Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast – May 18, 2017

  • LOC Derby Winners Announced
  • Water Levels Still High
  • Big Fish and Favorite Lures
Chris Shaffer with Pautzke was in town this week filming for the company website on the lower Niagara River with Capt. Frank Campbell.  Frank caught this dandy steelie on a shiner that was treated with Pautzke fire dye in chartreuse.

Lake Ontario: 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.

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).

In the LOC Derby that ended last Sunday, the Grand Prize winner for the $15,000 check was Paul Nienaltowski of Michigan, with a 27 pound, 8 ounce king out of Wilson while fishing the Niagara Bar.  He was using a Diabolical meat rig.  First place in the Salmon Division was a 25 pound 5 ounce king out of Wilson, reeled in by Lee Beaton of Clifton Springs. Big brown trout was a 16 pounds, 12 ounce fish out of Olcott – weighed in by Dave Rafle of Pennsylvania. Top lake trout was also out of Niagara County, a 22 pound 10 ounce from the Niagara Bar – reeled in by Brian Marketich of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

Water color is still 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.

Congrats to Tom Allen and his A-Tom-Mik team for winning the Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament last Saturday. They caught six fish – the tournament limit – to record the top score among 46 boats total.  One of his hot baits was a new A-Tom-Mik meat rig.

The Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo memorial big fish-three fish contest was held today in the high winds.  The wind kept some teams away for sure. Winner was Big Cat led by Greg Catrabone with a big fish of 20.04 pounds and a three fish total of 85.74 based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound.  No details were revealed because tomorrow is the next contest.

The Lake Ontario Pro-Am Tourney is May 19-21.  We’ll have a full report next week. Good luck to all you tournament fishermen and women.

Lower Niagara River fishing action is still good in Devil’s Hole where boaters were using minnows and egg sacs to take trout off three-way rigs.  Steelhead, lake trout, silver bass and smallmouth bass are still all being caught from boat and shore.  The New York Power Authority stated that the fishing platform was closed down again on Monday due to high water levels. It will remain closed until water levels recede.  Before you head down fishing there, you might want to call 796-0135 Ext. 45 to see if it’s open.

Yellow and silver jigs were working for Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls earlier in the week when he caught 30 silver bass, 6 smallmouth and a laker.  No problems at the Lewiston launch ramp, but Fort Niagara is having some issues with the high water.  The south ramp is closed.  As waters continue to rise, the north ramp could be closed soon, too.


Upper Niagara River fishing action has been good for a mixed bag of fish the past week. Decent walleye have been caught along with bass and lake trout. Good numbers of lake trout are showing up as bass casters target catch and release smallmouth.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA, 14303 p: 1.877 FALLS US | 716.282.8992 x.303 | f:716.285.0809 website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!