Tonawanda News — 1. Lake Ontario and tributaries
Congratulations to Capt. Rick Hajecki and the Yankee Troller team from Rochester who won the 29th Annual Niagara County version of the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament with a total score of 473.43 points. In addition, the team’s consistency paid off in the 5-fish Trophy Division to move up from second place after Day One to take over the lead with a total score of 262.28 points. The team collected $9,000 and $4,000 checks, respectively, for the two divisions. Based on their tournament cup points going into the Orleans tournament this weekend, they are the front runners for the $35,000 prize cup package that includes a check for $20,000 for being the most consistent team in the two Western Lake Ontario tournaments.
In the Recreational Open Division for Saturday, allowing teams to bring in their best three fish for the morning, Jonathan Ross of Holley led the way with his Tomahawk team scoring 79.52 points. In the Recreational Open for Sunday, Salmon Boy, a team led by Joe Oakes of Ransomville, set the pace with a score of 82.50 points. Check the website out at www.lakeontarioproam.net for all the scoring updates.
Last Friday, the Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo Memorial Derbies were held and in the end it was the Hideout team led by Capt. Rob Taddeo of Hilton winning the Big Fish contest with a 26.46 pound king salmon. Best three-fish box was weighed in by the Vision Quest V team led by Pete Alex of Erie, PA with a score of 93.91 points. Not too much information was shared on the lake fishing because of the tournament this weekend out of the Oak.
Some beautiful salmon and trout came to the scales at Krull Park, so fish are available for recreational boaters. Wes Walker at the Slippery Sinker in Olcott reported that trollers were doing okay for kings in 80 to 150 feet of water and cohos and steelies were hitting in the top 30 feet of water over 50 to 400 feet – but that will all change with the east wind that was blowing Wednesday. Fish were being caught on spoons, flasher-fly and cut bait. Browns could be found inside of 60 feet. Bass and perch are still being caught in the harbor along with pike and bowfins. Ditto for over in Wilson Harbor. Remember that the Burt Hotel will be sponsoring a bass contest on June 15 for smallmouth and largemouth. Stop in to the Route 78 location near Fisherman’s Park for details.
2. Lower Niagara River
Not too much changed for action in the lower river from last week, but the trout are continuing to move out of the system as the waters continue to warm. Steelhead and lake trout were being caught from Devil’s Hole down to the Stella drift from boats, and along the shoreline in the gorge all the way up to the Whirlpool. Shore casters will use jigs, spoons, spinners and live bait. Boaters are using emerald shiners and Kwikfish lures. Bounce the bottom using three-way rigs. Remember that the bass and musky opener is next Saturday, June 15. Off the NYPA fish platform, silver bass action has been very good. Use small jigs and mister twister-type plastics or live bait.
3. Upper Niagara River
Nothing changed from last week other than the perch action has slowed off Ontario Street and you will have to weed through some smaller fish to get to the keepers. Perch are still hitting around the northern tip of Squaw Island just below the Black Rock Canal lock. Some walleye are being caught around Broderick Park. Bass are still hitting from the head of the river to Strawberry Island, catch and release only north of the Peace Bridge. That will change on June 15 with the opening of bass and musky seasons. Remember that the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Niagara Falls will be holding its annual Opening Day Smallmouth Bass Contest on that day, starting at sunrise. You must be preregistered.
4. Lake Erie and tributaries
Walleye action is starting to improve during the day the Windmills in 25-40 feet of water and along the edges of Seneca Shoal according to Capt. Frank Campbell. Use worm harnesses or stickbaits. Bass fishing continues to be good in 10 to 30 feet of water, but there are quite a few bass on the beds right now. Perch fishing is still good off Sturgeon Point in 55-60 feet of water and east of Cattaraugus Creek in 50 to 65 foot depths.
5. Chautauqua Lake
Some crappie are still being caught in the northern basin in the bays, but the main bite is over for now. If you want to try, find a bay out of the wind and target the weed edges. Use a slip bobber with a one inch tube tipped with a minnow. Walleye are cooperating along weedlines in 8-10 feet of water on stickbaits and worm harnesses. Fish under low light conditions in the northern basin of the lake like Dewittville Bay.
For bass, use tubes or grubs inside of 10 feet. Live bait can be used once the regular season opens on June 15. Bass have begun to stage off the deep drops. Crank baits are working in places like Sunset Bay and upper Dewittville. Best colors have been perch and white.
6. Finger Lakes – Inland Waters
Walleye fishing has been good when the weather cooperates. Target 15 to 35 feet of water with blade baits or jigs tipped with a night crawler. Shore anglers are picking up some fish by casting stickbaits or jigs just before dark. The pickerel bite has been good all around the lake. Bass season opens on June 15. Until then it’s all catch and release.Bill Hilts Jr. is the outdoor sports specialist with the Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.