Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Jan. 18, 2018 – Destination Niagara USA, Visit the EXPO

  • 2018 Niagara Outdoor Expo IS ON this Weekend
  • You can FISH THRU the EXPO
  • Learn at the EXPO, Over 120 Seminars!
Ohio writer, Rick Henniger, shows off a beauty brown from the lower Niagara.

Yes, people are catching fish, but you do have to work for them. More importantly, right now, is the fact that the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo is about to open, slated for Jan. 19-21 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. Check out the website at www.niagarafishingexpo.com for all the details and make sure you print out your $5 parking voucher for the city parking lots. With 70 guest speakers, 120 seminars and clinics, as well as over 150 vendor display booths, this is a fishing extravaganza like no other. I can’t emphasize enough, how good this event is from an educational standpoint. You are guaranteed to learn something new. There are too many quality speakers to list. Simply click on the website and be amazed.

Capt. Frank Campbell with a chunky river brown trout as he eyes it up for the camera.

One of the educational opportunities for the Niagara Fishing Expo already started this morning, when Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls hit the lower Niagara River and took out a couple brothers for a trout fishing lesson. Yes, on-water lower river trips are available through Monday morning, held in conjunction with the Expo. Despite the cold conditions, Craig and John Austin of Niagara County, still managed to go 4 for 7 on steelhead this morning, they were using MagLips and fished off three-way rigs. It’s been tough fishing with the colder weather, but that should change this weekend when things will warm up into the 40s. Last Thursday, when the temperatures soared into the 60’s,

Jason Henniger of Ohio with his first steelhead ever!

quite a few people made it out and took advantage of the spring-like weather. Rick and Jason Henniger of Ohio reeled in a dozen nice browns and steelhead in the lower Niagara fishing with Campbell,  using MagLips and Kwikfish in gold and silver. The best fishing was downriver, away from the boating pressure on Artpark. Shore fishermen have it a bit tougher with the shoreline shelf ice and extreme caution is advised.

The last warm up also produced some good walleye fishing in the lower river according to Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. He reported better than a dozen fish caught last week using minnows and Kwikfish. Just a reminder that the walleye limit in the lower Niagara River is only one fish per person from Jan. 1 to March 15.

Off Lake Ontario, Wilson has some safe ice, but Olcott was busted up with the excessive run-off created by the warm weather and ensuing rain. Water is stained in 18 Mile Creek, but it’s still fishable. Use jigs tipped with a wax worm and fished under a float to take trout and a few Coho salmon that are still hanging around. Things should open up nicely this weekend.

ill Hilts, Jr.; Outdoor Promotions Director
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Red Tide MAROONS Bluebill Ducks

By Robin Jenkins, DVM

As of Dec. 28, 2017, Peace River Wildlife Center has had a tragic influx of patients in the past few weeks.  We have taken in over 40 lesser scaups (locally called bluebills by many people), mostly found in the Port Charlotte Beach and Bayshore Park areas.  Many of them died in transport or shortly after arrival, and more were found dead on site.  It is assumed that red tide is the culprit, and we are treating the surviving patients accordingly—with moderate success if they get into treatment early enough.

Thanks to some alert community members, more birds were brought to us while they still had a chance for recovery.  PRWC’s volunteer rescuers Barb and Tom Taylor were instrumental in getting many birds to us.  They patrolled the areas where most of the debilitated birds were found numerous times daily, at dawn and during tide changes. 

One boater pulled a white pelican out of the water near the mouth of the Myakka River. He then drove his boat to the El Jobean bridge where he met PRWC rescuers Lee and Charlotte Dewitt, who in turn drove the bird to PRWC.  

A lady hopped the sea wall, scratching up her legs in the process, to collect a scaup who was drowning on the shore of Charlotte Harbor.  A man pulled a scaup out of the water and into his kayak, and then paddled for close to two hours to get the distressed bird to us.  Another man jumped the fence at TT’s Tiki Bar to rescue a scaup from the rocks. 

The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Department Marine Unit patrolled the shores and kept us apprised of what they found.  Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) also patrolled the areas and helped us with rescues.  They also transported the birds that did not survive for necropsy. 

Lesser scaups are a medium-sized duck that nests in the boreal forests of Central Alaska and Manitoba.  They migrate in late fall, among the last to leave as ponds freeze over.  In the winter they can be found in the Gulf region, Mexico, Central America, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean.  Males and non-breeding females head out slightly earlier for southern locales.  Breeding females stay with their broods as long as possible before embarking on the chicks’ first journey. 

Since the lesser scaup is one of the last species to migrate back up north in the spring to begin breeding, their offspring are quite young during their first fall migration.  They are a precocial species, and chicks are hatched with their eyes open, covered in down, and able to move around on their own.  The youngsters leave the nest within hours of hatching and feed themselves immediately.  They can dive the day they are hatched, but are too buoyant to stay down long.  By five to seven weeks, they are capable of diving up to 60 feet and staying down for up to 25 seconds.

A rather distinctive diving duck, the lesser scaup is similar in appearance to the great scaup, which is only slightly larger, but rarely frequents Southwest Florida.  The male has a black domed head, neck, and mantle. His irises are a brilliant yellow and his bill is slate blue (hence the colloquial name).   The female is a greyish-brown, with olive-green irises and a dark bill with white feathers at the base.  Both sexes have white bellies and secondary wing feathers with a dark band at the edge, visible in flight.

The lesser scaup is carnivorous.  Its diet is primarily comprised of crustaceans, insects, and mollusks.  While it is one of the most widespread ducks in North America, it is not well studied, especially in the Southwest Florida region.

The one positive note of losing all these birds, is that FWC will be able to study the ducks that did not survive and learn more about this species, especially as it pertains to those migrating to and through this area.  While routinely a late migrator (September to November), the peak scaup migration usually occurs in mid- to late November.  This rather late migration, combined with a local red tide outbreak, may have been too much for the birds.  If there are any other factors involved, FWC will find out and notify us.  The results of those tests will be invaluable to us in treating the current birds as well as future patients.

PRWC wants to commend the local community members who went out of their way to help us with numerous rescues.  We are also grateful to those who donated toward care of these critically ill birds, which is quite labor-intensive and demands the use of a lot of expensive supplies.  Whether you concur with famed elder statesperson Clinton about the necessity of collaboration for childhood upbringing, it does indeed take a village to conserve wildlife, and we are grateful for the support of our village-community.

 

 

Fishing Southwest Florida with “Fishin’ Frank”

  • Common Answers and Fishing Solutions, Eye to Eye
  • Rods, Reels, Lines, Baits, Hooks and Rigs – Learn for Free
  • Where to Fish, Where to Park, What to Use, When to Go – Can it Get Any Better?!
  • Black Bass, Grouper, Snook, Crappie, Redfish, the list is LONG
  • Saltwater and Freshwater Goodness Tales of Help for Every Angler

By Forrest Fisher

Pier fishing in Charlotte Harbor Park is much easier and much more productive with advice from Fishin’ Frank. Forrest Fisher Photo

While visiting a bait shop in Port Charlotte (Florida), I met a young-minded, white bearded, guy that the locals call “Fishin’ Frank.”  He was talking to a gentleman angler and his friend in the store about tackle to use in saltwater.  The guy was a fisherman from Minnesota.  With a half grin, he said, “Frankly, have you ever heard of catching giant gag grouper on plastic-tail black bass baits?  How about goliath grouper on a Carolina rig? Or giant snook on a freshwater Storm Twitch stick bait? Redfish on Zoom plastic worms…with a bobber?” The room went silent. “Nope,” the guy answered.  “Let’s talk simple,” Frank added.

Making common sense of non-sense is something that this witty expert angler guy in southwest Florida does every day to help others understand how to catch fish in saltwater.

Jeff Liebler loves to catch tasty saltwater sheepshead and this is one species anglers can catch from shore and off common fishing piers all along the gulf in January and February.  Forrest Fisher Photo

In a few short seconds, I discovered Fishin’ Frank knew more about catching fish than most people who spend all their recreational time fishing might know.

At his bait shop called “Fishin’ Franks” (http://www.fishinfranks.com/) you’ll encounter the best part of your future fishing day: Frank makes it his mission, for the moments with you, to share his knowledge when he senses what you need to know. You need to ask what it is you want to know first, after that just LISTEN (listen good).

Why does he do this? He’s a common sense guy that understands nature, forage, predator fish, the moon, the tides, his budget, your budget, his time, your time and, after a few minutes, your needs.  Simply said, Frank likes to help people.

Catch fish or not, it’s fun to talk to this guy.  Frank is friendly, accurate, an eternal optimist, and he’s there to come back to…if you catch ‘em or not – to answer more questions from you.

We all like people like this, but beyond that, Fishin’ Frank goes the extra mile to pursue the answers and solutions for you when he asks, “Did I answer your question?  Do you have any more questions? Do you wanna know where to go fish while you’re here? From shore or boat?” Yep, hard to find this anywhere else in the country and world, I have fished those places and can confirm there is no other around exactly like Fishin’ Frank…who shares for free.

If you are a fisherman that loves to fish and catch fish, Fishin’ Frank’s Bait and Tackle Shop on Highway 41 (4425 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, Fl., 33980; 941-625-3888) is your “one-stop/must-go” place to visit.  After that, if you’re lucky and there is an open slot, sign up for his free fishing seminars held on the second Tuesday and Wednesday of the month.

Giant crappie are among freshwater fish that abound in the freshwater canals of Port Charlotte. Simple jigs, small blade baits and live minnows are top baits.  Forrest Fisher Photo

The seminars run from 7PM – 8PM at Luigi’s Restaurant in Port Charlotte, most folks start getting there around 5:30PM, they want a good seat. While there, you can eat, drink and be merry, while asking questions to quiet your quest for more information and savvy know-how and what-to-do stuff from Frank and the charter captain experts that talk with him.  Best of all, everyone else there is a fisherman too, you’ll meet others that fish and know the area. Very cool if you are a visitor or resident.

In Frank’s little bait shop (not that little), the only thing you’ll find are hundreds of lures, hooks, floats, plastics, rods, reels and lines and fishing stuff that works in this fishing area for freshwater and saltwater fishing.  And, at prices that can match on-line sales. How can Fishin Frank do this?  The simple answer: sheer volume.  He sells everything he carries right off the wall as soon as it gets there. Franks says, “I order lures by the thousands and still can’t keep up with the hot colors. For some lures like the Storm Twitch, I order 1200 at a time and they are gone very quickly.” If you and I visit there, we’ll find answers and solutions to our fish-catching problems at little cost to us. Quite amazing.

This past week at Frank’s seminar, Charter Cayle Wills of Bad Fish Charters (http://www.reelbadfish.com/home.htm), originally from Warren, Pennsylvania, where he cut his teeth on tiny trout streams, was one of two guest speakers.  Captain Karl Butigian, Back Country Charter (https://www.kbbackcountrychartersfishing.com/), local native from Port Charlotte, also joined Fishing Frank to free the confusion about fishing the waters Port Charlotte, Florida. These guys offer charter fishing from their boats, or they will go with you in your boat for half price. Hard to match that offer.

The discussion this week was about using your freshwater lures to catch saltwater fish. Was it interesting? Indeed, it was eye-opening in a world of when it seems common sense is uncommon to find.

This column will begin a multi-part series about using those lures, the how, the where, and the what, from the information shared by this dynamic three-some of fishing experts.  Look for Fishin Frank’s – Part 1 next week.  To jump start you, need to know where to start fishing from shore? Frank has that for you! Look here: http://www.fishinfranks.com/where_to.htm#wade. You’ll find maps and more. Step by step.  Just don’t forget to go back to the store and thank this gentleman giant of the Florida fishing world.

When you’re ready to catch some BIG saltwater fish to satisfy the open space in your freezer, hire a charter captain that knows his business and is not out there to just take your money. Two of these “good guys” are listed in this story. Forrest Fisher Photo

Captain Karl conducts hands-on seminars at many locations when he is not fishing.  Captain Cayle writes for Waterline magazine, a local fishing publication, and is also staff at Fishin’ Frank’s store. Look to meet both of these angler gentlemen at the Charlotte County Boat Show Jan.11 – 14th, March 8 – 11 at the Punta Gorda Boat Show, and at the March 24, 2018, Fishin Franks Tent Sale, where about 3,000 anglers meet with manufacturers at the store and adjacent area to make incredible over-the-counter deals on fishing gear.  It’s free to attend.

Wildlife is everywhere when you fish Florida. Enjoy every moment. Forrest Fisher Photo

Tight lines everyone!

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Jan. 10, 2018

  • Lower Niagara River Fishing is BACK ON
  • Ice Fishing in Wilson and Olcott Harbors is HOT
  • Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Show is ON, Jan. 19- 21
Cameron Huntley with a nice winter steelhead from the Lower Niagara River January shoreline.

A January thaw is already underway in Western NY and it could spell good news all the way around for anglers.  For starters, the lower Niagara River is back in business for boaters and shoreline casters. T he gorge area has been producing lake trout, steelhead and walleye for casters using jigs in green and white.  Lake trout to 13 pounds and steelhead to 12 have been reported.  Wear ice creepers when walking the shoreline.  Boaters started catching fish on Monday and today was pretty good for many of the captains plying the waters in search of trout and walleye.  Kwikfish and MagLip lures fished off three-way rigs have been the most effective.  Beads and egg sacs will catch fish, too.  Be careful of any chunk ice floating down.  Fish can be found from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar.

Shawn West of Lockport, NY,  landed this 18-pound brown trout beast on simple “bead bait “this week.

The streams are slowly starting to open back up again and while the openings are limited, you can do well.  Shawn West of Lockport caught his personal best brown trout this week, an 18 pound bomber that hit a bead.  Jigs will also work, tipped with wax worms and fished under a float.

Using a live chub fished a tip-up, Jamie McClelland of Newfane, NY, landed this monster 44-inch northern pike in Wilson Harbor this week.

There is still good ice in Wilson and Olcott.  Biggest fish was a 44-inch Northern pike hauled in by Jarame McClelland of Newfane, his biggest pike ever out of Wilson.  It hit a pike chub off his tip-up. Keep your fingers crossed we don’t lose too much ice.  Olcott is producing some nice trout through the ice on Voodoo jigs for Roy Letcher. 

The fifth annual Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo is just around the corner, set for Jan. 19th through the 21st at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls.  We’ve been talking about this for a month – and with good reason.  If you want to learn anything about fishing, this is the show for you.  As far as education is concerned, it’s one of the best on the Great Lakes.  With over 70 speakers and over 120 different seminars, you can’t go wrong finding something that you are interested in.  Salmon, trout, bass, walleye, perch, musky, electronics, rigging a boat, getting started with fishing, check out the website at www.niagarafishingexpo.com for a complete rundown of seminars.  The speakers are top notch, too. Bassmaster elite pros Shaw Grigsby and Mark Menendez, salmon fishing greats Jake Romanack and Dan Keating, walleye pros Mark Romanack and Lance Valentine – the list is a long one. Go to www.niagarafishingexpo.com.

Veteran shore angler, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls, NY, hooked up this beautiful 13-pound lake trout this week.

The Niagara River Anglers Association will hold its annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest on Saturday, February 3 from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. out of Lewiston Landing (at the launch ramp).  Eligible waters are all waters of Lake Ontario and the tributaries, as well as the Lower Niagara River; awards and dinner to follow at the Lewiston #1 Fire Hall on 6th Street, Lewiston.  Sign-ups will be taken at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston, The Slippery Sinker in Olcott or at the dock on that Saturday morning.  For more information call Paul at 998-8910.

Bill Hilts, Jr.- Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd.,Niagara Falls, NY 14303

 

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Dec. 28, 2017 – Destination Niagara USA

 

Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga, New York, with a nice upper Niagara River walleye during Christmas week!

Record-breaking cold and adverse weather conditions have put a damper on fishing action in Western New York.

The lower Niagara River was too stained to fish on Tuesday, but there is hope for the weekend if not before.  However, the extreme cold may keep people from being on the water or casting from shorelines along the Niagara River.  Just before this most recent cold snap, some walleye were hitting jigs, both above and below Niagara Falls.

Perch were hitting in some of the marinas in the upper river and trout were cooperating below the falls from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar.  From the boats, lots of charters captains are running, call first, w/MagLips and Kwikfish lures working off three-way rigs.  Egg sacs also produced some steelhead, browns and a mixed bag of other fish species.

In the tributaries of Lake Ontario, the only hope was 18 Mile Creek at Burt Dam, but water flow has been slow. By the time you read this, there will probably be ice below the trestle at Fisherman’s Park.

While fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters, Randy from Tonawanda, New York, hit some steelhead in the lower Niagara River. MagLips was the hot lure.

The only other good news could be for hard water anglers in Niagara County.  Wilson and Olcott harbors could have some safe ice by the weekend, but make sure there is at least 4 inches of ice.  Follow all of the usual hardwater safety protocols.

The New Year is here on Monday, which means that lake trout season will be underway in the lower Niagara River.  The walleye limit in those same lower river waters will be one per person and the new license year in the Province of Ontario waters will be in effect.  From a competitive fishing standpoint, the New York State Winter Classic Fishing Tournament will be going on (starting Jan. 1st) for the next two months until February 28th.  Check out www.nyswinterclassic.com for details.

At the same time, Capt. Bob’s Outdoors in Clarence has a derby going on Jan. 2 through March 15.  You will need to stop down to the Main Street store to register.

In three weeks the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo will be held at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls January 19th to the 21st. The three-day event is a must-attend if you want to learn more about fish and fishing. With 70-some speakers and over 120 different seminars to choose from, the education during this event is second to none on the Great Lakes. Bass fans will be clamoring over the likes of Bass Elite pros Shaw Grigsby and Mark Menendez. Walleye chasers will be able to learn from Mark Romanack, Lance Valentine, Sam Cappelli, Joe Fonzi and Don Ruppert. For salmon there’s Dan Keating, Mark McClutchey, Greg Amiel, Matt Yablonsky and Rick Hajecki. In the trout arena, there’s Frank Campbell, Danny Colville, and Drew Nisbet . And the sold-out show floor has 150 top quality exhibitors, too. Check out www.niagarafishingexpo.com for all of the details.

Happy New Year!

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

 
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

 

 

Orleans County/Lake Ontario Fishing Report – Dec. 26, 2017

  • Winter is Here, Temps in Single Digits, use CAUTION
  • Look for Browns, Steelies in Deep Pools
  • Erie Canal Repairs and Dewatering Complete

The Today is Tuesday December 26, 2017.

The winter season is now in full swing with us having a very white Christmas.  Temperatures will dip into the teens during the day and single digits at night.

The Erie Canal crews have completed their work and also the dewatering process, which gave some of our tributaries an extra boost of water for the tributary season.

Both brown trout and rainbow/steelhead trout are heading toward the deeper pools and areas of open waters.

Although fishing pressure is on the light side, there are still plenty of good fishing opportunities available.

Please remember that icing conditions can deteriorate very quickly this time of year, so be mindful of your surrounding conditions.

The New Year will also bring a new season for outdoor sport shows and a very busy season is in the works with six shows in the plan for 2018.

The end of this year will also bring the end of my time as Sportfishing Coordinator of Orleans County.

It has been my extreme pleasure to serve in this position for the last 12 years, but it has also become time to move on and enjoy retirement with all of the new opportunities that it has to offer.

I only hope that each and every one of you will continue with all of the great fishing opportunities that Lake Ontario and its tributaries within Orleans County have to offer.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

 

 

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Dec. 21, 2017 – Destination Niagara USA

Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga won the brown trout division of the Capt. Bob’s Outdoors fall derby with a 30-inch Johnson Creek fish.

While weather forecasters are calling for a white Christmas followed by a blast of Arctic air from the North Country, anglers right now have been limited in where they can get a line wet.  High winds, rain and snow melt contributed to muddy conditions in the Niagara River both above and below Niagara Falls.

Shore fishermen should be the first to be able to target trout in the lower river from the Whirlpool to Artpark.  Jigs, egg sacs or egg imitations like trout beads fished under a float are good options for drifters.  Casters can use spoons, spinners or jigs to hook up with a steelhead or brown trout.  Lake trout are still around, too.  Remember that laker season opens on January 1.  January 1 is also the start of a special walleye regulation. The daily limit drops from three to one until March 15 to help protect spawning females.

Patrick Vinh Truong of Buffalo caught this nice steelhead from the Artpark area of the Niagara Gorge on an egg sac.

In the upper river you can try to target trout with egg sacs just above the upper rapids before the white water. Some perch can be found in some of the marinas where water clarity is a bit better. Find some emerald shiners for best success.

Lake Ontario tributaries have been low and slow in Niagara Falls USA.  At Eighteen Mile Creek at Burt Dam, the water flow was limited and more clear than stained.  In those situations with clear water, downsize your presentation with lighter line, smaller hooks and smaller baits.  Steelhead and brown trout are available, but they have been limited in numbers.  In Wilson, the harbor ice that had started to form was busted up from the weather conditions. With temperatures soaring into the mid-40s on Saturday with rain, we are probably back to square one.

Here are a few last minute gift items for Christmas to consider: A Lake Ontario Counties derbies Season Pass at www.loc.org.  You can save $20 by purchasing one before Dec. 31 – a great stocking stuffer.  You can also buy tickets for the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo Jan. 19-21 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. Admission tickets and special clinic tickets are available.  However, the popular LOTSA Salmon School is already sold out – the earliest ever!  Check out www.niagarafishingexpo.com. Here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Bill Hilts, Jr.

Outdoor Promotions Director
Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303

Orleans County/Lake Ontario Fishing Report – Dec. 19, 2017

  • Salmon Still Can be Found at Waterport Dam
  • Trib Fishing is Good
  • Winter Fishing, Be safe, Watch for Shore Ice

The Erie Canal is in the process of being dewatered again, which is providing good water flows in many of the tributaries within Orleans County.

On the “Oak” there are still some salmon available for the right offering, mainly at the dam.

Brown trout and steelhead/rainbow trout are on the move with the good water flow.

The warmer temperatures of the past day or two have helped clear some of the snow and shore ice, providing more safe access and some extra water flow.

Temperatures will continue their roller coaster ride through this coming weekend, but then return to more seasonal levels as winter will finally be upon us.

This is the time of year that taking a few extra minutes to review safety precautions and paying more attention to your surrounding conditions, this is of the utmost importance.  Conditions can change quickly this time of year.

This is the last fishing report before Christmas, so let me take this opportunity to wish each and everyone of you the happiest and safest of holidays, and a bright new year in 2018.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

  Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Dec. 14, 2017 – Destination Niagara USA

  • Coho Salmon Making NEWS in Lake Ontario Trib’s RIGHT NOW
  • Big Brown Trout are Numerous this Season
  • Cold Weather Slowing Down Shore and Boat Access this Week
Buffy Frank Brown at Burt Dam, 18-Mile Creek, below the trestle, just a few miles above Olcott Harbor, New York.

Back-to-back storms in Western New York had an impact on some of the fishing opportunities last week and weather continues to influence where and when you can fish. As this report is being written, it is 15 degrees out with a wind chill in the single digits. It is cold! The high winds last week led to terrible conditions in the Niagara River.

As of mid-week, though, shore casters were using egg sacs to take some nice steelhead in the gorge area with three feet of visibility.  Other baits worthy of consideration are spinners, trout beads and even wobble baits like Kwikfish or MagLips.

Boaters should be able to get out this weekend if the weather cooperates. Egg sacs, those same wobbling baits and beads will all work from a three-way rig as you drift from Devil’s Hole down to the Niagara Bar – not one big drift but a series of smaller drifts.  Before the water muddied up, they were doing pretty good on brown trout around the Coast Guard drift and out on the Niagara Bar.  Lake trout season is open on the Canadian side of the river.  It opens in New York on Jan. 1, 2018. Musky season in the lower river and Lake Ontario closes Dec. 15 so essentially that is over for the year until the season reopens the third Saturday in June.

Mike Rzucidlo with a 12-11 steelhead in the Lower Niagara River.

In the Lake Ontario tributaries, a late run of Coho salmon have been surprising anglers with black marabou jigs tipped with a wax worm working well.  Egg sacs or egg imitations have been working on steelhead and browns in places like 18 Mile Creek at Burt Dam, as well as some of the streams to the east.  At Burt, the flow has been low and slow with stained conditions. It’s more of a waiting game, but you can do well if you put your time in.  Jigs fished under a float is being more of a staple.

If you want to learn more about fishing, join a local club like the Niagara River Anglers Assn. or the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn.  It would make a great stocking stuffer, too.  The Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby has a Christmas special going on – $20 off a season’s pass.

The Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo has a weekend pass for $20 at www.niagarafishingexpo.com. There are also pay-to-play clinics and special schools like the LOTSA Salmon School set for Jan. 20 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls.  Sign up at www.lotsa1.org.

This is also a good time to pick up a book or two like the Ultimate Guide to Kayak Fishing by Joel Spring, a local author.  Other authors to consider include Rick Kustich, J. Michael Kelly, Spider Rybaak and Jim Lorentz – all fishing books that offer some great insight into fish and fishing.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
f: 716-285-0809
www.niagarafallsusa.com

 

Orleans County, NY – Fishing Report for Dec. 12, 2017

Today is Tuesday December 12, 2017.
  Well the crews must have finished their work on the Erie Canal and the canal has been refilled to check the repairs.  Once everything passes inspection the system should be dewatered again for the winter.  For the tributaries within Orleans County this means added water flow until possibly the end of December this year.
  Fish are spread throughout the tributary system and decent numbers of both brown trout and steelhead/rainbow trout are being reported.  Right now, water levels are good to very good with 2 feet or better visibility.
  On the lower stretches of the “Oak,” perch fishing has been fairly consistent.  Interestingly, perch caught at Point Breeze have Gobies in them and perch caught farther upstream had items (forage) in them colored orange.
  Finally, with winter starting on December 22nd, this means that the white stuff that is on the ground now is just leaves that have turned from red to orange to yellow to brown and finally to white

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE OUTDOORS

  • Make Your Own Jerky, Easy and Tasty
  • Oh Say, Can You See Below the Water?
  • Chow Line…Call the Fish to Feed!
  • Send the Flying Bug Critters AWAY!
  • Fishing Games for the Young…and the Elder Kids Too
  • Keep Warm in Chilly Weather, Clothes to Last Forever

By Larry Whiteley

I work with many outdoor companies throughout the year to test their products in the field and on the water. Here are some of those companies I have worked with, and will be working with again in 2018, that I am proud to recommend their products for Christmas gifts or a gift you give yourself.

Hi Mountain Seasonings

With Hi Mountain’s jerky seasonings and kits, I have made many different flavors of delicious, easy-to-make venison, fish and turkey jerky, as well as snack sticks. My grandson’s roommates at college and people at my church, will attest to how good they are.  In 2018, I will be doing more on their other great products to help you discover all the ways you can better prepare your fish and game.  I’m getting hungry just writing about it.  Their products are available at your local grocery, outdoor store, or go to www.himtnjerky.com.

Costa Sunglasses

Costa sunglasses are by far the best eye shades I have ever owned and I look really good in them, although some might argue that point.  I use their Tuna Alley for driving and fishing, and their Fantail for hunting.  You can check out their great selection of sunglasses at www.costadelmar.com, plus find out all the many ways Costa is involved in doing things to protect our environment.  One of those is using bio-based resins in their sunglasses, instead of plastics as part of their “Kick Plastic” initiative to protect our planets waters from all the plastic products that pollute them.

HydroWave

95% of professional bass anglers use the HydroWave system because it takes catching bass to the next level.  When it is turned on, it sends out vibrations to a fish’s lateral line, that causes them to feel there are smaller fish around and other fish are feeding on them. Their natural competitive instinct drives them to want to feed as well.  It is something that you have to see to believe. They also have units for crappie, walleye, catfish etc.  My grandson, Hunter, uses it fishing for the Kansas State University Bass Fishing Team and he says, “This is a game changer for every angler.”  He has qualified for the college national championship in 2018 and he believes HydroWave can help him win it.  Learn about how to use it from Kevin VanDam at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Qc1hy88VD8.  Check it out for yourself at www.thmarine.com.

ThermaCELL

I hate mosquitoes and mosquitoes hate ThermaCell products.  Their portable repeller units, lanterns, and torches are all powered by a tiny butane cartridge. Heat is generated and a small mat saturated with a natural repellent is inserted on top of the metal grill the heat disperses the repellent from the mat into the air, creating a 15 ft. x 15 ft. zone of protection around you.  Mosquitoes and other flying critters don’t want anything to do with it.  It is so much better, and healthier, and easier to use, than those messy sprays and lotions.  Learn more about how and why they work by going to www.thermacell.com.  I hate ticks too, and if you have them in your yard and on your dogs you might also want to check out their easy to use Tick Control Tubes.  I love ThermaCELL!!!

Rapala Pro Series Video Game

I received an e-mail from Bob Ringer on behalf of Rapala back in October wanting to know if I would like to test Rapala’s new Xbox One/PS4 fishing video game.  I suggested sending it to my 20-year old grandson, who also writes and does social media for us, so he and his college roommates could give it a real test.

After a few weeks of trying the game here are some of their comments: “This is the best fishing game that I have played. It’s a good way to beat the winter blues when the boat has been winterized and it’s too cold to get out.  The selection of lures and different kinds of fish you can catch is awesome.  This is better than any fishing video game out there.”

Not much more I can say except, it’s a lot less expensive than most video games. Do an internet search to watch samples and teasers of the game, see You-Tube reviews and find places to buy it.  Amazon carries it and has offers for free delivery.

Filson

The year was 1897, the place was Seattle, Washington.  C.C. Filson Co. started making quality, durable, clothing for local miners, prospectors, lumbermen, hunters and anglers.  Filson’s philosophy has never changed in over 120 years: “Make sure it’s the absolute best.”

My Filson work shirt shown underneath the Christmas tree is the most durable, best quality shirt I have ever owned. I wear it for everything from cutting firewood in the fall to layering underneath a jacket in the cold of winter.  It’s even my favorite shirt to wear to church on Sunday’s.  Two other things I like about Filson products are – they are made in the U.S.A. and they help support outdoor organizations with the mission of sustaining and promoting outdoor recreation. Take my word for it and go to www.filson.com if you want the very best.

