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More than a dozen anglers fall through ice since weekend

Sportsman’s Journal

February 2020 weather is following the pattern of January 2020 weather. Surprisingly warm, plenty of wind, and just enough frozen precipitation to remind us that, it is winter. The temperature still dips below the freezing mark at night, which continues to firm up the ice cover on Chautauqua Lake.

Alarmingly, more than a dozen anglers have fallen through the ice since the weekend. Anglers are always advised to stay away from creek mouths, known areas with underwater springs, pressure cracks and any questionable ice. For safety sake travel in pairs and always carry a set of ice picks in case you do fall through. If you watch the weather you will notice that a cold snap is due soon, as well as some significant snow cover and wind.

Skip Bianco at Hogan’s Hut/Stow reports that there is between 2 to 5 inches of ice on Chautauqua Lake depending on location. The fishing has been pretty good lately, but the fishing pressure can be a problem, especially when you are the only game in town.

According to Skip, the blue gill and pan fishing has been good out of Bemus. Mayville is the place to go for yellow perch action. Anglers have to move around to find the bigger size ring backs, but Mayville is the place to go especially if you want to take the kids and show them some action. Anglers are also picking up occasional crappie. Walleye have also been active, especially at low light. The fish have been hanging around the weedline edges and they have been found over the deep holes. Jigging rapalas, swedish pimples tipped with meat and traditional jigging spoons have all been working.

On the down side is the prediction for another warm spell early next week. Lee Weber in Derby reports that there has been some perch activity reported off the Buffalo Small boat harbor. There is no ice cover, but the anglers are fishing from the safety of the docks. You may have to cull a lot of small fish, but some decent sized perch have been reported. Weber advised that he does have bait ready for anglers. Rick Miller is also ready for the weekend. There has been some trout activity in local streams but anglers have reported taking trout from the mouth of Chautauqua Creek.

Also, good luck Dunkirk High School Girls bowling team in the postseason!

Calendar: There will be a Pistol Permit Course at the Con Club on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 2:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. There is an $80 fee. Contact Gary Dudek at 366-3397 for information.

There will be an Outdoor Show at the Salamanca Casino on Feb. 29 and March 1. A pistol clerk will be on hand during the event if you decide to purchase any firearms.

The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club is looking for people interested in learning “how to tie their own fishing flies.” Several advanced fly-tiers will be on hand to give individual attention to persons who would like to learn this hobby. All materials and equipment are provided free. The learning area is secure and a controlled environment from 6 until 8 p.m. You get to keep what you make. Refreshments are usually provided and always free. No experience necessary, no sign up required. Just show up and have fun. This would be a great opportunity for scout leaders to bring their young charges in for a great learning experience. Call 366-1772 days if you need more information or a contact number.

Upcoming Gun Shows: March 7-8 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, 16148. Times are Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

March 21-22, 2020 at the Harborcreek Fire Dept. Social Hall, located 7275 Buffalo Road, Harborcreek, PA, 16421 (Located US Route 20 between North East, PA and Harborcreek, PA). Times are Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

April 18-19 at the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds. The show is located at the Ashtabula County Expo Center Building at 127 North Elm Street, Jefferson, OH, 44047. Times are Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Sunday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. For more information on any upcoming show listed call Larry Spicer at (716) 792-9972.

The 2020 Friends of the NRA banquet will be held on Saturday, Feb. 29 at the American Legion Samuel Derby Post 556 located at 9 Meadow Lane Frewsburg. Door open at 4:30 p.m. Live auction. dinner, huge raffle. Call Jennifer Schmitt at 487-2487 or go to chautauquacountyfriendsofnra@yahoo.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.

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