Steelhead, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Bullheads too!
Fish are biting off 3-way Rigs/Minnows
NYPA Platform Still Closed due to High Water and Ice
The signs of spring are all around us!
The New York Power Authority started pulling the ice boom at the head of the Niagara River where it meets up with Lake Erie and remaining ice is minimal due to the extreme wind event last week. There is still a pile of ice hanging around the base of Niagara Falls, but the warmer temperatures and rain should break that up in the coming week.
Lower Niagara River trout action took back off when the waters cleared this week. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls had a banner day earlier this week with double digit trout, finding a mix of steelhead, browns and lake trout. Minnows fished off three-way rigs were the bait of choice.
No reports on the shore fishing action and the NYPA fishing platform is still closed due to the high water and potential for ice coming down the river (still). No word on smelt, other than the Lewiston Smelt Festival is set for May 4 this year. This will NOT coincide with the Spring LOC Derby as dates have been pushed back to May 11-20 this year. Check out www.loc.org for details.
Over in Wilson and Olcott, ice that was flowing north out of the Niagara River after last week’s wind storm encountered some strong northwesterly winds in the lake. That ended up pushing ice into Wilson and Olcott. It was a mess for boaters and pier casters. With warmer temperatures on the way and rain in the forecast again, things could be back to normal by the weekend. According to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott, the LOTSA pen rearing project received fish from DEC on Monday and that operation is underway.
Shoreline trolling with stickbaits should resume in 10 to 20 feet of water along any mud line or creek mouth. Seek out warmer water temperatures for best success. Pier casters should do well with spoons or spinners.
Last weekend, the Wilson Conservation Club held its 5th Annual Wilson Bullhead Contest. Some 43 adults and five youth participated in the spring kick-off event. In the Adult Division, the best two-fish bullhead weight and overall winner was Francis Holly IV of Wilson, with a 4.23-pound total. He was using cider worms at dusk to catch his bigger fish in 12 Mile Creek. Second place was Tyler Morrison of Appleton with 3.70 pounds of bullhead. He was fishing during the day in the west branch of 12 Mile Creek using shrimp. Third place went to John Pittsley of Lockport with 3.46 pounds using shrimp both day and night. In the Youth Division, it was Trever Wilson winning with a weight of .95 pounds.
Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Feb. 22, 2018 – Destination Niagara USA
Stream & River Levels, Coloration – Subject to Weather Swings
Fresh Fish are Entering Streams
Use Caution if Going Ice Fishing
Activities: Boat Show NOW, Outdoor Expo – Mar. 8-11, Alberto Rey at Orvis, Feb. 25 – NOON
It’s been a roller coaster ride for sure – from the fishing end of things, due to the ups and downs associated with the weather. Earlier in the week, record-breaking temperatures shot up to 66 degrees. It’s back down to the 30s but back up to the 50s by the weekend.
Lower Niagara River action for trout had been good. The tributaries off Lake Ontario and Lake Erie opened back up again and anglers were catching trout consistently – before the rains came.
All the tributaries were high and muddy, but as of this morning, both 12 Mile Creek in Wilson and Keg Creek were flowing nicely according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott.
Over at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek, water flow has already started to come down and there was about a foot visibility.
There should be some fresh fish around.
Ice fishing is questionable. Caution is advised any time you are heading out onto the hard water due to the wind and rain we received last go-round of warmth.
Getting back to the Niagara River, the water condition was affected by the dirty water coming out of the streams, but there was no indication that fishing had stopped. Condition was stained from the power plants on down, but was more manageable above the plants.
Shore fishermen like Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls have been casting yellow jigs to take steelhead and brown trout.
For boaters, use eggs or minnows when the wind isn’t out of the south or southwest. When it is, use a MagLip or a Kwikfish off a three-way rig. Conditions should be better by the weekend downriver of the power plants.
The WNY Boat Show is underway right now at the ADPRO Training Center located at One Bills Drive in Orchard Park. It’s a great way to dream about spring and also check out some of the boats that are available on the market now. After all, we are surrounded by water here in WNY. It continues through Sunday, Feb. 25.
