Lisa Green, at the Happy Hooker Bait & Tackle Store located in Ashville, reports that the safe ice conditions have recently improved on Chautauqua Lake. Anglers can expect 5-7-inch yellow perch across the entire lake and a decent bluegill bite at Burtis Bay.
Crappie have been inconsistent as well as walleye. The Small Boat Harbor has also seen some action for pan fishing recently with the cold weather. Oneida Lake also has seen a decent walleye bite with anglers avoiding ice nearby any tributaries for safety sake.
On a sad note, Green announced that the establishment is going up for auction on March 9. The Happy Hooker will be closing its doors this Friday. Both Lisa and Brian Green will be missed by those who enjoyed the service they provided, as well as their contributions to the surrounding community. Good health and good fortune on your future endeavors!
OBSERVER?Photo by Gene Pauszek
Don Einhouse, the Warm Water Species Biologist from the Dunkirk based Department of Environmental Conservation Fisheries Office, will be the guest speaker tonight at the Southtowns Walleye Association Club located on Route 20, in Hamburg. The meeting is open to the public and starts at 7:30 p.m.
I also recently received notice that the Westfield Fireman's Exempt Hall building, and contents, is going up for auction on March 20, at 5 p.m. You can find the listing at petersonauction.com. This building has been the meeting place for the West Portland Baptist Church sportsmen events featuring Charles Alsheimer and the Sportsmen's Federation Steak Fry and Auction. Another place we will surely miss.
The Northern Chautauqua Club Association will have a breakfast hosted by the Dom Polski Club in Dunkirk on Sunday Feb. 24. Breakfast will be at 11 a.m. The NCCA will have as a guest speaker, Undersheriff Holden, speaking on some of the new gun laws that are to go into effect. Breakfast is free and if you would like to attend, give Joe Rozen (366-8137) or Jim Pryll (672-5571) a call to make reservations.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club's annual Take-A-Kid Fishing Day fundraiser/Chicken barbecue is this Sunday. Tickets are $8.50 pre-sale and $9 at the door.
The Northern Chautauqua Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual fundraiser membership banquet on Saturday, March 9, at the Dunkirk Moose Lodge, located at 296 Lake Shore Drive West, in Dunkirk. Doors open at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6:30. Auctions will be held after dinner. Call Steve at 410-4848 or Chris at 672-2498 for tickets or information.
Waterfowl hunters should be advised that the Dept. of Environmental Conservation has re-opened the snow goose season effective until April 15 in upstate New York. For more information, log on to www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/50514.html.
There will be a "Gun Owners' March on Albany" bus trip which will depart from the New York State Thruway Exit 49 (Depew) park-and-drive area Feb. 28. Participants will travel to the Empire State Plaza's Legislative Office Building. Departure is 4:30 a.m., with arrival time expected to be 10 a.m. The cost is $25 per passenger. Departure from Albany is scheduled for 3 p.m., and arrival back at the Depew parking area around 8:30 p.m. For reservations, call Rich at 510-7952 or email email@example.com. This event is co-sponsored by the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen.
Willie Fedrick, Ken Hollandar, Monte Kennedy, Jeffrey Rasmus and the rest of the fly tying group are back again on Monday evenings (6-8 p.m.) at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club. The Con Club Fly Tyers have all the equipment you will need to learn how to tie your own flies. No matter what level you are at - from beginner to advanced - you can come and have a good time free of charge. They will provide the vises, hooks and fly tying material. Youngsters accompanied by a parent or guardian are most certainly welcome.
NYS Ice Pro-Am Tournament Series: There are three main tournament events - if the ice cooperates. The first was on Tupper Lake Jan. 4-6. The second was scheduled to be held on Chautauqua Lake Feb. 15-17. This event was canceled due to unsafe ice conditions. The final event is on Sodus Bay Feb. 22-24. There are three divisions: professional, amateur and open. Professional, which is 1-2 anglers per team, has a $160 entry fee. The Amateur Division, which is also open for singles and pairs, has a $90 entry fee. The Open Division, which is for single anglers only, has an entry fee of $40. Check the official tournament website at www.NYSiceproam.com. The official Tournament email address is info@FK sportfishing.com.
The Jamestown Rifle Club will hold pistol classes Feb. 24, March 24 and April 28. You must be 21 years old and a resident of Chautauqua County. All classes begin at 1 p.m., and last around four hours each. Call Pat Hayes at 484-9301 for information.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.