Despite another phenomenal year for walleye fishing on Lake Erie, bass will be in the spotlight this week as the Costa Fishing League Worldwide Series invades Buffalo for a Northern Division contest Thursday through Saturday. With more than 170 boats heading out of Safe Harbor Thursday and Friday, expect some impressive catches at the weigh in each day starting at 2 p.m. Weigh in on Saturday for the Top 10 fisherman after the first two days will be at Cabela’s in Cheektowaga.
The Fishing 411 TV crew blew into Buffalo’s Safe Harbor last week to film a show for the World Fishing Network. Mark and Jake Romanack used a mixture of spinners fished on lead core line and bottom bouncers. The best action day one was on five and seven colors of 27# test lead core, fishing at about 1.8 to 2.0 mph. No. 4 Colorado blades were best with copper and gold plated finishes producing consistently. Fish were averaging about three pounds, but several fish from 5 to 7 pounds were landed. The next day it was a similar program, but they added three color lead core rigs to the offering according to Romanack. A few fish were in the 7 to 8-pound range. As the day progressed, the deeper running five and seven color rigs produced more consistently. Both No. 4 Colorado blades and No. 4 Double Willow Leaf blade rigs produced consistently. A few bonus fish were also taken using eight ounce bottom bouncers with No. 4 Colorado blade rigs. On the day of filming, the Romanacks reported that they boated and released over 40 walleye ranging from 2 to 9 pounds. All 3 days the best fishing was five miles straight out from Buffalo Safe Harbor near Seneca Shoal.
The hard east blow last weekend mixed things up like a washing machine according to Capt. Mike Johannes of On the Rocks Charters. On Tuesday he fish in 200 to 350 feet of water straight out from Wilson and put his temperature probe down 80 feet. It recorded 44 degree water. An hour later it was 64 degrees. While he marked good numbers of fish on his electronics, getting them to hit was tough. They did managed to catch 2 kings over 20 pounds. Flasher-fly rigs and 400 copper line set-ups produced the big fish. The Wilson Bicentennial tournament was postponed last Sunday and was rescheduled for July 28. Contact Johannes at 523-1727 for information. The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association held its club tournaments last Friday and Saturday. Winner of the LOTSA 323 contest was Reel Therapy and the Wills brothers Larry of Lewiston and Tim of Niagara Falls. The contest is to catch 3 big salmon and weigh them in over 2 days. Figuring out which 3 is tough. Playing Hookey and Jeff Smith caught 3 nice kings on Friday and weighed them in for a weight of 65.67 pounds. Weather didn’t look good Saturday and they rolled the dice. Meanwhile, the Wills brothers hit the Niagara Bar on Friday and caught a 22-pound king on a magnum glow Warrior spoon 65-feet down over 120 feet of water. They caught a bunch of other fish, but they were all smaller. With the east wind on Saturday, they ran east and fished east of Olcott in 100 to 200 feet of water. Right away Tim hit a 26-pound king (his biggest ever) on a spin doctor and a homemade fly that Larry put together. The last hour of the fishing they threw down another magnum glow Warrior spoon 75 feet down over 150 feet of water and they hit another 20 pounder to overtake the Playing Hookey squad with a 3-fish total of 68.83 pounds. The 26-pound fish is currently in 7th place in the LOC Summer Derby. A new LOC Grand Prize leading fish came in this week, too – a 28-pound, 10-ounce Wilson fish reeled in by David Salvalzo of Derby. The Derby ends on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The waters are starting to clear from moss according to Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston. He also had a surprise catch this week when David Meidel of Kenmore caught an 8-pound steelhead on a crab while fishing for bass. The 13th annual WNY Independent Living Bass Fishing Derby is set for August 5 out of Lewiston. For more info call 836-0822 Ext. 146.
Walleye has slowed a bit but a few anglers are still getting them on worm harnesses slow trolled behind a 1 ounce bottom bouncer near the weeds according to Mike Sperry at Chautauqua Reel Outdoors. The weeds have died back considerably so you may have to venture into shallow water to find good weeds in the south basin. Take plenty of crawlers as the yellow perch and white perch are hitting the harnesses. Fishermen are also catching a few walleyes vertical jigging in the deeper holes of the north basin. Musky action has slowed. Casting and trolling are options if you put time in. Largemouth bass fishing has been good around the docks with top waters and worms rigged wacky style.