Fishing and Hunting Tips



“Niagara’s Premier Outdoors
 “Most informative
and up to date outdoors website on the planet”

This page features a
variety of 
and Hunting Tips written in a way that can be understood. Many of you may find
these tips handy when out on your fishing or hunting adventure. If you have
something you would like to contribute, please feel free to email us [at bottom
of page] and we will be happy to include it on this page so all sportsmen can
benefit from your knowledge. You don’t have to be an expert, we just want
information to share with youngsters, novice outdoorsmen and experienced


HOW-TO !  Fish Cleaning Illustrated
Walleye ~ Northern Pike ~ Get rid
of those “Y” Bones!   Go Here



Proper Handling Methods for Releasing Muskies 

Veteran Fisherman’s
Favorite dates and what species to fish for in
Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario Go

what a Yellow Sally is! ~ Learn how to use
one! Go Here

Fishing Walleye
on Lake Erie
~ Find out how the
pros do it!

This is a compilation of
stories accumulated from our Outdoors Writers
pages and submissions by other contributors.

Click your interest to navigate this page quickly

Shore Fishermen Tips;

· There are many shore fishing opportunities, and number one would be at the
New York Power Authority fishing dock/pier. A long walk down to the dock but you
can drive down and have someone drop you off or pick you up. DO NOT park your
car there. There is parking provided at the top. You could be in for a heap of
stink by parking below. There is very limited handicap parking below for those
that need it. Always be courteous to the boat fishermen drifting by, even though
some of them don’t seem to reciprocate, they are busy too.

· Devil’s Hole State Park allows for a great fishing experience but is for
the hardy and young at heart. There is a long climb down a set of stairs cut
into the rock shale. Hauling a 25-pound salmon up is no fun either. But the
fishing can be the greatest of all. By all means, do not go there without a
camera. The scenery is just beautiful and trying to explain what you saw is not
as good as the picture. Even a picture of your catch and release fish with the
background of the river is worth framing. Fall is really exciting. Want to know how to replace your fishing rod tips

· In Lewiston, go to the Artpark parking lot [free for fishermen] and walk
towards the river. [Follow signs] There is access that will take you to some
really nifty shore fishing. A long trail and well worth the price you pay for
the walk. You will see the favorite spots to fish on the trail by the way the
area looks along the shore. Some will be really beaten down from others using
those spots. Again, don’t forget the camera.

OK. Shore fishermen. What baits do you use? Tough question. Everybody has
their own favorite but some true, long-standing favorites are heavy spoons,
spinners and egg sacks or skein.

Spoons could be Little Cleos, mostly silver with a blue stripe 2/5 ounce or
K.O. Wobblers. Spinners, could be Super Vibrax in sizes 4 or 5. Blade colors
used are mostly silver, the body colors vary, but silver, florescent green, or
chartreuse are good choices. Florescent red has been known to be a potent color
on some days. Egg Sacks and/or Skeins are tough to beat some days and at certain
times in the Fall. They can be bought at your local independent tackle dealer
and those dealers are listed on this website on the Bill Hilts Fish Finder page

Spoons and spinners are best if used without snap swivels but we suppose you
could if you are into changing your lure sizes and colors frequently. Tie
directly on the end of your line and cast up river, about at the 10 o’clock
direction and allow the bait to drift down to about the 2 o’clock angle and
reel ‘er in, hopefully with that big fish! Do the same with egg sacks/skein or
single eggs sometimes. But now you need weight. Three-way swivels rigged like
the boat fishermen will work or better yet, use a split shot of suitable weight
pinched up the line. The split shot should be up the line far enough to allow
the eggs to drift naturally.

· Always remember: Practice Good Catch and Release!

This link will take you back to the Devil’s
Hole and Lewiston – Queenston maps page

Removing Ticks   Joe
~ My daughter, Roxanne, sent me e-mail with a tip on
removing ticks from hard to reach spots. Simply soak a cotton ball with liquid
soap or detergent, apply to the tick and in few moments the tick will come off
the skin on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball. Sounds like the ideal
solution for ticks on youngsters.

Captain Frank Campbell.
Web site:   

Understanding clear waters vs. stained waters or
discolored waters and what type of lures and baits to use is an asset to anyone
fishing the Niagara River.

