There is no shortage of ice locally, and single digit temperatures in the forecast will keep it that way for at least another week.
There was a brief flurry of steelhead action off the City of Dunkirk pier last weekend, when the temperatures warmed up and opened up fishing space off the pier. Numerous anglers hooked up with the silver-sided torpedoes utilizing a fly or jig set up, tipped with wax worms, presented under a bobber. Later in the week, as the temperatures dropped, skim ice took over the north end and east side of the pier, which are currently iced in. Watch for the next warm spell to trigger another rush of fish. Depending on the wind direction and temperature, you might find access to fishable water off the Probst Platform.
On a recent trip to Hamburg, my traveling companions and I had the pleasure of stopping at Colville Outfitters custom tackle, located at 4475 Lake Shore Road, in Hamburg, just a short ways west of Hoak's Restaurant, and on the opposite side of the road. The front window screen will let you know it is a shop that caters to the fisherman, and once you open the door, you know you are in a candy shop for fishermen.
OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek
Danny Colville, owner of Colville Outfitters in Hamburg, displays one of his popular custom made center pin reels he sells in his store in Hamburg.
Every inch of the store, which has a deceiving 1,300 square feet of space, is neatly packed with quality fishing tackle. This time of the year, the owner, Danny Colville, has the highlights on steelhead, and walleye, with an ever-increasing inventory of ice-fishing gear. The 30-year-old proprietor plans on opening another store at the Wilson Boat Yard some time in May. Colville has an extensive fly fishing section, as well as centerpin reels and rods. Colville also hand crafts a line of centerpin reels which he has been selling around the country on the internet. He also does custom rod building and rod repair, is an exclusive dealer of Simm's gear in WNY, and intends to carry live minnows soon. Stop by and meet Colville and bring your checkbook. You will be impressed.
Skip Bianco, at Hogan's Hut, reports there is about 15 inches of good ice on Chautauqua Lake, but they got hit with close to a foot of snow on Wednesday. Walleye were biting good at DeWittville in 10 to 35-foot depths on jigging raps and some better-sized yellow perch were caught in 10-feet of water by Stow over the weekend, as well as south of Long Point. Mike Sperry, in Lakewood, reports there has been a lot of smaller-sized perch around the lake, with calicos coming from the Mayville end.
Rick Miller, in Irving, reports a lot of anglers tried their luck on Lake Erie over the weekend with close to 100 vehicles parked at Sturgeon Point and about 30 off Sunset on Saturday afternoon. Perch numbers locally have been so-so, but a group of anglers reportedly tried their luck off Hoak's, heading east towards the Canadian border, and hooked up with good numbers of 12-13-inch perch. Anglers also did well on smelt at the mouth of the Cattaraugus Creek with small jigs tipped with wax worms, mousies or mealworms. Evening and night time seem to be the best times to try your luck, and you can expect at least 10 inches of ice.
The "Con Club " annual Chicken Barbecue fundraiser for the "Take-A-Kid-Fishing program will be on Sunday, Feb. 23.
The Monday night Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Fly Tyers will meet Monday evenings at 6 p.m., weather permitting. The event is open to the public free of charge.
Raw fur pickup schedule: North American Fur Auctions (NAFA) location is Lucky Lanes bowling alley on Route 60, in Fredonia. Time is 4:30 p.m., on March 9 and April 28. The agent is Ernest Mosher and he can be reached by calling 315-868-6275. Note: The fur must be put up and dried. No green pelts will be accepted. First auction dates are Feb. 17-23.
Fur Harvesters Auction pick-ups will be at the old Tops Market parking lot off I -90. Take exit 59. Time of the pickup is 6-6:30 a.m. Pick-up dates will be, March 23. The agent is Toby Edwards. He can be contacted by calling his cellphone at 518-848-0217. Only dried pelts will be accepted. The first auction date is Jan. 7, while the second dates are March 13 and March 14.
If your club is hosting a shooting event, or training course (turkey shoot, etc.), drop a line and I will be glad to place an announcement in the calendar.
The Federation of Sportsmen from Sullivan County are hosting a three-day Coyote hunt from Feb. 7-9. They offer a $2,000 grand prize for the heaviest coyote weighed-in for the three-day hunt, a $200 daily prize for the heaviest coyote in each of the three days of the hunt, a $100 prize for the heaviest coyote taken by a youth (12-15 years old) and a $100 prize for the heaviest coyote taken by a female hunter during the three-day event. $100 will be awarded for all other coyotes weighed in during the three-day event. Early registration, post marked by Jan. 27, will be $30 per hunter, which will include the three-day hunt, a weigh-in dinner held at the White Sulphur Springs Fire House, located on Route 52 (exit 100 off Route 17). After Jan. 27, the entry fee is $40 with the deadline of 7 p.m. sharp on Feb. 3. For details, visit the website at www.sullivancountysportsmensfederationny.com.
A recent email announced the Harrisburg Pa., Sportsman's Show is back with the backing of the National Rifle Association. The Harrisburg show schedule is Feb. 1-10 with Country Western star Trace Adkins performing Feb. 8.
Gun Shows: The Sportsman's Show at the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, which is located off I-86 at Exit 20, 777 Seneca Allegany Blvd., Salamanca, will be Feb. 22-23. Call 569-6810 or log on to www.yorkpennshows.com.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.