Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Feb. 19, 2020 from Destination Niagara USA

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., with awards to follow at Lewiston No. 1 Fire Hall in the village. You must be a club member to participate, but they do give you a $5 discount to sign up for the year.

New steelhead leader in the Capt. Bob’s Outdoors contest is Andy Wengender of Webster with this 33-inch beauty from the lower Niagara River. 

Fishing was very good in the river until the winds and rain hit Lake Erie, causing stained water to slow things down.

Tracey Mikolajek of Orchard Park with her biggest lake trout of the day, fishing the Niagara Bar area of the lower river with Capt. Ryan O’Neill of Buffalo Wingz Waterfowl.

Shore casters in the lower river have had it tough this week and Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls reported about 2 feet of visibility or less on Tuesday.

Boaters have also struggled but a few fish are being caught by fishing MagLips off three-way rigs or egg sacs in bright colors like pink or chartreuse.

Jacob Strycharz of Orchard Park caught this lunker steelhead fishing the lower Niagara River with Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston.

As far as the Lake Ontario tributaries, fishing has been a mixed bag of browns and steelhead according to Scott Feltrinelli with Ontario Fly Outfitters. “Conditions are actually very good on most creeks and this is a great time of year to get out and fish changing water conditions,” says Feltrinelli. Stonefly hatches are also occurring on many creeks so remember to “match the hatch.”

Tracey Mikolajek of Orchard Park caught this steelhead in the lower Niagara River fishing with Capt. Ryan O’Neill of Orchard Park last weekend.

Remember that the WNY Boat Show is next week, Feb. 26 to March 1 at the ADPRO Sports Training House, 1 Bills Drive, Orchard Park. Free admission Wednesday and Thursday. For more info, https://wnyboating.com/.

Bill Hilts, Jr. - Outdoor Promotions Director
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Destination Niagara USA; 10 Rainbow Blvd.; Niagara Falls, NY 14303

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 www.birdsontheniagara.org 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

Lower Niagara River Winter Fishing, Rod-Bending FUN!

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 – Provided from Destination Niagara USA
Aaron Scholl of Cleveland, NY with a Niagara River steelhead he caught fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane.

The fishing action in the Niagara River is finally turning back around again with the favorable weather conditions this week. Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston caught 4 trout in 2 hours of fishing on Tuesday, despite marginal conditions due to the stained water.  When it switches over, action should be good from both boat and shore.

Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston with a lower Niagara River steelhead.
Capt. John Oravec of Troutman with a nice lower river brown trout.

Capt. John Oravec with Troutman reported that he had action all day last Thursday and Friday.  His Thursday the action was on 29-inch to 34-inch lake trout.  Oravec did well on the Niagara Bar in 27-feet with live bait fished off three-way rigs.  Friday it was brown trout and steelhead in the river.  He also caught a big 12-1/2-pound brown on Friday with an emerald shiner.

The weekend winds messed things up again.

Jon Forder of Albion with a lower river steelhead he caught while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni with Thrillseeker.

From the shore in the gorge area, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was hitting some nice steelhead using No. 4 spinners.  Joel Juhasz of Lancaster is the leader in the Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Winter Contest for the Steelhead Division with a 31.5-inch lower river fish caught on a pink egg sac.  In the upper Niagara River, lake trout and walleye were cooperating for anglers using jigs or live bait.

Greg Schloerb of Amherst caught this brown trout from a favorite Lake Ontario tributary over the weekend. He was using a jig tipped with a wax worm.

California Joe Pavalonis of Buffalo is once again atop the leaderboard in the Capt. Bob’s Outdoors Winter Contest with a 17-3/4 inch upper river rudd taken on a crappie jig.  He also caught a northern pike that is the leader in that fish species category while fishing for rudd, a 31-.5-inch fish from the upper river on a crappie jig.

Denis Kreze of Fort Erie, Ontario has been catching some walleye in the upper Niagara River.

In the Lake Ontario tributaries, conditions have been a bit rough according to Greg Schloerb of Amherst. Water was high and stained this past weekend. Fishing has been slow but there are fish available. He did manage to catch both browns and steelhead using jigs tipped with wax worms, catching all his fish this past weekend.

Meanwhile, Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters found a few steelhead in small tributaries on Monday. Conditions were good in the smaller streams. High water has been dropping and clearing after this most recent melt off. Feltrinelli’s fish took a large brown and orange streamer fly. Many medium creeks were also fishing well. Bigger creeks should be clearing and fishing decent should be available over the next few days.  For your calendar, mark the Birds on the Niagara Festival for Feb. 14-15. Check out the schedule at www.birdsontheniagara.org.

Also, the Niagara River Anglers will hold their steelhead contest on Feb. 22.  Sign up at the Lewiston launch ramp the morning of the event (sunrise to 2 p.m.) or at Creek Road Bait & Tackle in Lewiston.

Bill Hilts, Jr.- Outdoor Promotions Director
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Destination Niagara USA; 10 Rainbow Blvd.; Niagara Falls, NY 14303

HEAD NORTH YOUNG MAN! Niagara River Fishing Action is GOOD, Smaller Tribs are Frozen-Up

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Jan. 22, 2020 from Destination Niagara USA
John Jarosz of Lakeview with a steelhead he caught in Devil’s Hole while fishing with Capt. Ryan Shea with Brookdog Fishing Company.

After another round of windstorms, it looks like things are going to take off again in the river in a good way.

There was plenty of fish around the last time the water was decent, especially in the lower Niagara River – steelhead and walleye, with an occasional lake trout and brown trout. Egg sacs in pink or chartreuse, Kwikfish or MagLips for plugs, minnows for live bait – all fished off 3-way rigs.

Shore casters should be starting to pick up steelies with spinners, jigs, flies, and sacs. The water along the shoreline should offer anglers clearer opportunities a bit quicker.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a nice steelhead he caught in the lower Niagara River while fishing from shore with a spinner.

With favorable weather Thursday and Friday, that will be your best bet until the weekend. Next week looks pretty good, too.

Upper river options should also include some trout including lake trout, and walleyes.

Richard Pisa of Tonawanda with a lower Niagara River steelhead caught last week.

