Fishing pressure eases once the back-to-school season starts, but many a cooperating fish school remains in feeding session as leaves begin to fall, daylight lessens and water temperatures start sliding below 70 degrees.
Late August, big-fish contest results included many monster fish, and terminal tackle in those contests continue to take nice sizes and numbers of fish on area waters.
Perch remain deep, walleye run deep and shallower.
Best perch schooling reported off Sturgeon Point to west of Cattaraugus Creek this past week — when boaters could get on the water — were 60-to 72-foot depths.
Walleye are on the run, but some of those runs include 40-foot shallows between Dunkirk Harbor and Barcelona Harbor. In general, body baits and spoons work in the deeper waters out along the International Line. Worm harnesses run close to bottom do better at 40- to 70-foot depths.
Shore anglers are getting a better shot at incoming salmonids. The run is still off shore, but some casters at Wilson, Olcott and Point Breeze have connected with trout and salmon during sunrise and sunset.
Trollers can work structure edges at depths of less than 100 feet from Fort Niagara east to well past Point Breeze. During early-morning hours, rigs run over 60-foot depths near bottom, and mid-depths have done well for a mix of salmon, steelies and browns. Faster speeds draw both good sizes and nice numbers.
Fishing contest results
Three major contests in August finished in time for Labor Day bragging rights for catches from Lake Erie, the Niagara River and Lake Ontario.
• Lower river walleye schools cooperated well with entrants in the Annual Niagara River Anglers Association Annual Walleye Contest held Aug. 24.
Spinner-and-worm rigs did the trick for the top winners. Patrick Foote of Grand Island weighed in his two best walleyes and took first place with a 15.98-pound total. Steve Skrlin of Ransomville finished second with a 10.66-pound two-fish entry.
Foote caught his fish on a worm harness. Skrlin used a spinner-and-worm rig on a three-way rig for his catches.
All walleyes entered were caught around the Niagara Bar on a sunny, warm day, which is nice for being on the water but not ideal for walleye catching in relatively shallow waters.
• Impressive weights were posted in all six divisions of the 2013 Fish Odyssey held Aug. 17-25 in memory of Richard “Dick” Robinson, a pioneer in Lake Ontario fisheries concerns and the development of major fishing competitions.
Sandra Brown of Clearfield, Pa., trolled a Spin Doctor off Point Breeze to hook the top salmon, a 35.03 entry. A drawing for Grand Prize this year went to the Rainbow/Brown Trout Division winner and Larry Goehring of Spraggs, Pa., used an NK spoon to catch a 17.13-pound trout at Olcott for that win.
Bob Turton of Sanborn ran a Spin Doctor along the Niagara Bar to entice a winning lake trout, 24.13 pounds.
Karen Cinelli of Newfane fished at Olcott with eggs to catch the Carp Division winner, at 28.04 pounds.
Michael Creighton of Buffalo fished Lake Erie with a Berkley Gulp to take the Bass division with a 6-pound smallmouth.
Paul Devlin of Niagara Falls ran a worm harness along the Niagara Bar to hook into a 12.14-pound walleye, which won that division.
Kids in the Youth Divisions brought in some grin-grabbing big fish. Jacob Velesko of Middleport won the Salmon division with a 29-pound, 7-ounce entry.
Peter Campbell of Niagara Falls ran a flasher/fly rig on Lake Ontario to win the trout division with a 12-pound, 12-ounce entry. Andon Woodward of North Tonawanda fished the upper Niagara and used a golden shiner to take the Bass Division with a 5-pound, 4-ounce bass. Ethan Long of Batavia caught an 18.5-pound carp to top that division. Gabe Schank of Olcott fished the harbor with a worm to take the Panfish Divison with an 11-ounce entry. Steven Muskaluk of North Tonawanda used corn as bait to catch the Walleye Divison winner, an 8-pound, 13-ounce walleye.
To check out the first- to third-place entries in all Adult and Junior Division — and many of those grins seen while entrants hold their winning fish — go to fishodyssey.net.
• Lake Ontario Counties Derby Grand Prize winner Fredrick Dedrick of Cairo took home the $25,100 prize for his 36.5-pound king salmon weighed in at Pulaski.
Larry Goehring of Spraggs Pa., along with a Grand Prize winning in the Fish Odyssey, also entered his 17.13-pound trout in the Lake Ontario Derby Brown Trout Division to win that top prize. Scott Brownell of Fairfield fishing Rochester area waters took the top Rainbow/Steelhead Trout entry at 18.11 pounds.
Ronald Wincek of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., topped the Youth Division with a 31-pound salmon caught at Pulaski.
All Derby winners can be checked out at loc.org.