After the hard northeast blow on Lake Ontario, trollers were forced out to more stable water in the 300 foot to 500 foot depth contour off Wilson and Olcott.
Spin doctors and flies have been attracting a few mature kings, Coho salmon and steelhead. Spoons are also working consistently out there.
August is crunch time for the mature kings and there are plenty of fishing contests that coincide with the return of the king to the ports they were stocked at. Look for fishing activity to increase.
Bob Ashley of Mentor, Ohio visited Niagara County waters this week as a result of the weekly fishing report. Bob and his most frequent fishing partner fished Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning of this week. They hooked 11 salmon and landed eight with the largest being 24 pounds. Bob and Larry fished off the Niagara Bar in water 179 feet to 220 feet deep. They found their fish between 45 and 60 feet down, meaning they didn't have to break out the downriggers but used directional divers exclusively. All of the fish were taken on flasher-fly combos. Waters are slowly starting to turn on closer to shore.
In the Lower Niagara River, walleye action is starting to slow down again after a couple of weeks of decent fishing. Worm harnesses bounced along the bottom with 3-way rigs work well. Best spots have been the Stella drift and at the mouth of the river around the green buoy marker. Some smallmouth bass are available, too – crabs and shiners for live bait; tubes and drop shot rigs for artificials.
You can catch bass in Devil’s Hole, as well as many of the drifts all the way down to Lake Ontario. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls, is still popping some gar pike in the gorge area along Artpark. He combined a rope fly with a jig to allow him to cast better with the strong river current.
Upper Niagara River fishing continues to be good, although it’s not as strong as it was. Bass and walleye are still being caught in the river. A spinner and worm is working best for walleye and the occasional bass. Crayfish and shiners will work for bass and sheepshead.
A new interactive online hot spot fishing map has been unveiled that will give anglers new insight into the local waters of Niagara, Erie and Chautauqua counties. The link is https://wnyfishing.mrf.com/view.aspx. Check it out!
A couple of ladies led the way in the Summer Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Summer Derby that ended Sunday. Grand Prize winner was Sandra Brown of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, reeling in a 32 pound, 4 ounce Niagara Bar king salmon while fishing with her husband Ed and Joe Yaeger of Amherst. They were trolling a spin doctor and fly in 160 feet of water, 60 feet down. She earned a check for $11,000 for reeling in that fish. First place in the Salmon Division was a 31 pound, 10 ounce king caught out of Point Breeze, weighed in by Kristin Wilson of Rockstream, NY. The Niagara Bar produced the first place lake trout, a 23 pound, 13 ounce Niagara Bar fish checked in by Steve Klejdys of North Tonawanda. The big steelhead was caught out of Olcott when Adam Robinson of Portland, Oregon out-battled a 17 pound, 4 ounce steelie while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane. First place brown trout was a 16 pound, 2 ounce fish caught out of Fair Haven. Lon Colley of Burt was the youth salmon winners with a 26 pound, 1 ounce king. The fall derby will be starting up August 18 and run through Labor Day. Check out www.loc.org for more information. Also coming up on the derby docket is the Orleans County Rotary Derby August 5 to 20 and the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby August 19 to 27.
Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director
Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Phone: 1-877-FALLS-US, 716-282-8992 x. 303; fax: 716-285-0809