Fishing Reports – June 3rd


By Bill Hilts :

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Friday, June 3, 2016

1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – Action in the lake has been good for a mix of salmon and steelhead out of both Wilson and Olcott. Writer Paul Liikala of Ohio was out fishing with Capt. Bob Cinelli out of Olcott earlier this week and they limited out on kings and steelies, with two salmon in the 20 pound class. Reports coming in show fish in the 250 to 350 foot range in the top 100 feet of water. Some salmon are down 80 to 100 according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker; steelies in the top 30 feet – but that was before the east blow on Wednesday. Don’t know what that will do to the lake. There were some cold water upwellings and some trollers found 39 degree water just 40 feet down in some spots. Smallmouth bass have been hitting in the creeks and harbors. Remember you must use artificials. Anything goes for pike, though, and Wilson has been a good spot. A few perch and panfish in both Wilson and Olcott. More perch are being reported off Golden Hill State Park. A few browns have been caught off the piers on spoons. National Fishing and Boating Week kicks off on June 4 and continues through June 12 as the country celebrates these popular outdoor pastimes. Helping to initiate local angling activities is the 25th Annual Kids Fishing Derby at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge east of Lockport. Registration begins at 7:30 am. The actual contest is from 8 am to 11 am. There will be three different age categories. The event will be held at Ringneck Overlook on Oak Orchard Road. Call 585-948-5445 for more info. The Town of Newfane Marina will host a kids contest on June 25, too. For the adults, the Oak Orchard Open fishing contest will be held Out of Point Breeze in Orleans County June 10-12. To find out more information call 585-589-3103. If you would like to learn more about fishing for king salmon in the summer, Capt. Roger Young with Papa Smurf Charters out of Wilson will be the featured speaker at the next Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. meeting June 9 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara starting at 7 pm.

2. Lower Niagara River – Fishing changed considerable over the weekend with the unseasonably hot weather. Water temperatures shot from the 50’s into the upper 60’s and trout were tough to come by, getting chased out into the lake. Bass have started to turn on even more with artificial baits like tubes and swim baits good options for smallmouth. Silver bass are still around, too. The dreaded moss is starting to show up on the scene a bit more, creating problems for both drifters and casters. Some good news on the stocking front the past week as plants of 33,000 bonus Coho salmon and 8,000-plus brown trout were put into the river. On the boating ends of things, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will be hosting a Vessel Exam at the Lewiston Launch Ramp from 10 am to 2 pm on June 4. Call John Roach at 751-2057 for more info.

3. Upper Niagara River – Upper river action for bass and panfish are available from the head of the river to Niagara Falls. Remember bass must be artificial baits only, catch and release until June 18. Other youth contests coming up include the kids derby at Niawanda Park in Tonawanda on June 18 and a kids event at Widewaters Marina in Lockport on June 19. It will be held from 7:30 am (registgration) until noon. Fishing will be from 8-1 am. Call Phyllis at 417-4198 for more info.

4. Lake Erie and tributaries – Bass fishing has been improving as has the walleye action. Perch can still be caught if you know how and where. Bass can be caught on live bait (for this special trophy season), tubes, drop shot rigs and stickbaits. The daytime bite for walleye should be starting up very soon if it hasn’t already. Recent reports of catching in 40 to 60 feet of water west of Dunkirk has been the most consistent bite. Night time trollers with stickbaits are still picking up fish along Hamburg. Remember that the Southtowns Walleye Tournament is June 11-19 and you must be signed up prior to the event by 8 pm on June 10 at the SWA clubhouse in Hamburg. Go to for details.

5. Chautauqua Lake – Musky anglers did well for the opener in the northern basin of the lake pulling perch-colored crankbaits between Long Point and Chautauqua Institution in 20 to 32 feet of water. Also between Warners Bar and Prendergast Point. Bass have been hitting on plastics like imitation worms and crawfish. Top waters have been working around weed beds at first light and in the evening just before dark.

6. Finger Lakes-Inland Waters –

Oneida Lake – The walleye bite has been better from 9 pm to midnight for many anglers on the lake. Sonars or other type of blade baits have been working best. Target from Buoy 129 to Shackleton Point. Use anything goby-colored. Best depths have been from 25 to 32 feet of water.




The Smallmouth Bass

A great article by iBass360.  


Tbass5he Smallmouth Bass, considered a native species, is known by many names- smallie, bronzeback, brownie, brown bass- and by the Latin name is micropterus dolomieu.  I prefer to think of it as micropterusaraptor- an agile hunter dangerous to all its prey. Unlike it’s bigger, greener cousin the Largemouth, which I call micropterusrex, the Smallie is more trout–like, preferring clean, cooler rivers and lakes and feeding more on insects, baitfish, and crayfish than frogs, lizards and rats. The original range of the smallmouth included the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway drainages, stretching from southern Quebec and New Hampshire to North Dakota, as well as the Mississippi River drainage as far south as Alabama. There were also native populations in the lower Hudson Bay basin. Smallmouth have been further distributed throughout the Great Lakes watershed and southward into the Ohio and Tennessee River systems. Glacial outlets likely gave the Smallie a natural connection to the Great Lakes from the Mississippi Valley.