The Niagara River Anglers Association will be holding its Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest on Saturday, Feb. 22. This date has been moved from its traditional time slot, set for the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario tributaries starting at sunrise. Cost is $20 for the contest plus an option $5 for the best brown trout. In addition, you must be a member of the NRAA. Membership cost is $20, a $5 savings from the normal membership cost.

In the tributaries of Lake Ontario, the conditions right now offer medium flows and about 2 feet of visibility.  There are reports of steelhead hookups, a few each outing by good drifters or swingers.  Some hens are already showing loose eggs.

Smaller tributaries are challenging with the cold weather. Things are slushing and icing up.  The next forecasted warmup will only give us more of the same with conditions and fish.

Roy Letcher of Newfane reports that 18 Mile Creek is running well right now with a fair number of trout. Everything else is mainly frozen.

Scott Feltrinelli with Ontario Fly Outfitters reports that many of the smaller streams are frozen-up right now.

We have some warmer weather coming to us bt the end of the week and that could open some areas. Later in the day, it might be better.

Jajean Rose with the WNY Land Conservancy caught his first steelhead in the lower Niagara River last week fishing with Capt. Ryan Shea of Brookdog Fishing Company.
Bill Hilts, Jr.- Outdoor Promotions Director
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

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 www.niagarafishingexpo.com.

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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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Winter Fish on the Line for New Years Party: Walleye, Brown Trout, Steelhead…and Lake Trout

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report
  • Thursday, Dec. 27, 2019 – From Destination Niagara USA
Tim Finney of Wheatfield with a steelhead he caught last week in the lower Niagara River fishing with Capt. John DeLorenzo.

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas!

No white Christmas here in Western New York as temperatures hit the 50-degree mark with no white stuff in sight. If you scored on some new fishing gear under the Christmas tree, get out and take advantage of some decent fishing action.

On Monday, the lower Niagara River fishing slowed up a bit, but sometimes you must adapt to whatever conditions Mother Nature gives you. Southwest winds pushed boats along as water clarity conditions became a bit more stained. Switching over to MagLip and Kwikfish plugs helped turn the fish on, while fishing them off 3-way rigs according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle.

Victor Radcliffe of Rochester was fishing the lower Niagara with Capt. John Oravec of Troutman and managed to catch this big brown trout.

Capt. John Oravec of the Troutman sends word that he enjoyed a banner day last weekend when everything came together with weather, water clarity, and fish cooperation in the lower Niagara River and Niagara Bar. Water conditions were good, finally recovering from the wind earlier in the week. Fishing went from good to excellent for Oravec, using live shiners in 10 to 20 feet of water down-river, as well as on the Niagara Bar. He had a trio of anglers onboard – Dan Robinson of LeRoy, Wade Rowcliffe and Victor Rowcliffe of Rochester. It was non-stop action for brown trout, steelhead, walleye, and lake trout. He also witnessed a few boats fighting king salmon, enjoying the mild weather.

Wade Radcliffe of Rochester with a lower Niagara River walleye he reeled in while fishing with Capt. John Oravec of Troutman.

Speaking of lake trout and walleye, 2 regulations will be going into effect on Jan. 1, 2020. First, lake trout season will open in New York waters for the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario.  Jan. 1 is also the trigger date that reduces the daily limit for walleye from 3 fish to 1 fish to help protect the spawning females.

Lake Ontario tributaries offered up mixed reports. Mild and clear weather is forecast through mid-week with temps in the 40’s.  The next chance for precipitation is the end of the week.  Any area snowpack has melted for the most part.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught 4 nice steelhead this week, the day before Christmas, in the lower Niagara River.

Temperatures will continue to be warm early next week so look for fresh steelhead moving in and some holdover browns still hanging around. Don’t be afraid to seek out smaller creeks if there is good flow. One creek that won’t is Keg Creek. The mouth of the creek is closed off.

Egg sacs or egg imitations are working well, but don’t rule out streamers or white zonkers to entice trout to hit.

Happy New Year!

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
 

Winter Chill is Here, but Fish are Too

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report from Destination Niagara USA
  • Big fish in Trib’s during December runoff periods
  • Ice Boom going in on Lake Erie very soon
Corey S. of Massachusetts caught this big brown fishing with Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters.

Temperatures are in the single digits with the wind chill and there’s not much wind.

Efforts are underway to install the ice boom at the head of the river off Buffalo, but water temperatures are still fluctuating around 40 degrees. Ice is still a ways off. As a result, the Niagara River water is still susceptible to stained conditions when the winds are right.

Joel Juhasz of Lancaster caught this 30-inch steelhead in the lower river to take over the lead in the Capt. Bob’s Outdoors fall contest.

With temperatures being forecast in the 40’s this weekend, it should be a good time to get a line wet for some trout action in the Niagara River just before the Christmas holiday.

Earlier this week, a hand full of boaters were catching steelhead using minnows off three-way rigs. Shore guys were using spinners, jigs, and streamers to take steelhead, with the occasional brown trout also being caught. Lake trout season opens in New York on Jan. 1, 2020, but it’s open already on the Canadian side of the river.

Captain John DeLorenzo with a Lower Niagara River steelhead.
Captain John DeLorenzo with a Lower Niagara River brown trout.

The brown trout action that was hot earlier at Fort Niagara has slowed down.

In the upper Niagara River, Denis Kreze of Fort Erie has been hitting some lake trout using a Venom Donkey Snatcher in 18 feet of water. Lake trout season is open in the upper river all year long.

Roy Letcher of Newfane sends word that the water flows have been high with muddy conditions for most tributary streams running into Lake Ontario. Those streams could be in good shape by the weekend.

With cold weather in the forecast, we could be looking at some of the Niagara County harbors, like Wilson and Olcott, starting to turn to hard water soon.

Ric Davila of Wheatfield took a couple of steelhead before work on Tuesday using his two-handed Spey rod and a white bunny leech.

Good water was being reported in some of the smaller streams like 4-Mile and 12-Mile, but Keg Creek is closed at the mouth, preventing any fish from entering the stream. After the high water/rain event last week, the water levels have lowered, and fish have come in from the lake.

Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters with a Lake Ontario tributary brown trout.

