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The Fishing Beat (July 4)

How good is the salmon fishing out of this end of Lake Ontario? The current  leader of the Summer Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby is a 27-pound Wilson fish caught by Lee Beaton of Clifton Springs. And the icing on the cake to accentuate the fishing was the Monroe County Offshore Classic. The Dirty Goose team led by Capt. Casey Prisco of Matamoras, Pa.,made a 153- mile round trip run from Rochester (two hours each way) to catch their tournament limit of salmon while fishing the waters off Wilson to win the tournament.

Lake Ontario

King salmon fishing continues to be very good on the Niagara Bar, as well as off Wilson and Olcott. The Dirty Goose Fishing Team led by Capt. Casey Prisco was fishing in the Monroe County Offshore Classic on Saturday out of Rochester. He didn’t get an opportunity to pre-fish so he had to rely on his intel. Head west! He ended up running all the way to Wilson for his winning catch – recording 21 salmon out of 22 hook-ups for the morning, which wasn’t bad for four hours of fishing. They ran a six-rod set-up. Hot combination was a Dreamweaver UV frog spin doctor with an A-Tom-Mik twinkie set up with A-Tom-Mik meat fished on a diver 205 feet back. A Dreamweaver spin doctor (10-inch white with green dot) fished with A-Tom-Mik meat at 91 feet down on the rigger also produced very well. The current in the area was very wicked according to Prisco. Most of the bites came from 71 to 111 feet down over 130 to 180 feet of water. Mark and Jake Romanack with the Fishing 411 television show continued their fishing adventure last week and they caught a total of nine mature king salmon to 25 pounds plus a number of smaller salmon. They caught fish on a variety of methods including downriggers down 65 to 75 feet over 100 to 150 feet of water just off the Niagara Bar; slide divers 120 feet back; 10 colors of lead core line; and 300 feet of copper line. Best speeds were 2.7 to 3.0 miles per hour on the surface. Be aware that there is a strong current out there in the lake that you may need to adjust to, probably related to the outflow of water through the St. Lawrence Seaway in an attempt to lower more water from the lake. Water levels have started to come down, an encouraging sign.  In the Summer Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby, which runs through July 30, current Grand Prize leader is Lee Beaton of Clifton Springs with a 27- pound salmon … caught on a flasher and fly out of Wilson.  Website is

Lake Erie

Smallmouth bass fishing has been good off Evans Bar and east of Sturgeon Point according to Capt. Jim Hanley of Angola. He found that crayfish and tubes were best used in 25 to 40 feet of water for smallies. For walleye, he’s been doing well using worm harnesses with perch-colored blades in 38 to 48 feet of water either side of Myers Reef. Dunkirk action was steady for the WNY Heroes event for many boats. Capt. Jim Steel of Alexander didn’t need to go very far to find fish. He normally fishes off Cattaraugus Creek, where he keeps his boat, but he needed to operate out of Dunkirk for the Veterans Day on the water. He picked off fish all along the lake, finding 60 to 80 feet of water a good depth, when running from the Catt. For Friday, with wind blowing from the southwest, he opted to run southwest and work back with the waves. Best fishing was in 60 to 70 feet of water. Stickbaits like Bagley Rumble B, Challenger and Renosky all caught fish – mixed veggies, purple/pink, purple/orange and goby all caught fish. Most of the fish came from running lead core line in 2, 3 and 4 colors off in-line boards. To find out about this trip, check out this week’s outdoor column. It seems like the fishing is slowly improving with each passing day. Good walleye fishing was being reported from Buffalo to Sturgeon Point in 35 to 50 feet of water. Bottom-bouncing a worm harness is working for drifters and slow trollers; lead core line behind inline boards is working for other; jet divers are also producing some fish off boards.

Niagara River

The good news is that the moss that normally takes over this time of year really hasn’t been all that bad in the Niagara River. Lower river bass action has been good this week, from Devil’s Hole to Fort Niagara. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls has had good success in Devil’s Hole tossing spinnerbaits and jerk baits along the shoreline. White and chartreuse are working well for spinnerbaits. Live bait fishermen can use shiners or crayfish. In the upper river above Niagara Falls, Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island has been working his magic around Strawberry Island to take a mix of bass, walleye and even an occasional steelhead. He caught a few last week for customers, a welcome surprise that hit a spinner and a worm. In fact, all of the fish hit a spinner and a worm.

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