Niagara Bar will get busy this weekend
Written by Niagara Gazette   
Friday, 28 April 2006 16:36

The St. Catharines Game and Fish Association Derby is under way and the Scotty International Salmon Championship is being held out of St. Catharines/Port Dalhousie this weekend.

The result will mean lots of boat traffic around the Niagara Bar, as well as on either side, as teams of anglers seek out their five best salmon each day for the Scotty. With everything being a few weeks early so far this year, look for much of the action to take place right here — on the Bar and east toward Fourmile. The trench continues to hold fish— both chinook salmon and lake trout — and you may have to weed through the lakers to get to the kings for the tournament.

Capt. Bob Cinelli of Olcott reports Michigan stinger spoons have been a hot bait, especially orange-tinted baits like orange crush or hogs wild. When tournament fishing, spoons may be the way to go.

Capt. Doug Stein of Grand Island took advantage of more fishermen heading out to the red buoy and east to take a dandy box of kings, lakers and a few browns in the trench. Michigan Stinger spoons were his favorite bait with orange crush at the top of the list.

John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda and Greg Gill of Springville worked the red can area with 60- to 80-foot depths working best earlier in the week. Five colors of lead core and firetiger Bomber stickbaits fished behind inline boards was the best approach for kings. Green alewife or monkey shine spoons also took kings off the dipsy or riggers (28 feet down), but things will change for the tournament. The hard east wind, followed by the hard northwest wind, will push fish a bit west.

Wes Walker at the Slippery Sinker in Olcott reports the best action for kings, cohos and trout seems to be west of Wilson after they were doing quite a few fish in front of his home port.

Some steelhead are being caught as they drop back out from the streams and return to the lake after their spawning ritual. There are some steelhead still being caught in Eighteen Mile Creek at Burt Dam but water is relatively low and clear.

2. Lower Niagara River

Lewiston's annual smelt festival will be held from Monday to May 7. However, the week-long focus in area restaurants will be capped with a smelt fry May 5. The Niagara River Anglers will be frying up some 300 pounds of the tasty critters. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls reports that fishing was very good at mid-week in the river and off the mouth, even with high winds.

3. Upper Niagara River

Perch are being caught in the traditional perch spots in the upper river. One area that was hot for yellow and white perch was at the locks, according to John Van Hoff at Big Catch. The Buffalo Boat Harbor was producing a mix of perch and crappie with emerald shiners.

4. Lake Erie and tributaries

Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere, the early bass season on Lake Erie kicks off May 6. Perch fishing has been on-again, off-again depending on who you talk to. The winds kept most of the fishermen off earlier in the week and you may have to seek out the main schools in 42 to 52 feet of water off Sturgeon Point, Cattaraugus Creek and Evangola State Park.

5. Chautauqua Lake

There’s a one-day white perch tournament on Chautauqua Lake on Saturday, the culmination to their month-long white perch contest. For more information, call Craig Robbins at 969-9059. In the meantime, one of the better spots for white perch has been around the islands, Rock and Grass. Another good white perch spot has been off the Municipal Beach in Jamestown near the Outlet. Crappie and yellow perch have been hitting pink-colored one-inch tubes placed on a 1/32nd ounce jighead in Ashville Bay
 
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