Here are some good tips to work with to make your
chances better


1.] Use smaller diameter line. Steelhead in clear
water tend to be shy. 2]. Use longer leaders. Sometimes up to 8-10 ft. in length.
3.] Use smaller baits. Weather it is eggs skeins or minnows. 4.] Best to use the
new fluorocarbon as leader material. 5.] Use softer colors. Pink and yellow are
both good. Weather used with egg sacks or yarn. 6.] It is important to fish
deeper waters. 20 to 35 feet will generally do the trick 7.] Using an electric
trolling motor vs. the main engine. With an electric you can control your drift


1.] Use Kwikfish lures in place of eggs or skein.
The lures give a more visible target. 2.] If using egg sacks, run bright colors
such as chartreuse or orange. 3.] Fish shallower water. Usually 4 to 15 ft. is
good. 4.] Always run your electric trolling motor because you can spook your fish
at shallow depths.

Boat Safety –
Navigation Aids
Joe Ognibene

Long before modern aids
to navigation were thought of lighthouses were
utilized to help mariners find safe harbor or warn against hidden shoals and
reefs. Old time lighthouses have given way to automated light towers, better
navigation charts and GPS and lighthouses such as the one at Fort Niagara are
now tourist attractions. Few people know the first lighthouse on the Great Lakes
was built at Fort Niagara in 1781. It consisted of a signal fire in a lantern
room built on the roof of the fort after a British warship sailing from the fort
and loaded with British soldiers sunk during a gale. HMS Ontario lost more than
80 people when she sank. The current limestone tower was built in 1871 and was
deactivated in 1993. Very few, if any, of the lighthouses on Lake Ontario are in
use today and few boaters would know how to navigate by using them. You’re
much better of with a GPS unit or good compass.

Some of the boaters and fishermen will be new to running a boat and how
to navigate from one spot to another. There are gong to be days in the spring
when fog suddenly appears and unless our boater is sure of where he or she is on
the water getting back to the dock can be a challenge.
That’s when a reliable compass is well worth what you pay for it. The
compass isn’t going to do you much good unless you pay attention to it. Check
your heading going out into the lake so you know which way to go coming back in
if you can’t see land. The time of year when it seems haze or fog is worse is
in late summer when many of us fish closer to Toronto than Fort Niagara. You
can’t see the fort from far out in the lake and if you’re off a few degrees
on your compass heading coming back you could wind up miles from the launch

The absolute best way to get back to exactly where you started
from is by using a sonar unit that utilizes Global Positioning Satellites to
pinpoint your exact location anywhere on earth. A GPS unit has memory
capabilities that can show you the path you took to get to where you are and how
to get back. When GPS first hit the market for private boaters they were quite
expensive but are now very affordable. Handheld units can be bought for about
$150 and are very reliable. If you plan to do much fishing far from sight of
shore a GPS unit might be a wise investment.

Getting the boat
ready for the season

Joe Ognibene

One thing
that must be checked
is the reliability of the light system. A boat sitting
in the yard all winter somehow or other manages to mess up the trailer lights.
They might have worked fine last fall, but are now inoperative. Sometimes mice
get into the channel of the trailer where the wires run through and chew on them
causing a short. Many times it’s just plain corrosion on the ends of the
bulbs. Remove the cover if the light isn’t working and take the bulb out and
look at the base. If you see a bit of green you know it’s corroded and will
not allow the current to pass through. A few licks with a bit of sandpaper
should do the trick. Take a look at the ball on the hitch and if you see a lot
of rust clean it off completely. That’s where the grounding takes place and if
you don’t have a good ground you’re not going to have good tail, brake or
turn indicator lights. You want the car in back of you to know what you’re
doing in plenty of time to avoid running into the back of the boat.

Joe Ognibene

Breathes there a man with soul so dead, who never
to himself has said, “I wonder how you fish a spinner bait?”

Let’s talk about spinner baits and the big secret about them.

The secret is you can’t fish the spinner
bait wrong. No matter how you use it, toss it, jig it, slow retrieve or fast, in
weeds or over rocks, you can’t fish it the wrong way. Spinner baits come in a
bewildering array of patterns and colors. The choice and sizes of blades can
boggle the mind. You can choose willow blades, so-called because they resemble a
willow leaf, Colorado blades, which are roundish in shape, clapper blades, which
make a noise as they are dragged through the water or large diamond shaped
blades that make a commotion as they twirl in the water and are called buzz
baits. The colors, sizes and combinations of the blades can be whatever you
choose. Some are silver, others gold colored, some dark and others painted
lighter colors. They come in copper or brass, stainless steels or titanium, take
your pick.

