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View Full Version : I Just LOVE Fall!



doctariAFC
September 21st, 2006, 03:43 PM
With the seasons changing, we as sportsmen and women basically have so much to do, so little time to do it in....

Being from Buffalo, NY, archery season doesn't start until Oct 14 for my part of the State, so we have plenty of time to get into some serious fishing. If anyone subscribes to Outdoor Life, this month's issue contains a Top 10 Fall Fishing Destinations, and, low and behold, BUFFALO, NY is RATED NUMBER 1 in the Nation for fall fishing. The secret is out! What is rather funny about that article is that it doesn't even scratch the surface of our fishing opportunities, primarily focusing on Lake Erie and Ontario. Nothing about the tributaries, which are choked with fish right now, and are getting more running trout and salmon with each passing day.

Lake Ontario is the salmon factory, bar none. Although Lake Erie holds some salmon, they are nothing like what Ontario has to offer. Obviously, these bruisers spawn in the fall, running into the area tributaries, where they are most accessible for your average angler. This year the run started a couple weeks early, and the streams, which usually are loading up by the end of September, well, the streams have loaded up now, and the runs are getting stronger with each cold rain we receive.

Last evening my buddy TK and I decided to hit Olcott Harbor, 18-Mile Creek, Niagara County. Being shore-bound, fishing on a bank not condusive to lure casting, we decided to toss some salmon skein out for the big kings. We didn't get there until @ 7PM and a crowd was certainly there, but to our fortune the place on the bank I wanted to fish had a guy there, but he was just packing up when we walked in. I asked if he had any luck. He said he hooked up with a king when he first arrived (a couple hours earlier) and after that the creek went quiet. He stated he didn't even see a jumper. Since he was presneting bait on a float, when I heard this news, I decided to try the bottom, as the fish are there, but perhaps decided to hug gravel. Using pink salmon skein, presented on a 3-way rig, I cast my line a mere 20 feet off-shore, set the rod up and waited.... for 15 minutes.... then all heck broke loose. 20 minutes later, a dandy king was on the bank. I reset the rig with fresh bait, and 15 minutes later, fish on! This one was much larger than the one I landed, and 20 or so minutes into the fight, the fish took me into heavy weeds. He came out, but my line had at least 5lbs of weeds draped on it. One quick turn upstream and pop, no more fishy. I would have loved to landed that one, but I'll settle for the one pictured below. It weighed 20lbs.

God, I love FALL!

doctariAFC
September 21st, 2006, 03:45 PM
Oh yeah.... Tackle.....

6 1/2 foot med-light action graphite rod (Diawa Heartland)
10lb test Berkley Trilene XL.

Size 2 Gamakatsu Octopus hook

3/8 oz bell sinker

3-way rigged with 2 1/2 foot leader for the bait, and about 12 inch drop for the sinker.

Team Hoyt PA
September 21st, 2006, 05:55 PM
Awesome fish!!! Congrats on a big one!!! Someday i am going to go for Salmon. I just have too!!!

doctariAFC
September 22nd, 2006, 09:54 AM
Awesome fish!!! Congrats on a big one!!! Someday i am going to go for Salmon. I just have too!!!
Hey, if you can take a drive up here in the next couple weeks, I'll get you into one of these monsters! The runs are just starting to really heat up, and the runs are a bit early this year. Just finished curing up about 5lbs of salmon skein. Bagged it up this AM. Gonna try again tonight. I want a rematch with that pig that broke me off Wednesday....

Seth the XSlayr
September 22nd, 2006, 08:57 PM
You're gonna have to take me fishin' sometime Doc...








*bows down to the master of masters*

doctariAFC
September 25th, 2006, 09:02 AM
You're gonna have to take me fishin' sometime Doc...








