Niagara Gazette


October 17, 2013

Bill Hilts, Jr.'s Fish Forecast for Friday, October 18


Niagara Gazette —

NRAA member Bill Mayes and some of his member friends send word that something spooky is happening at the NRAA Nature Preserve in the Town of Porter on Balmer Road. The last weekend of the month the NRAA clan will be hosting its first annual Haunted Hay Ride. Check out the website at

3. Upper Niagara River

Bass action is still the hottest ticket on the upper river with live bait the best opportunity to hook up. The head of the river, Strawberry Island, the Huntley plant … all good spots to give it a go. As waters cool, the musky should start to turn on, too. Large tubes at weedline edges are good spots to try, but don’t rule out trolling large body baits.

4. Lake Erie and tributaries

Perch action can be good … or it can be slow. Schools have been moving around so you need to seek out suspended bait schools and schools of perch predators. The past week produced mixed results in 60 to 70 feet of water from Sturgeon Point to Cattaraugus Creek. While boats can be a good sign, they aren’t a requirement for success. Speaking of the Catt, that was the best tributary for trout last week. With the rain, look for the smaller streams to attract fish and the Catt to slow a bit with turbid conditions. Find clear water and you will catch fish. Casting the mouth with spoons or spinners should be a good technique, too.

5. Chautauqua Lake

The weedlines have been a good spot for musky casters and trollers. Try casting large bucktail spinners or trolling large jointed stickbaits to connect. Perch or firetiger have been good colors. The same areas with live bait is working on bass, too. Crappie action was good last week and should continue as waters start to cool. Perch were hitting in six to 12 feet of water but many smaller ones were being reported.

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