Bill Hilts Jr.: Outdoor media event promotes WNY fishing again and again | Outside


James Hall, editor of Bassmaster magazine, jerkbaited the upper Niagara River last weekend as part of an outdoor media event hosted by Destination Niagara USA. In less than ideal conditions, Hall began turning smallmouth after smallmouth bass.

“For three days I fished Lake Erie, the upper Niagara and the lower Niagara River,” Hall said. “No matter how many times I visit these fisheries, I remain fascinated by the beauty and abundant marine life. morning fishing with Captain Frank Campbell, I landed over 40 smallmouth bass with the largest approaching six pounds. It was the best day of smallmouth fishing I’ve had since I last fished the Niagara River over six years ago. There is magic in this water, and anglers of any skill level can wield a rod.”

Western New York is blessed with some of the best freshwater fishing in the world. The combination of quality, quantity and versatility of species is what makes this region so unique.

“I’m biased because I live in western New York,” confessed Todd Ceisner, associate editor of In-Fisherman magazine, of Depew, who was among the media contingent who attended the event – a favorite outdoor media approaching 25 years. “Let me know all about the fantastic fishing opportunities that exist in the Niagara region, from the upper and lower Niagara River to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

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“What’s so cool about this event is seeing industry friends and new acquaintances taste it and seeing their reaction up close or hearing their fish stories over dinner. never gets old. I challenge anyone to find an area that offers the best-freshwater fishing like we have here.”

A returning media professional was Louie Stout from Indiana. The award-winning writer was recently inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame as a media professional in 2017.

“This was my third trip to Niagara, and it proved once again that it’s one of the best fisheries in the country, even when it’s closed,” Stout said. “It’s an ideal place to test products while enjoying the beautiful region.

“I was there to gather additional photos and research a Bassmaster story on adding small spinner rigs to soft plastics with a focus on Ned style baits. I fished with Patrick Duncan of Rapid Fishing Solutions, a company that makes these kinds of rigs.

“Just like I did last year fishing with it, the spinner rig produced a little five pound mouth and proved to me that this little thing works. We fished with and without them, and it is the spinner rig that has given us the most bites, which I have validated and can share with Bassmaster readers who find themselves dealing with a tough bite.

Stout also got a taste of fishing on Lake Erie with Capt. Terry Jones of First Class Bass and the lower reaches of the river with Capt. Frank Campbell.

“Some top class guides who know how to find and catch fish,” Stout said.

South Carolina’s Mark Davis hosts one of the best TV shows on The Outdoor Channel, “Big Water Adventure.” Here is what he had to say:

“For more than two decades, many outdoor media and outdoor makers in the fishing industry have spent the first week of May in Lewiston. I travel all over the world fishing saltwater, and the Niagara media event is always the first set of dates blocked on my calendar each year The hospitality of the region and the fishing, both in the diversity and species that Lake Erie, the Niagara River and Lake Ontario provide , fall into a truly world-class category. I literally just left and I’m already looking forward to next year.”

As Davis noted, more than outside media are involved. Industry professionals who are also corporate sponsors allow them to get their product into the hands of writers and other media mavens. Mark McQuown, regional sales manager for Garmin, was on hand for the week.

“I get to attend several media events a year,” McQuown said. “Niagara is by far the best I have attended each year. The fishing is so diverse, giving anglers the opportunity to catch multiple species. The event is always well organized and well attended by so many good writers and media people. I always look forward to this event every spring.

Part of the reason McQuown was here was because of some new products available through Garmin.

“The best of the best just got better with the LiveScope Plus system, the latest addition to Garmin’s revolutionary live scanning sonar lineup with brilliantly clear live scanning sonar returns and improved target separation of 35 % compared to the existing system,” he said. “Now with sharper resolution, reduced noise and Garmin’s clearest images, it’s easier than ever to see structure, bait and fish around the boat in real time, even when stationary.

With three modes – Front, Bottom and Perspective – the LiveScope Plus system includes the popular perspective mode support. Simply adjust the transducer to suit where you are fishing. Forward mode shows what’s in front of the boat and slightly below, Down mode gives you a view of what’s directly below, and Perspective mode is great for a top down view. The view changes automatically on the screen of your compatible Garmin chartplotter.

LiveScope Plus is also equipped with additional sensors that allow it to continuously adjust the sonar beams to compensate for boat motion, so even in difficult conditions anglers will see a stable sonar image.

Other manufacturers present included Power Pole, Rapid Fishing Solutions, Flambeau Outdoors, Strike King, Lew’s, Blue Wave, Seaguar, Mammoth Coolers, the Niagara Falls Convention Center and Destination Niagara USA.

“Niagara’s media event has been going on for over 20 years,” says Campbell, Fishing Week organizer. “It’s such a win-win situation for everyone involved, from the guides to the manufacturers to the media present at Destination Niagara. I think of it as a circle, and if everyone does their part, the circle continues and the benefits reaped are continuous.

“By partnering with multiple manufacturers, it helps cover costs,” Campbell added. “Through manufacturer relationships, we can secure products that are used for giveaways and prizes at different events throughout the year, such as Fish Odyssey. Several manufacturers also had a booth at the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo each winter.

Campbell insists outdoor media is very important in helping to get the message across to the fishing community that the Niagara region is one of the country’s top freshwater destinations.

“When it’s all said and done, we’ll be getting millions of views from outside media,” Campbell said. “It lends a lot of credence to our claim to be the best freshwater fishing in the world. Last week’s weather slowed things down a bit for us, but again, our “off” fishing is what other regions dream of.


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