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Bill Hilts Jr. is a past president of
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
He freelances from his home in Sanborn
Hilts was inducted in the New York State
Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame in the Spring of 2007!
Email Bill at; Bill Hilts
This column as it appears here is seen in the Niagara Gazette on
The Niagara Gazette is the area's leading outdoors sports information newspaper
Bill Hilts Fish Weekly Fish
Bill Hilts Jr.
THIS BILL HILTS Jr. WEEKLY FISHING
IS UPDATED EVERY WEEK FOR YOUR WEEKEND FISHING!
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Niagara USA Fishing
Forecast for Dec. 1, 2016
[See Report Below This]
Lake Ontario and tributaries – Nearly an inch of rain fell on Nov. 30
and into Dec. 1, helping along some of the tributaries. The best spot to be
is still 18 Mile Creek and Burt Dam for trout and, believe it or not, there
was a fresh run of salmon that arrived this week. Browns, steelhead and
salmon are still available, but water was low and clear for the most part
before the rain. Downsize your baits to single eggs, small sacs or smaller
streamers and wooly buggers in more natural colors if the water is still
clear. However, with the recent rains, it could stain the water up a bit and
it will give you some more options.
Lower Niagara River - More steelhead are starting to show up every
day! Devil’s Hole is the best spot for your best chance at a steelie, but
Artpark is producing a few, too. Eggs or egg imitations in yellow, pink or
chartreuse are all good colors to try. Kwikfish and MagLip wobbling baits
will also catch you trout. Remember that lake trout season is closed in New
York until the end of the year, but if you venture over into Canadian
waters, laker season opened on Dec. 1. The lower river is the only body of
water (along with Lake Ontario) that still has musky season open. That
season is open until Dec. 15. This Sunday, Dec. 4, is the John Henning
Memorial Musky Tournament from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information contact
Adam at (623) 205-9939. Kyle Kraft of Akron, Ohio caught a 44 inch musky
earlier in the week on a MagLip while trout fishing. He also caught some
nice bass over 5 pounds in the river using tubes and minnows. The minnows
were fished off three-way rigs. Shore fishermen continue to do well on trout
and if the winds stain the water up at all, it should help the shore guys
out. Spoons, spinners, egg sacs or egg imitations such as beads - both hard
and soft – are working well. In fact, both shore and boat guys are using
beads to catch trout. You can keep posted on things that are happening in
the Niagara USA area by signing up on Facebook for Niagara USA Fishing and
Upper Niagara River – With the closing of the musky season, anglers
still have the option to catch other species like the catch-and-release bass
season, walleye or trout that might be starting to find their way into the
upper river. Make sure you mark your calendar for the 4th Annual Greater
Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Report set for Jan. 20-22, 2017 at the
Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. A huge ice fishing section is
included in a packed house of vendors and education. Check out
More information is going on the site every day. We will keep you posted!
|Up to date fishing
report for your weekend fishing;
THURSDAY DECEMBER 1 2016
Weekly Fishing Report and
Weather Forecast [at top]
Niagara Fishing Forecast
I Love NY Fishing!
Muskellunge and bass seasons
both closed on Nov.30, generally speaking, in New York. However, there
are a few caveats to consider with both of those species.
For musky, the Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario offer an open season
through Dec. 15 – perfectly timed by the Niagara Musky Association to
hold the annual John Henning Memorial Musky Tournament on Dec. 4 from 7
a.m. to 4 p.m. Give Adam a call at (623) 205-9939 for details.
For bass anglers, Dec. 1 starts up a catch-and-release season that
requires the use of artificial lures – until the Lake Erie special
trophy bass season the first Saturday in May (May 6, 2017) or the first
Friday before the regular-season opener on June 17, 2017 in the rest of
If you have any questions on either, visit the state’s fishing
regulations section at www.dec.ny.gov
or pick up a hard copy at any state license issuing agent.
What the week’s winds whipping up on Lake Erie will do to water clarity
is a coin flip right now. Water conditions below Niagara Falls were
clear for the most part in the beginning of the week, making it a bit
more difficult for shore-bound anglers along the main stretch of Artpark
in Lewiston. However, making the trek up to the bridge did make a
difference for some. Jeremy Kane of Kenmore did well using a chrome and
orange Acme Little Cleo spoon. Other local favorites include the BC
Wobbler and Little Gem spoons that Ricardo Davilo of Wheatfield has been
using. Sizes are two-fifths ounce and half-ounce. Boaters were doing
better. Capt. Ted Kessler of Grand Island was doing well using yellow or
chartreuse trout beads in an 8 mm size off of three-way rigs. Kwikfish
and MagLips will also work with the same set-up. Steelhead are starting
to show up in greater numbers and one spot working well is Devil’s Hole
on small pink and yellow spawn sacs according to Kessler. Capt. Frank
Campbell of Niagara Falls took advantage of the diversity of the lower
river fishery with Kyle Kraft of Akron, Ohio. One day they caught trout
in the river and then hit the Niagara Bar to see what was swimming out
there. Kraft caught a 44-inch musky while drifting a MagLip lure on a
three-way rig. They next day they used tubes and minnows to take some
nice smallmouth bass, including three over 5 pounds. In the Upper
Niagara River, Ryan Welch of Hamburg was fly fishing with Ryan Shea of
Brookdog Fishing this week. He was rewarded with his first muskellunge
on a black and red streamer fly – stretching the tape 42 inches long.