The shape of spinner baits resembles a
large “V” shaped thing made of wire. Even here you have a choice of wire
including titanium, which is said to be more sensitive than stainless steel. On
one end of the wire you have the blades. You can choose single, double, triple
or even more blades. You can have a choice of different blades all on one
spinner bait. You can even have a number of blades on the spinner so they
resemble a school of baitfish. In other words, you have a very wide choice of
blades on spinner baits.

On the end of the other wire is the hook
which is usually molded into a lead weight that somewhat resembles the head of a
fish. The hook size is up to you as is the plastic skirt that covers it. The
skirt can be replaceable and interchangeable in most cases and the choice seems
to be endless. Made of plastic strips in any color you can think of makes
declaring any one color best impossible. Some of the skirt material glitters,
but it all wiggles enticingly. They all work and which color skirt or blade
shape and size is up to you. I’ve always felt that when using artificial lures
the best one to use is the one you feel most comfortable with. If you’re
looking over a rack full of spinner baits and one looks inviting to you, buy it
and use it. There’s something to be said for feeling confidant in what
you’re using to assure a successful outing.

Spinner baits are sometimes called fish
locators simply because they work and will catch just about any variety of fish.
They are used mostly in bass fishing, but will take just about any fish that
swims. Some spinner baits are small enough to be used in crappie fishing. When
using spinner baits it doesn’t matter if you retrieve it fast or slow, the
feel of the spinning blades is what you concentrate on. As in most bass fishing
when you feel something different set the hook. Spinner baits can be jigged
successfully too. If you’re fishing in weedy structure jigging in an open hole
can produce great results. Again, when you must feel the slightest difference,
set the hook. Learn how to clean small mouth bass here.

Fishermen trying spinner bait for the
first time sometimes make the mistake of tying on a snap swivel then hooking the
spinner bait to it. Worst thing you can do. The snap swivel kills the action.
The ideal way is to tie directly onto the slight crook in the center of the
bait. In this fashion you can feel every revolution of the blades and detect the
difference when it happens. Spinner baits can also be used to take the trout
that are now taking up residence in the lower Niagara River. Fish them slowly
and on a day when temperatures are moderate, less you fight icing of the line
and guides.

Knots and 3-way swivels
Capt. Sparky McGranahan

A real time saver
especially in the winter when your hands are cold
and it is tough to tie knots, try this: When you tie your dropper line to the
three-way, use a really good knot. But, when you tie the other end of that line
to the sinker, tie an over-hand knot. In most cases the over-hand knot will
break or come untied when you get snagged. Then, you will only have to tie on a
new sinker instead of a new set up with five knots in it!

Getting Equipment Ready for Fishing
Joe Ognibene

It’s a good bet that
many of us were in such a rush to get out hunting last fall that we put the
fishing rods and tackle boxes away without a thought of how they will be in the
spring. Well, it’s now almost spring and if you check the tackle boxes and
rods and reels you will see you have some work to do. Let’s start with fishing
rods. If you did a lot of fishing last summer you could have guides that could
be grooved and that means line will snap while you’re cranking in a lunker. On
inexpensive rods the material used in making the guides is usually not of the
most wear resistant material and it doesn’t take much to groove them. To
assure yourself of the best guides you’re advised to buy a rod equipped with
wear resistant aluminum oxide guides. To determine if you have a guide that
might be nicked, take a small piece of cotton batting and pass it through the
guide. If there is a nick a few strands of cotton will catch in the guide.
Replacing it is the only solution.

Other than checking the
there isn’t much else to check on a fishing rod other than some
serious nicks or cracks in rod itself. A nicked or cracked rod is going to snap
at the worst time. It might be able to take the tug of a bass, but a Chinook
salmon in Devil’s Hole will make short work of a nicked or cracked fishing
rod. If you’re in the market for a new fishing rod the best advice anyone can
give you is to buy the best you can afford. Every rod manufacturer claims their
rod is the best and it’s next to impossible to know which claim is the right
one. Today’s fishing rods are made of fiberglass, graphite or a combination of
both. Some rods makers tout the way they spiral the materials, others how the
glass or graphite is laid in strips. All claim the tip action of their rod is
superior to any other. The way to wade through all the claims is to handle a rod
equipped with a reel similar to the one you plan to use. If it feels right, buy

Tackle boxes take a
beating being bounced in the boat and tossed in the trunk of the car. Most solid
boxes today are made of plastic and some still have an adverse reaction to some
of the plastic lures that are around. Usually the cheaper plastic lures are the
ones that melt in a tackle box to create a gooey mess that’s almost impossible
to clean. You might have notice the solid plastic tackle box is giving way to
soft-sided satchels outfitted with plastic utility boxes that keep the tackle
pack neatly organized. Plano Guide Series soft satchel system not only keeps the
tackle pack organized but the utility boxes are waterproof. Shimano also has an
excellent soft satchel system that incorporates plastic utility boxes.

