Contests and a major expo dominate angling activities for the next few days.
A deep freeze does not dampen diehard hard-water hitters in contests or just out fishing for a few good fillets.
In terms of angling approaches, think mid-February rather than mid-January for ice outings this coming week and weekend.
Shoreline panfish moves are tricky along inland lakes, with perch schools moving into relatively shallow waters and bluegills often found out deeper. Add an odd crappie bite that has some schools suspended along the outer edges of weed beds.
Western Finger Lakes (Silver, Conesus and Honeoye) have been good for ice choppers on the move. Chautauqua Lake ice is solid and some fair perch numbers have shown in the North Basin.
Simcoe Lake shoreline ice measures 15-inch depths in places; perch schools at 20- to 25-foot depths move in varying sizes. A catch of 40 8- to 10-inch ringbacks may come after pulling a total close to 200 by day’s end.
Oneida Lake continues as the leading inland lake for both perch and walleye.
But anglers have used a jig and minnow to catch and release that many from holes at Lewis Point, Godfrey Point, Bridgeport and points west.
Great Lakes Meeting
Interest shown in lower Great Lakes concerns such as exotic aquatic invaders has prompted U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USCAE) planners to add an additional public-outreach meeting of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study on Lake Erie and closer to Buffalo.
GLMRIS presenters will hold a meeting beginning at 4 p.m. at the Erie County Library at 160 East Front St. in Erie, Pa., on Friday. Council of Environmental Quality and USCAE officials will outline options for management measures on aquatic control issues.
GLMRIS coordinators will accept public comments until March 3. For more details on this meeting and to register to speak, go to glmris.anl.gov/glmris-report.
• First Annual Ted’s Tackle Conesus Lake Ice Fishing Derby goes from 9 a.m. Saturday to 1 p.m. on Sunday. Entrants can weigh in to win prizes for the largest three northern pike, the largest bass, walleye and tiger musky and the three largest crappies caught in Conesus waters.
Anglers can sign up at the store at 5772 Big Tree Road (Route 20A) in Lakeville. For entry and derby details, check with Ted Decker at (585) 429-0587.
• Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Ice Derby continues to March 10, with prizes offered each week. Steve “Hawk” Hawkins finally weighed two rudd; all divisions now have fish entered.
In the Rudd Division, Robert Szalanski holds first and second place with a 1.27-pound, 1- inch rudd and a 1-pound, 11-inch entry; both fish were caught at Wilson Harbor while fishing a jig and waxworm.
The crappie leader holds from last week, but the bluegill entry is a plug. Denziel Malcolm of Perry traveled to Cuba Lake and hooked into a 12-inch ‘gill that tipped the scale at 1.55 pounds.
Pete Latka of Clarence took over top Walleye Division honors with a Bay of Quinte taken with a jigging spoon and minnow. Latka’s fish weighs 8.75 pounds and measures 29 inches.
Most divisions have entries that can be beat before the March 10 closing date, but Perry angler Denziel Malcolm’s 1.55-pound, 12-inch ‘gill taken at Cuba Lake in the Bluegill Division may be the most challenging division to top.
Contestants can enter the Capt. Bob’s Ice Derby prior to an outing until the last day of the derby. For details, call 407-3021 or stop by the store at 10295 Main St. in Clarence.
• Northeast Ice Fishing Circuit held a youth derby and a qualifying contest on Silver Lake this past weekend. Look for a detailed account of outcomes on the Sunday Outdoors Page.
The circuit travels to Oneida Lake for a youth and adult weekend stint Feb. 8 and 9 and then heads to Honeoye Lake Feb. 16 and Conesus Lake on Feb. 23.
For entry details on this ice contest, call Jeff Snyder at (585) 322-0063 or go to northeasticefishingcircuit.com.
• The New York Ice Pro-Am Tournament Series competes on Chautauqua Lake this weekend, with divisions for pro teams and open entrants. For all details, go to www.nysiceproam.com.
Expo and Bass U.
Doors open at the Niagara Falls Conference and Event Center at 5 p.m. Friday for the start of the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo. For complete details on the Expo, go to niagarafishingexpo.com.
Along with the many seminars and panel discussions on Saturday and Sunday, a few slots remain open for the Bass University seminar program featuring lead pro instructors Mike Iaconelli and Pete Gluszek.
Both pros conduct classes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, and students can sign up for one or both days at adult or age 17 and under rates. For entry details, go to thebassuniversity.com.