Welcome to Springtime in Western New York - temperatures in the 70's on Monday and snow Tuesday.
Skip Bianco at Hogan's Hut in Stow on Chautauqua Lake reports the crappie fishing was good over the weekend with the warm spell.
By some reports, fishing from shore in the channels was more productive than fishing from a boat. The panfish showed a distinct preference for small live minnows, ranging from emeralds to rosie red, and fat heads. Small tube jigs will also produce at times. Carry a supply of the small-sized Berkley gulp baits, as well as mini mites and stingers.
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
The Conservation Club Monday night fly tying gang is seen taking an extended break. Pictured in front from left, are Dave Taylor and Don Szwebjka. In the second row are Kieja Fedrick, Paul Cybart, Jack Green and Monte Kennedy.?In back are Willie Fedrick, Joe Hodkin, Starson Fleet, Tom Ludgren, George Sinclair, Ken Hollander Jeff Rasmus and Jim Balzar.
Bullheads have also been turning on at Chautauqua Lake near the shore line. Hogan's Hut will be open throughout the Easter weekend.
Brian at Chautauqua Reel Outdoors in Lakewood, reports fishing from shore has been good, except after the cold spell on Wednesday morning. Anglers have been reporting almost all the feeder creeks on the lake are full of walleye of all sizes, making their spawning run. The DEC is also watching closely as the season on walleye does not open until May 3. Opening day should be a good one on Chautauqua Lake.
Lake Erie may be a different story with lots of ice cover still remaining. Trout fishing off Barcelona Pier has improved recently and anglers can look for improved stream fishing as the water level lowers and clears.
The Lakeshore Longbeards (NWTF) will meet on Tuesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at Liberty Vineyards located at Route 20 in Sheridan. Agenda will include upcoming JAKES Day event. The event is open to the public.
There will be several benefits for Brian Noody, the owner of Westwind Archery/Taxidermy, who suffered a devastating property loss due to fire. On Sunday, May 4, starting at 1 p.m., the Nickel Plate Depot will host a spaghetti dinner that will include a Chinese auction, big ticket raffle items, live entertainment, auction, photo booth, fun bike run and more. For information, contact Ashley Dumas at 680-8384 or 597-6953.
Point Blank Outdoors, a group of local outdoorsmen, will appear on the sportsmen's channel in May with film footage from the Dunkirk area. The show will be able to be viewed starting Saturday, May 12 at 7:30 a.m., Monday at 1 p.m. and Friday at 4 p.m.
The Monday Night Fly Tying group at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will be taking an extended break after Monday, April 14. The guys plan on doing some fishing and ask the regulars to show up for a group photo. The gang will be around for the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Take-A-Kid Fishing event June 7. They also plan to help out at the Great Lakes Experience, which is June 21. The group will meet Monday at 6 p.m.
The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club has a list of activities planned for this year, starting with a huge yard sale at the club property on Saturday, May 3, starting at 9 a.m. Anyone interested in selling gear, boats, cars, farm equipment, etc. can rent a spot by calling Tom at 680-0209, or Kim at 450-4659. Sorry, no guns.
The Bear Lake Club will also hold a trail camera contest May 18 and Sept. 14. Send pictures to the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club, P.O. Box 151 Stockton, N.Y. 14784, or bring your pictures to the club the day of the contest. Entry fee is $5 per photo. You can enter new and old photos, and the public is invited to attend to help vote on the winners. For more information, contact Tom Kessler at 680-0209 or Tim Abbey at 792-6519. The Bear Lake Club will host 3-D archery shoots May 18, May 25, June 22, July 13, Aug. 24 and Sept. 14. They will also host a 200-yard gun shoot June 8 and Sept. 21. New Members are welcome and the club's monthly meetings are on the first Sunday of the month at 4 p.m. They start the meeting off with a hot meal, so come hungry.
Plans are being made for the GLE to take place at Dunkirk's Memorial Park on June 21.
Southtowns walleye will host a one-day yellow perch contest on May 17 for $10 per entry. Cash prizes, free perch dinner and lots of fun are on the agenda. Participants must be a member. Southtown Walleye's annual walleye tournament is June 7-14. Must be a member and $35 entry per contestant.
The Falconer Rod & Gun Club will host a trapping course on Sept. 24 and 26 from 5:30-10 p.m. each day. Register the first day.
The archery course at the Bear Lake Club will be Aug. 20-21 from 6-10 p.m. Two-day attendance is required, as well as pre-registration. Their trapping course will be Oct. 16-17 from 6-10 p.m. both days with a limit of 35 students.
There will be one date for the archery course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Saturday, Sept. 20, from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. There is a class limit of 60 students. Bring a lunch. Pre-register by calling Gary at 366-3397.
The trapping course at the Con Club will be Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Limit 60 students.
Raw fur pickup schedule: North American Fur Auctions' (NAFA) location is Lucky Lanes bowling alley on Route 60, in Fredonia. Time is 4:30 p.m., on April 28. The agent is Ernest Mosher and he can be reached by calling 315-868-6275. Note: The fur must be put up and dried. No green pelts will be accepted.
If your club is hosting a shooting event, or training course (turkey shoot, etc.), drop a line and I will be glad to place an announcement in the calendar.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.