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This page features a variety of  Fishing and Hunting Tips written in a way that can be understood. Many of you may find these tips handy when out on your fishing or hunting adventure. If you have something you would like to contribute, please feel free to email us [at bottom of page] and we will be happy to include it on this page so all sportsmen can benefit from your knowledge. You don't have to be an expert, we just want information to share with youngsters, novice outdoorsmen and experienced alike. 

A NEW HOW-TO !  Fish Cleaning Illustrated
Walleye ~ Northern Pike ~ Get rid of those "Y" Bones!   Go Here


Proper Handling Methods for Releasing Muskies  GO HERE


Veteran Fisherman's Favorite dates and what species to fish for in
Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario Go Here

Learn what a Yellow Sally is! ~ Learn how to use one! Go Here

NEW! Fishing Walleye on Lake Erie ~ Find out how the pros do it!

This is a compilation of stories accumulated from our Outdoors Writers 
pages and submissions by other contributors.  

Click your interest to navigate this page quickly


Shore Fishermen Tips;

∑ There are many shore fishing opportunities, and number one would be at the New York Power Authority fishing dock/pier. A long walk down to the dock but you can drive down and have someone drop you off or pick you up. DO NOT park your car there. There is parking provided at the top. You could be in for a heap of stink by parking below. There is very limited handicap parking below for those that need it. Always be courteous to the boat fishermen drifting by, even though some of them donít seem to reciprocate, they are busy too.

∑ Devilís Hole State Park allows for a great fishing experience but is for the hardy and young at heart. There is a long climb down a set of stairs cut into the rock shale. Hauling a 25-pound salmon up is no fun either. But the fishing can be the greatest of all. By all means, do not go there without a camera. The scenery is just beautiful and trying to explain what you saw is not as good as the picture. Even a picture of your catch and release fish with the background of the river is worth framing. Fall is really exciting.

∑ In Lewiston, go to the Artpark parking lot [free for fishermen] and walk towards the river. [Follow signs] There is access that will take you to some really nifty shore fishing. A long trail and well worth the price you pay for the walk. You will see the favorite spots to fish on the trail by the way the area looks along the shore. Some will be really beaten down from others using those spots. Again, donít forget the camera.

OK. Shore fishermen. What baits do you use? Tough question. Everybody has their own favorite but some true, long-standing favorites are heavy spoons, spinners and egg sacks or skein.

Spoons could be Little Cleos, mostly silver with a blue stripe 2/5 ounce or K.O. Wobblers. Spinners, could be Super Vibrax in sizes 4 or 5. Blade colors used are mostly silver, the body colors vary, but silver, florescent green, or chartreuse are good choices. Florescent red has been known to be a potent color on some days. Egg Sacks and/or Skeins are tough to beat some days and at certain times in the Fall. They can be bought at your local independent tackle dealer and those dealers are listed on this website on the Bill Hilts Fish Finder page .

Spoons and spinners are best if used without snap swivels but we suppose you could if you are into changing your lure sizes and colors frequently. Tie directly on the end of your line and cast up river, about at the 10 oíclock direction and allow the bait to drift down to about the 2 oíclock angle and reel Ďer in, hopefully with that big fish! Do the same with egg sacks/skein or single eggs sometimes. But now you need weight. Three-way swivels rigged like the boat fishermen will work or better yet, use a split shot of suitable weight pinched up the line. The split shot should be up the line far enough to allow the eggs to drift naturally.

∑ Always remember: Practice Good Catch and Release!

This link will take you back to the Devil's Hole and Lewiston - Queenston maps page


Removing Ticks   Joe Ognibene ~ My daughter, Roxanne, sent me e-mail with a tip on removing ticks from hard to reach spots. Simply soak a cotton ball with liquid soap or detergent, apply to the tick and in few moments the tick will come off the skin on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball. Sounds like the ideal solution for ticks on youngsters.


NIAGARA RIVER WINTER STEELHEAD FISHING TIPS Captain Frank Campbell.  
Web site:
www.niagaracharter.com   

Understanding clear waters vs. stained waters or discolored waters and what type of lures and baits to use is an asset to anyone fishing the Niagara River.