In 1825, the Erie Canal provided access to the Hudson Valley. In 1901, the Ontario Department of Game and Fisheriesbass began stocking considerable numbers of adult bass. In 1903, 400 were shipped to Long Lake in the vicinity of the Lake of the Woods. Years later the dam at the foot of Long Lake was destroyed by fire giving the species easy access to Lake of the Woods from which it spread throughout much of western Ontario and the boundary waters of upper Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Through subsequent natural migrations and stockings, famous smallie waterways such as the Delaware, Susquehanna, Potomac, Shenandoah and New Rivers were populated as well as many lakes and streams across the Northeast, New England and upper Midwest. Smallies have also been introduced in the Northwest and California. Their reputation as a hardy game fish put smallmouths in demand around the globe. In 1873, they were introduced in Belgium, the first international stocking. Since then, populations have been established in South Africa, Scandinavia, the British Isles, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Mexico, Belize, Austria, Slovakia, Vietnam, Guam, Fiji, and even Hawaii.

bass3There are some basic distinctive characteristics of the smallmouth. It has a brown to bronze coloration which is affected in intensity by the structure to which the fish is relating. That structure also has an effect on the often very distinctive vertical bar pattern on the fish. Smallies often have bronze streaks on the cheeks and red eyes or a red ring around the pupil of the eyes. The smallmouth bass derives its name from the fact that the rear end of the lower jaw does not extend past its eye, while that of a largemouth does. Smallmouth have two dorsal fins, and. as typical of members of the sunfish family a part of the fins are spiny and a part are softer.

A river smallie is going to be lean and acrobatic. A lake smallie will resemble dc3s.jpg A smallmouth bass jumps at boatside during a fishing trip in Door County.a football fullback- imagine a Franco Harris, John Riggins or Larry Csonka on the end of your line! Either way, you are in for an exciting fight, a fight that, pound for pound, many say is without equal in the fishing world. Just as in tarpon fishing, anglers must often bow to the master, keeping rod tip low, to successfully land the smallmouth. Smallies are a great game fish for young and old alike. They are typically considered catch and release fish, which for most bass anglers is just fine considering how hard they fight for the right to survive. Some favorite techniques for fishing them include drop shot soft plastics, jerk baits, lipless crank baits, square-billed cranks, dragging tubes, spinner baits and top water baits.

Read the rest here


Lake Erie – Early June Report

This is from a Facebook post from Canadian Tire Fishing, run by Jason Clay I believe.  I don’t have permission to post pictures but there are some very nice looking fish caught in New York waters.  Link to the Facebook page is shown below.    

It seems spring has come and gone with the scorching temperatures this past week. This heat has Lake Erie’s water temperatures raising quickly into the mid 60’s and fishing has changed accordingly. This relatively long and calm spring season has led to an increase in pressure on the NYS smallmouth bass trophy season. This extra pressure from anglers is definitely having an impact of fishing success . Many anglers working the traditional spring areas are having slower than normal days, while others have been cashing in on good numbers and size when they locate more remote areas with unpressured fish.

Traditional areas holding bass are along the many transitions along the WNY shoreline where the bottom composition changes from mud to rock, or any of the possible combinations. One often overlooked feature this time of year is some of the main lake ledges and humps that feature sharp drop offs. Add in a bottom composition change and it makes the feature even more appealing to a multitude of species.

This particular day found fish stacked on a ledge that went for 200’ or more. If you moved on top, or too far off the edge there was very few fish to be had. Calm days allow for precise boat control to follow the contour and stay in the hot zones. The photo shows at least 8 fish stacked on the sonar, while the side imaging shows the edge of the drop and transition of the bottom. Using side imaging even when moving slowly helps you to identify the edge and stay right on top of it.

We worked this spot utilizing a one two punch. I worked the ledge in front of the boat casting jigging spoons or blade baits while my partner used a drop shot to get the ones appearing on the sonar directly below the boat. Both produced some fast action and multi-species with Smallies and Walleye in the mix.

Gear used was the G-Loomis NRX Shakey Head rod paired with Sustain 2500 and 10lb power pro Super 8 slick and 14lbs Sunline Super Sniper Fluorocarbon. The Shakey head rod has the perfect balance and power for jigging spoons up too 1oz and Super 8 Slick allows for extra long casts. Drop shot rig consisted of Shimano Zodias med-light paired with the Ci4+ and 6lbs sunline fluorocarbon and a ½oz ultra tungsten round weight. The Jackall crosstail shad and Set the Hook drop shot minnow both took equal numbers of fish.

Something worth exploring your next time on the water!

Jackall Lures
Set The Hook Baits
Fish Shimano
Fish G.Loomis
Ultra Tungsten
Freedom Tackle Corp.
Power Pro



Forgetting The Personal Items You Need

This is an interesting video, from a very interesting fellow.  Funny fellow actually.  What he says though are some great ideas, some of which I already do.  As someone that does not own a boat (yet), I am often stuck fishing from shore and I take some of my fishing equipment everywhere I go just in case the opportunity arises.  Duct tape though ?  Well, good for boaters anyway.


