Looks like we have to endure one more week of winter-like weather before the Spring Fling begins.
This weekend was just a tease of what's to come. The warm spell brought a number of trout fishing opportunities both from the City of Dunkirk pier and in a number of local streams.
Saturday, the pier fishermen had a great day with a number of anglers hooking up with fresh run steelhead. Those chrome-sided beauties targeted spoons like cleo's and mini jigs presented under a slip bobber.
OBSERVER?Photos by Gene Pauszek
Jeffrey and Fred Rasmus display some of the rainbow trout they caught from the City of Dunkirk Pier on Monday. The anglers had good luck using an “Uncle Bob’s jig” in Winter Blue color tipped with a wax worm.
Tipping the jigs with a meat bait, such as live minnow or a wax worm, seems to improve your chances for a hook-up. I spoke with the Rasmus brothers Monday afternoon. Both anglers were having success with a chenille jig with goo-goo type eyes. The jig was attached to a fluorocarbon leader with several small split shot attached. The jig was presented 8 feet below a slip bobber. The main line was a six-pound test. Both anglers favored long spinning rods to assist in long range casts and absorbing the fight of the fish while using lighter lines.
Being equipped with a long handled landing net is also advised. Jeffrey Rasmus is part of the fly tieing group present on Monday evenings at 6 p.m. at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club. Many of the jigs and flies that they use are tied at the "Con Club" and those who choose to attend are able to learn how to tie their own, free of charge. All vises and materials are provided.
Stream fishing had also improved until Wednesday when most of the waterways were blown out. Look for the fishing to improve when the water level goes down and clears up.
Note: The Department of Environmental Conservation reminds ice anglers that ice shanties must be removed by March 15. Shanties that fall partially through the ice become hard to remove and create hazards to snowmobiles and other motorized vehicles on the ice. Shanties that remain after ice out (when the ice has melted away) become boating hazards. Owners that fail to remove their shanty by March 15 can be ticketed and face a maximum possible fine of $100.
The SAFE Sportsmen's Outreach will host its second Annual Wild Game Banque and Auction on Saturday, March 16 at the Busti Church of God, 996 Forest Ave., Busti. The dinner will include a variety of foods, buffet style. There will be door prizes and silent auctions for the whole family. Tickets are $10 per person. Brent Henderson, a professional hunter and musician, will be the keynote speaker. He has hunted in 30 countries and 49 of the United States. His travels include bowhunting in Africa and caribou in Alaska. He is prostaff for Bear Archery, Grim Reaper Broadheads, Woodswise, Gold Tip Arrows and has written numerous magazine articles and internet articles. He also is an accomplished fisherman, a major label recording artist and the author of the book titled "Drivetime Adventures." He is one of the most sought after Full Time outdoor Ministry presenters in the industry. For banquet reservations or tickets, contact Lee O'Brien at 720-0115.
Walleye Season Closes March 15.
The New York Walleye Association hosts its monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of the month at the American Legion Niagara Frontier Post No. 1041 at 533 Amherst Street, in Buffalo. Their newsletter is also filled with fishing facts. The N.Y. Walleye Club hosts the two-day tournament the AMARA-CAN Walleye Classic, which is based out of the Chadwick Bay Marina, and will be held on July 13 and 14. This contest is a team event. For more information, contact Tom at 876-6425 or Bob at 875-8148.
The Jamestown Rifle Club will hold pistol classes 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.
Harbor Creek Pa., at the Harbor Creek Fire Department Social Hall, located at 7275 Buffalo Road - US Route 20 - on March 16-17. Call 569- 6810 or log on yorkpennshows.com.
Little Valley Sons of the American Legion present their 2013 Sportsmens Show at Green Gable Village 4343 Whalen Road, Great Valley off Route 219 between Salamanca and Great Valley on March 16-17. Call 938- 6929 for information.
Little Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. will host their Sportsmen's Show at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds, Route 353, Little Valley, on April 13-14. Call 938- 6928 for information.
Lander, Pa., Sportsmen's Show will be April 20-21. Call 814-757- 9466 for information.
The Westfield Fish & Game Club will host its annual Ham & Steak Shoot on April 14 at their club house located on Ogden Road. The event will be held rain or shine. All legal centerfire firearms will be permitted. Ammo supplied for birdshot and deer slugs. For the .22 Caliber shoot, which will be held indoors, is a bring-your-own-ammo event.
The 18th annual friends of the NRA banquet will be on Saturday, April 27 at the Samuel Derby Post in Frewsburg. For tickets and information, contact Tom Kelly at 736-4386
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.