Here are some good tips to work with to make your chances better

CLEAR WATERS:

1.] Use smaller diameter line. Steelhead in clear water tend to be shy. 2]. Use longer leaders. Sometimes up to 8-10 ft. in length. 3.] Use smaller baits. Weather it is eggs skeins or minnows. 4.] Best to use the new fluorocarbon as leader material. 5.] Use softer colors. Pink and yellow are both good. Weather used with egg sacks or yarn. 6.] It is important to fish deeper waters. 20 to 35 feet will generally do the trick 7.] Using an electric trolling motor vs. the main engine. With an electric you can control your drift better.

STAINED WATER: 

1.] Use Kwikfish lures in place of eggs or skein. The lures give a more visible target. 2.] If using egg sacks, run bright colors such as chartreuse or orange. 3.] Fish shallower water. Usually 4 to 15 ft. is good. 4.] Always run your electric trolling motor because you can spook your fish at shallow depths.

 


 

Boat Safety - Navigation Aids
Joe Ognibene

              Long before modern aids to navigation were thought of lighthouses were utilized to help mariners find safe harbor or warn against hidden shoals and reefs. Old time lighthouses have given way to automated light towers, better navigation charts and GPS and lighthouses such as the one at Fort Niagara are now tourist attractions. Few people know the first lighthouse on the Great Lakes was built at Fort Niagara in 1781. It consisted of a signal fire in a lantern room built on the roof of the fort after a British warship sailing from the fort and loaded with British soldiers sunk during a gale. HMS Ontario lost more than 80 people when she sank. The current limestone tower was built in 1871 and was deactivated in 1993. Very few, if any, of the lighthouses on Lake Ontario are in use today and few boaters would know how to navigate by using them. Youíre much better of with a GPS unit or good compass.

           Some of the boaters and fishermen will be new to running a boat and how to navigate from one spot to another. There are gong to be days in the spring when fog suddenly appears and unless our boater is sure of where he or she is on the water getting back to the dock can be a challenge.  Thatís when a reliable compass is well worth what you pay for it. The compass isnít going to do you much good unless you pay attention to it. Check your heading going out into the lake so you know which way to go coming back in if you canít see land. The time of year when it seems haze or fog is worse is in late summer when many of us fish closer to Toronto than Fort Niagara. You canít see the fort from far out in the lake and if youíre off a few degrees on your compass heading coming back you could wind up miles from the launch ramp.

            The absolute best way to get back to exactly where you started from is by using a sonar unit that utilizes Global Positioning Satellites to pinpoint your exact location anywhere on earth. A GPS unit has memory capabilities that can show you the path you took to get to where you are and how to get back. When GPS first hit the market for private boaters they were quite expensive but are now very affordable. Handheld units can be bought for about $150 and are very reliable. If you plan to do much fishing far from sight of shore a GPS unit might be a wise investment.
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Getting the boat ready for the season 
Joe Ognibene

          
One thing that must be checked is the reliability of the light system. A boat sitting in the yard all winter somehow or other manages to mess up the trailer lights. They might have worked fine last fall, but are now inoperative. Sometimes mice get into the channel of the trailer where the wires run through and chew on them causing a short. Many times itís just plain corrosion on the ends of the bulbs. Remove the cover if the light isnít working and take the bulb out and look at the base. If you see a bit of green you know itís corroded and will not allow the current to pass through. A few licks with a bit of sandpaper should do the trick. Take a look at the ball on the hitch and if you see a lot of rust clean it off completely. Thatís where the grounding takes place and if you donít have a good ground youíre not going to have good tail, brake or turn indicator lights. You want the car in back of you to know what youíre doing in plenty of time to avoid running into the back of the boat.
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SPINNER BAITS AND WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Joe Ognibene

Breathes there a man with soul so dead, who never to himself has said, ďI wonder how you fish a spinner bait?Ē  - 

Letís talk about spinner baits and the big secret about them.


      The secret is you canít fish the spinner bait wrong. No matter how you use it, toss it, jig it, slow retrieve or fast, in weeds or over rocks, you canít fish it the wrong way. Spinner baits come in a bewildering array of patterns and colors. The choice and sizes of blades can boggle the mind. You can choose willow blades, so-called because they resemble a willow leaf, Colorado blades, which are roundish in shape, clapper blades, which make a noise as they are dragged through the water or large diamond shaped blades that make a commotion as they twirl in the water and are called buzz baits. The colors, sizes and combinations of the blades can be whatever you choose. Some are silver, others gold colored, some dark and others painted lighter colors. They come in copper or brass, stainless steels or titanium, take your pick. 

