Lake Ontario Derby Time!

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report from Destination Niagara USA

The calendar has aligned once again to bring Lake Ontario anglers 3 different fishing derbies for one special weekend.

Parker Cinelli of Grand Island withan 11-1/2 pound lower Niagara River walleye he caught on Monday.

The Orleans Rotary Derby is winding up and will end on Sunday, August 18. It’s still not too late to enter. The current Grand Prize leader is Larry Duckworth’s 27-pound, 8-ounce Point Breeze salmon.

The Fall LOC Derby starts August 16th and runs thru Labor Day with a $25,000 Grand Prize. Check out for details.

The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby is August 17th to the 25th for Niagara, Orleans, and Erie counties. Kids 15 and under can fish for free in any of the three counties. Grand Prize for the adults is $3,000. There are seven different categories for the adults and the kids, and they are somewhat different in each. Check out for details.

The NYS Summer Classic Derby is into its final two weeks of action, too. Check out

Capt. Jim Gordon of Appleton had this great catch out of Olcott this week fishing deep with a gang from Heritage, Pa.

Remember that it’s free fishing on Lake Ontario and the lower Niagara River through Labor Day thanks to a special state promotion. It’s also half-off any Lake Ontario state campgrounds or admission into state parks.

Denis Kreze of Fort Erie, Ontario caught this upper Niagara River walleye recently using a Venom Lures tube.

Lower Niagara River action has been great for walleye. Parker Cinelli of Grand Island caught and released an 11-1/2 pound fish early this week on a spinner and worm. There has been some big bass around, too. George Shively, a 19 year old from Annapolis, Maryland, was fishing with Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston on Tuesday when a 6-1/2 pound smallmouth hit his minnow in the lower river. Action overall has been consistent from Artpark to Lake Ontario.  This will be a popular stretch of water for the Fish Odyssey Derby that will be starting up on Saturday, August 17.

Capt. Jim Gordon of Appleton headed out of Olcott about 9-10 miles and did well on a mix of salmon and trout using spoons, flasher-flies, and meat. Rigger depths were 50, 60 and 80 feet, producing a limit on kings. The spoon bite was hot with silvers, greens. The in-shore bite in 100 to 200 feet of water was good last weekend and started to pick back up Tuesday, but it’s anyone’s guess what will happen with the east wind in the forecast for the start of the LOC and Odyssey contests. Fish were also reported on the Niagara Bar drop-off, but many of those fish were smaller according to reports from Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctor’s. Rock bass and bowfin were being caught in Olcott Harbor, too, from shore.

George Shively of Annapolis, MD reeled in this 6-1/2 pound smallmouth from the lower river that he caught on a minnow fishing with Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston who is holding up the fish.
Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
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