I will be doing testing on a lot more products in 2018 and writing about them. Frogg Toggs rain suits and waders will be one of them.  Go to www.froggtoggs.com and check them out.  While you’re there you can save up to 35% on your order, but be sure you do it by December 15th.

Have a Merry Christmas and don’t forget the reason for the season!

 

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Dec. 7, 2017 – from Destination Niagara USA

Drew Nisbet with a Lower Niagara River steelhead from shore.

A good old-fashioned snow storm hit Western New York this week. In fact, it’s still going on south of Buffalo.  So far, it hasn’t touched Niagara Falls USA with snow, but it did impact water conditions in the Niagara River.  Rain and high winds hit first, creating a muddy mess in the Niagara River that was quite severe.  Just prior to the change though, the Niagara River was on fire with a focus on steelhead but offering anglers a mixed bag of fish all the way around – from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar.

Tributary brown trout are in!

Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charter Service was using MagLip plugs in 3.0 size to take steelhead, brown trout, lake trout, Atlantic salmon, walleye and Coho salmon just prior to the storm.  The plugs were fished off three-way rigs.  Along Artpark and in Devil’s Hole, boat drifters were also using egg sacs and beads to take trout.  Shore fishermen have been picking up trout, too, but it had slowed a bit.  With the storm still going on, we don’t know if anyone will be able to fish by the weekend.   We may see some of the white stuff by then, too. Water temperatures were still in the low 40’s.

In the John Henning Memorial Musky Tournament, Frank Alcorn of Pennsylvania won the Niagara Musky event last Sunday with a fat 47-inch muskellunge trolling with a Legend perch bait.  Also just prior to the storm, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls used egg sacs and spinners to take some small trout in the smooth water before the upper rapids area just before the water plummets over the falls.  Remember that lake trout season is closed in the lower river and bass season is now catch and release only all around the state (except Lake Erie).

Bob Rustowicz with a beautiful coho salmon from a local tributary stream in Niagara County.

In the tributaries off Lake Ontario, water continues to be stained but fishable.  Some nice steelhead and browns have been caught on egg sacs or egg imitations, jigs tipped with wax worms and fished under a float, beads fished under a float and a variety of flies and streamers.

Burt Dam and Fisherman’s Park has fish in it and is probably the most consistent producer.

With this being the end of the year, there are a few Christmas parties going on you should be aware of.  The Niagara River Anglers Association will be holding it’s Christmas meeting on Monday, Dec. 11 at the Sanborn Farm Museum on Route 31 starting at 6:30 p.m. and the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. has their Christmas meeting Dec. 14 at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Lockport starting at 7 p.m. with the Niagara County Fisheries Board.  Also, the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs will have its year-end holiday gathering at the Hartland Conservationists Club located on Orangeport Road in Gasport starting at 7 p.m.

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Outdoor Promotions Director
 
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Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
f: 716-285-0809

NY Deer Hunting Season is LONG, Cost is CHEAP – Still TOO MANY DEER

  • Imagine 79 days of Legal Big Game Hunting
  • Imagine 79 days of Hunting for $52 Cost
  • Imagine 7 Deer Harvest Bag Limit
  • All True, yet there are STILL TOO MANY DEER
  • New York NEEDS MORE HUNTERS!

By Forrest Fisher

Car collision rates say New York has too many deer, but hunters have trouble finding them. There is a cure. Joe Forma Photo

Remember those days in school when the teacher said, “Time up, pens down!”

New York deer hunters take note, time is almost up. The close of the New York southern zone firearm season (shotgun, rifle, handgun) for deer and bear hunting is just ahead, ending this Sunday, Dec. 10, at sunset. The next morning at sunrise, the extended combination late big game season opens for an additional nine days, to include crossbow, late archery and muzzleloader (black powder) season, ending on Tuesday, Dec. 19, at sunset.

When you consider that the big game season in New York’s southern zone (area south and west of the Adirondacks) actually started on the first Saturday of October, then ran for 6-1/2 weeks through the start of firearm season that began on Nov. 18 for three weeks and two days, and now the late season for nine days. That adds up to a little more than 11 weeks of big game hunting season for deer and bear. Wow, that’s 79 days of big game hunting!

The annual cost for the regular resident season firearms hunting privilege (license) in New York is $22 (includes big game and small game), the resident archery privilege is an additional $15 and the muzzleloader/crossbow privilege is also an additional $15. Total cost for all possible combinations during the big game season is a mere $52 for those 16 years of age and over (through 69 years old), or about 65 cents a day.  AND, if you purchase the archery and muzzleloader license, you are provided with a free (no additional fee) either-sex deer permit and a free antlerless deer permit.  So for $52, you can harvest 2 bucks and 1 doe over those 79 days of New York big game hunting seasons.  The regular season license will allow the hunter to bag one antlered deer (a buck).

For just $10 more, the hunter can purchase an application to enter a random drawing for two deer management permits allowing the harvest of one antlerless deer (doe) per permit in a designated wildlife management unit (WMU) of the hunter’s choice – if the management unit doe harvest is deemed available by the DEC and you are among the lucky hunters to win in the random drawing to help control deer overpopulation. Hence, while it is common knowledge that scientific deer management is based upon controlling the population of female deer, in New York, hunters have to pay for the privilege of helping to administer the science.  

New York is so interesting.

In addition, if you happen to hunt in a wildlife management unit where there are too many deer, additional doe permits can be purchased for, you guessed it, $10 for two.  For example, in WMU-9F, that is Elma, northern East Aurora and related adjacent areas, a hunter could obtain two more permits. If you have a lifetime license, those permits are free.

New York is so interesting.

If you add all that up, that’s seven possible deer for the freezer or the food pantry. Over 79 days of hunting, that is an average of about one deer every 10 days if you’re really good at this hunting thing, but if you are like me and many other hunters at this point of the season, you might still be looking for your first deer for the year. Hmmm, so what’s up with that?

Well, in a state with about 590,000 big game hunters, the annual harvest is 230,000 deer or so (buck and doe). While the numbers say that only about one in every three hunters will even harvest a deer, the DEC seems to be doing their part in providing hunters with access (long season), affordability (low cost) and opportunity (many state forests and access areas open to hunting).  Kudo’s to New York for this. 

Not without purpose, New York wildlife management groups appear to be working with safety management and insurance groups that report about 70,000 deer-vehicle collisions annually in the Empire State, with an average cost of about $4,000 per incident.  Across the country, 238 people were killed in 2015 when their vehicle struck an animal or when they tried to avoid striking an animal.

Add that deer also are also responsible for transportation of deer ticks that carry Lyme disease, it would seem New York needs even more harvest by hunters to control the malady of too many deer. So why is New York charging hunters $10 to purchase a deer management permit application?

New York is so interesting.

Because this is New York, the land of nothing is free. Your guess is as good as mine.

It would seem that with these data, the doe permits should be cheaper than free for every hunter. I like that hunting for deer is affordable in New York when compared to other states, but understanding the issues present (collisions, Lyme disease, property damage), New York needs to do more to raise the number of hunters out there and reduce the numbers of deer.  

How about if NY were to pay every hunter $25 for every deer harvest? Yes! Could such a simple incentive help the deer management group and would it also achieve the goal of accurate hunter harvest reporting?

How about if NY were to plant food plots in state forest areas?  We would see far less deer, safer highways, etc., etc.

New York is so interesting.

C’mon NY.

That’s my 2 cents.

 

In Orleans County, NY- Winter is Headed Our Way!

Today is Tuesday December 5, 2017.

Well it looks like the vacation from warm weather may be over with rain and snow in the forecast over the next week or two.  With the on and off rain today, tributary levels and clarity of the tributaries within Orleans County should remain at slightly high to high levels and visibility should stay at around 2 feet.

Decent catches of both brown trout and steelhead/rainbow trout are being reported along with an occasional late run salmon thrown into the mix.

Fly patterns remain with Stone Flies in black, brown or green, Wooly buggers, Egg-sucking Leeches and Egg Pattern flies.

Live baits being mentioned are wax worms, spikes and good old nightcrawlers.

Things seem to be quiet on the lower stretches of the “Oak,” but on Lake Alice catches of most of the species are being reported.

The Erie Canal is still partially watered while crews work on some areas that could be a problem if not attended to.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Nov. 30, 2017 – Brought to you by Destination Niagara USA

At the time of this report, it was starting to rain.

Using a home-made spinner, Mike Rzucidlo landed this beautiful 15-pound rainbow trout from Devils Hole, just upstream of the NY Power Authority Fishing Platform.

After a very windy day yesterday, the wind and/or rain combo could negatively affect water clarity in places like the Niagara River or some of the smaller streams off Lake Ontario. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish.

The lower Niagara River was stained yesterday, but a few captains decided to give it a go since their customers were already in town.  Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane managed to hit double digit trout – half steelhead and half lake trout – using egg sacs off three-way rigs.  Use bright colored baits when the water is stained.  MagLips and Kwikfish in silver and chartreuse will also work when drifting from a boat. When the water is stained, though, there is no guarantee you can catch fish from a boat.

Shore fishermen can actually do a little better than the boaters in that some cleaner water can sometimes be found closer to the shoreline. Egg sacs or egg imitations work well, as do spoons and spinners. You need something to get the attention of the fish.

There are still a few King Salmon remaining in the Lower Niagara River, as Mike Rzucidlo landed this one from the NYPA Fishing Platform, open to the public for fishing access (FREE).

Today is the final day of the musky season in most of the state.  However, the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario are both open until Dec. 15.  To take advantage of the extra couple of weeks of action, the Niagara Musky Association will be holding the John Henning Memorial Lower River Musky Tournament on Dec. 3 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.  We’ll have to see if Mother Nature – and the fish – cooperate for the anglers. 

Dec. 1 is the opening of lake trout season in the lower river and Lake Ontario for the Province of Ontario.  New York’s laker season opens on Jan. 1, 2018. If you do catch a lake trout, be sure to release it quickly and unharmed.

The NYPA Fishing Platform, as well as the other NYPA fishing access points like the reservoir and water intakes, will be closing down for the season after Dec. 3. They will not re-open until the spring. Speaking of the platform, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught a 16 pound salmon on 8 pound test line earlier this week and it took him and hour and 20 minutes to reel in!

Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek has been muddy and flow has been slow with around 80 to 100 cfs coming through Burt dam. Some fresh kings and cohos are still being reported, but the run is essentially over.  Those are being replaced by steelhead and browns but not in huge numbers according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker.

Some big perch have been coming out of Wilson and Olcott harbors, as well as from the creeks in those locations. The piers have been productive when you can stand on them.

The Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derbies are offering a Christmas deal right now.  Check out www.loc.org and make sure you mark Jan. 19-21, 2018 on your calendar for the 5th Annual Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. It’s going to be a good one.  Check out www.niagarafishingexpo.com. 

If you want to find out what else is happening around the Western New York area, be sure to check out www.buffalonews.com/section/sports/outdoors/ and follow the outdoor section every Wednesday or Thursday. 

Another good stocking stuffer is the NYS Winter Classic, set for Jan. 1 to Feb. 28. Sign up at www.nyswinterclassic.com. 

Bill Hilts, Jr.; Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd.,

Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
f: 716-285-0809
www.niagarafallsusa.com

Orleans County/Lake Ontario Fishing Report – Nov. 28, 2017

  • Trout/Salmon Trib Fishing is GOOD
  • Mile Weather this Week
  • Erie Canal Continues to Supply Trib Water Flow

Mild and pleasant weather conditions continue for our area well into the next week or so with just a slight chance of rain.  Fishing conditions on all of the tributaries within Orleans County are very good to great with good numbers of fish spread throughout all of the systems.

There are still some fresh salmon entering our waters which is a bit unusual for this time of year.

Water levels remain just slightly high with about 2 feet of visibility on most of the tributaries.

The Erie Canal is only partially dewatered while crews continue to work on the system.

When they have completed their work the canal should be filled again to check their work and then the final dewatering will be done. What this means for our tributaries is extra water well into December this year.

I haven’t had any reports on the lower section of the “Oak” or on Lake Alice,  but December 1st is right around the corner which means the close of bass season for keeping them and the opening of catch and release season.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report & Forecast for Nov. 22, 2017 – Destination Niagara USA

  • New York Power Authority fishing platform FISHING IS STILL HOT
  • Jigs, ¼ ounce, Working to Fool Walleye and Brown Trout
  • Trib’s have Fish TOO

The water in the Niagara River is still in bad shape according to many of the local charter captains looking to target musky in the upper river or trout in the lower river. It could be fishable by the weekend.

Shore fishermen have a bit of an advantage over the boaters when the water turns muddy. Find some clean water and you should catch fish. One spot that is still available is the New York Power Authority fishing platform. The announcement just came through today that (weather permitting) the final day for fishing will be Dec. 3. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been casting his homemade ¼ ounce jigs to take some more walleye and even a nice brown trout the past week off the platform.

Downriver along Artpark, chartreuse trout beads and egg sacs fished under a float was the ticket for trout. While the water was off color a bit earlier in the week, the scent emitted by the sac helped the trout to locate the bait. Spoons and spinners still work as well.

Remember that lake trout season is closed in New York until the end of the year but the season opens Dec. 1 in the Province of Ontario waters. If you do catch a lake trout incidentally, release it quickly and unharmed. If you take a photo, make sure it’s a quick one.

In the Lake Ontario tributaries, there have been good numbers of fish and not too many fishermen at Burt Dam and the Fisherman’s Park area of 18 Mile Creek. The final day of charging (fees) at the park will be today. Good numbers of fresh Coho salmon are still working their way up to the dam with eggs, egg imitations (like trout beads), and jigs tipped with wax worms all working under a float. Live bait could catch some fish, too. Move around to find the active fish.

Four mile and 12 Mile were both high and muddy on Tuesday. No report out of Keg Creek but that had fish last week.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
f: 716-285-0809
www.niagarafallsusa.com

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Fishing Report, Orleans County, NY – Lale Ontario, Inland Waters

Today is Tuesday November 21, 2017.

Milder weather seems to be the rule over the next week or two with only a slight chance of snow in the forecast.

Although this is a great forecast for tributary fishermen, I’m sure that the hunters would prefer to have at least some snow to help with tracking their game.

All of the tributaries within Orleans County are offering very fishable conditions for brown trout, steelhead/rainbow trout and even some fresh salmon yet.  On the lower stretches of the “Oak”, Perch fishing has slowed a bit, Northern pike are spotty and bass are still fairly active.

Speaking of bass, the season ends November 30th so as of December 1st it’s catch and release until the 3rd Saturday of June next year.

On Lake Alice fishing for all of the species has slowed slightly.

The Erie Canal has been partially de-watered but from what I have been told, will be refilled to check on some work that is being done.
This means that when they do the final dewatering for the year, it will provide water for our tributaries well into December this year.\

I hope that you all have a happy and safe Thanksgiving this year.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County, let’s make everyday a great fishing day right here in Orleans County, New York.

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 from Destination Niagara USA

  • Devil’s Hole Stairs to Gorge – Repaired and Reopened!
  • Big Musky on a Good Bite All Week
  • Walleye, Steelhead and Lake Trout fishing good from Shore and Boat
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls is still doing well off the New York Power Authority fishing platform, catching walleye, trout and occasional Coho salmon, all on homemade jigs.

There’s another storm blowing in this weekend, but Niagara County could luck out on some of the rain and white stuff, should it arrive. Keep your fingers crossed!

This just in from New York State Parks: The stairs into the Niagara Gorge at Devil’s Hole State Park will be reopened on Saturday, November 18, after having been closed all summer so that they could be rebuilt.  The stairs had been expected to be closed until Spring 2018.  This is great news for shore fishermen who like to cast for trout in the Devil’s Hole area.

Lower Niagara River trout fishing has been good from both boat and shore. We will have to wait and see what the storm blows in for water clarity. Rain and wind in Lake Erie can sometimes impact the lower river fishing. Conditions were near perfect the past week and steelhead are cooperating nicely along the Artpark shoreline. Boaters were bouncing egg sacs off three-way rigs to take some nice steelhead. Of course, you will catch some lake trout along the way. Be careful with them and release the fish immediately. Lake trout season is closed until Jan. 1 in New York waters, Dec. 1 in Canadian waters. Other baits that you should try if the egg sacs don’t work for you include plugs like MagLips and Kwikfish. Minnows will also catch you a fish or two, as will egg imitations like yarn flies.

From shore, any egg or egg imitation will catch fish as will spoons, spinners and jigs. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls is still doing well off the New York Power Authority fishing platform to catch walleye, trout and the occasional Coho salmon. This week he was using homemade jigs.

Rich Pisa with a nice steelhead from Niagara County, NY.

Upper Niagara River musky fishing was good the past week according to Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. He caught three on Monday using large common shiners.

In the Niagara Musky Association’s Tim Wittek Memorial Musky Tournament last Sunday, a total of 28 anglers competed – catching 16 fish for the day. Top fish was a 50 and a half inch fish caught by Jeremy Schneider of Stratford, Ontario using a homemade body bait. Second place was John Pensyl of Lockport with a 48-inch fish jigged a Red October Tube. Third place was Stratford with a 46-inch ‘lunge jigging a Red October Tube. All the fish were released unharmed to fight another day. Other notable catches included a 46-inch musky reeled in by Daniel Lacko of Kenmore, a 43-inch fish hauled in by Andrew Lacko of Kenmore (Dan’s father) and Andrew Porzio of East Aurora with a 40-inch ‘lunge. The season closes on Nov. 30 in the upper river and around the state – except in the lower river and Lake Ontario. That season closes on Dec. 15.

The Lake Ontario tributaries like 18 Mile Creek are still muddy but not high. Some salmon are still struggling to swim around as the browns and steelhead are taking over. While eggs and egg imitations are still good baits to use, the past week seemed to switch over to more of a live bait presentation like crawlers, wax worms and spikes according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors.

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303, f: 716-285-0809

New York State DEC Announces Nov. 18 Start of Regular Firearms Season for Deer and Bear Hunting in Southern Zone

Hunters are Encouraged to Pass on Young Bucks

NYSDEC encourages hunters to pass up the shot on young bucks. Joe Forma Photo

With the start of New York’s most popular big game season slated for Saturday, Nov. 18, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is encouraging hunters to be safe, enjoy the natural beauty of the environment, and consider passing up shots on young bucks.

“New York has some of the best hunting opportunities in the nation, and our ongoing conservation efforts and hunter safety programs are providing ample opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy all New York has to offer,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “Deer and bear hunting is also an important tool for New Yorkers to assist our wildlife management efforts and critical for controlling populations especially in areas and habitats where deer overabundance are causing ecological damage. The opening of the Southern Zone regular season is a cherished tradition for many families, drawing friends and relatives together for a weekend afield. I wish all hunters a safe and successful season.”

Deer hunting has been changing in New York, with more hunters opting to voluntarily pass up shots at young, small-antlered bucks in favor of letting them grow to be older, larger bucks. DEC is encouraging hunters to make a difference for the future of the deer herd and increase their likelihood of seeing older, larger bucks by choosing to Let Young Bucks Go and Watch Them Grow.

Regular Firearms Season for Deer and Bear Begins Nov. 18
The 2017 regular deer and bear hunting seasons in New York’s Southern Zone begin at sunrise on Saturday, Nov. 18, and continue through Sunday, Dec. 10. The Southern Zone regular season is New York’s most popular hunting season; approximately 85 percent of New York’s 575,000 licensed hunters participate. Harvest during this season accounts for nearly 60 percent of the total statewide deer harvest and between 30 to 60 percent of the statewide bear harvest.

Maybe some of the most fun is just seeing deer come toward your stand on opening day, but choosing to take a doe early or not, especially during the rut, is a tough call for many hunters.  Joe Forma Photo

Following the regular deer and bear seasons in the Southern Zone, late bowhunting and muzzleloading seasons will run from Dec. 11 through Dec. 19. Hunters taking part in these special seasons must possess a hunting license and either bowhunting or muzzleloading privilege(s).

In the Northern Zone, the regular deer and bear hunting season opened Oct. 21, and will close at sunset on Dec. 3. The Northern Zone includes the Adirondacks, Tug Hill Plateau, Eastern Lake Ontario Plain, and the Champlain and St. Lawrence valleys. A late bowhunting and muzzleloading season for deer will be open in portions of the Northern Zone from Dec. 4 to Dec. 10.

DEC Encourages Hunter Safety
While statistics show that hunting in New York State is safer than ever, mistakes are made every year. DEC believes every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable, and Commissioner Seggos is encouraging hunters to use common sense this season and to remember what they were taught in their DEC Hunters Education Course.

Firearms Safety:

  1. Point your gun in a safe direction.
  2. Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
  3. Be sure of your target and beyond.
  4. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.

DEC also encourages hunters to wear blaze orange or pink. Wearing orange or pink prevents other hunters from mistaking a person for an animal, or shooting in a hunter’s direction. Hunters who wear hunter orange are seven times less likely to be shot.

When hunting in tree stands, use a safety harness and a climbing belt, as most tree stand accidents occur when hunters are climbing in and out of the stand. Also, hunters should never climb in or out of a tree stand with a loaded rifle and never set a tree stand above 20 feet.

Help Protect New York Deer from Chronic Wasting Disease
Although no new cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in New York deer have been found since 2005, DEC continues to take the threat of CWD seriously. CWD is fatal to deer, and if introduced, could spread rapidly. Once established, CWD is practically impossible to eliminate from the wild deer herd. Preventing CWD from entering New York is the most effective disease-management strategy. Hunters can help protect New York’s deer herd from CWD by following these tips:

  • If hunting outside of New York, debone or quarter the deer before returning to the state, and follow the law about importing carcasses or carcass parts from outside of New York. CWD Regulations for Hunters.
  • Use only lures or attractant scents that do not contain deer-based urine.
  • Dispose of carcass waste in a landfill, not on the landscape.
  • Report any deer that appears sick or is acting abnormally.

Report Your Harvest – Remember: Take It – Tag It – Report It
Hunter contributions to deer and bear management don’t end when an animal is harvested. All successful hunters are required to report their harvest of deer and bear within seven days. Failure to report is a violation of the Environmental Conservation Law and reduces the data DEC uses to manage deer and bear populations. Hunters may report via DEC’s online game harvest reporting system or by calling the toll-free automated reporting system at 1-866-GAME-RPT (1-866-426-3778).

Additional Reminders for the 2017 Southern Zone Regular Hunting Season
Choose non-lead ammunition for high quality meat and reduced risk of lead exposure to humans and wildlife.

Hunger Has A Cure… The Venison Donation Program (link leaves DEC’s website) is a great way to help those less fortunate while assisting with deer management in New York.

For specific descriptions of regulations and open areas, hunters should refer to the 2017-2018 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide available on DEC’s website. Hunters are urged to review all regulations and safety tips in the guide. Hunters may also be interested in DEC’s Hunting the Black Bear in New York (PDF, 727 KB) or reviewing DEC’s unit-by-unit Deer Hunting Forecasts.

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Nov. 9, 2017

  • FREE FISHING DAY in New York on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11
  • Orange/Blue are Hot Colors for Eggs, Lures and Wooly Booger’s
  • Musky Tournament Rescheduled from Nov. 5 to Nov. 12
Fish of the day was this 40-inch lake trout caught by 9 year old Ty Nichols. He is backed up by Tim Finney.

After some intense weather over the weekend and cold weather blowing in the end of this week, you will have to pick and choose how and where you want to fish.

Niagara Falls USA waters fared better than most in Western New York, just in time for the Veteran’s Day – Free Fishing Day, on Nov. 11.  In honor of our veterans, Nov. 11 is a designated free fishing day in New York State. It means you don’t need to purchase a license for that day. However, you still have to abide by the fishing regulations!

In the lower Niagara River, the water turned to mud and chased away the boaters until waters start to clear a little.  Capt. John DeLorenzo of Niagara Falls got a jump on the Veteran’s Day celebration by taking out a mother and son through Western New York Heroes, when the weather was decent last Saturday.  WNY Heroes is a non-profit veteran’s assistance organization.  Along for the ride was Tim Finney of Wheatfield, who was helping DeLorenzo, Danielle Nichols and her 9 year old son, Ty.  They caught two nice steelhead up to 11 pounds and lake trout up to 40 inches for the morning.  Best bait was a chartreuse trout bead fished on a three-way rig.  Other captains working the drifts were doing well on MagLips and Kwikfish.

Danielle Nichols of Clarence holds up an 11 pound steelhead.

Shoreline anglers have been casting spoons and spinners, as well as drifting eggs or egg imitations, to take a mix of trout and a few salmon. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been hitting the New York Power Authority fishing platform to catch both salmon and steelhead.  A No. 4 spinner has been working best for him. Further up the gorge, state parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened.  Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access.

In the upper Niagara River, musky action should improve as waters clear.  Last Sunday’s annual Tim Wittek Memorial Musky Tournament hosted by the Niagara Musky Association was cancelled due to weather. It has been rescheduled for Nov. 12 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Cost is $25 to enter this catch-and-release event.  Call Scott McKee at 225-3816 for more information.

Capt. John DeLorenzo holds up a lake trout caught by Danielle and Ty Nichols of Clarence. They both lost their husband/dad in a helicopter accident while serving in the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Lake Ontario tributaries, like 18-Mile Creek, are muddy, but not high.  Some salmon are still struggling to swim around as the browns and steelhead are starting to move in.  According to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott, large numbers of fish are in the creeks. Orange and blue were the hot colors for eggs, poppers and wooly buggers.  Keg Creek was too low for fish passage. Twelve-Mile Creek in Wilson was stained.  If you are wondering why you haven’t seen more water flow there, blame it on the beavers.  They have dammed some of the upper stretches and it’s been impacting the flow.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303 p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809 website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Orleans County/Lake Ontario Fishing Report – Nov. 7, 2017

  • Fresh Trout/Salmon are in Trib’s
  • Upper Oak is HOT with BROWN TROUT
  • Lake Alice Crappie Bite Starting

Today is Tuesday November 7, 2017

More seasonal weather has finally arrived along with an abundance of rain.  Here in Western New York we are well on the way to setting new records for the amount or precipitation in 2017.

Let’s start the fish report with the lower stretches of the “Oak”: Perch fishing is good to very good, bass are active and northern pike are being caught occasionally.

On the upper stretches of the “Oak” it’s brown trout time.  Brown trout in the upper teens are being caught and numbers are very good.

Fresh salmon are still entering the system along with the very start of the steelhead/rainbow trout run.

Water levels on all of the tributaries within Orleans County are slightly high to high and, with all of the rain we have experienced over the past few days, should go higher.  Water color will go from stained to muddy for a day or two.

On Lake Alice, some crappie are starting to show up and bass fishing remains as good as ever.

Please remember that this coming weekend will be the last weekend for the Archers Club to be serving meals.  Speaking of the Archers Club here are the winners of their Catch and Release Derby: In the Adult Division, Mia Stone had a 26.555 pound salmon, Nat Smith had a 11.115 Pound brown trout and Paul Davidson had a 6.12 pound steelhead.  In the Youth Division, Ben Smith had a 16.630 Pound salmon.

Next year’s Archers Club Catch and Release Fly Fishing Derby will be held on October 17 – 19, 2018.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Nov. 2, 2017

  • Fishing is Switching Gears with Colder Weather
  • Smaller Streams HAVE FISH NOW, especially AFTER EVERY RAIN
  • Musky Tournament is ON, Nov. 5
Tyler Dannhauser of Wilson was fishing in the gorge this week and caught a mixed bag of salmon and trout.

Weather conditions have certainly impacted the fishing this past week. High winds and rain resulted in water temperatures dropping 5 degrees since last weekend. That said, it could be just what the “Fish Doctor” ordered to force a transition into the next phase of fall fishing.

In the Upper Niagara River, the last month of musky fishing action improved with the adverse weather, just in time for the Niagara Musky Association’s Tim Wittek Memorial Catch and Release Tournament. The action will take place on Nov. 5 out of the launch ramp area at the foot of Sheridan from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. To get your blood circulating again, there will be a post-tourney chili-fest at the foot of Sheridan in Tonawanda. Cost is $25 to enter this catch-and-release “iron man” tournament. Call Scott McKee at 716-225-3816 for more information. If you just want to find our more information about fall musky fishing in the Niagara, stop in at the NMA monthly meeting at the Eldredge Club, 17 Broad St., Tonawanda, NY, on Tuesday night (Nov. 7) starting at 7 p.m. Guest speaker will be Marc Arena with Red October Baits. Water conditions were murky this week thanks to the wind. The lower river musky season extends to Dec. 15.

Mike Rzucidlo with another great Lower Niagara River king salmon caught from the NYPA fishing pier.

And speaking of the lower Niagara River, we had a report that there were some boats on the water today, just prior to the weekend. The first fish they caught was a musky – drifting MagLips off three-way rigs. They also caught a walleye before they hit some trout – steelhead and lake trout. Lake trout season is closed until the end of the year, but sometimes you just can keep them off the hook!

In the gorge area of the lower river, shoreline casters are still catching a mix of salmon and trout. Treated egg skein fished under a float has been a consistent producer for Rich Pisa of Kenmore around the whirlpool area. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was picking off some steelhead and salmon on a No. 4 spinner while casting the New York Power Authority Fishing Platform before he was chased off due to high water levels (probably due to the high winds).

If you want to check whether or not the Fishing Platform is open, call 716-796-0135, ext. 45. It usually closes down for the winter around Dec. 1.

Tyler Dannhauser of Wilson was fishing in the gorge this week and caught a mixed bag of salmon and trout.

At Olcott Harbor and 18 Mile Creek, good reports of steelhead and brown trout have surfaced to complement the salmon that are still hanging around upstream at Burt Dam. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott reports that there are king and Coho salmon in various stages of their life cycle, including some fresh ones entering into the system. Egg skein and egg sacs work best. If the water is stained, chartreuse and orange-colored egg sacs are best. If we get the rain we are supposed to receive, you can try drifting an egg sac or a single egg in some of the smaller streams like Keg Creek to the east of Olcott, or 12 Mile Creek at Wilson, west of Olcott. Fishing pressure should drop off a little bit as whitetail deer fall into their rut stage and as crossbow season opens Nov. 4.

