Walleye Derby participants share secrets

If you are looking for hot fishing action on Lake Erie, go deep.

After the recent Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Walleye Derby, many of the anglers were eager to divulge their walleye tactics and hot spots. Barcelona was the spot early in the event to key on the larger fish. The Sobczak/Kaus team caught their derby-winning 10.92-pounder off Barcelona using a dipsey diver/worm harness in more than 100 feet of water.

The Jim Dolly team from 3-D lures also located their fish in the same general area, as well as the Lon St. Louis team. However, Captain Don Ruppert found the big fish were closer to home Sunday. The team of the Wave Tamer fished straight out of Dunkirk on Sunday in 85 to 105 feet of water, utilizing eight colors of leadcore line, dipsey divers, as well as a new product of 19-strand copper wire, called Blood Line, that has a diameter so small you can almost knot it. By nature, copper line will weigh more than even lead core line, and 10 feet of copper will go down reportedly 10 feet while lead core in the same length will sink down five feet. The Ruppert team suggest spooling on 50 feet of monofilament backing, before spooling on the 300 feet of wire and use a fluorocarbon leader. Many of the teams who had success this weekend also utilized renosky stick baits, as well as bombers, and the new balsa rapalas. Worm harnesses will also take fish, but sometimes using the meat will attract silver bass and even lake trout. Some of the more productive colors have been silver and black, purple, and most baits painted with an orange belly. Downriggers, torpedo weights and snap weights are other alternatives to getting down to the fish strike zone which has often been near the bottom.

On a recent outing Wednesday, our fishing team stopped straight out of the Dunkirk Harbor in 66 feet of water and spied a number of suspected yellow perch on the bottom as well as other anglers targeting this species in that general area.

Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut reports the muskie fishing on Chautauqua Lake continues to be very good with numerous incidental catches reported, as well as above average hook-ups for those anglers targeting the species.

By now, most of you readers have heard that crossbows will become a legal hunting implement this fall in New York State with certain restrictions. However, many of us have not had the opportunity to get some hands-on-experience with this productive hunting tool. The Wilson Conservation Club, located at 2934 Wilson-Cambria Road, is offering a crossbow demonstration Saturday, and will host factory representatives from Excaliber Crossbows, Winchester Archery, Parker Crossbows, Ten Point, Mission Ridge and more. Visitors will be able to shoot models on the club range and experts will be there to answer questions. This free demonstration will be from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. For details on this event and crossbow use in general, call Bill Hilts Sr. at 731-9984, Chris Schotz at 731-1641 or Rich Culverwell at 946-6882.

Dan Ashton, the retail marketing manager for Cabela’s, was on hand at the recent Southtowns Walleye Association club to comment on the newly opening store in Cheektowaga. This store will become a “go to” destination for all local outdoors persons as it will have more than 200 fishing reels on display and hands-on appraisal, seminars, experts on archery equipment, firearms, fishing gear and even food plot equipment. The grand opening is today and the weekends are expected to cause traffic congestion, but the trip will become worth your while.


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

The Cattaraugus County Sportsmen’s Rendezvous, held at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds, in Little Valley, will be Friday and Saturday. 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 barbecue, 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 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 Aug. 27-28 from 5-10 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.

A one-day archery course will be held at the Con Club on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., with a lunch break. Note: To register for all courses, you must register online at the DEC website.

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