Lake Ontario, Niagara River
Cold Front Turn Fishery Topsy-Turvy
Lake Ontario and tributaries
Rough conditions and cool temperatures the past week has made it pretty rough on the fishermen. On Monday, we only know of a couple charter captains who braved the waves and while conditions were uncomfortable, they did catch fish. The most consistent fishing has been in 350 to 450 feet of water with a mix of steelhead and kings in the top 100 feet.
Spoons work best up high; flasher-fly combos work best down deep. Cold water could be found down 50 feet, so patterns for this time of year are messed up according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker.
There have been some fishing in the 100 to 150 foot range, too. Some browns can be found inside of 40 feet off Olcott and Wilson. Because of the cold water, some browns can also be caught off the piers.
In 18 Mile Creek in Olcott, the river water was in the mid-60s, so the bass are also starting to turn on all the way to Burt Dam. Remember bass season doesn’t open until June 18, so if you are going to target bass, make sure you use artificial baits.
Panfish and pike are also available in both Olcott and Wilson Harbors.
Some kids fishing derbies are on the angling docket for the next couple of weeks, including the youth fishing derby sponsored by Faith Lutheran Church on the west side of 18 Mile Creek in Olcott Harbor, it will run from 8:00 a.m. to noon. For more info call Joe Thomas at 531-5815.
On June 18, the Wilson Conservation Club will be holding its annual county-wide fishing derby for the kids from 8:00 a.m. to noon. Measure your fish by noon at the club located on Route 425 in Wilson. Awards will be held at 1:00 p.m. Call 930-7500 for more info.
On June 19, there will be a kids fishing derby at Widewaters Marina in Lockport, hosted by the Lock-City Moose Lodge 617. Registration at 7:30 am; fishing from 8:00 -11:00 a.m. Call 417-4198 for more info.
Don’t forget about the kid’s derby at the Town of Newfane Marina on June 25, which also happens to occur on our New York State Free Fishing Weekend.
Lower Niagara River
Fishing has really slowed down the past week. Not because the fish aren’t there, but because the dreaded moss has finally arrived in larger quantities to take some of the joys out of fishing in this productive stretch of water. There are actually a few steelhead still hanging around, but it’s anyone’s guess how long that will be. Bass is a better option for getting a fish to hit, but the moss really limits how much time you can keep your lures in the water.
Remember that the Catch and Release season is in effect in the Niagara River until June 18 and only artificial lures can be used up until then. Tube jigs, swim baits and jerk baits are all good options for this time of year.
Upper Niagara River
Nothing was on fire the week with the cold front weather. Musky anglers can’t wait for the June 18 opening, next Saturday, and neither can the bass guys, since opening day for bass in New York occurs the same day.
Speaking of bass, Kelly’s Korners in Niagara Falls will be holding an opening day bass contest on June 18 and most of the fishermen and women will be hitting Lake Erie. It’s your best two fish for the day. Hours are from 5:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. that day. You must be signed up by June 17. Best two fish total weight wins the prize money. For more information call 716-283-2040.
Northern pike, perch and other panfish can also be caught throughout the upper river and even into the Erie Canal.
There will be a kids fishing derby at Widewaters Marina in Lockport on June 19, hosted by the Lock-City Moose Lodge 617. Registration begins at 7:30 am; fishing from 8:00 -11:00 a.m. Call 716-417-4198 for more info.
Speaking of the Canal, the “Hooked on the Tonawanda’s” giant Fish Derby is set once again for June 25-26, the same weekend as the free New York State fishing days. Check out www.bgcnt.org for details.
Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions
Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!