Outdoor Web Words by Bill Hilts Jr.

New opportunities in final weeks of N.Y. muskie season

This is prime time for muskie fishing right now and this year there will be an extra couple of weeks that anglers can take advantage of thanks to an extension of the season for the upper Niagara River and Lake Erie.

Perch party on Lake Erie

We launched out of Buffalo and headed west to a predetermined location that was much shallower than reports I had been getting all week for yellow perch. I was fishing with Capt. Brent Snyder with Day Five Sport Fishing (585-944-5826)…

Exploring the Genny

Exploring new areas around New York State for different species of fish is always exciting. Sharing that with a son-in-law and a grandson offers great satisfaction. Reacquainting with a friend is a bonus. Put it all together and it becomes…

Protecting your bass from barotrauma

One thing to consider in Lake Erie is that barotrauma in this Great Lake is probably greater than other bodies of water because of the limited shallow water structure in late summer and early fall, as well as the increased depths involved catching bass.

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…

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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