December runoff is a no brainer to catch big lake-run fish on the move. Use a large size 6 white Zonker with copper flash. Slush ice can be a challenge when temps hover around freezing. Waiting it out can pay off big. “The sun recedes and with it the conveyor belt of slush ice,” says Scott Feltrinelli with Ontario Fly Outfitters.

Some last-minute stocking stuffers include a season pass for the LOC Derby at www.loc.org. Save $20 ($10 off the regular price).  A 3-day pass for the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo is available from the website at www.niagarafishingexpo.com. The Expo is set for Jan. 17-19, 2020.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA; 10 Rainbow Blvd.; Niagara Falls, NY 14303

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

  • Niagara Falls USA, Pictures, Stories and our latest Fishing Report

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 www.dec.ny.gov.

 

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
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Destination Niagara USA; 10 Rainbow Blvd.; Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara River and Lake Ontario Creek TROUT ACTION is GOOD from Shore and in Boats

Bomber steelhead in a favorite tributary off Lake Ontario ... in Niagara County.

  • Steelhead, Brown Trout, Bass…all hitting with the new snowfall
  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Dec. 4, 2019 from Destination Niagara USA
Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters has been catching some nice brown trout like this one in the Lake Ontario tribs.

Lower Niagara River trout action was getting back to good again and then for some reason the bottom fell out. Water clarity in the river was trashed on Wednesday for no apparent reason according to Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. Yesterday the action was almost back to normal with shore anglers tossing spinners, jigs or drifting eggs or egg imitations like beads to take steelhead and the occasional brown trout.

Tommy and Mac Capen caught some nice steelhead in the lower Niagara River with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island using egg sacs.

Some lake trout are also being caught. Lake trout season is closed in the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario until Jan. 1 in New York. However, lake trout season on the Canadian side of the lower river opened on Dec. 1. If you would like to see this season changed, there is an opportunity to extend the New York season by a month. There is currently a proposal in place to open New York’s season on Dec. 1, the same as the Province of Ontario for the lower river and Lake Ontario. Consult the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov for how you can comment. Deadline is Dec. 14, 2019. Lake trout season in the upper Niagara River and Lake Erie is open all year.

Boat fishermen in the lower Niagara are drifting MagLips or egg sacs to take steelhead with regularity.

Kyle Kraft of Ohio was targeting bass earlier this week, using Rage swimbaits while fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston. They caught some nice ones. Musky season is open in the lower river through Dec. 15.

The John Henning Memorial Musky Tournament set for last Sunday was re-scheduled for Dec. 8 and it looks like a nice day at this point.

All the NYPA fishing facilities such as the fishing platform and the access to the reservoir off Upper Mountain Road are now closed for the season.

Buffy Frank of Lockport with a bomber steelhead in a favorite tributary off Lake Ontario … in Niagara County.

Let’s hope the water clears by Monday because Mark Romanack and Fishing 411 TV will be rolling into town to do a show next week.

Many of the tributaries off Lake Ontario have been fighting a little slush in the morning with the colder weather this week. If there is an issue, the streams have been opening a bit more by the afternoon when things warm up.

Jim Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott reports that there haven’t been too many people out the past week due to the cold and the fact that big game hunting season is still going on. Flies, wax worms and eggs have been catching fish when the conditions are right.

Scott Feltrinelli with Ontario Fly Outfitters has been picking up some browns and steelhead in the tributaries, bouncing around from stream to stream in order to locate active fish and open water. With the warm up this weekend, look for a mini-ice out event to take place. Fish should be active.

If you are looking for a stocking stuffer, register someone for the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derbies for 2020. Sign up now at www.loc.org and receive $20 a season pass ($10 less than the normal price.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA; 10 Rainbow Blvd.; Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Chilly Winter on the Doorstep, Niagara Fishing Action is Picking up!

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report for Nov. 27, 2019
  • From Destination Niagara USA

Happy Thanksgiving!

Steve Hawkins of Capt. Bob’s Outdoors in Clarence managed to fish the Lower Niagara River this week and catch some steelhead.

This is the calm before the storm.

A cold front is expected to blow in today with gusts up to 60 miles per hour. It could be a repeat performance from Halloween. No treats here.
Things were slowly starting to improve as the last round of winds last Friday in the Niagara River. The water was off-color over the weekend and into the beginning of the week. Tuesday it was near perfect and fishing was good. We will probably be back into the same muddy mess after this storm.

Joel Meister of Lockport took over the lead in the Capt. Bob’s Outdoors steelhead division with this 32.5-inch lower Niagara River steelhead.

Mark Plennert of Niagara Falls had some success off the NYPA Fishing Platform in the gorge when waters finally cleared this week but take note the last day for the season that it could be open is Nov. 30. Call 286-6662 to check first. The stairs leading down to the shoreline is already closed due to erosion.

Tuesday of this week Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston and Gary Hall of Niagara Falls timed things just right to catch some nice steelhead to 12 pounds, using MagLips off three-way rigs. Egg sacs will also work. Mike Marisa of Johnstown, Pa. caught quite a few steelhead using a mix of beads and egg sacs in pink – along Artpark and up in the gorge around the whirlpool just prior to the last wind event. Things were a bit more difficult earlier this week due to turbid conditions. When the water starts to clear, the shore guys will start catching fish first.

Mike Marisa of Johnstown, Pa. caught and released this 17-pound lake trout in the lower Niagara River. Lake trout season is closed in the lower river, but opens on the Canadian side December 1.

For the Lake Ontario tributaries, Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters reported catching some brown trout and steelhead this past week. Water temperatures and conditions were very favorable and should stay nice through Christmas if Mother Nature cooperates. The water has been high and lightly stained due to snowmelt. This is perfect for big fish to move throughout the creek systems and feed in a post-spawn manner according to Feltrinelli. Bug streamers have been working well for fly fishermen targeting browns. Other baits that are working are beads, egg sacs, and jigs. Steelhead are moving into the creeks in better numbers as well. You still must move around to seek out active fish. Fishing pressure continues to be down due to hunting seasons.

Remember that November 30 is the final day for muskellunge in the upper Niagara River. However, the Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River season is open through Dec. 15. This is one reason why the Niagara Musky Association holds its John Henning Memorial Musky Tournament in December, set for December 1 in the lower river only. You must be a member of NMA. Call Scott Kitchen at 939-0006 if you are interested.