While checking out your
fishing gear
you had better take a look at the hooks on your lures. Most
hooks today are rust resistant, but you could have some that are rusted and need
replacing. I have found the best way to remove a rusted or bent hook is to use a
pair of nippers and cut the thing off. If the hook was attached to a snap ring
cut that off too. Then use a pair of snap-ring pliers to attach a new hook to
the lure. Most tackle stores snap-ring pliers ass well as hooks.. Trying to put
a hook on a snap-ring without the pliers can be a frustrating and sometimes
painful job.

get to one of the most important items in fishing and that’s the fishing line.
If you have last year’s line on your reels you are asking for trouble. There
is no doubt the line is nicked or weakened by exposure to sunlight. It could
snap just when you’re cranking in what could be a wall hanger. Replacing it is
when the fun starts. Every line maker will tell you their line is superior to
all others. You have a choice of plain old monofilament or you could go with
fluorocarbon line, Magibraid Spectra, TriTitanium, CXX Extra strong, Floroclear,
Spider Line or any one of countless others with enticing names. There is
something important to remember when buying fishing line and that is the
reputation of the maker. Most of the shoddy monofilament lines have been shaken
out and most of the lines on the market today are of top quality. Even some low
priced lines are of absolute top quality for a very good reason.

It isn’t very well known,
but even the top-of-the-line manufacturers sell their expensive lines to outlets
that put a different name on the package and sell them for a lot less than the
prestige name. This is one way of keeping the factory busy. Having spent some
time selling fishing tackle I know this for a fact. Your tackle dealer might
tell you if a low priced line is the expensive line made by a well known
manufacturer, but sometimes even the dealer doesn’t know. In most cases a
store brand was made by a nationally known maker and is sold for far less than
the national brand. The best advice is to buy the best you can afford and buy in
bulk spools. Bulk spools of 1,000 or more yards means you are cutting the cost
in more than half over the normal 150-yard spool. An example would be
Bass-Pro’s Excel, a 1,200-yard spool of 12-17 pound test monofilament that
sells for under $10.00 a spool.

If you do decide your reels need new line there is a very simple way to spool it
on the reel that will help keep line twist away. Drop the spool of line in a
bucket of water and string through the guides. The line will unreel in the
correct direction. Use your fingers to put a bit of tension on the line as you
crank it on. Don’t bother tying the line to the reel arbor, use a bit of tape
instead. If a fish takes the line to the end of the reel, the fish wins. Let it
have the line.

Catching Big Fish on a Fly rod
Joe Ognibene

Catching large fish with a fly rod is vastly
different from catching one with a spinning or casting rod. A major
difference is the lack of an efficient drag system on the reel. A fly
rod reel is simply a place to store the line when it’s not in use.
There are some fly rod reels that have a drag system built into them,
but by and large, you will have more control putting drag on the line
yourself. The two accepted methods are cupping the bottom of
the reel with your hand or pinching the line between two fingers. When
the fish first strikes and line is being stripped from the reel in a
hurry, trying to place your free hand under it could result in a harked
knuckle. You’re better off using your thumb and fore-finger to try and
put some tension on the line in the hopes of slowing the fish. This
doesn’t always work and it isn’t unusual to have all the fly line
stripped from the reel, so you will have to depend on the backing line
on the reel. Backing is usually an artificial cloth line such as Dacron
and most fly rod reels will hold about 200 yards of 20-pound test
backing. If the fish strips the reel to the end of the backing, forget
it. That fish is gone. Like fishing with any other rod, remember what
you were taught as a youngster, “keep his head up.”

Fishing with a fly rod for salmon or the large rainbow trout
that live in the lower Niagara River all winter begins by choosing the
right rod.