The regular big game season kicks off for the Southern Zone on Nov. 18. Waterfowl and other small game are also open to spread the activity out. No reports on perch in the harbors, but if the waters are clear enough, they should be starting to move in and become active. If you catch any nice fish, please share with us at bhilts@niagarafallsusa.com.

Stay safe!

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog
Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

HELP FEED THOSE IN NEED THIS DEER SEASON

  • Donate All or Part of your Deer
  • 4,280 Hunters Donated 198,277 Pounds of Venison in 2016
  • SHARE THE HARVEST Program is Sponsored and Coordinated
When I take my truck full of venison to the food pantry it is usually close to Thanksgiving and again near Christmas. At these special times of the year, it is a blessing to know the venison I am delivering is going to help someone in need. Please join me.

By Larry Whiteley

There are thousands of struggling, needy people here in Missouri (and everywhere). Even with government assistance, it’s sometimes hard to have enough food to put on the table and feed their families. If you end up taking more deer than you can use or you’re trying to control your buck to doe ratio, here’s a great way you can help these people. Many states across the country have a program to help the hungry.

In Missouri, for example, the Conservation Federation of Missouri (CFM) and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) administer a program called “Share the Harvest.” It is available to deer hunters like you so you can donate any extra venison you might have to help feed those families through food banks and food pantries.

There were 4,280 hunters that donated 198,277 pounds of venison last year. That’s a lot of high-quality, naturally lean protein for people who don’t get near enough of that in their diet. Since the program started back in 1992, over 3.6 million pounds have been donated by deer hunters just like you.

To participate, you will need to take your deer to an approved meat processor and let them know how much venison you wish to donate. To find an approved processor in your area go to www.huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/deer/deer-share-harvest or call the MDC at 573-751-4115 or CFM at 573-634-2322. It can be as little as a couple of pounds of venison burger to as much as a whole deer.
The processor will then package the meat to be picked up by a sponsoring organization who in turn takes it to a designated food bank or food pantry in your area for distribution to those people who pass their guidelines for receiving the meat.

When you donate a whole deer, the cost of processing is your responsibility, but CFM reimburses processors a pre-determined amount for each whole deer donated when funds are available. That helps the processor to reduce his processing fee to you. Some processors have other money available from local groups so that processing fees are free or at a reduced cost. This program is usually for whole deer donations only.

Sponsors of this cost-reduction program are the Missouri Department of Conservation, Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, Missouri Chapter Whitetails Unlimited, Missouri Chapter Safari Club International, Missouri Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation, Midway USA Inc., Missouri Deer Hunters Assoc., United Bow Hunters of Missouri and Missouri Food Banks Association as well as numerous local sponsors.

Volunteering to help local organizations is another way you can be involved. You simply donate your time and vehicle to pick up and deliver the venison to the designated distribution organization. I have been involved in both, donating deer to Share the Harvest and also delivering deer for Share the Harvest in southwest Missouri for over 20 years.

When I take my truck full of venison to the food pantry it is usually close to Thanksgiving and again near Christmas. At these special times of the year, it is a blessing to know the venison I am delivering is going to help someone in need.

To me this great program would not be possible without the generosity of Missouri deer hunters.

They spend a lot of time and money in pursuit of the white-tailed deer and then to turn around and donate all or part of their venison to those less fortunate than themselves is truly exceptional.

Orleans County/Lake Ontario Fishing Report – Oct. 31, 2017

  • Trout/Salmon are in Trib’s
  • Trib’s will Offer GOOD Action into Winter
  • Lake Alice Bass Action Good on Upper Stretch

Today is Tuesday October 31, 2017.
This Halloween, the trick is to make the perfect cast with that special fly to that very special spot and catch that ever-elusive fish you have been dreaming about for years.
This fall has been an absolute bonus year for both Lake Ontario and the tributaries of Orleans County.
Those with small boats are still doing well in the near-shore waters of Lake Ontario, while all of our tributaries within Orleans County are alive and producing an abundance of the cold-water species.
Salmon are still entering the tributaries from the lake in good numbers, and the brown trout and rainbow/steelhead trout are starting to really pick up in numbers.
With temperatures falling to more seasonal levels and with water flows at excellent levels, great fishing is in the forecast for well into the future this year.
The Erie Canal has yet to start their dewatering process, so good water flows should continue well into the winter months.
On the lower stretches of the “Oak,” perch fishing has been good and reports have an occasional northern pike being taken, along with a bass or two in the mix.
On Lake Alice it’s been mostly bass in the upper stretches.
I haven’t had any fishing reports from the Erie Canal, but I have to believe that at least bass are still active.
From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.
Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for October 26, 2017

  • Olcott Pier: Salmon and ONE BIG MUSKY!
  • Trib’s Hold Lots of Fish after Every Rain
  • Shore Fishing and Boat Fishing is VERY GOOD

There are many fishing activities going on right now so you will have to pick

Young Ethan Brolinski of Lewiston with one of his three Coho salmon caught at Lewiston Landing.

and choose what you want to do.

For example, salmon fishing is good in Olcott right now at 18 Mile Creek and the lower Niagara River still has a mix of king salmon, Coho salmon and steelhead.  If you want trout, you can catch them wherever there is good water flow.  The most popular areas are the Niagara River and 18 Mile Creek, but you can do well after a rain in some of the smaller streams, too.  Fishermen were picking up some trout in places like Keg and 12 Mile Creeks last week.  Anglers are getting a few perch on Lake Erie and there are some hungry bass around as well.  There are lots of fish to cast for if you so choose.

Sean Keen of Grand Island shows off his first salmon ever, caught off the NYPA fishing platform in the gorge.

The piers in Wilson and Olcott are both good spots with spoons or spinners.  The talk of Olcott this past week was the huge musky that was caught off the Olcott pier by a fisherman using a homemade spinner.  According to reports, the fish was over 60-inches long, which would put it into a 50 pound class of fish. Huge! It was released to fight another day. The same angler did manage to catch a nice brown trout for the smoker later in the day.

In Olcott Harbor and up the creek, some nice salmon and trout are being caught by casters and drifters. One salmon caught by John Miller of Pennsylvania stretched 45 inches long! At Burt Dam and Fisherman’s Park, there have been lots of fish, but also lots of fishermen. Mostly salmon right now, but steelhead and browns are both being taken as well.

Lower Niagara River action for salmon has been slowing down for boat drifters in the Devil’s Hole area.  A few kings are still being caught, but Coho salmon have arrived, as well as a few trout.  Steelhead and browns are both possible catches.  Lake trout season is closed, but you may start to catch a few when the water temperatures finally drop below 60 degrees – probably this weekend.

Father and son team of Rich and Richard Pisa caught a double on king salmon in the Whirlpool area of the gorge.

Shore casters are still doing well in the gorge on salmon, but it is starting to slow a little bit. Spoons and spinners with glow in the dark tape is one approach; treated egg skein under a float is another option.

Downriver, boat drifters are started to target steelhead along Artpark.  Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston even managed to pick up a few salmon there while targeting trout.  Ethan Brolinski, a 7 year-old fisherman from Lewiston, was casting around the launch ramp in Lewiston this past week when local captain Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls tossed him a “lucky” fishing lure to use.  Before Ethan’s day was up, he managed to catch 3 Coho salmon from the docks.

Let’s go fishing!

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303 p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809 website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Orleans County/Lake Ontario Fishing Report – Oct. 24, 2017

  • Runs of Trout/Salmon ON_AGAIN, OFF-AGAIN
  • Lake Alice Bass Action Good on Upper Stretch
  • St. Mary’s Archers Club Derby was SUCCESSFUL

Today is Tuesday October 24, 2017.
The temperature yo-yo continues with the temperatures looking more like late September than late October.
Runs of all of the cold-water species are on again and off again on all of the tributaries within Orleans County.
That’s not to say that there is any shortage of any of the cold-water species in our tributaries, they are not the bigger runs that one would normally see this time of year.
Temperatures will be above average into late next week and beyond.
What this means to me and others is that the tributary season will be extended this year and that is great news.
Another positive part of this whole weather thing is that people with boats still in the water have been having great success in the near-shore waters of Lake Ontario off Orleans County.
All of the inland stream and lakes have been fairly quiet right now, but bass fishing is still doing well, especially on the upper reaches of Lake Alice. Please don’t forget that bass season closes on November 30th this year, so bass catch and release starts on December 1st.
Yellow perch are being caught on the lower Stretches of the “Oak”.
The Catch and Release Fly Fishing Derby at the St. Mary’s Archers Club was, once again, a great success with some fantastic fish being weighed in. There was great food being served, great prizes being awarded and great new friends made.
From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.
Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for October 19, 2017

  • Olcott Pier and Burt Dam turn on!
  • Watch wind for Pier Action hot bite.
  • Lower River Shore Fishing has been HOT

There are plenty of fish around to be caught!

Scott Scheffler, Marina Director for the Town of Newfane and heading up Fisherman’s Park at Burt Dam/18 Mile Creek, reports that some dandy brown trout are starting to show up in the creek a bit more readily. It’s a nice complement to the salmon and steelhead that are already on the scene. Fresh fish can be found in all of the deeper holes further down towards the harbor and fish are still being caught off the piers and in the lake.

When there’s a northeast wind, you can’t fish the piers at all because of the waves. However, when those winds subside, get out there and start casting spoons, spinners, rattlebaits, stickbaits or whatever. The fishing usually turns on! Another popular method is to use treated egg skein under a float. You can anchor or drift from a boat, too.

Over in Wilson, they are still picking up some yellow perch off the piers, as well as some nice trout. Use spinners and spoons for trout.  Use minnows for the perch. Don’t rule out lake fishing either. If the weather cooperates – and it will be this weekend – don’t be afraid to try trolling for salmon and trout off the creek mouths or even out deep. There are plenty of fish to be caught!

The lower Niagara River salmon action is starting to wind down a little, but they are catching some silver fish that are fresh in the system. Casting glow-in-the-dark spinners and Little Gem spoons under low light conditions work best.  Rat-L-Traps can also produce salmon.

Rich Pisa of Kenmore caught six kings from shore on Monday and four on Tuesday, so they are still getting them just fine. Even his father Richard picked up a few nice kings, fishing the Whirlpool area with treated egg skein. Boaters are still catching kings and coho’s as well, with an occasional trout. It won’t be long before lake trout start showing up to spawn. Remember that the lake trout season is closed now until the end of the year.

In the upper Niagara River, bass action has been good in the east river (east side of Grand Island) on shiners. A few musky are starting to show up, too.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303 p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809 website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Orleans County/Lake Ontario Fishing Report – Oct. 17, 2017

  • Trout/Salmon in the Trib’s Now, but Spotty
  • Lake Alice Bass Action Still Good in Upper Stretch
  • St. Mary’s Archers Club Tourney ON – Oct. 18-20th

Today is Tuesday October 17, 2017.

The cool down of last night brought frost to some areas, but not the nearby shoreline of Lake Ontario.  Temperatures will be back up into the 60s and 70s for the rest of the week with no rain in sight.

There are salmon all through the “Oak”, Johnson Creek, Marsh Creek and Sandy Creek, but they are spotty due to the fact that they are spread out so much.

Water conditions on all of the tributaries within Orleans County are slowing slightly and clearing, but still are very fishable.

Fishing has slowed on Lake Alice, except for bass fishing on the upper reaches of the lake.

Tomorrow is the start of the Archer’s Club Catch and Release Derby and it runs through Friday October 20th this year.

The weather should be perfect, the water flow is the best in years, the food is always tremendous, the prizes are great and the size of the winning fish is up to you so enter now for a great time.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Autumn Color, Nature, Wilderness Air and Fresh Coffee at Lake George

  • Business Takes a NEW Direction
  • Lure of Autumn Bass Fishing, Lake Trout, Landlocked Salmon
  • Sights of Colorful Foliage
  • Plans for Waterfowl Hunting, Stream Fishing for Brook Trout

By Forrest Fisher

Rising fog from mountain valleys appear like slices of horizontal white pie resting between high, dark mountain peaks of the Adirondacks in the Lake George area. Forrest Fisher Photo

My workday plan was busy with a business trip from New York City to Montreal.  The airport traffic was heavy, the security lines long, longer than ever, the sky was clear and it was a beautiful day.  I was not happy with bumper to bumper traffic conversation between the interstate roadway vehicles and the morning disc jockeys were in a rant about their bummed weekend.  They made the congestion worse.  Then I suddenly realized, “I can drive!”

About two hours or so up the northbound highway, the traffic was gone and I discovered a wonderful sense of peace and quiet.  I left the long lines of airport security, the chaos of baggage, laptop checks and body scans behind.  All gone.  All replaced by a road trip drive that would change my persona for the day, maybe forever.

There was a faint sliver of fog rising from the valleys that appeared like slices of horizontal white pie resting among the high and very dark mountain peaks of the Adirondacks in the background.  Driving down Highway 87, the road signs announced Lake George and despite the near-darkness, I noticed that the autumn scenery was stunning in this particular area.  Signs advertised fly fishing, Hudson River rafting, rail trail bikes, historical sites, boating, biking, hiking and more.  These diverted my mind and were tempting me to consider a new daytime destination, maybe as just a momentary, side-of-the-highway, homesteader.  Yes, I thought, pull over, if only just to watch the enchanting sunrise.

Highway 87 runs north-south and Exit 21 and 22 provide easy access to Lake George Village and Dunham’s Bay Resort, where I found morning coffee. Photo: www.visitadirondacks.com

Rocky bluffs jutted upward and outward along the freeway, as I tried to focus on driving and not the scenic beauty.  That was just not possible.  The scenic views were an immediate visual award, an instant lottery prize win, just for making this drive.  I sensed myself grinning to the view, perhaps that was one honest measure of my sheer contentment.

A few minutes later, in the distance, the brilliant orange ball of morning sun began to tiptoe upward.  It was only a dull orange color sky at first, and then the first sliver of the sun crest rose just above the lowest horizon in the east.  I pulled off the roadway at Exit 21 and decided I needed a cup of java just to watch the morning light.  Driving down Beach Road in Lake George Village, sort of exploring too, my business trip had become an adventure.

I continued along Highway 9L just for a few minutes, it was October and many business places were already closed for the season, but it was so quiet, so enjoyable.  Then I came to Dunham’s Bay Resort (www.dunhamsbay.com).  I went in and asked about coffee. Yes!  They had fresh java and all the mixings, it smelled so good.  I toasted a cup to my decision to drive and thought about those poor folks that were probably still waiting in the airport line, grinning again.

A cup of fresh morning java from Dunham’s Bay Resort catered to my view of the morning sunrise at Lake George. Rose Barus Photo

I moved to the front of the resort and sat in one of the outdoor lawn chairs.  The warm Lake George water and chilly mountain air caused a fog to form on Dunham’s Bay right in front of the resort.  It became thick and started to settle before it started to rise.  I went back in for more coffee.  With cup number two, I realized I was looking at the highest mountain tops to the west, visible above the fog.  They suddenly emerged into a sea of brilliant color as the sun lit them up.  A flock of ducks went squawking by in flight, high overhead, that I heard, but could not see.  My brief adventure continued.  The natural intense lighting of the sun was doing everyday work.  I was inspired by the dazzling beauty and the coffee tasted so good.

An immediate urge for home ownership in the area seemed an almost immediate necessity.  How did I ever miss this Lake George area before?  Perhaps, if only for now, I might try for a short stay.  No.  Maybe on the way back, I thought, that way I could stay a day or maybe two.  Today, back to reality, there were meetings planned and work to do.

Vibrant autumn foliage was evident along Highway 87 and the pristine upper Hudson River. Rose Barus Photo

I realized that with the flight reservation and airport plan from the start, my fly rod was not with me.  On the next drive north, there might have to be a stopover.  Imaginary fog would be the cause, I’d need to pull over to stay safe.  Again, I’m grinning.  What a plan.  I realize that this drive to a brief coffee stop has me totally energized.

A new essence for realizing the seasons of the year was added to my list of “important things,” the autumn colors of October on Lake George are unforgettable.  Perhaps I must remember to do this again, maybe when NOT ON BUSINESS next year, I thought to myself.  It is a family type of destination, I could bring everyone, the grandkids too.

Historic sites abound near Lake George Village, adding the need for a second or third trip to “see it all.” Forrest Fisher Photo

My cellphone is activated and the calendar is reserved one year ahead around the seasons and the scenery just recorded only to memory.  Of course, I’ll never forget this day.

The backcountry is a new priority.  I return to the ribbons of roadway heading north with a new vision of the stunning foliage and clean, spring-fed, waterways that are abundant here.  These waters are filled with trout and untainted crustaceans.  Pleasantly now, I’m in a new comfort zone for effective business and again, I’m grinning.  Driving was such a good idea.

Time spent in the Adirondack Mountains of New York during autumn are positively special.  October is the month of color transition in the Lake George area of the Adirondack Mountains and lush green leaves turn to brilliant colors of bright yellow, orange and red.  They are unforgettable.

Color and visions from morning light to sunset are remarkable all around Lake George.  Accommodations are at low rates and fishing charters are still running.  The crisp air is right for a fall getaway.

Not sure I can wait for next time!

For Lake George information, visit www.visitlakegeorge.com or call the Warren County Tourism Department at 518-761-7653.   

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for October 12, 2017

  • Rainy Week Triggered King’s and Coho in all the Trib’s
  • Kings, Browns and Coho’s Wacking Baits – FROM SHORE TOO
  • Bass, Walleye Still Biting in Upper Niagara/Lake Erie
Rich Pisa from Kenmore, NY, with a Lower River King Salmon.

Recent rains earlier in the week triggered a big slug of salmon and trout to run into many of the Lake Ontario tributaries, including 18-Mile Creek in Newfane. While the water is a bit high from all the rain, conditions should be good in a day or two. There’s plenty of fish in the system for anglers to catch.
Scott Scheffler, Marina Director for the Town of Newfane and heading up Fisherman’s Park at Burt Dam, also noted that they have been using a Ranger ATV to haul people to and from the fishing areas. A welcomed benefit for those fishermen who could use a little helping hand for access.
Fresh fish can be found in all of the deeper holes further down towards the harbor and fish are still being caught off the piers and in the lake according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker. At least when there isn’t northeast or northwest wind chasing anglers off the piers. Casting spoons, spinners or stickbaits are all good approaches off the piers or from anchored boats. Another popular method is to use treated egg skein under a float. You can anchor or drift.

Chris Walczak with an Olcott pier King Salmon.

Over in Wilson, Terry Swann of Wilson sends word they are picking up some perch off the piers, as well as some nice trout. Use spinners and spoons for trout; live bait for the perch.
The lower river salmon action has been continuing on a consistent clip to the delight of boat fishermen and shoreline anglers. Casting glow-in-the-dark spinners and Little Gem spoons under low light conditions work best. Rat-L-Traps can also produce salmon, but some brown trout started showing up in the gorge this past week.
According to Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls, the fish are hitting rattle baits and spinners. One angler, who preferred to remain nameless (because he called in sick) was 10 for 16 on salmon (9 kings and a coho), while fishing with his father in the gorge. Treated egg skein fished under a float did the trick. That was from shore! Sounds like some more fresh fish hit the river.

Mike Rzucidlo with a Lower Niagara Steelhead from shore.

The fishing platform has not been as productive as in years past for some reason, though fish are available there. It won’t be long before lake trout start showing up to spawn. Remember that the lake trout season is closed now until the end of the year.
In the upper Niagara River, bass and walleye are still available. For musky, water temperatures are still an issue, as Lake Erie is still 67 degrees, the warmest it’s ever been for this time of year.
A lot of work has been accomplished on the 2018 version of the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. The dates will be Jan. 19-21. Mark your calendar. Check the website out at www.niagarafishingexpo.com.
Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog
Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Orleans County/Lake Ontario Fishing Report – Oct. 10, 2017

  • Trout/Salmon in the Trib’s Now
  • Lake Alice Bass Action Still Good
  • St. Mary’s Archers Club Tourney set for Oct. 18-20th

Today is Tuesday October 10, 2017.

This is the time of year that the crispness in the air and the changing of the leaves begs us to get outside and enjoy the wonders that Mother Nature is providing us with.

With the amount of rain we have received over the past several days, flows on all of the tributaries within Orleans County are at a slightly high level with a slightly stained water clarity.

Salmon are being reported in all our tributaries and the water flows are keeping them on the move and spread out.  Brown trout are starting to enter the tributaries.

When the weather cooperates, fish are still being taken in Lake Ontario especially in those close-to-shore waters.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak” perch are starting to show up in some decent numbers from the County Marine Park to the bridges area.

The upper stretches of Lake Alice are still producing some nice bass, mostly smallmouth, while bluegill and crappie fishing has dropped off a bit.

The Archers Club Catch and Release Fly Fishing Derby will be held on October 18th, 19th and 20th this year which is always a great event.

Tomorrow will be the last day of operation for the Erie Canal System but will not signal the beginning of the dewatering procedure. There is work to be done on the canal so water will remain in the system for a while yet.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Stump Sitting Time – Charm of the Autumn Outdoors

  • Sounds of the Earth…the Birds, Deer, Turkey
  • Sunrise Charm, Autumn Streams, Rising Fog
  • Mountain Colors, Ornaments for your Heart and Soul
  • The Smell of Pouring Thermos Coffee on the Mountain

By Larry Whiteley

The fall air is crisp as I start my journey up Dogwood Mountain. It’s really a big hill, but I named it that because I love the mountains.

Here in the Ozarks area of southern Missouri we don’t have mountains like out west, just big hills. The Dogwood part of its name comes from the hundreds of trees with their showy white blossoms that bring beauty to the “mountain” in the spring.

For a moment, I listen to the soothing sounds of water as it tumbles down Dogwood Mountain Falls and then glance over my shoulder as the sun starts peeking over the trees behind me.  The curtain is rising and I’m not in my seat.

My pace quickens as I head up the trail that follows the falls, then turn onto another trail that winds its way to the top of the top.  My leg muscles burn as I climb over rocky areas in the trail, but I continue on to the top.

Finally, I see it.  To some people it may just be an old stump where someone cut down a tree a long time ago, but to me it’s like an old friend waiting at the end of the trail, waiting for me to come sit awhile.  I hurriedly remove my backpack, take out my thermos and pour a cup of coffee.  It’s stump sitting time again.

From my stump, I see a thin haze over the stream that winds through the valley below.  There’s a hint of smoke in the air from the cabins and homes in the distance.  Crows call to each other high on a ridge and a fox squirrel scurries through nearby treetops breaking the silence.

I know that somewhere below, turkeys have flown down from their roosts and are feeding in the fields.  A doe and her yearling have probably joined the turkeys as a buck watches them from his hiding place.  The kingfisher squawks as he flies through the mist over the creek.  He’s probably fussing at a heron that’s fishing for breakfast or a busy beaver.

The sun rises higher and the show begins.

The gray of the morning is suddenly changed to a kaleidoscope of color.  My eyes feast upon the bronze of the oaks, yellow of the maples, red of the dogwoods, and green of the cedars and pines.  The blue of the sky and the white of the fluffy fall clouds add their special touch to nature’s painting.

It’s too bad more folks don’t take time for stump sitting.  In today’s hurried, pressured, fast-paced world, stump sitting can be an escape for just a little while.

Good stump sitting time only comes in autumn.

Somehow, stump sitting helps you forget about all your worries and work that needs to be done.  You are drawn to simply concentrate on this magnificent moment in time.

The sun is high now and good stump sitting time is gone.  I finish off the last of the coffee, put the lid on the thermos and put it away in my pack, take a deep breath and start back down.  A few yards down the trail I stop and look back at the stump.

Maybe tomorrow will be good stump sitting time again, but there’s always next year.  My old friend will be there waiting for me.

 

 

 

King’s, Coho’s and Brown Trout Wacking Baits from Boat & Shore in Lower Niagara River

  • King’s, Coho Salmon on Niagara Bar ON-THE-MOVE to Devil’s Hole
  • Browns Biting at Night from Shore
  • Rainy Weather May Cause Big Run
  • Bass & Walleye Biting in Upper Niagara/Lake Erie
Mike Rzucidlo with an October brown trout casting from shore in the Lower Niagara River.
Jon Gwara with a nice King Salmon fishing with Captain Frank Campbell.
Ricardo Davila with a King Salmon caught from shore.

Get ready for another slug of fish to arrive in the lower Niagara River and area tributaries off Lake Ontario! Both wind and rain are in the forecast and that could be the trigger to bring some more fish into area waters.
In the lower Niagara River, Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters called me at 9:30 a.m. to say he had limited out for his two customers. That’s six salmon in just a couple hours. Not every day is like that, but if the rains in the afternoon trigger a run, there are a bunch of fish – kings and Coho salmon – hanging out on the Niagara Bar waiting for a push from Mother Nature.
We haven’t seen good numbers of Coho salmon in the fall in a number of years. This is great news! For boaters, the Devil’s Hole area is the place to be. Pautzke-treated egg skein is the ticket for taking Pacific salmon, fished off three-way rigs.
Shore fishermen have been doing pretty well too. Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield has been tossing glow-in-the-dark spoons and spinners to take salmon early in the morning. When that sun comes up though, fishing gets a bit tougher in that Devil’s Hole area.
From shore, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been using the same kind of hardware. He’ll also toss a Rat-L-Trap. Today he started catching some brown trout mixed in with his salmon in the Whirlpool area. He also reported some good bass fishing along the shoreline at Artpark.
If you enjoy fishing around the Schoellkopf Site near the Discovery Center (yes, there’s an elevator there), this new access point will be closed Oct. 11-12, next week, as they use a crane to complete some work.
Over at Olcott and 18 Mile Creek, Burt Dam has seen more fishermen than fish. Hopefully that will change soon. Some fish are being caught from boats anchored around the harbor, as well as around the piers.
Pier casters are only picking a few fish up now, but hopefully that will change, too. Spoons and spinners will work, but harbor boats are using treated egg skein and fished under a float.
Boat trollers are still pounding the mature salmon with flasher and fly or meat until they hit. Sometimes it’s tough getting them mad enough to strike, but when they do you have your hands full. If the weather cooperates, you can always run out deep off Wilson and Olcott to take a mix of salmon and trout.

Captain Chris Cinelli with another nice walleye rom the Upper Niagara River / Lake Erie.

Capt. Alan Sauerland of Instigators Charters out of Wilson found some salmon and trout in 450-plus feet of water, but he had to go deep to find the right temperatures. His riggers were from 75 to 110 feet deep, the divers were 280 and 300 feet back and he needed 500 feet of copper line to hit the fish zone with spoons and flasher-fly presentations.
In the Upper Niagara River, bass and walleye are still the primary focus. Capt. Chris Cinelli has been hitting some nice fish at the head of the river with shiners and spinner-worm combos.
Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog
Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

 

Fort Myers & Sanibel Island Beaches ARE OPEN

  • We HAVE SURVIVED Hurricane Irma VERY WELL
  • Come Enjoy, Explore, Swim, Fish, Cruise
  • It is a Shell Collectors Bonanza Adventure Time

By Forrest Fisher

If you know Lee County, Florida, you know that homeowners and snowbird visitors alike had safety and property concerns after Hurricane Irma sent a measure of fear throughout Florida in September.  It’s over.  The area is back in the swing of Florida fun.

The great warm weather and sunshine is back, though for adventure visitors, it might be good to know that the waves from Irma’s passing along our shell-drenched beaches on the Gulf of Mexico have brought in more shells than ever.

On a recent trip to Sanibel with my family, we met local treasure hunters that explained how post-storm periods are the one great time to bring out your best metal detector to find ancient treasure.  The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel Island in southwest Florida continue to provide new experiences for visitors to Florida’s unspoiled island destination.

If you love wildlife, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge plans to celebrate National Wildlife Refuge Week with “Ding” Darling Days, Oct. 15-22.  The refuge will offer free admission access days on several occasions during that week.  For a full “Ding” Darling Days schedule, call 239-472-1100 or visit www.dingdarlingdays.com.

For more information with the latest vacation information, please visit www.FortMyersSanibel.com.

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel in Southwest Florida includes: Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Fort Myers Beach, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Cape Coral, Pine Island, Boca Grande & Outer Islands, North Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres.

Orleans County/Lake Ontario Fishing Report – Oct. 3, 2017

  • Trout/Salmon Hitting Early Mornings and Evenings
  • St. Mary’s Archers Club Tourney Oct. 18-20th

Today is Tuesday October 3, 2017.

With temperatures warming back up again the migration of fish up our tributaries has slowed just a bit.

There are a good number of salmon at the Oak Orchard dam below Waterport Reservoir (Lake Alice) and at the Archer’s Club, but not as good as it is likely to get.  Reports have brown trout, steelhead/rainbow trout and even Atlantic salmon being caught in the deeper holes around the Archer’s Club area.  Late last week, a 13-pound brown trout was caught at the Archer’s Club.  Could this be the sign of things to come?

There are fish being taken at the jetties and from small boats right along the shoreline, but just in the early morning and late evening time periods.

The “Oak” is still producing perch, bass and an occasional pike.

The Erie Canal still has good water flow and good fishing, but will close to traffic on October 11th this year.  The good news is that Erie Canal dewatering will not take place until either late October or early November.  Then it will be a partial dewatering followed by a partial refilling to check the work being done.

The Archer’s Club Catch & Release Fly Fishing Derby will be held on October 18th, 19th and 20th this year, always a great event.

The water flow at the Archers Club is the very best that I’ve seen in many years, which should lead to some of the very best fishing seen in a long time.

From Lake Ontario, they are still doing well on trout and salmon in the 100 to150 feet of water range.

It just keeps getting better and better!