Catch Fishing 2016 – Go Fishing!

The only way to keep our sport strong is to pass along our passion for fishing to the young ones.  Ok, bring the wife or girlfriend too.  Here’s a cute ad for Canada’s National fishing week !



Be Wary of Lake Erie

This is a couple days old but the warning is still worth putting up :


Four people rescued after several boats sink in Fort Erie


Four people have been rescued after two boats sank in Lake Erie.

An official at the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre at CFB Trenton says two calls came in early Monday morning.

One concerned a 12-metre power boat, with three occupants, that sank near Long Point, and the second an 11-metre sailboat that was taking on water off Point Abino, in the Port Colborne area.

A United States Coast Guard helicopter and a Canadian Coast Guard cutter rescued the three people from the power boat, who were in the water.

A US Coast Guard cutter pulled to safety the man from the sailboat, who was in his life-raft.

ll of those rescued were reported to be in good condition.

Klein, VanDam Remove Treble Hooks from Cameraman’s Arm


It was the final hour of the final day of the Challenge Cup, and Kevin VanDam had been struggling all day to make a dent in Brent Ehrler’s lead. VanDam was running and gunning to different spots trying to put a pattern together and find enough fish to make up some ground.

With less than 45 minutes remaining in the event, Kevin found an area loaded with enough bass to win. He repeatedly ripped out casts like only he can do and was catching quality bass on nearly every pass with his jerkbait. As a fan on fishing, and of Kevin, I was amazed at what I was witnessing.

The seemly anvil-like camera planted on my tortured shoulder disappeared and all I cared about was whether VanDam was going to make a last minute, come-from-behind surge to win the Cup.

It was about at this time when Kevin reared back, loaded his rod up behind him and launched a jerkbait cruise missile into my forearm. Upon impact, the line snapped and the lure exploded into tiny pieces.


Would You Rather Be a Canadian or an American Smallmouth Bass?

Kind of a crazy question but interesting nevertheless :


Would you rather be a smallmouth bass living in Canada or in the heartland of the United States?

It is an interesting question that Nova Scotia bassin’ buddy, Mark Weare and I have been discussing of late.  It relates to something I mentioned to Mark last year when I was down in the Maritimes and it is the fact that a five year old smallmouth bass in Kentucky is routinely approaching four pounds in weight and has spawned at least once and possibly several times.

The same smallmouth bass swimming in most lakes in Canada, however, would weigh only about a pound and would not be sexually mature.

So, you’d rather be a Kentucky smallmouth, right?   Well, not so quick, because here is the rub.

The Kentucky smallmouth will be dead of old age by the time it approaches 10 years, whereas the Canadian bass will be enjoying mid-life.

Read the rest of the story here

The Search

This is a pretty neat video.  I was asked just last week, why I loved fishing so much.  It’s not difficult to come up with some answers but it’s more than that.  It’s a total package adventure that sets us on fire.  Fishermen are full of hope and hope is a very good thing.

Good job Rapala.


Shallow Water Anchor Systems

This is an interesting article by iBass360 :

Shallow Water Anchor Systems for bass boats, you see them more and more. The first time I saw them I was not exactly sure what I was looking at. “How do those things work?”, I asked. “These are Power Poles” the angler answered, “They are the next thing you are going to want to add to your rig.”  Like Kleenex, Power Pole is both a brand and a synonym for a Shallow Water Anchor System. When I started asking around, I found that every owner had a strong opinion. They either loved what they had or were adamant that they would buy the other system when they got their next boat. Power Pole, and their main competitor, Talon, are automated anchoring systems which deploy quietly with the touch of a button, anchoring your boat in depths of 8-10 feet. They come in several colors – one sure to match your boatanchor5 - Copy

Both systems are easy to install and, fortunately, very resilient to accidental attempts to damage them. Accidental damage? Well, I am sure your first thought was similar to mine- “what happens when you take off and they are still deployed, won’t they pull the transom, motor and all, off the back of the boat?”.  Their real benefit is when the wind is blowing, they still hold you firmly in place despite the wind, current and waves. This allows you to reduce use of the trolling motor as a means of holding you on a spot or on structure- a real battery anchor1 - Copysaver.

Both systems deploy in seconds, quietly locking you down right where you want to fish. Think of the many situations where having a Power Pole or Talon could give you an advantage. It all sounds great, but a lot of guys say, these are toys for the Elites, something the weekend warrior just can’t justify in terms of spending money for something they think won’t be used that much. My observations have been quite different. Guys who have them definitely use them, some days putting them up and down dozens of times. I haven’t met anyone yet who put one of these anchoring systems on their boat and took it off because they didn’t get great use out of them.   In fact, most who have them say they would never go back to not having them, saying that not having them would be as bad as fishing without a trolling motor. So let’sanchor10 look at a comparison offering just the facts, breaking down the main features and considerations of these two anchoring systems.

Read the rest here


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