If boating isn’t your thing, the next big indoor event on the outdoors is the WNY Sport and Travel Expo at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg March 8 to 11. There’s free parking and displays in four different buildings covering everything from fishing to hunting, tourism destinations to outdoor-related products. Check out www.eriepromotions.com for more information.
If you want to learn about fly fishing in the Great Lakes streams, check out Alberto Rey at the Orvis Shop in Williamsville on Feb. 25 starting at noon. Call 716-276-7200 to reserve your spot.
Bill Hilts, Jr.- Outdoor Promotions Director
Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303; p: 1-877 FALLS US; 1-716-282-8992 x. 303; f: 1-716-285-0809; www.niagarafallsusa.com
Spinner beneath Horsehead-Type Jig is MOST EFFECTIVE
No Line Tangles, No Missed Strikes
Fish it SLOW…’Nuff Said!
By Keith Sutton
That’s how the late Bert Hall described the rationale behind his Road Runner lure. He designed it in 1958, but rather than target only bass, trout or panfish, he wanted a generalist lure that would attract almost any fish.
That’s exactly what Hall produced. A Road Runner slowly retrieved on light line will draw strikes from black bass, white bass, crappie, bluegills, sauger, walleyes, trout, stripers—you name it. Anything that eats minnows or insects is likely to nab it. It’s my guess, however, that the Blakemore Road Runner is more popular with crappie anglers than other types of fishermen because it can be used so many ways to catch America’s favorite panfish.
The Road Runner is unique among spinner-type lures because the spinner is beneath a horsehead-type lead where it’s more easily seen by fish striking from the side or below. The blade rarely tangles with your fishing line like “safety pin” spinners, nor does it interfere with hook-ups.
Several body styles are available (Bubble Belly, Marabou, Curly Tail, Turbo Tail, Buck Tail and Crappie Thunder) and two blade styles (Colorado and willow) in sizes from 1/32 to 1 ounce and every color of the rainbow.
Bert Hall, the Missouri Ozarks stream fisherman who invented the little spinner, also crafted the wise slogan that, “You can’t fish a Road Runner wrong as long as you fish it slow.” In many cases, slow is best, but crappie anglers shouldn’t be buttonholed into fishing the Road Runner just one way. Depending on water conditions and the mood of the fish, this fabulous, famous, fishing-catching lure can be fished slow or fast, deep or shallow, vertically or horizontally.
The simplest method, perhaps, is just casting the lure and reeling it in at a snail’s pace—just fast enough so the blade turns. You also can drop a Road Runner beneath your boat and fish different depths with little hops and twitches that will get a big slab’s attention.
To look over the Road Runner selection of colors and weight options, visit: http://www.ttiblakemore.com/product-category/road-runner/.
For some of the best action, however, you might want to add some variations to your Road Runner repertoire. The techniques described in Part 2 of this Road Runner fishing lure series are tried and proven.
They’re sure to give you an edge next time you want a mess of crappie for the deep fryer.
(Editor’s Note: Keith Sutton is the author of “The Crappie Book: Basics and Beyond.” To order an autographed copy, send a check or money order for $19.45 to C & C Outdoor Productions, 15601 Mountain Dr., Alexander, AR 72002. For credit card and PayPal orders, visit www.catfishsutton.com.)
By Forrest Fisher
So just what’s in a worm that is not a real worm? Why do fish even think about biting it? It might be a lot of things, but there is simple mystery, appetite, movement, unusual size, smell, color, contrast and perhaps…hunger.
Mister Twister’s NEW 12″ Mag 12 BUZZ Worm is a large profile, big bass worm with a length that is BIG with a tail designed to provide maximum action and vibration while fishing, especially around structure.
The latest addition to Mister Twister’s bass fishing line-up works great for targeting bass on structure such as ledges, reeds and brush piles in deeper water. It is exceptional for flipping, Carolina rigging and Texas rigging. Use a 5/0, 6/0 or 7/0 hook.
