By Craig Robbins
LAKE ERIE AND TRIBS
Reports out of Barcelona point toward good action in 90-130 feet of water. Stick baits run 50-60 feet down have worked well. Walleye are being picked up just outside of Dunkirk Harbor in 80-95 feet, with most the quality fish being found in 25-40 feet. The planner boards and the lead core bite has been producing this past week. Early in the week walleye anglers out of Dunkirk targeted suspended walleye in 80-100 feet of water. Worm harnesses and stick baits work well for walleye.
Perch fishing has been hit or miss lately. A good starting point has been off Cattaraugus Creek in 50 feet of water, working toward deeper water. Live emerald shiners fished just off the bottom work best for perch. Anglers report consistent smallmouth bass action around structures in 30-45 feet of water, from Dunkirk to Barcelona. Drop-shot rigs combined with crayfish, minnows or tube jigs work great.
The lake trout action has been good for the few that have been targeting them. August is a great time to target lake trout in Lake Erie. Head for prime depths of 90-130 feet of water, straight out of Barcelona or northwest of Dunkirk. Downriggers with spoons run near the bottom are most productive, but lakers may also be suspended off the bottom. Last week, a group did very well by trolling NK magnum spoons near the bottom. They caught a mix of lake trout and rainbow trout, with a couple of lakers over 20 pounds
Largemouth bass catches are common around docks, weed lines and open pockets in weed beds. Top water lures, weedless rigged power worms and wacky rigged senkos work well.
Top muskellunge destinations have been producing some really good catches at many points around the lake. Trolling along weed edges with large stickbaits or jointed stickbaits has worked best. Casting around weed edges has produced a few musky as well. Another approach for musky is to target suspended fish, 15-20 feet down over depths of 25-35 feet. Trollers are still catching good numbers of muskellunge along weed edges in the northern basin around the Bell Tower and upper Dewittville Bay. Trolling with large perch pattern stickbaits, hot-n-tots and bucktail trolling spinners are good bets.
The dock pattern for largemouth bass is still being found in the southern basin of Ashville and Bemus bays. Both largemouth and smallmouth bass are still in the open pockets in weed beds and along the weed edges. Top water lures, weedless rigged power worms and wacky rigged senkos work well.
Evening bite for “eyes” has been producing best along the weed edges in Warners and Dewittville bays for anglers that are willing to sacrifice sleep for overnight fishing. Successful anglers are working jointed stick baits and worm harnesses by slow trolling the edges or by drifting and jigging with black hair jigs tipped off the a jigs with night crawlers or leeches in the same areas
UPPER NIAGARA RIVER
Smallmouth bass are available throughout the upper river. Good spots to try include the head of the river, the head of Strawberry Island, east side of Strawberry and Motor islands and in the West River along Beaver Island State Park, Staley’s Reef and Navy Island. A three-way rig with shiners, crayfish or tubes is a good bet for bass. Anglers can target muskellunge along weed edges with large tube jigs or stickbaits. Either side of Strawberry Island can be productive.