Like all fishing rods, some fly rods are not suited for large fish. To
simplify your choice of rods choose one that is 8 1/2 to 9 feet long that
accepts an 8- weight line. This would be a stiff rod that will work with
the heavier lines to put resistance on the fish. An 8-weight line is
heavier than a comparable line with a lower number. Fly lines can float
or sink and you make the choice. When fishing in deep water, a sinking
line works best. In this way, the fly, bait or lure can go down to the
depth the fish is swimming in.  Some
lines have weight built into the front end and are called weight-forward
lines. These work fine in deeper streams, such as the lower Niagara

  Holding the hook to the line is a leader that could be also called a
shock absorber line. A fly line leader is usually a tapered monofilament
line that is thick at the butt end and tapers to a very small point. It
is the leader that takes the first shock of a fish striking a fly, lure
or bait. When fly-fishing, the line is not always straight out from you,
SO you don’t always see the strike, it’s amazing how small a leader
tip can be and still control a rampaging fish. Of course, it all depends
on the fisherman and how he manages drag on the line. Head up meant
keeping the rod tip up. A rod tip pointed upward means the fish fights
the flex in the rod and not the strain on the line. Anyone who thinks it
is easy to break a fishing rod of any type should try a little
experiment. Have someone hold a fishing rod with the tip pointing
skyward. Now you take the line and go out a short ways. Have the person
holding the rod tighten the drag while you try yanking the line as hard
as you can in an attempt to break the rod. You will not be able to do

Many fishermen shy from trying a fly rod because they may have read too
many stories about the complexities of fly rod fishing. Most of those
writers are trying to puff themselves up with naming fly patterns, hatch
matching and moon phases. Forget all that folderol. A fly rod is simply
another fishing rod and another way to catch a fish.

If lightweight line fishing is what you’re interested in, you might
try a noodle rod. This could be the ultimate test of fishing technique.
Noodle rods usually are spinning rods that vary in length from 10 to 12
or more feet. Using 2-pound test line to fish for large rainbows or
salmon in the lower Niagara River is not unheard of. Noodle rod fishing
can be a thrill beyond description.

The two accepted methods are cupping the bottom of
the reel with your hand or pinching the line between two fingers. When
the fish first strikes and line is being stripped from the reel in a
hurry, trying to place your free hand under it could result in a harked
knuckle. You’re better off using your thumb and fore-finger to try and
put some tension on the line in the hopes of slowing the fish. This
doesn’t always work and it isn’t unusual to have all the fly line
stripped from the reel, so you will have to depend on the backing line
on the reel. Backing is usually an artificial cloth line such as Dacron
and most fly rod reels will hold about 200 yards of 20-pound test
backing. If the fish strips the reel to the end of the backing, forget
it. That fish is gone. Like fishing with any other rod, remember what
you were taught as a youngster, “keep his head up.”

~ What do you know about it?
Mark Daul

       Each March, DEC workers strap on
battery packs and wade into the currents of the Lakes tributaries to look for
spawning rainbow trout.


The direct-current
wands that they use
to probe deep pools stun hiding fish and bring them to the surface, where
they’re quickly netted and transferred to holding tanks.


      Each fish is weighed
and briefly
examined by biologists and fisheries technicians. Many are held aloft for
snapshots before they’re released, no worse for the wear.


      The fact that many
of the trout
captured during the shocking trips weigh in excess of 5 pounds explains why so
many anglers tag along. It’s not unusual to find several hundred kids and adults
waiting on the stream banks when the state workers arrive.


      The electrofishing events give anglers
a preview of the trout season that opens on April 1.


Joe Ognibene

Whatever you use that works for
you is what you should stick with. Having spent some time in the tackle-selling
end of the game I can tell you that lures and related equipment are made to
attract fishermen first and if they catch fish so much the better. It’s okay
to take some advice and recommendations from other fishermen, but you’re wise
if you stick with what you find works for you. It may not be the latest
whiz-bang lure or bait out there, but if it catches fish for you, stay with it.
Many of us use artificial lures and baits simply because they are so much easier
to use than live bait. Let’s face it, it’s difficult to keep minnows alive
in a bucket and putting a leech on a hook is not an easy job. Most of the time
artificial lures and baits will do the job, but it sure is tough to beat a
wiggly night-crawler worm, squirming minnow or soft-shelled crab.


Mark Daul

Yellow perch can be finicky and anglers often find that picky
perch will only nibble on hooks baited with emerald shiner minnows.