In Florida golf ponds, especially in winter months, the biggest bass will only eat the BIG worms. This Mag 12 worm works on those bass, fish that top the 10-pound mark.
The Mag 12 BUZZ Worm’s tail has a natural, free-falling action imitating wounded baitfish. When a bass’s metabolism heats up during the summer, the Mag 12 BUZZ Worm is sure to satisfy big bass appetites. In autumn, like now, this is an energy storage candy bar for big bass looking ahead to winterize their consumption system.
“I’ve caught them flipping reeds in Florida to dragging ledges on the Tennessee River system,” says Bass Elite Series Pro Clent Davis. This bait is a bass getter. When the bite gets tough and when I am looking for that kicker, I turn to the Mag 12 BUZZ Worm”.
The Mag 12 BUZZ Worm was in Clent’s lure rotation for his 5th place finish at the FLW Costa event on Kentucky Lake in June, 2017.
“The 12″ BUZZ worm is one of those game changers for me,” says two-time BASSMASTER Classic Qualifier, 2015 Bass Nation Champion, 2014 ABA National Champion, and 2012 BASSMASTER Weekend Series Nation Champion Albert Collins. “I catch big fish on the Hang 10!, but with the Mag 12 BUZZ Worm, I have the confidence that at some point I will get some upgrades,” he says.
Watch this video tosee a bit more about catching fush with this BIG WORM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU–Y-dnNiU&feature=youtu.be.
Mister Twister’s NEW 12″ Mag 12 BUZZ Worm is available in 10 fish-catching colors, including Cranapple, Watermelon Red, Green Pumpkin, Red River Special, Red Bug, Plum, Blue Fleck, Rayburn Bug, Black/Blue Flake and Junebug. These colors were selected by our Pro Team members. View the NEW Mister Twister 12″ Mag 12 BUZZ Worm.
Follow David Fritts, Scott Martin, Fred Roumbanis and many other top pro’s
No Surprise What Lures are Catching Bass in South Africa…Read On.
From State College, Pa., we learn that fishing fans are in for a Gold Medal fishing competition treat this week. The USA Bass Team (Capital City/Lake Murray Country RTB USA Bass Team) competes in the 2017 WORLD BASS FISHING CHAMPIONSHIPS.
Team Manager John Knight says, “We are ready to compete, we are also going to keep everyone posted on Team USA via several social media outlets. We want America’s sports fan to be right there with us.” The USA Bass team consists of top anglers from FLW and BASS.
The contest starts with practice on October 2nd – 4th, and competition on October 5th, 6th and 7th. Team USA will be vying for the World Championship Gold medal versus teams from across the globe on South Africa’s River Vaal.
The Capital City/Lake Murray Country RTB USA Bass team will take on South Africa, Russia, Mexico, Portugal, Swaziland, Namibia, Italy, Zambia, Germany, Zimbabwe, Spain and Croatia. The competition begins October 5 and runs for three days.
Daily weigh-in’s will be updated beginning 10 a.m. Eastern Time at: https://www.weighmasters.net
Hottest lures during the practice days? Senko’s and Bay Rat’s. Follow the daily hot lure trail on USA Bass Facebook site listed below.
U.S. Angling is a 501c3 charitable organization that supports the Capital City/Lake Murray Country RTB USA Bass team as they compete in world championship fishing events around the world. Businesses and individuals wishing to support the USA Bass team in South Africa are encouraged to visit our website at www.usabass.org for sponsorship opportunities, or contribute at Go Fund Me: https://www.gofundme.com/usabass.
Quality Line, Sharp Hooks, Stiff Rod can help ASSURE Hookup & Catch
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.
Integrated Map Provides Fish Locations, Shore Fishing Access, Boat Access
Depth Contours ZERO-IN on Hotspot Fishing Locations
Bait Shops, Marina Locations, Shipwrecks, ALL HERE…ALL FREE
By Forrest Fisher
There is a NEW interactive, online, Western New York Hotspot Fishing Map application that is yours FREE at this link: https://wnyfishing.mrf.com.
