-shirt, lunch for the kids and guardians as well as turkey box calls and other goodies. To sign up, call Bob and Judi Turk at 934-4538. Even though same-day sign in is available, you are encouraged to pre-register. The Longbeards are also looking for volunteers to dispense food and general assistance.

There will be a Pistol Course on Aug. 16 at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Note that the price for attending these courses is now set by the county, and is now $75. Pre-sign for the course by calling Gary at 366-3397

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.