Emerald shiners are in short supply during the summer months
and as a result, many bait shops offer fathead minnows, which are often
pond-raised and more readily available, and northern creek chubs. Both are
darker in color while the shiner minnows are slender and have sparkling scales
that are a perch magnet. Some shops have only small “pinhead” emerald
shiner minnows. Although small, the sliver-sized minnows can save the day. Many
perch fishermen stay away from extra-large shiner minnows, which are best if an
angler is trying to hook up with smallmouth bass.


Perch spreaders and crappie rigs, which are weighted and hold
snelled long-shanked No. 6 gold wire hooks, are the most popular rigs for
catching perch. Anglers usually lower the rig to the lake  bottom,
reel in a foot or two of line and wait for perch to bite. If the bottom-feeding
perch aren’t around an angler simply reels in a foot of line every minute, or
so, to see whether the perch are suspended off the bottom. A method that seems
to catch bigger perch, but not two at a time like the other rigs, is to remove
the treble hook from a metal jigging spoon and attach a short 2- or 3-inch piece
of fishing line and a No. 6 hook. 

DROP SHOTTING for perch can be an extremely successful way to latch on to
these critters. Drop Shotting gives a better feel of those light bites that so
often happens when the fish has a lazy day.
This works very well on a
variety of fish




Joe Ognibene

Large-mouth bass like to stay in warm and shallow water where they have lots
of hiding places. On the upper Niagara River fishing for them near the
southbound, north bridge is usually very productive. Boaters usually get within
casting distance of shore and let the boat drift and cast towards shore. For the
fellow who wants to cast from shore the end of the wharf at Big Six Creek on
Grand Island is a top spot. Inside the marina on the side opposite the docks is
an excellent area for large-mouth bass. Big Six Creek is loaded with weeds, not
very deep, and is home to many large-mouth bass.

Locally, Wilson Harbor is another hot spot for largemouth
using the same methods as mentioned above.




Joe Ognibene

The best field to put a pit blind in is one where the corn has been picked
and stalks are laying on the ground. The stalks make excellent cover for the top
of the blind. Just because you’re under cover doesn’t mean you can do a lot
of moving around in the blind. Be as quiet as possible with very little
un-necessary moving. Geese have sharp eyesight and can spot unusual movements
and spook off. If you’re calling stop when geese begin circling overhead and
freeze when you see wings set and feet extended. Many goose hunters claim once
geese have wings set and feet thrust forward they must land before being able to
fly away. Don’t believe it, they can unlock those wings and pull their feet in
and be gone before you can get your gun to your shoulder.

Mark Daul

QUESTION: How do you cure your salmon eggs for fishing?


ANSWER: There are many different ways to do this and if you would
like to share your way, email us and tell us. Here are two ways  suggested
that I used when I was in the Tackle Store business. This worked for thousands
of cures! When all is done, you want your eggs rubbery.

First, start with nice fresh salmon eggs skein cut
into pieces. [a.k.a. roe] Keep them as clean and cool as possible. Never freeze
fresh salmon eggs before applying any type of preservative. They will turn out
gooey and mushy and stink. Make sure you rinse with non-chlorinated water. Use
river or lake or rain water to rinse.

Now days there are products you
can walk into your local tackle shop and purchase egg cures like Pautzkes
Bait Cure

and they do a wonderful job. Just follow package directions.

If you would like a really nice
cured egg skein with colors to match conditions, try the old Borax brine method.
You can buy a box of Borax at you local supermarket in the detergent soap
department. [20 Mule team] While you are there pick up some fabric dye. Orange,
red or pink, whatever color you choose. Oh, get some zip lock bags too while you
are there. 

Start with 1 cup Borax, 1 cup
of white sugar and 1 cup of pickling salt. Make sure you use pickling salt as it
is non-iodized.

Bring all ingredients together
and boil in a stainless pot. [preferred] and then let cool completely. Then add
your skein or roe and stir everything up gently and let soak for
½ hour. [Stir occasionally.]

Remove eggs and lay flat on
paper towels and store overnight in a cool place. [refrigerator?] This will dry
them somewhat. Next put your eggs in a zip lock bag and coat with Borax right
out of the box and do like you would with Shake-n-Bake to make sure they are

This same method works perfectly
with single eggs too, but dip the eggs in the mixture for about ten minutes or
so with a strainer and let them dry on paper towels and dry lightly. Put them in
small jars or plastic zip-locks. This is the time you can add scents like oil of
anise if you want scented eggs. Your eggs will become rubbery and stay that way
for a long time. Store them in the refrigerator.