Conor Shelby of Williamsville caught this 27-inch brown trout in a Lake Ontario tributary to take over 3rd place in the Capt. Bob’s Outdoors fall derby.

Nov. 30 is the final day of the regular bass season in the state. For the most part, it turns into a catch and release season on Dec. 1 throughout most of the state. One exception is Lake Erie where a special season begins Dec. 1 allowing for 1 bass with a minimum size of 20 inches long. You can also fish with live bait. If you have any questions, consult the regulations at www.dec.ny.gov.

One final note is that lake trout season opens on Dec. 1 in the lower Niagara River on the Canadian side only. This was one of the reasons that an extended lake trout season was proposed in the lower river in NY. The comment period for that ends Dec. 14. Lake trout season opens Jan. 1 in New York waters of the lower Niagara and Lake Ontario. If you do catch a lake trout incidentally, please release it quickly and unharmed.

Rick Kustich of Getzville shows off a nice musky he caught this week casting a black over white River Runner fly in the upper Niagara River.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA; 10 Rainbow Blvd.; Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303; f: 716-285-0809
www.niagarafallsusa.com

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Lower Niagara River trout fishing with Flies and Heavy Sinking Fly Line, a Winner!

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report & Forecast for from Destination Niagara USA
  • Check out these pictures from a few days before Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019
Jeff Pierce of Scientific Anglers with his arsenal of flies caught this nice steelhead and many other fish off Niagara Bar this week using a new sinking fly line.

Fishing pressure lightened up the past week with the opening for the Southern Zone regular big game hunting season last Saturday. However, the fishing action didn’t let up, as some great action was being reported in the Niagara River – both above and below Niagara Falls – and on the Niagara Bar.

We’ll start with the Niagara Bar as Jeff Pierce with Scientific Anglers out of Michigan made a solo trip to do some filming and photos Sunday through Tuesday. He was fishing faster sinking lines (Scientific Anglers Sonar Stillwater SD SINK5/7 and the Sonar Titan Triple Density SINK3/5/7).  These lines allowed him to get the fly down a bit (yes, he was fly fishing from his boat) in the river current as it flows out into Lake Ontario.

He would use the trolling motor to control his drift so that with a long cast, he could get his flies where he wanted them.  If he started stripping the fly right away, he could cover the top 10 feet.  If he let it sink 10 seconds, he could cover the bottom half of the water column.

He focused his efforts in the 17 to 26-foot range.  Every time he got a strike, he’d hit the waypoint marker on his Lowrance unit.  After a few drifts, a pattern would develop, and he’d concentrate his drifts on those spots. He was using a few different streamer fly patterns he ties.  Double Bunnies, Bunny Strips and Clouser Minnows were all effective.

Jeff Pierce offers proof that deep water and fly fishing can go together on the Lower Niagara River. A nice lake trout.

All flies have a little weight on the head (cone or dumbbell eyes) to help them stay down in the current.  At times there were some salmon up chasing bait on the surface.  The first day he lost a real beauty of a brown, right at the boat as his net wasn’t quite big enough.  He estimated the fish at around 16-17 pounds.  Immediately after that, he got his bigger net out. Over the course of the 3 days, he caught brown trout, steelhead, smallmouth bass, and lake trout. Finally, winds were not an issue.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught some steelhead and lake trout from shore in the Niagara Gorge this week.

Lower river trout fishing has been on fire the past week according to Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Trout have been hitting egg sacs and beads in size 10 mm in chartreuse and orange from shore in the gorge. For the sacs, use chartreuse or natural colors.

Boaters have been drifting MagLips, Kwikfish and egg sacs off three-way rigs.

Shore guys are also using glow spoons and sacs for browns near Fort Niagara. Devil’s Hole has been picking up according to reports. Water level fluctuation has been severe at times. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was doing well on steelhead using a mix of jigs and spinners in the gorge.

Gary Laidman of South Wales with a 48-inch upper river musky caught while fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.
Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island with a big smallmouth from the upper river.

The John Henning Memorial Musky Tournament hosted by the Niagara Musky Association will be held on Dec. 1 this year. Musky fishing was good the tail end of last week in the upper river reports Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. Gary Laidman of South Wales was 2 for 3 on muskies last Thursday including a 48-inch fish that was sporting a 30-inch girth – a personal best for Laidman. The fish was estimated at over 50 pounds. The musky season closes in the upper river, Buffalo Harbor and Lake Erie on Nov. 30.

Some big Lake Erie bass were also available on emerald shiners.

Not as much fishing going on the past week with the opening of the regular big game season in the Southern Zone according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott.

Young Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane had the dam area to himself this past weekend on 18 Mile Creek. He reports that it’s been hit or miss for the most part for trout. Some days are better than others.

Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane with a 27-1/2 inch brown trout from a favorite Lake Ontario tributary.

Conditions were murky but fishable earlier this week for browns and steelhead. Egg sacs and beads work best.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA; 10 Rainbow Blvd.; Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Snow is here – Musky, Browns and Steelhead too!

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report from Destination Niagara USA
Keegan Walczak of Amherst with a big Niagara County tributary steelhead.

This week it was 10-plus inches of snow and cold temperatures that is impacting local angling action.

There are a few bright spots though. Trout action on the lower Niagara River was good as waters cleared up and fish became a bit more aggressive, especially for steelhead. Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston reports good action for trout throughout the gorge on beads and sacs.

Brown trout have been staging at the mouth of the river, too. Glow spoons were working for shoreline casters around the Fort.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls reports he’s been getting some trout on eggs, jigs, and spinners. He even caught a salmon on a jig. He noted that the NYPA plant has had the No. 1 pump off all week. It’s been slow in there, but trout are jumping. The NYPA fishing platform was closed on Tuesday and today due to icy conditions and it wasn’t getting any warmer until the weekend. Call 796-0135 Ext. 45 (twice) to find out if it’s open.

In the Tim Wittek Memorial Musky Tournament last Sunday, Josh Kane was the winner with a 46-1/2-inch Buffalo Harbor fish. Runner ups were Dave Gorski and Jay Decarolis with 42-inch Buffalo Harbor muskellunge. Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island reports he’s been taking two muskies on average each trip out when the weather conditions allow for it.

