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smerchly

Old Places Old Memories

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There are some here who have fished at a few spots along this long canal .  Water is usually clear and suitable for many species . I fished places like "Gate 12" ,referring to the truck entry at the GM Glendale Plant (where I worked for 30 years) . We caught many varieties there including bass , cats , pike , perch , drum and of course , carp . ( and salmon would come as far as Glendale from the lake.) I saw a large walleye one time (gate 12) but it was dying with fungus on it's back , and got the odd eels too (they would take the 3" chub bait under the float ).

This is a drone video , done professionally , and follows most of the length of the old canal .....5 minutes long . Makes me want to check it out again !  Might be some crappies in there too . 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iMhZ0k4zrw

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There is a second video as well ...
Video #2

 

I have fished that whole stretch from Glendale to the southern reservoir on that strip and done very well until the fences went up.  Had many multispecies days with plenty of smallies, carp, and pike.  One channel cat, potentially a few muskie ... now the bass, pike, and muskie were all in on the smaller side of the scale ... biggest pike I saw might have been pushing 24".  The carp seemed to be in the 5 to 8 pound range as well.  From talking to others fishing it, there were also plenty of sheepies to be found.  Salmon were butchered there by the masses, but with the lock north of Glendale collapsing, I don't even know if they can make it to Glendale now.  Following the salmon were the browns and the bows, saw some amazingly colored browns over the years.

Items of note from my history there:

  • Once found a putter that I fished out and kept, was near the golfcourse
  • It may look shallow ... but depth is deceiving ... what I thought would be up to my knees at worst very quickly became waist deep
  • Tons of coyotes and deer
  • One saw a giant print with no claw marks ... that day I decided to skip fishing, the hair on the back of my neck was standing up saying BAD IDEA
  • Once might have bumped into a rattlesnake (and talked to someone else who saw one) ... all I know is I heard a very distinct rattle and opted to RUN, put the net in front of my legs just ran hoping if it lunged it would catch the net and not me
  • Almost had a fisher steal a small pike I had hooked
  • As it is fed by the canal, there is no warnings to water level changes (when ships go through), had more than enough times where I had no room for error in jumping rock to rock to get back to the shore
  • Once saw a gar pike pushing 40 inches ... before the days of cellphone cameras, so by the time I got the digital camera ready it had disappeared
  • And for those who see me out and about, feel free to ask about my encounters with some rainbow trout

I would love to get back in there and fish, but the lack of parking in the area has me not caring to try.  I understand why they needed to fence it off with the damage all the off roading was doing, combined with the number of cars being dumped into the old locks.  Also remember that depending on the draining of the canal, plenty of that area gets drained as well, so the years where the associated part of the canal was drained ... the fishing was very slow in the old canal for the first while once the warm weather came around.  The years where that section of the canal was not drained ... the fishing was awesome from the start through to the end of the seasons.

Edited by Snags

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Good info Snags .  Another bunch of fishing spots where access is verrrry limited . In the spring the shore rocks are (were) loaded with garter snakes ....would be sitting on a rock & the young 10" snakes would be all over your feet & the odd milk snake would appear in the rocks & water .

You are too young to remember the GREAT brown trout stream that ran parallel to the canal with a nice 2 ft. spillway at Glendale . It snaked through the old timbers & passed under the Glendale bridge . What fun we had using dry flies & grasshoppers to catch those beautiful little browns , some up to 16" .There was a rough mud road/trail that ran to the track & the "Screaming Tunnel)   :crazy: boo !!   Then GM expanded and the haulage road was built for the trucks ... and 90% of the stream was paved over  ...then the garbagemobiles began dumping garbage just beyond the plant ......all closed off now .

If parking can be found....maybe at the plant  :rolleyes: a days hiking/fishing might be in the cards .....

Thanks for vid #2  Snags .

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As of last year, security will either escort you off property or fine you.A number of people involved with the Backwater fishing league have had  unfriendly "encounters".

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44 minutes ago, bigugli said:

As of last year, security will either escort you off property or fine you.A number of people involved with the Backwater fishing league have had  unfriendly "encounters".

Thanks Bruce ....didn't know what the "new rules" are ...... 