The brine mixture can be used
over and over if properly stored in ‘fridge.

METHOD #2) BORAX ONLY : To leave the
eggs looking natural, just rinse, air dry overnight in ‘fridge.
Place in zip locks and “shake-n-Bake” with Borax and let stand
overnight. Store eggs in fridge until used. Eggs will last for months in
refrigerator. These work great tied into egg sacks or roe bags. To color these,
you can tie them in different color mesh that is available like red, chartreuse,

Rainbow and Brown Trout eggs
are the preferred egg to use over Salmon eggs BUT to purchase any kind of
Rainbow or Brown Trout egg is ILLEGAL……….  It is NOT
illegal to cure and use your own eggs.

Pautkzes Bait
and mesh to tie eggs into bags is available at and at A-1 Bait, and most other
independent tackle stores. Go to the “SPONSORS”
page on this website for directions and more information. Be sure to check out
“Feather & Fur” [also on sponsor’s page] already cured eggs. You can get a FREE
sample of his eggs there.  GO


Mark Daul

For those who are new to the area you should know that the first of our fall
fishing is for salmon then trout fishing all winter and well into next spring.
This is not to say our bass fishing is all done, far from it, some of the best
bass fishing of the year can happen in September. The underwater weed growth is
beginning to die back and if you drag a tube jig or any other wiggly plastic
bait on or close to bottom you could be in for a thrill. Many of our smaller
streams boast of largemouth bass still hiding in weed beds and will strike most
lures that pass by. Later on in the fall when rainbows and brown trout head into
the lower Niagara River hard bodied baits work well with Kwikfish the most
popular and effective lure we use. This is a lure that is best used from a
three-way swivel with a weight hanging on the bottom of the swivel to keep the
lure about three feet from bottom. You’re going to find the lower Niagara
current is the ideal speed for a drift that will keep the Kwikfish wiggling to
attract fish. This lure will also take salmon, as will most of the lures that
have a lot of wiggle in them.

Joe Ognibene

The end of September seems to be the signal for boaters to haul the boat out
of water and store it for the winter. To assure an easy starting boat next
spring proper winterizing is a must. If it’s a job you don’t feel qualified
to do take the boat to a marine dealer to have it done. Many boaters opt to have
the boat shrink-wrapped as well as winterized and that’s something you can’t
go wrong with. Shrink-wrapping protects the interior of the boat from winter’s
onslaught. If you decide to make your own winter cover with readily available
plastic sheet be sure to outfit the boat with slat sockets to hold fiberglass
cover bows. The bows hold the plastic covers in an arc over the boat to protect
it from rain and snow. Usually four bows along the length of the boat will do
the job. Bungee cords or nylon rope can be used to secure the covering to the
boat trailer. Bows and sockets are usually available at most marine supply

If you’re planning to winterize the boat yourself there are few things you
must do. The inside of the engine must be fogged to prevent possible rust or a
sticky valve. Directions for fogging are on the can or in the specifications
booklet that came with the engine. Remove the battery and top it off with
distilled water and store in a cool place for winter. Remember to trickle charge
it a few times over winter and you will have a battery ready to go in the
spring. Check the level of the oil in the lower unit of the engine and if when
checking water dribbles out, you had better have the seal on the lower unit
checked. Grease the fittings on the engine and trailer wheels and tip the front
of the boat upwards and remove the drain plug so that any snow or rain that
enters and melts can run out and not rot the floor. Fill the gasoline tank and
add stabilizer to it to prevent a build-up of moisture over winter. A little
time spent now means the boat will be ready to go come next spring.

Joe Ognibene

With the gun season for deer not too far in the future many hunters are
taking advantage of some nice weather to check on their favorite stands and make
whatever repairs or changes are needed. It’s during deer season that most
hunting accidents happen. Aside from an occasional gunshot accident, falls from
tree stands are high on the list. One of the many reasons given for falls is a
ladder giving way when the hunter climbs. There are still those who simply nail
pieces of board onto the trunk of a tree and climb it for years. Another cause
is not securing yourself to the tree in the event you slip from the platform.
Boards that were nailed onto a tree trunk last year are not to be trusted this
year. Over time and normal tree growth nails loosen and boards can pop out very
easily when weight is placed on them.

