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Hi guys, making my first trip to the river for muskie tomorrow, and am hoping to get some advice! First, where is the best place to launch? I am going solo, and don't know the area very well, so a launch with a dock still in would make things easier. Second, where can I find a good map? Others have mentioned places like Donleys wall, homeland security, black creek canal, etc. Are these places easily noticeable or marked on any maps? Third, does anyone cast, or is trolling the way to go? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance. Bill

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PizzaBoy, The area's of Donley's Wall and Homeland Security Base are up in the Buffalo Harbor,best launch for there is Erie County Small Boat Harbor off of Furhmann Blvd / NY Route 5 between Buffalo and Lackawana,NY.

For the Upper Niagara River the best launch is at the Town of Tonawanda Boat Launch at River Road & Sheridan Drive.

I would not use the downriggers in the Upper River until you learn the area's of depth that stay consistant without jumping up shallow quickly.

The downriggers will work up in the Buffalo Harbor,10" Jake is a good offering from a ball release.

Places to start Trolling are the 30 ft water from Harry's Harbor Place Restaurant over by the Black Rock Lock downstream to the Ontario Street Launch and over on trhe Canadian Shore accross from Strawberry Island below Frenchman's Creek there is a little brown colored Pump House Shed,it is deep close to shore by shed.Going up stream from the shed the bottom will jump up to 12 ft from 27 ft,angle out till the bottom depth drops to 21 ft,then turn up stream and follow the 21 ft drop edge up stream,to shalow turn out,to deep turn in,continue up to the reef just below Frenchman's Creek,angle out and slide your lures accross the backside of the reef.

Casting I would start with the humpty dumps(NW corner of Strawberry Island above the sand bar,up and down pocket holes fro 3 ft to 21 ft).

Over below the Ontario Street Boat Launch downstream on the corner where the bouey's turn on shore is a ship channel lineup marker,directly in front of it is the Ontario Bar,cast this area.Accross from the Tonawanda Boat Launch toward the smaller Island(Motorboat Island) below Strawberry Island there is a Yellow bouey that marks the Town of Tonawanda's winter water intake.From that bouey over to the green bouey there is a distinct drop off edge with current flow over that hold fish.Then accross the river at the warm water out flow from the Huntley Power Station can be good casting as well.Back over on the West River the beach in front of Beaver Island State Park on a sunny day warmed sand will radiate heat down into the sand bottom waters and draw in bait fish and feeding muskies.Just below the beach at the Marina entrance is a reef that runs out at an upstream angle,14 to 16 ft behind and 12 ft up on the reef,runs out half way accross the river(up stream looking at Strawberry Island a large Radio Antena will line up with the tip of the Island)this is the drop ponit at 21 ft..

Going down stream you will drift past a little grass field with a small pine tree,about 50 yards below this there is a slot of 14 ft water that goes toward shore and jumps up to 7 ft above and below,the slot goes out to 25 ft of water at the upper slot just above the Ship Yards(big marina on Canadian Shore) always holds muskies in this slot.

You can get the best Navigation Chart of the Upper Niagara River from West Marine on Niagara Falls Blvd or on Niagara Street over by Harry's Harbor Place Restaurant in Riverside,NY.

Capt. Larry D.Jones

Repeatability Is 90% Of The Hunt!


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Capt. Larry, Thank you for your help. I will give it a try tomorrow, and see how it goes! Getting a fish will be a huge bonus, but just checking out new waters will be fun! Thanks again Larry for the tips, and I hope to come back with a pic of a nice fatty and good story to tell. Bill

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