In the videos I noticed a few places at the water falls into the locks there are spots where much of the block walls have collapsed . Some spots could collapse & take down tons of blocks....wouldn't want to be standing there !!  They will probably take the walls down ....blow them up and divert the flow through pipes or create a route around the filled locks .

Hope they don't do what they did at the JC Park canal walls .....fill with garbage & cover with dirt.....

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I was out for a drive today and went by a few of the areas associated with the "old canal" and it is such a shame it is fenced off.  Looking at how much has collapsed, it only makes sense to try and close it off, but for that area specifically it is a GM fence I think.

I think this year, I am going to do some exploration of there coming in from the golf course side since the "security" is definitely not associated with the Seaway, and see what fishing can be had, but if I recall correctly, there were not as many trails and access points to the water.

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Seems that keeps happening more and more for one reason or another....when I was a kid we had a few off the beaten path spots we would ride our bikes too...or mooch a ride and pick up from someone's  parents if we could.....I can see reasons like people using remote areas as a dumping ground...or ditching cars in the canal....as reasons to shut em off...but some now are due to sprawling tourism....others are now a security factor.....obvious public danger is understandable but come on.....lol.....old spots around thorold....allenburg...now have rail line access blocked off so you can't walk in anymore......any one here ever used to fish the hydro reservoir out by queenston?.... man that was a great spot we can't go anymore......everything from bass to huge carp and rainbows in there....pan fish galore....we would ride our bikes around the rim to "our spots"...Haha....put on big rubber boots in the morning at low tide and walk way out in the mud and wrestle big carp out of the puddles to see who could grab the biggest one....it was a blast....innocent fun for a few kids to go get some fresh air and eat dirt for the day

 

 

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Ya Jack the rez. was also sheephead heaven ....got some perch there as well . We went in at the Floral Clock . It was loaded with fish !  Some spots are closed for liability reasons , people are sue happy !  That's why Port piers were closed ....but there some HEAVY equipment on those piers now !  :huh:  The old canal (gate 12) area has some bad spots that have collapsed & there's a subdivision on the east side . They don't want the kids near that canal .  I think they will bust up those locks some day .

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1 hour ago, Bubba14 said:

Used to catch some beauty smallies in the reservoir 30 years ago...

 

Yes ,smallies too ......I believe after they drained it the bottom was lined with plastic to keep weeds/algae from forming ....wonder if fish will live in there now  ? 

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We would ride our bikes to the little hydro dam in there and catch a fish almost every cast....be it rock bass...silver...perch...smallie...the odd worker would come out..remind us to be careful as we where like 9 or 10.....the floral clock was a good spot for smallie and when it got cold we would get some big steelies in there...at least some of us have the memories of some places we can no longer access...I still wonder what the fishing would be like now decades later 

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Fished that whole hydro area right up until they began enforcing heavily. We had an old mountain bike rim with rubber mesh on a rope we drop down the wall to get the big ones up. The bottom end of that canal system was so packed with a multispecies barrage of fish! Remember summer everyday we'd hit the cray pond in there catch 5 dozen or so softshell in 20 mins. Head to the canal, use cray or vertical jig cleos, krocs, or williams which ever was hot for the day. Run out of crayfish than head back to the small cray pond catch another 5 dozen or so and by that time the reservoir was beginning its nightly 330 drop you could set your watch to. Never even pit a dent in that small ponds crayfish population. Head out there to the point where the smallies only had one channel to get through to get back to deep water for the night. Fish til it was either too low or run out of crayfish again. Than repeat that pattern the next day everyday all summer. Once september came, in through december we'd fish the deer ramp just before Beck 2. Stacked with rainbows until your arms were sore. So many old photos out of there too. Still think I knew that entire section as well as anyone. It all came to an end around 98' when Ontario Hydro changed to OPG  and around the same time another local angler sadly fell in to his demise. Looking back all the times we spent fishing off those walls hanging over landing fish I always feel pretty lucky none of us ever took that plunge. 

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We used to "hop the wall" at a couple spots along the Niagara parkway....scale down a little ladder that's was bolted to the cliff..to a cement drainage tube then shimmy down a small piece if rope to the bottom and go smallie fishing under the rainbow bridge.... thinking back it was a pretty crazy thing to do.....the fishing was out of this world....bass a cast pretty much.....let alone the climb back up and down....making sure the "tulip guards" didn't see you hop the wall... you certainly had to be careful walking around in that part or the gorge and keep steady tabs on the water level....ah the crazy things we do for fishing 🎣

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We had some good fishing spots at the Welland Ship canal , best one a lock one at the spillway , and tons of smelts in the spring .