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for September 28, 2017

  • King’s and Coho Salmon Slowed by Warm Weather
  • Bass, Walleye, Silver Bass being caught by Shore Anglers
  • Cold Front this Weekend Will Bring Fish Back to Lower River and Trib’s
Cameron Huntley with a nice Olcott King Salmon

A cold front finally came through the Western New York area, bringing some much-needed relief from the heat.
With some 15 days of 80-plus degree temperatures during the month of September, water temperatures in area waters shot back up. Combined with the lack of precipitation, some of the fishing has been put on hold.
Lake action for mature kings at the Niagara Bar, Wilson and Olcott is still holding on, but you do have to work for them. Some mature king and Coho salmon are being taken regularly by pier head trollers pounding the waters with flasher-fly, flasher-meat, J-plugs or magnum spoons.
Niagara Bar anglers are still reporting good numbers of salmon on the drop off in 70 to 80 feet of water using the same hardware that the pier head guys are using. Right now, there have been an equal number of Coho salmon and Kings being caught. This means that they are staging, hopefully to run up the Niagara River.

Cameron Cinelli is catching smallmouth bass in Niagara County.

Another option in the lake is to head out deep to 400-plus feet of water for a mix of salmon and steelhead. Target the top 80 feet of water with spoons or flasher-fly offerings. Make sure you throw on a free-floating slider spoon on your downrigger lines to pick up steelhead up high.
If you want to learn more about salmon fishing in the lake, consider taking the LOTSA Salmon School set for Jan. 20 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. Sign up at www.lotsa1.org.
Pier head casters are picking up a few salmon and trout off Wilson and Olcott, but a solid rain should trigger a run of fish. There could be some decent rain on Friday, just what the fish doctor ordered.
Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek has a few fish showing up, but the best is yet to come. The dam area is ready for fishermen after some extensive work by the Town of Newfane to repair paths and the shoreline.
Meanwhile, in the Lower Niagara River, salmon fishing in Devil’s Hole has slowed a bit because water temperatures have come up some 5 degrees in the last couple of weeks. While some salmon are being caught, many anglers are reporting a mixed bag of fish that have included bass, walleye, silver bass, catfish and even the occasional sturgeon. River shoreline casters are still picking up some salmon and walleye by tossing spoons or spinners. Glow in the dark Little Gem spoons are working at dawn or just before. Glow in the dark spinners will also work under low light conditions. Walleye and bass are still being caught in the river from Lewiston on down. Tubes and shiners work for bass; spinner and a worm for walleye if you want to try and target them. Of course you will catch other warm water species of fish.
Remember lake trout season closes on Oct. 1 for three months. While they have not arrived in any big numbers yet, remember that they must be released unharmed.
Upper Niagara River action has been decent for a mix of bass and walleye. Spinner and a worm for walleye at the head of the river and around Strawberry Island; bass will frequent those same spots with tubes, shiners or crabs being the best enticements.

The King Salmon have moved out the Niagara Bar this week.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog
Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Orleans County Fishing Report – Sep. 26, 2017

  • Trout/Salmon Moving from Trib’s Back to Lake
  • St. Mary’s Archers Club Tourney Oct. 18th-20th
  • ERIE CANAL SET TO CLOSE on Oct. 11

Today is Tuesday September 26, 2017.
Where have these summerlike temperatures been all summer?
Trout and salmon are moving back out into the lake from their near-shore haunts and lake fishing is fantastic right now.
Fishing in the 50 to 200 feet of water range is producing some great catches of a mixed bag of fish.
When this warm-up started a few salmon scooted to the dam on Oak Orchard but by far the majority went back to the lake.
This has been like a bonus season for those who still have their boats in the water and this is after an already bonus season.
The tributary fishermen will have to be patient just a little while longer, but not too much longer.
The weather forecast calls for a drastic cool down to more seasonal temperatures by the end of this week which should bring these confused fish back to shore to the delight of tributary fishermen young and old.
Don’t forget to register for the St. Mary’s Archers Club Catch and Release Fly Fishing Derby, set to take place October 18th, 19th and 20th this year. Great food, fantastic fishing and the chance to meet people from all over the states await you.
The “Oak” is producing a fair number of largemouth bass, pike, and perch.
On Lake Alice, these warmer temperatures have moved the fish to deeper waters for now, but that may be very short lived with the cool down close at hand.
The Erie Canal is scheduled to close on October 11th this year but it is my understanding that dewatering will not begin immediately.
From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.
Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

King Salmon, Coho’s Walleye, Steelhead – Lower Niagara River & Lake Ontario IS HOT

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for September 21, 2017
  • Egg Skein from Boats is #1
  • Glow-In Dark Spoons are Hot from Shore
  • Increasing Near-Record Temp’s Could Slow Run
Jim Rores King Salmon in the Lower Niagara River.

The salmon run is happening in the Niagara River right now from both boat and shore.  From boat, treated egg skein is the ticket.  From shore, try tossing glow in the dark spoons or spinners under low conditions.

The amazing weather we’ve been experiencing does have a down side. Water temperatures in the river have risen by 4 degrees already and it could impact the salmon run.

Joe Czyrny with a nice King.

If the Chinook and Coho’s make it up into the warm water, they probably won’t last long…or they could head over to the tailrace of the power plant and the fishing platform guys and gals will do better.  Things have slowed down a little there.  Some bass and walleye are still available in the river, too.  One area is just north of the Lewiston Landing area, where they have also been taking some perch.  Directly relating to the run of salmon in the river is the Niagara Bar fishing.

Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters reports that the Chinook (kings) are staging again at the drop-off in 70 to 80 feet of water with E-Chip flashers and A-Tom-Mik flies or meat.  Glow in the dark spoons work early morning and at dusk.

In Olcott and Wilson, there has been some pier action for salmon and trout. Again, spoons and spinners work best. There was actually a hot bite for steelhead the past 24 hours for some reason up a Burt Dam, but with the warm temperatures near record-breaking the next 4 or 5 days, those fish will probably head back out into the lake.

Young Keegan Walczak with a nice Steelhead.

Speaking about out in the lake, trollers are using spoons, flasher-fly, flasher-cut bait or J-plugs to take salmon and the occasional trout inside of 100 feet of water.  Fish are also available out deep.

Wilson harbor was also producing some nice northern pike on spinnerbaits.

Check out some of the catches featured this week in the Buffalo News website to see what’s really happening here fishing-wise (www.buffalonews.com).

Upper Niagara River action has been good for bass and walleye the past week. Try fishing around the head of Strawberry Island, at the head of the river and around the walls off Buffalo.

National Hunting and Fishing Day is Sept. 23. Niagara County’s version of this celebration is tied directly to the Wildlife Festival sponsored each year by the New York Power Authority and the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs.  The Festival is held both Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the NYPA Visitor’s Center located at 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston.  Call 716-286-6661 for more information.

All of the old stand-by presenters and vendors will be in attendance like the Primate Sanctuary, the Buffalo Zoo-mobile, Hawk Creek and Nickel City Reptiles.

Ricardo Davila with a nighttime walleye from Artpark.

The Niagara River Anglers has their fishing pond set up and the Niagara Federation’s shooting trailer will be up for some plinking.  Did we mention that this is ALL FREE?  It’s great fun for the whole family.  This event will be held, rain or shine.

If you are a goose hunter, this is the final weekend for the nuisance goose season, ending on September 25.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303 p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809 website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

 

Vincent DeLoraenzo with a giant King rom the Lower River.

Orleans County Fishing Report – Sep. 19, 2017

  • Weather Warm-Up will Cool-Down Lake Ontario Fish Movement in Trib’s
  • Archer’s Club Tourney Coming Up on the “Oak,” see Details
  • Smallmouth Fishing Good on Lake Alice

Today is Tuesday September 19, 2017.

Well it looks like we are in for another long stretch of pleasant summerlike weather conditions.  This should slow down the migration of trout and salmon towards their spawning grounds just a bit.

Early morning and late evening fishing from the pier heads have been fairly productive, as has been trolling the “wall” at those times.

There are still a good number of fish and bait in the 70 to 200 feet of water range for those who still have boats in the water.

This past weekend I was at a function at the Archers Club and conditions never looked better.  There is a good water flow throughout the entire area which should make for some fantastic fishing this fall.  They also have made some great improvements to the facilities in the enlarged kitchen area.

Mark on your calendar October 18th, 19th and 20th for the St. Mary’s Archers Club Catch and Release Fly Fishing Derby.  This great event features 3 days of great fishing, fantastic food and some wonderful prizes, truly an event not to be missed.

With the warm up, fishing in the lower stretches of the “Oak”, Lake Alice and the Erie Canal has slowed a bit except for the smallmouth bass fishing.  That will all change once some cooler temperatures return to our area.

Initial reports from the DEC creel census folks look like this has been one of the highest catch rate years for trout and salmon they have ever seen.  This proves, once again, that Lake Ontario and its tributaries are alive and very healthy, even with the little extra water Mother Nature has given us.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

 

 

CWD Testing More Important NOW Than Ever

  • MDC will conduct mandatory CWD sampling in 25 counties Nov. 11 and 12.
  • Check the fall deer and turkey booklet to see if your county is included.
  • Hunters can get deer tested for free throughout archery and firearms deer seasons.

By Jim Low

The thrills of deer hunting – not to mention the pleasure of eating venison, are worth taking precautions to protect.  Jim Low Photo

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) needs help from hunters to keep the deadly deer disease called chronic wasting disease (CWD) from spreading to more deer in more areas of Missouri. In light of recent developments, hunters might want to take advantage of free testing for personal reasons, too.
MDC will conduct mandatory CWD sampling of hunter-harvested deer in 25 counties during the opening weekend of the fall firearms deer season, Nov. 11 and 12. Counties included in this year’s sampling effort are: Adair, Barry, Benton, Cedar, Cole, Crawford, Dade, Franklin, Hickory, Jefferson, Knox, Linn, Macon, Moniteau, Ozark, Polk, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Warren, and Washington. These counties comprise Missouri’s CWD Management Zone. It includes counties where MDC conducted mandatory CWD testing last year, plus St. Clair County, where a new outbreak was detected earlier this year, and five adjacent counties.

Concerns about possible exposure to CWD can be addressed by taking advantage of free testing. Jim Low Photo

MDC also has added four counties along the Arkansas border in southwest Missouri to the CWD Management Zone. CWD has not been detected in any of these counties yet, but a serious outbreak of the fatal deer disease just across the border is cause for extra vigilance there.
Hunters who harvest deer in these 25 counties during opening weekend must present their harvested deer at one of the Department’s 56 CWD sampling stations so staff can collect tissue samples to test the animals for CWD. You can find a list of sampling stations at www.mdc.mo.gov/cwd, or in the 2017 Fall Deer and Turkey Hunting Regulations booklet, which is available wherever hunting permits are sold.
In addition to the mandatory testing, MDC offers free testing for hunters who wants their deer checked for CWD. This is particularly important considering recent news about the susceptibility of some monkeys to the brain-wasting disease.
In a study led by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, macaques that were fed venison from CWD-infected deer developed the disease. The researchers noted that there still is no known case of CWD affecting humans. However, the apparent susceptibility of physiologically similar primates led them to conclude that, “the most prudent approach is to consider that CWD has the potential to infect humans.”
I am not an alarmist person by nature, and I am not going to let the small risk of shooting a CWD infected deer or the equally small risk of contracting CWD from eating infected meat, deprive me of a sport that I love and the pleasure of eating venison. However, with free testing available, I certainly will take every deer I kill to one of the eight MDC offices and 55 taxidermists around the state who are participating in the voluntary CWD sampling program. I put venison in the freezer, labeled with the date I shot the deer, and wait for test results before consuming it. That just seems sensible to me.
I also do what I can to avoid spreading CWD. For years, I put corn around my trail cameras to get better deer pictures. I stopped several years ago, when it became clear that anything that unnaturally concentrates deer and increases the potential for CWD transmission. I stopped putting out salt licks and mineral blocks for the same reason. The prions that cause CWD are shed in deer urine, so I also have stopped using urine-based deer lures.

Baiting the area around trail cameras brings deer up close, but it also increases the likelihood of disease transmission.  Jim Low Photo

After field-dressing deer, I usually take them home and process them myself. In the past, I got rid of carcass by putting them in the woods behind our house and letting scavengers dispose of them. No more. Now I put them in heavy trash bags and send them to the landfill, just in case they had CWD. If you take your deer to a commercial processor, you’re covered. In Missouri, they are required to send all their carcasses to approved landfills.
MDC’s regulation guide has more ideas for reducing the spread of CWD, along with tips for making the sampling process quicker and easier.
-end-

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for September 15, 2017

  • King Salmon are SNAPPING!  The Run is ON.
  • Lake Ontario, Niagara River, Piers, Creeks – All Have Fish.
  • Shore or Boat, Grab Your Gear.
Captain Jeff Draper with another mature King Salmon caught in the Lower Niagara River. Fishing if HOT right now.

The salmon are snapping all around Niagara Falls USA as the mighty fish have shown up in the Niagara River and off the piers in Olcott.  Lake action is continuing too, for pier head trollers seeking a mature king.  Out deep, some salmon are available along with a mix of two and three year olds, as well as steelhead.

Let’s start with the Niagara River where king salmon action in Devil’s Hole area was on fire from both boat and shore.  Boaters were drifting treated egg skein all week to take some limits of kings.  Three way rigs get the presentation on the bottom.  Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls reported good success every day he’s been out, with his best day being 9 mature kings.

For shore casters along Artpark, Devil’s Hole and the Whirlpool, glow in the dark spoons and spinners have been taking fish under low light conditions.

A few walleye and bass are around, too. Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield was 5 for 7 on kings Tuesday, before he went into work in the Hole.  Remember that the stairs at Devil’s Hole State Park are closed for improvements until next spring.  The New York Power Authority fishing platform is open and kings are being taken by hardware tossers, especially in the tailrace of the power generators.  If you want bass and walleye, fish are hitting drop shot rigs and tubes, as well as live bait like leeches, crabs and shiner.

Even the kids are enjoying the salmon fishing this year! Ricardo Davila’s daughter is one happy angler!

Out in the lake, the Niagara Bar has been a little slow for king action.  Your better bet is to target mature kings on J-plugs, spoons, flasher-fly and flasher-meat rigs inside 100 feet.  Capt. Mike Johannes of On-the-Rocks Charters out of Wilson, reports that the Niagara Bar was ice water after the recent northeast winds.  He was finding good action in 300 to 400 feet of water straight out from his home port, 40 to 80 feet down on the riggers, 300 copper and 10 colors of lead core.  Use flashers and meat for the biggest kings, UV orange spoons for steelhead.  Out of Olcott, Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane was doing some thrill-seeking out to 500 foot depths, focusing his DW spoons and A-Tom-Mik flies in the top 80 feet of water.

Gary Hall with a nice King Salmon in the Lower Niagara.

Off the piers, Cleo’s and other heavy spoons are taking both salmon and trout, but the action isn’t hot and heavy. We need a good cool rain to really trigger a run. The east pier at Olcott is now open.

Mark your calendars for National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 23.  The big celebration in Niagara County is the Wildlife Festival at the New York Power Authority’s Visitors Center, set for both Sept. 23 and 24.  Doors are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and it’s free.  This event is cosponsored by the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs and there will be a fishing pond, shooting trailer, archery and crossbow demos and more.  Carmen Presti with the Primate Sanctuary will be there along with a pile of kids activities.  Bring the whole family!  Good luck and good fishing in Niagara Falls USA.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303 p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809 website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Barcelona Walleye RUSH OUTDOORS to Offshore Bite for TV

  • WHO: Rush Outdoors TV & Barcelona Charters Teams Up to Catch Fish
  • WHERE: Eastern Basin Lake Erie, Barcelona Harbor, Chautauqua County, New York
  • WHAT: Catching Walleye and Lake Trout
  • HOW: Troll Speed: 2.3-2.5mph; Water Depth: 130-135 feet; Fish Depth: 75-85 feet; Water Temp: 66 degrees
  • GETTING TO THE FISH: Downriggers, Divers, 8-color and 10-color leadcore
  • PROVOKING A STRIKE: Custom-painted Stickbaits, Homemade Spoons, Handmade Spinner/Worm Rigs

By Forrest Fisher

Tim Andrus, outdoor mentor and star of Rush Outdoors TV, lands a nice 5-pound walleye near Barcelona Harbor, New York.  Forrest Fisher Photo

NY Outdoor News editor, Steve Piatt, (http://www.outdoornews.com/new-york/) gave me a ring last week and asked if I could fill in for him to do a Rush Outdoors TV Show taping with network outdoor stars, Tim Andrus and John Lenox.  You know my answer! “Uh, let me think about it Steve.” ….clear the decks!  “No I’m not busy, why?” 

The next day, I received a phone call from John and we met yesterday at dockside at Barcelona Harbor in Chautauqua County, New York, and I was introduced to Captain Brad Smith and his wonderful wife and 1st Mate, Darcy, of Barcelona Charters (http://barcelonacharters.net/). Their 28-foot Marinette Fisherman boat is docked near Monroe Marina.   

Captain Brad Smith ran 10 well-equipped lines with no tangles and 31 fish boated over the day. Forrest Fisher Photo

It was about 8AM, the winds were SSE at 8mph, the sky was clear and blue, the sun was coming up quick in the eastern horizon and there were 14 rod/reel rigs set to go aboard this comfortable, well-outfitted, boat. 

Tim said, “I think we’re ready to go Captain Brad.” With a friendly and crisp response and a “welcome-to-my-boat” grin, Captain Brad answered, “Wait a minute, I gotta get my coffee cup and give the fish a chance to wake up.  I’ll be right back.”

That’s how our day started.  Very relaxed.  The stage was set for a fun day with fun people aboard a big boat with a kitchen and rest room, built to find fish, catch them or release them, store the keepers in a cooler and bring everyone back to port safely with pictures and reality fish tales to share.

“Which way we going honey,” Darcy asked Captain Brad.  “I think we’ll try east today, if that doesn’t work, we’ll swing back to west.”  Captain Brad took the helm and we skirted the excavator rig barges still working on clearing the harbor-mouth after last winter’s storm seige.  The storm opened the breakwall and after it was breached, the harbor filled with sand, stone and debris. 

Action outdoor star of Rush Outdoors TV, Tim Andrus, was aboard and John Lenox, co-star, activated several camera’s throughout the day to capture the non-stop action we found fishing with Barcelona Charters.

With Captain Brad Smith setting and running 10 lines without a single tangle, and Darcy Smith running the boat to waypoints and adjusting the trolling speed, the twin 318 Chrysler engines came alive as we headed for a secret offshore shoal about 3 miles away in 78 feet of water.  Slowing down a half-mile short of the waypoint, Captain Brad hopped down and started setting lines. 

With John Lenox on the left, Tim Andrus on the right, we enjoyed 7 double-headers through 4-hours of fish catching. Forrest Fisher Photo

This guy should have a different name, perhaps “Flash.”   That name would be more suitably correct for this elderly, young-minded, genius fisherman.  By the time we arrived, the lines were all in and we were ready for action. 

As the bottom came up, Darcy keep us all up to date with live reports. “There’s big fish at 75 feet, there’s a bait school at 55 feet, there’s two fish at…,” and so on.  “The water temp is 66 degrees.”  Tim and John and I were enjoying the live feed of all this data.

As Darcy read off depth, speed, water temp and fish sightings, Captain Brad would adjust the lines.  He had three 10-color Sufix non-stop (very thin) 18-pound test lead core lines on the starboard side, three 8-color lead core on the port side, two wire-line diving planes on each side and two downriggers, with all the lines set to the fish depth that Darcy monitored.  What a team. 

“Berkley XT Fluorocarbon leaders are part of my fish attack,” says Captain Brad.  “The leadcore lines, divers and riggers all use different leader lengths, but I think the nearly invisible line is important, and it has different flex to the lure too.”

John Lenox caught many walleye like this one, perfect table fare, over the trip. Forrest Fisher Photo

As the water depth dropped off, we hooked up with our first fish, a small walleye, then another, then another.  Double headers happened over the next three hours…SEVEN TIMES.  Imagine that.  “Hey Tim, can you slide to the right, I gotta net John’s fish,” Captain Brad would say.  “Hey Forrest, can you slide to the left, I gotta net Tim’s fish.”  What a day. We shared fish stories from times past – we all hunt, fish and share passion for the outdoors.  There was not time for many stories.  We were busy catching fish.  Fun busy.

What makes a fun fishing day like this happen?  The word is out that the “deep walleye bite” is pretty much over in eastern Lake Erie.  Guess we know the deep bite is still VERY GOOD.

There were only two boat trailers at Barcelona Harbor this day, and these were bass boats. 

A fish-filled day like this happens when you find a charter captain that understands how to use his gear to find the fish and can figure out a way to meet them half-way to provoke a strike.  He knew which lures to switch to, colors to try.  He understood the difference between tape flash differences underwater and sun angle relationships with the lures he used.

Tim Andrus landed his biggest ever lake trout, a 20 pound-7 ounce monster fork tail, on a Captain Brad Smith homemade spoon. Forrest Fisher Photo

There is much to learn from this gentleman of a charter captain and his 1st mate who fish like this.  The fine points of successful fishing are in the details.

Captain Brad Smith (left) and his 1st mate and wife, Darcy Smith, offer a friendly, enjoyable fishing day aboard their 28-foot Marinette Fisherman charter boat, rigged and moored at Monroe Marina, Barcelona Harbor, Chautauqua County, New York. Forrest Fisher Photo

Leader length, type of line, knots, terminal connection hardware, hook types and sizes, flash, glow tape, these things all matter. 

Captain Brad is well booked for the next 7 days or so, but there is still time to catch fish after that.  Don’t call ghostbusters.  Go check your calendar.

The fish were DEEP, 75 down in 130 feet, but once we found them, running the lines over the fish produced big time.  Have never witnessed a more efficient charter crew.  

Amazing fun that ended with a cooler made to lift with not less than 4-people!  We landed 31 fish in four hours, keeping 17 walleyes for the pan, 3 lake trout for the smoker and several giant, sweet-tasting, silver bass.

That’s a fun fishing day!  If you plan to come visit, just click on http://www.tourchautauqua.com for lodging and general information about this area.  Watch Rush Outdoors TV (http://www.rushoutdoors.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/rushoutdoors.uncut/) to note several more visual details I agreed not to disclose in writing.  See you then.

(left to right) Forrest Fisher, John Lenox and Tim Andrus,with a nice photo summary of the bigger fish caught on the fun trip. Captain Brad Smith Photo.

Orleans County Fishing Report – Sep. 4, 2017

  • Cool-down Has Lake Ontario Fish Moving
  • Point Breeze Pier Casters Getting Some Fish
  • Bass Fishing Still Good on Lake Alice & Erie Canal

Today is Tuesday, Sep. 12, 2017.

Ken Shaffer with a 12lb-10oz steelhead to put him in 5th place on the last full day of the LOC. Photo Courtesy of Narby’s Superette & Tackle

The cool down in the temperatures at night have started to move pre-spawn trout and salmon even closer to the tributaries that they will be spawning in.

Early morning and late evening fishermen working the waters around the jetties on Point Breeze have had some success catching brown trout, rainbow/steelhead trout and Chinook salmon.

Those trolling around the point have had their best luck in that early morning period.

There are still some fresh fish in the 80 to 200 feet of water range, but with the changing winds of the past week it’s hard to pin down an area any closer than that.

The weather over the next week returns to more summer-like conditions with daytime temperatures in the high 70’s.

On the inland waters of Orleans County, yellow perch fishing has slowed a bit on the lower stretches of the “Oak,” but some decent catches are still being reported.

Fishermen on Lake Alice are still reporting bluegill catches, but smaller sizes.

Bass fishing on the upper stretches of Lake Alice is good to very good, as is fishing on the Erie Canal.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

 

Lake Ontario King Salmon: FISHING FROM SHORE “IS-ON”

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Sept. 7, 2017
  • 39-3 King Salmon WINS LOC!
  • King Salmon Fishing IS ON for SHORE ANGLERS
  • Reports for Lake Ontario, Lower Niagara River, Upper Niagara River, Lake Erie
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls, NY, with Lower Niagara River King Salmon caught from shore.

Daniel Clinger from Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, won the Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby with a huge king salmon that weighed in at 39 pounds, 3 ounces. Wow! It was the biggest salmon he’s ever caught and they won the $25,000 Grand Prize hands-down by nearly 5 pounds. He caught it on a DW flasher and an A-Tom-Mik meat rig while fishing out of Sodus Point. First place in the salmon division was a 34 pound, 11 ounce king reeled in by Robert Reynolds of Auburn while fishing out of Fair Haven. He narrowly beat out Joe Oakes of Lockport who weighed in a 34 pound 8 ounce king off Wilson. In the steelhead division, Steve Gardinsky of Ohio set the pace with a 16 pound, 9 ounce fish out of Point Breeze. Second place was Rebecca Frye of Ashville while fishing out of Olcott. In the Brown Trout Division, Anthony DiGiovanni of Rochester took the top prize with a 16 pound, 15 ounce fish caught off Webster. Second place was a 15 pound, 5 ounce brown hauled in by John Nardone of Wayland. Go to www.loc.org for a complete leaderboard.
Good news in the shore fishing department. First, the east pier at Olcott will be open this weekend, starting Friday afternoon around 4 p.m. In the lower Niagara River, the NYPA fishing platform has re-opened, just in time for some salmon action. Fish are being caught in the lower river and many salmon are seen porpoising. If you are casting the piers or the shoreline, use glow Cleo spoons, rattle baits, stickbaits and crankbaits. Skein under a float will also work. Try some different things. If you want to learn more about fishing the lower Niagara River from shore, check out this week’s edition of the Outdoor Beat on Spectrum Cable at www.lctv.net in the “On Demand” section of the website. Local fishing guru, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls, is the featured guest. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls did catch his first salmon of the river season from his boat in Devil’s Hole using a K-11 Kwikfish. Bass fishing continues to be good in the river. According to Capt. Arnie Jonathan of Lockport, leeches and shiners have been working the best for him, fished off three-way rigs.

The Olcott pier action has started, the east pier will open at 4 p.m. on Friday (Sep. 8).

In the Upper Niagara River and around Buffalo there are still plenty of walleyes around. Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island reports that he had 8 fish by 10 a.m. on Tuesday, dragging a spinner and worm rig. That same general area was also working for Capt. Jim Rores on smallmouth bass.
Out in Lake Ontario, Capt. Bob Cinelli of Olcott reports that there is a good offshore bite from the 24 line to the 28 line offering up a mix of steelhead and salmon. Spoons and flasher-flies are working there. The inside bite for mature kings is also going on, too, out to 140 feet of water. Spoons, plugs and flasher-fly or flasher- meat rigs are the baits of choice. Stay away from the other boats to limit pressure on the fish. A few trout are being caught inside, too, according to Cinelli.
There will be a DEC meeting next week, on Sept. 13, in Lockport, to discuss the spring forage base trawl results. Also part of the discussion will be the stocking target for 2018. The public is invited to attend starting at 6:30 p.m. at the 4-H Building of Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport. Also coming up is the monthly meeting of the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association, set for Sept. 14 at the same 4-H Building of Cooperative Extension in Lockport starting at 7 p.m. There will be a round table discussion on the past fishing season.
Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director; Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303; p: 1-877 FALLS US, 716-282-8992 x. 303; f: 716-285-0809
WEB: www.niagarafallsusa.com

Enjoy MISSOURI’S GREAT OUTDOORS this September

  • Hike and Explore the Deer Trails
  • Hang Your Tree Stands
  • Enjoy Watching the Bird Migrations
  • Fall is On-The-Way
Acorns are not the only thing you’ll find walking the September trails.

By Larry Whitely

August has been unusually mild and wonderfully cool and comfortable here in Missouri.  Some mornings call for a light jacket and pants instead of shorts and t-shirt.  It has felt more like late September or early October.  I didn’t hear anyone complain about the weather.

Most years, September can still be hot, muggy and buggy here in Missouri, but this year the weatherman is telling us to continue to expect even cooler weather than we had in August.  Here in southwest Missouri they are even predicting some nights in the 40s.  Lake water temperatures have already dropped into the low 70s in some places.

After Labor Day the summer crowds will be gone from our local lakes and rivers, and the waters will be quieter and more enjoyable.  Because of this cooler weather, fish are starting to become more active and fattening up for the long winter months ahead.  It’s a great time to stock the freezer with fish to enjoy on the cold days to come.

Mornings are beginning to chill early this year.

If you don’t fish, it’s a great time to paddle around the lake or go float a river.  Maybe stop for a rest on the bank or gravel bar and build a campfire to sit around to relax and enjoy the flickering flames.

The cooler weather has also got the squirrels busy storing nuts sooner than usual.  The whitetail deer coats are changing from reddish brown to gray.

If you’re a hunter it’s time to get ready or go hunting.  Dove hunting opened September 1st and teal season opens September 9th.  

A handful of delight for our wildlife abounds this year.

Deer and turkey archery season opens September 15th.  Firearms turkey goes from October 1st to the 31st.  If you’re one of the lucky ones that head west to hunt, the majestic elk are waiting, so are the mule deer and pronghorn antelope.

This cooler weather will also make all your preparations for the hunting seasons a lot more tolerable than usual too.  Now you can make sure you can get those deer stands up and blinds set, get in more bow practice, make sure your rifle or shotgun is properly sighted, and get all your gear inventoried and ready.

If you are not a hunter but love to camp don’t put away your camping gear yet.  Campgrounds are a lot less crowded than summer days.  Sometimes you may even have the whole place to yourself.

The cooler September weather this year is also great for hiking the multitude of trails Missouri has to offer so get out there and enjoy. There’s no better way to get the exercise we all need and enjoy nature’s beauty at the same time.

Birds tell us that fall is at hand long before our human senses detect it. At wetlands and marshes throughout the state, shorebirds are already beginning to head to more exotic places than here.

Bird watching trips might offer the opportunity to see migratory birds that you don’t normally see at any other time of year in Missouri.

A cool and foggy September morning.

The bug-eating Purple Martin’s are growing restless and some are already bound for their winter home in Brazil.  Hummingbird feeders are suddenly abuzz with hummers energizing for their long flight south.

Other winged creatures sensing the cooler weather are also on the move.  Bats flutter and dive through the early night sky consuming the last of the insect crop.  What few Monarch butterflies we still get coming through Missouri are getting ready to begin their incredible journey to Mexico or have already left.

Leaves are turning on the Dogwood trees.

