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FISHING LINE

Lake Erie
Perch: Yellow perch draw the most angler-manned boats to launch sites along Lake Erie. At all sites, nomadic runs rule.

Shallow flats off Dunkirk Harbor continue to draw perch schools, but boaters often move left or right to get over schools of bigger feeders.

Deeper flats (50-70 feet) off Cattaraugus Creek also can be productive, but runs after each hefty breeze requires another search to find moving perch.

Minnows -- a severe lack of them -- could be a problem this weekend. Check with a bait dealer before heading to the shop and lake. A few boaters have had some successes with scent-covered vertical jigs and perch eyes.

Bass: Smallmouth bass still hold around deeper edges around Buffalo Harbor breakwaters, Seneca Shoals, Myers Reef, Evans-Angola Bar, Evangola State Park, Dunkirk Harbor, Van Buren Point and Barcelona Harbor. A few anglers commented about fewer sheepshead showing this year. They may not be hitting trolled spoons, plugs and harnesses, but they -- along with round gobies -- can menace a live crayfish rig set close to bottom to reach bigger bass.

Walleye: Ohio 'eyes have yet to move into New York State waters yet. Trollers out of Barcelona, Dunkirk, Cattaraugus Creek, Sturgeon Point and off Hamburg hit into a few fish, but a good trip might be three to five 'eyes during an 8- to 12-hour stint.

Both worm harnesses and minnow-type body baits can connect. Depth and speed control, though important, stand second to locating feeding schools right now. Reports from Ohio's western basin reefs and islands have solid schools holding in western waters.
Trout and Salmon: "Trollers off Point Breeze head out and get over 200-400 feet, trolling rigs about 25 feet down for everything," said Sharon Narburgh at Narby's Superette in Kent.

A steady mix of brown trout, steelies and even some salmon in the 25-30 pound range hit mid-sized spoons, dodger-fly rigs, SpinDoctor and fly rigs, and cut bait, a lure which usually doesn't see duty until later in the summer.

Pier fishermen at Point Breeze have been getting walleye during evening hours and bass throughout the day. Panfish have slowed, but some bigger 'gills and crappie hold within casting distance of piers.

"Off Wilson and Olcott Harbor, 90 to 175 foot depths draw salmonids running 40 to 60 feet down," said Mark Vilardo at Wilson Tackle Co. at Wilson Boat Yard.

Vilardo recommends a Revelator Flashers with a green fly for these suspended browns and steelies and for lake trout cruising near bottom. Spoons have regularly taken lakers as well as rig. Northern King's Silver Slash in a black and green finish.

"Fishing has been good. The lake is setting up nicely and 20 fish are not uncommon here," Vilardo said. To check on Wilson-area fishing, check with him at his new Hotline (751-3474).
Happy Hooker Bait & Tackle July White Perch Derby continues each Saturday at Chautauqua Lake. Call 763-5815.

Southtowns Walleye Association Kids Fishing Derby, Tifft Nature Preserve, for ages 15 and younger. Bait provided. Fishing from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday. For details, call Bob Anderson (675-3466).

Ninth annual John B. Daly Charity Bass Classic, Fort Niagara State Park, Aug. 7. Registrations must be in by Aug. 3. For details, call 434-3327 or go to: www.OutdoorsNiagara.com/johndalybass.htm.

A schedule of Evening Bass Tourneys on the Niagara River and Erie Canal for 2004 is available from either Todd Water (310-5296) or Jason Marchioli (997-9500).

James Fleming of Lockport took first place and a $7,000 prize competing in the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Tournament July 10 at Lake Champlain.

Avon Anglers compete at Keuka Lake on Saturday. For a complete list of club events, go to: www.avonanglers.com.
e-mail: wille@pce.net

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