Chautauqua Lake is best prospect for ice fishing

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek Danny Sobczak (left) was happy to weigh in a trout with Winterfest fishing tournament Chairman Mike Porpiglia last Saturday.

Happy Valentines Day. The Dunkirk girls bowling team are our local sweet hearts, after winning their division in the Sectionals on Wednesday. Now on to Syracuse. Go Dunkirk!

The best prospect for ice fishing locally continues to be at Chautauqua Lake. Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut/Stow commented that the lake water level went down over seven inches since last Monday. There are about seven to eight inches of safe ice over most of the lake, but Skip cautions that several anglers went through near DeWittville.

There was open water near the creek mouth in that area and anglers are always advised to avoid these areas especially during a thaw. The best time for hooking up with walleye continues to be low light either just before night fall or just before dawn. Long Point has been up and down for walleye productivity, but Prendergast has been decent lately. Perch fishing has been decent anywhere from six feet deep out to 30 feet. The bigger sized perch seem to be coming from deeper water. Mayville is the spot for panfish especially blue gills, perch and the occasional crappie.

Rick Miller in Irving reports the area creek fishing has been non-existent with ice cover or murky water with ice flows being the norm. Locally the ice cover in area harbors have been questionable depending on the wind direction and temperature. There has not been much of any fishing activity on the City of Dunkirk Pier since the Winterfest fishing tournament last Saturday. The see-saw temperatures are playing havoc with fishing attempts for most of the winter season. There has been some ice fishing activity at Bear Lake and Quaker Lake with no report. The area below the Kinzua Dam area got blown out with the recent thaw. Thank goodness February is the shortest month of the year.

Calendar: Note that the free NYS Winter Fishing Days will be on Feb. 16-17.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will be hosting a rabbit hunting contest for members and guests on Saturday, Feb. 16. Stop by the club for details.

The Friends of the NRA fundraiser/banquet will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Samuel Derby American Legion Post 556, located at 9 Meadow Lane, Frewsburg, 14738. Cash bar and silent auction is from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., with the prime rib and live auction from 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. Early bird tickets must be in by Feb. 16. For information, call Jennifer Schmitt at 487-2487.

The W.N.Y. Sports and Travel Expo will be at the Hamburg Fairgrounds, on March 7-10.

The next gun show will be on March 2 and 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 a.m. to 4 p.m. while Sunday will be 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 Route 20, Harborcreek, PA. Show times are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m Saturday and 9 a.m. to 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 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 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 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.

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.

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