Big ones still biting in Ontario
Written by Niagara Gazette   
Friday, 04 August 2006 03:10

Lake Ontario and tributaries — Fishing continues to be good for salmon and trout out in Lake Ontario, especially for big fish. Joe Beningo of Niagara Falls, while trolling in deep water off Wilson aboard the Blue Goose, hooked into a 23-pound steelhead last weekend.

Rumor has it that they were using a green and chartreuse Okie Dokie spoon. Over in Olcott, Capt. Bob Cinelli and Capt. Eric Bickel have both been adapting to the changing conditions, moving from Wilson to the Somerset Power Plant in 100 to 250 feet of water wherever water temperature and currents dictate. They won the weekly Olcott Fishing Derby run by The Boat Doctors and The Slippery Sinker in both they trout and salmon categories. They weighed in a 30-pound, six-ounce king salmon and a 15-pound, 14-ounce brown trout to win the prize money. Michigan Stinger spoons continue to be hot for Cinelli, using patterns like NBK and Spooks.

Those same patterns in Northern King hardware are also working for Bickel. While water is constantly changing, boats were fishing as deep as 80 feet down to take their fish on Wednesday. Tuesday, it was 70 feet down for John Smith of Colorado who was in town filming a segment for “Discovering America.” In just a couple hours of afternoon fishing, he managed to reel in a couple nice salmon, a couple steelhead and a brown trout aboard Cinelli’s “Hotline.”

In the LOTSA King Salmon Club tournament last weekend, it was a 28-plus pound king salmon reeled in from the “Chili Heads” boat led by Jason Monkelbaan and Capt. Tom Kilmer. They were fishing on the Niagara Bar in 180 feet of water. Jason was letting a Fishlander spoon back on his dipsy and he was 80 feet back and still going when the fish hit. Another good area that’s holding fish and the water seems to be a bit more consistent has been out deep between the 28 and 34 bar off Wilson and Olcott. Steelhead and a mixed age class of salmon have been biting spoons. Over at Point Breeze, Capt. Mike Waterhouse reports that fish are scattered from 80 feet of water to 500-plus foot depths. Spoons, spin doctors and flies, as well as cut bait are all working. The doctors and cut bait have worked better in tighter to shore. And speaking of Orleans County, the Orleans County Fishing Derby starts up on this Saturday and continues through Aug. 20th. Cost is $20, with a one-day pass valued at $10. A grand prize of $4,000 will be up for grabs. Weigh station and registration outlet in Olcott is The Slippery Sinker. Narby’s is one location in Point Breeze, as is Captain’s Cove. It’s probably fitting that an Orleans County charter captain is featured for the final seminar of the year for the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association next week. Capt. Paul Czarnecki of Tri-State Charters will be their guest to talk about August fishing in the lake — just in time for all the fishing derbies. The meeting will be held next on Aug. 10 at the 4-H Building of Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Ave. (Route 78), Lockport starting at 7 p.m.

One final note, there’s been a rumor going around that many of the boats fishing out of Olcott have been promoting an “Over the rail, in the pail” type attitude for smaller jack king salmon. These smaller fish, which are barely legal based on the 15-inch minimum size, are the survivors and the future of this lake. A poorly hooked fish is one thing. Targeting these smaller fish just to complete a limit is a slap in the face of the people who run the salmon pen projects in Wilson, Olcott and Point Breeze.

Lower Niagara River — Fishing for bass and walleye continues to be tough. Let’s hope the break in the heat wave will be enough to turn fish on again. This coming Sunday, the Independent Living Center will be hosting their first ever bass fishing contest in an effort to raise money for this important agency. Patterned after the old John Daly Memorial Classic that was spearheaded through the YMCA, this event will be run out of Fort Niagara starting at 7 a.m. Cost is $100 for adults and $75 for kids. There are some great quality captains and diehard fishermen participating this year and it should be a lot of fun. For more information you can contact Howard Fetes at 868-7521. Getting back to the fishing, you may have to do some searching to find fish. Try looking in a bit deeper water with traditional baits for the specie you’re targeting. For walleye, worm harnesses or yellow sally, spinner and a worm is the preferred method. For bass, tube jigs or live bait like shiners or crabs are the way to go. If you’re looking for a kids fishing derby to participate in, the Village of Youngstown will be holding a youth event on Aug. 13th as a precursor to their community-wide picnic. Sponsored by the Niagara River Anglers Association, the derby will be held from 8 a.m. to noon for kids age 6 to 16. Fishing poles, bait and instructions will be provided.

Upper Niagara River — Bass action has slowed a bit in the summer heat. Your best bet is at the head of the river with live bait or tube jigs. Local basser Tim Braun has been doing well with pumpkin and green colored tube jigs near the round house. Worm harnesses may produce a walleye or two. There were some reports of crappie being taken in the evening around the Union Shipping Canal.

Lake Erie and tributaries — Walleye action continues to be very good, especially in the waters between Barcelona and the state line, as well as between Dunkirk and Cattaraugus Creek. Bottom depth of 85 to 100 feet of water targeting suspended fish 50 feet down with worm harnesses and stickbaits have been the normal approach to taking these tasty fish. The area from Seneca Shoal to the Departure Buoy and heading out to deeper waters continues to be productive, with 50 to 60 foot depths a good starting point. Bass fishing has been decent and Tim Braun has been targeting any type of deep structure from 30 to 43 feet deep to take some bigger fish on tube jigs. Meyers reef continues to be a good area for bass, but they can be found all along the Lake Erie shoreline. Some steelhead are being reported off Barcelona.

Chautauqua Lake — Walleyes are hitting at Midway Park and at Maple Springs Bay in 8 to 10 feet of water. A split shot and a leech fished early morning is best. Muskies have been hitting from the Bell Tower at Chautauqua Institution to the boat launch at Mayville. Cast bucktails, top waters or jerk baits over the top of the weeds and along the weed edges. For largemouth bass, Bemus Bay has been a good spot. White and chartreuse spinnerbaits worked through the top of the weeds or around the docks has been the best approach. If you’re looking for bluegills and other panfish, target the G-3 buoy at Warners Bar with a split shot and a piece of worm. It would be a great spot for kids.

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