Sunset Bay Shoot-Out set for this weekend

The weather had been great until Wednesday, and so had the fishing and catching.

That walleye migration from the Western Basin has shown up out of Dunkirk and the Cattaraugus Creek area, and the yellow perch bite has been reportedly going on at both places. Muskie fishing on Chautauqua Lake has been good to great, with one angler reporting catching as many as nine muskies in one day.

The Sunset Bay Shoot-Out will take place this weekend with a one-day warm-up event taking place Friday, and the main event on Saturday.

Look for the weigh-in to take place on the beach on both days with the start time at 4:30 p.m. each day. Big Fish Friday will pay out the top three heaviest walleye with one allowed per team. This event is a warm up for the Saturday event, with each team entering a $100 fee per team Friday, which will be distributed as prize money for the three places.

All teams depart from the Cattaraugus Creek area with a signaled start provided by the fire department with bells and flashers and a water cannon. at 7 a.m. This column will provide coverage of both days in the OBSERVER. The public is invited to attend the weigh-in event which will be from 4:30-5 p.m. on Friday and from 4:30-6 p.m. Saturday.

With a popular walleye tournament in the area, lately a lot of secrecy is to be expected, but numerous anglers have reported doing well on BIG walleye out of Dunkirk in deep water with both renosky stick baits taking fish as well a worm harnesses. Reports of fish in 70 feet out to over 100-foot depths have been reported, so expect some impressive catches during the weekend with good weather in the forecast.

Rick Miller in Irving reports the yellow perch have also been cooperating out of “the Cat” as well as out of Dunkirk. Several limit catches were reported out of Dunkirk lately with only a few boats fishing. Catches were coming from the 40-foot range locally, while off “The Cat,” the fish are hitting in the 46-48-foot range. Walleye fishing has reportedly been good lately, too, in deeper water off “The Cat.”

Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut on Chautauqua Lake reports the bass fishing has been good still around the docks, bigger-sized yellow perch have been elusive and walleye have been taken in the 15- to 20-foot mark under bait pods at Prendergast. Mike Sperry at Lakewood Bait & Tackle (763-2947) is a muskie guide and reports doing very well lately trolling with jointed stick baits and occasionally casting for fish.

If you go to the Chautauqua County Fair this week, be sure to stop in the Conservation Building. Chautauqua County resident youngsters can fill out a ticket for a free fishing rod/reel given away daily, and sign up for a chance to win a free lifetime sportsmen fishing/hunting license. Safari Club, Westfield Fish & Game, Ripley Rod & Gun, Brian Noody of WestWind Taxidermy, Kid’s on the Fly, Chautauqua County Soil & Water, SCOPE, the NYS DEC, Chautauqua County Trapping Instructors and the NY Forest Owners Association will be there to greet you.


Upcoming Lake Erie fishing tournaments include:

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 Busti Trap Club, located at 1181 Southwestern Drive, Jamestown, will present the BUSTI GRAND on Sunday, Aug, 10. The event will feature 125 targets with an auction starting at 9:30 a.m. and the shooting event starting at 10 a.m. For information, call 487-9539 or (814) 489-3534, or log on to

The Cattaraugus County Sportsmen’s Rendezvous held at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds, Little Valley will be on Aug. 9-10. Hours are from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., Saturday and 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 per car, per day. This event will feature Conservation Displays, archery, black powder, trapping, fishing, guns, taxidermy dealers, Big Buck displays and live seminars as well as the coon dog show, chicken BBQ, raffles, live demonstrations and the Mountain Man encampment. For more information, call 492-0432.

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

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.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will also host the following free courses: Firearms (gun) hunter training on Aug. 27-28 from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. each day with two-day attendance mandatory.

Another gun course will be held Sept. 24-25 from 5-10 p.m., with two-day attendance mandatory.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to