The safest way to get up into a tree is to use a ladder stand or a tree-climbing
outfit. The ladder stand is the more popular as it’s a lot easier to get down
from if you have to go after a deer you might drop. Regardless of which you use
a safety harness is a must. You’re going to be ten or more feet off the ground
on a small platform and you could easily slip and be seriously injured in a
fall. You can buy safety harnesses that will keep you upright in the event of a
fall. A simple strap around your waist might keep you from tumbling to the
ground but you’re going to be hanging upside down because most of your weight
is from the waist up. Freeing yourself will be a problem. In most cases a hunter
will be climbing into his tree before daylight and the steps could be covered
with frost, snow or dew. You’re going to need both hands to climb with and
trying to carry your gun, lunch and other gear will make the climb that much
more dangerous. Leave them on the ground with a rope attached to them and your
belt. Once in the tree and your safety harness attached haul the stuff up in
safety. Follow the directions on attaching the stand to the tree and you will
have a safe and comfortable place to wait for your deer to come to you.




Joe Ognibene

 Fishing the lower Niagara with the current working for you
means your lure should be one that sinks below the surface, but not one that
dives to the bottom. The lure you choose should have lots of wiggle to it also.
A favorite of many lower river fishermen is the Kwikfish. It has a wiggle that
trout find irresistible. Color choice tends towards pink or red with some black.
[Of course the silver plated ones with colors.] I think the secret is a color choice that has flash to it. At this time of year
fish aren’t moving around much and they have to be teased into hitting. Other
lures that will work would include the jointed Rapala, Rat-L-Trap in chrome
blue, or you could choose to go with spinner or solid lure such as KO Wobbler.
Some boaters are reporting good results with tube jigs gently bounced on bottom
out in the lake at the can. Tube jig colors that seem to be most popular and work best are
motor oil and dark green.



Joe Ognibene

First off, for those who aren’t sure of the difference between
the two basses the coloration will be the first clue. Big mouth bass are usually
lighter and have almost white stripes on their sides. Small-mouth bass are
usually a darker green color, but the sure way to tell is to look at the jaw of
both fish. With large-mouth bass imagine a line from the end of the eye down to
the jaw. On a large-mouth the end of the jaw will extend beyond the imaginary
line. A small-mouth jaw will not project beyond the imaginary line from the edge
of the eyed downward. The fighting characteristics between the two are slight,
but the small-mouth has the edge. It’s seldom you will catch large-mouth bass
in the same spot as you would small-mouth.



Joe Ognibene

Regardless of the lure you use don’t hurry the retrieve. Toss
the lure out and let it sit for a moment or two. The splash the lure makes when
it hits the water will attract the attention of fish in the neighborhood and
when you start to crank the lure back don’t rush it. Use the tip of your rod
to make the lure twitch in the water. If it has a lip on it use the rod tip to
dive the lure below the surface and then relax and let the lure bob to the
surface. You want to make the lure look like a critter that is trying to swim
away. If you do everything right the fish will come from below and slam the lure
scaring the bejabbers out of you. This is the time when most fish are lost
because the fisherman yanks the lure away from the fish. The rule to follow is
to not yank back until you feel something yanking on you. What happens many
times when bass, either variety, strikes top water baits is the fish loses sight
of the lure at the last second before striking. A lot of times you will see the
lure fly out of water because the fish hit it with his head and didn’t get to
chomp down on it. If this happens simply let the lure sit and many times the
fish will spin around and slam it again. This is one of the times when a bass
can foul hook itself and if that happens you must release the fish immediately.



Fuel maintenance

stabilizer such as Stabil should be added to your fuel tank over the
winter, but avoid using any other fuel additives. If your boat’s only fuel
filter is on the engine, add a pre-filter, a large capacity canister type
with a paper element. Change your filter element annually, preferably in
the spring. If your boat is over 10 years old, and the tank has never been
cleaned, do it BEFORE you get stuck. Boat fuel tanks are notorious for
getting gummed up with gook and sludge



        For one of the
newest techniques for fishing all of the Niagara River from, and including all
of Lakes Erie & Ontario, & thousands of inland lakes, “Drop –
Shotting” has caught on tremendously in 2007.  It has been a favorite
of  many pro-anglers for years. The winner of the Lake Erie’s Summer
Bass Pro contest held in 2007 was won using the drop shot methods. $$$$$ To
learn more and to see how the method works
on this website for all you need.

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