With the BassEye in progress today and New York Walleye Association's Amara-Can set for this weekend, bass and walleye info has been slow, but a few good leads have been shared.
Some 'eyes can be caught almost anywhere in open water, but tighter schools and bigger fish show in small pockets and pods. Heavy bait schools have walleye moving around.
Off Dunkirk, boaters have taken a hard left toward Van Buren Point to work depths of 50-80 feet or a hard right toward St. Columbans for 60- to 90-foot waters.
"We've been picking up speed and running spoons and stickbaits," said Bill Begier, a charter captain and proprietor of Bill's Hooks west of Dunkirk Harbor.
Begier suggests 2.6-2.8 mph for trolling speeds and lures set at varying depths for aggressive bigger 'eyes that swing up to hit moving minnows.
Bass have moved deeper, holding close to bottom at 30-40 feet. A drop-shot rig or heavier tub jig could connect.
Lower Niagara River moss continues down current, but density is dropping.
Open waters of Lake Ontario provide most of the bass, trout and salmon activity right now.
Walleye lore is scarce, prior to the Masters Walleye Circuit tourney July 21-22. But good bass and salmonid reports are in for structures from Fort Niagara to Oak Orchard Point.
Trout and salmon schools hold close to shore for early summer, cruising at suspended depths (generally 30-60 feet down) less than three miles off Niagara and Orleans County shorelines.
Off Oak Orchard Point, trollers rarely have to reach 400-foot depths to drop spoons in front of king salmon and big brown trout. A 17-pound brown came from east of Oak Orchard on Tuesday, a LOC Derby entry now in second place.
Spoons work best off Olcott and Wilson harbors. Black and purple or glow-finishes get the most mention. The new Dream Weaver Super Slim spoons have been deadly.
Largemouth bass numbers are up around bays and along piers. Rubber worms and frogs top all artificial offerings, said Karen Evart at Boat Doctor in Olcott Harbor.
Seneca Lake early-summer fishery has been best during evening hours for a variety of species, says Rozalyn Japp at Roy's Marina.
Smallmouths go for golden shiners, small chubs and crayfish close to shore south of the Marina on the northwest end of the lake. Big bluegill also hit along the outside of weed edges between Glass Factory Bay and Dresden.
Northern pike have been the biggest surprises for casters working around creek mouths. Some go with big chubs, but a skinny casting spoon draws all kinds of whacks from these "water wolves."
The heat and warming waters have been good for many fish species at and after the Fourth of July, said Lisa Green at Happy Hooker Bait & Tackle in Ashville.
Fair numbers of larger walleye (22- to 24-inch average) have shown on either side of Long Point west to Mayville Bay. The bite is best during evening hours.
With water levels low and weeds high along the south basin, most boaters head to the North Basin. Bass hit minnow baits lake wide, but a leech worked outside weed edges in the North basin has scored on both bass and walleye.
Musky numbers are up slightly for this time of the year. Schools of bigger crappie still hold in weeds around Mayville Bay.