09-01-2006, 12:28 PM
Lonnie Stebbins--owner of "The Happy Hooker" on Chautauqua Lake has decided to call it quits. Sad, sad day for Chautauqua area anglers. In my opinion, The Happy Hooker was the last of the old style bait shops on the Lake. The kind of place run by a guy who knew what was going on, had good tackle stocked, always open, always greet you by your name when you went in. Man, starting with G's Bait Shop in Greenhurst, Eddie at Maple Springs Bait and Tackle, the folks at the Redwood Ranch, Bernie Anderson on Clifton Avenue--Yep, Lonnie was the last of 'em, thats for sure. Hey, we do still have AL's Bait & Tackle, Pornos, and beer making supplies.....sadly, I'm not kidding.
Now, I realize this doesn't directly affect most users on this web site, but I bet something similar IS going on locally for most folk. The rural, small-town lifestyle that exists in Western NY is one of the regions best features. And its disappearing more and more every day.
Sooooo, I was thinking, lets start a list of the GOOD bait & tackle shops that are still out there. Help them out by a little word-of-mouth advertising---the best kind if you ask me!! Most of the small shops can't even afford to pay for ads. Just an idea?Yeah, a friend of Lonnies is taking over The Happy Hooker. BUT those are some mighty big boots to fill. Lonnie is a good, kind, giving man. He was also very knowledgeable and helpful. I will definitly continue to do business at The Hooker, just won't be the same.

Got this from Sanders Fishing Forums......whats the scoop?

09-01-2006, 01:22 PM
no, not Lonnie's! :(

I can proudly say that I shopped there while at Lake Chautauqua this spring.
I LOVED the atmosphere of it too! so sad to hear this.

Gilligan unlogged
09-01-2006, 02:08 PM
Bob Brown at the Redwood Ranch had the perfect location access by land or water, I spent alot of time and $ there. I also used the place at Maple Springs above the Midway that shut down some years ago. Lonnie was pretty much the last gasp for Chautauqua.

Bob went for health reasons but got to believe of late that the economics as well as the downward spiral of the Chautauqua fishery is part to blame. Lonnie had an ok shop but the location was hard for many of us to deal with.

Gilligan unlogged
09-01-2006, 02:38 PM
Just off the phone with the Happy Hooker. Although Lonnie is gone the store is staying open with different ownership. Cant replace Lonnie but at least we have somewhere to go for bait.

Grizzly Gary
09-01-2006, 05:44 PM
Sing along with me " You can get anything you want at The Happy Hooker Bait & Tackle Shop! Eceptin Janie." I loved that spot that he ran on our show! Lonnie will be sorely missed. A good man, kind and always willing to help. His wonderful wife Janie also always had a smile and a warm hello.

My favorite bumper sticker " I got crabs at the Happy Hooker!" LOL! :lol:

I am pleased to announce that Lonnie will be my guest for the 8-9 am hour this Sunday. He will be bringing the new owners Brian and Lisa with him. Tune in as I can guarantee you it will be a hilarious show!

Call in and say goodbye to Lonnie and also welcome Brian and Lisa!

Local 716-664-9576 or toll free 1-888-389-1019 I am sure Lonnie would be thrilled to hear from you.

Grizzly Gary