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The Fishing Beat

On Saturday, June 17, there are numerous angling activities for young and old alike. There are a few kids fishing contests going on, starting with the 31st Annual Kids Derby sponsored by the Wilson Conservation Club, 2934 Wilson-Cambria Road (Route 425), Wilson from 8 a.m. to noon for junior fishermen age 3 to 14. Any Niagara County waters are eligible. However, no trout and salmon are allowed to be entered. This is a contest based on length and you must have your fish measured at the club by noon. Call 930-7500 for more information.  Over in Tonawanda, the 22nd Annual Kids Fishing Derby at Niawanda Park will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon with registration starting at 8 a.m. Just show up at the band shell to sign up. A statewide Summer Classic Tournament with 10 fish species will be starting on Saturday, too. The contest will run through Aug. 31. Check out details at Of course, Saturday is also the start of the Great Lakes musky season and the regular bass season.

Niagara River

Upper river pike action continues to be good for Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls. He managed to reel in 15 fish on jigs in one three-day stretch using heavy fluorocarbon leaders. Here’s some tips from the experts for opening week musky fishing on the Niagara River :

Tony Scime, founding member of the Niagara Musky Association: 1) Fish during change of light periods, especially sun-up and sun down. That means being on the water before sunrise and sunset. 2) Learn the water you're fishing. Don't expect to do too well if you don't take the time to learn the water.

Marc Arena, owner of Red October Monster Tubes: 1) Trolling Buffalo Harbor - Short line trolling in 6 to 8 feet of water adjacent to weed beds.  This typically produces males in the upper 30 to mid-40 inch range. Trolling the deeper waters near the North and South Gaps traditionally produces less fish, but that's where you'll find the larger females. Night trolling into the early morning hours can up your chances a bit on one of the female trophies. 2) Jigging Upper Niagara- Bottom bouncing 7.5-inch and 10-inch Red October Monster Tubes and 9-inch Storm Wildeye Swim Shads is productive from day one through the end of the season with a slight lull during August and September.  The most productive depths are 16-25 feet of water with irregular bottom contours.  Drifting in Canadian water starting at the Frenchman's creek bridge and in New York waters a quarter mile upstream of Strawberry Island are good places to start, but there are a number of other drifts that produce fish.  Bottom contact is the key.

Why this musky study is an investment in the future

Lower Niagara River action is still hanging on. It was mostly for bass this week and the moss hasn’t been too bad. With the opening of the regular season for bass on Saturday, live bait becomes fair game again. The Opening Day bass contest sponsored by Kelly’s Korners has been discontinued – to encourage more catch and release.

Lake Erie

Getting information during the Southtowns Walleye Association tournament is never easy. Leading fish is a 12.37 pounder reeled in by Jerry Driskill, caught on a _____ in ______ feet of water off of ______. You’ll have to wait two weeks to see what that information will be. Joe Yaeger of Amherst hit the water off the windmills and hit eight fish on Tuesday morning, bottom bouncing worm harnesses off three-way rigs. Capt. Frank Campbell reported his best depths were 35 to 45 feet of water doing the same thing (bouncing bottom) and he was noticing that bigger fish were starting to show up. Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga is excited by the 64 degree temperature in the lake, his magic number. He’s had good success in 40 to 65 feet of water out of all ports. We have had reports of numbers of fish in Buffalo Harbor but they are all smaller. Anglers are encouraged to stay away from the smaller ones when there are bigger ones to be caught elsewhere. There is a large school of walleye ready to show up in New York. Northeast, Pa., has been hammering walleye for a week and they should continue their easterly migration. Some perch have been targeted in the 54-foot depth contour by Capt. Joe Fonzi of Gasport. He was also hitting some nice bass for two-tour combat veteran Steve Stafford of Syracuse. Stafford caught his biggest bass ever, between 5 and 6 pounds, using a shiner in 32 feet of water. Stafford caught the perch, too, at the end of the bass trip. (See photo gallery)

Catches of the Week (June 14)

Lake Ontario

Water levels seem to be coming down a few inches but there is still concern regarding debris. Best launch ramp is still in the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott. Fishing continues to be pretty good. Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane reports that fishing for kings is decent right now but the heavy current and frequent wind direction changes keep the fish moving. Target 100 to 300 feet of water with spin doctors and A-Tom-Mik flies. Pierleoni is coming off a second place in the Orleans County Open Tournament last weekend, actually catching more fish than the eventual winner, Cannonball Runner and Capt. Ed Monette of Bernard’s Bay. Pierleoni and company came up short by 5 points. See the story in Scattershot. Monette used Michigan Stinger spoons (black ice and nuclear NBKs), A-Tom-Mik meat rigs and twinkie set-ups. Dipsy divers were set back 250 and 260 set on No. 2, riggers were 40-60 feet down and 10 colors of lead core worked, too.

Chautauqua Lake

The walleye fishing is still good trolling worm harnesses along the weed lines according to Capt. Mike Sperry with Chautauqua Reel Outdoors. Jigs tipped with a night crawler in the same general area will also work in 9 to 11 feet of water.  Try around 12 feet of water in the north basin. Perch are abundant, as well as white perch. Musky fishing is good both casting and trolling. Sperry, fishing with his son, Jack, took third place in the Muskies Inc. Chapter 69 tournament on Chautauqua last Saturday. Their biggest was a 45-inch fish (see photo gallery). The winning team landed a 48-inch fish.

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