Mark Romanack, FISHING 411 TV – the Niagara River in Winter…after a Lake Erie WINDSTORM

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The white stuff is starting to come down again. Depending on where you are in the county will determine how much snow we will be receiving before it’s over.

Mark Romanack of Fishing 411 TV arrived in Lewiston on Sunday afternoon with enough time to catch some lower Niagara River brown trout using MagLips.

Mark Romanack and his Fishing 411 TV crew came into town on Sunday (12/8/19) and managed to get a couple of fishing days in, but the winds caused water conditions to progressively get worse until he left Tuesday afternoon. This is what he had to say upon returning home:

Making Lemonade out of Lemons

Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters spent Monday on the lower Niagara River with Mark Romanack of Fishing 411 TV. The best bite came on 3-way rigs with egg sacs.

“When conditions are right, the lower Niagara River can be the hottest steelhead, brown trout and lake trout fishery in North America. When conditions are less than ideal, the fishing is routinely very good despite the conditions. However, when the Niagara River decides to shut down, she protects her fish like no other. In our recent visit to the Niagara River, we arrived Sunday afternoon in near ideal conditions and were treated to a couple of hours of stellar fishing drifting 3.0 Mag Lip plugs on three-way rigs. The next morning we also enjoyed great fishing with the help of Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters drifting spawn sacs on three-way rigs at the famed Devil’s Hole. By mid-morning, on the second day, the rains rolled in and fishing went from excellent to a slow tough grind. The third morning we hit the river hopeful with the rain passing, fishing would improve. Instead, the river levels had risen several feet due to heavy winds pounding the shores of Lake Erie. The watercolor in the Niagara River turned the color of chocolate milk. Despite our best efforts on day three, it wasn’t meant to be. Fishing is like that sometimes.”

Joel Juhasz of Lancaster with a new 3rd place 31-inch steelhead from the lower Niagara River, caught on a pink egg sac with Captain Matt Gantress of UnreelfishingNY.

“I can honestly say I’ve seen the Niagara River at her best and worst. I wouldn’t have missed either experience, but I’m hoping next go around the river will treat us with a little more kindness or at least a little longer stretch of kindness. Merry Christmas everyone and I hope to see all our NY friends at the Greater Niagara Fishing Expo January 17-19 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls.” Mark Romanack, Fishing 411 TV

Ric Davila of Wheatfield shows off his one of his two steelhead he caught using a Spey rod in the lower Niagara River. He was using a streamer to catch them.

Despite the turbid conditions, shore anglers had been picking up some steelhead, brown trout and lake trout. Best baits are spinners, beads, and sacs. Pink is a hot color right now.

Sacs and live bait are working for brown trout around Fort Niagara according to Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle.

Steve Brzuszkiewicz of Marilla launched his boat at Ontario Street and fished the upper Niagara River to take lake trout up to 30 inches long and some walleye using minnows.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been hitting an occasional king along Artpark by tossing a No. 4 spinner. The fish he caught on Tuesday was 21-1/2 pounds and he caught that one on 8-pound test line.

We all may have to wait a few days for waters to clear this time around.

Remember that if you do catch a lake trout in New York waters, it should be released immediately.

Lake trout season opens on Jan. 1 in New York waters. However, if you fish the Canadian side of the river, that season opened on Dec. 1.

Muskellunge season remains open in the Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River through Dec. 15.

In the upper Niagara River, Steve Brzuszkiewicz of Marilla launched his boat over the weekend and used emerald shiners to catch some nice walleye, as well as lake trout up to 30 inches long. It was the only bait he could get to work.

The deadline to comment on proposed regulations for the Niagara River and Lake Ontario is Dec. 14. Check them out at


Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
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