Open fishing spots are difficult to find

Sportsman’s Journal

Safe fishing opportunities are currently sparse with fluctuating temperatures. The Dunkirk Pier was a hot spot last week, but a strong north east wind has jammed that port with ice, with only an occasional small open area at times. If you take a ride around the dock, you might notice that the water/ice level is closer to the top of the pier.

Looking for a report on Wednesday, one angler reported that someone found an open patch of water near the channels by Ashville Bay. The angler reportedly pulled a number of walleye through the opening and several bullhead. I contact Mike Sperry at Chautauqua Reel Outdoors for more information and learned that a while back, anglers were pulling walleye through the ice in five feet of water, near several creek mouths as the walleye may be getting ready to spawn. Be sure to check ice conditions before attempting to head out onto the ice. Walleye season will close on March 15 and re-open May 5, the first Saturday in May.

Rick Miller in Irving reports that ice fishing has been on hold recently, but anglers continue to find open water for trout fishing in many of the smaller streams and tributaries.

Even if the weather doesn’t cooperate, there are plenty of activities going on during the month of March. This weekend is the W.N.Y. Sport & Travel Expo held at the Erie County Fair Grounds in Hamburg on March 8-11. Show hours are from noon until 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday. There is a $10 admission fee for adults, and kids ages 10 and under are admitted free. Southtowns walleye located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd. Hamburg will host “Special People Fishing Days at their club on March 12-17. Reservations are required: For more information on this program Call Elaine at 893-0733. Southtowns walleye will also hold their monthly meeting on March 15 starting at 7:30 p.m. Guest speaker will be Kishel’s fish scents. The meetings are free and open to the public.

A tip of the hat to Bob Rustowicz who caught a walleye through the ice on Lake Erie last month that weighed 14.67 pounds. Rustowicz is usually in the winners circle during many of the Lake Erie summertime walleye tournaments.

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 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.)

There will be a pistol course on Sunday March 11 at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 2:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. There is a mandatory fee of $75 for this course. To register or for information call Gary at 366-3397.

There will be a free Hunter Safety Training course at the Bear lake Rod & Gun Club on March 28-29 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. Two-day attendance mandatory. Call Vince Luce at 753-6347 for registration information, or go to the DEC email address.

There will be a free Hunter Safety Course at the Con Club on April 18 & 19 from 5 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Two day attendance. Call Gary at 366-3397 for information.

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

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 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 7-8:30 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

The Great Lakes experience Festival in Dunkirk will return this year on June 09 2018 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. The event will once again be held in Memorial park. More details at a later date. 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