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 JULY 25 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!

1. Lake Ontario and tributaries – It’s the final weekend of the Summer edition of the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby and all the species categories are still up for grabs. There were some new leaders this past week and Stephanie Brace of Oswego took over the Grand Prize with a 31 pound, 11 ounce catch. In the Brown Trout division, Capt. Roger Young of Connecticut vaulted into the lead with a 21 pound, four ounce fish caught out of Olcott. Steve Klejdys of North Tonawanda is still holding on with his 22 pound, six ounce Niagara Bar fish – just five ounces in front of Greg Wiacek of Lockport. There’s a new rainbow/steelhead leaders, too. Michael Sabo of New Jersey weighed in a 16 pound, 8 ounce fish to take over the lead while fishing out of Sodus. The contest extends to Sunday at 1 pm and then all the leaders (Grand Prize, first and second place fish) must show up at Captain Jack’s in Sodus Bay by 4 pm for photos and interviews.

Meanwhile, fishing has been pretty good on the lake as things have slowly started to turn around. In the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s King Salmon Tournament and Curt Meddaugh Memorial event last weekend, most of the boats headed out to over 400 feet of water to set up their programs. While spoons caught a large percentage of the fishing, flasher-fly also started to produce fish consistently. According to Kyle Hovak, they kept their downriggers from 40 to 80 feet down and had some decent luck. Dipsy divers were anywhere from 150 to 250 feet back and some of their bigger fish came at 180 feet back on a No. 3 setting. They used a Capt. Volume spin doctor with a green hammer fly to take some nice fish, including a 21 pound king that placed second in the Meddaugh event. For that one, Matt Dunn and the Slammin’ Salmon team out of Wilson took top honors with a 23.62 pound king salmon. He was running meat rigs off the downriggers out deep. In the Saturday LOTSA salmon three-fish event, Alan Sauerland and Team Instigator out of Olcott set the pace with a three-fish total of 71.31 pounds. They beat out Frank Schmidhamer and Team Reel Scream from Pennsylvania by nearly nine pounds. Instigator was using Bob Fuller spoons down 70-80 out deep and also managed some fish on flasher-fly. Third place was David Peterson’s Hotline squad, also out of Pennsylvania. Peterson’s son Hunter caught the fish of the tournament, a 28 pound, 15 ounce king that is currently second on the LOC contest and first place for the youth award. All the fish caught were donated to the Food Bank of WNY, a nice gesture by the fishing club. Next derby on the angling calendar is the Orleans County Derby set to kick off August 2. The Slippery Sinker in Olcott is both a weigh station and a registration outlet.

2. Lower Niagara River – The Niagara River Anglers Association is getting ready to hold its annual bass contest and timing looks to be about perfect. Joe Oliverio of Lewiston was out targeting bass in some of the lower river sections using golden shiners off three-way rigs. It’s still not too late to enter the contest and you can even sign up the same day at Fort Niagara between 5:30 am and 8 am according to contest organizer Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Lewiston. Once again this is a 100 percent payback contest with all the food afterwards being donated on the lower river charter captains. Drabczyk also noted that he targeted walleye on the Niagara Bar earlier this week and did very well on walleye using worm harnesses. He actually caught five nice fish using three-way rigs. While he was catching walleye, though, he also managed to catch a dozen bass as incidental catches. Remember that the NRAA contest is restricted to the Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. If you have any questions give Drabczyk a call at 807-6248.

3. Upper Niagara River – With the moss gone, action in the upper river has turned on for smallmouth bass according to Mike George of Niagara Falls. Using shiners fished off three-way rigs, George was fishing with Roy Larson of North Tonawanda fish just three hours to catch more than a dozen fish in the 18-19 inch range while drifting the west river. Some walleye are available around Strawberry Island at the head of the river in the Emerald channel. Musky action has been around weed edges and drop offs with large tubes or body baits. Shore anglers have been picking up white bass and white perch off Broderick Park area on shiners. Some yellow perch, bass and walleye have also been caught by shore casters. Don’t forget that the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby is just around the corner, set for August 16-24. Check out www.fishodyssey.net  for details.

4. Lake Erie and tributaries – Walleye action has slowed a bit off the Buffalo area, but fish are still available if you work for them. Roy Larson and Mike George fished two mornings off Buffalo near the Canadian line in 50 foot depths to take a dozen nice ‘eyes on worm harnesses off three-way rigs. The further west you go, the deeper the fish are. Off Sturgeon Point and west, best success was coming in 70 feet of water; off Dunkirk and beyond we heard 80 foot depths and deeper. Worm harnesses or stickbaits will catch you fish. The perch bite is still available off Sturgeon and Cattaraugus Creek is 45 to 65 foot depths, but that has been tougher, too. Bass fishermen are still hitting some nice smallmouth in the 25 to 45 foot range around structure like Myers Reef, Seneca Shoal, Evans Bar and all of the popular bass spots.

5. Chautauqua Lake – Not too much changed from last week, with anglers targeting bass, musky and walleye at the top of the list. Bass are still around the weed edges and around docks; musky also around those same weed edges but a bit deeper. Trollers are hitting those big fish by working large body baits in 15 to 25 feet of water. For walleye, worm harnesses and stickbaits under low light conditions offer the best bet for success.

6. Finger Lakes-Inland Waters –

Oneida Lake – If you are looking for a fun fish to catch, pickerel action around the lake has been good. Toss out anything flashy and you should catch fish. Walleye action has been a bit deeper with best success coming from 30-40 foot depths with blade baits or jigs tipped with a crawler. Bass fishing has been good, too, around reefs, shoals or any kind of rock structures. Use drop shot rigs or tubes to catch bronzebacks.

Lake Alice – The best bite has been for panfish like bluegills and crappies according to Mike Waterhouse of Orleans County Tourism. Try around the Kenyonville bridge.

<  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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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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