Movement is everywhere.
Fish schools are on the move in the big lakes, and inland waters have anglers checking all the angles to find fish shifting from shoreline weeds to deep-water structure areas.
Lake Erie’s walleyes are heading north and west; Lake Ontario salmon are moving southward to shore and their pre-spawn staging areas.
Cool nights have leveled and slightly dropped water temperatures around inland lakes, drawing bait and game fish to weed edges and deeper edges and ledges where feed and shelter hold best.
Chautauqua Lake’s musky bite leads among inland lake big-fish fisheries, but small crayfish at either Seneca Lake or Canandaigua Lake school bigger perch.
Bass and northern pike hold along deep edges of weeds at 15- to 20-foot depths in the western Finger Lakes from Silver Lake to Cayuga Lake.
It may be midsummer out there, but fishing forays call for fall-like transition moves, which often has the better bite showing elsewhere each day out.
For walleye seekers the counsel would be go west and north, young and mature walleye catchers.
That consistent schooling of walleye off Buffalo Harbor to Sturgeon Point has moved. Good numbers close to Buffalo now come mainly from Ontario waters off Windmill Point and Point Abino.
Farther west, boaters are running to deeper waters east of Cattaraugus Creek to Barcelona Harbor for limit catches of walleye in assorted sizes.
Zen Olow, coordinator of a legislators’ invitational outing set for today at Dunkirk Harbor, notes that catches include big fish nudging 10 pounds and a box with a bunch of “eater-sized” guys in the 15- to 20-inch range.
Trollers work deeper now, running down 40 to 80 feet over depths of 80 to above 100 feet.A summary of the Northern Chautauqua Walleye Contest and the Dunkirk legislators’ outings will appear on the Outdoors Page this Sunday.
Perch schooling off Cattaraugus Creek continues in relatively shallow waters, 42 feet the most mentioned depth of late.
The upper-river walleye bite is slight, but bass is class around weed-edged islands and shoreline structures. Sandy Keeney of Depew, fishing with husband Russ on drifts along the humps surrounding Strawberry Island, reeled in a sizeable smallie on Saturday.
A crayfish on a drop-shot rig did the trick for hooking Sandy’s 20-inch smallmouth bass that probably reached the 5-pound mark.
Lower-river bass activity is off and on but great when the bite gets right. Drifts from the Lewiston ramp down current past Stella Niagara to the curved bay at Fort Niagara have produced sizes and numbers on days when fish are feeding. Soft-shelled crayfish and golden shiners work in the river on shallow drifts.
“Walleye are hitting in deeper water at 32 feet,” said Steve Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait & Tackle in Lewiston.
Carley Herkey, 14, of Burt fished with Capt. Bob Cinelli on Tuesday and sent a photo of her first fish of the morning, a 26.8 pound king. “The biggest fish I’ve caught before was a perch,” Carley said of her family outing that had her leading all the male anglers by mid-morning.
Kings have been running a solid line at 200-foot depths off Olcott Harbor. Wes Walker at Slippery Sinker Bait & Tackle in Olcott has best reports of schools west of Olcott and east of Wilson Harbor. Cinelli has chased scattered schools of bigger kings both east and west of Olcott. Spoons still scoop up the salmon but a flasher and fly rig gets more hits as the summer progresses.
More fishing contests
• Orleans County Rotary Derby, Lake Ontario and tributary waters from the Niagara River to the Genesee River, began Saturday and goes to Aug. 18. For entry details, call Ashley Ward at (585) 589-6724.
• Niagara River Anglers Association Annual Niagara River Walleye Contest, lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario and its tributaries, Aug. 24. Register at Creek Road Bait & Tackle in Lewiston or online at niagarariveranglers.com.
• The 37th annual Greater Niagara 2013 A Fish Odyssey, waters of Lake Erie, Niagara River and Lake Ontario in Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties, Aug. 17-25. For entry details, call (877) Falls US or go to fishodyssey.net.
• Third annual Richard Brauer Charity Gala and Perch Tournament, area waters, Sept. 14 and dinner and basket raffle Sept. 15. Call 695-5552 for entry details.