Chautauqua County Outdoor Bits & Pieces – Feb. 5, 2022

Category: article

 Feb 7th, 2022 by Keith Worrall 

Modified Feb 7th, 2022 at 9:49 AM

Chautauqua County Outdoor Bits & Pieces – Feb. 5, 2022

For Ice Anglers: The bitter cold temperatures of January have helped ice to form for safe angler access all of the Chautauqua County inland lakes: Chautauqua Lake, Cassadaga Lake, Bear Lake, and Findley Lake. Drilling holes or tapping with a spud bar to check ice thickness is recommended on your way out or when moving around. Safety ice picks, boot cleats, throw rope and floatation devices are recommended safety supplies. Use good judgment and fish with a friend if possible. See the I FISH NY Beginners Guide to Ice Fishing (PDF) on how to get started and the DEC Ice Fishing page for safety, regulation and location information.

Justinian Engles in his ice hut with a fresh Chautauqua walleye. Justinian Engles photo.

Chautauqua Lake: The yellow perch bite has been excellent across the entire lake shoreline, but especially off Mayville. Lots of sunfish and smaller perch though, so switch to larger baits and larger lures to entice the bigger perch. Mike Sperry reports that the walleye bite has been best at sunrise and sunset hour, and more around the weed bed edges than anywhere else. For walleye, swim jig lures are working, as are the Swedish Pimple spoons tipped with a minnow. Some anglers fish from heated ice huts and watch their tip-ups baited with shiners for the easy man’s way to walleye. If fishing the deeper holes at the Bell Tower (on the west side) or Dewittville Bay (on the east side) of the north basin, look for plentiful and feisty white perch. To identify the deep hole locations and lake depth contours, visit the Chautauqua Lake page from the NYSDEC. There is about 6 to 10 inches of snow on the ice, and it varies from place to place.
Chautauqua Lake Winter Fishing Contest – Chautauqua Reel Outdoors in Lakewood, NY is headquarters for this 100-percent cash payback contest with sic (6) fish species categories that are open to adults and youngsters. Contact Captain Mike Sperry at 716-763-2947 to register.
Lake Erie Ice Fishing – Barcelona & Dunkirk Harbors: 5-6 inches of ice (and growing) at both Dunkirk and Barcelona Harbor. Anglers started hard water fishing at the beginning of February. A few trout have been taken at Barcelona, but the anglers report that the 1st ice fish-catching has been slow, as the water below the ice cover is still turbid. It will change to clear more quickly with solid ice in the harbor.
Shore Anglers, Tributaries: The hard freeze of late has crystalized many of the Chautauqua tributary streams, but there are fish in the pools. When one-two warmups occur, these fish are catchable and have been productive for hearty anglers wearing ice-cleats for safe travel and access along the creeks. Egg sacs and egg imitations are still #1 for wintertime. For tactics advice and gear suggestions, visit Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries.
The Forecast: Winter is here for a while and safe ice should remain, but use caution when walking on ice, especially snow-covered ice.
Best Wishes: Happy Valentine’s Day to all outdoor lovers from the crew at Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau.

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