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The Fishing Beat (Sept. 4, 2019)

It’s September. Where did the summer go? The Fall LOC Derby is now in the books and check out this week’s outdoor column to see where the winners can from and how they did it. Walleye action in Lake Erie is still going strong. Take advantage while you can.

Lake Erie

Steve Brzuszkiewicz of Marilla says fishing out of Cattaraugus Creek is still good, however action has moved a bit to 60 to 62 feet of water for limit-style fishing. Capt. Jim Skoczylas of Sheridan reports that he’s been fishing straight out of the Catt in 60 to 80 feet of water. He’s been working the water with 5 through 10 colors of lead core. Big dipsy divers are best 170 to 200 feet back on a No. 3 setting, downriggers set between 55 and 60 feet. Fishing continues to be good, but it did slow at little recently after five days of heavy wind. However, he still managed to catch over 50 walleyes in the two days he fished over the long weekend. Best lures have been stickbaits like Renosky's, Bay Rats, and Bombers on the lead core. On the riggers and the divers, they’ve been using the 3.5-inch Simon spoons from Hawken Fishing. Sturgeon Point is holding some fish in the 60-plus depth range and off Buffalo, you’ll need to hit 60 feet along the international line to pick up yellows. Steelhead should begin to move closer to the creek mouths and trolling those areas with stickbaits and spoons could be productive. Bass are starting to move onto structure. Crayfish, drop shot rigs, swim baits and tubes can all be effective this time of year. Seneca Shoal should be a favorite around the drop offs.

Niagara River

Bass and walleye are going into a little autumn funk with the early migration of a few salmon moving into the lower Niagara River. When that happens, the other species of fish have a tendency to be hot and cold depending on the day. Capt. Ernie Calandrelli of Lewiston reports decent bass action on the Niagara Bar and along the Coast Guard station with crayfish a top bait, fished off three-way rigs. Walleye also are in the same general area, available all the way to Artpark and Queenston on a spinner and worm rig. Remember that the limit on walleye in the lower river and Lake Ontario is different than the state regulation. Fish must be at least 18 inches long and the daily limit is three per person. Some walleyes are being caught along the shoreline in the Artpark area on jigs according to Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls. He picked up three on one outing over the weekend. A few more salmon were reported in the river and a few have been seen jumping in the Devil’s Hole area. Some were caught by walleye fishermen drifting worm harnesses in the lower drifts.

From left, Jayme Baughman, Dennis Snow and Mike Altman show off the king salmon they caught on Labor Day while fishing the Niagara Bar. (Photo courtesy Ed Dlugozima)

Lake Ontario

It has been a slow but steady pick the last few days out of Olcott, according to Ed Dlugozima of Mercer, Pa. Best fishing for them was in 70 to 110 feet of water on mostly meat rigs. They also fished the eastern edge of the Niagara Bar on Labor Day and found an active school of fish in 80 to 120 feet of water. Spoons were the lure of choice. The crew managed 22 bites, landing nine fish in the process. Their 300-foot copper pulled three kings; riggers at 50 and 60 feet did most of the damage. High divers 140 feet back on a three setting hooked a couple screamers. It was another great trip from the Keystone State crew. As salmon move closer to the creek mouths for staging, don’t rule out deep water action off Wilson and Olcott. Steelhead and salmon are available and action can be great if you find the fish. Some consistent reports have come in from 500 to 550 feet of water. Fish the marks on your electronics.

Chautauqua Lake

Walleye is still going strong with fish being landed by trolling baits like Hot-n-Tots, Reno Baits and small Rapalas in the south basin, according to Capt. Mike Sperry of Chautauqua Reel Outdoors. Trolling with lead core line or with downriggers will put lures in the zone. Sperry also noted that some fish were coming on worm harnesses as well. Some big crappies were grabbing hold of the Hot-n-Tots, too. The Fall jigging bite should be starting soon. Good baits to start with include Jigging Raps, Snap Raps, Gotchas and heavy spoons. Musky action is inconsistent. Fish are being landed through casting and trolling, but the bite is not yet on fire. Trolling 5-inch Tuff Shads, Hooker Shads and 22 Longs produced some fish for Sperry last week. Using 8-inch and 9-inch Leo Jerkbaits are the best bet for casters.

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