*bows down to the master of masters*
Anytime you want to.... We got into them monsters again yesterday morning. ALthough I was snoozing on most of my strikes (landed a small Coho of all things) I did tangle with a beast that took me about 200 feet upstream, headed to the weeds and popped me off. A friend of mine who made the trip up from Dunkirk had a morning of a lifetime. He broke three fish off before 8:30, then got the hang of the drag thing, and proceeded to land an 11 lber, 16 lber and monster 25 lber. I'll post the pic of his big guy later on today...

doctariAFC
September 25th, 2006, 10:56 AM
Below is the picture of Dunkirk, NY Sportsman Chris Surma holding his whopper 25 lb Chinook Salmon, caught 9/24/06, morning.

Using pink salmon skein I cured up from that 20 lb female posted on this thread. The fish cannot leave that skein alone! He ended up landing three salmon ysterday morning. Additionally, broke 3 off. What a morning. The runs are really heating up now, expecvt another 2 - 3 weeks of fury in the streams...

Big Red
September 26th, 2006, 03:19 PM
That looks like an awsome time. I think I would switch to 12lb line. What does curing the skein mean? Are the males the ones with the "hook" jaw? Those are some serious fish!! I have never seen a salmon that wasn't on a plate, those wallhangers or tablefare? Congrats on fine catch

doctariAFC
September 26th, 2006, 04:20 PM
That looks like an awsome time. I think I would switch to 12lb line. What does curing the skein mean? Are the males the ones with the "hook" jaw? Those are some serious fish!! I have never seen a salmon that wasn't on a plate, those wallhangers or tablefare? Congrats on fine catch
Thanks for the great questions. Let's tackle them in order:

Curing the skein: Skein is another term for intact salmon (or any fish) roe. The ovaries which are fully developed, but have not yet loosened up to the point of egg dropping. Anytime an angler wishes to use salmon eggs or trout eggs as bait, they must be cured in order to preserve their "shelf" life and improve the durability of the bait. The curing process is pretty simple, and uses a borax-based powder, with colored dye granules added to alter the color of the eggs a bit. The curing process draws out a lot of the moisture, while thickening up the egg membrane walls a bit, while preserving the "milking properties" of the eggs when they come in contact with water. Curing also allows the skein to dry out without dehydrating the eggs to uselessness, which makes the ovaries usable as bait. If you don't cure skein, and you try to use it, the stuff just falls apart on your first cast.

Yes, the males are the ones with the hooked jaws. That hook is also called the kipe, and is a sign of dominance and preferred genetics. The bigger the kipe, the more dominant the male salmon (or trout).

These fish became tablefare. Chinook, or King Salmon, get pretty darned big in Lake Ontario. That one my friend Surmy caught weighed 25 lb. Of course, Lake Ontario has a health advisory posted on Chinook Salmon (like, EAT NONE), on account of measurable mercury contamination. But, the levels are no more dangerous than a can of tuna fish bought on the store shelves, and, when one understands how the sampling and testing is conducted, the actual contaminant levels in the flesh are considerably lower than what is measured (because they grind up the whole fish, meat, skin, bones, guts, blood, fins, head, tail, gills and all, and then analyze for contaminants), the very small risk posed in consuming the fish diminishes to virtually nil, especially if you don't eat Lake Ontario salmon every day of your life.

You could certainly hang it on the wall, very respectable fish and a trophy, no doubt. However, when you discover the typical weight of a King that wins the trout and salmon derbies on Lake Ontario typically push the 40 lb mark (fall LOC Derby winner this fall was over 38 lb), that 25 lber seems to lose a little luster, but it is a wall hanger in just about anyone's book. But they're not uncommon in the streams this time of year. In fact, right now, this year, they're EVERYWHERE!!!! In another week or so, some of the smaller streams will be so choked with salmon you can darned near cross the creek by stepping on their backs.

What is fun is trying to get one of these puppies to shore, especially on light tackle or on a fly rod. You had better have plenty of line on that reel. They'll peel off 200 feet before you know it. Then, they'll peel off 200 more! Tons of fun.... MAYHEM is not a strong enough word for when you get the hooks into one.

And they're even more challenging in the lower Niagara River, with the strong 20-30 MPH current. Of course, we use heavier tackle, but not much heavier. Gotta follow them in a hurry if they decide to scorch upstream from you.

