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Fishing Line

Lake Erie

Today, a day with the longest span of daylight, could be good for walleye.

The 'eyes have been biting throughout the day; they show up at varied depths. Generally, trollers have done best over depths of 45 to 60 feet at sites from Barcelona to Buffalo.

An east wind earlier in the week slowed open-water outings close to Buffalo, but the west-enders off Barcelona continued to log limit (5-fish) catches when waves subsided enough to cruise waters a mile off shore.

Competitors in the Southtowns Walleye Association tourney had to work to find bigger fish to enter the contest, but meat fishermen in search of filleting-sized 'eyes are having fun with schools from that '03 class, which now measure somewhere either side of 21 inches.

Trollers have had to adjust depths to find where walleyes forage. Bait schools have been moving up and down, pulling both bass and walleye up and down the water column.

Some boaters have gone with the classic bottom-bouncing gear: Three-way swivel rigs -- and even the occasional chugging iron -- to draw strikes from fish holding along bottom structures.

Terminal tackle remains a variety pack. Worm harnesses get major mention, but slim spoons or skinny body baits (Rapalas, Renoskys, Thundersticks, Bombers, etc.) can bring on bites.

Perch reports are mixed; schools seem to be scattered. Few boaters have checked in with area bait dealers during the past week.

Bass fishing, since the statewide season opened Saturday, continues to reward anglers the way things went during the special Lake Erie early season.

Heat and abundant sunshine has pushed bait and bass to slightly deeper drops this past week. Consistent catches around Seneca Shoals, Myers Reef, the Evans-Angola Bar, Eagle Bay and structures west of Dunkirk Harbor mainly come at 20 to 25 feet.

Artificial baits, minnows and nightcrawlers all take bass, but crayfish bumped along bottom rarely escapes notice from bass and all too many round gobies.


Lake Ontario

Spoons continue to scoop the salmonid soup cooking close to shore between Wilson Harbor and Point Breeze.

Olcott Harbor serves as a good starting point for a mix of king salmon, coho salmon and steelhead trout, which hold at depths of less than 100 feet and hit suspended lures anywhere from 20 down to 65 feet, said Jim Evarts at Boat Doctor in Olcott.

"They're also starting to get them on flies," Evarts said, referring to big trout flies usually trolled behind a flasher or a dodger.


Silver Lake

Perch and walleye began schooling at the south end of Silver Lake, according to Frank Malone at Mack's Boat Livery. Walleye hold along deeper drop-offs along weed edges, hitting during early morning and evening hours. Perch have schooled a bit deeper than walleyes and show best at 15- to 20-foot depths.


Oneida Lake

Walleye numbers and sizes are back. Trollers and side-casting drifters have begun working deeper shoals (Shakelton, Messenger, and other mid-lake structures) for 3-fish limits of 'eyes that hit both cast jigs or trolled minnow-type body baits.


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