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from Bill Hilts
The Fishing Beat - June 19, 2019
The Southtowns Walleye contest is over. The awards ceremony is set for June 29 at the group's clubhouse located at 5895 Southwestern Boulevard in Hamburg. This weekend is the Rayzor's Big Dawg tournament Friday and Saturday. On Lake Ontario, the next big contest is the Lake Ontario Counties Summer Derby set for June 29-July 28, followed by the New York State Summer Classic Tournament July 1-August 31. Take advantage of the great fishing in both lakes.
Lake Ontario and Tributaries
Despite the high-water levels and a State of Emergency along the shoreline, Niagara County and Lake Ontario are still open when it comes to fishing. Most of the launch ramps are open such as at Fort Niagara, Wilson-Tuscarora, the Town of Wilson and Golden Hill with a little caveat. You should have at least two people launching the boat due to higher water around the launch. If you don't want to get your feet wet, the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott has adjusted to keep the feet of boaters dry. The Town of Wilson launch is open in the West Branch of 12 Mile Creek. Once you get on the lake, salmon fishing has been outstanding.
Lake Erie and tributaries
Walleye fishing has been very good from North East, Pa., to Buffalo according to Rob Oram of Franklinville. He's fished all the main areas the last eight days and the walleye bite has been good in 40 to 60 feet of water from the Pennsylvania line to Cattaraugus Creek. Off Buffalo, the fish can be found in pockets, a bit more spread out. Many of the fish are suspended off the bottom in 30 feet of water, as well as on the bottom. Stickbaits and harnesses are working. No specific color seems to stand out for taking fish but he has been using green/silver and purple/silver. Capt. Hank Condes of Blade Runner Charters took a run this past weekend out of Barcelona and found good numbers of walleye in 50 to 70 feet of water. His best depth was 68 feet and his best rod was 5 colors of lead core.
The dreaded moss is slowly starting to arrive as the river hit the 60 degree mark this week. In the lower Niagara River, there were some steelhead around. Bass and walleye were cooperating, giving a nice mixed bag to anglers. Live bait like minnows fished off three-way rigs is a popular approach but bouncing bottom with a Strike King Zero cut down has been working for bass up to 5 1/2 pounds this past week. Upper river action for bass and walleye has been decent. Worm harnesses, minnows, swim baits and tubes work best.
Bill Hilts Jr. is a past president of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association. Hilts is an avid outdoorsman, an outdoor writer who has contributed articles to numerous national and local magazines, newspapers, and other publications. Hilts is also responsible for Niagara County Tourism Sportfishing Programs. He freelances from his home in Sanborn N.Y. Hilts was inducted in the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame in the Spring of 2007!
NYSDEC Fishing Report
June 13 to June 21, 2019
Regular black bass and muskellunge seasons open on the Niagara River on Saturday, June 15th. Live bait such as minnows or crayfish are permitted for use for bass when the regular season opens and are top baits for Niagara River bass. Early season musky are often found around emerging weeds near spawning areas. Casting large stickbaits and spinnerbaits are good bets in early season.
Lake Erie, Tributaries & Harbors
With the Southtown's Walleye Association tournament in full swing through June 16, anglers are trying many different depths and all of the traditional techniques. From Dunkirk to the PA line, anglers have targeted walleye and had varying catch success from 30 feet of water (fow) all the way out to 85 fow. However, for the casual angler, trolling or bottom bouncing in 30-60 fow is a good bet for decent to good walleye action. To the west, walleye are scattered throughout the water column, with higher numbers in the bottom half of the water column. Off Sturgeon Point, anglers report decent catches between 35-60 fow. There was also some good action yesterday around Myers Reef in 35-40 fow.
The tributaries currently have lower, clear flows. There are still bass hanging around the creeks. Target bass by casting stickbaits or by drifting jigs with plastics, minnows or crayfish. Channel catfish are available in the lower section of Cattaraugus Creek. Nightcrawlers, chicken livers or raw shrimp fished on the bottom works well, especially at night. The deeper holes down low in the other creeks may hold catfish as well.
NYS Fishing Reports courtesy New York State Department of Environmental Conservation website. Visit them at NYSDEC
If you need more fishing information or would like to contribute to the fishing report, please call or e-mail Mike Todd (716) 851-7010. Good Luck Fishing!
The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 855-FISH.
Taking A Close Look At The Niagara Area Fishing Waters
WET NET CHARTERS provides comfortable fishing aboard a NEW 2075 Lund Tyee Magnum fishing boat that takes you along the eight-mile stretch of the Lower Niagara River, Niagara Bar, Lake Ontario, and Lake Erie.
WET NET CHARTERS now offers comfortable fishing aboard a 29' BLACKFIN COMBI for your Lake Ontario trolling trips.
The Lower Niagara is one of the best trout and King salmon fisheries in the world. Lake Ontario offers the finest fresh water King Salmon and trout fishing available. Lake Erie provides Smallmouth Bass and Walleye fishing that is second to none.
WET NET guide service offers twelve months of trophy fishing seven days a week for a variety of warm and cold water fish. Targeted species are: Rainbow Trout (Steelhead), King Salmon, Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Coho Salmon, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth bass, Walleye, Perch and Musky
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