Outdoor Web Words by Bill Hilts Jr.

One lure can make a big difference

Night fishing for walleyes was just past peak the end of May in Lake Erie, but they could still be caught from Buffalo to Barcelona on stickbaits in the shallows. Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga invited me along for a trip…

Laughs and gaffs at Niagara’s outdoor media event

The 2022 version of the Greater Niagara Outdoor Media event offered plenty of smiles as outdoor media professionals, writers and corporate sponsors gathered to catch fish and break bread May 1-7 in the Niagara River, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario.…

Renewing friendships on the water

Forty-eight years ago, Tim Holden of Pendleton was concentrating on a 90 miles per hour fastball against one of the league’s top pitchers for the Akron High School baseball squad. His Starpoint Spartans team was in an unusual position –…

Etiquette on the water

We left the launch ramp at Sturgeon Point on Lake Erie as the orange glow began to ignite the eastern horizon. More boats were beginning to arrive at the launch, but we paid them no mind. I was fishing with…

Rabbit tails and tales

We need more experienced hunters to serve as mentors and engage the next generation of sportsmen for all levels of hunting to help ensure a brighter future, but especially with small game like hares and cottontails.

Catching Dreams on the water for Harry

We all arrived at the Safe Harbor Marina launch ramp to meet up with Capt. Ned Librock with Catching Dreams Charters at 9 a.m. Not too early, but not too late. I came along to take some photos and help…

Niagara’s winter festival shows birds some love

On Feb. 10-12, the Birds on the Niagara Festival will be celebrating its fourth anniversary, helping to create an awareness for the bird explosion that occurs every year when winter blows in.

It was a good year for Lake Erie anglers

Last year, the spring started with some outstanding yellow perch fishing in April. A relatively mild winter allowed for less ice cover and the result was earlier survey work on the lake for the first time ever. 

Winter bass fishing can be good

Some of these same tactics and techniques work in the spring, too, so keep this in mind when April and May roll around.

Winter angling tips for the tributaries

A 'green' Christmas was in the forecast so it might be a good time to sample any fishing gear that you may have received under the tree from jolly ol’ St. Nick.

Honoring our veterans with cast and blast

Honoring the men and women who serve as active-duty service members, as well as those who have served in the past, seems to be happening more and more around the state and the country. If you haven’t heard about any…

What you know and who you know

There’s a saying out there that infers “it’s not what you know but who you know” that translates into success in certain situations. During a recent trip to Southwest Florida, it was a little bit of both – what we…

Fishing a Lake Erie walleye tournament

Strategy is key for fishing a tournament. While catching a big fish is certainly a plus for your daily total, consistency for bigger fish is what really makes a difference at the end of the day.

Early season goose hunting tips

The early September season for Canada goose hunting is already here and with the changes in the regular Canada goose season for most of the state, more and more people are taking advantage of the early hunt. The season, which…

VIP fishing days important for promotion, education

August is the perfect month for promoting our Great Lakes resources. The weather is nice, and the fish are hungry. It is also a great time to share these outdoor resources with Very Important People who may not normally experience…

Learning something new for Lake Erie walleyes

Long time charter captain Jim Hanley of Angola is a local legend of sorts. He’s been a licensed U.S. Coast Guard skipper for 43 years on the local waters of Western New York. He recognized early on that he was…

Keeping it simple for Lake Erie walleyes

Lake Erie continues to be one of the best places to be for walleye in the entire world. With an estimated population of nearly 100 million fish, there are plenty to catch. For Capt. Ryan O’Neill of Orchard Park, his…

A day on the water with Capt. John Oravec

Like the saying goes, what goes around comes around. As I stepped into the Lund boat of Capt. John Oravec of Lyndonville (aptly named the Johnny O) during a recent fishing trip, he immediately informed me that he had taken…

About This Blog

Bill Hilts, Jr. of Lockport (Niagara County) has been a freelance writer since 1980 after graduating from SUNY-Oswego (’78). His first job was with Gun Week Newspaper out of Buffalo. He now writes every week for seven newspapers, contributes to magazines and has been writing for New York Outdoor News since its inception in 2004. He is past president of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers, a former board member of Outdoor Writers Association of America, and active with New York State Outdoor Writers Association. A life member of NRA, he’s also involved with numerous sportsmen’s and conservation groups. He’s an avid deer and waterfowl hunter, and Great Lakes angler.

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