Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo, Jan. 17-19, at Niagara Falls Event Center

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Jan. 8, 2020
  • Destination Niagara USA welcomes all fishing guests to this website!

Before we even get into the fishing there needs to be a big shout out for the 7th Annual Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo set for Jan. 17-19 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls – next weekend! Yes, it’s already here! Check the website out at

You will find that there are over 200 seminars for all levels of angling expertise being given by over 100 speakers.

There are over 60 walleye seminars, 35 salmon and trout seminars, 35 bass seminars and a long list of fly fishing seminars to name but a few series being offered. Education is what it’s all about. Following in that same theme, DEC will be offering 1-hour versions of the State of Lake Ontario and the State of Lake Erie on Friday night. A DEC Open House will be featured on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that will bring in top fisheries managers and biologists from lakes Erie and Ontario, the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers, the Finger Lakes, the Salmon River and the Salmon River Fish Hatchery, Women in Fishing, Environmental Law Enforcement and so much more. There are also some 170 vendor booths in the main exhibit hall, mostly related to fish and fishing. Come on out and see what the buzz is all about!

As far as the fishing, if we get the weather that’s being forecast this weekend, there will be plenty of time to visit the Expo website. Last weekend saw some good to very good lower Niagara River action despite some marginal conditions.

Jim Karker of Rochester with his 31-1/2 inch walleye sporting a 19-inch girth he caught on the Niagara Bar off the mouth of the Niagara River last weekend. He was fishing with Capt. John Oravec of Troutman.

Capt. Chris and Capt. Connor Cinelli both report good action in the lower Niagara River on trout this past weekend even though the conditions appeared marginal. However, no one was fishing Monday or Tuesday due to the turbid conditions. The best bait for Capt. Chris was a pink egg sac fished off a 3-way rig. For Capt. Connor, both pink and chartreuse sacs were working.

Trout and walleye were both cooperating around the Lewiston area. Meanwhile, further downriver, Capt. John Oravec of Troutman was taking Jim Karker and his son, Ryan, both of Rochester, on the lower river near Lake Ontario over the weekend. The prize catch for the day was a 31.5-inch walleye with a 19-inch girth reeled in by Jim (the dad) as Ryan (the son) netted it. It hit on a large golden shiner on the Niagara Bar in 21 feet of water. They also did well on browns, steelhead and other walleye using small emerald shiners in the river. The trip was a birthday present for Ryan. The walleye was a personal best for the elder Karker. Lasting memories for sure.

Nick Giancola of Grand Island with a lower river steelhead he caught over the weekend fishing with Capt. Connor Cinelli of Grand Island.

We’ve seen quite a bit of wind of late and that doesn’t translate well with a wide-open Lake Erie and a base temperature of 38 degrees. Today the water looks like chocolate milk, tough for both shore and boat guys. From Friday into Saturday, we could see 1-2 inches of rain. Saturday’s temperatures are forecast to be in the 50’s. We’ll have to play it by ear in the river.

In the tributaries, Roy Letcher of Newfane reports that fishing is good at Burt Dam right now along sections of 18 Mile Creek. Best baits are jigs, sacs, and Rapalas.  Roy will be part of a small crew of instructors that will be focusing on getting the kids more involved with fishing at the Expo this year. We need more youth involvement with angling.

Over in Wilson, 12 mile Creek is holding some trout. If we do receive excessive rain over the weekend, all bets are off on the fishing though. Those creeks will all be blown out.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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