      The shape of spinner baits resembles a large ďVĒ shaped thing made of wire. Even here you have a choice of wire including titanium, which is said to be more sensitive than stainless steel. On one end of the wire you have the blades. You can choose single, double, triple or even more blades. You can have a choice of different blades all on one spinner bait. You can even have a number of blades on the spinner so they resemble a school of baitfish. In other words, you have a very wide choice of blades on spinner baits.

      On the end of the other wire is the hook which is usually molded into a lead weight that somewhat resembles the head of a fish. The hook size is up to you as is the plastic skirt that covers it. The skirt can be replaceable and interchangeable in most cases and the choice seems to be endless. Made of plastic strips in any color you can think of makes declaring any one color best impossible. Some of the skirt material glitters, but it all wiggles enticingly. They all work and which color skirt or blade shape and size is up to you. Iíve always felt that when using artificial lures the best one to use is the one you feel most comfortable with. If youíre looking over a rack full of spinner baits and one looks inviting to you, buy it and use it. Thereís something to be said for feeling confidant in what youíre using to assure a successful outing. 

      Spinner baits are sometimes called fish locators simply because they work and will catch just about any variety of fish. They are used mostly in bass fishing, but will take just about any fish that swims. Some spinner baits are small enough to be used in crappie fishing. When using spinner baits it doesnít matter if you retrieve it fast or slow, the feel of the spinning blades is what you concentrate on. As in most bass fishing when you feel something different set the hook. Spinner baits can be jigged successfully too. If youíre fishing in weedy structure jigging in an open hole can produce great results. Again, when you must feel the slightest difference, set the hook.

      Fishermen trying spinner bait for the first time sometimes make the mistake of tying on a snap swivel then hooking the spinner bait to it. Worst thing you can do. The snap swivel kills the action. The ideal way is to tie directly onto the slight crook in the center of the bait. In this fashion you can feel every revolution of the blades and detect the difference when it happens. Spinner baits can also be used to take the trout that are now taking up residence in the lower Niagara River. Fish them slowly and on a day when temperatures are moderate, less you fight icing of the line and guides. 
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Knots and 3-way swivels
Capt. Sparky McGranahan

      A real time saver
especially in the winter when your hands are cold and it is tough to tie knots, try this: When you tie your dropper line to the three-way, use a really good knot. But, when you tie the other end of that line to the sinker, tie an over-hand knot. In most cases the over-hand knot will break or come untied when you get snagged. Then, you will only have to tie on a new sinker instead of a new set up with five knots in it!
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Getting Equipment Ready for Fishing Season
Joe Ognibene

          Itís a good bet that many of us were in such a rush to get out hunting last fall that we put the fishing rods and tackle boxes away without a thought of how they will be in the spring. Well, itís now almost spring and if you check the tackle boxes and rods and reels you will see you have some work to do. Letís start with fishing rods. If you did a lot of fishing last summer you could have guides that could be grooved and that means line will snap while youíre cranking in a lunker. On inexpensive rods the material used in making the guides is usually not of the most wear resistant material and it doesnít take much to groove them. To assure yourself of the best guides youíre advised to buy a rod equipped with wear resistant aluminum oxide guides. To determine if you have a guide that might be nicked, take a small piece of cotton batting and pass it through the guide. If there is a nick a few strands of cotton will catch in the guide. Replacing it is the only solution.

         Other than checking the guides there isnít much else to check on a fishing rod other than some serious nicks or cracks in rod itself. A nicked or cracked rod is going to snap at the worst time. It might be able to take the tug of a bass, but a Chinook salmon in Devilís Hole will make short work of a nicked or cracked fishing rod. If youíre in the market for a new fishing rod the best advice anyone can give you is to buy the best you can afford. Every rod manufacturer claims their rod is the best and itís next to impossible to know which claim is the right one. Todayís fishing rods are made of fiberglass, graphite or a combination of both. Some rods makers tout the way they spiral the materials, others how the glass or graphite is laid in strips. All claim the tip action of their rod is superior to any other. The way to wade through all the claims is to handle a rod equipped with a reel similar to the one you plan to use. If it feels right, buy it.

         Tackle boxes take a beating being bounced in the boat and tossed in the trunk of the car. Most solid boxes today are made of plastic and some still have an adverse reaction to some of the plastic lures that are around. Usually the cheaper plastic lures are the ones that melt in a tackle box to create a gooey mess thatís almost impossible to clean. You might have notice the solid plastic tackle box is giving way to soft-sided satchels outfitted with plastic utility boxes that keep the tackle pack neatly organized. Plano Guide Series soft satchel system not only keeps the tackle pack organized but the utility boxes are waterproof. Shimano also has an excellent soft satchel system that incorporates plastic utility boxes.

