Anyone remember the song "Night and Day (you are the one)"?
Seems walleye schools at the east end of Lake Erie are singing this song to interested anglers.
"In past years we got them early in the morning," said George Boice, one of the coordinators of the Amara-Can Walleye Derby staged out of Dunkirk Harbor last weekend.
"Now they're getting them in the afternoon and after dark," Boice said of the better 'eye catching going on around Buffalo Harbor breakwaters, Donnelly's Wall, the Round House and Windmill and the other points close to shore along the Canadian shoreline.
Good afternoon catches have been bested by evening outings along relatively shallow shoreline sites.
In open-water areas, bigger and better catches now come from sites over 90-foot depths, with rigs set 30-40 feet down from Sturgeon Point west to Dunkirk, with the biggest concentration of trollers gathered west of Cattaraugus Creek.
Bass data, scarce because of the Bass Elite series set for this weekend, mainly comes from deeper drops. Fair numbers and sizes can be found around shoreline structures off Buffalo Harbor, but the big boys -- and mamas -- have moved to deeper waters on both the New York State and Ontario Province side of the lake, hitting heavy jigs and drop-shot rigs sent down to ledge-edge areas at depths of 30-50 feet.
An Ontario license might be a good investment for bass busting. Good sizes of smallies have shown from Fort Erie to Point Abino at all hours of the day.
Perch have begun schooling in deeper water from Sturgeon Point to Cattaraugus Creek. Boater numbers, not just pros prefishing the Bass Elite, have been increasing at launch sites around the lake.
At Sturgeon, 30 boats were out Wednesday afternoon, with perch hunters making long runs to deeper water west of the point.
Moss growth holds along river bottoms, but the floating stuff that fouls rigs and lines has subsided, said Bill Van Camp at Big Catch Bait & Tackle.
Van Camp points to "good perch and bass fishing from shore, including the occasional northern pike, right here." Big Catch is close to the Ontario Street launch. Shore casters have also done well at Ferry Street and around Grand Island.
Lower river perch have shown fairly well around the Lewiston sand docks in mixed sizes. Bass have been the bigger draw for boaters along river drifts and in front of Fort Niagara in 15- to 20-foot depths.
No words on walleye will be shared until after the Cabela's Masters Walleye Circuit competition ends this weekend.
"They're still fishing close to shore," says Amy Walker at Slipper Sinker Bait & Tackle in Olcott.
Largemouth bass hold in the creeks and along the shoreline. Trout and salmon trollers cruise over 60- to 120-foot depths off Olcott with rigs set 35-50 feet down for a good mix of kings, browns and steelies.
Walker notes cool waters -- 47-degree readings at 50-foot depths -- have held bait and good fish in shallow and near shore.