by Mark Daul
On Saturday, July 23, the Niagara River Anglers Association held its annual Lower Niagara Bass Contest with Brendan Walsh, Niagara Falls, taking top honors with his two-fish total weight of 9.32 pounds. His largest weighed in at 4.74 pounds, and that was good enough to get the big fish of the day Lunker Award, topping all others.
Capt. Frank Campbell, Niagara Falls, of Niagara Region Fishing Charters took second place honors with his total of two fish hitting the scales at 8.49 pounds.
Rich Domin, also of Niagara Falls, tipped the scales with 7.30 pounds total weight to take home third-place honors.
Walsh had a very good payday, not only gaining first place in the contest but also cashing in on the prize awarded for the biggest fish caught by a NRAA member.
All winning fish were caught at the Niagara bar using mostly tube jigs (root beer color or green) and leeches and some big pike chubs, all available at your local bait dealer.
Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Drab6 Charters of Lewiston headed the committee of volunteers on this 2011 edition of the NRAA bass contest.
Trawler's tips: If you are fishing the lower river for bass, drift along the U.S. Coast Guard station out into the lake and fish around the red can buoy, but not much beyond that. All that area is known as "The Bar." Bass will be hanging out there, and if fishing from shore you will do well fishing the public docks in Youngstown using a night crawler or crayfish drifted along the bottom. Cast up river and let your bait settle and drift it downstream.
Same at the Lewiston Landing. If you don't get snagged up on the bottom at times you are not on the bottom and that is where the lunkers lay. Don't be surprised if you nail a walleye as they are on the move in the river now. Walleye come abundant in early August through September.For local up to date fishing information visit www.OutdoorsNiagara.com.