          While checking out your fishing gear
you had better take a look at the hooks on your lures. Most hooks today are rust resistant, but you could have some that are rusted and need replacing. I have found the best way to remove a rusted or bent hook is to use a pair of nippers and cut the thing off. If the hook was attached to a snap ring cut that off too. Then use a pair of snap-ring pliers to attach a new hook to the lure. Most tackle stores snap-ring pliers ass well as hooks.. Trying to put a hook on a snap-ring without the pliers can be a frustrating and sometimes painful job.

         FISHING LINE - Now we get to one of the most important items in fishing and thatís the fishing line. If you have last yearís line on your reels you are asking for trouble. There is no doubt the line is nicked or weakened by exposure to sunlight. It could snap just when youíre cranking in what could be a wall hanger. Replacing it is when the fun starts. Every line maker will tell you their line is superior to all others. You have a choice of plain old monofilament or you could go with fluorocarbon line, Magibraid Spectra, TriTitanium, CXX Extra strong, Floroclear, Spider Line or any one of countless others with enticing names. There is something important to remember when buying fishing line and that is the reputation of the maker. Most of the shoddy monofilament lines have been shaken out and most of the lines on the market today are of top quality. Even some low priced lines are of absolute top quality for a very good reason.

         It isnít very well known, but even the top-of-the-line manufacturers sell their expensive lines to outlets that put a different name on the package and sell them for a lot less than the prestige name. This is one way of keeping the factory busy. Having spent some time selling fishing tackle I know this for a fact. Your tackle dealer might tell you if a low priced line is the expensive line made by a well known manufacturer, but sometimes even the dealer doesnít know. In most cases a store brand was made by a nationally known maker and is sold for far less than the national brand. The best advice is to buy the best you can afford and buy in bulk spools. Bulk spools of 1,000 or more yards means you are cutting the cost in more than half over the normal 150-yard spool. An example would be Bass-Proís Excel, a 1,200-yard spool of 12-17 pound test monofilament that sells for under $10.00 a spool. 

         SPOOLING ON NEW LINE - If you do decide your reels need new line there is a very simple way to spool it on the reel that will help keep line twist away. Drop the spool of line in a bucket of water and string through the guides. The line will unreel in the correct direction. Use your fingers to put a bit of tension on the line as you crank it on. Donít bother tying the line to the reel arbor, use a bit of tape instead. If a fish takes the line to the end of the reel, the fish wins. Let it have the line.
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Catching Big Fish on a Fly rod
Joe Ognibene

      Catching large fish with a fly rod is vastly different from catching one with a spinning or casting rod. A major difference is the lack of an efficient drag system on the reel. A fly rod reel is simply a place to store the line when itís not in use. There are some fly rod reels that have a drag system built into them, but by and large, you will have more control putting drag on the line yourself. The two accepted methods are cupping the bottom of the reel with your hand or pinching the line between two fingers. When the fish first strikes and line is being stripped from the reel in a hurry, trying to place your free hand under it could result in a harked knuckle. Youíre better off using your thumb and fore-finger to try and put some tension on the line in the hopes of slowing the fish. This doesnít always work and it isnít unusual to have all the fly line stripped from the reel, so you will have to depend on the backing line on the reel. Backing is usually an artificial cloth line such as Dacron and most fly rod reels will hold about 200 yards of 20-pound test backing. If the fish strips the reel to the end of the backing, forget it. That fish is gone. Like fishing with any other rod, remember what you were taught as a youngster, ďkeep his head up.Ē

      Fishing with a fly rod for salmon or the large rainbow trout that live in the lower Niagara River all winter begins by choosing the right rod.

      Like all fishing rods, some fly rods are not suited for large fish. To simplify your choice of rods choose one that is 8 1/2 to 9 feet long that accepts an 8- weight line. This would be a stiff rod that will work with the heavier lines to put resistance on the fish. An 8-weight line is heavier than a comparable line with a lower number. Fly lines can float or sink and you make the choice. When fishing in deep water, a sinking line works best. In this way, the fly, bait or lure can go down to the depth the fish is swimming in.  Some lines have weight built into the front end and are called weight-forward lines. These work fine in deeper streams, such as the lower Niagara River.

