While rummaging through a box of targets to sight in a new muzzleloader rifle a few weeks back, a liner in the bottom of the box proved interesting.
A yellowed and browning copy of the "Western New York Hunting & Fishing Guide" has been keeping target papers dry since its issuance for the Buffalo and Niagara area sometime after its June 1978 printing.
Steve Glogan edited and Joe Glogan published this monthly publication, priced at 75 cents per issue, out of an office in Rochester. A quick skim through the 16 pages of fading news print brought back memories worth sharing with hunters, anglers, and area outdoors folk on this Christmas Day.
The June issue focused mainly on fishing tackle tips, fishing hot spots, and bait, tackle and marine dealers around Western New York.
Many of the business names are long-standing operations familiar to active area outdoors folk. Some have gone out of business; many are still open today.
How many of these places have you seen and visited in recent years? Herb's Tackle Shack in Hamburg, Casey's Dock, Brobeil Marine, Fish Tale Bait & Tackle on Niagara Street, Mark's Tackle in Niagara Falls, Bill's Sport Shop in Springville, Hogan's Hut General Store on Chautauqua Lake, Nick's Sporting Goods on Kenmore Avenue, Transit Marine and Dusty's Tackle and Bait in Depew, Hank's Boat Livery in the Town of Tonawanda, Freeman's Sport Shop in Akron, Wilderness Outfitters in Williamsville, G&R Hunting and Fishing on Seneca Street, Penrod's Bait & Tackle on South Park Avenue, Rich Marine Sales on Austin Street and Silver Lake Marine in Silver Springs.
More than half of these businesses remain open, and about a third have the same phone number. A check with Jerry Olejniczak at Penrod's (at the phone number given in two ads) sparked a 20-minute conversation about area fishing and the bait and tackle business Olejniczak recalled from more than three decades ago.
Olejniczak took over Penrod's business at 1560 South Park Ave. in 1990; Penrod had done business at that address and others for two decades before that in South Buffalo.
By 1978, Herb Schultz was so well known in the bait and tackle business that his family's (last) name does not appear in either his display ad or in the three photo credits on the front page of this June issue.
One feature column, by Richard B. Schleyer, has the headline "Rochester-Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Derby a Big Success." He later became known across the lower Great Lakes as simply Dick Schleyer, who went on to organize this weekend's contest as the ESLO (Empire State Lake Ontario) Derby. The 1978 derby, held April 28-30, offered entrants $5,800 in cash prizes and $5,800 in blind drawings. Ed Rowan, of Rochester, won the Grand Prize of $2,550 with a 19.23-pound salmon caught near Wilson Harbor.
Editor Glogan's fishing updates could serve as entries in some late-spring offerings of The Buffalo News' "Fishing Line" today. Glogan writes: "Lake Erie perch fishing up until the middle of May was very good. Dunkirk Harbor was the scene of a lot of trout and coho activity. Eighteen Mile Creek and Cattaraugus Creek have also been good. In the lower (Niagara) River there is a lot of smelt being dipped. In Lake Ontario they are getting a lot of lake trout and coho salmon. The waters between Wilson and Olcott seem to be the hot spots."
The president and vice president of the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs offered insights with Letters to the Editor. President John H. Bunz corrected April issues on the 57 ECFSC affiliate clubs; vice president Warren C. DeLong criticized the lack of public funding of fish and wildlife programs.
Another letter writer penned: "The Ice Boom must go at all cost for at least one year to see who is right." That same writer also suggested the DEC enact a family fishing license for all unmarried children ages 16 and older and living at home.
"Bar Talk," a chronological listing of fish outings and catches has this entry: "April 28: Ted Malota and his father Ted Sr., had 257 nice calico (crappie) for a day's fishing at Chautauqua Lake." A May 1 item notes "The gang from the George Washington Fishing and Camping Club returned from their annual fishing trip to Lake Simcoe. They brought back about 3,000 nice perch."
A photo on page 12 has the caption: "Stu Fetterly and some of the 500 perch he and his partner, Dick Wilker, caught during the last days of ice fishing out of Grant's at Lake Simcoe in April."
Creel limits in New York and Ontario have reduced the keeper count of perch and crappie today, but many area lakes still provide an abundant resource to supply good sizes and numbers of panfish and game fish reported in this 1978 guide.