Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Niagara Pro-Am Report

This past weekend I was invited to join Am team Just Wingin' It to fish the Am Division of the Niagara Pro-Am Tournament Event Sat and Sun. Here is the short report:

Sat: Blow-off day and tourney canceled. 

Sun: Fished the bar from the red can to the fence and finished 5 for 8 (4 kings and a laker). Fish came on Atommik meat rigs (010, 012, 001) and one shot on the UV Wonderbread Spin Doc/shredded glow hammer fly. All fish came on wires out 220 to 400. Our top 3 kings pushed the scales to 45.02 lbs landing us in 3rd place.

 

Long Version (the whole story):

After hearing great reports all week we were pumped for the weekend to get into some kings! Sat morning we headed for the Niagara River at 2am putting at the launch at 4am. We headed out and were greeted by an angry lake with easterly winds 15-25+ and building seas. We made it a little past halfway to the red can before we started hitting 4-6 ft waves and questioning whether the event would even still be on, we called tourney headquarters to find out the event had been postponed until 8am. So we came back to the launch and later the event was canceled due to a Small Craft advisory being issued for the day for 4-8 ft waves. The fellas took advantage of the down day and caught up on sleep while I went to work visiting Slippery Sinker, Bald Eagle Marina, and Evans Ace Hardware for the NYS Summer Classic Tournament. Bummed that we couldn't fish, our hopes built for Sunday as we discussed and formed our game plan for Day 3 of the event!

 

On Sunday we hit the water early at 4am with the initial idea to check temperatures as we headed out and fish the inside waters if the temps dropped as motored out. Near the green can we had temps around 54 and as we headed out towards the red can temps continually fell and we decided to head a little west and work the inside warmer waters for the first hour. We set out 2 riggers with spoons and 2 short divers with a flasher/fly and meat rig. While the wind had shifted to the SE, there were still 4 ft swells out of the east making it difficult to maneuver and maintain speed in the shallow waters, so after 45 mins with no luck we decided to pull lines and head out to the red can and bar area. On the way out all of a sudden all of the electronics (FF and Fish Hawk) went blank as if they lost power. We continued out and used Navionics on our cell phones to navigate and find the edge of the bar. After setting our spread (4 wires - 3 flasher/flies, 1 meat rig, and 2 riggers with spoons) we began trying to diagnose the electronics issue figuring one of the connections had come undone, but that wasn't the case. As we approached the Canadian border we turned to work back east but with the wind and waves still sporty we couldn't get up to speed (judging by the bend in the wire rods), so we pulled lines and began motoring east with the plan to set back up 5 miles east of the red can. However soon after passing the red can the motor bogged down and eventually died. Another problem to diagnose! So we started the kicker and set back up heading west while we took a look at the main engine to see what the issue was - a lack of gas due to some debris in the gas line was thought to be the problem and mitigated. We also snapped a rigger cable during the run. As we passed the red can the 275 wire pulling an Atommik meat rig got hit. AJ was on the rod and had it 100 ft behind the boat when the outside wire took off - doubled! Handed the rod to first-timer Cody while I netted AJ's fish - a healthy 17.5 lb king! Soon thereafter Cody's fish came unbuttoned. By this time we started to approach the border again and  with the lake starting to settle back down we were able to work back east. We continued working the waters between the red can and the fence picking up a fish each swing. Saw several other boats hook up around us as well. It got to be 12:15 and we had 5 in the box including 2 mid-teens kings and small laker as our biggest 3, and decided to pull lines and head in. As I was pulling in the last wire rod it started ripping line at 200 ft!! Ended up with another mid-teens king to upsize our box! As we headed in the main motor bogged down again - Ughh... AJ pulled the gas line and found a valve clogged again. Once cleaned out, she ran great getting back with plenty of time to get weighed in. Our biggest ended up being just shy of 18 lbs and the full box pushed the scales to 45.02 lbs. putting us in 2nd place! We were stoked!! After all the teams weighed in we had gotten bumped to 3rd - quite the accomplishment for all problems, using no electronics, and navigating the bar with Navionics on our cell phones! What a great experience (although nerve racking at times) with a couple great upcoming anglers!! I look forward to my next with them whether it be on Finders Keepers or AJ's boat again!! We still don't know what happened to the electronics (Garmin FF and Fish Hawk)...

AJ Accepting 3rd Place Award.JPG

Leader Board Day 3.jpg

Team Shot.JPG

Edited by Finders Keepers
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice. Way the find the big ones! We caught a ton of 8-14 lb kings, which are fun but not enough to win a 3 fish tourney


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job Finders Keepers, we also fished that water for a while. We ended both Friday and Saturday with two decent fish and a smaller one. We just needed that third good fish to give us a good box. We had a hard time keeping them buttoned up on Sunday, lost two really good kings. Fun tourney even though the weather did not cooperate. By the way I was the guy you threw your ropes to on Sat morning at the Fort during the blow off. 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys! I love getting youth anglers involved and helping them become successful out on the lake - there's no better feeling! Building their ambition and seeing their excitement is so much fun!! Brian, thanks for the help on Sat - it's great having anglers like yourself willing to lend an extra hand making things like docking without a dock easier! What did your FF screen look like out there on Sunday? Were there good numbers of fish and bait? Without any electronics I have no idea what we had below...

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Totally Hooked said:

Yes we marked a lot of both all through the water column.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

Ok, good to know - thanks! Seems like with the number of fish/bait being seen and caught, we're in for a fantastic season!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...