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What you need to know for 08/23/2017

Outdoors: Rybaak happy to divulge his secrets

Outdoors: Rybaak happy to divulge his secrets

Every year, thousands of anglers from this area travel to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario to experience t

Every year, thousands of anglers from this area travel to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario to experience the thrills of fishing these Great Lakes, their tributaries and the Thousand Islands.

It’s truly world-class fishing at its very best, and now you can learn more about it in the recently released “Fishing the Great Lakes of New York,” by New York state outdoor writer Spider Rybaak.

Spider’s a fishing fanatic, and in this 201-page book, he reveals many of the secrets of these lakes and over 60 rivers and streams. This is definitely a book that belongs in your outdoors library.

What immediately impressed me as I read it was the depth of the detail, all outlined in the 12-page introduction. Each of the waters he talks about includes the area’s wildlife, seasonal weather patterns, water safety, invasive species problems, the sturgeon alerts and catch-and-release policies, fish consumption advisory, public fishing rights areas, available camping areas and, most importantly, the various species, and when, how, where and what’s needed (best bait/lures) to catch them. In addition to the impressive fishing photos, there are some very useful maps of the area landmarks, roads, and other details needed for easy access.

In the beginning chapter on Lake Erie, Spider reveals his favorite smallmouth bass rig, a three-inch Gulp leech fished on a drop-shot rig which he says can help create some 50-smallmouth-bass-catching days. And that’s not all. Three-pounders are quite common, and usually a four-pounder or two will also bend your rod.

And when I read about the 3- 8-pound walleyes they pull from the depths of this Great Lake, I started making plans for an early visit with my “good friend” Spider.

Of these two Great Lakes, most of this area’s anglers visit Lake Ontario, and this book devotes over 100 pages to its great fishing waters. The author touches on its many species of game fish that include chinook, coho and Atlantic salmon; lake, brown and rainbow trout; smallmouth bass; walleye; sheephead; channel catfish; and panfish. There are several paragraphs listing some of this lake’s record catches. Just think about hooking up with a 33-pound, seven-ounce coho.

Spider says we should now be flatlining a Smithwick Rogue off planer boards around tributary mouths in three to seven feet of water for browns that average seven pounds.

Another spring target is the Pacific salmon that also favor shallow water. To get its attention, he recommends trolling cutbait, spoons and flies behind flashers and dodgers. If you’ve never caught a Pacific, following the techniques in this book should definitely put one in your boat.

I’ve never heard of the Henderson Trench and The Wall located in the main shipping channel, but this book will get me there. It holds lunker chinook and lake trout. Preferred lure choices are Northern King 28s and Michigan Stingers. Run them down 90 to 125 feet, close to the wall, and see what happens.

One of my favorite Ontario destinations is the Oswego River/Harbor. Depending on the season, a variety of fish, including chinook, browns, steelhead, lakers, walleye, bass and even panfish, can be caught. The technique to use here for steelhead and browns is float-fishing with a three-inch Berkley trout worm tossed into the rapids and fished close to the bottom. In the fall, concentrate on the river’s last stretch of fast water below Varick Dam.

In conclusion, I’m sure you can see that this book’s content is quite descriptive about the when, where and how to fish these areas and is designed to help readers to be more successful when “Fishing the Great Lakes of New York.” To purchase the book, go to, click on “book categories” and then on “outdoors.” Purchase price is $16.95.

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