Wade Winch of North Tonawanda with an upper Niagara River musky.

There was some decent flow in some of the bigger Lake Ontario tributaries and eggs and beads were producing some fish at places like Burt Dam according to Jim Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott. Jigs, Wooly Buggers, and other egg imitations are catching fish, too.

Remember that there will be a meeting hosted by DEC to discuss the Lake Ontario forage base on Wednesday, Nov. 13 starting at 6:30 p.m. That’s tonight. The meeting will take place at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport and it is free and open to the public. If you can’t make the DEC meeting, there will be an online/phone call presentation on Nov. 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Visit the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov to find out details.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught this king salmon on a jig.

There are a few changes on the leaderboard according to Steve Hawkins at Capt. Bob’s Outdoors in Clarence for the store’s fall derby.

California Joe Pavalonis of Buffalo is back, taking over the lead with a 17-1/8-inch Rudd from the upper Niagara River that weighed in at 2.61 pounds.

Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane took over second place in the Brown Trout division with a 27-1/2-inch Lake Ontario tributary fish.

The new leader in the Yellow Perch category is Barry Ball of Alden with a 14-1/4-inch fish.

Aaron Horvatits of Buffalo with a nice lower Niagara River steelhead.

Bill Hilts, Jr.- Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
 

 

 

Big Browns at Olcott Trib’s, Musky in Upper Niagara River

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Nov. 6, 2019, from Destination Niagara USA
Aaron Woods of Ransomville with a dandy brown trout he caught at a favorite Lake Ontario tributary.

For Lake Ontario, lots of rain late last week and part of Saturday caused turbid conditions in the bigger creeks. Smaller creeks are producing browns and steelhead right now. Egg patterns and streamers work well according to Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters. Try using egg patterns in orange and natural color buggers.

Brian from Ohio with another nice Lake Ontario tributary brown trout from last weekend.

Many fish are spawning on the redds right now, so those fish have had lockjaw. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott reports good action on egg sacs, artificial eggs, marshmallows, beads, and wooly buggers. Pier action has been slow, primarily due to the winds keeping people off of them.

The Niagara River was still very stained as of today, but we’re getting close to fishable conditions for boaters. Use scent or something with vibration. Steelhead and brown trout top the list, but a few out-of-season lake trout are showing up, too. There are still bass and walleye around, too, according to Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle.

Lower river fishing has been better for the shore casters than the boaters for sure with the condition of the water since the storm. The shoreline usually clears first when you have conditions like this, allowing for better fishing close to the rocks. Egg sacs or imitations, spoons, spinners will all work. It should continue to improve the closer we get to the weekend, barring any further wind events.

11-year-old Nick Adam of the Town of Tonawanda caught this 39-inch musky in the upper Niagara River last week using a perch-colored shallow raider – his first musky ever!

If we see some snow and ice, there’s a good chance that the New York Power Authority fishing platform will be closing temporarily. Call 796-0135 Ext. 45 to find out if it’s open.

Dan Woods from Ransomville caught this lake trout and released it while casting off the NYPA fishing platform.

In the upper Niagara River and Buffalo Harbor, musky fishermen are chomping at the bit to get out there and target these toothy fish. The season ends there on Nov. 30. Hans Mann of Buffalo Harbor Outfitters reports that we need some green water for fish to start turning on, and they should be hungry. Fishing was good in the river prior to the storm. When the water finally clears, it should be game on in Buffalo Harbor, just in time for the re-scheduled Tim Wittek Memorial Musky Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 10. The contest is sponsored by the Niagara Musky Association.

Remember that there will be a meeting hosted by DEC to discuss the Lake Ontario forage base on Wednesday, Nov. 13 starting at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will take place at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport and it is free and open to the public.

 

John Antone from Niagara County caught this 47-plus inch muskellunge from the upper Niagara River while fishing with Capt. Connor Cinelli of Grand Island just before the storm blew in last week.
Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Musky’s CHOMPING-UP Angler Lures

Gary Laidman of South Wales caught this 48-inch musky this week in the upper Niagara River fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing – Walleye, Brown Trout, Musky, Carp, Lake Trout, WOW
  • Destination Niagara USA is a vacation destination for fall fishing
  • One angler caught 4 Musky on the same trip!
  • Story includes Fishing Forecast for week of Oct. 30, 2019
Dan Ettipio of Clarence with a 40-inch Upper Niagara River fish he caught this week fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.

Will it be a trick or treat for area fishing this week?

High winds over the weekend created turbid conditions for drifters and casters.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a NYPA platform carp caught on eggs.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls found some decent success off the NYPA fishing platform despite 2 feet of visibility, using eggs to take steelhead and carp; colorful jigs to take salmon and walleye over the weekend. There have been a few high water issues on the NYPA platform so be aware of that.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a lower river walleye caught on a jig off the NYPA platform.

Some fish are available along Artpark from shore, both steelhead and browns. Lake trout are also being caught, but lake trout season is closed. Spinners and eggs or egg imitations like beads are catching primarily trout. Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle reports bass are cooperating by Fort Niagara and big walleyes have been hitting along Artpark and Stella, as well as up in Devil’s Hole.

Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield with a lower Niagara River brown trout last week.

The water was clearing, but the next big wind event is set for the end of the week and will impact water conditions in the river. This could rile the water up again and affect the Niagara Musky Association’s Tim Wittek Memorial Tournament set for Sunday, Nov. 3. Musky action has been good in the upper river.

Jeff Pritchard of Lockport shows off a big musky, one of 4 he caught in the upper Niagara River, fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island on Saturday. He was drifting large shiners.

Jeff Pritchard from the Lockport area was fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island last Saturday and caught four muskies in one trip bottom bouncing with large shiners. That is an incredible day.

Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield with a lower Niagara River steelhead from last week.

Many of the tributaries flowing into Lake Ontario are murky, making for some tougher fishing. However, Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctor in Olcott reports that fish are being caught in places like 18 Mile Creek with egg sacs and beads at the top of the list for fish-catching. Reports of a fresh run of salmon moving into the creek were substantiated on Tuesday by Evarts and things were hopping at Fisherman’s Park where Burt Dam is located. Some days are better than others, though.

