Bill Hilts Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report for May 15, 2019

  • Kings, Walleye, Browns, Bass, Lakers…!
  • High water in Lake Ontario and Lower Niagara persists, fish don’t care
FLW Tour Pro Billy McDonald of Indiana caught this 6-pound smallmouth bass last week during a Niagara Outdoor Media event. He was fishing the Niagara Bar near Fort Niagara with a swim bait from Strike King.

The LOC Derby is more than half over, ending on May 19 at 1 p.m. The current leader is a 25-pound, 14-ounce king salmon reeled in by Robert Mueller from Hamburg. He was fishing out of Point Breeze with Capt. Joe Netti when the salmon hit a Bomber stickbait. He’s the front runner for the $15,000 Grand Prize. Other leaders include Brian Marketich of Beaver Falls, PA with a 22-pound, 13-ounce Olcott salmon for the Salmon Division. Top lake trout is a 23-pound, 4-ounce fish caught Jerry Unites of Pittsburgh while fishing out of Wilson. Top walleye is a 10-pound, 6-ounce fish from Henderson Harbor, and top brown trout is 17 pounds, 6 ounces from the Rochester area. Check out for details on the leaderboard.

According to Mark Vilardo of Kingfisher Charters in Olcott, fishing has been good, with a mix of King’s and laker’s. Start in 70 to 80 feet of water, his best depth, fishing near bottom.  Last weekend was a good king bite according to Vilardo.  One productive set-up was a glow fly with a white e-chip flasher. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctor’s reports decent salmon and trout action at the 28-line, too. Black and glow spoons and meat behind a flasher are both working. Some kings were reported in shallower on Tuesday. However, specific details are limited due to the LOC Derby going on and the Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament on Saturday. Water levels are continuing to rise.

Thomas Gagnon of Lavant, Maine caught this 22 pound salmon in front of Olcott to take over 3rd place in the Salmon Division of the LOC Derby on Tuesday. It was weighed in at The Boat Doctor’s in Olcott.

In the Niagara River, water levels continue to pose a problem for shoreline anglers. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was 6 for 8 on trout – steelhead and lake trout – using No. 4 spinners and jigs on Monday. His biggest fish was a 13-pound lake trout that he caught and released. On Tuesday, jigs were the hot ticket as he went  5 for 12.

The NYPA fishing platform was closed on Monday due to the fluctuating water levels. Call 796-0135 Ext. 45 to find out if it’s open.

Walleye have been hitting around the Lewiston sand docks area at night according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle. Boaters can still do well on trout. The steelhead fishing is good up in Devil’s Hole if you got the patience and good boat control with the high water according to local charter captain Jim Rores of Grand Island. Fish are eating egg sacs and minnows up there.

There are silver bass around Artpark, eating emerald shiners.

The smallmouth on the river are really starting to show up. Minnow imitation tubes are best. Rage swim baits also do well. Try around Fort Niagara.

The Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament is May 18 and the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament is May 31 and June 1. Check out for details.

Justin Muhek shows off an 11 pound, 1 ounce brown trout caught off Olcott by his father, Wes, from Medina, Ohio. He took over 2nd place in the LOC Derby in the Brown Trout Division. It was weighed in at The Boat Doctors in Olcott.

The Don Johannes/Pete DeAngelo 3-fish, big fish contest is May 30. Call Capt. Mike Johannes at 523-1727 for details.

Joseph Wynne of Grand Island caught this dandy steelhead in the lower Niagara River fishing with Capt. Jim Rores of Grand Island. He was using a pink egg sac.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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