The most amazing thing about the fall salmon run is how these monsters strike. Its almost like fishing for crappie or bluegill. If you're using a float, the float will simply pop a couple times, then quickly sink under, but not real deep. If you're not on the hook set right away, they're gonzo, along with your bait. WHen you do get the hook into one, hang on, and pack a lunch, 'cause you're in for a 20-30 minute rumble, especially if its a big one. What fun!

HEading to the stream tomorrow evening for Salmon Hour, and hoping to hit the stream all day Saturday, from dawn till dusk. I want one over 30 lbs!

Big Red
September 27th, 2006, 10:15 AM
Thanks for the info Doc!!! That sounds like a blast. One more question, Are you shoulder to shoulder with everyone with a fishing rod? I bet when the big "run" happens lines get tangled and tempers flair? I've fished the Outer Banks in NC shoulder to shoulder before, seen some fist fights over tangled lines. :eek: Good luck!!!!!!

doctariAFC
September 27th, 2006, 11:19 AM
Thanks for the info Doc!!! That sounds like a blast. One more question, Are you shoulder to shoulder with everyone with a fishing rod? I bet when the big "run" happens lines get tangled and tempers flair? I've fished the Outer Banks in NC shoulder to shoulder before, seen some fist fights over tangled lines. :eek: Good luck!!!!!!
Yeah, it can be combat fishing conditions, but thus far the place that I have been going to has seen pretty light fishing pressure. The creek is a bit higher than normal from some recent heavy rains, which could be keeping anglers away, as there isn't much room on the shore to stand and cast anything but bait rigs. The place where it gets sick with anglers is the Burt Dam area. That place is packed, and with good reason, that's where all the running fish wind up. I haven't even attempted to fish there, as I know what that is all about.

And, yes, more than a few fist fights have broken out over tangled lines over the years. But it isn't as bad today as it was 10 -12 years ago. Back then, anglers could legally snag salmon. You had tons of guys out there chucking the old Michigan Cricket (basically a treble grappling hook with lead molded around it) and ripping through the visible numbers of fish. That was tons of fun. Snagging salmon wasn't considered unsporting because them salmon die after they spawn anyhow. The trouble is that rainbows and browns mix in, following salmon to feed on the eggs, and numbers of those fish were getting hooked as well, so, the DEC outlawed snagging entirely. Not as many meatheads out there, but the dam attracts huge numbers of anglers when the runs are on. Of course, the access at that spot is incredible. Big parking lot (you gotta pay $6 to park!) stairs running down to the creek, and a well-maintained footpath leading right up to the foot of the dam. I may head there Sunday with the fly rod, if I feel adventurous.

It is a riot. Nothing like hooking into a 20+ lb fish that will tear your tackle up in seconds flat. Definitely something every angler should experience at least once. Salmon fever sets in pretty hard after you've tangled with one. I'll admit, I am afflicted with a heavy salmon fever right now. GIves me something to do until archery opens here on Oct 14.

1fatarrow
September 27th, 2006, 07:25 PM
great information ......leaving tommorrow night for Buffalo.....I got the feaver also ....Mark

doctariAFC
September 28th, 2006, 08:16 AM
great information ......leaving tommorrow night for Buffalo.....I got the feaver also ....Mark
Right on. We're getting some rains as a cold front moved in last night. Should get the fish moving hard again!

doctariAFC
October 2nd, 2006, 10:51 AM
The salmon run is hitting fulol force on Lake Ontario streams. Over the weekend, at Olcott, I managed to hammer the salmon Saturday and Sunday. Didn't get any pics on Saturday, but got a few on Sunday. LOst more fish than I landed. Saturday, landed 3 salmon, including a 22 lb female. Eggs started pouring out of her. I managed to save about 3 lb of eggs for sacs. Also landed a 7 lb Coho, a 4 lb Coho and a small rainbow trout. Lost 4 big mack daddies, one break off and three that threw the hook after taking me on a 200 foot scorching run. Sunday I landed 3, including a 20+ lb male King, a 5 lb Coho and a 15 lb King (which I released). Lost 3 big fish as well. My buddy Jack joined me on Sunday, and hooked into a 23lb male. WHat a tussle he had on that one!

