The Wet Net team, led by Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown, came from behind under some difficult conditions to win the Pro Division of the 34th Annual Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament out of Niagara County June 1-2. After a near perfect day that left the Wet Net team in fourth place with a score of 213.32 points (based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound), Lake Ontario kicked up a bit and forced teams to deal with more difficult conditions. Yablonsky and his team of Mike Barry, Jim Dolly, Jr. and Matt’s wife Christin came in with the best score of the day, bringing a 12-fish tournament limit to the scales for the second day in a row and score 231.21 points. Their two-day total was 444.53 points, good enough for the $11,000 check. They narrowly beat out Yankee Troller and Capt. Richard Hajecki of Rochester with a score of 441.57 points. Second place won $6,000. For Yablonsky, he was fishing off Wilson in 120 to 180 feet of water, focusing on water temperatures 50 to 70 feet down. They ran three riggers and four divers to take a limit of fish both days. It was almost all spoons for the Wet Net squad, using UV and Glow magnum Silver Streak spoons in green and chartreuse colors.
James Spinelli and the Hound Dog team from Wellsville swept the Amateur Open class when they won both the Friday and Saturday contests. Also on the team were Jeremy Beckwith and Brian Insley, both of Wellsville. They fished the Niagara Bar both days in 200 to 250 feet of water. Best lures were Moonshine and Michigan Stinger spoons with anything orange in color. The 22-pound king came on an A-Tom-Mik stud fly and a two face double crush white flasher. They, too, were fishing 50 to 70 feet down with riggers, divers and 300-foot copper wire rigs. After winning the first day with a score of 79.87 points ($900) for their best three fish and a big fish of the day at 22 pounds ($250), they duplicated the 3-fish win with a score 57.97 points ($900). They also had the best two day total among the amateurs, giving them the Amateur Cup, a check for $500 and a Raymarine Dragonfly 7 unit. Big Fish for the second day went to American Dream led by Rick O’Hara of Ransomville with a 12.90 pound king.
Lower Niagara River action for trout was good the past week, but those fish are on the way out due to warming water temps. Smallmouth bass action has been good on tubes and swim baits. Shore action for bass and the occasional trout was good along Artpark. Upper Niagara River action for bass has been decent but you must use artificial baits if you are targeting bass. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls is still doing well on northern pike in the upper river tossing jigs and plugs at those fish. It’s National Fishing and Boating through June 10th, a nationwide celebration of these popular outdoor pastimes. At the top of the list for June 9th will be a Kids fishing derby at West Canal Marina Park, Pendleton from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
For the weekend of June 16, remember that’s the opening of the regular bass season in New York. There are quite a few events that coincide with this special day. There will be a Wilson Conservation Club kids fishing derby on June 16 in any public Niagara County waters based on length of the fish being caught. No trout or salmon are eligible. The fishing will be from 8 a.m. to noon. There’s also a new Huck Finn Division that you might want to find out about by calling 930-7500. That same day will be a kids fishing derby on the upper Niagara River out of Niawanda Park sponsored by the City of Tonawanda from 9 a.m. to noon. Registration starts at 8 a.m. That same day there will be the 1st Annual Brauer’s Fishing Club Smallmouth Bass Contest from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eligible waters include the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. For more information contact Dave or Kathy Muir at 695-5552. June 16 is also the opening of the Great Lakes muskellunge season.