Hunting licenses are now on sale.
The early reports from some of the facilities that offer license sales indicate that the state has made some improvements to the previous system. The whole process is a lot smoother compared to the previous system. In a recent issue of NY Outdoor News, editor Dan Ladd reports that there will be “ample amount(s) of 2020 DMP’s.”
Deer management permits will be plentiful and the deer herd also appears to be in good shape
Last year, in particular, the winter was on the mild side. If memory serves me correctly, Lake Erie didn’t even freeze over. In short, look for lots of DMP’S and plenty of opportunity to utilize them.
Lake Erie walleye fishing has been a challenge this year, compared to last year. Looking back, by late July last year, anglers fishing out of Dunkirk could head straight out , hit 70 feet of water, set up and troll north and south. Everything seemed to work. After hitting 95 feet of water , you could just turn back and hit 80 feet. Completing the circuit one more time would usually produce a two-person limit. This year, not so often.
There is a train of thought that the much-anticipated migration of walleye from the western basin did not occur. Forage and water temperature lasted longer than usual this year and the western fish stayed home. When they did move they seemed to find ideal conditions midway, holding up near the Pennsylvania border line. Our resident walleye may have even headed toward areas north or west, seeking forage and cooler water. Bottom line is, anglers have to work for their catch. There have been reports of limit catches coming out of the Cat and Dunkirk. Anglers are heading towards the Canadian border line and fishing deep.
Fishing out of the “Cat,” anglers head to 85 feet. Perch anglers have been reporting limited success, but did comment that a few anglers targeting perch encountered numerous walleye in the 8-inch range. On the plus side, anglers heading out to deeper water have found lake trout and steelhead, attacking baits intended for walleye.
Smoked fish is always attractive this time of year and internet access will provide some interesting recipes for lake trout which are often returned to the deep.
Captain Larry Jones also offered that the musky fishing on Chautauqua Lake is still decent at the north end with anglers presenting their fishing plugs 15 to 25 feet down in the deeper water. Jim and Diane Steel’s walleye tournament is scheduled for next weekend out of Dunkirk . Look for coverage of the event to appear in the Monday sports section of the OBSERVER.
¯ There is a pistol permit course offered at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Monday. The course will run from 5:30-10 p.m. There is an $80 fee for attending these courses. To register call Gary Dudek at 366-3397.
¯ School’s out for summer, but wanna-be hunters can still take the mandatory hunter education class by going online. This course was first available in April when COVID-19 shut down our everyday life situations. The hunter education course will remain available through Aug. 31. The course is offered by Kalkomey Enterprises. The course is open to anyone ages 11 and up. It can be completed on a computer, tablet or smartphone at any time. Students who complete the online course and virtual field day and pass the final exam, will receive their hunter education certificate and can purchase a hunting license. Only hunters ages 12 and older may purchase a license and hunt in New York.The cost for taking the course is $19.95. To find the course, go to Kalkomey’s website. Note that this course could be a game changer, especially for students who are in sports programs that will not excuse anyone from mandatory practices.
Lake Erie anglers are noticing an increase in trout in their daily catch while pursuing walleye. A 10-pound lake trout, a near 7- pound steelhead and a smaller steelie were caught on Thursday.
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