Lisa Cicciarelli of Lockport holds up her first-ever lake trout before it was released in the lower Niagara River. She was fishing with Capt. Arnie Jonathan of Lockport.

A few fish are being caught off the piers casting spoons, spinners or fishing eggs under a float. 12 Mile Creek (Olcott) was muddy, but as water levels drop and conditions clear, there should be some fish available.

There will be a special meeting with DEC to discuss the status of the Lake Ontario forage base on Nov. 13 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport starting at 6:30 p.m.

If you can’t make it, there will be an online presentative (or you can call in) on Nov. 14.

Check the DEC website out for more information at www.dec.ny.gov.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Musky, Browns, Steelhead and Salmon – Big Fish: Niagara USA

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Oct. 9, 2019 – Destination Niagara USA
Buffy Frank of Lockport reeled in this bomber brown trout over the weekend.

Out in the lake, some boaters have pounded the piers with limited success. Better luck for salmon and trout has been out deep, but no specific details are available.

If you are looking for salmon, the best area in Niagara Falls USA is Olcott. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott Harbor reports some fish being caught off the piers by spoon chuckers. A few have been caught on J13 Rapalas, rattle baits (like Rat-L-Traps) and spinners. Drifting egg skein is also a good approach.

Gianni Etopio of Youngstown caught both a nice brown trout and a big steelhead this weekend.

You can do the same thing from small boats and other watercraft in the harbor and up 18 Mile Creek. Trolling, casting or still fishing in some of the deeper holes. At the dam, there was good brown trout action over the weekend, with some salmon and steelhead being caught. However, things have slowed back down again with the warmer weather this week. That could all change with the cold front coming through this weekend. Egg sacs were working best at the dam, with pink being a hot color.

Brad from NYC caught this salmon in Devil’s Hole while fishing with Capt. Paul Schirmer of Cambria.
Mark from South Carolina hit the Niagara River to take this salmon with Capt. Paul Schirmer.

If we get some rain, you can look for salmon at Wilson, too.

A total of 10,000 kings were put into pens in 2017 and some of those fish could be returning early as 2-year-olds. There should also be browns and steelhead around.

In the lower Niagara River, salmon action has been poor in the Devil’s Hole area. Very few fish are being caught from shore or from boats. There are fish available but in limited numbers. Water temperatures are still warm, in the mid-60s, and that could be impacting the run a bit. There are a few browns and steelhead around.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught this musky off the NYPA Fishing Platform, instead of a salmon.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught a musky (on a No. 3 spinner) and a walleye off the NYPA Fishing Platform this week. No salmon.

Bass fishing has been good according to Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston, especially by Fort Niagara using crabs, shiners, and tubes.

Keegan Walczak of Amherst with a beauty brownie over the weekend
Chris Walczak of Amherst caught this salmon off the Olcott pier on a Rat-L-Trap.

In the upper river, Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island is reporting some of the best smallmouth bass fishing of the year on big minnows.

This coming weekend, Oct. 12-13, is the youth pheasant hunt for Western NY.

Also, Oct. 12-14, Columbus Day Weekend, is the Youth Big Game Hunt in the Southern Zone. To check out more information on these youth hunts. Check out www.dec.ny.gov.

Bill Hilts, Jr.- Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Light Salmon Bite, Big Bass Bite – in Niagara USA Country

Keegan Walczak of Amherst shows off a big king salmon he caught off Lake Ontario.

Charter captains have been struggling in the Devil’s Hole area for salmon. In fact, some captains have canceled their salmon season due to sparse numbers. The shore guys are catching a few, like off the NYPA fishing platform. Glow spoons have been the ticket.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught this steelhead off the NYPA fishing platform tossing a spinner.

A few brown trout have been caught by casters using spoons and spinners according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught 2 steelhead and 2 smallmouth bass casting spinners off the platform on Tuesday morning, so some fish are available. Many have opted to switch gears and chase bass in boats.

Capt. Joe Marra of Niagara Rainbow Charters took out Kurt Gregory Smutko of North Carolina and Dr. George Smutko of Lewiston on the Niagara Bar area this week around Fort Niagara and they had a banner day, catching some 50 fish in the process – and no sheepshead. Minnows were the top bait and they caught several smallmouth bass over 5 pounds. The fishing days aren’t all like that but this day was a special one.

In Lake Ontario, fishing for salmon and trout picked up off the piers at Olcott Monday morning, followed by more good fishing on Tuesday morning. When fishing the piers at night, use blues and glows for spoon colors. They are still fish jumping in the lake, too.

Kurt Smutko of North Carolina was fishing with his father, George, and had a great day on the Niagara River, catching a pile of smallmouth and a few silver bass with Capt. Joe Marra of Niagara Rainbow Charters.

The piers at Wilson have been producing some brown trout, northern pike and the occasional salmon. Getting them to bite has not been easy.

In 18 Mile Creek, there appears to be fishable numbers of salmon.

At Burt Dam, they’ve been picking up a few kings, browns and steelhead, but the main run has not started yet according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott.

This week’s weather could be the ticket to trigger more fish movement. Heavy rain is in the forecast.

Oct. 1 kicked off the early archery season for big game in the Southern Zone. This weekend is the Youth Waterfowl Hunt. More hunting opportunities will generally mean less fish pressure.

Good luck and good fishing.

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
f: 716-285-0809
www.niagarafallsusa.com

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga with a king salmon he caught off the Olcott pier this week.

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Bass, Walleye, Salmon, Northern Pike on the Bite Up North in NIagara USA Fish

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, from Destination Niagara USA
  • Lack of Rain, Warm Weather, Slows Lower River King Salmon Run
  • Big Bass in the Lower Niagara are ON-THE-BITE
  • Walleye, Northern Pike and many other species beginning to feed for winter now
Andy Full of Tonawanda and Jeff Hippert of Hamburg placed second in the Safe Harbor Open in the lower river with 5 bass weighing 21.76 pounds.

