Dunkirk a destination for Pittsburgh duck hunter

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek Eric Costello and his retriever “Nitro” enjoyed some duck hunting success, recently in the Dunkirk Harbor.

It’s transition time again with deer season and duck season winding down. While it’s too early for ice fishing, stream fishing is being effected by daily precipitation, or runoff.

Rick Miller in Irving commented that there has been some success off the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek, and in the local hard bottom streams. But for the most part, there has not been a lot of fishing effort.

Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut/Stow commented that as of Tuesday afternoon, there was no ice cover on Chautauqua Lake. What little skim ice had formed disappeared with the wind and warming temperatures recently. The channels have been unproductive lately. Most of the deeper holes at the north end of the lake have also been slow. Blame it on the moon phase, or temperature fluctuations, but the walleye bite lately has been slow.

Congratulations to Jason Robinson, who has recently been named as the Unit Leader of the Department of Environmental Conservation Lake Erie Fisheries station. Robinson has replaced Don Einhouse, who retired earlier this year. In addition, Doug Zeller, the Captain of the DEC research vessel the Argo, also retired last month. Captain Doug, was very popular, with his fellow employees, as well as the sport fishermen, and will be missed. Tight lines and happy trails, Doug!

Last Friday, this columnist spied another nice duck boat coming to shore before noon. Eric Costello, who hails from Pittsburgh, Pa. commented the day was slow with not much wind, but he and his black labrador retriever, managed to bag five divers composed of a red head, two blue bills a merganser and a butterball.

The dog named “Nitro” was eager to hit the frigid water several times during our conversation. Costello enjoys coming to Dunkirk for late season duck hunting, and frequents our area in the warm weather months often, sampling some of the best small mouth bass fishing in North America.

You might have guessed, that his dog is named after his BASS boat. Eric Costello’s Marine Corp license plate, black lab retriever, and affection for duck hunting reminded me of another local waterfowler named Jim Farrell. Thinking of you buddy!

Calendar: 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, Dec. 18, 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. Tickets are on sale, by contacting Rich Lazarczyk, Gary Dudek, Gary Burmaster, Bob Turk, Leroy Franklin, or Scott Dibble. A ticket would make a great Christmas gift for the turkey hunter(s) on your gift list.

On Saturday, Dec. 29, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., the Erie County Trappers Association, will be conducting a free trappers seminar at the Colins Conservation Club located at 2633 Conger Road, Collins, NY. The show will have lots of activities pertaining to how to handle your pelts, furs, and similar activities. There will also be other activities like raffles, games for the kids, fur hats and trapping supplies for sale, and the kitchen will be open. This is a free event. For more information contact Patti at 337-2556.

There will be a pistol course on Sunday, Dec. 30, at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club from 2:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. There is an $85 fee for attending this course. Contact Gary Dudek at 366-3397 for registration and details.

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! Note that the Monday night fly tyers will be taking a break over the Christmas holiday, The last session will be on Monday, Dec. 17 and will resume on Monday, Jan. 7.

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 alberto@albertorey.com.

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 LRgunshows@gmail.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.