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eXodus

Tips shore fishing the Niagara River?

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Any tips for shore fishing the Niagara River.. fishing Bass, Pike, Walleye, Panfish, etc. I've fished Black Creek and a few other places down towards Fort Erie but never a ton of luck. 

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Stop at Fishin Niagara near the launch in Fort Erie, Denis is the go to guy for info on the upper Niagara.

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Upper or lower? Sounds like upper. If it's the lower I can tell you to join a gym and work out hard for 6 months so you climb back up the gorge. And don't fall into the river. Every one of those fish you mentioned are down there plus more.

The best shore fishing I have had on the lower river is from The Art Park on the Lewiston side, easy access and egress. 

Edited by Old Ironmaker

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1 hour ago, Old Ironmaker said:

Upper or lower? Sounds like upper. If it's the lower I can tell you to join a gym and work out hard for 6 months so you climb back up the gorge. And don't fall into the river. Every one of those fish you mentioned are down there plus more.

The best shore fishing I have had on the lower river is from The Art Park on the Lewiston side, easy access and egress. 

Lol I've fished the lower whirlpool, regularly hike the gorge and it's always busy. Was looking more for tips at the upper Niagara Canadian side. I haven't ever fished the NY side of Niagara tho I do have a NY fishing license. Any tips in the whirlpool, line/type strength for that current? I've seen a couple guys lose their line and gear not to long after cast heh.

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Yes you will need an out of State licence for NY State. We have fished the river from shore on the US side. The few times we have we found many Smallies from shore. All we used were Mr. Twisters (yes that long ago) on 8 lb. mono. . Threw it upstream and let it bounce downstream. You want enough weight to touch bottom. If a jig didn't find bottom I put on a heavy egg sinker and used a floating jig head.

That is a long river, goes from Buffalo to the brink of death and then to Lake O. Giving you a specific spot and tackle is tough. Like I said fishing The Art Park was good for us and easy to get to. It can get crowded on a weekend, packed actually, I would never go on a weekend. You didn't know if it was going to be anything from a Perch to a Brown Trout you will hook onto there. Lost many tackle being snagged on the rocks or broken off by a fish. We didn't have the super lines we have now, it was all Mono. Never more than 8lb. The same holds true for the Canadian side which I hardly ever fished. Many relatives in Western NY I fished the US side with. They know the Honey Holes. We usually fished the river in North Tonawanda where it meets the Erie Barge Canal. Never kept a fish from that river to eat. The Steel plants were going strong back then and everything washed downstream. Lately I have seen guys throwing lines behind the Marina in Ft. Erie, I think it is Nickols Marina. Ask permission 1st. 

You will need a NY State out of state licence and a copy of the NY State regs. and learn them too. Make sure you aren't fishing on private property. If I were to fish the lower today I would wear my inflatable PFD. 

Good luck and enjoy. 

Edited by Old Ironmaker

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1 hour ago, eXodus said:

Lol I've fished the lower whirlpool, regularly hike the gorge and it's always busy. Was looking more for tips at the upper Niagara Canadian side. I haven't ever fished the NY side of Niagara tho I do have a NY fishing license. Any tips in the whirlpool, line/type strength for that current? I've seen a couple guys lose their line and gear not to long after cast heh.

Canadian side, anywhere from Bowen Road to the train bridge, white twister tails on 1/4 to 1/2 oz. jigs is as good as any and you can see you vehicle in the parking lot, no respirator required. I'll fish the lower from shore when the salmon and trout are there spring and fall but the upper is far better in my experience from shore for bass, walleye and other warm water species in summer.

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If you’re going to bottom bounce either end of the River, use a three way with a 4lb drop line to your weight. Snags on the river are inevitable, so when you break off you’re just replacing the drop line. 

What Dave said above ^^^ is bang on.

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1 hour ago, grimsbylander said:

If you’re going to bottom bounce either end of the River, use a three way with a 4lb drop line to your weight. Snags on the river are inevitable, so when you break off you’re just replacing the drop line. 

What Dave said above ^^^ is bang on.

I always carried a foot or so length of 2"x 2" with a screw eye and snap swivel on one end when chucking spoons in that stretch of river. When the inevitable snag came, you clipped it on your line gave enough slack so it drifted downstream of the snag and a few sharp tugs and it usually would come off, saved a lot of lures that way.

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On 8/24/2019 at 10:58 AM, dave524 said:

I always carried a foot or so length of 2"x 2" with a screw eye and snap swivel on one end when chucking spoons in that stretch of river. When the inevitable snag came, you clipped it on your line gave enough slack so it drifted downstream of the snag and a few sharp tugs and it usually would come off, saved a lot of lures that way.

can you explain this technique some more?  Id love to save some lures since this technique is effective.

 

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1 hour ago, huzzsaba said:

can you explain this technique some more?  Id love to save some lures since this technique is effective.

 

Works best when you have heavy current like the upper Niagara. When snagged, clip the snap swivel on your line at the rod tip, work the stick downstream of the snag while you remain upstream , once the stick is at the snag feed some slack so when you tug it is pulling from the opposite direction and usually that will free it, if it don't and you break it off the stick is gone so carry a spare, but with Cleo's going for $5 a pop it's worth a try. No different than getting snagged when trolling from a boat, in most cases if you go back in the direction you came and pull from the opposite direction , it will easily come free.

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As far as saving lures from snags another method is to do everything that dave524 says except instead of the wooden plank use a red and white bobber with a bell sinker on the red end (it will hang on the spring loaded wire). Like Dave says the bobber will carry your line past the snag and a few tugs will pull your lure from the opposite direction. I fish the lower (Whirlpool, Pebbly Beach) backbouncing with pencil lead and this technique has saved me hundreds of $$$. I call it rescue 911 for lures. I was down to the Niagara after bass opener and the water at that time was incredibly high even before 8:10 am ( the time that the water comes up 40 feet or so traditionally). Signs said the path is closed and literally at some points the water was up to and covering the lower path. That's really high. I have not been down since but maybe someone can chime in as to how the water level is currently. Personally I do best when the water level is much lower with the Whirlpool going counter clockwise. When it's high the Whirlpool goes clockwise. This year virtually all of the places I fish have been ruined by high water.

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Please correct me if I'm wrong. The knot used to hook his heavy weight to the line is a Polymer or Polymar knot. 

Edited by Old Ironmaker

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That's a lure knocker. I think the angler Timmy Horton sells them on his website. The knot was NOT a Palomar knot. The lure knocker is a great solution out of a boat or in the situation shown here. I don't think most snag situations you would get into on the Niagara would be solved by this device. If fishing from a boat I would say you would be past the snag too fast and from shore you would most likely be much further out from shore to use this effectively

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underwater video , upper Niagara 2019, lots of fishes 👍

looks like a sturgeon around 1:45

Edited by dave524
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Very cool vid. Surprised there's no Drum or Trout as I've caught both of those species in the upper by the Chinese restaurant/bridge.

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12 hours ago, BillM said:

Lots of trouts in the upper, a few unicorns as well :)  

Denis from Fish'n Niagara with a real nice unicorn

 

51535880_2586503834696606_6386253650573918208_o.jpg

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