The regional website map has been designed for everyone, including for cellphone and laptop use. It is the perfect “get-it-now” reference tool for many user groups. Boaters, anglers, scuba divers, vacationers and many other groups, family fishing groups, now have good waterway reference map. Need to research waterway areas of the Greater Niagara Region of New York State BEFORE the trip? Here is your resource.
The map spotlights lake depth contours, boating access points, marinas, shore fishing sites, sunken wrecks, fish species locations, bait shops, information sources, dining establishments and give all that to the user with GPS coordinates. Erie, Niagara and Chautauqua counties offer some of the best freshwater sportfishing the world has ever seen!
World class walleye, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, musky, trout, salmon, all here, and many species of panfish. Nearly everything an avid fisherman would ever want. Carp and Channel Catfish too.
The Greater Niagara Region has established a reputation that boasts excellence in sportfishing, boating, kayaking, and outdoor on-the-water recreation. Hire a charter, bring your own boat or fish from shore, the new regional map website will be useful for everyone who looks to quench a hungry angling appetite.
The website map is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast and for families looking to get back to finding the family fun of the outdoors through fishing and boating. There are many other outdoor attractions, state and county parks, hiking paths, bird-watching opportunities (the Niagara River Corridor is internationally recognized as an important bird area), hunting options and more. There are cultural, historical and recreational highlights from Lewiston in Niagara County, to Buffalo in Erie County and to Jamestown in Chautauqua County. The new website and map app offers access to outdoor information and adds value for visitors and residents alike.
The website (https://wnyfishing.mrf.com) offers information to get you started and headed in the right direction, from charter listings to marina information; from shore fishing spots to license information. Unfortunately, it can’t help you set the hook and reel the fish in!
Greater Niagara – You’ll “fall for us” all over again reel soon!
This map was made possible through the funding of Erie and Niagara Counties. It was prepared cooperatively between Erie and Niagara County’s respective Sportfishing Promotion Programs, with assistance from the Erie and Niagara County Fisheries Advisory Boards. Additional maps may be obtained by calling: Buffalo-Niagara CVB at 800-BUFFALO or Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. at 877-FALLS US.
Rapala created a series of lures that allow anglers more understanding about their fish-attracting products just by reading the label. For example, the new “DT” series of Rapala’s are labelled DT-4, DT-20, etc. and the acronym stands for “Dives-To” 4 feet, 20 feet, and so on.
In similar manner, Storm created a “GT” series searchbait-minnow labelled “360-GT,” intended for use 360 degrees around the angler casting position.The “GT” stands for “Go-To” lure.Pretty catchy, pretty simple, and as I discovered, pretty effective.
The supple, soft, durable, plastic body offers a wide swimming tail action that wobbles left to right as it is retrieved.The wobble from the tail causes the head to roll left and right a bit, emanating a faint, resonant, rattle sound from the jig head as the lure is retrieved.Depth is controlled by angler speed of retrieve, the selected weight of the jig head and the size of the tail selected in the available assortment of the GT series.
Al Lindner says, “Throw it out, turn the reel handle, that’s it.Incredibly productive, incredibly effective.”We all know that when Al Lindner says it that way, I think you gotta try it for yourself.So I did. I believe Al.
I fished these in Florida, North Carolina and New York in the last few months to field test their effective attraction. A faster retrieve caused a gentle internal rattle sound to emanate – an audible frequency sound that seemed to drive fish nuts.Not sure the fish were attracted to the lure or just wanted to kill the sound source because it bothered them.Either way, I caught smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye, northern pike and crappie on these enticing “Go-To” lures.Do I like them?Yes!An understatement.
Why do I like them?They are affordable priced.They are packaged with three tails, one tail is pre-mounted to the rattling head, and two tails are spares.The jig head is molded around a VMC fish hook.They are a “keep-it-simple bait.”Right now, this toss and retrieve bait is available in 11 common baitfish color patterns and three sizes, perfect for a tasty predator ambush. They are inexpensive, priced from $4 to $6.
See a video about how to use this simple, easy to fish bait.Al Lindner talks about it in some detail as you watch through this video: https://youtu.be/SXpFV_HBxmk.