      Holding the hook to the line is a leader that could be also called a shock absorber line. A fly line leader is usually a tapered monofilament line that is thick at the butt end and tapers to a very small point. It is the leader that takes the first shock of a fish striking a fly, lure or bait. When fly-fishing, the line is not always straight out from you, SO you donít always see the strike, itís amazing how small a leader tip can be and still control a rampaging fish. Of course, it all depends on the fisherman and how he manages drag on the line. Head up meant keeping the rod tip up. A rod tip pointed upward means the fish fights the flex in the rod and not the strain on the line. Anyone who thinks it is easy to break a fishing rod of any type should try a little experiment. Have someone hold a fishing rod with the tip pointing skyward. Now you take the line and go out a short ways. Have the person holding the rod tighten the drag while you try yanking the line as hard as you can in an attempt to break the rod. You will not be able to do it.

      Many fishermen shy from trying a fly rod because they may have read too many stories about the complexities of fly rod fishing. Most of those writers are trying to puff themselves up with naming fly patterns, hatch matching and moon phases. Forget all that folderol. A fly rod is simply another fishing rod and another way to catch a fish.

      If lightweight line fishing is what youíre interested in, you might try a noodle rod. This could be the ultimate test of fishing technique. Noodle rods usually are spinning rods that vary in length from 10 to 12 or more feet. Using 2-pound test line to fish for large rainbows or salmon in the lower Niagara River is not unheard of. Noodle rod fishing can be a thrill beyond description.

      The two accepted methods are cupping the bottom of the reel with your hand or pinching the line between two fingers. When the fish first strikes and line is being stripped from the reel in a hurry, trying to place your free hand under it could result in a harked knuckle. Youíre better off using your thumb and fore-finger to try and put some tension on the line in the hopes of slowing the fish. This doesnít always work and it isnít unusual to have all the fly line stripped from the reel, so you will have to depend on the backing line on the reel. Backing is usually an artificial cloth line such as Dacron and most fly rod reels will hold about 200 yards of 20-pound test backing. If the fish strips the reel to the end of the backing, forget it. That fish is gone. Like fishing with any other rod, remember what you were taught as a youngster, ďkeep his head up.Ē
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ELECTROFISHING ~ What do you know about it?
Mark Daul

       Each March, DEC workers strap on battery packs and wade into the currents of the Lakes tributaries to look for spawning rainbow trout.

        The direct-current wands that they use to probe deep pools stun hiding fish and bring them to the surface, where they're quickly netted and transferred to holding tanks.

      Each fish is weighed and briefly examined by biologists and fisheries technicians. Many are held aloft for snapshots before they're released, no worse for the wear.

      The fact that many of the trout captured during the shocking trips weigh in excess of 5 pounds explains why so many anglers tag along. It's not unusual to find several hundred kids and adults waiting on the stream banks when the state workers arrive.

      The electrofishing events give anglers a preview of the trout season that opens on April 1. 
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WHAT LURE TO USE FOR FISHING? LIVE BAIT? ARTIFICIAL? 
Joe Ognibene

       Whatever you use that works for you is what you should stick with. Having spent some time in the tackle-selling end of the game I can tell you that lures and related equipment are made to attract fishermen first and if they catch fish so much the better. Itís okay to take some advice and recommendations from other fishermen, but youíre wise if you stick with what you find works for you. It may not be the latest whiz-bang lure or bait out there, but if it catches fish for you, stay with it. Many of us use artificial lures and baits simply because they are so much easier to use than live bait. Letís face it, itís difficult to keep minnows alive in a bucket and putting a leech on a hook is not an easy job. Most of the time artificial lures and baits will do the job, but it sure is tough to beat a wiggly night-crawler worm, squirming minnow or soft-shelled crab.
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TIPS FOR BAITFISHING FOR YELLOW PERCH
Mark Daul

Yellow perch can be finicky and anglers often find that picky perch will only nibble on hooks baited with emerald shiner minnows.

Emerald shiners are in short supply during the summer months and as a result, many bait shops offer fathead minnows, which are often pond-raised and more readily available, and northern creek chubs. Both are darker in color while the shiner minnows are slender and have sparkling scales that are a perch magnet. Some shops have only small "pinhead" emerald shiner minnows. Although small, the sliver-sized minnows can save the day. Many perch fishermen stay away from extra-large shiner minnows, which are best if an angler is trying to hook up with smallmouth bass.

