Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are providing anglers in competition some great numbers and sizes of fish caught relatively close to shore this summer.
The Lake Ontario Counties Derby winners are listed in a Notebook entry.
Since the early spring run of king (Chinook) salmon, the Ontario fishery has been productive in all waters of Western New York and nearby Ontario.
Charter and recreational anglers last year reported catching an abundance of “teen” kings, 2-year-old salmon that dominated the Lake Ontario and lower Niagara River fishery.
This year, Lake Ontario is a go with mature kings that are often up to and over the 30-pound mark. And the good fishing is afforded to boaters in less than large crafts that might not venture more than 10 miles from port in search of salmonids.
Latest reports have kings holding and feeding at less than 100 feet over depths of less than 300 feet from Fort Niagara to east of Olcott Harbor. Deeper waters much closer to shore at Point Breeze to Irondequoit Bay have produced nice kings cruising less than five miles from shore.
Based on those results, this would be the year to pull the boat to or book a charter on Lake Ontario before the fall spawning run.
Lake Erie anglers face a most perplexing problem: What to fish for on each outing. Early this season the perch bite was right for bull-sized ringbacks. The trophy bass season prior to the statewide opener saw some big smallmouths.
But it has been the walleye that has brought so many anglers to shoreline accesses from Buffalo to Barcelona this spring and summer.
Boaters out of Buffalo have done well trolling suspended lures or drifting bottom-bouncer rigs.
Schools of mixed sizes of ’eyes provided six-fish-limit catches from Buffalo to Sturgeon Point near shore and out to the International Line throughout most of June and July.
Walleye tournaments have seen record and near-record results for individual and team competitions. More records may be broken during the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Walleye Derby held out of Dunkirk Harbor this weekend.
Last weekend, the second annual Sunset Bay Walleye Shootout saw the top three winners weigh in a six-fish total within ounces of each other.
Angolans scored well in the competition.
Jeff Jarzynski of Angola finished first with a weight total of 49.83. Scott Addison of Angola took second with 49.72 pounds. Grand Island angler Jeff Bogner posted a close third with 49.66 pounds.
Bob Rustowicz has finished in the top five at walleye tourneys this year. His 47.69 total took fourth place in the Shootout standings.
Look for expanded coverage of both Lake Ontario’s and Lake Erie’s competition and recreational fishing in Outdoors Page columns later this month.