In the Niagara River, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls reports that it’s been a slow run on kings so far with the lack of rain and warm water temperatures. To make up for it he’s taken a few good-sized browns on artificial eggs. The water was clear and warm. Tuesday, he tried for walleyes in the gorge and stuck 4 nice ones on plugs. Bass fishing has been good to help make up for the lack of salmon.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls switched from salmon to walleye and hit four nice ‘eyes this week using plugs.

Mike McGrath and Brendan Walsh, both of Niagara Falls, won the Safe Harbor Open Bass Tournament recently with a 5-fish bag that totaled 25.31 pounds. It also included at 5.75 lunker for the contest. The amazing thing was that Lake Ontario was off-limits and all the contestants were required to fish in the river due to high winds. When the winds cooperate, the Niagara Bar can be decent around the green buoy marker according to Capt. Ned Librock of Pendleton. He was fishing with Roy Larson of Wheatfield and Anthony Karam of West Seneca to take smallmouth bass to 5 pounds for a morning last Friday.

Winners of the Safe Harbor Open Bass Tournament on the lower river were Niagara Falls anglers Mike McGrath and Brendan Walsh with a 5-fish total of 25.31 pounds and a lunker of 5.75 pounds – all caught in the river due to high winds on the lake.

Salmon fishing has been tough from boats in the river, too. Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston said it’s been a tough go in Devil’s Hole. A few fish have been caught. Local captains are starting to theorize that the high water of 2017 in the lake and terrible pen project production that year could be playing a negative role this year.

In the upper Niagara River, Capt. Mike Capizzi of Niagara Falls used crayfish to take some big smallmouth (and some sheepshead) around Strawberry Island in 15 to 20 feet of water with Robbie Burgio of Pendleton.

Allyson Balcom of Williamsville caught this Devil’s Hole salmon while fishing with Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston.

For Lake Ontario, action on the lake for salmon and trout has been spotty. Capt. Alan Sauerland of Newfane ran straight out of Wilson to deep water (he turned around at the Canadian border) and caught a mix of fish on spoons. There are some fish staging off Olcott, but numbers seem to be down. Salmon are jumping near the piers but not coming into the creek. If you can find a pocket of fish in the lake and stay on them, you can do well. Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane found them in 100 feet of water one day and then they were gone the next.

Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston with a big Devil’s Hole salmon.

Pike fishing off the piers and in the harbors at Wilson and Olcott has been decent. A few browns and salmon are being caught. Try casting large J13 Rapalas or spinnerbaits, spoons or spinners.

A couple salmon and steelhead have been reported at Burt Dam, but nothing of any significance. Perch and bass in the creeks according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott.

Patrick Schlosser of Buffalo with a third-place catch in the lower Niagara – 5 fish weighing 19.68 pounds – for the Safe Harbor Open Bass Tournament.

If you are making plans for the winter, the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo is set for Jan. 17-19, 2020 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. In conjunction with that show, the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s Salmon School set for Jan. 18 is now open for registrations at www.lotsa1.org. Last year it sold out just after Thanksgiving. Keynote speakers include Capt. Pete Alex, Capt. Matt Yablonsky and Capt. Andy Bliss with special talks from Capt. Lance Valentine and Canadian rec angler Karl Chmilnitzky. Another great one! Register early.

Remember that there are a few big events coming up this weekend on Sept. 28 and 29. On Sept. 28, NY will be offering another free fishing day around the state. It’s also National Hunting and Fishing Day and the NYPA Wildlife Festival will be held both Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28 and 29 at the visitors center located at 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston next to Niagara University from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Lots to see and do for the whole family, and it’s free!

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
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Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
 

Fall Salmon Bite is STARTING, Bass and Walleye Slowing down

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Sept. 11, 2019 – from Destination Niagara USA
Dave Faccini of Niagara Falls shows off a 10-pound, 10-ounce lower river walleye he caught on a worm harness this week.

Get ready to rumble with the fall salmon run in the Lower Niagara River and nearby Lake Ontario ports.

Rich Pisa of Kenmore with a couple nice king salmon he caught this week in the Niagara Gorge on spinners.

While it hasn’t arrived in full force yet, the New York Power Authority is doing its best to make sure the fishing platform is ready to go. We just received word that they are cleaning and inspecting the popular fall fishing location and if everything goes as planned, they should reopen things this Saturday, Sept. 14. Call 796-0135 Ext. 45 to find out if it’s open.

There are a few kings swimming around according to Rich Pisa of Kenmore. He hiked down into the Niagara Gorge and tossed some spinners from shore to connect with a couple of nice salmon. Look for king action to slowly start to ramp up moving forward, especially if we get a cool rain.

Bass fishing in the lower Niagara River has been spotty this week, but fish are available as outdoor writer Dave Barus of East Aurora can attest.

Bass fishing at the Clay Banks and along Fort Niagara has been good for bass this week according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle. Crayfish is your best bet.

Walleye action has slowed during the day, but the night bite has been decent along the Stella drift. Don’t rule out the Niagara Bar around the green buoy marker for bass and walleye, too. Worm harnesses or a simple spinner-worm rig are good baits for walleyes. Orange, copper, and purple too, are good colors to start with.

A few salmon have been reported off the pier in Olcott, but the main run has not started yet according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. If you are trying to catch a king, start at dusk by tossing Cleos, Spinners or J-13 Rapalas. End in the morning by 8:30 a.m.

Capt. Ernie Calandrelli of Lewiston with a smallmouth bass from the lower river, caught on a crayfish.

For the lake trollers, there hasn’t been a big staging event going on yet. Try for kings in 60 to 80 feet of water at first light with meat, J-plugs, flasher-fly or magnum spoons. Better action has been out deep about 8 miles out from Wilson and Olcott. It was primarily a spoon bite earlier this week for captains Tim Sylvester and Jim Gordon as they caught salmon limits on spoons. Black, red and caramel colors were working for the spoon selection.

Some pike and largemouth bass are also being caught off the piers in Wilson and Olcott, usually during the day. Sidney Syracuse caught a huge largemouth drop-shotting a nightcrawler off the east pier in Olcott last week while checking out the fall fishing action with her dad.

Nothing reported in Olcott Harbor or up at Burt Dam yet in the way of salmon and trout action.

