Sturgeon Point Marina is scheduled to reopen today for launch access. Check with Town of Evans officials before heading to the point. Along Cattaraugus Creek, the Hanover Town Launch has ramps in place and the fish cleaning station in operation; the state launch has side docks and some paving has been completed near the ramps.
Now anglers need some well-constructed weather to get out, find and catch fish. Cold fronts and high winds have kept boaters from enjoying what should be a good run of walleye and perch, not to mention the catch-and-release bass season that now allows for one trophy smallmouth.
Before the cold winds, perch numbers were good at and beyond 58-foot depths either side of Evangola State Park. All the while, an odd pod of females would show off Eagle Bay west of the Cattaraugus Creek and just west of Sturgeon Point.
Temperatures are still slightly below average. Walleye have made their spawning runs but many perch anglers report catching females loaded with firm egg sacks. Readings into the mid 50s should get both the post-spawn ’eyes along shore and a perch presence in deeper waters anywhere from Hamburg to the state line.
Bass seekers have found nice numbers and sizes around rock piles at Waverly Shoals, Seneca Shoals, and into Hamburg waters, with the bigger mamas hitting deeper than the pre-spawn males cruising the warmer shallows.
Life Jacket Record
As part of Safe Boating week, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Dunkirk Detachment will participate in a “Second Annual Ready, Set, Wear It Day” event on the Dunkirk Pier at 2 p.m. Saturday. The gathering is part of an international effort to establish a record for the number of persons wearing a life jacket at the same time. Judith Hafner, event coordinator, noted that last year’s total count went to more than 1,600 life jacket wearers, with more than 20 assembled at the Dunkirk site.
The National Safe Boating Council and the Canadian Safe Boating Council will have a sign-in tent at the pier Saturday. Detachment personnel will be on the pier at 10:30 a.m. that day to provide free vessel inspections. For registration and other details, check with Hafner at 672-7992.
Southtowns Walleye Association will hold its annual Perch Derby on Saturday for all of Lake Erie. The derby is for Southtowns members, but all can sign on with a membership along with a derby entry for the Saturday contest.
The competition goes from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., with weigh-ins from noon to 2 p.m. for five fish measuring at least 8 inches each. Registrations will be taken until 4 p.m. Friday. For details, call 649-8202 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.).
Minnow dipping is still good, but that blast of cold air earlier this week has waters stained in the upper and lower river, as well as waters around the Niagara Bar in Lake Ontario.
Perch fishing had been good for boaters anchored off the Ontario Street ramp before the cold-front storm. It may take a few days for perch to appear in schools above and below the falls right now.
Results from the Lake Ontario Counties Derby (www.loc.org), which ended Sunday, favor the western end of the lake for lake trout and king salmon. The laker bite continues fairly well, but kings have scattered and trollers have had to fly reconnaissance to hook a Chinook. A Wilson Harbor invitational last weekend saw few kings, but weather might have been a factor.
As soon as normal air temperatures return and waters settle out to semi-normal water columns, the king bite could resume fairly close to shore. Regulars also look for a late run of coho salmon that appeared last year during the early spring and continued well into May.
Bay and channel fishermen have seen a good run of northern pike, which slows the panfish bite as these bruisers move through shallow areas where weeds have begun to emerge.
Western Finger Lakes
Most western Finger Lakes are seeing a good run of shoreline panfishing and some see an exceptional northern pike presence. Fishermen go with chubs and larger minnows in search of northerns. Ted Decker at Ted’s Tackle in Lakeville has reports of many pike still holed up in channels and other shallows that they should have abandoned a week or so ago. Decker mentioned the north end of Conesus Lake around Vitale Park as a pike hotspot.
Panfishing folk see the presence of shoreline pike activity; many a crappie, bluegill and sunfish comes in with gash marks on their rounded bodies. Silver Lake has seen the most pike predation on panfish.
Honeoye has a nice mix of bluegill sizes, with the better numbers and bull ’gills coming from the southwest side of the lake south of California Point. Improvements to the parking lot and launch ramp at the southeast corner of Honeoye are sights worth seeing.