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Lower Niagara - Smallmouth Fishing

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Hi All,


Back in the 90s my family used to take me smallmouth fishing in the Lower Niagara during the ESLO if there was too much of a blow to fish the lake for Salmon.


Now I have my own kids and would like to do the same.  Problem is that things change and I could definitely use some pointers since it's been 20-30 years.  We used to fish the Canadian side and drift in 16-20 FOW.  We used small jig heads tipped with plastics.  Best combo was red jig head with Berkley Power Leech.  So now I don't think we can fish the Canadian side and they don't even make the power leech anymore.  If anyone has suggestions on what to rig up with and what drifts may be best I'd really appreciate it.  My girls are young and I'd like to put them on top of some fish rather than just shooting in the dark.


I know there are other places that may be better.  But my memories of the Mighty Lower Niagara are pretty special and I never knew how good I had it as a kid. 


Appreciate any advice.



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Posted (edited)

The Coast Guard drift at Ft. Niagara in Youngstown can be good to epic. Start just South of the launch in 15-25' of water. The drift will carry you right past the Coast Guard station and depending on the condition of the Lake you can ride the drift out to the green buoy. I fish drop shot rigs with 1/4 to 3/8 ounce weights on bottom. Baits can range anywhere from crayfish, tubes (green watermelon 3-4") and bass shiners ( 3-4" shiners you can get at most local bait shops). All can be good on different days depending on what they want but if you are looking for best all around bait go with the shiners. I have had the best luck with those. Back in the day before the Gobie explosion all you would need was nightcrawlers but now it's hard to keep them (Gobies) off your line if you go that route. Hope this helps. Good luck!

Edited by Tricknasty

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