Bill Hilts Jr., The Buffalo News
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Bill Hilts Jr.


Buffalo, Lake Erie Selected for FLW Tourney in 2018 Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) has announced the 2018 Costa FLW Series schedule and Buffalo/Lake Erie has been selected to be one of three tournaments – all in New York – as part of the Northern Division. Dates for the contest will be July 26-28, 2018 and the local host is the Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission. Thi…

At one-half hour before sunrise, the cacophony of honking Canada geese will be met with the eruption of shotguns throughout upstate New York as the Early Nuisance Canada Goose season blasts off in area fields. While some waterfowlers who chase geese often wait for the regular seasons that run from October to January (and even March in the South Area), the early season is a…

Once again, there are a good mix of fishing contests on Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. On Erie, the Innovative Outdoors Big Fish Friday will be Aug. 24, followed by the Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge out of Dunkirk on Aug. 25. Contact Jim Steel at 983-7867 for more information. On Lake Ontario, the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby is going on through Labor …

New York’s portion of Lake Erie has a bright future in the sport fishing department. Several strong year classes of walleye are flooding local waters with fish. Smallmouth bass populations are recognized nationally through the efforts of Bassmasters, FLW and other bass organizations – bolstered by a record-tying smallmouth that was reeled in this summer. Add in an unde…

Waterfowl Hunter Meeting Aug. 24 The annual waterfowl hunter information meeting hosted by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) will be held on Aug. 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the NWR headquarters located at 1101 Casey Road, Alabama, in Genesee County. Biologists from DEC and NWR will be discussing wat…

Lake Ontario The water has been moving around a bit. One day it’s hot on the Niagara Bar at the drop off, the next day trollers struggle to catch a king. As long as the winds are light and consistent for a few days, bar action should be good with spin doctors and flies or flashers and meat rigs for staging kings. Over in Olcott, the deep water action has been good. Ca…

Fall Great Outdoor Days at Cabela’s If you are looking to gear up for fall hunting and fishing, look no further than the Fall Great Outdoor Days at Cabela’s Cheektowaga Aug. 12 and 13, as well as Aug. 19-20. There are plenty of seminars going on, such as an introduction to game cameras, wildlife identification and choosing a backpack. Pro staffer Gerry Rightmyer wil…

Mother Nature has been throwing anglers a bit of a curve ball of late, primarily from high winds. Rain can also be a factor. Learning to adapt to changing conditions is part of the challenge. It can also lead to greater rewards. Chautauqua Lake Walleye action continues to be good on the lake according to Capt. Mike Sperry at Chautauqua Reel Outdoors. “The majority …

Capt. Joe Fonzi of Gasport is pumped. He just finished in second place in the FLW Northern Division Costa Series Bass Tournament the end of July. He was fishing out of Clayton, NY in the Thousand Islands, competing against 177 other boats. His pay day was nearly $18,000 for finishing runner-up. It’s a big deal for sure. However, there’s a part of him that’s extremely…

Sullivan, Ferguson Electric set pace in BassEye contest The 16th Annual Greater Niagara BassEye Celebrity Challenge was held on Lake Erie last Friday out of Buffalo Harbor. On a day when a northeast wind created some tough conditions on the main lake, it was the Ferguson Electric team consisting of Mike Sullivan of Grand Island, Mark Jacobs of Eden and Dave Kowalewski o…

August is here and it’s a cavalcade of contests on both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Get ready to rumble! Lake Erie Sometime it’s for pride, sometime it’s for big bucks. Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga sends word that they held the “Battle of the Points” last weekend. Each year, 10 boats from Sturgeon Point, 10 boats from Fox Point and 10 boats from Point Breez…

Timing is everything. Whether it’s a first cast (or troll) into a new area or that infamous “one more cast” with the hopes of catching that trophy fish. For Sandra Brown of Clearfield, Pa., who was fishing with her husband Ed and friend Joe Yaeger of East Amherst, it was a different kind of timing that was coming into play -- and they were fishing in three contests a…

Outdoor forum discusses science of climate change WGRZ’s next “2 the Outdoors” Forum will focus on the Science of Climate Change. The presentation will take place on Aug. 2 at Tifft Nature Preserve, 1200 Fuhrmann Blvd., Buffalo, starting at 7:30 p.m. This 10th environmental forum will review the history of the research that’s been collected and what the implicat…

When Dewitt Clinton began construction of his “big ditch” 200 years ago – the Erie Barge Canal – it would be safe to say that one of the furthest things from his mind was the development of a diverse and productive sport fishery. Many people in Western New York, an area accentuated by two Great Lakes and the Niagara River, wouldn’t even give the Erie Canal a seco…

If you want to find out what's happening in the fishing world, follow the contests. Lake Erie The big talk the past week on the lake was the Sunset Bay Walleye Shootout held July 21 for Big Fish Friday and July 22 for the main event – the shootout. Midnight Express finally captured a first place in the main event and also won Big Fish Friday with a 10.04-pound wall…