Lake Ontario and Tributaries
Some monster fish are being caught out there. Captain Dan Evans of Wilson reported a 32.5 pound salmon hauled in by Todd Garzarelli on Tuesday. According to Evans with Lone Wolf Sportfishing, fishing for both salmon and trout has been good from 80 to 350 feet of water depending on wind direction. He was finding 48 degree water 60 feet down, stacking spoons on either side of that temperature break. Silver-green glo/black colors have been working best off copper rigs and downriggers. Spin doctors and A-Tom-Mik flies have worked best off the divers. White with green dot doctors and hammer flies are at the top of the list for him.
He also hit a milestone last weekend when Harry Camardella of Wilson caught the biggest steelie Evans has ever taken off his 32 foot Luhrs, a 20-pound steelhead. With the LOC Derby starting July 1, don’t be surprised if we break the 20-pound mark for each one of the trout species and 35 for the king salmon division.
Over in Olcott, Capt. Bob Cinelli was using all spoons to take a mix of salmon and trout – including a nice 12 pound Atlantic. Riggers, divers, and coppers. His best copper rigs were back 350 and 400 feet. Fish seem to be laid out west of Wilson all the way down the lake. His best fish catching depth was the 65 to 80 foot zone.
The Lake Ontario Counties Summer Salmon and Trout Derby is slated for July 1-31, 2016. A total of $29,000 will be up for grabs during July around the lake, including a Grand Prize of $10,000 for the biggest salmon weighed in. Four different species categories will be offering a $1,000 prize for the biggest fish in each. In addition, a weekly prize of $1,000 will also be given out to the largest salmon and $250 each to the largest lake trout, brown trout and rainbow/steelhead. And, if you are a member of the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association, you can win another $500 in cash just for entering the largest salmon caught by a LOTSA member and witnessed by a LOTSA member.
For $10, become a member of a group that’s fighting for every fish in the lake. Find out more on LOTSA at www.lotsa1.org. For information on the LOC Derby go to www.loc.org. Capt. Paul Czarnecki of Tri-State Charters will give a talk on fall salmon fishing at the next LOTSA meeting on July 14 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara starting at 7 pm.
Lower Niagara River
Lower river action continues to be slow for bass and walleye because of the moss situation, however, some spots in the river where the moss isn’t bad are near launch ramps at Fort Niagara. Minnows or crayfish work best. The Niagara River Anglers Association will be holding its annual bass contest on July 23. To find out more information go to niagarariveranglers.com or call 807-6111 at Creek Road Bait and Tackle.
Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal
Moss is still a problem in the upper river, too, but according to Scott McKee, president of the Niagara Musky Assn., the most is manageable for trollers and casters pursuing Mr. Toothy.
The 26th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby is set for July 6th through the 17th. With more than $20,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs, there should be plenty of anglers lining the banks of the canal from the Niagara River to Albion. Categories include bass, sheepshead, northern pike, carp, catfish, bullhead and walleye. To find out more information contact Steve Harrington at 772-7972 or visit the derby website at www.eriecanalderby.com.
In the Hooked on the Tonawanda’s tournament held June 25 and 26, some impressive catches came to the scales including a 22.4 pound carp reeled in by Matt Steffan of Williamsville; a 5-1/4 pound Northern pike hauled in by Dan Dolan of Grand Island; Matt Melendez of Buffalo caught the biggest bullhead, a 1.22 pound fish; Richard Jopp of Buffalo led the charge with a .43 pound perch; and Sean Franklin of Buffalo placed first with a three pound bass.
Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions
Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!