I am writing this on a plane on my way back from Lewiston, NY, which is just outside of Buffalo. This was my second trip to this great area and it was just as fun as the last time. The area is a true destination for anyone who enjoys fishing and it is not just great for the bass I was after, lake trout, salmon, steelhead and much more roam the waters surrounding the area. It’s also right around the corner from Niagara Falls so you have a good excuse to bring the whole family to see the falls and other tourist attractions.
I spent three days on the water with a different guide each day and we targeted smallmouth exclusively. Although the trophy smallmouth season opens on May 1st, it is always up to the weather to see how the fish cooperate. This trip started off slowly, but got better each day. I found it pretty funny how our boat had ten or twelve solid, healthy smallmouth on the first day and the guides considered it an awful day. That should tell you something about the quality of fish here.
The fish here are partial to tubes and they are one of the best ways to cover water and catch a monster smallie, but there are plenty of other ways to catch them. I caught fish on small swimbaits, drop-shot, tube and even a jigging spoon. Last year was warmer and I got into one of the best jerkbaits bites I have ever experienced.
|Doubles are common when you get into them|
The cool thing about fishing here is that they are big smallmouth just about every time. A fish under 2lbs is a rarity and the 3-4lb fish do not even get anyone excited. The 4,5 and 6lb fish are what gets a little more attention and there are plenty caught each spring. My best this year was a 5lb class fish, but I had one of those each day and several 4.5lb fish. Our group caught a 6-7 and 6-8 this year and both anglers set a new personal best.
|Lake Erie Smallie|
If you stay in Lewiston you have the choice to fish right there in the Niagara River or you can head to the mouth of Lake Ontario. Another option is Buffalo, which is about 30 minutes away,. From there you can launch and fish the famed Lake Erie. Where you go is usually dependent on the weather and the recent fishing. The guides in the area are in the know and will make sure they put you on the best chance for that day.
|Niagara River Smallie|
There are many guides in the area and the three that I had this year were excellent. They are friendly, have good gear and most importantly they know the water. I will include each of their websites below. I also would recommend visiting Niagra-USA for details on all attractions and accommodations.
- Captain Frank Campbell - niagaracharter.com
- Captain Bruce Blakelock - niagarafish.com
- Captain Jeff Draper - niagaraguides.com