Just over two weeks of ice fishing remaining

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek This Surf Scooter and other diving ducks were seen feeding by the DEC vessel, the ARGO, on Wednesday.

April 1 is a little more than two weeks away, meaning ice fishing will be soon coming to an end. No fooling!

The ice cover in the Dunkirk Harbor is deteriorating quickly as of Wednesday afternoon and today is supposed to be even warmer. A quick check in with Department of Environmental Conservation Fisheries biologist Jim Markham revealed that the local streams and creeks were open on Wednesday. No report yet on any fishing activity, but it might be worth a shot with the current ice conditions.

Chautauqua Lake is the hot spot. Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut/Stow reports that the walleye fishing is still hot. That will change, with the season ending on Friday. Walleye season will re-open the first Saturday in May, which will be May 4 this year. The Hut held an ice fishing contest last Saturday with a good turn out. Prizes went to the three longest walleye entered, which were all at least 26 inches in length weighing around five pounds each.

Hot spots for walleye have been Prendergast and DeWittville, as well as numerous other areas on the north end of Chautauqua Lake. As of Wednesday, there was 10 inches of ice cover on most of the lake, but the shore line ice is starting to show deterioration. Pan fish are active in Mayville, Bemus Point bay, Long Point and off the Vikings. This spring could be a good one for calicos. There has been some ice fishing on Lake Erie last weekend, with Hamburg seeing some off ashore activity.

Rick Miller in Irving reported several anglers connected with walleye and a few perch off the mouth of the “Cat”. Tim Schrantz also connected with a monster hen brown trout off Barcelona earlier in the week that pulled the scales down over 12 pounds. Several other trout were caught in the area the same day. There was also a report of a 10 pound walleye coming through the ice off Barcelona last Saturday. Congratulations to the 2019 NYS girls bowling champs, the Dunkirk High School Lady Marauders! Awesome.

Calendar: Note that Southtowns Walleye Association (Hamburg) will be holding their Special People Fishing Days on Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. each day. Reservations are required. For more information contact Elaine at 716-893-0733 or go to southtownswalleye.org.

The Landers Pennsylvania Volunteer Fire Department located at 4400 Miller Road Hill Road, Russell Pa. will be hosting their 26th annual Gun Show on March 16 from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. and 3/17 from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Admission is $5 and will include a chance to win a $150 gift Card. Landers is 14 miles from Jamestown .N.Y. For more information call Steve Beck at (814) 757-9466.

The WNY Chapter of the Safari Club Intentional will have their monthly meeting on April 3, at Michael’s Banquet facility located on Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg. The guest speaker will be NYSDEC Biologist Emilio Rende, giving a report on the recent DEC Turkey study. This meeting is free and open to the public.

There will be a Pistol Course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Wednesday, March 27 from 5:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Note there is an $80 fee for taking this course. For further information, contact Gary Dudek at 366- 3397.

The Lake Erie Outdoor & Fishing Show will return on Saturday, April 6 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel in Dunkirk. For information contact the OBSERVER at 366-3000 extension 420. This event started up last year and turned out to be a big success and this year could be even better!

The Ellery Rod & Gun Club located on Pancake Hill Road, Bemus Point will host their Spring Shoot on Sunday, April 7 starting at 9 a.m., which will include Lucky Shot and Slug. Bring your own size 7 1/2 or size 8 shot shells. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. until 11 for $6. Raffles too! Open to the public.

On April 13-14, there will be a gun show at Ashtabula County Fairgrounds (Ashtabula County Expo Center Building), 127 North Elm Street, Jefferson, Ohio. Show hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Call Larry at 792-9972 for information or go to LRsportingEvents.com.

The Sportsmen’s Show sponsored by the Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department will be on April 6 and 7 at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds located off Route 353, Little Valley, NY. Show times are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Sunday. $5 admission. Call Jimm Miller at (716) 938-6928 for information.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host a hunter Safety Training course on Saturday, April 13 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. To register for this one day course you must register online at NYS DEC Hunter Bowhunter-Trapper Ed Course Sign Up Link. For questions go to vince@villageofwestfield.org or call 753-6347.

The NYS Youth Wild Turkey Hunting weekend is April 20-21.

Free Monday night fly tying instruction has resumed at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, located at Mullet Street in Dunkirk. Classes are for all levels of fly tying, but especially for beginners. No equipment is necessary. All participants get to keep their productions. Classes are from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The classes are open to the public. Sometimes they even have homemade cookies! Note that The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program have changed the dates to their program to Mondays from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia. This program is in its 18th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. 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 alberto@albertorey.com.

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 sports@observertoday.com.