Fish, Fish, Fish Galore! FREE FISHING DAYS in New York this weekend!

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Feb. 12, 2020 – from Destination Niagara USA
Gary Laidman of South Wales enjoyed a banner day on the lower Niagara River fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island using egg sacs and Kwikfish.

This weekend is the first NYS Free Fishing Days weekend of the year, set for Feb. 15-16.  If you are 16 years of age or older, you don’t need a fishing license for these two days, but you do need to abide by the fishing regulations on the body of water you intend to fish.

Action in the lower Niagara River was on fire this week.

Conditions were near perfect if you were fishing from a boat.  Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island reported excellent water as he guided Gary Laidman of South Wales and Bob McNamara of Allegany to hefty catches of steelhead using a mix of Kwikfish and pink egg sacs fished off 3-way rigs.

Glenn Strzelczyk of the Town of Niagara caught this steelhead on the lower Niagara River while fishing with Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston. He was using an egg sac.

A few brown trout and lake trout are also hanging around, as well as some walleye.

Downriver, the brown trout and lake trout were hitting a bit more and MagLips were added to the list of preferred lures. Minnows were also used to hit both trout and walleye.

Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island caught this big smallmouth bass in the lower river on Tuesday while we was fishing for trout.

A fair number of bonus king salmon were also being caught as anglers drifted off the mouth of the river near the green buoy marker.

Shore anglers didn’t fare as well of late. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls did report a 3 for 3 day on steelhead in the gorge by tossing a favorite No. 4 spinner. Fishing from shore is tough without boots. Be careful walking the gorge along the shoreline. Ice grippers are important.

The NRAA Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest is set for Feb. 22 in the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario tributaries. Sign up at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston or the Lewiston Launch Ramp the morning of the event. It runs from sunrise to 2 p.m.

As far as the Lake Ontario tributaries, fishing has been a little tough with only a few steelhead and brown trout being caught. Flows are medium or a bit better with 2-3 feet of visibility. Look for the coldest temperatures of the year on Friday of this week, making things difficult. It could ice up the smaller streams.

Feb. 14-15 is the Birds on the Niagara festival. There is lots of indoor and outdoor programming on Saturday. Check out for a complete schedule.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was 3 for 3 on steelhead on Tuesday despite some tougher conditions using a spinner in the gorge of the lower river.
Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303