Bill Hilts Weekly Weekend Fish Locator 

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Bill Hilts Jr. is a past president of the 
New York State Outdoor Writers Association.
In addition to the above, Hilts is an avid outdoorsman, 
an outdoor writer who has contributed articles to numerous 
national and local magazines, newspapers, and other publications. 
Hilts is also responsible for Niagara County Tourism Sportfishing Programs.
He freelances from his home in Sanborn N.Y.  
Hilts was inducted in the New York State 
Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame in the Spring of 2007! 

Email Bill at; Bill Hilts Jr.     
  This column as it appears here is seen in the Niagara Gazette on Fridays.
The Niagara Gazette is the area's leading outdoors sports information newspaper

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Bill Hilts Fish Locator
Bill Hilts Jr.



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On this page is the complete, uncut, unabridged, unedited version of the weekend fishing forecast

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Up to date fishing report for your weekend fishing;
FRIDAY APRIL 29 2016   

Weekly Weekend Fishing Report and Weather Forecast [at top]           

An outdoor show on LCTV (Time Warner Cable Channel 22; Phone number is 716-434-1733; www.lctv.net  is on Wednesdays at 4 pm called “The Outdoor Beat”, bringing aboard local experts on area outdoor activities. It will be live for call-in and also air several other times on Thursday and the weekend. Check it out!

1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – The first king salmon started showing up in slightly more reliable numbers as anglers prepare for May fishing contests. However, sharing information as far as locations and details is a bit more difficult. Best to try in 80 to 100 foot of water with sticks or spoons at the Niagara Bar drop to Olcott according to some reports. Remember that a study on king salmon will be starting up on May 1. The primary focus is three year old kings with an adipose fin clip. Be sure to save the head of any king with a clip and deposit them into the freezers located at Fort Niagara at the fish cleaning station; Bootleggers Cove and Wilson Boat Yard in Wilson, as well as at Wilson-Tuscarora State Park; in Olcott at the Town of Newfane Marina. That said, the county Fisheries Board is looking to collect a bit more information including the total number of salmon caught during the month of May. Pick up at copy of the form at the Town of Newfane Marina or email ncfdb1@gmail.com  for a copy. We need your help! Trolling the shoreline for browns and Cohos with stickbaits is still an option and the lake trout bite continues to be very good out to 80 foot depths. Spoons are the lure of choice. A few trout are still up for grabs in area tributaries, but the warm water fish like bass are slowly turning on to replace the trout. Derbies and tournaments are starting up for salmon and trout very soon, with the Spring LOC Derby kicking off on Friday, May 6. There is a $15,000 Grand Prize for the biggest salmon and Niagara County is where you want to be based on previous winners. Details at www.loc.org  on weigh stations and registration outlets. The Wilson Harbor Invitational Derby is set for May 7. Their website is www.wilsonharborinvitational.com  . And the granddaddy of tournaments, the 32nd Annual Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament is set for May 20-22 out of the ports of Olcott and Wilson. Website is www.lakeontarioproam.net .

2. Lower Niagara River – Trout are still cooperating for anglers drifting and casting in the lower river, but some trips produce more bass than steelhead or lakers. Minnows or small egg sacs are the top enticement for drifters and are also working for shoreline casters. Spinners are another top casting lure. Boaters have been taking trout in the Devil’s Hole area, but the lower river sections can also be productive if the winds cooperate out in the lake at the Bar. It’s been a little lumpy out there. For all you smelters, the smelt run is still going on but it seems to be on the downhill slide but they are getting a few. Remember that the Lewiston Smelt Festival is set for May 6 at Lewiston Landing complete with a smelt fry courtesy of the Niagara River Anglers Assn. and the Lower River Chamber of Commerce.

3. Upper Niagara River – As the waters slowly start to warm, the perch and panfish action will continue to improve along the river shoreline and around Grand Island. Bass fishing is all catch and release with no live bait so if you are targeting largemouth or smallmouth, keep that in mind. Fishing for panfish, though, Emerald shiners are the bait of choice. Buffalo Boat Harbor is seeing a fair amount of keeper perch being caught on shiners, too.

4. Lake Erie and tributaries – Erie perch fishing continues to be good to very good … if you can find the fish and stay on them. Fish can be found between Sturgeon Point and Cattaraugus Creek in 40 to 60 feet of water. Count down has started for the walleye and special trophy bass seasons – they open up next Saturday, May 7. For the bass contingent, the 2016 Spring Border War Open Tournament for two person teams will be held on May 7 out of the Buffalo Small Boat Harbor. No preregistration. Sign up on site starting at 5:30 am. Start is at 7 am and 3 pm is weigh in. Best two fish total per team and it is a live-release event. Remember with the trophy season the sizes of the fish need to be 20 inches or better. For more info call Keith at 818-7350.