Perch spreaders and crappie rigs, which are weighted and hold snelled long-shanked No. 6 gold wire hooks, are the most popular rigs for catching perch. Anglers usually lower the rig to the lake  bottom, reel in a foot or two of line and wait for perch to bite. If the bottom-feeding perch aren't around an angler simply reels in a foot of line every minute, or so, to see whether the perch are suspended off the bottom. A method that seems to catch bigger perch, but not two at a time like the other rigs, is to remove the treble hook from a metal jigging spoon and attach a short 2- or 3-inch piece of fishing line and a No. 6 hook. 

DROP SHOTTING for perch can be an extremely successful way to latch on to these critters. Drop Shotting gives a better feel of those light bites that so often happens when the fish has a lazy day. GO HERE FOR DROP SHOT INFO AND RIGGING This works very well on a variety of fish


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WHERE TO FIND SUMMERTIME NIAGARA RIVER LARGEMOUTH BASS
Joe Ognibene

Large-mouth bass like to stay in warm and shallow water where they have lots of hiding places. On the upper Niagara River fishing for them near the southbound, north bridge is usually very productive. Boaters usually get within casting distance of shore and let the boat drift and cast towards shore. For the fellow who wants to cast from shore the end of the wharf at Big Six Creek on Grand Island is a top spot. Inside the marina on the side opposite the docks is an excellent area for large-mouth bass. Big Six Creek is loaded with weeds, not very deep, and is home to many large-mouth bass.

Locally, Wilson Harbor is another hot spot for largemouth using the same methods as mentioned above.
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A TIP FOR GOOSE HUNTERS
Joe Ognibene

The best field to put a pit blind in is one where the corn has been picked and stalks are laying on the ground. The stalks make excellent cover for the top of the blind. Just because youíre under cover doesnít mean you can do a lot of moving around in the blind. Be as quiet as possible with very little un-necessary moving. Geese have sharp eyesight and can spot unusual movements and spook off. If youíre calling stop when geese begin circling overhead and freeze when you see wings set and feet extended. Many goose hunters claim once geese have wings set and feet thrust forward they must land before being able to fly away. Donít believe it, they can unlock those wings and pull their feet in and be gone before you can get your gun to your shoulder.
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CURE YOUR OWN SALMON EGGS FOR FISHING
Mark Daul

QUESTION: How do you cure your salmon eggs for fishing?

ANSWER: There are many different ways to do this and if you would like to share your way, email us and tell us. Here are two ways  suggested that I used when I was in the Tackle Store business. This worked for thousands of cures! When all is done, you want your eggs rubbery.

METHOD #1) BORAX/BRINE : First, start with nice fresh salmon eggs skein cut into pieces. [a.k.a. roe] Keep them as clean and cool as possible. Never freeze fresh salmon eggs before applying any type of preservative. They will turn out gooey and mushy and stink. Make sure you rinse with non-chlorinated water. Use river or lake or rain water to rinse.

Now days there are products you can walk into your local tackle shop and purchase egg cures like Pautzkes Bait Cure and they do a wonderful job. Just follow package directions.

If you would like a really nice cured egg skein with colors to match conditions, try the old Borax brine method. You can buy a box of Borax at you local supermarket in the detergent soap department. [20 Mule team] While you are there pick up some fabric dye. Orange, red or pink, whatever color you choose. Oh, get some zip lock bags too while you are there. 

Start with 1 cup Borax, 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of pickling salt. Make sure you use pickling salt as it is non-iodized.

Bring all ingredients together and boil in a stainless pot. [preferred] and then let cool completely. Then add your skein or roe and stir everything up gently and let soak for  Ĺ hour. [Stir occasionally.]

Remove eggs and lay flat on paper towels and store overnight in a cool place. [refrigerator?] This will dry them somewhat. Next put your eggs in a zip lock bag and coat with Borax right out of the box and do like you would with Shake-n-Bake to make sure they are coated.

This same method works perfectly with single eggs too, but dip the eggs in the mixture for about ten minutes or so with a strainer and let them dry on paper towels and dry lightly. Put them in small jars or plastic zip-locks. This is the time you can add scents like oil of anise if you want scented eggs. Your eggs will become rubbery and stay that way for a long time. Store them in the refrigerator.

The brine mixture can be used over and over if properly stored in Ďfridge.

