There are plenty of fishing options available as summer-like temperatures made things a little uncomfortable. With temperatures cooling off for the weekend and rain in the forecast, it will make the start of National Fishing and Boating Week June 2-10 a bit more difficult. There are two kids contests on Saturday – a kids contest at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge from 9 to 11 and a Teach Me To Fish event at the East Aurora Fish and Game Club from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Lake Erie and tributaries
There is a little bit of everything going on out there in the big lake. The nighttime walleye bite in the shallows along the shoreline has started to lighten up for some but continuing hot and heavy for others. Large stickbaits are the way to go. According to Gerry Begier at Bill’s Hooks, the daytime bite is slowly starting to pick up off Dunkirk. Target 25 to 50 feet of water with stickbaits or worm harnesses. Jim Skoczylas, first VP with Southtowns Walleye Association, agrees that the transition is starting to happen. He had reports of people catching a dozen ‘eyes during the day using 3, 4 and 5 colors of lead core line and stickbaits from Silver Creek and west. Try and keep your baits in the top 25 feet of water and his best depth contour over the weekend was 30 to 40 feet. Some walleyes are also being caught off the windmills near Buffalo. Timing should be perfect for the Southtowns Walleye tournament set for June 9-17. Check out www.southtownswalleye.org for details. You must be registered by Friday night June 8. In the meantime, bass action is really starting to pick up, too. According to Brad Brodnicki of Buffalo, smallmouth bass are starting to make their way into the spawning areas as lake temperatures approach 60 degrees. Bass can be caught from 5 feet to 25 feet. And with the full moon last Tuesday, many more bass will be moving shallow. Smokes Creek, Seneca Shoal and Myers Reef will all be holding fishing according to Brodnicki. He was surprised with a 25-pound catfish this past weekend while bass fishing. The big fish hit a swimbait. Perch action has slowed again according to Skoczylas. They caught a couple dozen over the weekend near Cattaraugus Creek in 50 to 60 feet of water but the quality of those fish was very good. Don’t be afraid to move around.
There are some big contests going on this week so information is a bit light for the salmon and trout fishing. Salmon fishing has slowed a bit but it’s still darn good all around the lake. The big tournament June 1-3 is the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament out of Wilson and Olcott. Check out www.lakeontarioproam.net. That event is kicked off with the Don Johannes/Pete DeAngelo Memorial Big Fish/Three Fish on Thursday. June 1 is the deadline for registering for the Orleans County Open Tournament set for June 9-10. Good numbers of salmon are still available, but you do have to search for them. Mark and Jake Romanack with Fishing 411 television show filmed a show on Lake Ontario focusing their efforts around the Niagara Bar. Magnum spoons down 50 to 60 feet produced the most salmon for them. They also caught several coho salmon up high using 5 colors of lead core line with a spoon trailing. Don’t be afraid to head out to 300 to 400 feet of water to seek out large- sized salmon.
Walleye fishing has been on fire. At least it has been for Capt. Frank Schoenacker of Infinity Charters. Ken and Kathy Bermel of Lockport cashed in a Mother’s Day gift (from Ken to Kathy, good thinking!) and hit the lake for the holiday weekend. They caught 44 walleyes in four hours of fishing. Schoenacker said he’s caught 114 ‘eyes total in his last four trips combined, fishing about 20 hours. That’s a pretty good catch rate! Most of the time he’s fishing just two rods in the water, slow trolling a light spinner rig outfitted with a nightcrawler in 9 feet of water.
Capt. Jim Morgan of Seneca Chief Charters reports that action has really improved the past week. Last Friday they reeled in a dozen nice lake trout, a couple good-sized Atlantic salmon, a few rainbows and a 41-inch Northern pike trolling the shoreline with a mix of small stickbaits and spoons behind planer boards and riggers. The sticks were running 120 to 130 feet behind the boards over 15 feet of water. The riggers were set at 6 to 10-foot depths with Moonshine spoons. This action should continue for another couple of weeks before things switch over to a deeper program. Check out this week’s outdoor column to find out more about Cayuga Lake fishing.