5. Chautauqua Lake – Nothing changed much from last week. Craig Robbins reports crappies are being caught consistently in 8 feet of water in Ashville Bay. Use a blue jig tipped with a minnow. Other hot areas have been Burtis Bay and Lakewood Bar. To the north, the flats off Mayville are always a good bet. Make sure the jigs are small with live bait or small tube. Perch have been hitting closer to shore, but a few have been caught in deeper waters, too. Walleye season opens next Saturday, May 7.

6. Finger Lakes-Inland Waters – Cayuga Lake - The south end of the lake is yielding some brown trout and Atlantic salmon. Use stickbaits for best results. There has been quite a bit of debris on the surface when trolling, so be cautious. Lake trout are located in 120 to 150 foot of water. A reminder that on Finger Lakes tributaries fishing is from sunrise to sunset from April 1 through May 15.

-- To provide a report on the local fishing, send it to Bill Hilts, Jr. at billhiltsjr@gmail.com .


Lower Niagara River –  That was until Wednesday when water clarity improved enough to produce a nice mix of fish for Capt. Frank Campbell. His customer Michael Xu from the NYC area managed to catch some nice trout, a musky and a walleye on Wednesday – hitting double digits in the fish department. The secret, according to Campbell, was using the Pautzke’s Fire Brine on his minnows to give the bait a UV glow with a green coloration. Congratulations are in order to Tyler Morrison of Barker who won the Trout Category of the NYS Winter Classic contest with a 16.79 pound lake trout from the Niagara Bar. Some nice fish were weighed in this year. For the final leaderboard check out www.nyswinterclassic.com .


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<<<<< This was the catch of the week with 9 year old Corey Fekete of Ransomville reeling in his first ever lake trout while fishing with dad and grandpa off Fort Niagara in 30-40 ft of water, dragging spoons (silver and black) Corey (just turned 9) caught this by himself but it was too big and jumpy for him to hold





<<<<< Ed Klejdys of North Tonawanda is tops in the lake trout category with a 32 pound, four ounce Niagara Bar fish.













Dropshotting for bass:
[Lake Erie]
Capt. Jim Hanley sends word that just prior to the Labor Day weekend and the nasty weather he had experienced some of his best fishing of the year around Sturgeon Point, Myers Reef and Seneca Shoal. You could catch all the 14-15-inch smallmouth bass you wanted in 25 feet of water or you could slide out a bit deeper – out to 45 feet – to catch some bigger fish up to 5 pounds, six ounce for him. He had back to back days of 120 bass coming to the boat. Top bait was crayfish and Gulp green worms fished on a drop shot rig. « Go to Link

 Outdoors Forum Here  [Daily Reports]

Olcott Beach Wins Ultimate Town Fishing Contest!

Drop Shotting the Niagara River and Lakes! HERE ODN Exclusive!  
A perch killer at Seneca Lake tipped with live minnows!- Feel everything -Almost weedless!

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The above column is as it appears here is seen in the Niagara Gazette weekly.
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Wilson NY Spring Steelhead Stocking  PHOTOS  / To see the picture of the week Look Here  

Big Bass Contest Lower Niagara/Lake Ontario - Go Here for all the Information!

Go to the Official DEC Press release regarding the VHS Disease in fish


Niagara River Cabela's Masters Walleye Tournament story in photos HERE 

NEW! New York & Ontario Fishing Regulations HERE

NEW! Finger Lakes Fishing Website! Check it out here! Finger Lakes Fishing  Fishing reports & weather at the Fingers

Photos and story on the Lewiston Launch Ramp repairs and replacement October 23 2009 startup Go Here ~ Exclusively on Outdoors Niagara!

For LOC photos & stories from the Niagara River/Lake Ontario/Youngstown area go to: LOC Derby on Outdoors Niagara  Stories & Photos exclusively on Outdoors Niagara!

WALLEYE CLASSIC Contest  Information is all right HERE!

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NEW! New York & Ontario Fishing Regulations HERE

New Finger Lakes Hotspot Fishing Website!  Go Here

ALL DERBY DATES POSTED HERE Compiled by Bill Hilts Jr.

NEW! Drop Shot Fishing - Find Out HERE

Walleye Fishing Clubs - New York Walleye and Southtowns Walleye Associations
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Great story & brief history of these two clubs HERE

By Will Elliott


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FRIDAY FEBRUARY 13 2009 - We must preface this report with some sad news. One of the local giants in the sportfishing industry passed away this week. Capt. Doug Stein of Grand Island, a charter captain and guide for many years, died after a valiant bout with cancer. Doug was the president of the Niagara River Anglers Assn. for nearly a decade, with one of his big initiatives being the first pen rearing project for salmon in the county. He was one of those guys willing to go out on a limb to support what he believed in and always willing to help when work needed to be accomplished to help the sportfishery along. He was a big man with an even bigger heart and I’m proud to say that he was a friend of mine. We fished, hunted and shot together and he will be sorely missed by many. Bill Hilts Jr.

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