LAKE ONTARIO - Lake Ontario Water Level Warning: Just a quick reminder on water levels: There is still 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 stay at least 500 feet from shore. This doesn’t include trolling. Caution is advised for floating debris when you are out in the lake moving around. The problem seems to be launching.
Launches: The best spot to be right now is the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott. Fort Niagara has an open launch, but you need boots up to your knees or above. Golden Hill State Park launch is closed and Wilson-Tuscarora Park is day to day (but you need hip books for sure).
Spring LOC DERBY: The Spring LOC Derby (www.loc.org) is entering into its final weekend and it’s still not too late to enter. The current Grand Prize leader for the $15,000 check is now Paul Nienaltowski of Michigan with a 27 pound, 8 ounce king out of Wilson. No sharing of information there – too many fishing contests coming up. First place in the Salmon Division is a 25 pound 5 ounce king out of Wilson, reeled in by Lee Beaton of Clifton Springs. Big brown trout at 16 pounds, 12 ounces is out of Olcott – weighed in by Dave Rafle of Pennsylvania. Top lake trout is also out of Niagara County, a 22 pound 10 ounce from the Niagara Bar – reeled in by Brian Marketich of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.
Most of the salmon seem to be in 80 to 120 feet of water. Water color is a factor and you may have to go deeper. Most of the fish are coming on spoons, but flasher-fly and cut bait rigs are also working according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott.
Lake Ontario Tournaments just ahead: The Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament is this Saturday, May 13. The Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo big fish-three fish contest is May 18 – sign up at any of the LOC Derby weigh stations in Wilson and Olcott. The Lake Ontario Pro-Am Tourney is May 19-21 – sign up at www.lakeontarioproam.net. The deadline is May 15 at 5 p.m. Good luck to all you derby fishermen and women.
LOWER NIAGARA RIVER - Fishing action picked back up again in Devil’s Hole earlier this week- the place with the cleanest water. In Devil’s Hole, boaters were using minnows to take trout off three-way rigs. Some had double-digit days. The high water levels in the river have not had a huge impact on the area fishing … so far. The problem has been with water clarity. It is slowly clearing up downriver. However, a recent report from the New York Power Authority stated that the fishing platform was closed down again on Monday due to high water levels. It remained closed until water levels receded. Before you head down fishing there, you might want to call 796-0135 Ext. 45 to see if it’s open.
Steelhead, lake trout, smallmouth bass and silver bass can still be caught off the shoreline in Devil’s Hole. White and silver jigs were working for Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls earlier in the week when he caught lake trout and silver bass. Young 13-year old Gianni Etopio of Youngstown hooked into a big largemouth bass this week while fishing for perch off Lewiston Landing. Nice catch!
In the Upper Niagara
River, Parker Cinelli of Grand Island hit a monster smallmouth from shore on a tube jig this week that stretched over 21 inches long.
If you want to learn more about the fishing in Lake Ontario, you’ll want to attend the next LOTSA meeting tonight, May 11 in Lockport starting at 7 p.m. They will be holding a round table session with their members. To reiterate on the Pro-Am, May 15 is the deadline at 5 p.m. No exceptions.
Bill Hilts, Jr.
Outdoor Promotions Director