The buckeye tree has already lost most of its leaves, but a few buckeyes might still cling to the bare branches.  I was always told a buckeye in your pocket brings you good luck.  Maybe I need to make sure I have one in my pocket for deer season.

Papaw and persimmon trees have fruited and will soon be ripening for the enjoyment of the wildlife, and those of us humans who still enjoy them too.  Acorns are also falling to the ground, much to the delight of the squirrels, chipmunks, deer, turkey and other critters. 

The leaves of poison ivy and Virginia Creeper vines have begun to turn a crimson red.  So have the leaves of our Missouri State tree, the Dogwood.  The rest of the trees will soon follow with their special colors to give us the glorious fall kaleidoscope of colors that awaits us in October.

All of these are signs that summer is almost gone and come September 22nd it officially is.  Now, let’s just hope the weatherman’s predictions are accurate and we can get out in this year’s cooler September weather and enjoy Missouri’s great outdoors.

  

4 Days to IRMA: How Much Time Boaters Have to Prepare

  • Essential info for boaters, clubs, marinas at BoatUS.com/hurricanes
Recreational boat owners need to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irma (credit: NOAA)

ALEXANDRIA, Va., September 5, 2017 – According to the National Hurricane Center, Florida may have up to four days to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, a “potentially catastrophic Category 5” storm now approaching the Leeward Islands.

While it’s difficult to determine landfall, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) urges boaters, marinas and boat clubs to use the valuable time to prepare, and offers free help online at BoatUS.com/hurricanes.

The boating group says that it doesn’t take a direct hit to damage or sink recreational vessels, or cause havoc at boat storage facilities.
The storm-planning available from BoatUS help includes:
1. “BoatUS Tips for Protecting Boats in Hurricanes,” a basic two-page primer that contains advice on hurricane preparation for all recreational boaters.
2. “Boater’s Guide to Preparing Boats and Marinas for Hurricanes” has more details on how to protect your boat as well as marinas.
3. “What Works: A Guide to Preparing Marinas, Yacht Clubs and Boats for Hurricanes,” a helpful resource for marina and boat-club staff, community resiliency managers and local government organizations that focuses on protecting boating facilities.
When a storm approaches, BoatUS.com/hurricanes also has up-to-the-minute storm-tracking tools with live satellite images and checklists for what to do before and after a hurricane strikes.
Much of the hurricane guide information comes from BoatUS and its Marine Insurance Catastrophe (CAT) Team, a recognized leader in hurricane preparedness with more than 30 years of post-storm boat salvage experience. Go to BoatUS.com/hurricanes for more.

About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS): Celebrating more than 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than a half-million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We are The Boat Owners Auto Club and help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program gives boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Labor Day Weekend

  • LOC Ends Soon: 39 lbs – 3 oz King in Lead(51 inches long!)
  • Recent North Wind, Lake Turnover, Cold Water Close to Shore
  • PIER FISHING Fishing for King Salmon is STARTING
  • FISH ODYSSEY Tourney Winners Announced

Brought to you by Destination Niagara USA, Aug. 31, 2017

Assemblyman Mike Norris (L), Dr. John Syracuse (C) a Niagara County legislator, and Rick Updegrove (R), Niagara County Manager, show off some of the fish they caught aboard the White Mule with Capt. Bob Cinelli (Forrest Fisher Photo)

The 41st Annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby ended on a high note as the awards ceremony was held last Sunday at the Olcott Fire Hall.  This year, the $3,000 Grand Prize winner was the Lake Trout Division and the lucky angler was Ed Klejdys of North Tonawanda.  He earned the right to be in the drawing by weighing in a 21-pound, 6-ounce lake trout caught on the Niagara Bar.

In the Walleye Division, Tony LaRosa of Lewiston was dragging a worm harness along the bottom on the Niagara Bar off the mouth of the Niagara River to reel in an 11 pound, 6 ounce winner.  The most interesting thing about his catch is that it came during the solar eclipse.  In the Smallmouth Bass Division, there was a tie for first place. Both were 5 pound smallmouth bass from Lake Erie and they were caught by a husband and wife fishing duo – Dave and Kathy Muir of North Tonawanda.  Since Dave’s was weighed in first, that was the tie breaker.

Biggest salmon for the Odyssey was a 34 pound, 8 ounce King caught out of Wilson in Lake Ontario by Joe Oakes of Lockport.  Oakes also won a special $500 prize for the largest salmon caught by a LOTSA member.  Biggest brown or rainbow trout was a 13 pound, 9 ounce brown reeled in by Ken Trontel of Sharon, Pa.  In the Carp Division, Paul Natiella of South Lima reeled in the winner from the Oak Orchard River using corn – a 30 pound, 9 ounce fish.  Nice catch!

There is also a Junior Division for kids 15 and under.  For the second year in a row, the Grand Prize species category was panfish.  And, for the second year in a row, the lucky winner was 6 year old Alyssa McGrath of Niagara Falls.  This time it was a 1 pound, 2 ounce Lake Erie perch that did it for her.

Joe Szcafranski from West Seneca, NY, with a King Salmon he caught while fishing from shore off the Olcott Pier. (Slippery Sinker photo)

Other Junior Division winners were: Megan Walsh of Niagara Falls with a 7 pound, 14 ounce Lower Niagara River walleye; Abigail McGrath of Niagara Falls (Alyssa’s sister) with a 4 pound, 5 ounce Lake Erie bass; Cole Gallo of E. Amherst with an 8 pound Wilson steelhead; Alex Heath of Sanborn with a 26 pound, 3 ounce Niagara Bar King salmon; and Jacob Velesko of Middleport with a 16 pound 6 ounce carp from the Oak Orchard River.

The LOC Derby is still going on through Labor Day and the Grand Prize leader is now a 39 pound, 3 ounce king salmon reeled in by Daniel Klinger of Auburn.  Top steelhead is a 16 pound, 9 ounce fish from the Oak, weighed in by Steve Gardinsky of Ohio.  Big Brown is a 16 pound, 15 ounce Rochester fish checked in by Anthony DiGiovanni of Rochester.  We still have a few days to go. Check out www.loc.org.

Lake Ontario rolled over and there is cold water close to shore. In fact, a nice salmon was caught off the pier in Olcott (west pier) by casting a Moonshine spoon.  The east pier should be ready to go by Sept. 15 as they are doing some renovations and clean up from the high water earlier this year.  Lots of steelhead around and many fish were caught off Wilson in 150 to 300 feet of water in the top 50 feet. Spoons seem to work the best.  For salmon, flasher-fly or flasher-cutbait has been the ticket. The Niagara Bar was tough with the roll-over, but it should pick back up by the weekend if past performance is any indication.  Lower river bass action has been great on leeches, crabs and shiners.  Worm harnesses are working for walleye.  Shad Rap’s and Rapala’s are producing walleye in the gorge under low light conditions.  No word on the NYPA fish platform, but it could be opening soon.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303 p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809 website | facebook | twitter | blog

Fish-Catching Fun in Comfort on Lake Ontario

  • Lower Niagara River, Wilson Harbor and Olcott Harbor ALL Provide Easy Access to Big Ocean-sized Fish
  • Boat Trollers and Pier Casters both SCORE on Fall King Salmon
  • Charter Fishing from a Boat is FUN, Affordable and Comfortable

By Forrest Fisher

Whopper steelhead are among usual late summer catches when your lure and feeding time for the fish are in-sync, as they were for Rick Updegrove the last week of August. Forrest Fisher Photo

With water levels slowly returning to normal, late summer on Lake Ontario means fishing fun at nearly every port of angler access, from shore and boat. 

The end of August is the start of peak fishing for King Salmon, but steelhead, lake trout and other cold water species also add to the reel-sizzling, fish-catching fun.

Fishing out of Wilson Harbor with Charter Captain Bob Cinelli aboard his aptly named “White Mule,” a 36-foot Tiara – ask him how that name came to be, was a simple day of fishing pleasure.  The boat is big, bold and beautiful.  Rest room below decks, sleeping compartments…nice.

The fishing rigs aboard “White Mule” are brand new models of time-tested rods, reels, lines and lures.  Cinelli only uses the best and he should know after more than 30 years of fishing experience on the “Big-O.”  Daiwa 4011 hi-speed reels, Heartland rods, Big Jon downriggers, 20-pound test Ande monofilament lines on the downriggers – tipped with Seaguar fluorocarbon leaders, copper line for use with the giant “Otter” planer boards, and the sharpest hooks on his select set of favored spoons. 

Fishing with friends Mike Norris, Rick Updegrove and John Syracuse, we all took turns landing King salmon and steelhead.  Our trip started early at sunrise and we were back to port at noon or so, with plenty of fillets for the smoker. 

The big question for many anglers is how to fish and with what. What color? What spoon? How Deep? Charter captains often have ALL THOSE ANSWERS.  Forrest Fisher Photo

North winds over the previous few days had started a small turnover offshore, but that did not hold up the fishing action with Captain Bob, as he revised the fishing program to find the winning combination to find King Salmon and steelhead.

We started out running lines at 30, 40 and 50 feet down using downriggers with 8-foot sliders, diving planes off copper out 100 feet, all with some variation of green-colored spoons in 125 feet of water.  To find the hot fish, we slowly trolled out to 300 feet and then back shallower, looking for active fish on the feed.  Back and forth Captain Bob moved us around, then we found active steelhead off the planer boards and riggers.

Just like fishing for marlin in the ocean, steelhead in Lake Ontario fly out of the water.  Up, up and away. The fish not only soar above the water, they swim fast to the left, to the right, and then right at you.  When that happens, you need to test your shoulder and arms for durability, and turn the reel handle very fast.

I had a nice steelhead on, it was my turn when the port side Otter board with the copper line jerked free with a jolting, rod-throbbing pulse as it exited the line release.  We all thought it was a King as John hollered, “Forrest, you’re up!”  I vaulted from my seat to take the rod from first mate, Nick, and moved to the padded rear railing on the boat.  A very safe and adequate spot to lean on as the fish was battled back to the boat.

“How much line is out Nick?” I asked. “About 400 feet, just keep reeling, you’re doing just fine.”  Rick joined in the verbal fun, “Feel that burn Forrest?!”  How did he know?  Indeed, my shoulders were on fire.  How could this be? I was being worn out by a less-than-monster fish.  Mike shared, “Hang on to him, it looks like the biggest one so far.”  Easy for him to say.  Then John added, “If you’re tired, I can take the rod.”  I didn’t say anything, but was thinking, “No way John,”…I’m not sure I even heard that. 

Maybe I was just hearing voices in my subconscious state of fish-fighting mindset? 

Nope, on the other hand, these are what fishing friends are for.  Heckling.  Bantering.  Funning.  A few minutes later, my arms really were actually getting numb – 400 feet of copper is a LONG WAY, but we landed the fish just fine.  I turned to grin at “my friends” not saying a word about my frozen arm joints.  It was 65 degrees out and I was forming sweat on my brow.  

Love this fishing!

John added, “Imagine how that guy felt yesterday that caught that 51-inch King, 39 pounds – 3 ounces, to take the lead in the LOC Derby?” He was not making me feel any better.  “Honestly,” I returned, “I cannot imagine that.  I think you might need to share the rod with your friends in that case.”  John grinned and said, “Hey, that’s what fishing friends are for.”  

We were having a great day.

O

Success is a double header with some high-flying steelhead.  L-R: Mike Norris, John Syracuse, Rick Updegrove.  Forrest Fisher Photo

Over the course of the morning trip, we had 12 releases and this was a “SLOW DAY” according to Captain Bob.  My sore shoulders did not agree.  I gotta start working out harder.   We caught lots of “shakers,” the term for young-of-the-year King Salmon that weigh 2-3 pounds.  The future fishery. All were released unharmed.

This fishing trip was fun.  Maybe the best part of such a trip is that when four guys head out to fish this way in total comfort with the latest gear, hottest lures, a captain that can navigate and a first mate that coaches you along the way, and it’s affordable.  

“Leave the dock at sunrise and back by about 12-12:30 with four guys,” Captain Bob said, “Our usual pricing is not expensive at $150 apiece.  $25 more each and you can fish the whole day.”  Unreal.  Affordable fun.  We all chipped in to tip the first mate.

A lot of us spend that much on just one good fishing reel (I do). 

My new view, I’m getting older – save time, save money, fish with a charter.  Not only do you get to fish with the best gear and fish with friends, you go the hottest fishing places at the best times and someone else cleans your catch! Then you  just head home for the freezer with all of your healthy dinner meals for the next few months.  

Need the right sensor gear to catch fish? Sonar, radar, surface water temp, water temp at the ball, boat speed, and a radiotelephone to phone home are all part of the half-day fish trip.  Forrest Fisher Photo

If you’re looking to do this, you can contact Captain Bob Cinelli Sportfishing directly by calling 716-860-5774.  You might also learn a lot about the lake, the fishery, the forage, the predator fish, invasive species, why the fish are able to be caught on certain lures and bait, the Lake Ontario water level, issues and more. 

Captain Cinelli is the chairman of the Niagara County Fishery Advisory Board.  He has the inside line on what’s happening on Lake Ontario and the Lower Niagara River.  And with the hottest fishing.

Fish on! Who’s up?!

Bass Fishing Escape to Cassadaga Lake

  • Drop-Shot Rigs Simplify Lure Location
  • Venom Worms Offer Unique Action on Drop-Shot Rigs
  • Colors, Bottom-Weight, Make a Difference

By Forrest Fisher

Scott Gauld showed us that big smallmouth bass and big largemouth bass can live together in the unique, healthy underwater habitat of Cassadaga Lake. Forrest Fisher Photo

When the wind on Lake Erie kicks up waves that churn over the top of the 7-foot breakwall at Chadwick Bay in Dunkirk, New York, it’s too rough to go bass fishing there.  In Chautauqua County, though, there are many other inland lake options that can offer the green light on those days. 

Mike Joyner and I had joined fishing educator, tournament bass angler and longtime friend, Scott Gauld, at Cassadaga Lake, a little waterway located near the village of Lily Dale, just 15 minutes away.  See: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/26964.html.   

We launched at the state boat access located on the Middle Lake, the scene was pristine, not crowded and offered two floating docks for launch and retrieve. 

Giant fluffy clouds masked a brilliant blue sky and there was a rising red glow of sunrise glimmering over the trees in the eastern horizon.  But surprisingly, to the north, there was another cloud line of demarcation, as a cold front with dark rain clouds was visible in that direction.  They seemed to hover there and we hoped they would stay away.  They did and we didn’t get wet. 

A Drop-Shot rig and “Standout Hook” are effective when used with a properly hooked Venom plastic worm. Forrest Fisher Photo

Scott explained that we would try our luck by fishing the weedline in the Lower Lake (there were three lake parts to Cassadaga Lake: Upper, Middle and Lower) and that would put our lures in about 10-12 feet of water.  He described the details that we start out by trying one of his old favorite baits he had used successfully there several times before, while fishing with his dad. 

He reached into a storage compartment on his new Nitro bass boat to hand each of us a 4-inch Salty Sling plastic worm (Venom Lures), then helped us rig up in drop-shot style using rather unique Size 1 “Standout hooks.” 

Green-pumpkin copper and green-pumpkin candy were the plastic worm color choices.   

We were using 7-foot Quantum rods with Sixgill open-face fishing reels loaded with 8-pound test Berkley Nanofil braided line that had 6-feet of Stren fluorocarbon leader (8-pound test) tied on to the end of the braid.  Scott said, “The braid will give us better feel and the fluorocarbon will help keep us in stealth mode so the fish can’t see our line.” 

I felt like we had a distinct advantage, such was the confidence in Scott’s voice.

The “Standout Hook” allows for perfect presentation and perfect hook set to allow release of the fish unharmed in any way. Forrest Fisher Photo

The plan was to toss the drop-shot rigs a few feet in front of the boat and allow them to reach bottom, then lift slightly and check, sense, feel for the slightest tap from a feeding fish.  Both smallmouth and largemouth bass lived in the lake, but so did crappie, walleye and musky too.  Lots of possibilities.

The standout drop-shot hook was tied about 8-10 inches above a specially made 1-1/4 ounce sinker made by the Western New York Bassmasters fishing club, that allowed for quick descent and positive contact with the bottom.  Scott demonstrated what to look for and how to react with a demonstration.  “Cast out, let it hit the bottom, lift the rod ever so gently, feel for a fish, watch the rod tip, if you get no reaction from a fish, then lift the rod tip and gently swing the bait toward the boat a foot or two – watching it the whole time, then drop it to bottom again and repeat.” 

We observed this process while he cast a few times and visually showed us how to work the bait back to the boat.  What he stressed for us to know and learn was to sense for that possible VERY LIGHT TAP, the strike signal, from a feeding fish.  A moment later, he said, “There’s one! Fish on.”  He lifted his rod tip to set the hook and started reeling.  A beautiful, healthy, 3-pound largemouth bass came aboard about 30-seconds later.  My camera woke up to capture this really handsome fish. 

We were having a friendly contest with two buddies in another boat. Hardy, old time anglers and long-time friends, Leon Archer and Wayne Brewer, were fishing with pro bass angler, Scott Callen, in another bass boat.

Mike and I grinned at each other because it seemed that Scott had insight and skill for this Cassadaga Lake waterway.  The fish went into the live well to be released after we weighed them and finished fishing later in the morning.  The plan was for each boat to weigh in a three fish bag of bass for the top-gun honor.  A little friendly competition.

One moment later, Mike hooked a smallmouth bass and brought it aboard.  We caught several fish along the weedline and enjoyed just working the baits and learning this new fishing method.  

The Rattle-Shake swim jig lure tipped with a white Venom Skip Shad tail fooled at least one musky while I had been casting for bass. Fun! Forrest Fisher Photo

We caught many other fish, smaller bass, a perch, and then I even hooked-up with a giant musky.  He looked like about 45-inches or so, maybe a 30-pounder, using one of Scott’s Rattle-Shake swim jig lures tipped with a white Venom Skip Shad tail.  The big fish swirled at my bait, grabbed it, and took off with my line like a freight train to Texas.

Then, in less than five seconds, he spit it back toward the boat, the line went twang, and the bait went airborne as it came flying back right past my ear.  WOW!  The rod was a just little too light to set the hook into the jaw of that monster, but what a huge fishing moment! I’ll never forget that fish.  Unforgettable memories are made of this.  Pure fish power.

Our three biggest bass tally weighed in at a little under 10-pounds.  A very nice morning of fishing, fun, good natured joking, busted laughing and serious hook setting above talk-to-fish expressions.  There were one or two comic expression, “Oops, that one got me,” or “I should’ve set the hook sooner,“ or “Thought that was a weed.”  Fishing with friends, it’s the best.

One other new secret to learn on this trip was the covert hooking of the plastic worm.  The worm was hooked by pushing the hook point right through the worm diameter about a half-inch from the heavy end of the worm, so the rest of the worm just dangled freely.  It looked so very real in the water.  Tantalizing.  

The rod, the line (type and size), the hooks, the weight, and where you cast was important too, but the most important thing was the technique of hooking up the Salty Sling worm to the hook.  That’s what gave the worm the action that provoked the fish to strike.

It was deadly.

The best part of the fish day can be the rabble-rousing jokes that fly among fishing buddies that share their love for the outdoors with a rod and reel. From L to R: Leon Archer, Wayne Brewer, Scott Callen, Mike Joyner and Scott Gauld.  Forrest Fisher Photo

I added a little diagram to the “fishing secrets” book I keep after each trip for future use and to share with some youngster learning to fish along the way when the chance to help a kid occurs.

Cassadaga Lake is a sleeper lake for sure.  When the bigger nearby waterways of Lake Erie and Chautauqua Lake are too rough with wind or rain, this is one secret spot to be aware of. 

Lots of cooperative fish for catching and releasing for the fun of fishing. Especially with friends. Right now, you know at least one way to fish and what to do when you get there.

Tight lines everyone!

Orleans County Fishing Report – Aug. 29, 2017

  • LOC Derby Ends Sep. 4
  • Lure Selection Tips
  • Lake Alice Bass Fishing Still Good

Today is Tuesday August 29, 2017.
There is still time to enter the Fall LOC Derby and collect some of the great cash prizes that are up for grabs. The derby ends on Monday September 4th at 1 PM with the awards ceremony taking place at Captain Jack’s in Sodus Point starting around 3PM. Hope to see your name on the leader board.
Fishing on Lake Ontario off the shores of Orleans County has been interesting to say the least. Fish are on the move from close to shore and then off shore depending on the winds of the day.
Lure selection seems to be anybody’s guess, but it seems that spoons in the green patterns and flashers in the white patterns are most often mentioned.
With the cooler temperatures of the past few days, salmon are inching closer to shore and preparing for their spawning runs but warmer temperatures could slow that down a bit.
The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey wrapped up this past Sunday with some great catches posted on the leader board. What really makes this event so fantastic is the attention payed to the young ladies and gentlemen that participate in this event. A big “Thank You” to all of the parents that take the time to take these future leaders into the great outdoors and help them experience some of nature at its best.
Perch fishing on the lower stretches of the “Oak” should start picking up very soon as the water temperature of the “Oak” gets to more favorable levels.
On Lake Alice, bass fishing is still good to very good on the upper reaches and Bluegill are still being caught around the Waterport Bridge area.
The Erie Canal is still a good source for all of the warm water species and a great place to enjoy a sunny afternoon with the family.
From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.
Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

DONUTS, HOT COFFEE and WALLEYE AT SUNRISE!

  • The “Great Lakes Experience” EVENT is Exemplary
  • Allowing Lures, Lines, Rigs, Rules and Laws, to Meet Each Other
  • Communication, Great Fishing and Laughter Create EFFECTIVE FUN
  • Summer Fishing for Lake Erie Walleye in Chautauqua County, NY

By Forrest Fisher

Which lures to choose are among key questions that anglers ask each time they head out to Lake Erie for walleye.  This year, some of the solid choices are shown here. Forest Fisher Photo

If there is a language common between anglers and fish, they were talking to each other off Chadwick Bay in Dunkirk, New York, during the Great Lakes Experience earlier in August.  More than 20 charter boats each caught dozens of walleye.  Yes, each.  If we average the catch at 20 fish per boat, that’s about 400 walleyes in less than four hours of fishing.  And when the fish are biting, good things happen, especially when folks from local, state, county and federal positions get together to discuss the recreational fishery and all that goes with it.

That’s what happened during the 9th Annual Great Lakes Experience Fishing Day.  About 100 people from Erie County, Niagara County and Chautauqua County were invited to fish together.  Attendees met at the harbor at about 6:00 a.m. on August 9, 2017, for the annual Tim Horton’s “Meet & Greet” session. Nothing like donuts and hot coffee at sunrise!  We divided into groups from there as we were assigned to captains from the Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association (ELECBA), that provided a unified effort with a simple goal: To catch some fish and share more about reasons why the Lake Erie resource is so important and so priceless.

I was fishing with Captain Jim Skoczylas (Ultimate Adventure Sportfishing (716-796-5372) and first mate, Tom “TJ” Yetzer. They provided guests on board Jim’s 31-foot Tiara, a fun and comfortable time, even in the 4 to 6 foot waves that came up later in the morning. 

 

Ally Pawarski from the Buffalo Sports Commission, shares in the walleye fun and bounty of Lake Erie with a nice 5-pound fish. Forrest Fisher Photo

Skoczylas says, “While the fishing has been really good this year, each day we play it by ear to adapt when we need to change lures and methods.   On some days the fish want crankbaits, other days they want spinner/worm rigs, on finicky days – color matters, but on most days this year, it has not mattered too much what you put down there.  The walleye have been looking to eat and there are many year classes, especially young fish, in our New York, Lake Erie, fishery right now.  Many of us are wondering if there might be a shortage of emerald shiners and smelt – the primary baitfish groups out here, because the fish usually want to eat our lures quite readily.”Between hearing Yetzer holler, “Fish-on, who’s up?” and Tom Hersey, Erie County Commissioner of Environment and Planning say, “Oops, I think I might have lost that one (four times),” there was lots of kidding, laughs and honest fascination with the rigs and processes used to catch fish.” 

Captain Skoczylas found fish about 70 feet down in 80 to 105 feet of water. Downriggers, diving plans and long lead-line rigs were used to catch 26 fish in less than 4 hours of fishing. Forrest Fisher Photo

On the other hand, Ally Pawarski, Sales and Services Manager with the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission, didn’t lose a single fish and was tuned-in for the whole trip – landing the largest walleye on our boat. 

Dan Rizzo, Commissioner of Erie County Parks, Chris Catanzaro, Project Manager for the Erie County Harbor Development Corporation, along with Patrick Kaler, CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Visitors Bureau, all enjoyed fish-catching and common conversation.  I was happy to be among this dedicated group.

Spinner/Worm rig colors for blades and beads, and hook size, can vary from day to day, but the question can be finding the right one on the day you are fishing. Forrest Fisher Photo

We talked about the fishing goodness, Buffalo Harbor State Park boat ramps, the Central Train Station location, Canalside activities, Buffalo Riverworks, Lake Erie recreational access, kayaks, the health of the fishery, the Coast Guard, the people and the fun of the outdoors on the waterfront.  Add in ideas for marketing and distribution, thoughts of a virtual fish-catching program from Lake Erie on the internet, on-board drone videos for future customers fishing Lake Erie along the New York shoreline, and you can see, conversation was all-inclusive with new ideas.

Running 12 coordinated lines at depths of 70 to 80 feet down in 85 to 105 feet of water, and using all the gear dressed up with spinner/worm rigs and stickbaits, we hooked up with 26 fish in a very short 4 hours on the water.  Diving planes, weighted leadcore lines, downriggers and lots of lures and stickbaits were all part of the presentation mix with a trolling speed of 2.1 mph.  It was a perfect scenario for catching fish and to discuss issues/answers. 

After the fishing, the perfect walleye fish fry lunch was served at the Northern Chautauqua County Conservation Club.  We heard from several speakers, perhaps the most notable was about raw sewage overload on our Great Lakes from Rich Davenport, Director from the Erie County Fish Advisory Board. 

Everyone enjoyed a great time networking about life in the outdoors and the incredible natural resource, Lake Erie, and agreed to work hard together to keep this treasure alive and well into the future. 

There were representatives from the NYSDEC, including Stephen Hurst – Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources Bureau Chief from Albany, Patricia Riexinger recently retired from that same position, Don Einhouse and Jason Robinson, fisheries biologists from the NYSDEC Lake Erie Fisheries Unit, a host of legislative leaders – Senators and Assemblymen, the charter captains and their crews – the proper combination for networking and laughter too.    

Gene Pauszek, outdoor communicator for the Dunkirk Observer, caught this 11.41 pound walleye monster a few days before the Great Lakes Experience in early August.  He was fishing aboard Sassafras Charters with Captain Lance Erhardt and using a borrowed fishing rod and rig to fool this whopper.  Go figure.

This annual event allows local groups to bring certain very real issues to light and provides the potential for discussion on the battlefront of conservation, the outdoors and our Great Lakes resources.  There is nothing like a face-to-face meeting of the minds.  Issues and solutions, in between catching fish and a few grins, become a solid focus.  

Amidst the apparent visual complexity of multiple rods/reels, downriggers, diving planes, planer boards, temperature measurement and trolling gear, and lots of lures, the confidence in the voice of our hosts on board each charter craft was reassuring.  Confidence reigns.

The event was organized by Zen Olow (Northern Chautauqua County Conservation Club), Lance Erhardt (Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association) and Andrew Nixon (Executive Director Chautauqua County CVB), and a supporting cast of dozens. 

Fish on!  Who’s up?! God Bless America.

Children in the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program

  • Free for Kids 10 to 110 Years of Age
  • No Experience necessary
  • Classes Conducted at State University of NY at Fredonia

The Children in the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program will be starting its eighteenth year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to youth and adults in the western New York region.  The classes will be presented every Tuesday starting August 29, 2017, from 7-8:30 pm at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia, in Fredonia, NY.

No prior experience is needed and all classes are free. Classes are appropriate for anyone between 10 and 110.

In 1998, Alberto Rey and Mike Conley attended Sportfishing and Aquatic Resource Educational Programming (S.A.R.E.P.) through the Cornell Cooperative. The seminars provided training for teachers and future instructors who would provide educational conservation experiences to children. Shortly afterwards, S.A.R.E.P. Youth Fly Fishing Program was founded after a grant was received from Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency.  The program has continued to grow over the years as enrollment has steadily increased and as the program has provided new services to the community. In 2016, S.A.R.E.P. /4H Youth Fly Fishing Program’s name was changed to Children in the Stream/4H Program.

Children in the Stream is an educational program that provides children with information and experiences related to aquatic resources, conservation, ethics, and fly fishing. Fly fishing has a long history of integrating these elements into the core of the sport. The ethics of the program promotes “catch and release” as well as respect for fellow fisherman and the land on which one fishes. It is our goal to protect the species and the land for future generations. Our program closely ties together the importance of understanding nature with the rewarding act of fly fishing.

Children in the Stream is a volunteer organization that relies on the generosity of the fly fishing industry and of public and private donors. It provides programming to the Boys and Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County and to middle and high schools in the area. Children in the Stream provides workshops to an average of 350 children a year.

Here are the elements of the program: Weekly Fly Tying and Rod Building Sessions Monthly Fly Fishing Field Trips Canadaway Creek Conservation Project Conservation Days Workshops  Brook Trout Restoration Project Children in the Stream Conference: An Interdisciplinary Fly Fishing Conference

For more information on our efforts you can look at this episode by a national television show, Aqua Kids, who documents the Children in the Stream’s Canadaway Creek Conservation Program and Brook Trout Restoration Program. Here’s are also some recent articles and blogs written about the program and the Children in the Stream Conference; http://buffalonews.com/2016/11/17/bill-hilts-jr-fly-fishing-program-gets-anglers-ages-involved/ http://www.buffalonews.com/sports/outdoors/will-elliott-helping-fly-fishing-take-flight-20150321 http://www.fishhound.com/blog/bringing-brook-trout-back-great-lakes http://www.fishhound.com/blog/when-you-live-and-love-fishing-possible http://www.orvisnews.com/FlyFishing/Children-in-the-Stream-Conference.aspx http://www.orvisnews.com/FlyFishing/Children-in-the-Stream-Conference-a-Success.aspx http://www.flyfishergirl.com/

You can also see recent pictures, movies and information from our recent projects in the blog section of this site. For more information about our home waters, check out our our history of Canadaway Creek link.

