Lake Ontario and tributaries
Tournament Week Kicks off into High Gear
Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament Week is upon us, with the main event starting on Friday out of Wilson and Olcott. A total of 50 teams will be competing for some great cash prizes based on a unique scoring system. East wind continues to be a problem, but action finally turned on for some decent spring salmon fishing on Tuesday for many of the boats. Exact details are sparse because of the tournament, but many boats were catching fish between Wilson and the Niagara Bar, as well as east of Olcott. Decent kings, too, in the 20 pound class. A 31 pound king was caught off St. Catharine’s last weekend as the catch was flying around social media circles.
In the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Charity Fishing Outing last Wednesday, a total of 24 boats hit the waters around Olcott. The captain guiding the crew to the biggest fish was Capt. Mark Vilardo with Kingfisher. His 19 pound, 3 ounce king took the top prize with numerous in the 18 pound class on other boats. It was a fun time had by all as the local fishery was showcased.
Look for a mixed bag this weekend at the tournament weigh in at Krull Park at 2 pm each day. Check out www.lakeontarioproam.net for details. Marty Polovick of Lockport won the Grand Prize in the Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby held May 6-15, reeling in a 26 pound, four ounce king salmon to take the $15,000 top prize. He also earned an extra $500 for big fish of the day and a check for $1,000 by catching the largest salmon by a Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. member. On the final weekend of the derby, the crew of Doug Parker of Lockport; Matt Dunn of Newfane; and Matt’s father, Marc Dunn of Lockport along with Polovick used an 8-inch Dreamweaver Spindoctor rigged with a white John King Baithead and a piece of Crowes Cut Bait (aka N&D Bait) to take the winning fish. They put their downrigger on the bottom in 100 feet of water.
The lucky Laker Taker was Patrick Barber of Niagara Falls while fishing with his brother Richard (also from Niagara Falls) on Friday the 13th. They were trolling the Niagara Bar off the mouth of the Niagara River in 25 feet of water on the bottom when the 27 pound, 8 ounce fork tail hit their chartreuse holographic Kwikfish rigged with Hammerhead cowbells on the rigger. Big brown trout came from Oswego when Ryan Massey of Oriskany Falls reeled in a 16 pound, 2 ounce fish east of the harbor. First place walleye was weighed in by Tim Farmer of Dexter, an 11 pound, 14 ounce fish from Chaumont Bay.
Lower Niagara River
Devil’s Hole is the place to be for a mixed bag of fish, but with the closure of the gorge early in the week because of the transmission line removal, it forced guides down river to try and target other areas and other fish species. Kwikfish and minnows are the best baits to use. Mitch Grant of Virginia was showing off some of his new Rapid Fishing Solutions gear while fishing with Capt. Bruce Blakelock on Tuesday. They reeled in some nice smallmouth bass on tubes and swim baits. It won’t be long before the hard baits will be working on the smallies, as those water temps were just starting to hit 50 degrees. We told you about the green can area working for the Killer-B’s at the mouth of the river on lake trout. During the derby they reeled in over 100 lake trout.
Upper Niagara River
KIDS FISHING CLINIC: There will be a Teach Me to Fish Clinic at Bison City Rod and Gun Club in Buffalo on Sunday, May 22 starting at 2 pm. Get there a little early for registration. Fish the harbors, inlets and creeks for a mixed bag of panfish and bass around Grand Island and along River Road. The Erie Canal is open for fishing now, too.
Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions
Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!