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.
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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 AUGUST 15 2014   

Weekly Weekend Fishing Report and Weather Forecast [at top]           

A new 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!

Capt. Bill Beiger with a nice Lake Erie walleye
1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – The good news is that Saturday and Sunday of this week there will be three different fishing derbies on the lake available for competition anglers to take advantage of. The bad news is that with the recent storm activity, the lake flipped and the near-shore fishing has done an about face. When things settle back down look for some mature kings showing up inside of 100 foot depths. Use meat or flasher fly to entice those fish to hit with an outside chance for a magnum spoon to work for you. Brown trout are also available inside of 60 feet when the waters return to normal, with smaller spoons your best bet for a hook-up. Most of the fishing for salmon and trout will be out deeper. Look for stable water conditions and pods of bait to set up with spoons or flasher-fly. One spot talked about was the area from the 30 to the 34 lines out deep for steelies. Fish the bait on your fish finder, which is usually in the top 60 feet of water. The Orleans County Derby continues through Sunday and the current Grand Prize leader was pegged at 27 pounds, 7 ounces, caught by Debbie Murphy of New Albany, Penn. Top Salmon Division fish is a 26 pounds, 13 ounce king reeled in by Bill Magee of Northwood, Ohio. Destiny Bickel of Burt is still leading the brown trout division with an 18 pound, 11 ounce Olcott fish. First place steelhead is Mike Schaeffer of Sligo, Penn. With a 14 pound, 1 ounce trout. Leading laker is a 17 pound, 6 ounce fish hauled in by David Johnson of Rochester. The Lake Ontario Counties trout and salmon derby kicks off on August 15 and runs through Labor Day. Nearly $60,000 in cash and prizes are up for grabs, including a $25,000 check for the biggest salmon overall. Check out www.loc.org for details. The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby starts on August 16 and runs through the 24th for salmon, trout, smallmouth bass, walleye and carp. Kids fish for free in a special Junior Division. Grand prize is $2,500 and all divisions are eligible with a special drawing at the awards ceremony. Check out www.fishodyssey.net  for all of the details.

2. Lower Niagara River – Bass action has been spotty in the lower river. It can be good one day, not so good the next. Use live bait or tubes in the river or on the bar area off the mouth of the river. Crabs will also work for you. For walleye, Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Drab6’s Charters has been pulling fish from the bar area around the green buoy marker, as well as some of the drifts in the river like Stella and Jackson. Three-way rigs with worm harnesses is his preferred technique, but he uses his trolling motor to increase his speed just a little bit to trigger fish strikes. Speaking of walleye, the Niagara River Anglers Association will be holding their lower river walleye contest on Saturday, August 23 and if you are going to be in that you better be in the Fish Odyssey Derby, too. There is a separate division for walleye in the contest.

3. Upper Niagara Rive
r – Bass is still the hot bite around the river. All the traditional spots are holding fish and live bait like crabs and shiners lead the way of best baits to use. Worm harnesses will also catch a mix of fish, with an occasional walleye also showing up. You may be more likely to catch a sheepshead though. Strawberry Island is a popular spot as is the west river along the parkway. Reefs like Staley’s or deep holes like Thompson’s are good spots to target smallmouth with the latter a popular spot during the Fish Odyssey Derby due to its reputation for bigger fish. While largemouth bass is not part of the contest, you can be part of a state contest that will be run through Labor Day if you want to try and go for it. The IFISHNY Challenge is underway, helping to kick off a new Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife app for your smart phones. Catch the largest largemouth or striped bass between now and Labor Day and win a lifetime fishing license. It’s a little known fact that a state record largemouth was electro-shocked in the upper river a few years ago. Find out more info at www.dec.ny.gov .

4. Lake Erie and tributaries – Walleye action has started to slow a bit. Located bait is one key to finding some active fish and Chuck Booker of Amherst did just that while fishing with Bob and Bob Fronczak off Sturgeon Point. Targeting 60 feet of water there were pulling worm harnesses off No. 40 jet divers behind planer boards or they were using downriggers 50 feet down with stickbaits – black and silver Renosky lures. They also caught fish on a NASCAR Deadliest Katch spoon. The sticks and spoons had a piece of worm trailing on the hooks, too. Best color harnesses were firetiger, chartreuse and nickel with red. Bass action has been good on the reefs and shoals. Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Drab6’s Charters had a a couple great days around Seneca Shoal, pulling tubes along the bottom or drifting live shiners on three-way rigs. The tubes were actually out-producing the live bait.

5. Chautauqua Lake – Musky and bass have been anglers the most action of late. For musky, trollers are still doing well by focusing on suspended fish in the 15 to 20 foot range over 25 to 35 feet of water. Use large body baits or large bucktail spinners. Casters can also use large tubes on the weed edges. For bass, stick in shallower waters around docks and weed beds. Live bait like shiners are crabs always work, but if you prefer artificial, the top lures are tube jigs, senkos and top water baits.

6. Finger Lakes-Inland Waters – Cayuga Lake – Despite some unsettled conditions and sea fleas for trollers, diehard anglers are still doing well on browns and lake trout. Target suspended fish in the 50 to 80 foot depth range over 150 to 250 feet of water with spoons. Vertical jigging will also work for you if you want to try and target lake trout, especially on the bottom in 75 to 100 foot depths with a heavy jig tipped with a minnow or plastic. If you want to target bass, fish the north end in 15 to 20 feet of water with live bait or crankbaits. Plastics will also work for you – tubes or worms.

<  Fourth Lake, The Adirondacks – Catch of the week has to go to Rob Hoffman of Pendleton who caught his biggest northern pike while fishing Fourth Lake last week. The 44-plus inch fish weighed in at over 23 pounds. To date, he has caught four fish over 40 inches from these waters … or close by. He had a 43 inch fish come from Third Lake, all in the Fulton Chain of Lakes near Old Forge and Inlet. The big ones were caught on musky tandem spinners in 15 to 18 feet of water, trolling the shoreline between 2 and 3 miles per hour. Nice catch!








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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




<< << Pier casters are picking up browns in Olcott and Wilson, including Mark Vogt, Jr. of Newfane who landed a dandy 12 pounder.






<<<<Patrick Beckman of Traverse City, Michigan was trolling between Wilson and the Niagara River in 130 feet of water when he hooked into a 29 pound, 11 ounce king salmon.






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




Comerford [on right]  from E. Aurora - Darryl Day [on left] from St Catherines Ont.   Summer 2013 LOC Derby

Grand Prize LOC Winner John Tustin (L) with Sammy White. [Left Picture] 
Right Picture: Area anglers Marc Dunn (left), Matt Dunn (right) and Doug Parker II with the First Place LOC salmon

From a prior weeks Hilts Locator and its about 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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Go to the Official DEC Press release regarding the VHS Disease in fish


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

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Walleye Fishing Clubs - New York Walleye and Southtowns Walleye Associations
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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.

Shawn Pinkham [L] Gary Rammy Jr. [R]
With 35# 12 oz. Salmon ~ LOC Derby Leader
Wayne Peters Photo

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