If you would like more information on the program please contact me Alberto Rey here or at alberto@albertorey.com or by calling 716-410-7003.

KING SALMON BITE is ON! Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for August 23, 2017

  • King’s Salmon are Schooling on Niagara Bar
  • Derby Results Yield 30-pound King Miracle Win
  • Big Fish Catching is on RIGHT NOW
  • Brought to you by Destination Niagara USA

John Van Hoff with this derby-winning Niagara Bar king salmon caught on a meat-rig.

Last weekend there were three fishing derbies and a tournament going on in Niagara Falls USA waters.

John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda went out fishing last Sunday, the final day for the Orleans County Rotary Derby.  The leader was 30 pounds, 9 ounces.  Using a flasher and meat rig, he pounded the Niagara Bar all morning.  With less than an hour to go in the derby, Van Hoff hit a fish that looked to be over 30 pounds.  Would it beat Keith Sheffield’s king salmon and could he make it to the Slippery Sinker in Olcott in time by the 1 p.m. cut-off?  Van Hoff made it with 15 minutes to spare and the weight was 30 pounds, 12 ounces – taking over the lead and eventually winning the $4,000 Grand Prize.

Joe Oakes with his 34 pound King Salmon from Wilson.

Other divisional winners were Robert Griffith with a 16 pound steelhead; Bill Cole with a 14 pound brown trout; and Dan DeGeorge with a 17 and one-half pound lake trout.  Meanwhile, two hours after Van Hoff was catching his winning salmon, Joe Oakes of Lockport was reeling in a 34 and one-half pound salmon out of Wilson that would take over the lead in the Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby and the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey in the Salmon Division.

The bar has been set as the LOC Derby continues through Labor Day and the Odyssey continues through Sunday.  Speaking of the Odyssey, updates are now being put on the Fish Odyssey Facebook page due to the fact that webmaster Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors needed emergency surgery.  Say a prayer.  The awards for the Odyssey will be Sunday, Aug. 27, at Olcott Fire Hall on Route 78 starting at 4 p.m.

Congratulations to the Just One More Cure team led by Capt. Bryan Lukehart of Pennsylvania.  His ladies crew won the 2nd annual Reelin’ for a Cure event held last Friday with a score of 149 points while fishing out of Olcott.  

John Schaeffer of Jamestown, NY, shows off a 33 pound King Salmon from Olcott.

The tourney raised over $4,000 for the Breast Cancer Network of WNY.

Fishing on the local front has been pretty darn good, at least when Mother Nature cooperates.  Salmon can be found from the Niagara Bar to east of Olcott.  Van Hoff caught a dozen mature kings on the Bar using meat on Sunday.  Oakes hit his leading king between 350 and 400 feet of water out in front of Wilson using a flasher-fly – the A-Tom-Mik Stud fly – 90 feet down on his rigger.  At the same time, John Shafer of Jamestown was fishing a J-plug in front of Olcott and hit a 33 pound, 7 ounce king that is first place in the salmon division.  There are a lot of kings around. And if you want to target steelhead or browns, they are available, too.  

Evan Rohe of Cheektowaga, NY, with a nice trout entry in the Odyssey Contest.

In the LOC Derby, George Hovak of North Tonawanda is in second with a 12 pound steelhead out of Wilson. The leader is from Point Breeze, a 16 pound, 9 ounce fish. Top brown is also from the Point, a 14 pound, 3 ounce trout, but second place is from Olcott.  Both leaders came on Moonshine spoons.

In the Odyssey, top lake trout is a 21 pound, 6 ounce Niagara Bar fish reeled in by Ed Klejdys of North Tonawanda.  Leading walleye is an 11 pound, 6 ounce Niagara Bar fish weighed in by Anthony LaRosa of Lewiston.  Big bass so far is a 5 pound smallie reeled in by Dave Muir of North Tonawanda from Lake Erie. Ken Trontel of Pennsylvania has the first place brown trout with a 13 pound, 9 ounce Olcott fish.  Leading carp is 19 pounds, 12 ounces caught by Michael Boncore of Buffalo in the Niagara River.  Some impressive kids catches, too.

Niagara River fishing has been good for bass and walleye both. Crayfish and shiners are working the best, fished off three-way rigs. 

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions; Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p:
716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Ozark Bass are Easy Pickin’ when You Know How

  • Canoe Fishing with Dennis Whiteside
  • Old-Fashioned Topwater Fishing Fun

By Brent Frazee

Dennis Whiteside, 69, shares how to catch Ozark bass in the middle of stifling hot summer weather.

It was another stifling day in the Ozarks.  The temperature steadily climbed toward the upper 90s and the humidity made it seem even worse.

A bad time to go fishing, right?

Not in Dennis Whiteside’s eyes.  To him, these were near-perfect conditions to take a float-fishing trip for smallmouth bass.

“I’ve had some of my best days of fishing on these Ozarks streams on days like this,” said Whiteside, 69, a longtime float guide from Springfield, Mo.  “For one thing, no one else is out. You can make a float and not see another person.”

“And this is the time of the year when their (smallmouth bass) metabolism is highest.  They’re eating.  You just have to drop the food in front of them.”

Minutes after launching his canoe on the middle stretch of the James River near Springfield, Mo., Whiteside was doing just that.

With a few strokes of his paddle, he maneuvered his 18 ½-foot canoe through a gurgling riffle, then positioned it to the edge of a pool.

He cast a topwater lure to a spot where slack water met the current and began buzzing it across the surface.  But it didn’t get far.

The bait disappeared in a flash of bronze and an angry smallmouth bass leapt out of the water, arching to get free.

The fish landed with a loud splash, then made a frantic run to escape.  It wasn’t long, though, before Whiteside had the 16-inch fish in the canoe and was celebrating another day of fishing the old-fashioned way.

“This is how I’ve been fishing most of my life,” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with being out on a big lake, in a bass boat, with a big motor and all, but that isn’t for me.

“I’d much rather be on moving water, where you’re practically alone and you’re fishing the same way as people have been for more than 50 years.

“I don’t even use a trolling motor.  It just gets in the way.  All I need is a paddle.”

Whiteside can do magic with that paddle.  He can negotiate hairpin turns, find water that is barely deep enough to float his canoe, and display an uncanny ability of knowing where the smallmouth’s will be.

It was the James River on this day.  But it could be countless others—the Current, the Niangua, the Eleven Point, Crooked Creek, and on and on.  He estimates he has floated 300 streams in Missouri and Arkansas, some of them so small that they aren’t even on the map.  And he has caught smallmouths out of every one of them.

He is part of a vanishing breed.  In a day and age, where most guides take customers out on large reservoirs to fish for bass or crappies, Whiteside does things the old-fashioned way – with just a paddle, a couple of fishing rods and a small tackle box of lures.

Even on the hottest days of the year, it works.  When Whiteside took two customers – David Gray and me – on the James in late July, the fishing was spectacular.

As schools of suckers scattered in front his advancing canoe, Whiteside continually searched for the shaded water with enough depth, current and cover to provide good smallmouth habitat.

Feeding the fish a steady diet of a variety of topwater lures, we got explosive hits throughout the morning.  Most fishermen would expect the action to slack as the sun got higher.  Just the opposite.

As noon approached, the fishing got even better. Casting to rocky banks in the shade, we watched as big smallies routinely emerged to attack our lures.  By the end of our five-mile trip, Whiteside estimated we caught and released 40 smallmouths, many of them in the 13- to 16-inch range.

An unusual trip?  Hardly.  Whiteside expects good fishing on the Ozarks streams once summer arrives.  There is one caveat.  There has to be enough water.  Some streams, especially those that aren’t spring-fed, will get too low to even float for long stretches.  But those that have springs, will remain floatable.

“The big fallacy about topwater fishing is that you have to be out either early in the morning or just before the sun goes down to catch fish,” Whiteside said.  “That’s not true. Even on these hot days, our best fishing will be from 11 (a.m.) to 3 (p.m.)

“You have to be accurate with your casts.  But if you can put that lure within 3 feet of where you think that fish will be, and it’s in the shade, you can catch some big smallmouths.”

Brent Frazee is a freelance writer from Parkville, Mo., who served as the outdoors editor of The Kansas City Star for 36 years before retiring in 2016.  He continues to write for magazines and has a blog on his website www.brentfrazee.com.

To reach Dennis Whiteside, call 479-692-3372.

Orleans County Fishing Report – Aug. 23, 2017

  • King of the Oak Tournament News
  • King Salmon and Coho’s have New Location
  • Lake Alice Bass Fishing

Today is Tuesday August 22, 2017.

There were a lot of derbies and tournaments going on this weekend with some fantastic catches brought to the scales.

The “King-of-the Oak” Tournament was postponed on Saturday due to a small craft advisory on Lake Ontario and was held instead on Sunday.  For this second leg of the tournament, Captain Tom Boddy and crew of Screamin’ Reels Charters amassed a fantastic catch with three salmon weighing in at 73.13 Pounds.  Right behind Tom, was Capt. Rick Hajecki of Yankee Troller and in 3rd place was Capt. Bob Songin of Reel Excitement Charters.  The third and final leg of the tournament will be held on September 3rd and will determine who gets the coveted title of “King of the Oak” for next year.

Sunday was also the end of the Orleans County Rotary Derby and this year it was a nail biter right to the end.  With a very short time left, John Vanhoff of North Tonawanda landed a 30-pound 12-ounce salmon to knock Keith Sheffield’s 30-pound 9-ounce salmon out of the grand prize winner’s spot by just 3 ounces. That put Keith in the first-place spot for the salmon division.  In the steelhead/rainbow trout division, Robert Griffith of Copley, Ohio, brought in a 15-pound 14-ounce beauty to take first place.  The first place brown trout was taken by Bill Cole of Albion with a 14-pound 3-ounce beauty and the big lake trout was caught by Dan DeGeorge of Rochester, with a monster 17-pound 10-ounce fish.

It’s interesting to note that two of the participants that made it to the leader board are young gentlemen, Jason Grager in 2nd place with a 12-pound 12-ounce brown trout, and in 3rd place in the lake trout division was Braydon Gambell with a 14-pound 9-ounce beauty. Just goes to show that the youth of today are into the great outdoors and especially fishing.

This report is getting too long, so I’ll cover the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey and the Fall LOC Derby in my next report.

On Lake Ontario, after a rocky start this year, fishing has settled in to an area around the 25.5 to the 27 lines with some great catches of both Chinook and Coho salmon along with very large steelhead thrown into the mix.

On Lake Alice, around the Waterport Bridge, catches of Bluegill are good but a lot of smaller fish in the mix.  Please remember that those smaller fish are the future catches so put them back to grow into next year’s catch.  Bass fishing on Lake Alice remains good to very good in the upper reaches.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak” a good mixed bag of the warm water species is being taken.  One gentleman I know of says that Gar pike fishing in this area is just about the best anywhere.  It won’t be long before the perch fishing starts up again on the lower stretches of the “Oak” and that will be followed by some of the best tributary fishing to be found anywhere.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report for August 16, 2017 – Presented by Destination Niagara USA

Lake Ontario Fishing Derbies Start this Weekend

Get ready to Rumble – Lake Ontario fishing style! This weekend, there will be three different fishing derbies going on, as well as a ladies tournament.

Jim Gasewski of Ohio hoists of a tasty salmon caught fishing aboard the Hawg with Capt. Jim Gordon.

The Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby kicks off on August 18 and runs through Labor Day. There is a $25,000 is the Grand Prize for the largest Salmon. Check www.loc.org for details.
The Second Annual Reelin’ for a Cure will also begin on August 18 out of Wilson and Olcott from 6 a.m. to noon. This all-ladies event will be raising funds for the Breast Cancer Network of WNY. It looks like right around 20 teams for this year. It’s a fun time for sure. Contact Stephanie Pierleoni at 716-481-6388 for more information or go on the event’s Facebook page.
The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby is set for August 19th to the 27th. This contest includes six species categories for the adults and a Grand Prize of $3,000. For the kids, it’s free to enter with loads of merchandise prizes and trophies. Sign up at any of the LOC weigh stations or at www.fishodyssey.net. This is for Niagara, Orleans and Erie counties. Many thanks to Jim and Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott who do a lion’s share of the work behind the scenes, such as the website and the leaderboard. This is a great way to get the whole family out to enjoy the waters of Western New York.

Ricky Deubel of Cleveland, Ohio, reeled in this 31 pound king salmon while fishing with Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo.

The Orleans County Rotary Derby is still going on and that contest will end on Sunday, August 20.
Now to the fishing. The water has been messed up a bit in the lake due to some unfavorable winds. The most stable water has been out deep. Hawg Charters and Capt. Jim Gordon headed out of Olcott this week and fished the 29 line one day and did well on kings, Coho’s and steelhead. All his action was on spoons in the top 60 feet of water. He repeated the performance the next day on the 27 line heading north, but the action was mostly 80 to 90 feet down. Capt. Mark Vilardo used spin doctors and flies to catch some nice kings in the 300 to 350 foot depth range, 80 to 90 feet down. Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo was fishing in 120 feet of water and took a 31 pound king so the mature fish are slowly starting to make their way closer to home. The Niagara Bar has been a here today – gone tomorrow scenario, and them back again, depending on what is happening with the wind and weather.

Capt. Jim Gordon holds up a trophy steelhead.

In the Lower Niagara River, bass and walleye have both been biting.  Capt. Jake Joseph with Jiggin’ Jake’s Charters has been doing well on walleye along drifts like Stella Niagara and around the green buoy marker.  Bass have also been cooperative with shiners and crabs.  Reports of the first salmon are normally seen by the third week in August and there were some rumors that some were seen this past week.  However the main run isn’t for another month. It should be a good one!
Upper Niagara River bass and walleye action remains consistent and the Erie Canal is still offering up some fish – pike and bass. Kayakers working Wilson Harbor have been catching some pike and bass. Spinnerbaits are good to toss around the weed edges.

Orleans County Fishing Report – Aug. 15, 2017

  • Rotary Derby Awards this Sunday
  • Mid-Level Fishing producing King Salmon
  • Border Water Fishing producing Steelies & Salmon

Today is Tuesday August 15, 2017.

By request, the Orleans County Hotline Report will now be updated every Tuesday instead of Wednesday.

First, the location of the Rotary Derby Awards Ceremony this Sunday has been changed from the Carlton Rec Hall to the Black North.  Hope to see all of you there for a great time and I know that great food and drink will be available.  After a slow start to the derby this year, the leader board is filling up with some fantastic catches in all of the categories, and there’s still time to enter and be one of those on the leader board at the awards ceremony.

Hit and miss showers are in the weather forecast over the next week, so let’s hope for more miss and less hit.

The mid-water fishing, around the 200 feet of water mark, has started to come on with mostly salmon in the catches.  The off-shore fishing has moved out to almost the border and is producing a good mixed bag of both salmon and steelhead.  The baits being used are all over the place so the best advice I can give is to use what you have the greatest confidence in and then change as needed.

Please remember that we now have two great ports to fish out of and two great charter fleets for you to book trip with, Point Breeze and Bald Eagle Creek Marina.  The marinas at Point Breeze have been working all season long to provide the very best of service while fighting the high-water conditions as has the great crew at Bald Eagle Creek Marina.

On Lake Alice, around the Waterport Bridge, catches of Bluegill are good but a lot of smaller fish in the mix.  Please remember that those smaller fish are the future catches so put them back to grow into next year’s catch.  Bass fishing on Lake Alice remains good to very good in the upper reaches.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak” a good mixed bag of the warm water species is being taken.  One gentleman I know of says that Gar pike fishing in this area are just about the best anywhere.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Become a Citizen Scientist for Black Bear Research in New York New “iSeeMammals” App

By NYSDEC

iSeeMammals is a new citizen science project of DEC and the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University. It collects data to help researchers and DEC biologists study the distribution and size of the black bear population in New York. iSeeMammals will help researchers collect data from more areas than researchers can cover in the field.

Participation is open to all. iSeeMammals collects information about where and when users identify bears or bear signs (scat, tracks, hair, markings) while hiking or on their personal trail cameras. Photographs of observations, repeat hikes, and trail cameras set up for multiple months are strongly encouraged. An app for data collection and submission is available for free download in Apple and Android stores.

Visit iSeeMammals.org to:

Learn more about the project

Access photo galleries of iSeeMammals data as photos are submitted

Get information on bear ecology and bear management in New York

See extras like quizzes, contests, and giveaways

Training workshops and seminars may be available; inquire via their contact form. 

 

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Report for August 10, 2017

Lake Ontario – The hottest action out deep has been for steelhead off Wilson and Olcott.  Boats have been heading out to 400-500 feet of water for salmon and trout, but most of the fish have been nice steelhead taken on spoons.

Flasher-fly will work for trout but if there are kings and coho’s around, those seem to be the best baits to use. The DW 42nd spoon keeps popping up for one popular bait; for spinnies, white on white, white 2 face, and chrome green dot flashers with stud fly, purple or lime mirage fly have worked best, but other colors are working, too.

A few salmon have started to make it in closer to shore, but the best and most consistent fishing has been out deep.

The Niagara Bar is producing some nice fish, as well.

John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda was out last weekend and did well with flasher-fly 90 feet down over 100 feet of water right at the drop off.  He caught a dozen nice kings to 25 pounds.

Out of Wilson, Capt. Mike Johannes has been reporting fish about 8 miles out, but fish are also available in the 100 to 200 foot depth range.  Spoons and flasher-fly, what’s been working elsewhere, has been the hot bite.  Meat will also work for kings as we move closer to the time when salmon will be making their way in to the ports they were stocked at.

The Orleans County Rotary Derby has been plugging along slowly the past week. Mike Schaeffer of Sligo, Pa., is leading the grand prize quest with a 28 pound, 6 ounce salmon out of the Oak.  In the Salmon Division, Chase Lamb of Burt is in first place with an Olcott king that weighed 23 pounds, 15 ounces.  The contest runs through August 20th, which helps set up for one of the busiest weekends of the year as far as the fishing scene is concerned.

The Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby kicks off on August 18 and runs through Labor Day.  Also on August 18, the Second Annual Reelin’ for a Cure will be held out of Wilson and Olcott from 6 a.m. to noon.  This all-ladies event will be raising funds for the Breast Cancer Network of WNY.  Last year there were 12 teams.  This year it looks like it has more than doubled!  They need boats – charter boats and rec boats – to make it all happen.  It’s a fun time for sure. Contact Stephanie Pierleoni at 481-6388 for more information or go on the event’s Facebook page.

The final contest that starts up next weekend is the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby, set for August 19th to the 27th. Six species categories for the adults and a Grand Prize of $3,000.  For the kids, it’s free to enter with loads of merchandise prizes and trophies.  Sign up at any of the LOC weigh stations or at www.fishodyssey.net.  This is for Niagara, Orleans and Erie counties. Many thanks to Jim and Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott, who do a lion’s share of the work behind the scenes, such as the website and the leaderboard.  This is a great way to get the whole family out to enjoy the waters of Western New York.

Niagara River action, both above and below Niagara Falls, has been dominated by bass, but the walleye fishing can be pretty good, too.  Bass are liking crayfish and shiners, in that order.

Walleye are liking worm harnesses and other spinner-worm combinations.  Yellow sally rigs are a local favorite in the lower river.

  Captain Ernie Calandrelli of Lewiston also hit the top walleye on the same drift, using the same bait as Fox – a softshell crab.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303; p: 1-877 FALLS US; 716-282-8992 x. 303; f: 716-285-0809; www.niagarafallsusa.comfacebook | twitter | instagram

FOR SALE – A CABIN IN THE WOODS

By Larry Whiteley
When I was younger I used to dream of having a cabin in the woods. A simple cabin nestled among cedars and hardwoods somewhere in the Ozark Mountains of southwest Missouri.

My grandma used to tell me if I dreamed long enough and worked hard enough my dreams would come true. Grandma was right and 20 years ago my wife and I found and bought that cabin. It was only 5 acres, but surrounded by the thousands of acres of the Mark Twain National Forest.

The small cabin sits upon a rock bluff overlooking a creek and waterfall. Just like my dreams, it is surrounded by cedars and hardwoods and a scattering of pines. The trees keep it hidden from view of the few cars that travel the gravel road, and offer shade and protection from the summer’s sun and cold winds of winter.
A little wood stove sits in a corner and warms the cabin on winter days. Antique snowshoes hang on both sides of moose antlers. Deer, pheasant, ducks, trout, bass, and a big muskie hang on the walls. Fox, beaver and raccoon pelts further add to the setting. Each has a special memory and a story.
Deer antlers, turtle shells, feathers, buckeyes, rocks, bird nests and other nature things can be found everywhere you look. Most have been picked up by grandkids while on cabin adventures. They are mixed in with old duck decoys, along with the jars, dishes and other antiques that are my wife’s special touch.

Most noticeable though are all the pictures of our kids and grandkids hung with loving care and sitting on shelves. Pictures of them with turkey, deer, fish or just having a good time at the cabin. Grandkid pictures when they were just babies as well as pictures of them as young adults.

Looking out our windows we see birds of all kinds coming to the feeders. April thru October is hummingbird time and I don’t mean just a few. Hundreds at a time are a sight that thrills everyone who visits.

The deck is a great place to watch squirrels playing in the woods, butterflies landing on wild flowers, or bats diving for insects in a summer’s night sky. You can hear the waterfall as it cascades down Dogwood Mountain, listen to the sounds of the creek as it flows across the riffles, and hear the kingfisher swooping above the water or crows calling up the valley.

The fire pit is where grandkids roasted marshmallows and shared time with PaPaw. It’s a place to watch the flames dance and flicker as the worry and stress melts away. It’s a place for fish fry’s, cookouts and fellowship.
A big barn and a small barn store the ATVs and other things. They are also great for making things and places for grandkids to play when it’s raining.

Grandkids loved going fishing, hunting squirrels, swimming, snorkeling, catching crawdads, skipping rocks, playing in the gravel or waterfall, finding feathers, wading in the creek and riding ATV’s.

Good neighbors like Bob and Barb, Wayne and Jane, Annie and Winnie, Doug and Kim, Judge John, Sheila and Willie love the valley too. With them we have shared hiking trails, ATV rides, campfires and pieces of our lives.

Spring at the cabin is redbuds, dogwoods and wildflowers, along with the sound of peeper frogs and whip-poor-wills. Summer is fishing, swimming, relaxing or playing in the creek. Fall brings a kaleidoscope of color, hunting season, looking for buckeyes, hiking, and cutting wood for the cold months ahead. Winter is books by the fire, making new hiking trails, and hiking in the snow.

 

The 20 years of owning the cabin have passed in a hurry and things have changed.
Kids have grown up and are busy with their own lives now and don’t come to the cabin anymore and won’t after we are gone. The older grandkids don’t come either except for deer season. They would rather go to the lake than the creek. Younger grandkids live a long drive away. All of them will all always have memories of the cabin.

Grandma and I are getting older now too and it’s time for another change. As long as we live we will still have the memories and the pictures. It will be hard to say goodbye to the cabin but it’s time to find someone else who has dreamed of owning a cabin in the woods.

I wipe tears from my eyes as I finish writing this. Remember that a cabin is more than just a cabin. It is a living structure with a soul of memories and dreams. It is a place to get away, to share with others and to share fragments of one’s life with nature.

If you dream of owning a cabin in the woods, e-mail Larry at lwhiteley2@basspro.com

 

Big Beast Bass Adventures at Conesus Lake (NY)

  • Silent Presentation is KEY
  • Simple Fishing Rigs can be MOST EFFECTIVE
  • Quality Line, Sharp Hooks, Stiff Rod can help ASSURE Hookup & Catch
Simple Fishing can be effective, things to consider and details are part of this fish-catching story. Forrest Fisher Photo

By Forrest Fisher
When does the adventure of a short fishing trip become special?
After that unforgettable connection to big fish success.
When the fun is non-stop spontaneous.
When you realize something very good happened that was not totally expected.
When you’re fishing with your grandson!
That’s when. Grandkids grow up too quick, but they sure create some great memories that become more than special. Here’s one trip story that is time-honored in my “greatest gift” memory scrapbook.
Bass boats with 250HP engines whizzed from spot to spot around the lake, their engines echoing brilliant monotones of sheer power among lake cottages and the luscious green hills. You could sense the connection to new technology watching them.
There were jet-ski rigs too, and water skiers, and brave stand-up paddle board folks, and kids in tow on floating rafts behind family-sized pontoon boats – there was lots of mid-afternoon activity. Fun activity.
There was also one bright-yellow 12-foot Mirrocraft aluminum boat with two anglers and only two fishing rods. In the sun, the yellow boat rig was easily visible from a half-mile, but looking from the bottom up, it was so bright that it matched the sunshine. An uncommon mode for fishing stealth.
There was no gas-powered engine on the transom. It was a very common, simple, durable, car-top fishing boat with wooden oars for normal motion, except for one thing: On the bow was mounted an old-time, cable-drive, foot-pedal controlled Johnson 12V electric motor on a cross-piece of pressure-treated board. The battery was in a case in the back of the boat for weight distribution and a shielded electric cable, duct-taped along the side of the boat, made the power connection. A Lowrance X-50 sonar unit, tiny in size and volume, but effective, was also hooked in, providing underwater eyes for depth awareness.
The rig offered stealth movement in sheer silence. It provided more ability to work a quiet fishing line around weedbeds, docks, and rocks and buoy markers, maybe even more stealth than one of the new $85,000 bass boat rigs.
With a 15-pound cannon-ball anchor for holding position in the wind, it was simply efficient. In fact, it was a pretty slick-looking fishing rig in a class all by itself. Even with movement, it did not spook fish – big bass, that were nearby.
The fella driving the boat was my grandson. I’m so proud that he shares a similar passion for the outdoors, like I do, and that his father does too – now a long-standing family tradition. It’s the kind of passion and tradition that keeps us all curious to learn more about new things we find when we spend time in the outdoors. It helps to bring us back to meet adventure in the outdoors time and again, and that next time can never be far away.
His fishing rigs are simple, but like the boat, are totally functional. He has thought this out. The boat and fishing rigs are assembled to hook and land big black bass.
His humble Shimano open-face spinning reel is mounted on a 7-foot long, semi-stiff graphite rod (Carbon-X, S-15) with 10-pound Gamma braid line that has 6-feet of 16-pound fluorocarbon Sun Line leader tied to the end. The leader is dock-tough line, thin in diameter and is nearly invisible. The 10-pound braid allows feathered casts for short pinpoint casting, or into the wind with a little “wrist-reach” for long distance.
Terminal tackle includes heavy-wire size 3/0 VMC hooks, the same kind used by many of the Elite Series pro anglers. His favorite bass bait? Friend and bass pro-staffer, Scott Callen, recommended the Sun Line and the 6-inch Big-Bite-Baits “TRICK STICK” plastic worms. My grandson rigs them Texas-style to be weedless (not wacky). An assortment of worm colors is visible in the clear plastic Plano tackle box on the boat seat, and there is only one box. My grandson adds, “Why complicate simple fishing, but just gotta make sure you have that green-pumpkin red flake in there.”
A check with Ted’s Bait & Tackle in Lakeville, N.Y. (opens at 6AM every day, (585) 429-0587), helped with the plastic worm color selection. Proprietor Ted Decker and associate, Bill Brizzee, know the lake and what’s working, and they provided advice about the Big Bite Bait worm colors. Brizzee says, “Yeah, you know they’re priced right ($1.99) in a 5-pack package and we go through ‘em pretty quick when the fish are biting – like this time of year, especially that green-pumpkin color and black w/red sparkle color.”
My grandson stood up in the rig and said, “This little boat is so easy to take places, it is so stable in the water and so safe, and so crafty inside the areas I like to fish. The weed lines, the tree blow-downs near inlet and outlet creeks, the docks, and if you splash-cast up into the shade of whatever structure you can find – even in 6-inches of water, so that your worm entry makes little or no sound, it just settles and sinks – the fish just jump on it. Getting the presentation right is fun! It took me a few years to get better at good casting though.” I knew about those fun years, “Look, you caught a 40-foot hemlock tree!” More good memories.
He went on to show me his nearly perfected casting technique,splash-casting, and on the second cast, he said, “There he goes, he’s movin with it.” He reared back and set the hook two-handed. “Got ‘em! Fish on!” He smiled with that look of fun and approval. Not using the net, he reached over the side and lipped the big bass. One picture later the fish went back to swim another day.
He did that 11 more times in the next two hours. The largest for this day was a healthy 4.65 pounder and the smallest was a 13-incher. All of the fish were plump and with good color.
Sunfish and perch make up a large part of the bass diet here, but why they like plastic worms is still anyone’s guess. I suppose they look like a salamander, leech, snake, nightcrawler or other edible live bait forms too, but one thing for sure, the fish like ‘em – or hate ‘em, because they seem to destroy them.
Before fishing, we reviewed the Conesus Lake Fishing Forum on Facebook at this link: https://www.facebook.com/ConesusLakeFishingForum/. We noted that there is a weekly, 3-fish, Tuesday evening fun bass contest open to all anglers that begins at the state launch in the central portion of the lake.
Exactly where did we fish? We launched at the north end of the lake and followed the directions and advice provided by the NYSDEC to fish the lake. Visit this link: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/25575.html.
We worked the weedbed edges, shadow side of some of the docks, and we also did some deep jigging in 25 feet of water. Found success there too, but switched to using sonar-style vertical jig baits there.
Advice for the next trip? Leave no docks and weedbed drop-offs unexplored, don’t forget the water bottles and the peanut butter/jelly sandwiches.
Tight lines everyone.

