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The Fishing Beat (August 21, 2019)

There are two fishing derbies continuing on Lake Ontario and a big walleye tournament on Lake Erie this weekend out of Dunkirk. If you want to learn more about walleye fishing, find information on an educational event in Scattershots.

Lake Erie

Walleye are distributed in a long broken school from Crystal Beach (condos) through the area north of Cattaraugus Creek to Dunkirk according to Capt. Dave Adrian of Aquatech Charters. One good starting point is north-northwest out of Sturgeon about 4 to 5 miles in 61 to 64 feet of water, says Adrian. Walleye are very plentiful, although only certain schools or fish are active. Stay on those fish and limits are possible in several hours.

Hot lures for Adrian have been worm harnesses in purple and pink and fire tiger off dipsy divers 100 feet back trolled at 1.7 mph to 2.0 mph. Downriggers also have been productive, set from 50 feet to the bottom. Rob Oram of Franklinville took his grandson Jackson Oram of Salamanca out for a walleye trip and they headed west in 62 to 65 feet of water. All the fish were within 6 feet of the bottom.

Where there were baitfish, there was walleye. Lots of sheepshead were hanging around the Buffalo area. Cattaraugus Creek area has been consistent with walleyes, now around the 80-foot mark. Dunkirk has been good right out front in 80 to 110 feet of water, and Barcelona has been good from just outside of the perch nets to 90-foot depths.

Capt. Frank Schoenacker of Infinity Charters focused his fishing attention out of Dunkirk in 80 to 100 feet of water. Walleyes were in 45 feet of water and lake trout were down 75, hitting a Moonshine walleye spoon. As far as smallmouth bass action, Capt. Joe Fonzi of Thumbs Up Charters reports that they are just starting to move back onto structure. He caught them from 32-foot depths to 45-foot depths, using tubes, drop shot rigs and crayfish. He fished from Buffalo to 18 Mile Creek to Seneca Shoal. There were lots of sheepshead around. In big bass action, Brandan Walsh of Niagara Falls took the early Fish Odyssey lead with a 6-pound, 7-ounce lunker. We’ll tell you where he caught if after the tournament. The Wednesday night Safe Harbor weekly bass fishing contest was moved to Tuesday this week because of the weather forecast and 17 boats participated. According to Scott Callen of Buffalo, the fish are all deep holding on isolated rocks either on Waverly or humps on the line. Some better fish have been picked up at the head of the river drifting the lake side of the round house. The bite is very soft and fish are scattered.  He’s been using drop shot or Ned rigs. His biggest Tuesday was a 4.5-pound bass. Fish are holding tight to the bottom.

Niagara River

Blake Kowalski of Tonawanda was bottom bouncing with a worm harness near Strawberry Island, managing to catch three walleyes and a few smallmouth bass. Then he hooked something big. He wasn’t quite sure what it was until it was near the end of his 2-hour battle – a big sturgeon. It broke his line just a short distance from his boat. In the lower Niagara River, walleye action continues to be good both in the river and on the Niagara Bar. The leading catch for the Walleye Division of the Fish Odyssey is a 10-pound, 10-ounce fish reeled in by Vincent Gebczyk of Niagara Falls using a harness. Leader for the special Southtowns Walleye prize for largest by a member is Bob Patterson of Niagara Falls with a 9-pound, 10-ounce lower river fish.

Lake Ontario

Staging kings showing up off the Oak Orchard River on Tuesday, according to Joe Yaeger of East Amherst. The northeast winds late last week moved cold water in shore and drove the king salmon off shore about 10 miles out. The west winds on Monday moved the warmer water back into shore and the bait and kings followed. There was good king fishing on Tuesday from 100 to 140 feet of water anywhere from 60 to 75 feet down for Yaeger. Kings were taking magnum spoons, flasher and flies, as well as cut bait rigs. Both downriggers and divers were equally effective. White two face spoons and flashers were hot. If we get a stretch of stable weather with south and west winds, king fishing should be excellent with the large number of mature fish staging either side of the Oak Orchard River. Out of Olcott, Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Thrillseeker reports that mature salmon are highly scattered with all of the wind changes. Salmon can be caught from 50 to 500 feet of water. Good steelhead can also be found in deeper water where conditions are more stable. Fishing should only get better. Out of Wilson, Capt. Alan Sauerland of Instigator Charters had the pressure task of producing some fish for governors Andrew Cuomo and Ned LaMont of Connecticut on Tuesday morning. They managed to catch a few steelhead and the crew lost a 20-pound salmon at the back of the boat when the fish jumped out of the net, Sauerland said. They were fishing 8-10 miles out.

Chautauqua Lake

Frank Schoenacker of Infinity Charters reports that he fished Chautauqua’s north basin with light tackle along the weed line in 13 feet with Northland Butterfly spinners for walleye with Jeff Tennell of Indiana.  He reported several nice walleyes, the best a 22-inch dandy.  Capt Mike Sperry of Chautauqua Reel Outdoors reports that walleye are still going strong for him, too. He likes running 2-inch Hot-N-Tots behind lead core or riggers. Musky has been inconsistent, but he did catch a nice one Saturday by trolling.

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