As fishing slows down, duck hunting is starting

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek Donald Holder from Erie, Pennsylvania journeyed to Dunkirk harbor on Veterans day for some successful duck hunting.

Offshore fishing on Lake Erie has come to a halt with brisk winds, cold temperatures and lots of precipitation. That may not be fishing weather for most, but it sounds like a recipe for good duck hunting.

Over the past few weekends, there has been a couple of boats set up on the east side of the Dunkirk pier, off the elbow of the walk around break wall. It’s a two boat set up, and judging by the amount of early morning shooting, the hunting should be pretty good.

On Monday, I caught up with another waterfowler, Donald Holder, who hails from Erie, Pennsylvania. Don was just pulling out his completely camouflaged duck boat from the boat launch area, and commented that he had a decent day bagging three buffle head, also called butterballs, which are a diving duck.

A comment about the other hunters on Sunday brought a smile to his lips, as they were buddies of his. They bagged at least seven birds with the majority being mallards. Holder commented that off the peninsula back home there are lots of duck blinds set up but a lot of competition.

After a few days the birds hang up and stay out of effective gun range. Dunkirk on the other hand has a nice variety of birds, which in turn attracts the hunters. Cool. Holder’s boat was equipped with a jet propulsion instead of a propeller, which comes in handy hunting the swamps and the Allegheny River.

Rick Miller in Irving reports that most of the trout action has been in the smaller hard bottom creeks. Skip Bianco from Hogan’s Hut/Stow reports that the walleye fishing has been good. Focus on the deeper holes during the day time utilizing a jigging technique, and the shore line is effective at night by casting stick baits.

Anglers are reporting hooking up with lots of walleye in the nine inch range too. Yellow perch fishing has been good on Chautauqua Lake at Bemus Point, Long Point, and Mayville. Chautauqua creek has been loaded with steelhead also. Just a reminder that Big game fire arms season opens on Saturday. Hunt safe!

Calendar: The Southtowns Walleye Association will be having their monthly meeting on Thursday. The club is located at 5895 Southwestern Boulevard, Hamburg. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. These meeting are open to the public and usually feature a guest speaker. The SWA club is equipped with a kitchen and a bar, so refreshments are available.Last months speakers were Joe Yaeger and Melissa Gearhart, speaking about the upcoming Greater Niagara fishing & Outdoor Expo 2019 which will be held on Jan. 18-20. This event should prove to be exciting.

There will be a pistol course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Sunday, Nov. 25 from 2:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. There is a mandatory $80 fee for taking this class. To register or for more information call Gary at 366- 3397.

Conservation Club members are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to the club on Tuesdays during hunting season for the Hunters Helping the Hungry program. All canned food items will be donated to charity during the Christmas holidays. Thanks!

The Lakeshore Longbeards our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will be having their next meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at Liberty Vineyards Winery located on Route 20 in Sheridan. The agenda will include the introduction of the new Regional Director Brain Gottfried, as well as a look at what will be available for the 2019 membership drive/fundraiser. The banquet date has been set for Saturday, Jan. 19. The meetings are always open to the public.

Free Monday night fly tying instruction has resumed on Monday nights 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!

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. Note that classes will switch from Wednesday evenings from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. to Tuesday evenings 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

There will be a gun show on Nov. 17 and 18 at the Hickory Post VFW located at 5550 East state Street. Us Route 62 East of PA. — West of Mercer on 62, Hermitage, PA, 16148.

On Dec. 8 and 9, a gun show at Harbor Creek Fire Dept. Social Hall, located at 7275 Buffalo Road, US Route 20 located between North East, PA and Harbor Creek, PA. For details or information, contact Larry Spicer at 716-792-9972 or go to

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