The runs are hot. If you get the chance, try to make a trip up to one of the Lake Ontario Tribs before the middle/ end of October. The runs don't last forever.

Brown Hornet
October 4th, 2006, 12:50 PM
Man Doc those are great pics.....and stories. I am jealous. You are making it real hard for me to not go fishing tonight. It was hard enough waiting until tomorrow with out this news (going to Va Beach, striper just came in today). Good luck for the rest of the run.

Nick1959
October 4th, 2006, 12:57 PM
Here's another reason I love fall fishing in MN................

Brown Hornet
October 4th, 2006, 01:15 PM
Holly cow. All your trees have already changed. :eek: Ours are all still very green.

doctariAFC
October 4th, 2006, 04:03 PM
No doubt! We are getting some color change now here in WNY, but if the weather keeps on the way it has been, we will not see colorful leaves for very long.. Winds are knocking the leaves off the trees as fast as they can change color.

All hit on salmon skein presented under a slip float to a depth of about 8 feet, both days. My buddy John Jack got a 23lb male on Sunday. I landed a 21 lb male, a 16 lb male and a 6 lb male, all kings.

doctariAFC
October 4th, 2006, 04:19 PM
Here is the lunker I landed Sunday. Weighed in at just under 21 lbs.

Salmon FEVER!!!

doctariAFC
October 4th, 2006, 04:20 PM
And here is John's 23 lber. Nice gnarly King. Shoulda seen the kipe on this mutha. Fang city!

doctariAFC
October 10th, 2006, 04:13 PM
Salmon are still slammin in the Lake Ontario Tribs. And now the bonus steelhead and browns are showing up in force, too!

Man, this is gonna be a busy weekend. Archery opener on Saturday, but to be honest, I don't like to hunt amateur hour. So, I will be fishing Saturday AM, partying Sat evening at a friend's CHowder Party, then Sunday AM its off to Springville for some red meat shopping....

FISH ON

HUNT ON

GOD I LOVE FALL!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ack
October 11th, 2006, 01:19 AM
Nice fish! You ought to come on up to Michigan sometime...the runs this fall on the west side have been awesome! Here are a few from my last trip...try catching a few of these brutes on a fly rod...it's the only way to go!

doctariAFC
October 11th, 2006, 02:44 PM
WOW! That is a vampire king! Yes, that is on my to do list, perhaps next year. Have to get a more capable fly rod than a 6/7 weight. Was offered a 9 wght, 3 piece for dirt cheap, but the guy who claims to have it has yet to bring it to the clubhouse so I can get a feel for it.

I did tie into a chinook on that 6/7 weight a couple years ago. If they didn't die after they spawned out, I would bet he still is sporting the tether!

GREAT JOB!

doctariAFC
October 20th, 2006, 03:22 PM
Salmon runs are tapering off, but the trout are just starting to heat up. Hope to spend at least a 1/2 day fishing a stream somewhere this weekend. Provided mother nature doesn't give us in WNY another October Surprise, that is.....

Big Red
October 23rd, 2006, 11:44 AM
I've been bowhunting the elusive Kentucky whitetail the past few weekends with no shots at Mr. Big. I've seen him, but no shot! Been working out of town, so hunt only on weekends. I look forward to Doctari's mug and the success stories :tongue: . Keep up the good fun. I'd like to see a big trout sometime.

doctariAFC
October 24th, 2006, 10:38 AM
I've been bowhunting the elusive Kentucky whitetail the past few weekends with no shots at Mr. Big. I've seen him, but no shot! Been working out of town, so hunt only on weekends. I look forward to Doctari's mug and the success stories :tongue: . Keep up the good fun. I'd like to see a big trout sometime.
Thanks bro.... The streams are literally loaded right now with big steelhead on the Lake Erie trib side, and Lake Ontario tribs are holding good numbers of rainbows and even more big brown trout as well.

Trouble is..... it hasn't stopped raining since September! If the streams get a few days to clear up a bit and become fishable again, the trout will be cooperative. I think I'm starting to grow gills!

