Ice fishing great, but be careful

Photo by Gene Pauszek This taxidermy mount of a 2.64-pound yellow perch is on display at Southtowns Walleye Association in Hamburg. It measures 15 by 13 inches.

Ice fishermen had a good time on Chautauqua Lake last weekend, according to numerous reports.

Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut/Stow reported that most of the focus is on walleye, which tend to be most active at low light. But the daytime can be fun, too, especially when the pan fish co-operate. On Tuesday, during the Dunkirk versus Silver Creek bowling match, I had the pleasure of speaking with one angler who commented that he and his children had a great time on the ice, over the weekend. The ice cover was close to 10 inches thick and the youngsters were occupying their time checking out the action. On Sunday, the crew returned to Mayville and found an active school of bluegills that provided enough fish for a meal. For those readers, who may not know it, bluegills, sunfish, crappie and bream are sweet and delicious, especially when caught through the ice. Bianco commented that a number of sub legal walleye were taken and released lately, but enough “keepers” were caught to make the day worthwhile.

An interesting article found in the latest issue of Western N.Y. Outdoor News commented that it is a good idea to use a different hole in the ice located 20 feet or so away from your location to release fish you don’t want. Otherwise, they stay where you want to fish and become an unwanted distraction to active fish. Makes sense, similar to tossing small fish back on the other side or back end of the boat while still fishing.

Look for walleye action from Mayville to Long Point. There were good reports of trout taken through the ice at Barcelona, but check for safe ice before heading out. There was a lot of open water near the shoreline from Dunkirk to Silver Creek on Tuesday. Rick Miller in Irving reported that all the creeks were open as of Wednesday, and the water level on the “Cat” was receding quickly. Chautauqua Creek was fast and muddy as of Wednesday morning.

Play it safe when heading out on the ice, as the weatherman calls for warming conditions again in the near future. Call in advance for recent up dates on ice conditions.


Our local chapter of Ducks Unlimited will be holding their annual membership/fundraiser banquet on Feb. 24 at the Beaver Club. There are about 25 tickets left. Contact Ron Romance or any committee members soon.

The Friends of the NRA will also be holding their banquet on Feb. 24, at the American Legion Samuel Derby Post 556, located at 9 Meadow Lane, Frewsburg. Dinner is from 5-6:30 p.m. For more information contact Jennifer Schmitt at 487-2487 or email

On Jan. 27-28 there will be a gun show at Conneaut Lake, Pa., at the Conneaut Lake Sportsmans Association located at 11861 Sportsman Road (off Route 18). Show hours are 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults and children under 12 years of age get in free with an adult. The next gun show is March 3-4 at Hickory Post VFW, located at 5550 East State Street, Hermitage, Pa.

Another gun show will be on March 17-18 at the Harborcreek Fire Department Social Hall located at 7275 Buffalo Road, U.S. Route 20 (located between North East Pa. and Harborcreek Pa.)

On April 14-15, there will be a gun show at Ashtabula County Fair Grounds at the Expo Center Building located at 127 North Elm St. Jefferson, Ohio. For more information, tables etc, contact Larry Spicer at 792-9972 or email

The Seneca Allegany Casino Events Center will host the annual Outdoor Show on Feb. 24-25. Log on for more information.

The Western New York Sport & Travel Expo held at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg will be a four day event from March 8-11. Check out for more information.

Monday night, free fly tying courses at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club are from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Tying vises, instruction and materials are all provided free. No registration is necessary. The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club is located on Mullet Street Dunkirk. Turn towards the lake at the Country Fair store located on Lakeshore Drive west (Route 5).

The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program will be starting its 18th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. Classes were on Tuesday evenings, but will now be held on Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 410-7003 or

If your club or organization is holding a hunter safety training/trapping course or a turkey shoot or any other outdoors event, and would like to see it posted in the calendar, send information to the OBSERVER, 10 East Second Street, Dunkirk, NY 14048, or call the sports department at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 6 p.m.

Note: If you have a big-game fishing or trapping success story you would like to share, call 366-1772, or 467-2079 and leave a name, phone number and a time you can be reached. You can also call 366-3000, ext. 5, after 6 p.m. or email