What a way to close out the season. Its memories like these that last a
Jeremy Kane of Lockport was
fishing the shoreline along Artpark over the weekend to take this nice
lake trout on an Acme Little Cleo spoon in chrome and orange. Jeremy
Kane of Lockport was fishing the shoreline along Artpark over the
weekend to take this nice lake trout on an Acme Little Cleo spoon in
chrome and orange.
Lake Ontario and tributaries
A fresh run of salmon showed up in 18 Mile Creek this week according to
Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott. They were mixed in with
browns and steelheads. There are plenty of trout around, but fish have
been wary with the clear waters. Downsize your baits, hooks and line if
you want to increase your chances for hooking up. Perch can be found in
Wilson and Olcott harbors, but you will have to weed through the smaller
ones. Some browns and perch are being reported from the piers at Wilson.
Two Orleans County fish took over the lead in the trout divisions of the
Captain Bob’s Fishing Derby going on right now. In the Steelhead
Division, Charlie Stahl of Williamsville took the early lead with a
27-3/4-inch steelie taken from the Oak Orchard River on a jig. Johnson
Creek produced the leading brown trout, a 26- inch fish, that hit a
spike on a No. 14 hook in low, clear conditions - reeled in by Bob
Rustowicz of Cheektowaga. Mike Waterhouse of Albion is reporting
moderate flows in the Oak that should be getting some additional water
flow from the canal as it is being de-watered for the season. Brown and
steelhead action is good.
Gavin Beck, an 11 year old from West Seneca, was fishing with Capt. Ted
Kessler of Grand Island to take this nice lake trout while drifting a
small chartreuse spawn sac. Gavin Beck, 11, from West Seneca, was
fishing with Capt. Ted Kessler of Grand Island to take this nice lake
trout while drifting a small chartreuse spawn sac.
Lake Erie and tributaries
Nicholas Sagnibene of Ellicottville, guiding out of Adventure Bound on
the Fly of Ellicottville, reports that most small- to medium-sized
tributaries off Lake Erie were fishable on Tuesday. There should be a
fresh run of steelhead in all with recent high waters. Cattaraugus Creek
is high and muddy right now. As soon as water levels start to recede, it
should pick back up again in the Catt. Sagnibene also commented on some
of the inland trout streams that are still open. Those open waters are
producing a good number of big browns in spawning colors. With a decent
amount of water in those streams, fish are cooperating nicely. Nick
cautions when walking the streams to stay out of the redds (spawning
With the closing of the musky season, anglers will be focusing on
walleye and panfish. Focus your attention around Ashville, Bemus and
Burtis bays with a quarter-ounce black hair jig tipped off with a worm
according to local guide Craig Robbins. Keep the bait on the bottom and
moving with a jigging motion. A good spot for perch and bluegills has
been in front of the launch at Bemus Bay in 8 to 12 feet of water with a
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!
Thanks to everyone that supports the Outdoors Niagara website! ....Please tell your friends! Don't forget to check our Outdoors Forum!
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]
Town Fishing Contest!
Be an Outdoors Niagara
TO LINKS ON THIS
ALL ABOUT ► Blue Pike
Bait Supply & Outdoors Niagara September
HERE FOR RESULTS
Wilson NY Spring Steelhead
/ 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
UP TO DATE PICTURES AND INFORMATION ON THE LEWISTON
LAUNCH RAMP REPLACEMENT AND FISH GRINDER OVERHAUL
Niagara River Cabela's Masters Walleye Tournament story in photos HERE
NEW! New York
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
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!
for Lewiston Louie's picture and story ►ONLY ON OUTDOORS NIAGARA!
NEW! New York
Fishing Regulations HERE
Finger Lakes Hotspot Fishing Website! Go Here
Drop Shot Fishing - Find Out HERE
Walleye Fishing Clubs - New York Walleye and Southtowns Walleye Associations
See how walleye fans keep these organizations afloat
Great story & brief history of these two clubs HERE
By Will Elliott
ALL THESE COLUMNS ARE UPDATED REGULARLY:
Hilts Weekend Fish Locator /
Go to Bill Hilts Outdoors Thursday Column
Go to Joe Ognibene's
Go to Will Elliott's "Fishing
Go To Bill Josephs "Straight From the Field"
Go to Mike Gillis "Outdoors in Niagara
Bob Confer's Outdoors
Tips Page ~
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
DEC FISHING LINE INFORMATION: GO HERE
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