It has been nice weather lately, if you are a duck!
The weekend was sunny and warm and a lot of fishing opportunities were available. Hogan's Hut, in Stow, reported that the southern end of Chautauqua Lake is all open and the crappie have started to bite. Yellow perch have been slow offshore, but white perch have also moved into the channels. Bullheads have also started on Chautauqua Lake and Steve, at the Hut, reminds anglers that walleye season is just a few weeks away.
The north end of the lake is mostly open but there is floating ice in that area. If the temperature warms, it should be all gone by the weekend. Hogan's Hut is a bait and tackle store located on Route 394 and is open seven days a week, usually from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m., and often later on weekends when the weather warms up.
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
This unusual duck was spotted in the Dunkirk harbor Sunday evening. Note the long spike tail and white coloration on the duck’s head and rear-end area.
The calico bite has been good by Smith Boys and Ashville Bay. Trout anglers fishing Goose Creek have also done well lately before the rain blew the streams out.
The report is that a lot of trout were caught earlier in the week off the City of Dunkirk pier with as many as 50 catches reported. Using a slip bobber with a jig/fly-tipped with a live minnow, egg or imitation egg was the ticket. One angler even hooked up with a big northern pike, but there hasn't been much bullhead action so far.
I was cruising the pier on Sunday evening when I spied an unusual duck as sunset arrived. The duck had a noticeable long spike tail, but the size and colors were wrong for it to be a pintail or a ruddy duck. After consulting with a bird-watcher friend of mine, and checking the internet for photos, I believe the bird in question is an old squaw, which is out of the ordinary for our area. Wednesday, before writing this column, I also spied a kingfisher by the boat launch area. Joe Gula, my contact, reported the birdwatchers will be doing a bird count on Sunday.
The Southern Tier Coon Hunters Association, located on Rood Road in Sinclairville, will host a UKC sanctioned Bench Show on Saturday, April 13, starting at 3 p.m. The Kitchen will open at 1 p.m., and a UKC Night hunt will start at 8 p.m. There is an entry fee for the events. For more information, call 792-9972, or call Dwayne at 965- 2021.
The Jamestown Rifle Club will hold a pistol class 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.
There will be a hunter safety training course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on April 18 and April 19. This is a mandatory two-day course that will run from 5-10 p.m. both evenings. The course is free.
There will be a pistol course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on April 20. There is a $55 fee charged for this course, which will run from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. To register, or for more information, call Gary at 366-3397.
The Westfield Fish & Game Club, located on Ogden Road, will conduct a hunter safety firearms class starting Monday, April 15 from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. The course will resume on Saturday, April 20, starting at 9 a.m., and running until 4 p.m. Students must be at least 12 years of age and attend both days. For more information call 326-3218.
There will be a firearms hunter safety course at the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club on Friday, April 12 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., returning on Saturday, April 13 from 8:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Call Rich at 595-3917 for pre-registration.
The 20th annual State of Lake Erie meeting will be held April 11 at the Southtowns Walleye Association Club House located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg. The meeting is scheduled from 7-9 p.m. Lake Erie Fisheries Unit Leader Don Einhouse will speak on the warm water species while Senior Fishery Biologist Jim Markham will focus on the cold-water species. Dr. Chris Pennuto will cover invasive species, and N.Y. Sea Grant representative Helen Domske will be the moderator. The meeting is free and open to the public.
For details on the State of Lake Ontario meeting that was held earlier, go to dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.
The Southtowns Walleye Association will also host their monthly meeting at the same facility on Thursday, April 18, starting at 7:30 p.m. Guest speaker will be Chris Kempf, who will be talking about "Maintenance and Repair of All Reels". This meeting is open to the public.
Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department will host their Sportsmen's Show at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds, 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 clubhouse 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. The .22-Caliber shoot, which will be held indoors, is a bring-your-own-ammo event.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.