Did get my 10 1/2 lb walleye back from the taxidermist yesterday. Looks pretty darned good, although he gave the fish slightly larger than real-life "shoulders", but it looks nice, and is a fine addition to the other fish I current have on the wall.

Praying for the rain to let up for a week...... Looks like a solid hunting weekend coming up, however. Need some red meat in the freezer :D

doctariAFC
October 30th, 2006, 08:48 AM
Well, the wonderful WNY weather put the kabash on the hunting weekend, yet again, as we got very high winds and blizzard-like conditions down in the WNY S. Tier. FUBAR. No hunting, be it archery deer or doing the hooked on quack thing.

So.... It was fish on for a few hours on Sunday, up north to Lake Ontario tribs (Lake Erie tribs got muddied up again with Saturday's rain). My buddy TK and I headed to the Burt Dam area of 18-Mile Creek, braved the combat fishing conditions, in the search for either brown or rainbow trout.

It only took about an hour to get into a fish. A dandy 7 1/4 lb brown trout. The fish were just killing me. The bite was very light and you had to be right on the hook set when the float went under to get a hook in one of these.

TK also hooked into a fine rainbow trout, but lost it about 2 minutes into the battle. Very colorful bow, and I could see the pink stripe very pronounced when the fish jumped, twice. But, as he does, he horseshacked it and ripped the hook out of its snoot.

Photo of the brown trout to follow a bit later on in the day.... Not too much longer...

doctariAFC
October 30th, 2006, 09:02 AM
Here is that brown trout caught yesterday. Just a spectacularly beautiful fish, indeed. Surprisingly, not a single lamprey scar on this fish, either.

Fell for pink egg sac presented about 5 feet below a float. They're my own egg sacs. I cure 'em and tie 'em myself. Cannot get them in the bait shops :D I am the egg man....

Big Red
October 31st, 2006, 10:24 AM
You got it goin on!! :tongue:

1fatarrow
December 3rd, 2006, 08:46 PM
well here it is ......my first Laker
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e40/ploarbear/PB090217.jpg

doctariAFC
December 4th, 2006, 11:03 AM
well here it is ......my first Laker
http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e40/ploarbear/PB090217.jpg
Nice job! Looks like you're near Devil's Hole.... The laker fishing will only get better, as the season "re-opener" approaches (Jan 1).

We're getting some serious cold weather now, and I am hoping the cold gets colder, the lake snows hold off until the lakes get a nice base of ice, and I can once again chase walleye through the hard water on Chautauqua Lake...

Of course, the trout are going nuts in all the tributaries. And the streams are very fishable, with this past weekend's storm surge from high westerly winds notwithstanding. In other words, areas around the mouths of the creeks are probably pretty messed up, but the further upstream to that first impassable barrier you go, the better the creek conditions get.

Also, for those NY anglers or those fishing NY waters, the DEC has effected new regulations to help prevent the spread of VHS to other waterways. This means live bait, like emerald shiners and gizzard shad are not going to be available this ice season. You gotta catch your baitfish yourself, and from the waters you intend to fish.

Also, if you intend to use egg sacs or skein, be certain you cure the eggs before using them. Uncured, or raw eggs, are considered highly contageous sources of VHS, so buy some Shake N Cure and cure them eggs before use. Makes the bait last longer, too! :D

1fatarrow
December 4th, 2006, 06:25 PM
thanks for the great report ;) .....please keep us posted ......and I wouldn't mind gettin on the ice for some walleyes with you ..........after all ICE FISHIN IS MY PASSION .....Mark ;) ;) :star: :star: :star: :smile: :smile: :smile:

doctariAFC
December 7th, 2006, 04:00 PM
thanks for the great report ;) .....please keep us posted ......and I wouldn't mind gettin on the ice for some walleyes with you ..........after all ICE FISHIN IS MY PASSION .....Mark ;) ;) :star: :star: :star: :smile: :smile: :smile:
Well if you ever get to Chautauqua Lake, you're in. I like hammering the walleye there, and I do pretty well, for the most part.