Lake Ontario, Niagara River
Lake Ontario and Tributaries
Action on Lake Ontario continues to be very good for trout and salmon trollers working out of the mouth of the river, Wilson and Olcott. In the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s King Salmon Tournament last weekend, Fisherman’s Daughter came away with the win for big fish – 27 pounds 14 ounces and the 3-2-3 win with 65.56 pounds for three fish! Impressive totals.
Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters has been doing great all week. Last weekend this was his hot set-up on the Niagara Bar. Morning bite was in 190-205 feet of water around the red can, 40-60 down and an all-spoon bite. Early afternoon bite was 140-150 feet of water, but closer to the Canadian line, 55-80 feet down with still mostly a spoon bite. Silver Streak lures were taking most bites. Afternoon/early evening bite was 100-150 feet of water on the ledge. Tried to turn a few but was never able to. He ended up by 4 mile. He couldn’t keep his spin doctor and A-Tom-Mik flies in the water. Afternoon matures all came on flies.
There has been a good mix of fish off Olcott 40 to 50 feet down over 80 to 100 foot depths. Spoons or flasher-fly rigs. Of course, you can also fish out deep over 300-plus feet of water for a mixed bag of salmon and steelies. Stephen Liebler of Williamsville reeled in a 30.02 pound salmon earlier in the week to take over the lead in the Salmon Division on a flasher-fly. Larry Wills of Lewiston is still leading for the Grand Prize with a 30 pound, 15 ounce fish. Wade Winch of North Tonawanda is still the top steelie catcher, but Alfonse Gouker of Pennsylvania got close Sunday with a 17 and a half pound steelhead weighed in at The Slippery Sinker. Bob Turton of Sanborn lost hold of the lake trout lead when Ephriam Burt weighed in a 24 pound, three ounce fish in the eastern basin around Henderson Harbor. First place brown is still 17.06 pound brown trout caught out of Wilson by Thomas Gies of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The derby continues to July 31 and the website to follow the action is www.loc.org.
Lower Niagara River
Moss is slowly starting to dissipate and bass are starting to cooperate a bit more. The Niagara River Anglers Association Bass Contest is this Saturday, July 23, and you can sign up at Creek Road Bait and Tackle. Crayfish and shiners are the best live baits; tubes and drop shot rigs for artificials.
Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal
While bass numbers have been decent, bass size has been smaller for the Bassmaster pros fishing the bracket tournament right now. Catch some of the live action at www.bassmaster.com. The two top fish catchers going into Thursday action was Kevin Van Dam and Brett Hite with 20 pounds 8 ounces and 21 pounds, 14 ounces respectively. Action continues through Friday.
The Erie Canal Fishing Derby is over as far as the fishing is concerned, but the real excitement will take place at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday in Gasport at the fire hall starting at 3 pm. The unofficial leaders for the different divisions are: Here’s some of the leaders so far: Ron Robel of Wheatfield with a 8.4 sheepshead; Craig Udell of Gasport with a 19.9 pound carp; Patty Young of Kent with a 9-plus pound catfish; Albert Whaley of North Tonawanda with a 7.9 pound pike; Shawn West of Lockport with a 3.58 pound walleye; Joe Cwiklinski of Depew with a 2.9 pound bullhead; and John Justice of North Tonawanda with a 3.8 pound bass. The website is www.eriecanalderby.com.
Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions
Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!