Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast – April 20, 2017

  • Heavy Rains Curb Trib Fishing for a Few Days
  • Emerald Shiner Bait Schools Are Heavy
  • Sign Up for Tournaments Now
Chuck Bialecki of Colden, New York, caught this early King Salmon while fishing off Wilson with Captain Carl Martin and Dublin Up Charters.

Lake Ontario

Out in the lake, it’s been a mixed bag for trollers.  Stickbaits or spoons in tight. to shore off boards or riggers in 10 to 25 feet of water for browns, Coho salmon and the occasional king salmon.  Head out to 50 to 125 feet of water for lake trout on the bottom and Cohos up top, too.  

There is a press conference happening today that is declaring a state of emergency along the Lake Ontario shoreline for high water levels. This isn’t really going to affect the fishing that much, but the Niagara County Sheriff is asking that boats creating a wake to stay at least 500 feet from shore. This doesn’t include trolling. 

The LOC Derby opener is May 5 to 14. Go to to find out details including registration points and weigh stations.

The Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament is May 13. Check out for details.

The Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament is set for May 19-21 out of Wilson and Olcott. The registration link is now live for registering. Go to  

Lower Niagara River

Lower Niagara River trout action continues to be inconsistent from both boat and shore although we saw a bit of an uptick from the boat drifters just in the last few days.  The smelt have continued running in the Lewiston area and dippers have been going out every night.  It hasn’t been a strong run so far, but they are still getting a fair number of the tasty baitfish.  Go to Artpark or head downriver away from the lights at the sand docks.

Getting back to the fishing, shoreline casters are tossing spoons and spinners and picking up a few trout.  Boaters are doing a little better because they can move around to look for active fish.  Devil’s Hole is your best bet with shiners or egg sacs, but with so much bait in the river right now, it’s tough to get the trout to hit.  Some boaters have opted to turn the corner at the fort and troll the shoreline for browns, Cohos, lakers, steelies and the occasional king salmon.  Stickbaits and spoons primarily.

Another option has been to cast for bass, Cohos or browns with spoons or jerk baits.

The Lewiston smelt festival is set for May 5. For more details, go to the

Niagara County Trib’s

It’s pouring rain right now so the creeks will be full again by Friday.  The high water is affecting the docks in Wilson and Olcott so you might want to contact the marina for alternatives before you come in from out of town.  

The creeks still have trout in them but you will probably have to wait until those levels come down a bit. Bullhead are still hitting over in Wilson, as well.  Suckers have moved in and perch are everywhere in the harbors.  If the water is dirty, you may have to wait for it to clear a bit for perch.  

The piers are questionable because of the high water levels.  Don’t take any chances out there.  The pier at the foot of Route 425 is currently underwater.  Yes, it’s over a foot high out in the lake.

Upper Niagara River

In the upper Niagara River there have been good perch reports from all around Grand Island.  Emerald shiners are the best bait to use.  

Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA, 14303
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