It’s a good time to be a fisherman

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek Fishermen lined the Dunkirk pier this weekend catching numerous steelhead and brown trout.

This past weekend at the City of Dunkirk Pier, it was like a scene from the early 1980s, with fishermen literally lined up from one end of the pier to the other on the east, north and west sides. One angler estimated there were as many as 200 fishermen angling at one time, and most of them connected with a limit of three trout apiece.

Locals haven’t seen that many fishermen and numbers of caught salmonids since the days of the cohoe salmon. There were numerous reports of anglers hooking up with numerous fish, catching and releasing mostly steelhead in the 2 to 6 pound range. There were reports of some trophy sized brown trout taken also.

By Wednesday morning, the action and fishing pressure had slowed down, but Rick Miller and Lee Weber report that the trout have since invaded numerous local streams and tributaries. That action could change rapidly with a forecast of snowfall for Friday, but look for it to re-occur with the next warming trend. Most of the anglers that were fishing off the pier were limited to one rod, and found that using live minnows, a jig tipped with wax worms or even egg sacks suspended below a float, was the way to go.

Ice fishing has disappeared with the warming trend. Skip Bianco reported that ice fishing on Chautauqua Lake is also in limbo with Chautauqua Lake forming a thin crust of ice usually overnight, but disappearing during the day. The channels also have not been opening up for very long either. One angler did find some bull head action fishing from shore where the tributaries meet the lake.

If you do head to Dunkirk on Sunday, be sure to check out the fishermans flea market at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club located north off Route 5 in Dunkirk past the pier (by the Country Fair Store) from noon until 5 p.m. No entry or table fee and open to the public.

Calendar: The WNY Safari Club International will host Ernie Calandrelli from Quaker Boy Calls as the guest speaker at the March 7 meeting at Michael’s Banquet Facility, located at 4885 Southwestern Blvd. Hamburg. Ernie will talk turkey about spring turkey hunting and those in attendance will have a chance to win a Mossberg turkey gun and hunt with Ernie. The event starts at 7 p.m. Call Terry at 472-2380 for information.

The next gun show is on March 3-4 at Hickory Post VFW, located at 5550 East State St., 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, contact Larry Spicer at 792-9972 or email

There will be a sportsmen flea/yard sale at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Sunday, March 4 from noon until 5 p.m. Bring or look for old-new fishing, hunting, trapping, camping equipment etc. NO GUNS. Call Paul at 680-4629 for 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.

Billed as New York’s longest running tackle show, The Lockport NY 2018 Icebreakers will be held at the Elks Lodge, located at 6791 Canal Road, Lockport, on Saturday, March 24 from 9:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. This is a great place to see old tackle, and connect with people involved with buying and selling antique fishing gear. For more info call Dan Bedford at 713-9410 or email

The first annual Lake Erie Outdoor & Fishing Show is scheduled for April 21 at the Clarion Hotel Marina & Conference Center from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. They are still looking for vendors. Call 366-3000 ext. 420 or email

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 in 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 are 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