METHOD #2) BORAX ONLY : To leave the eggs looking natural, just rinse, air dry overnight in Ďfridge.  Place in zip locks and "shake-n-Bake" with Borax and let stand overnight. Store eggs in fridge until used. Eggs will last for months in refrigerator. These work great tied into egg sacks or roe bags. To color these, you can tie them in different color mesh that is available like red, chartreuse, etc. 

Rainbow and Brown Trout eggs are the preferred egg to use over Salmon eggs BUT to purchase any kind of Rainbow or Brown Trout egg is ILLEGAL..........  It is NOT illegal to cure and use your own eggs.

Pautkzes Bait Cure and mesh to tie eggs into bags is available at and at A-1 Bait, and most other independent tackle stores. Go to the "SPONSORS" page on this website for directions and more information. Be sure to check out "Feather & Fur" [also on sponsor's page] already cured eggs. You can get a FREE sample of his eggs there.  GO HERE FOR INFO ON PAUTZKES CURE
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FALL FISHING IN THE NIAGARA RIVER
Mark Daul
 

For those who are new to the area you should know that the first of our fall fishing is for salmon then trout fishing all winter and well into next spring. This is not to say our bass fishing is all done, far from it, some of the best bass fishing of the year can happen in September. The underwater weed growth is beginning to die back and if you drag a tube jig or any other wiggly plastic bait on or close to bottom you could be in for a thrill. Many of our smaller streams boast of largemouth bass still hiding in weed beds and will strike most lures that pass by. Later on in the fall when rainbows and brown trout head into the lower Niagara River hard bodied baits work well with Kwikfish the most popular and effective lure we use. This is a lure that is best used from a three-way swivel with a weight hanging on the bottom of the swivel to keep the lure about three feet from bottom. Youíre going to find the lower Niagara current is the ideal speed for a drift that will keep the Kwikfish wiggling to attract fish. This lure will also take salmon, as will most of the lures that have a lot of wiggle in them.
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PREPARING THE BOAT FOR NEXT SEASON
Joe Ognibene

The end of September seems to be the signal for boaters to haul the boat out of water and store it for the winter. To assure an easy starting boat next spring proper winterizing is a must. If itís a job you donít feel qualified to do take the boat to a marine dealer to have it done. Many boaters opt to have the boat shrink-wrapped as well as winterized and thatís something you canít go wrong with. Shrink-wrapping protects the interior of the boat from winterís onslaught. If you decide to make your own winter cover with readily available plastic sheet be sure to outfit the boat with slat sockets to hold fiberglass cover bows. The bows hold the plastic covers in an arc over the boat to protect it from rain and snow. Usually four bows along the length of the boat will do the job. Bungee cords or nylon rope can be used to secure the covering to the boat trailer. Bows and sockets are usually available at most marine supply stores. 

If youíre planning to winterize the boat yourself there are few things you must do. The inside of the engine must be fogged to prevent possible rust or a sticky valve. Directions for fogging are on the can or in the specifications booklet that came with the engine. Remove the battery and top it off with distilled water and store in a cool place for winter. Remember to trickle charge it a few times over winter and you will have a battery ready to go in the spring. Check the level of the oil in the lower unit of the engine and if when checking water dribbles out, you had better have the seal on the lower unit checked. Grease the fittings on the engine and trailer wheels and tip the front of the boat upwards and remove the drain plug so that any snow or rain that enters and melts can run out and not rot the floor. Fill the gasoline tank and add stabilizer to it to prevent a build-up of moisture over winter. A little time spent now means the boat will be ready to go come next spring.
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TREE STAND SAFETY
Joe Ognibene

With the gun season for deer not too far in the future many hunters are taking advantage of some nice weather to check on their favorite stands and make whatever repairs or changes are needed. Itís during deer season that most hunting accidents happen. Aside from an occasional gunshot accident, falls from tree stands are high on the list. One of the many reasons given for falls is a ladder giving way when the hunter climbs. There are still those who simply nail pieces of board onto the trunk of a tree and climb it for years. Another cause is not securing yourself to the tree in the event you slip from the platform. Boards that were nailed onto a tree trunk last year are not to be trusted this year. Over time and normal tree growth nails loosen and boards can pop out very easily when weight is placed on them. 