New York Announces Comprehensive Plan to Minimize Risk of Chronic Wasting Disease to Wild Deer & Moose Herds

  • Public Comments on the Draft Plan Accepted Through September 1
  • Goal: Protect Wild Whitetail Deer, Moose and Captive Elk and Other Species
  • New York is Leading Way to Protect Wildlife and Hunter Resources
Resident and non-resident hunters may reap the resource of GIANT whitetail deer harvest, and deer of any size, for decades to come as a result of this conservative objective by NYSDEC.  Forrest Fisher Photo

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the release of a draft New York State Interagency CWD Risk Minimization Plan for public comment. The plan describes proposed regulatory changes and actions that DEC will take to minimize the risk of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) entering or spreading in New York and was designed to protect both wild white-tailed deer and moose, as well as captive cervids including deer and elk held at enclosed facilities.

DEC biologists worked with New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets veterinarians and wildlife health experts at Cornell University to craft a comprehensive set of steps that are the most advanced CWD prevention strategies in the nation.

“New York is leading the way in protecting our valuable deer and moose herds,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Not only does this horrible disease kill animals slowly, but wild white-tailed deer hunting represents a $1.5 billion industry in the state. Our CWD Risk Minimization Plan is in the best interest of all of us who care about wildlife and especially about the health of our wild white-tail deer herd. Governor Cuomo’s commitment to high-quality hunting opportunities in New York also supports our taking action now to prevent a serious problem down the road.”

Disease prevention is the only cost-effective way to keep CWD out of New York. Together with the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York is using cutting-edge science and common sense to ensure that everything possible is done to protect the state’s wild deer and moose and captive deer and elk herds from CWD.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The Department’s veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians were responsible for the early detection of New York’s only CWD incident and played critical roles in the response to the discovery of CWD in 2005. Our staff continue to work hard to control the risk of this serious disease and maintain our early detection system. This plan will further support these efforts to protect our wildlife.”

CWD, an always fatal brain disease found in species of the deer family, was discovered in Oneida County wild and captive white-tailed deer in 2005. More than 47,000 deer have been tested statewide since 2002, and there has been no reoccurrence of the disease since 2005. New York is the only state to have eliminated CWD once it was found in wild populations. In North America, CWD has been found in 24 states and two Canadian provinces including neighboring Pennsylvania and Ohio.

This nice 8-Point buck was taken by Dieter Voss in Erie County, New York., on the opening day of the season at high noon. Such wild whitetail resources are the intended GOAL to SAVE” for future hunters through the new directive. Forrest Fisher Photo

CWD was first identified in Colorado in 1967 and is caused by infectious prions, which are misfolded proteins that cannot be broken down by the body’s normal processes. They cause holes to form in the brain. Prions are found in deer parts and products including urine and feces; they can remain infectious in soil for years and even be taken up into plant tissues. CWD is in the same family of diseases, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, as “mad cow” disease in cattle. Millions of cattle were destroyed because of mad cow disease in England and Europe in the 1990s and the disease also caused a fatal brain condition in some humans that ate contaminated beef products. Although there have been no known cases of CWD in humans, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that no one knowingly eat CWD-positive venison.

The proposed plan would streamline operations between DEC and the State Department of Agriculture and strengthen the state’s regulations to prevent introduction of CWD. Some examples of the proposed changes include:

  • Prohibit the importation of certain parts from any CWD-susceptible cervid taken outside of New York. Require that these animals be deboned or quartered and only the meat, raw hide or cape, and cleaned body parts, such as skull cap, antlers, jaws, and teeth, or finished taxidermy mounts be allowed for import into the state.
  • Prohibit the retail sale, possession, use, and distribution of deer or elk urine and any products from CWD-susceptible animals that may contain prions, including glands, or other excreted material while allowing New York captive cervid facilities to continue to export deer urine outside of New York State.
  • Maintain and reinforce the prohibition on the feeding of wild deer and moose in New York State.
  • Provide DEC Division of Law Enforcement the necessary authority to enforce Department of Agriculture and Market’s CWD regulations.
  • Explore possible penalties or charges to defray costs associated with the removal of escaped cervids from the environment or the response to disease outbreaks.
  • Require all taxidermists and deer processors (people who butcher deer for hire) to dispose of cervid waste and waste byproducts in compliance with 6 NYCRR Part 360, such as in a municipal landfill.
  • Promotion of improved fencing methods for captive cervids to further prevent contact with wild deer or moose.
  • Partner with the State Department of Agriculture and Markets to enhance captive cervid testing while continuing DEC’s rigorous surveillance testing in hunter-harvested deer.
  • Improve record keeping and data sharing between departments through joint inspections of captive cervid facilities, electronic reporting, and animal marking.
  • Improve handling requirements, record keeping, and disease testing of wild white-tailed deer temporarily held in captivity for wildlife rehabilitation.
  • Develop a communication plan and strategy to re-engage stakeholders, including captive cervid owners and the public, in CWD risk minimization measures and updates on CWD research.

The New York State Interagency CWD Risk Minimization Plan has had extensive outreach and vetting by sporting groups in the state to address the concerns of myriad stakeholders while maintaining the strength of purpose to protect the public and the environment. The plan updates reporting requirements, improves communication to stakeholders, and simplifies regulations to reduce confusion while protecting our natural resources.

The draft plan is available for public review on the DEC website. Written comments on the draft plan will be accepted through September 1, 2017. Comments can be submitted by e-mail (wildlife@dec.ny.gov, subject: “CWD Plan”) or by writing to NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast for August 3, 2017

After the hard northeast blow on Lake Ontario, trollers were forced out to more stable water in the 300 foot to 500 foot depth contour off Wilson and Olcott.

Spin doctors and flies have been attracting a few mature kings, Coho salmon and steelhead. Spoons are also working consistently out there.

August is crunch time for the mature kings and there are plenty of fishing contests that coincide with the return of the king to the ports they were stocked at.  Look for fishing activity to increase.  

Bob Ashley of Mentor, Ohio visited Niagara County waters this week as a result of the weekly fishing report.  Bob and his most frequent fishing partner fished Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning of this week.  They hooked 11 salmon and landed eight with the largest being 24 pounds.  Bob and Larry fished off the Niagara Bar in water 179 feet to 220 feet deep.  They found their fish between 45 and 60 feet down, meaning they didn’t have to break out the downriggers but used directional divers exclusively.  All of the fish were taken on flasher-fly combos.  Waters are slowly starting to turn on closer to shore.

In the Lower Niagara River, walleye action is starting to slow down again after a couple of weeks of decent fishing.  Worm harnesses bounced along the bottom with 3-way rigs work well.  Best spots have been the Stella drift and at the mouth of the river around the green buoy marker. Some smallmouth bass are available, too – crabs and shiners for live bait; tubes and drop shot rigs for artificials.

You can catch bass in Devil’s Hole, as well as many of the drifts all the way down to Lake Ontario.  Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls, is still popping some gar pike in the gorge area along Artpark.  He combined a rope fly with a jig to allow him to cast better with the strong river current.

Upper Niagara River fishing continues to be good, although it’s not as strong as it was.  Bass and walleye are still being caught in the river.  A spinner and worm is working best for walleye and the occasional bass.  Crayfish and shiners will work for bass and sheepshead.  

A new interactive online hot spot fishing map has been unveiled that will give anglers new insight into the local waters of Niagara, Erie and Chautauqua counties. The link is https://wnyfishing.mrf.com/view.aspx. Check it out!

A couple of ladies led the way in the Summer Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Summer Derby that ended Sunday.  Grand Prize winner was Sandra Brown of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, reeling in a 32 pound, 4 ounce Niagara Bar king salmon while fishing with her husband Ed and Joe Yaeger of Amherst.  They were trolling a spin doctor and fly in 160 feet of water, 60 feet down.  She earned a check for $11,000 for reeling in that fish. First place in the Salmon Division was a 31 pound, 10 ounce king caught out of Point Breeze, weighed in by Kristin Wilson of Rockstream, NY.  The Niagara Bar produced the first place lake trout, a 23 pound, 13 ounce Niagara Bar fish checked in by Steve Klejdys of North Tonawanda.  The big steelhead was caught out of Olcott when Adam Robinson of Portland, Oregon out-battled a 17 pound, 4 ounce steelie while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane. First place brown trout was a 16 pound, 2 ounce fish caught out of Fair Haven.  Lon Colley of Burt was the youth salmon winners with a 26 pound, 1 ounce king.  The fall derby will be starting up August 18 and run through Labor Day.  Check out www.loc.org for more information.  Also coming up on the derby docket is the Orleans County Rotary Derby August 5 to 20 and the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby August 19 to 27. 

Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Phone: 1-877-FALLS-US, 716-282-8992 x. 303; fax: 716-285-0809

www.niagarafallsusa.com

Orleans County Fishing Report – Aug. 2, 2017

  • LOC Summer Derby Results are in
  • 31 pound, 10 ounce Orleans County Salmon is WINNER
  • Summer Fish are on the Big Bite

Today is Wednesday Aug. 2, 2017.

First, I’d like to congratulate the winners of the Summer LOC Derby, especially those that were caught out of Orleans County.  Out of Orleans County, we had First Place in the salmon division with a 31.1-pound salmon caught by Kristin Wilson.  Victor Rowcliffe had the 4th place salmon weighing 29.05 pounds

In the Lake Trout Division, the 4th place fish weighed 21.1 pounds and was caught by James Irene and the 7th place fish was 20.04 pounds caught by Michael Wichtowski.

In the Rainbow/Steelhead Division, Darwin Snow caught the 6th place fish which weighed 12.15 pounds, 10th place was Tiffany Keicher’s 11.15-pound fish, 13th place went to Laura Brown with a 11.11-pound fish and the 17th place fish weighed 11.08 pounds and was caught by Patrick Pullinzi.

All in all, not a bad showing for the great fishing waters we enjoy in Lake Ontario off Orleans County.

Fishing on Lake Ontario seems to have moved off shore and for right and now seems to be taking place around the 30 line and beyond.

Good catches of both salmon and steelhead are being reported using a mixture of both spoons and flasher/fly combinations in a multitude of color patterns.

On the Erie Canal, around the wide water area, some great catfish catches are being taken along with many other species.

Lake Alice still has some great bass fishing in the upper stretches where the boat traffic is much lighter.  The lower stretches of the “Oak” are still producing northern pike and bass.

The weather for the rest of this week and into next week contains the possibility of some pop-up showers and thunderstorms so keep a lookout for them.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast for July 27, 2017

Sandra Brown of Pa. with her husband, Ed (L), Joe Yaeger and her 32 pound-4 oz. King Salmon.

The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association held its annual club tournament(s) last weekend and some impressive fish were caught.  At the top of the list is the current leader in the Lake Ontario Counties trout and salmon derby, a 32 pound – 4 ounce king caught by Sandra Brown of Clearfield, Pennsylvania.  She was fishing on the Niagara Bar with her husband Ed and Joe Yaeger of Amherst.  The fish came on a Dreamweaver Spin Doctor and Mirage A-Tom-Mik fly, 60 feet down over 160 feet of water a mile east of the red can.

Matt and Marc Dunn of Newfane with some of their LOTSA catch.

For the LOTSA Curt Meddaugh Memorial Tournament, it was the best three fish for Friday.  The Streaker team, consisting of Matt Dunn of Newfane with his dad Marc (also of Newfane), Doug Parker of Lockport and Doug Parker II of Wilson (another father-son duo), won the event. Their three fish total for the day was 66.48-pounds, narrowly defeating 4 Poles led by Marty Polovick of Lockport. Yaeger’s Salmonella team finished in fourth despite having the 32-pound kicker. However, there was another aspect to the two day LOTSA contests. A 3-2-3 contest (best 3 fish over 2 days with 3 winners) was in place, and Yaeger’s Salmonella crew won the top prize with a total of 72.46-pounds.  Second place was Matt Dunn’s Streaker team with 70.99-pounds.  The Saturday club contest was for big fish and Capt. Adam Gearich and the Diversion II team led the way when Tim Bromund of Colden reeled in a 26-pound – 4 ounce king in 100 feet of water between Wilson and Olcott. LOTSA details can be found at www.lotsa1.org.

Check out the LOC Derby leaderboard at www.loc.org. The Summer Derby ends on Sunday at 1 p.m. The awards ceremony is a Capt. Jack’s in Sodus Point at 4 p.m.

Lower Niagara River fishing action has been consistent.  A few more walleye are starting to show up and smallmouth bass fishing continues to be good.  Live bait like crayfish and shiners are working for bass; worm harnesses for walleye. Yesterday it was a rowdy crew from Texas fishing with Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston and the highlight of the trip was a 6 pound smallmouth reeled in by Evan Scanlon – a personal best, caught along the Coast Guard Station.

Upper Niagara River action has leveled off but some bass and walleye are still showing up consistently.  The big news this past week was Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island guiding Sawyer Dolce of Orchard Park.  Fishing the humps around Strawberry Island, Dolce was drifting a crayfish when a nice bass hit. Affixed to the back of the fish was another tag from the Canadian Tire bass tournament from two years ago. Cinelli had caught two previously in the lower Niagara River.  This is his first in the upper river, where the tagged fish were released.

Evan Scanlon of Texas with 6-pound smallmouth.

Erie Canal – It was a packed house at the Gasport Fire Hall last Sunday for the final grand prize drawing in the 27th annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby.  All the first place winners were put into a hat in one of the final orders of business.  Lynn Harrington reached into the hat and pulled out an Ace of Clubs – and that corresponded with a card being held by 13 year old Keegan Walczak of Amherst.  He won a new boat, motor and trailer from Brobeil Marine in Buffalo, a new Polar Kraft.  He ended up giving a high-five immediately to his dad Chris, who was also standing up front as one of the divisional winners.  In the youth division, James Benzinger won the new fishing kayak in the grand prize drawing for the kids.  He is from North Carolina and comes up every year to fish with his grandparents in the derby.  For a complete list of all of the winners go to www.eriecanalderby.com.

Keegan Walczak with his dad, Chris in front of Keegan’s new boat!

Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director.

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303, p:1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303; f: 716-285-0809; www.niagarafallsusa.com  facebook | twitter | instagram

Show Me the Grouse!

  • Part 2 of 2
  • Missouri hasn’t given up on this native game bird.
  • Grouse need old and young forest to thrive and that means cutting trees.

By Jim Low

Thrup! Thrup-thrup! Thrup-thrup, thrup-thrup-thrupthrupthrupthrupthrup!!!

Ruffed Grouse Drumming – The sound of a ruffed grouse drumming to attract a mate has been absent from most of Missouri for the better part of a century. The Missouri Department of Conservation hopes to change that. Jim Low Photo

Goose bumps roughened my arms and a chill crept up my spine.  I continued to listen to what could have been someone trying to start a balky pickup truck on a distant hilltop.  But it wasn’t a pickup, and it wasn’t in the distance.

A scant 100 yards uphill from where I sat in the growing dawn, a handsome brown and black bird strutted atop a fallen tree trunk.  Every couple of minutes, he stopped, threw out his chest and beat his wings to a percussive crescendo, hoping to attract the attention of a mate.  It was thrilling evidence that the ruffed grouse was back in the Ozarks.

This was in the 1980s, and although grouse restoration was new to me, it was anything but new to Missouri.  The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) had been trying to bring back this native game bird since the 1940s, but in the last quarter of the 20th century, MDC made a strong effort to re-establish the species in the Show-Me State, bringing in cocks and hens from the Upper Midwest.  They were released in the central Ozarks, north-central and east-central Missouri.  By the mid-1990s, more than 4,500 grouse had been released in areas thought to have the combination of old, young and middle-aged forest that grouse need to thrive.

Initial results were encouraging.

The birds seemed to be multiplying.  The MDC eventually approved a limited grouse hunting season and expanded it in the late 1980s, but then, what once seemed success gradually turned to failure.  In Missouri, as in other states at the southern edge of the species range, grouse numbers declined.  Acting on advice from hunters and biologists alike, the Conservation Commission closed Missouri’s grouse season in 2010.  Lack of suitable habitat was cited as the cause of the decline.

“Ruffed grouse need a mosaic of old and young forests to prosper,” said MDC Resource Scientist Jason Isabelle.  “They need areas where timber harvests or storms have removed or killed all the trees, creating early-successional forest habitat.  They just can’t survive without scattered areas of disturbance in a larger forest setting.  Over the course of the last several decades, the amount of young forest habitat has declined substantially throughout the southern portion of the ruffed grouse’s range.”

Small remnant pockets of grouse survived in a few of the original restoration areas, including the wooded hills just north of the Missouri River in east-central Missouri.

When the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation (QUWF) persuaded MDC to revisit the idea of grouse restoration, their attention turned to this area.  Working with QUWF and the USDA Forest Service, MDC conducted an analysis of habitat in the river hills region in Callaway, Montgomery and Warren counties.

One of the things the River Hills Conservation Opportunity Area has going for it, in terms of grouse habitat, is several Conservation Areas (CAs) totaling more than 20,000 acres.  Using cutting-edge technology, MDC was able to quantify habitat variables on this large acreage at a level of detail that had never been possible before.

Light detection and ranging (LIDAR) was the key.  LIDAR uses airborne lasers and global positioning system (GPS) technology to identify vegetation type and height and map its extent.  This, along with ground surveys of remnant populations, showed what habitat the birds were using, and enabled MDC to focus on producing more of it.  That work will take place on the Grouse Focus Area consisting of Little Lost Creek and Daniel Boone CAs, and on nearby private land included in the larger Grouse Emphasis Area.  MDC will provide assistance to landowners who are interested in creating grouse habitat on their property.

Isabelle and other MDC biologists concluded that a renewed reintroduction program in the River Hills area was not likely to succeed with habit that existed there in 2013.  However, they believed that grouse restoration could take hold at Little Lost Creek and Daniel Boone CAs if they could increase the amount of high-quality grouse habitat there by 20 to 25 percent.  With that goal in mind, MDC set out to create the conditions needed to bring grouse – and eventually grouse hunting – back to Missouri.

MDC has long understood that small, even-age timber harvests create conditions critical to the survival of a wide range of wildlife that depends on “edge” habitat.  Species from wild turkeys and songbirds to chipmunks and lizards thrive in the wake of such “even-age” timber harvests, as lush, diverse vegetation springs up.  Grouse will use regenerating acreage for as long as 25 years following an even-age harvest.  However, usage falls off sharply beyond 15 years.

Some people deplore even-age harvests as “clearcutting.” But decades of experience and a growing body of scientific evidence supports the position that carefully regulated small-scale timber harvests can enhance wildlife diversity without damaging soils or water quality.  The eco-friendly, 10- to 50-acre even-age harvests employed by MDC to enhance wildlife habitat today are very different from the rapacious denuding of hundreds of thousands of acres that devastated the Ozarks at the turn of the 20th century.

MDC has been working to create grouse habitat – hardwood forest regeneration sites – on Little Lost Creek and Daniel Boone CAs since 2015.  At their meeting last month, the Conservation Commission received a report from Isabelle outlining the next steps on Missouri’s renewed grouse restoration program.  By the years 2020 and 2026, Isabelle expects the combined efforts of government agencies and private cooperators to increase the amount of high-quality grouse habitat in the River Hills Focus Area by 23 and 27 percent, respectively.

The plan outlined by Isabelle calls for 120 grouse from donor states in September and October of 2019 and 2020.  Twenty grouse will go to each of three sites on Little Lost Creek CA and three on Daniel Boone CA.  After that, MDC will track the transplanted birds’ progress with roadside surveys of drumming grouse each spring.  If all goes well, these two CAs will become the source for grouse expansion into habitat on surrounding public and private land.

Most Missourians alive today have never heard the thrumming serenade of a ruffed grouse cock.  If MDC and its partners succeed, that could change in our lifetime.  To learn more about how MDC intends to reach that goal, check out the management plan for Little Lost Creek CA.

-end-

BLACK BEARS ACTIVE in New York State DIX MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS

  • Black bears have been active stealing food.
  • Campers, hikers, and rock climbers om alert in two locations

Campers and hikers are encouraged to keep all food, toiletries, and garbage in a bear resistant canister to avoid attracting black bears.

Campers are also advised to avoid cooking and eating after dark. Prepare and eat food away from the tent site.

If approached by a bear, do not give it food. Make noise and try to scare it away. Call the DEC Regional Wildlife Office at 518-897-1291 to report encounters with bears.

Hikers and campers may also want to consider carrying bear spray as a precautionary measure for close encounters. If you do so please read the instructions carefully before setting out on the trail and be sure to follow the instructions if you use the spray.

Gill Brook

Bears have approached hikers and campers in the area around Gill Brook, Indian Pass, Mt. Colvin, Elk Pass, and Nippletop. These bears are approaching closely in an attempt to intimidate people into giving them food. DEC warns hikers and campers not to reward bears by dropping packs or otherwise providing them with food.

DEC recently captured and euthanized the most aggressive of the bears. A bear with one purple ear tag and one green ear tag had been approaching numerous hikers and campers very closely and not backing down.

Another bear with one red ear tag has been a reported problem but has not behaved as aggressively has been encountered less frequently.

Chapel Pond

Other bears have been stealing food from campers and rock climbers in the area around Chapel Pond, including the Beer Walls. Campers are hikers are encouraged to keep all food, toiletries, and garbage in a bear resistant canister or out of sight in motor vehicles.

Rock climbers should rack up at their vehicle, leave all food in the vehicle, or carry any food with you as you climb. Do not leave packs on the ground for bears to destroy.

DEC has temporarily closed one of the campsites at the Chapel Pond Outlet while it attempts to capture the bears. Captured bears will be given unique colored ear tags, hazed, and released. 

For more info, click here: Prevent human bear conflicts.

YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING TOURNAMENT AT CHAUTAUQUA LAKE

  • ADRIAN COLLEGE WINS YETI-FLW NORTHERN CONFERENCE
  • Jarret Martin & Zachary Graham Haul in 20 Bass, Weigh 5 biggest: 16lbs-3oz
  • Presented by Bass Pro Shops
Adrian College anglers, Jarrett Martin and Zachary Graham, both of Gallipolis, Ohio, won the YETI FLW College Fishing Northern Conference tournament at Chautauqua Lake.  FLW Photo

CHAUTAUQUA, N.Y. (July 24, 2017) – The Adrian College duo of Jarrett Martin and Zachary Graham, both of Gallipolis, Ohio, won the YETI FLW College Fishing Northern Conference tournament at Chautauqua Lake.  Presented by Bass Pro Shops, the two-angler team weighed in their five-bass limit at 16 pounds, 3 ounces.   The victory earned the Adrian College Bass Club $2,000 and the team will now advance to compete in the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

“We were fishing on the north end of the lake,” said Graham, a sophomore, double majoring in environmental studies and geology. “We found a stretch of bank with no docks with a long, rocky flat.  About 40 yards off of the bank, the rock would meet the grass, and we just worked the grass-line all day long.”

“It was really one of the only green grassy areas that we were able to find,” said Martin, a senior majoring in business administration.  “The lake has been sprayed recently, and there was quite a bit of brown, dead grass, but the fish were in the green stuff.”

“Jarrett was throwing a Rebel Pop-R surface plug, off of the front all day and I was throwing a Fluke off of the back,” Graham said. “We doubled up at least seven times.”

The duo estimated they caught around 20 keeper bass throughout the day – with around 13 smallmouth and seven largemouth.  Their five-bass limit at the weigh-in consisted of two smallmouth and three largemouth.

“I think the key for us was the cloud cover,” Martin said. “If it would have been sunny, the fish would have been hiding in the shade, but the way the clouds were, the bass were in the mood to eat all day.  They were extremely active.”

“I think the Pop-R was the key,” Graham added. “We have a lot of confidence in that bait and it produced the two biggest fish of the day for us.”

The Rebel Pop-R has been the judging standard for topwater poppers/chuggers. Visit http://www.rebellures.com/rebel-pop-r-8054 to review all color options. Rebel Lures Photo

The top 10 teams that advanced to the 2018 College Fishing National Championship are:

  •   1st: Adrian College – Jarrett Martin and Zachary Graham, both of Gallipolis, Ohio, five bass, 16-3, $2,400
  •   2nd: Lake Superior State University – Jake Dorony, South Lyon, Mich., and Hunter Scharphorn, Grand Haven, Mich., five bass, 15-6, $1,000
  •   3rd : Adrian College – Nicholas Czajka, Brighton, Mich., and Jack Hippe III, Davison, Mich., five bass, 15-3, $700
  •   4th : Youngstown State University – Jonathan Creed, Niles, Ohio, and Mike Soots, McDonald, Ohio, five bass, 14-13, $500
  •   5th : James Madison University – Blake Miles, Chesterfield, Va., and Jack Goodwyn, Powhatan, Va., five bass, 14-12, $500
  •   6th: Michigan State University – Tyler Andrews, Charlotte, Mich., and Danny Sprague, Hastings, Mich., five bass, 14-8
  •   7th: Pennsylvania State University – Derek Horner, Port Matilda, Pa., and Maurice Hudson, Broomall, Pa., five bass, 14-4
  •   8th: Kutztown University of Pennsylvania – Joe Tini, Archibald, Pa., and Corey Bechtel, Allentown, Pa., five bass, 14-1
  •   9th: Pennsylvania State University – Chris Trianosky, Phoenixville, Pa., and Lou Mocniak, Washington, Pa., five bass, 13-14
  •   10th: West Virginia University – Michael Shughart, Shippensburg, Pa., and Branden Newcome, Ellamore, W.Va., five bass, 13-4

Complete results can be found atFLWFishing.com<https://www.flwfishing.com/results/2017-07-22-chautauqua-lake> .

This YETI FLW College Fishing Northern Conference event at Chautauqua Lake was the second regular-season qualifying tournament for Northern Conference anglers in 2017.  The next YETI FLW College Fishing event will be the Northern Conference regular-season finale, scheduled for Sep. 9 on Lake Erie in Sandusky, Ohio.

YETI FLW College Fishing teams compete in three regular-season qualifying tournaments in one of five conferences – Central, Northern, Southern, Southeastern and Western. The top ten teams from each division’s three regular-season tournaments, along with an additional qualifier for every 10 teams over 100 that compete, along with the top 20 teams from the annual YETI FLW College Fishing Open advance to the 2018 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

College Fishing is free to enter.  All participants must be registered, full-time students at a college, university or community college and members of a college fishing club that is recognized by their school.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow College Fishing here:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FLWFishing

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/flwfishing

Visit FLW Fishing at http://www.collegefishing.com to sign up or to start a club at your school.

About FLW – FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.

For more information visit FLWFishing on-line at: http://www.flwfishing.com/ and also follow FLW here:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FLWFishing

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/FLWFishing

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/FLWFishing

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/flwfishing

Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/flwofficial

Niagara Bar, Lake Ontario: SALMON & STEELIE Fishing is HOT!

  • Thursday, July 20, 2017
    The King Salmon fishing in Lake Ontario is one of the hottest bites going, especially in the waters off Niagara County! “Salmon fishing has been on fire at the Niagara Bar in 120 to 180 feet of water,” says Jake Joseph of Jiggin’ Jake’s Charters. “The fish zone has been 60 to 80 feet down.

    The new Mr. & Mrs. Kimball enjoy a honeymoon fishing trip with BIG SMILES of Niagara Bar.

    Dipsy divers are out 180 to 240 feet with flasher fly combos; riggers down 65 to 85 with flasher and cut bait combos. Best colors have been mostly pearls and greens. Smaller fish have been coming on spoons and some steelies have been mixed in, being taken on sliders and king lines.
    Wilson and Olcott are also offering up some great catches, too. Just take a look at the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby leaderboard at www.loc.org.
    John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda reeled in a 27-pound, 9-ounce salmon off of Wilson last Sunday (but launching at Olcott) and his fish would beat out Lee Beaton’s Grand Prize leading king, a 27 pounder, also caught out of Wilson back on July 1. Van Hoff caught his king on a Northern King spoon over 450 feet of water. Van Hoff’s Grand Prize lead would be short-lived as two more fish would come to the scales that Sunday that would tip the scales even more – a 29-pound, 8-ounce king hauled in by Ed Klejdys of North Tonawanda while fishing on the Niagara Bar. Then a 30-pound, 13-ounce Chinook that was reeled in by Richard Peaslee of Lowman while fishing out of Fair Haven. If the last name of Klejdys sounds familiar, his son Steve is the current leader in the Lake Trout Division with a 23-pound, 13-ounce Niagara Bar laker.
    On Monday of this week, a new rainbow leader came out of Olcott, knocking out the leading Wilson fish – a huge 17-pound, 4-ounce steelhead that was caught by Adam Robinson of Portland, Oregon while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni and Thrillseeker II. He caught it on a Dreamweaver spoon in charteuse signature series. Tuesday brought us a new Grand Prize leader out of Point Breeze, a 31 pound, 10 ounce king reeled in by Kristin Wilson of Rockstream, NY. We have until July 30 to post up some bigger fish and that will probably happen if the weather continues to cooperate.
    Joseph also reports that “walleye are starting to show up in Lower Niagara River and the green can at the mouth. You just have to work for them. Worm harnesses on the bottom with three-way rigs. Bass fishing is good as always!” Bass can be caught from Devil’s Hole to the mouth of the river on a variety of baits like minnows, crayfish, worm harnesses, spinnerbaits, tubes and drop shot rigs.

    The new steelhead leader came out of Olcott Harbor – a huge 17-pound, 4-ounce fish that was caught by Adam Robinson of Portland, Oregon while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni and Thrillseeker II.

