The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association held its annual club tournament(s) last weekend and some impressive fish were caught. At the top of the list is the current leader in the Lake Ontario Counties trout and salmon derby, a 32 pound – 4 ounce king caught by Sandra Brown of Clearfield, Pennsylvania. She was fishing on the Niagara Bar with her husband Ed and Joe Yaeger of Amherst. The fish came on a Dreamweaver Spin Doctor and Mirage A-Tom-Mik fly, 60 feet down over 160 feet of water a mile east of the red can.
For the LOTSA Curt Meddaugh Memorial Tournament, it was the best three fish for Friday. The Streaker team, consisting of Matt Dunn of Newfane with his dad Marc (also of Newfane), Doug Parker of Lockport and Doug Parker II of Wilson (another father-son duo), won the event. Their three fish total for the day was 66.48-pounds, narrowly defeating 4 Poles led by Marty Polovick of Lockport. Yaeger’s Salmonella team finished in fourth despite having the 32-pound kicker. However, there was another aspect to the two day LOTSA contests. A 3-2-3 contest (best 3 fish over 2 days with 3 winners) was in place, and Yaeger’s Salmonella crew won the top prize with a total of 72.46-pounds. Second place was Matt Dunn’s Streaker team with 70.99-pounds. The Saturday club contest was for big fish and Capt. Adam Gearich and the Diversion II team led the way when Tim Bromund of Colden reeled in a 26-pound – 4 ounce king in 100 feet of water between Wilson and Olcott. LOTSA details can be found at www.lotsa1.org.
Check out the LOC Derby leaderboard at www.loc.org. The Summer Derby ends on Sunday at 1 p.m. The awards ceremony is a Capt. Jack’s in Sodus Point at 4 p.m.
Lower Niagara River fishing action has been consistent. A few more walleye are starting to show up and smallmouth bass fishing continues to be good. Live bait like crayfish and shiners are working for bass; worm harnesses for walleye. Yesterday it was a rowdy crew from Texas fishing with Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston and the highlight of the trip was a 6 pound smallmouth reeled in by Evan Scanlon – a personal best, caught along the Coast Guard Station.
Upper Niagara River action has leveled off but some bass and walleye are still showing up consistently. The big news this past week was Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island guiding Sawyer Dolce of Orchard Park. Fishing the humps around Strawberry Island, Dolce was drifting a crayfish when a nice bass hit. Affixed to the back of the fish was another tag from the Canadian Tire bass tournament from two years ago. Cinelli had caught two previously in the lower Niagara River. This is his first in the upper river, where the tagged fish were released.
Erie Canal – It was a packed house at the Gasport Fire Hall last Sunday for the final grand prize drawing in the 27th annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby. All the first place winners were put into a hat in one of the final orders of business. Lynn Harrington reached into the hat and pulled out an Ace of Clubs – and that corresponded with a card being held by 13 year old Keegan Walczak of Amherst. He won a new boat, motor and trailer from Brobeil Marine in Buffalo, a new Polar Kraft. He ended up giving a high-five immediately to his dad Chris, who was also standing up front as one of the divisional winners. In the youth division, James Benzinger won the new fishing kayak in the grand prize drawing for the kids. He is from North Carolina and comes up every year to fish with his grandparents in the derby. For a complete list of all of the winners go to www.eriecanalderby.com.
Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director.