Winter weather impacting local fishing

Sportsman's Journal

Snow worshipers may finally see some action by the end of this week. The columnist called Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut/Stow for the weekly fishing report on Wednesday morning and Skip was busy shoveling snow. Skip reported Chautauqua Lake was perfectly calm on Tuesday, earlier in the day. That all changed by the evening. With all the wind in the forecast, any chance for safe ice on Chautauqua lake by the weekend will be highly unlikely. There was some yellow perch action from the shoreline, prior to the strong winds and recent precipitation. You can call ahead for information at Hogan’s Hut at 789-3831. Steelhead action picked up lately in many of the local streams and tributaries. Rick Miller in Irving reported there was some good fishing in Cattaraugus Creek during the weekend. Those anglers that did hook-up commented that the steelies were full of minnows. Keep that in mind if you plan on trying to match the hatch. Local angler Jack Forbes commented that there has been a lot of fishing action on Canadaway Creek over the weekend. The water level was good and so was the water color. Angling pressure was evident from the Route 5 bridge, all the way up to the Laona Falls. There was decent fishing at a lot of the smaller hard bottom streams also, prior to the precipitation that arrived on Monday and Tuesday. The Lake Erie water temperature is hanging around 38 degrees. Any chance for that body of water freezing over this winter, will be questionable. However, if the weather co-operates, you still might be able to get some offshore action. Miller reported that last Saturday about 15 boats launched out of Irving and most of them reported hooking up with at least a couple dozen perch and an occasional walleye. Fishing with live minows or jigs tipped with minnows was the ticket.

Calendar: The Greater Niagara Falls Fishing and Outdoor Expo will be held on Jan. 18-20. This is a great way to start of the new year with three days of intense walleye education from over a dozen regional and local experts. Many of these seminars are free. Be sure to stop at booth 64 during the event and check with Father and son team Mark and Jake Romanack, who have their own fishing show. They are giving away a free fishing trip, and you just might appear on one of their TV productions. If you are wondering what to expect from the Lake Erie Walleye, perch and steelhead fishery on Lake Erie, be sure to take in the seminar presented by DEC biologists Jim Markham and Jason Robinson, on Friday Jan. 18, at the show. Look for the latest in fishing gear to be on display and for sale. For more information go to www.NiagaraFishingExpo.com.

The Lakeshore Longbeards, our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, announce that 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. Tickets must be paid for and turned in by Jan. 12 for early bird prize consideration. Note that there will be a banquet meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. at Scott Dibble’s house located at Barnum Road Cassadaga. This is your last chance to turn in or purchase tickets.

There will be a Gun Show on Jan. 19-20 at 11861 Sportsmans Road, (off Route 18), Conneaut Lake, PA. The show on Saturday will be from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Adult admission is $5, children under 12 years of age free with an adult. For more information go to LRsporting Events.com or call Larry at 792-9972. The next show will be on March 2-3 at the Hickory Post VFW located at 5550 East State Street, US route 62, East of PA 18- West of Mercer on 62, Hermitage PA. Saturday show times are from 9-4 p.m. Sunday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. There will be another show on March 16-17 at the Harborcreek Fire Dept. Social Hall located at 7275 Buffalo Road, US Rt 20 (located betwee North East PA and Harbor Creek Pa.) Harborcreek Pa. Show times 9 a.m. – 4 p.m Saturday and 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Sunday. 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 9a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday. Call 792-9972 for information.

Free Monday night fly tying instruction will resume on Monday, Jan. 7 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. This program is in it’s 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 Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. to Monday 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.

The Northern Chautauqua Ducks Unlimited Annual banquet and Live Auction will take place on Saturday March 9 at Blessed Mary Angela Parish Social Center located at 324 Townsend Street, Dunkirk. The doors open at 5 p.m. To purchase tickets on line go to NY.ducks.org or call Ron Romance at 969-5166.

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.