    Shore fishermen have been struggling in the gorge because the shoreline access has been limited due to the high water levels. In addition, the Devil’s Hole stairs are closed until next spring. There are still plenty of other access points to use, but that one is being reconstructed.
    Upper Niagara River action continues to be good for both bass and walleye with an occasional musky showing up.
    The 27th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby ended last Sunday and the first place winners are waiting for the awards ceremony to take place July 23 at the Gasport Fire Hall starting at 3 p.m. All the first place winners – both for the adults and for the kids – will be in two separate drawings for the Grand Prize. For the adults, a boat, motor and trailer; for the kids a kayak. Some great fish came to the scales during the 12-day event. Top bass was a 4.94-pound largemouth reeled in by Chris Walczak of Amherst. His son, Keegan, checked in with a 9.65-pound northern pike to take that division. Albert Whaley of Tonawanda was the winner in the walleye category with a 5.19-pound fish. Big bullhead was a 2.25-pound fish reeled in by Anthony Moule of Lyndonville. Top catfish was a 14 pounder weighed in by Charles Rizzo of North Tonawanda. First place carp was a 28.02 pound fish out-muscled by Mike Boncore of Buffalo. Sheepshead winner was Todd Wells of Medina with an 11.39-pound fish. Yes, the Erie Canal has some impressive fish swimming around in it. Another great job by Steve and Lynn Harrington of Gasport.
    Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director
    Destination Niagara USA
    10 Rainbow Blvd.
    Niagara Falls, NY 14303
    p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
    f: 716-285-0809
    www.niagarafallsusa.com

Injured Black Bear draws attention in Wellsville, New York

  • Bear struck by car, scared, climbed tree
  • Bear was tranquilized and examined
  • Released to Coyle Hill State Forest, Allegany County
    For many, black bears symbolize wilderness and wildness, but increasingly, bears can be found in semi-rural environments, agricultural areas and occasionally, in urban centers. NYSDEC Photo

    On July 5, Environmental Conservation Officer’s Russ Calanni and Jason Powers, and Lt. Don Pleakis and Division of Wildlife staff, worked to safely remove a black bear that had climbed a tree in a residential neighborhood in the village of Wellsville after being hit by a car. Although it was not seriously injured, the bear jumped a fence and took cover in a tree. It started to draw attention from the neighbors and the decision was made to tranquilize the bear and remove it from the village. ECO’s Calanni and Powers, members of DLE’s Chemical Immobilization Team (CIT), darted the bear and safely removed it from the tree.
    The Wellsville Police Department stopped traffic along busy State Route 417 while the tranquilization and removal took place.
    After loading the bear into a trap, it was transported to Coyle Hill State Forest, where the bear was examined, tagged, monitored, and then released.

    Black Bear distribution in New York. Primary range refers to areas where breeding bears were known to occur. Secondary range includes areas with routine bear sightings. Transient and dispersing bears may be found in all of upstate New York, including areas generally considered unoccupied by bears. Courtesy NYSDEC

    New York’s black bear population is currently estimated at a minimum of 6,000-8,000 bears in areas open to hunting, with roughly 50-60% of the bears inhabiting the Adirondack region, about 30-35% in the Catskill region and about 10-15% in the central-western region. In addition, bears are now well established in many other areas, including the Tug Hill, Hudson Valley and across the Southern Tier of New York, and transient bears are routinely encountered throughout the Lake Ontario Plains, Mohawk Valley, and St. Lawrence Valley. With the exception of Tug Hill, these other areas include a greater proportion of agriculture or have higher human densities, making them less suitable for bears due to the higher likelihood of human-bear conflicts.
    Black bears are an important and natural component of New York’s ecosystem. Whether you live or recreate in the bear country, please help maintain and protect the bears, and at the same time protect yourself and your property by not feeding bears and by reducing bear attractants.
    If you witness an environmental crime or believe a violation of environmental law occurred please call the DEC Division of Law Enforcement hotline at 1-844-DEC-ECOS (1-844-332-3267).

Orleans County Fishing Report – July 21, 2017

  • Summer Fish are on the Big Bite
  • LOC Summer Derby is ON
  • 31 pound, 10 ounce Salmon is LOC Leader

Today is Wednesday July 19, 2017.

Rain is in the forecast off and on through the end of next week, but it sounds like more of a quick shower or two than the downpours we have been experiencing lately.

Good news is that temperatures are more summer-like over the next week or so.  Lake Ontario water levels are dropping and hopefully this trend will continue.  Some really good news is that the launch ramps on the west side of Oak Orchard River have re-opened for use and this should take some of the pressure off the east side launch ramps and the parking lot.

Another great piece of news is that a 31-pound 10-ounce salmon was weighed in yesterday at Narby’s yesterday and is now the Grand Prize leader.

The leaderboard for the LOC Summer Derby is starting to look like the old days as far as weights go.  On Lake Ontario off Orleans County, fishing has gone from good to exceptional over the last week.  Fishing – in the 100 to 250 feet of water range – is where most of the action is taking place.  Riggers, copper rigs and lead lines set from 65 to 90 feet down are seeing most of the action.  Spoons are back in the mix of lures used, but the meat rigs and flasher/fly combinations are still seeing most of the action.

The derby runs through the end of this month, so there’s still time to enter and get in on some of the great cash prizes that are up for grabs.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak”, Lake Alice and the Erie Canal, fish catches and conditions are returning to summer like conditions.  Bass are still the main catch, but you never know what that next cast may bring.

The Erie Canal Fishing Derby ended this past Sunday with some great catches showing up on the leader board.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

THE FASCINATING WORLD OF FRESHWATER SNORKELING

Colorful fish, like this Niangua darter male, with good color, bring new life into our understanding of the lake, the stream, the pond.  Missouri Department of Conservation Photo

By Larry Whiteley
When most people think of snorkeling they think of sandy beaches, blue saltwater and coral reefs, but Missouri’s freshwater streams and lakes can also be a fascinating snorkeling adventure.
We don’t usually think of our local fresh bodies of water as a place to grab your mask, fins and snorkel for an adventure but after you read this I think you will change your mind. You would be amazed at the opportunities that are available for snorkelers in Missouri and all you have to do is go find them.

Largemouth bass might be youth anglers best friend, but they also help keep the balance of pond life in order. Missouri Department of Conservation Photo

The marine life can be as diverse as that found in saltwater, just maybe not quite as colorful. There are many species of fish to be seen as well as turtles, snakes, crawdads (crayfish, crawfish or whatever you want to call them), hellgrammites and other forms of tiny aquatic life.
My wife and I have had a cabin in the Missouri Ozarks for over 20 years.
The clear water of a creek that runs through our land makes snorkeling a popular thing to do for everyone who visits on a hot summer day.
Bluegills swim right up to your face or nibble at you as you float along in the water. Bass and hog suckers don’t want anything to do with these homosapiens that have invaded their home and skitter along ahead. Colorful sunfish and goggle eye usually guard their nest or hide back under a rock ledge. Multitudes of baitfish swim around in schools continually battling the swift water. Colorful darters hide among the rocks.
If you’re lucky, you might see a turtle or a huge crawdad. There was the time I took some real lobster claws and placed them where they stuck out under a rock ledge making them look like the granddaddy of all crawdads was there. I then watched as my neighbor snorkeled closer and closer to where I had hidden them. Cost of the lobster claws – $35. Cost of the camera to take my neighbor’s picture as he came up out of the water – $250. Look on my neighbors face – priceless!
If visitors are really lucky or unlucky, depending on your fear of snakes, they might get to swim along with a 4-foot-long water snake. No, it’s not a fake snake and no I’m not scared of snakes. At least as long as I know it’s not poisonous.

Bluegills are a special treat with all their color, appetite and attitude around docks for when kids are dunking worms.  Missouri Department of Conservation Photo

I was a little nervous once though when I dangled a crappie jig in front of this same snake and he struck at it catching the hook in his mouth. I haven’t had a whole lot of experience unhooking a writhing, very mad water snake, and was thankful the line broke before I had to figure it out. I guess he forgave me, because he now lets me swim along underwater with him. He does look at me funny some times and he would probably stick his tongue out at me if there wasn’t a crappie jig in the way.
I think what people enjoy the most while snorkeling in the creek is underwater fishing. We use either a small kid’s rod and reel combo or a tiny ice fishing spinning combo baited with a worm or crawdad. You float along with your mask and snorkel watching fish take your bait. Then you set the hook and reel in the fish, all underwater. I think the adults love it as much as the kids. Now how many of you can say you caught a fish while underwater with the fish?
Another thing we do is have someone stand on the bank and cast different artificial baits into areas where fish are holding and then we snorkel underwater to watch how fish react to the different baits. Doing so has helped us all become better fishermen.
Snorkeling around with an underwater camera or a smart phone in a waterproof bag is another thing we enjoy doing. It is amazing the fantastic photos you can take underwater in freshwater.
So what are you waiting for? It’s July, it’s very hot and it’s a whole lot cooler when you’re snorkeling. Plus it’s a whole lot of fun!

Aldo Leopold would say, “START GROUSING!”

  • The ruffed grouse has had a long run of bad luck in Missouri, but time is still turning.
  • The father of modern wildlife management spent time here documenting the bird’s decline.
A hardbound copy of Leopold’s grouse report occupies a reverential place on my bookshelf, thanks to my alert and indulgent wife who spied it in an antique shop. Jim Low Photo

By Jim Low

In 1886, legendary trap shooter A.H. Bogardus reported shooting 50 ruffed grouse as a diversion, while spending most of his time chasing turkeys in Clinton County, north of Kansas City.  In 1918, an observer reported seeing 30 “partridges” a day in Oregon County in the heart of the Missouri Ozarks.

The next year, he could find none.  The story was much the same in other parts of the north-central United States, as documented by no less an authority than Aldo Leopold.

The man who would become the father of scientific wildlife management spent part of 1928 and 1929 crisscrossing a huge triangular area defined by Ohio, Minnesota and Missouri.  He focused on the current and historic abundance of bobwhite quail, cottontail rabbits, ringneck pheasants, prairie chickens, wild turkeys, waterfowl and white-tailed deer.  His sources included direct observation, popular hunting literature and interviews with hunters and landowners.  The resulting Game Survey of the North Central States was commissioned by the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute.  It was an early example of how hunting and the industry that supported it would put up the cash to make conservation a reality.

A hardbound copy of Leopold’s report occupies a reverential place on my bookshelf, thanks to my alert and indulgent wife who spied it in an antique shop.  For the princely sum of $15, I acquired a window into conservation history.  I had occasion to take it down today after reading through a report by Jason Isabelle, a resource scientist with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The report was intended to update the Missouri Conservation Commission on a collaboration with the Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation.  The report documents Missouri’s stubborn refusal to give up on a magnificent game bird that has continued to hold a place in Show-Me State hunters’ hearts and imaginations, long after it lost its place on our landscape.

Leopold’s work showed that ruffed grouse once occupied all but Missouri’s southwestern and northwestern counties.  Although Missouri was at the far southwestern edge of the species’ original range, the plucky little birds were locally abundant wherever there was forest.  Until the 1920s, that was most of the state.  Ruffed grouse probably benefitted from early settlement.  Their habitat requirements include impenetrable thickets that spring up when tracts of hardwood forest are logged off and then allowed to regenerate naturally.  A patchwork of mature forest interspersed with regenerating clear-cuts of various ages is what “ruffs” need.  Logging only becomes the enemy of ruffed grouse when cut-over land is converted to row crops or pasture.

Leopold’s work showed that ruffed grouse once occupied all but Missouri’s southwestern and northwestern counties.  Jim Low Photo

 

That worked to the ruff’s advantage throughout the 19th century.  Settlers and city dwellers alike used wood to heat their homes, and farmers needed pole timber for fence posts.  Annual timber harvested guaranteed the renewal of habitat for grouse, not to mention quail and rabbits.

The LEGEND of the Leopold Map shown above provides interesting insight into Leopold’s findings. Jim Low Photo

Then things changed.  Leopold made a perceptive connection between the fate of ruffed grouse and America’s transition from renewable to fossil fuels when he wrote, “Petroleum, coal, and steel are rapidly making the woodlot a useless appendage to the farm, which must be grazed ‘grouseless’ to pay its keep.  Sportsmen should realize that a wood-burning gas plant for farms, or even an efficient wood-burning furnace, would do more to keep woodlots, and hence, grouse, on the map of rural America than many new laws or sermons on conservation.”

 

Of course, that was not in the cards.  Progress proceeded apace and continues today.  The 19th century’s patch-quilt of forest, regenerating clear-cuts, crop fields and pastures has disappeared.  In the northern half of Missouri, it has been replaced by mega-farms where corn and soybeans extend as far as the eye can see, unbroken by fence or woodlot.  In southern Missouri, we increasingly have unbroken tracts of forest.  Most Missourians are unaware that their state currently has significantly more forest acreage than it did before European settlement.  And since clearcutting became a dirty word, the supply of prime grouse habitat where hunters can experience the thrill of the ruff’s explosive flush, has steadily dwindled.

But Missouri’s state motto isn’t purely negative.  Citizen conservationists – hunters once again – have always taken the attitude that someone has to show them that the ruffed grouse can’t be brought back.  Next week, we will look at Missouri’s long – and continuing – history of grouse restoration efforts.

-end-

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast

  • For Wed. July 12, 2017
  • Salmon, Trout, Bass, Walleye, Musky…WOW!
Kristy Cox from New Vienna, Ohio, with her very nice King Salmon caught near Wilson Harbor, Niagara County, New York.

Water levels are continuing to come down in Lake Ontario to the delight of boaters and landowners. However, even the high water levels have not had any negative effects on fishing in the lake.
Salmon fishing continues to be very good out on the Niagara Bar, as well as out of Wilson and Olcott. Salmon action just outside the drop-off on the Bar continues to be excellent. Spin doctors and flies are near the top of the list for preferred baits; a flasher and meat rig with cut bait is another. Some fish are being caught on spoons, too, but they seem to be third on the list. The new A-Tom-Mik stud fly has been mentioned quite a bit by trollers in the lake. Niagara Falls USA waters are still at the top of the Lake Ontario stage for the Summer LOC Derby that is going on through July 30. Leading grand prize salmon is still a 27 pound fish caught by Lee Beaton of Clifton Springs, he caught that one out of Wilson, The first place salmon is another Wilson

Mike Rzucidlo with a nice Steelhead that he caught in the Lower Niagara River on July 5.

fish, a 26 pound, 10 ounce king weighed in by Charles Jaenecke of North Tonawanda. Steve Klejdys of North Tonawanda is back at the top of the lake trout leaderboard with a 23 pound – 13 ounce Niagara Bar fish, and Darryl Raate of Fulton is in first place in the steelhead division with a 13 pound trout he caught while fishing out of Wilson. Top brown trout is a 16 pound, 2 ounce fish weighed in by Joey Guernsey of McGraw while fishing out of Fair Haven.

Jerry Howe of Grand Island, New York, caught this 30 lb musky in the Niagara River.

Lower Niagara River action has been good and the moss has not been as much of a factor as in previous years for some reason. Shoreline casting with 2-inch pearl tubes was working for Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls this week, catching double digit bass and even a 9 pound steelhead. Boaters are still doing well on bass by casting the shoreline with spinnerbaits or working shiners or crayfish off three-way rigs. On July 17, the Devil’s Hole State Park stairs and trail will be shut down until the spring of 2018 for reconstruction and repairs. There are still plenty of other access points to get you into the gorge, but this trail is one of the more popular ones. Alternative access can be gained through the New York Power Authority’s South Access Road where a fishing platform and a stairs to the shoreline is available from Apr. 1 to Dec. 1. Other access points include the stairs at Whirlpool State Park; the Suspension Bridge Stairs (under the Whirlpool Bridge); the Great Gorge Railway Trail (that begins at the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center); and the elevator at the Schoellkopf Site (adjacent to the Discovery Center). A copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map is available at: http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf
There are lots of fishing contests going on. The 27th Annual Erie Canal Derby is going on through Sunday, July 16th. Some pretty impressive catches have already come to the scales that will be tough to beat. For example, Michael Boncore of Buffalo is leading the carp category with a 28.02 pound fish; Todd Wells of Medina leads the sheepshead category with an 11.39 pounder; and Charles Rizzo of North Tonawanda has the leading catfish with a 14 pounder. The new walleye leader is Albert Whaley of Tonawanda with a 5.19 pound fish.
Upper Niagara River action continues to be good for bass, walleye and the occasional musky. A spinner and a worm produced all three this week for Capt. Chris Cinelli. The musky was about 46 inches long, probably in the mid-30 pound range as far as weight. It was caught by Jerry Howe of Grand Island and released.
Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director
Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA, 14303
p: 1.877 FALLS US | 716.282.8992 x.303 | f:716.285.0809
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Orleans County Fishing Report – July 12, 2017

  • LOC Derby Fishing Helps Find Fish
  • Fish for a Cure starts This Week
  • Erie Canal Tourney is ON!

Today is Wednesday July 12, 2017.

It seems like this appears in my report a lot, but rain is in the forecast for most of the rest of this week, except for Saturday and into the first part of next week.

Even with that, the Army Corps of Engineers predicts that the level of Lake Ontario will drop approximately 7″ by the end of July.  Maybe businesses and land owners along the shoreline will finally get a break.

As far as fishing goes along the Orleans County portion of Lake Ontario, things have been pretty consistent in a very good way for a change.

Most trollers are working the area from 140 to 240 feet of water with very good success. Spoons are still taking a back seat to some type of spinner/fly combinations and sometimes cut bait has been the ticket.

With the Summer LOC Derby in full swing, some great catches are showing upon the leader board including a good number caught right here in Orleans County.  The derby runs through the end of this month so why not enter and get your share of some of those great cash prizes.

Don’t forget that this Saturday is the Drew’s Crew Fishing for a cure for Juvenile Diabetes Derby. This is a chance to help out for a very worthwhile cause while enjoying some of the great fishing on Lake Ontario.  Enter by 7 AM this Saturday and be at the weigh-in at Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina by 3 PM with your best 3 fish.

On the “Oak,” it’s been a mixed bag of fish from the mouth all the way to the dam consisting of perch, bass, northern pike and even some walleye thrown into the mix.

Other tributaries within Orleans County are experiencing the same success including the Erie Canal.

Speaking of the Erie Canal, the annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby wraps up on July 16th this year, so there’s still plenty of time to enter.

Word has it that some great entries have been made from the Medina and Albion area.

On Lake Alice fishing has slowed somewhat for bass and panfish but I know of one lad that is doing very well on carp off his grandfather’s dock.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County, let’s make everyday a great fishing day right here in Orleans County.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Report – July 6, 2017

  • FISH: King Salmon Action is HOT
  • WHERE: Wilson Harbor, Niagara County, NY
  • LURES: A-Tom-Mik Twinkie set-ups & Dreamweaver UV Frog Spin Doctor

Lake Ontario salmon action is continuing on a consistent clip to the delight of trollers at Wilson, Olcott and the Niagara Bar.

Big King Salmon are becoming the norm off Wilson Harbor, Niagara County, NY, these last few days.

Don’t take my word for it, though, just ask Capt. Casey Prisco of Matamoras, Pennsylvania.  He was fishing in the Monroe County Offshore Classic last weekend out of Rochester and ran his boat 153 miles round trip in the one-day contest, settling in to fish off Niagara County in Wilson.  The fish zone was 71 to 111 feet down over 130 to 180 feet of water, using a Dreamweaver UV Frog spin doctor and an A-Tom-Mik Twinkie set-up.  With the A-Tom-Mik meat set out 205 feet on a diver.  Another productive rod was a 10-inch white green dot Dreamweaver spin doctor with A-Tom-Mik meat set down 91 feet.  He went 21 for 22 on fish for the morning before running back – catching nearly 84 pounds for five fish.

For local captains, the new A-Tom-Mik stud fly has also been a hot ticket for kings, too.  Earlier this week, we had some fishing writers from Germany show up in town for an “I Love NY” familiarization tour.  They did spend a few hours in the morning, catching salmon and steelhead with Capt. Mike Johannes and On-The-Rocks charters out of Wilson before travelling to their next stop.

The day before, they fished the Lower Niagara River for smallmouth bass with Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters, catching roughly 25 fish on spinnerbaits. The biggest was 6 pounds. 

Fishing with Captain Frank Campbell, visitors to the Lower Niagara River in Niagara County, NY, are cashing in on GIANT smallmouth bass, like this 6-pound bronzeback.

There are quite a few fishing contests in the month of July and two are going on right now.  They include the Lake Ontario Counties Summer Trout and Salmon Derby and the 27th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby.

If you are going fishing on Lake Ontario, if even for a day, make sure you sign up.  Day passes are available.  Leading fish for the $10,000 Grand Prize is Lee Beaton of Clifton Springs, NY, with a 27 pound King caught out of Wilson.  Darryl Raate of Fulton is leading the steelhead division with another Wilson fish – this one weighing 13 pounds.  Top brown is 16 pounds, 2 ounces and the first place lake trout is 22 pounds, 10 ounces. The derby continues through July 30. Go to www.loc.org for details. 

Meanwhile on the Erie Canal, the derby kicked off on Wednesday, July 5, and will continue through July 16.  There is a family pass for just $25 if you want to take advantage of a group entry fee.  The leader board is wide open.  Get out there and catch some fish.  Find out information at www.eriecanalderby.com

The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association is ready to have a party – a fishing party for its members.  You can join for just $10 and become part of the festivities, set for July 21-22 out of Olcott.  The first event on the fishing calendar is the Curt Meddaugh Memorial Tournament on Friday, a big fish contest that is free for club members.  All you have to do is register! Big fish for the day must be weighed in by 3 p.m. at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott.  On Saturday, the LOTSA Club Tournament will be going on all day.  This is a big fish contest, as well, and entry fee is $60.  Weigh in at Krull Park by 3 p.m. to be included for the cash prizes.  The final piece to the LOTSA fishing puzzle is the club’s 3-2-3 contest over the two days. Best 3 fish over 2 days of fishing, paying out the top 3 weights.  Entry fee is $50 for this portion of the contest.  The club picnic will be immediately following on Saturday and the awards will be handed out.  You can find out more information and also register for these contests at www.lotsa1.org. And speaking of LOTSA, the next meeting is July 13 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara in Lockport, guest speaker will be Capt. Matt Yablonsky:  “Talking Small Boat King’s” at 7 p.m.

As we mentioned, bass fishing in the lower Niagara River has been decent and the moss really hasn’t been that bad.  In the upper Niagara River, bass and walleye are still cooperating at the head of the river and around Strawberry Island.  The best bait has been with a spinner and a worm.  Remember that you can now venture into Canadian waters without calling in.  Make sure you understand the live bait regulations and you are carrying a Canadian fishing license if you do cross the border. 

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303; p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303, f: 716-285-0809; www.niagarafallsusa.com

FINDING HIDDEN TREASURE in SUMMER

  • They Exist Near Your Home
  • They Beckon for Your Next Cast
  • They Can Hold State Record Fish

By Larry Whiteley

I love to find hidden treasure, but not the gold or silver kind.

Hidden treasure for me is finding jewels of rarely fished small waters.  By small waters, I mean privately owned farm ponds, strip pits, businesses with water retention ponds, and even golf course water hazards.  Places a lot of people don’t even pay attention to or don’t even know they are there.

Many city parks departments and state fisheries departments stock small waters for public fishing, but a lot of these get very little fishing pressure.

There are thousands of these hidden small water treasures across America and are great places to catch fish in uncrowded conditions.  Most are full of bass, crappie, perch, hybrid bluegill and catfish.  All you have to do is search them out.

They are perfect for just walking the bank, launching a small johnboat, canoe, kayak or float tube. If you only have a few hours to fish, they are great! You can pretty well count on certain areas holding fish every time you go.

Unless they are public waters though, they are private and accessible only by permission from the landowner or the person in charge.  You can try calling, but it is much better to get permission in person.  Be courteous and thankful.  You might also offer to share your catch if they allow you to keep fish.

My best tip for catching fish on small waters is to make as little noise or vibration as possible.  In small bodies of water fish can see you.  In fact, vibrations travel farther in small waters, so even if they can’t see you, they can tell someone is near the edge of the water.  If fishing from the bank, walk up quietly and stay out of sight.  It’s a good idea to even wear camouflage clothing.

Look for channels, humps, brush piles, lay down trees, weed beds, moss, cattails, lily pads, logs and tree stumps — anything that offers habitat for feeding fish.

For catfish, go with all the normal stinky catfish baits, as well as worms and I also like using shrimp bait.  If it’s crappie you’re after, jigs and minnows are always good, but I have also caught some really big crappie in small water on crankbaits and spinnerbaits.

Perch jerkin’ is always fun and even more so if you go with ultra-light equipment. If the small waters happen to be stocked with hand size hybrid bluegill, you are in for a real fight and a great time.  

For baits, look around for natural baits the fish are already feeding on. Catch some of these natural baits and impale them on a hook or match them as close as possible with artificial baits you have in your tackle box.

The crown jewel in the hidden treasure of small waters is the largemouth bass. America’s most sought after fish can grow very large in small waters, as long as the forage is right.  So don’t let the size of a lake fool you into thinking there are no big bass in it.

Remember, George Perry’s world record bass came from Montgomery Lake in Georgia which is little more than a muddy slough — the silted-in remnants of an oxbow off the Ocmulgee River that continues to flow just a few yards away. Studded with cypress knees and shaded by Spanish moss, it is narrow enough to cast completely across.

Dixon Lake, a small city lake located in Escondido, California, is well known for several potential world record bass.  One was caught and released and another was found dead.

I personally believe that the next world record largemouth bass could very well come from small waters like a pond, small lake or strip pit.  It might just be your state’s record bass, but you would settle for that wouldn’t you?

With spinnerbaits and crankbaits, I can make a lot of casts and cover a lot of water.  Plastic worms are good too, and use frog baits through the moss and lily pads.  If I am fishing at night there’s nothing like the heart-stopping moment when a big bass hits a topwater bait.

After you are done fishing for the day, make sure you leave the property more clean than when you arrived.  Now, go find the person that gave you permission and thank them for a great day, and offer to share your catch if you kept fish.  Ask if you can come again, is it OK to bring a family member or two…and should you contact them each time?

Now, clutch them to your chest and love them like a wealthy uncle because yea verily I say unto you, these places are small treasures worth their weight in gold. Well, clutching them to your chest and loving them may be a little much, but make sure you let the property owners know you appreciate them.

Do everything you can do to insure you can keep coming back.  Lastly, keep your small waters to yourself and don’t tell any of your fishing buddies where you found your hidden treasure.

 

Orleans County Fishing Report – July 5, 2017

  • Fishing for a Cure starts July 15
  • Fishing is Good!

Today is Wednesday July 5, 2017.

The weather over the 4th couldn’t have been any better, but change is coming.  Rain is in the forecast for at least part of this weekend.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the level of Lake Ontario is supposed to drop about 6″ over the next month which will help a lot of our facilities.

A quick look at the LOC leader board shows the big salmon at 27 pounds already and the board is filling up quickly.

Fishing along the coastline of Orleans County has been good to very good over the past week or so producing good mixed bags of fish.

Perch, bass and northern pike are still being caught in the lower stretches of the “Oak”.

On Lake Alice, the one comment I got from one fishermen was “I didn’t know that there were that many jet skis in the world”. Bass fishing in the upper stretches of Lake Alice is producing some very nice fish.

Returning again this year is the Drew’s Crew, “Fishing for a Cure for Juvenile Diabetes.”  The derby will take place on July 15th this year and will follow the best 3 fish format that is so popular.  The entry fee is $50.00 cash with half going to the prize structure and half to Juvenile Diabetes research.  This year you will be able to fish out of either Point Breeze or Bald Eagle Marina but the weigh-in will take place at Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina.  You must be entered by 7 AM on the 15th and the weigh-In closes at 3PM so please don’t be late.  Please join us for a fun day of fishing while supporting this great cause.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

NO SUNDAY BAY

  • Where there are no fish. 
  • Where you won’t catch the largest smallmouth of your life.
Trip leader, Tim Mead, leads a scrappy smallmouth to the boat. Jim Low Photo

By Jim Low
“There is no Sunday Bay,” intoned Tim Mead as he loaded the last huge pack into a Kevlar rental canoe. “If there is a Sunday Bay, it has no fish. If it does have fish, they won’t bite, and if they do bite, they are all small.”
He turned and looked expectantly at the rest of his party. The three of us nodded in solemn agreement and off we went.
Having been here every summer for the past 30 years, Tim took the stern seat in the lead canoe, a compass and a detailed map of Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park perched on the gear in front of him.
For the first hour and half of paddling, we occasionally heard and saw a motor boat near the American shore to our south. Then we rounded a spruce-clad point, and the motorized world disappeared.
For the next two days, the only human voices, or other sounds of civilization, we would hear were our own voices and the hiss of a Jetboil stove.

A big female snapping turtle visited us off and on for two days, trying to find a spot to lay her eggs. Jim Low Photo

We would be serenaded by loons and challenged by eagles.
We would receive multiple visits from a large and determined snapping turtle bent on laying eggs and we would catch more 3- to 5-pound bass than I ever imagined possible.
We would sleep on the ground, sip tea laced with plum brandy and fall so deeply under the spell of the Canadian boundary waters that going home would hurt.
Technically, our journey began with an 8-mile lift via johnboat to Prairie Portage, on the U.S.-Canadian border. The real adventure commenced after we checked in at the Canadian customs office and launched our two canoes into sprawling Basswood Lake.
Having read Tim’s book, Quetico Adventures, I had a good idea what to expect during our five-day trip. I was prepared for coolish weather (nighttime lows in the 40s), rain, mosquito swarms and living on dehydrated food. I thought I was prepared to encounter amazing fishing, but when the first 20-inch bronzeback darted from the depths to make a pass at my surface plug, all my mental fuses blew.
Before I knew what I was doing, I jerked the plug out of the water and shouted. Well, I shouted something I hoped my paddling partner, Mike Quinn, wouldn’t hold against me. I assume he heard worse during his years in the Navy, but what my swearing lacked in creativity, it made up for with awestruck intensity.
In 50-plus years of chasing smallmouths in Missouri, I had never seen one close to that big. In the next half hour, Mike and I landed or hooked and got good looks at the five biggest smallmouths I had ever seen in person. And we were only an hour into the first day of fishing!

Mike Quinn with a 28-inch Northern Pike.  Jim Low Photo

Over the following four days, we caught bass until our arms ached. Tim caught one largemouth bass whose mouth could comfortably accommodated a softball. He estimated its weight around 8 pounds, not a monster by Southern standards, but not bad for a fish species living outside its original native range and competing with fish their ancestors never had to contend with.
These included northern pike between two and three feet long and smallmouth bass that would have sent their Show-Me State kin dashing for cover. Boundary Waters smallies aren’t just long; they are built like defensive tackles, and they fight like demons, alternately burrowing toward the bottom and executing head-shaking jumps that would do a tarpon proud.
The smallmouth bass here bit with equal verve on everything from plastic grubs to Zara Spooks.
They bit at high noon, and at dusk, and at dawn.