Work the weeds or wide waters now that summer's weed growth and warm open-water temperatures have arrived.
Emerging weeds make walleye, bass and panfishing a game of edges.
Open-water trollers on both Lake Erie and Ontario move up and down to find good temperature-holding depth levels for suspended walleye, trout and salmon.
Enough heat and direct sunlight has gotten through the shallow and deeper waters to put summer fishing -- at last -- onto its normal patterns.
Go west, young -- and older -- walleye workers.
Boaters out of both Dunkirk Harbor and Cattaraugus Creek have taken a left turn to find the better walleye schools.
At Dunkirk, the run has been about four miles to good near-surface schools of 'eyes. Side planers run less than four ounces of lead ahead of harnesses to reach top-cruising fish.
Trollers look for 73- to 80-foot depths west of Cattaraugus Creek for the heavier concentrations of walleyes off Silver Creek and west.
Purple or watermelon worm harnesses prevail.
Larry Pfohl of Lake Erie's Bait Box at Point Breeze reports an informal Battle of the Points Walleye Fishing Contest was held Sunday and the top fish (8.6 pounds) was caught by Capt. Don Gerow, representing Foxes Point (Cattaraugus Creek). The top team point-getter was Point Breeze with 93.5 pounds for 15 fish weighed in.
Most of their big fish were caught west of Point Breeze.
Big bass have dug deeper, but shoreline shallows still hold enough smaller fish to get kids interested in bass fishing.
A drift with all or some of a nightcrawler over 10- to 15-foot shallows will trigger some smaller smallies, but the serious bass seekers go with heavier tube jigs and vinyl tails capable of dropping 25 to 35 feet on the cast or drift.
Southtown Walleye meeting attendees last Thursday night heard Ted Malota, along with Charter Captain Bill King, give some inside secrets for catching Lake Erie walleye with Dipsy Divers.
Malota covered the basics thoroughly: The need for rods specifically designed for Dipsy trolling; speeds of 1.4 to 2 mph (depending on wind speeds); wire, Iron Thread, or braided Dacron lines; turn to get raise and lowers depths of the Dipsy; and pink colors somewhere on a worm harness rig is a major attractant.
Many were stunned by Malota's preferred line length. The charts only indicate depth ranges out to 150 feet, but Malota's sweet spot comes at about 200 feet of line in most situations. Many trollers are out testing this presentation.
The Malota family big-fish story this season comes not from Ted but from his wife and regular fishing partner, Doraine.
During their annual trek to Silverwood Lodge on Georgian Bay, she brought in a 21-pound, 43-inch northern pike.
No elaborate Dipsy trolling here. "I got it on a bobber and sucker," she said.
Steelie trollers look for 400 to 500 feet of water for trolling the top 50 feet and king salmon are scarce, but shoreline bass fishing has been good out of every port over any kind of rock structures before the deep dropoffs.
The green buoy off Fort Niagara, the rocks off Four Mile Creek, and the piers at Wilson, Olcott and Oak Orchard all draw bass -- especially early mornings.
"The ratio of keeper walleyes has gone up considerably," says Jack Ulrich, a custom rod builder recently relocated in Ashville. Ulrich has been heading out of Goose Creek and working weed edges along the shallow south basin for good sizes and fair numbers of 'eyes taken mainly during morning hours.
Ulrich likes a green and black Cicada tipped with a small segment of 'crawler on the back hook.
In the north basin, 'eyes have been shining around Lighthouse Point near Mayville during much of the day, but the better numbers show at dusk, says guide Craig Robbins.
Tom Williams' daughter Erica, 11, an expert trout taker, wanted to catch a big fish. Jerry Jacques, an outfitter in Anchorage, Alaska, suggested a float trip down the Talkeetna River during the peak run, late June until the first week of July.
So the Orchard Park father, daughter, and son Jonathan, 14, met Jacques and flew fishing and rafting gear into the Talkeetna for a four-day whitewater rafting and king salmon fishing trip in late June.
"The river is rated at a 3 and has some 5-rating waters," Williams said.
All their fish came from a clear, shallow feeder called Disappointment Creek.
Prospectors named the creek for its lack of gold, but they never considered the satisfaction anglers could find in its waters.
Jonathan's first salmon went 50 pounds. Erica hooked at least one king in the 50-pound range and suffered no disappointment when she finally landed a 42-pound Chinook.
Both fish would score well during a spring or fall LOC Derby on Lake Ontario.
For more information on Alaska's brief but exciting king salmon run, check with Jacques at (907) 733-2504.