Warm weather ruins ice fishing for locals

The Mother Nature ice machine is scheduled to turn on again this weekend, so taking in an outdoor show might be in order until safe ice returns.

The Happy Hooker Bait & Tackle store in Ashville reports there is NO fishable ice right now available on Chautauqua Lake. The warm spell over the weekend, along with the rainfall, closed down what was turning into a nice beginning. However, while waiting for safe ice to return, consider taking in a presentation at Smith Boys Marina in Ashville on Friday from 3-7 p.m., and also on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The show will also feature company representatives from Lowe Boats, local fishing guides Steve Watcher and Bob Green, and taxidermy information from Hollenbeck Taxidermy. There will also be information and drawings from the Happy Hooker Bait & Tackle store.

Locally, there have been a few trout caught off the City of Dunkirk pier, as well as from the streams. Rick Miller in Irving reports there were several boats that tried their luck perch fishing offshore from the mouth of the “Cat” over the weekend with some success. One party brought in close to a dozen keepers, but reported they stayed in the 60-foot range and did a lot of searching.

The Northern Chautauqua Beagle Club held their annual Rabbit hunt last Sunday with 37 hunters participating. The prize winners were: 1st place for heaviest rabbit went to Don Hebner for a 3 pound, 1 ounce rabbit. Second place went to Don Hebner for a 2-14 rabbit and the final prize for the lightest rabbit went to John Depew. That rabbit weighed in at 2 pounds even. All the entrants were treated to chili, kielbasa and dessert.

There will be another sportsmen party held this Saturday at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club for all the members that participated in either the fishing or hunting contest this year. Supper will be around 5-5:30 p.m., and members are asked to bring a dish to pass. Awards and prizes will be handed out at the party.

Region 9 Federation representatives from the sporting and fishing fraternity met Tuesday at Bison City Rod & Gun Club to discuss upcoming events for the 2013 season. A joint Erie/Chautauqua County fishing event featuring some of the fantastic fishing opportunities Lake Erie has to offer will be available to area politicians, dignitaries and business people.

Calendar:

They are back! Willie Fedrick, Ken Hollandar, Monte Kennedy, Jeffrey Rasmus and the rest of the fly tying group will be 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 – and it’s all FREE. They will provide the vises, hooks and fly tying material. Youngsters accompanied by a parent or guardian are most certainly welcome. See You there!

There will be a Gun Show at the Westfield VFD Exempts Building, located at 75 Bourne St., Westfield on Jan. 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Jan. 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For information, call Jim Buck at 569-6810.

The Sportsman’s Show at the Seneca Allegany Events Center (I-86- Exit 20) will be Feb. 16-17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Go to www.yorkpennshows.com for more information.

The local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Lake Shore Longbeards, will meet again Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. at Liberty Vineyards, located on Route 20 in Sheridan. Agenda will be selection of scholarship winner from local high school seniors and the banquet which will be Feb. 9 at the Koscuisko Club in Dunkirk. Tickets for the banquet can be purchased on Jan. 22 at the meeting or by calling Bob and Judi Turk at 934-4538.

The NYS Region 9 Erie County Trappers Association Fur Auction will be on Saturday, Feb. 2 at S&S Taxidermy & Archery Pro Shop, located at 455 South Cascade Drive (Route 219) Springville. For more information, call 592-2404.

Fur check in time is from 8 a.m. Auction time at 10 a.m. There is a 5 percent commission fee for all sellers. Food will be available from the Boy Scouts. For more information, call Patti at 337-2556.

On Jan. 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Southtowns Walleye Hall, there will be a flea market-type sale of used fishing and hunting equipment, with free parking, free entry and food and drinks available. Tables are $20, with reservations due by Jan. 17. Call 649-8202 for information.

A six-week fly tying class will begin on Jan. 23, at the Lake Shore Central Middle School on Erie Road, in Angola, from 6:30-9 p.m. All equipment is provided and you will learn all aspects of the sport. The course is taught by Ray Marks with the federation of Fly Fishers. Enroll at Lake Shore Community Education at 926-2270, or call Marks at 549-1977 for more information. The course fee is $48 plus a lab fee of $10. payable on the first day of class.

For those of you interested in taking a NYS Pistol Permit Class, there will be one held locally on Jan. 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For information, call Gary Dudek at 366-3397.

The Jamestown Rifle club will hold Pistol classes on Jan. 27, Feb. 24, March 24 and April 28. You must be 21 years of age and a resident of Chautauqua County. All classes begin at 1 p.m. and last around four hours. Call Pat Hayes at 484-9301 for information.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to sports@observertoday.com.