Chautauqua Lake still the place for walleye

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek The weather was much nicer last Sunday for the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club annual Take-a-Kid Fishing chicken BBQ fundraiser, provided by the Ladies Auxiliary and The Pit Crew.

There is no shortage of ice and freezing temperatures around Western New York lately. Even the little Honker Haven swimming hole, favored by the Canadian geese near the west end of the inshore breakwall in the Dunkirk Harbor, was frozen solid on Wednesday. There was some ice fishing activity last weekend in the harbor with at least 5 inches of ice cover, but the rainbow trout catching was a bit slow. Since then, the enthusiasm has dropped off.

The place to go continues to be Chautauqua Lake. Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut /Stow maintains that the walleye fishing continues to be hot. Skip commented that Chautauqua Lake is even drawing interest from Pennsylvania anglers. Crappie have been active near Bemus. Whole families from the neighboring Amish communities have been making their presence known, arriving in step vans to check out the action.

Walleye is still the focus of many ice fishermen. There will be an ice fishing contest sponsored by Hogan’s Hut on Saturday. Entry fee is $25 per angler. Prizes will be awarded for the three longest walleye. Any ties will be decided by weight. No frozen fish will be accepted so anglers will have to bring the fish in for weighing asap. Stop by the store for details and to pre-register. Just about all of the ice fishing is taking place at the north end of Chautauqua Lake. As a bonus, the yellow perch bite continues to improve. Bianco did comment that there was one day that was unproductive for the anglers, but that’s why it’s called fishing and not catching. There is a warming trend in the long range weather forecast, but currently the ice on Chautauqua Lake has been 7 to 12 inches thick.

The best of luck to the Dunkirk High School Lady Marauders bowling team, who travel to Syracuse this weekend for the state tournament. “Don’t make us use our Dunkirk Bowling Team voice!” is the boosters’ and team’s motto.

Calendar: The W.N.Y. Sports and Travel Expo will be at the Hamburg Fairgrounds today through Sunday.

The Northern Chautauqua Ducks Unlimited Annual banquet and Live Auction will take place on Saturday 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.

Note that Southtowns Walleye Association (Hamburg) will be holding their Special People Fishing Days on Monday through Saturday next week 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 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. For more information call (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 NY. 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 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 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 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.