Contest Winners, Methods, Lures
Lake Ontario and Trib’s
The LOC Derby is starting to wind down, ending on Labor Day. Grand prize leader for the $25,000 is still the 33 pound, 13 ounce King Salmon weighed in by Richard Clark. To make the leader board, you need a fish better than 30 pounds, 3 ounces! There’s a new brown trout leader out of Wilson as of this week. Earl and Scott Foster of Wilson, a father-son fishing team, were fishing out their home port trolling Bay Rat lures when they scored on two dandies – a 17 pound, 4 ounce fish for Earl and a 15 pound, 13 ounce fish for Scott. Bigger fish are still out there! Go to www.loc.org for details.
Salmon are stacked up on the Niagara Bar right now according to Captain Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown. Flasher-fly, cut bait, plugs and spoons will all catch fish. The same will work for you off Olcott where you have the option to target staging fish in 30 to 120 feet of water or go deep for a mixed back of salmon and trout. Same baits mentioned earlier will work in close; primarily spoons offshore. After recent rains jacked the CFS in 18 Mile Creek to 175, we did see a few pier casters hook up with salmon at night by casting Cleo’s out into the lake. A few browns are being reported, too. The best is yet to come.
Another successful Fish Odyssey is in the books! Grand prize winner in the Adult Division was Matt Dunn of Newfane with his 31 pound, 5 oz. pound salmon. In addition to his $4,000 Grand Prize check, he also won $500 from the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association for the largest salmon caught by a LOTSA member and $100 for big salmon of the day. Dunn won the Grand Prize in the drawing at the awards ceremony at the Newfane Town Hall. Other divisional winners were Dennis Stabler of Lockport with a 17 pound brown trout; Patrick Barber of Niagara Falls with a 17 pound, 5 ounce lake trout; Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston with a 25 pound, 10 ounce carp; Dave Muir of North Tonawanda with a 6 pound, six ounce smallmouth bass; and Steve Majka with a 12 pound, 10 ounce walleye. Some outstanding catches came to the scales, a tribute to the local fishery. In the Junior Division, it was 5 year old Alyssa McGrath of Niagara Falls winning the Grand Prize with a 10 ounce panfish. She won a $100 Cabela’s gift card, a nice plaque, a rod and reel and tackle box.
Other winners in their respective divisions were: Alex Heath of Sanborn with a 26 pound, 13 ounce salmon; RayLee Peterson of Home, PA with a 9 pound brown trout; Abigail McGrath of Niagara Falls with a 4 pound, 13 ounce smallmouth bass; Matthew Kelsey of Attica with a 13 pound, 7 ounce carp; and Ethan Brolinski of Lewiston with an 8 pound, 7 ounce walleye. Take time to remember the person that we honored this year – the late, great Jeremiah Heffernan, a local charter captain who did much to promote the local fishery.
Lower Niagara River – Walleye Action
The walleye bite has been pretty consistent for some; not for others. In the Niagara River Anglers Associations Lower River Walleye Contest, some 25 contestants were vying for some decent cash prizes. In the end it was Steve Majka who had the hot hand with two fish totaling 13.86 pounds. Majka also caught the big walleye in the Fish Odyssey at 12 pounds, 10 ounces at the mouth of the river, power trolling an orange and gold worm harness to take his biggest walleye ever.
Back to the NRAA event, Mike Fox of Lewiston reeled in 12.07 pounds of walleye for second place; third place went to Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Lewiston with 11.87 pounds. Big fish for the contest went to Charlie Hoy with an 8.07 pound ‘eye. More than $1,000 in prizes were given out to the winning anglers. We mentioned Nick Calandrelli’s 25 pound, 10 ounce carp and that was caught in the lower river too, while fishing in the NRAA contest with a worm harness. It was caught on the Jackson Drift.
Bass fishing on the Bar has been spotty, but the lower river has been pretty good. Kim Stricker of Hook ‘n Look TV Show on the Outdoor Channel was on the water Tuesday to take some dandy smallies around Lewiston and film a show that will air in February. The cool thing about the show is that it includes underwater footage that takes you into the world of the fish and pinpoint specific holding areas. They will also talk about the importance of current.
Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal – Bass Action
Bass – both smallmouth and largemouth – are available for boaters and shore-casters. Finding holding areas like flats or deep holes will be key to success. If you do venture into Canadian waters, make sure you call in to notify the Canadian authorities of your intentions to fish. Worms are the only live bait you can use and they can NOT be in dirt. It’s a pretty painless process, but they do mean business if you violate the rules over there. Sheepshead seem to be everywhere, from both boat and shore. Softshell crabs are the best bait for those, but they have also been hitting tubes
Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions
Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!