Liability issues have taken so many good spots away .  People will sue for dropping a coffee on their lap ....and win the  $$$lottery$$$ .

 

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37 minutes ago, Jwl1 said:

We used to "hop the wall" at a couple spots along the Niagara parkway....scale down a little ladder that's was bolted to the cliff..to a cement drainage tube then shimmy down a small piece if rope to the bottom and go smallie fishing under the rainbow bridge.... thinking back it was a pretty crazy thing to do.....the fishing was out of this world....bass a cast pretty much.....let alone the climb back up and down....making sure the "tulip guards" didn't see you hop the wall... you certainly had to be careful walking around in that part or the gorge and keep steady tabs on the water level....ah the crazy things we do for fishing 🎣

A few hundred yards left of there is another sketchy way down scaling a cliff than on to the telephone wire lol. We always called it 'Bass Bay'. Sometimes we'd start there and work our way up to the metal ladder out. Certainly a bass factory. Was once relatively popular as a party spot for locals but was down a few years ago and its really grown in so I don't think too many venture down these days

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13 minutes ago, steellee said:

A few hundred yards left of there is another sketchy way down scaling a cliff than on to the telephone wire lol. We always called it 'Bass Bay'. Sometimes we'd start there and work our way up to the metal ladder out. Certainly a bass factory. Was once relatively popular as a party spot for locals but was down a few years ago and its really grown in so I don't think too many venture down these days

Haha..  nice. .this thread has turned out pretty cool...... "bass bay"... awesome.... the ladder was across from " Michael's inn " ..... a bit more up the parkway was a cave that we may or may not used to party in all the time 😆🤫

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Yeah, we were all bullet proof as kids! Most of us made it out alive a few didn't. Luckily we get smarter with age!

I remember the shortcut going down to the gorge but not liking heights never attempted myself. Used to regularly fish at the power plant, could drive right down and park at the bottom and walk through the gate. I think they cracked down when a couple of bozos went inside the plant and took the elevator, didn't go over well.

Used to go down the Maid of the Mist access road and climb down the bank to the ice shelf climb down the edge  to reach shore in spring, 

Knew some guys that would wade out above the falls and fish the pools early in the morning before they opened the gates for the day. Never had the cojones to try that one either. 

 

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Wow !  So many old fishing spots in Niagara that are gone .....  with new housing going up everywhere ,  more spots will be banned , even the Gibson Lakes come into mind with liability - garbage issues . 

Surf....I fished the Maid many years ago ....bass every cast & got a nice 10 lb. bow from a large rock that emerged when the water was low .....then the water level began to rise quickly and I had an escape ....very quickly !!  Ya ....I was stupid enough to try that !  :blush:

Lots of new housing near Gate 12 now .....I'll bet there are yotes that live nearby are raiding the hoods ....lots of bush country towards the escarpment .

And we fished /swam in the big weir just north of the GM plant  , mostly fished for pike tossing Rapalas & spoons .  We had access to the Haulage Rd.then ....picked many wild strawberries along the road .  It's also a no-go area now ......  :(  pretty hard to sneak in there ....will they soon have drones patrolling for trespassers ?  :ph34r:  (wear your turkey suits ) :rolleyes: 

Edited by smerchly

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In today's paper ....looks like they have taken notice of the garbage at Gibson/Thorold  area . It is not all caused by fishermen , but some is obviously fishermen garbage . The fines have been $500 for many years ...time to add another zero to that ....for any garbage tossers , or it will never change until more water access spots are shut down . Why are there so many trashy people amongst us who don't care about our environment ....are their homes the same ?  I fear more of my spots will be fenced ...

https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news-story/9207647-thorold-councillor-wants-to-curtail-illegal-dumping/

Edited by smerchly

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I understand what you're saying about adding another 0 to the fine, but the whole thing is that people know that these laws are not being enforced. Chances of being caught by someone that can enforce it are probably less than 1%.

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That is true ....  unless a mnr  guy happens to see trash being tossed .  Even more difficult to catch the night hogs .....hence we lose more places to fish .

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