The safest way to get up into a tree is to use a ladder stand or a tree-climbing outfit. The ladder stand is the more popular as itís a lot easier to get down from if you have to go after a deer you might drop. Regardless of which you use a safety harness is a must. Youíre going to be ten or more feet off the ground on a small platform and you could easily slip and be seriously injured in a fall. You can buy safety harnesses that will keep you upright in the event of a fall. A simple strap around your waist might keep you from tumbling to the ground but youíre going to be hanging upside down because most of your weight is from the waist up. Freeing yourself will be a problem. In most cases a hunter will be climbing into his tree before daylight and the steps could be covered with frost, snow or dew. Youíre going to need both hands to climb with and trying to carry your gun, lunch and other gear will make the climb that much more dangerous. Leave them on the ground with a rope attached to them and your belt. Once in the tree and your safety harness attached haul the stuff up in safety. Follow the directions on attaching the stand to the tree and you will have a safe and comfortable place to wait for your deer to come to you.
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TIP FOR FISHING THE LOWER NIAGARA RIVER IN WINTER
Joe Ognibene

 Fishing the lower Niagara with the current working for you means your lure should be one that sinks below the surface, but not one that dives to the bottom. The lure you choose should have lots of wiggle to it also. A favorite of many lower river fishermen is the Kwikfish. It has a wiggle that trout find irresistible. Color choice tends towards pink or red with some black. [Of course the silver plated ones with colors.] I think the secret is a color choice that has flash to it. At this time of year fish aren't moving around much and they have to be teased into hitting. Other lures that will work would include the jointed Rapala, Rat-L-Trap in chrome blue, or you could choose to go with spinner or solid lure such as KO Wobbler. Some boaters are reporting good results with tube jigs gently bounced on bottom out in the lake at the can. Tube jig colors that seem to be most popular and work best are motor oil and dark green.
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HOW TO QUICKLY TELL LARGEMOUTH BASS FROM SMALLMOUTH BASS
Joe Ognibene

First off, for those who arenít sure of the difference between the two basses the coloration will be the first clue. Big mouth bass are usually lighter and have almost white stripes on their sides. Small-mouth bass are usually a darker green color, but the sure way to tell is to look at the jaw of both fish. With large-mouth bass imagine a line from the end of the eye down to the jaw. On a large-mouth the end of the jaw will extend beyond the imaginary line. A small-mouth jaw will not project beyond the imaginary line from the edge of the eyed downward. The fighting characteristics between the two are slight, but the small-mouth has the edge. Itís seldom you will catch large-mouth bass in the same spot as you would small-mouth.
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TOP WATER FISHING TIPS FOR BASS
Joe Ognibene

Regardless of the lure you use donít hurry the retrieve. Toss the lure out and let it sit for a moment or two. The splash the lure makes when it hits the water will attract the attention of fish in the neighborhood and when you start to crank the lure back donít rush it. Use the tip of your rod to make the lure twitch in the water. If it has a lip on it use the rod tip to dive the lure below the surface and then relax and let the lure bob to the surface. You want to make the lure look like a critter that is trying to swim away. If you do everything right the fish will come from below and slam the lure scaring the bejabbers out of you. This is the time when most fish are lost because the fisherman yanks the lure away from the fish. The rule to follow is to not yank back until you feel something yanking on you. What happens many times when bass, either variety, strikes top water baits is the fish loses sight of the lure at the last second before striking. A lot of times you will see the lure fly out of water because the fish hit it with his head and didnít get to chomp down on it. If this happens simply let the lure sit and many times the fish will spin around and slam it again. This is one of the times when a bass can foul hook itself and if that happens you must release the fish immediately.
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Fuel maintenance

Fuel stabilizer such as Stabil should be added to your fuel tank over the winter, but avoid using any other fuel additives. If your boatís only fuel filter is on the engine, add a pre-filter, a large capacity canister type with a paper element. Change your filter element annually, preferably in the spring. If your boat is over 10 years old, and the tank has never been cleaned, do it BEFORE you get stuck. Boat fuel tanks are notorious for getting gummed up with gook and sludge

 


DROP SHOT FISHING

        For one of the newest techniques for fishing all of the Niagara River from, and including all of Lakes Erie & Ontario, & thousands of inland lakes, "Drop - Shotting" has caught on tremendously in 2007.  It has been a favorite of  many pro-anglers for years. The winner of the Lake Erie's Summer  Bass Pro contest held in 2007 was won using the drop shot methods. $$$$$ To learn more and to see how the method works GO HERE on this website for all you need.    

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