Get Ready, Get Set, Now have some fun.

Get Ready, Get Set, Now have some fun. The fishing season has begun. What could be better than dipping a line into Chautauqua Lake on a fine day or any kind of day for that matter ? In my twenty-five years experience with Chautauqua Lake, past catches have been memorable. The Best Part is knowing the Lake still holds a Good Quality and Quantity of Game Fish.

I Fish Chautauqua Lake a full three weeks each year and return for a few Bass Tournaments as well. Only three hours from my Ohio home, the trip is worth the Drive. Bass Fishing has always been my favorite sport but I have also spent many hours fishing for Walleye.

For Bass I Fish strictly the Weed Edges or Right in the Weeds. My Favorite Lures are Jig and Pork, Topwater and Crank Baits. Bass in this Lake have a tendency to school, so if you catch one there should be others to follow. The Best Spots are the Weed Beds. Other than the Docks or a few Rock Piles, the Weeds are the Main Structure in this Lake. I will start at about Ten foot Weed Beds and work my way right into the thick of it. Use a Jig and Pork. Just find an Opening in the Weeds and drop it straight down until you hit Bottom. Twitch it a few times. If you don't get a Hit, go to the next opening in the Weeds. Once you find the right Weed Bed, I assure you your in for a Productive Day. I prefer Black & Blue Jig and Blue on Black Pork. I do practice "Catch & Release" unless I get a Trophy Bass. In this Lake, Seven Pounds ( 7 lbs.) in my opinion is "Big".

As for Walleyes, I still fish the edge of the Weeds. Lots of Fishermen fish Deep Water by Jigging, Drifting and Trolling and do well. I prefer the Weed Edges because of Structure Cover but Most Important, the Bait Fish Seek the Weeds. If you look around you will see most of the Perch, Calico and Pan Fisherman are near the Weeds. The Bigger Percent of Muskies come from the Weed Beds as well.

All Weed Edges on the Lake Finish at about Ten ( 10) Foot of Water. When Fishing for Walleyes, I use a Hopkins Spoon, Swedish Pimple and Sonar. I prefer Spoons because if I pick up Weeds, I just Snap my Rod and the Weeds are gone. Use your Depth Finder / Sonar or LCR to find the edge. Once you have accomplished this, just cast your lure parallel to the Weeds. Let your Lure go all the way to the Bottom. Reel in the slack and lift your rod tip sharply from 9:00 to 11:00 O'clock position. If you don't get a hit let the lure fall back and do the same all the way to the boat. Cast again with Short casts ( 20 ft. casts). All hits will be when the Lure is fluttering back down to the bottom. Working this Spoon is a lot of work and hard on the wrist. When you find the fish you forget about the discomfort. My favorite Weed Beds are "The North Bar and right in front of Mayville, Dewittville Bay, Maple Springs, Long Point and the West Side in front of Camp Chautauqua and along Whitney Bay. Do not pass up from We Wan Chu Cottages north to halfway to the Bell Tower". There is some Excellent Fishing here.

If you like to Travel Lite and have a Great Time, check out We Wan Chu Cottages. They have everything you need. For the Fisherman they have Nightcrawlers, Rental 16 Ft. Boats with 8 & 15 H.P. Honda Motors with two swivel bucket seats, optional Running Lights & Depth Finder. If you stay at the Cottages it's even better. They will provide you with your own Boat Slip and electric hookup to charge your Batteries. We Wan Chu Cottages is a Clean, Friendly and well run Family Operation. My Wife & Family love it because of the convenience. The Kids have plenty to do with Swimming, Basket Ball, Volleyball, Rec. Room and a great Sand Box at the Children's Beach. The area is Rural yet close to many Attractions. All you need to bring is towels, paper & soap products, your food, cloths and don't forget "The Fishing Equipment". We Wan Chu can provide the rest, Well Equipped Cottage with all the conveniences of home. They even have a Putting Green on the property if you have a bad day and have nothing to show off at the Fish Cleaning Station. So Good Luck, Call ahead if you hope to get a Reservation at We Wan Chu Cottages, you won't be sorry.

Have a Great Fishing Season and don't forget to Respect the Lake. It's one of our Great Resources to enjoy for years to come.

Ray Terhart
Brunswick, Ohio