Niagara River / Lake Ontario Trib’s – Fishing is GOOD! Fishing Report for Niagara County, NY

Paul Carlone of Hamburg caught this lower river lake trout while he was fishing for steelhead.

  • Free Fishing Day in New York State: Nov. 11, 2018
  • Upper Niagara River Musky Fishing is Hot
  • Burt Dam has a Fresh Run of King Salmo
  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018
Danny Jankowiak of Buffalo took this steelhead in the lower Niagara River on a jig.

Make sure you mark Nov. 11 on your calendar. That’s now a “free fishing day” in New York State. No license is required and it’s a great opportunity to reach out and take a vet fishing. Remember you do have to abide by the NYS fishing regulations wherever you are going to wet a line.

Winds are continuing on the local front today which created a mess of the water conditions in the lower Niagara River. If the shore casters can locate a little clean water along the shoreline, you might have a chance at catching a trout. For sure, the land-bound fishermen will be fishing before the boaters in the lower Niagara River. 

Michael Cardmone with his brown trout caught from the NY Power Authority Fishing Pier.

Just prior to the winds, action in the lower river was good for trout. Steelhead were hitting MagLips and beads for boaters and shoreline anglers were tossing spoons, spinners, jigs, eggs or egg imitations to take fish. Along Artpark, steelhead are available, but the lake trout have been very aggressive. Remember that lake trout season is closed and fish should be released quickly and unharmed. Downriver, bass are still hitting swimbaits on a consistent basis.

Paul Carlone of Hamburg, New York, caught this lower Niagara River lake trout while he was fishing for steelhead.

In the upper Niagara River, the muskellunge fishing action the past week improved for Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island as he saw fish up to 51 inches come to his boat the last several days. The big one was caught by Ray Dietz of Youngstown. He also caught a 48-inch fish the same day.

In the Tim Wittek Memorial Catch and Release Musky Tournament run by the Niagara Musky Association last Sunday, first place when to Anthony Scime of Tonawanda with a 46-inch fish that was caught on a Red October Baits tube. Second place went to John Miller of Lackawanna with a 42-inch fish, also caught on a Red October Baits tube. Third place went to Hans Mann of Alden with a 35.5-inch musky and caught on a Red October Baits tube for a sweep of the winners. A total of 19 anglers competed in the “iron man” contest. Musky fishing will stop for now until the water can clear.

In Lake Ontario, water was high and stained in many of the streams but that didn’t stop people from trying to catch both salmon and trout according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctor’s in Olcott. There were plenty of fish around.

Gianni Etopio of Youngstown, New York, caught this salmon in a favorite Niagara County stream.

A fresh batch of silver kings came into Olcott and headed up to Burt Dam. Many of the smaller streams to the east and to the west are also holding fish because of the recent rains. We heard 12 Mile Creek had some fresh salmon in it. Egg sacs, beads, jigs tipped with wax worms or spikes were all catching salmon and trout. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the unpredictable water conditions. Green and orange egg pattern flies have been taking some fish, too.

Pier action has been spotty. If you see any illegal fishing activity going on, please call the toll-free hotline at (844) DEC-ECOS and report it with as much information as possible. You can remain anonymous.

The regular big game season (whitetail deer and black bear) opens in the New York State Southern Zone next Saturday, Nov. 17.  It might not be a bad idea to wear an orange hat when you go fishing. Pressure on the streams will probably be less due to the opener.

Good luck out there and stay safe.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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