Remember that National Hunting and Fishing Day celebrations will be going on at the NYPA Visitors Center in Lewiston on Sept. 28-29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. This free event will offer fishing (with the Niagara River Anglers fishing pond), archery, pellet gun shooting, crossbows and a long list of other activities for the entire family. Put it on your calendar!

Capt. Ernie Calandrelli of Lewiston with a chunky walleye he caught on the Niagara Bar on a worm harness.

Sept. 28 is another free fishing day around the state. Make sure you abide by the rules for the body of water you plan to fish. Check out www.dec.ny.gov.

The Reelin’ for a Cure tournament announced this week that the ladies fishing event raised $13,300 for this year’s benefactor, Hope for Two. Patty Murray accepts for Hope for Two (center) as Stephanie Pierleoni (right) and Renee Boyd present the check this week.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Bass & Walleye Hitting Well, King Salmon run Coming Up Quick

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, August 28 from Destination Niagara USA
William Martek of Depew with a 28-pound, 12-ounce king salmon caught Sunday while fishing with a flasher-fly out of Olcott.

The Fish Odyssey is over, the LOC Derby continues through Labor Day, and river and stream anglers are itching to see some salmon and trout in the rivers and streams.

The first king salmon was caught in the lower Niagara River last week. No, the run hasn’t started, but we aren’t far off. Every year, there are a few caught in the gorge the last week of August. September is when the run will start to take off, usually around the 2nd or 3rd week.

Richard Barber of Niagara Falls caught the first place walleye in the Fish Odyssey, a 12-pound lower Niagara River fish.

Walleye and bass are still the most sought-after species right now. The winning walleye in the Fish Odyssey Derby was a 12-pound lower river fish reeled in by Richard Barber of Niagara Falls on a worm harness. Maribou jigs have also been working for walleyes, tipped with a worm. Both the river and the Niagara Bar have been good for walleye action.

Bass fishing has been consistent, especially down by Fort Niagara. According to Capt. Chris Cinelli, most of the drifts in the lower river are holding bass. Crabs are still the best bait. Dropshotting has been working also with most Strike King plastic baits.

In the upper river, Cinelli reports that there has been good bass fishing with crabs on the flat between Donnelly’s wall and the roundhouse.

Kim Hubert-Bickel of Newfane with her second-place brown trout in the Fall LOC Derby, weighing in at 15 pounds, 7 ounces.

Out in Lake Ontario, northerly and easterly winds have things messed up in the lake. Your best bet is to head out deep according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctor’s. Target 400 to 500-foot depths for a mix of kings and steelhead on spoons, flasher-fly and even cut bait rigs. When you find them, you can do well. Capt. Jim Gordon of Appleton went out Tuesday and found a pocket of kings between 400 and 450 feet of water straight out of Wilson.

Braylee Lukehart of Reynoldsville, Pa. won the Junior Division of the Fish Odyssey with this 24-pound, 4-ounce salmon she caught while fishing out of Olcott.

He found good temperature 80 feet down and staggered his riggers in 60, 70 and 80 feet with green and black Moonshine spoons to limit out in short order. Brown trout can be found near-shore in shallower depths. Target 100 feet or less. That’s where Eric Bickel’s 12-pound, 4-ounce brown came from on a Stinger spoon to win the Brown Division in the Odyssey and his wife’s (Kim Hubert-Bickel) 15-pound, 7-ounce brown came from to place second in the LOC Derby so far.

The LOC Derby continues through Labor Day. Check out www.loc.org for details. Lake trout are starting to stack up on the Niagara Bar.

Paul Natiella of S. Lima with his Grand Prize winning 36-pound, 12-ounce carp in the Fish Odyssey Derby that ended last Sunday.

The 43rd Annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby for Erie, Niagara, and Orleans counties ended last Sunday, August 25, and it was a battle all the way to the final minutes for some species categories. In the drawing for the Grand Prize, it was the biggest fish of the tournament that was the lucky winner of the $3,000 check – a 36-pound, 12-ounce carp that Paul Natiella of South Lima reeled in while fishing the Oak Orchard River. This year’s contest remembered the late Jamie Brolinski of Lewiston who passed away earlier this year.

The carp category was drawn from a hat with other first-place winners that included Lindsay Yaeger of Amherst with a 26-pound, 7-ounce Point Breeze salmon. She also won the special $700 prize for the largest salmon caught by a LOTSA member. Larry Wills of Lewiston caught the first place Rainbow, an 11-pound, 10-ounce fish he reeled in on the first day of the derby while fishing out of Wilson. Eric Bickel of Newfane hauled in the top brown trout, a 12-pound, 4-ounce fish he caught off Olcott. Marty Polovick of Lockport had some last-minute heroics with a 20 pound, 10-ounce lake trout he caught from Lake Erie and weighed in with 13 minutes to spare to beat out Pat Barber of Niagara Falls with a 20-pound, 1-ounce fish he also caught on the last day off the Niagara Bar.

Tanner Niezgoda of Newfane shows off an Olcott salmon while he was out testing a new boat with his father, Matt.

Big smallmouth was Brendan Walsh of Niagara Falls, weighing in a 6-pound, 7-ounce Lake Erie smallmouth. Grand prize in the Junior Division went to Dominic Jeffords of Ransomville with an 8-pound, 3-ounce lower river walleye. Other first-place winners who were included in the Grand Prize drawing were Braylee Lukehart of Reynoldsville, Pa. with a 24-pound, 4-ounce king salmon; Taven Lukehart of Reynoldsville, Pa. with an 11-pound, 15-ounce trout; Gabriella Geiger of Lackawanna with a 5-pound, 5-ounce smallmouth bass from Lake Erie; Megan Walsh of Niagara Falls with a 2-pound, 3-ounce carp; Abby McGrath of Niagara Falls with a 1.01-pound panfish (perch); and Alyssa McGrath of Niagara Falls with a 7-pound, 14-ounce sheepshead she caught from Lake Erie.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA; 10 Rainbow Blvd.; Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Derby’s Abound with King-Kong Salmon and Big Walleye

When that first kiss means so much!

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for August 21, 2019 from Destination Niagara USA

What a week!

It’s been a flurry of activity, starting with three derbies at the same time last weekend.

The Reel Alewives of WNY won the Reelin’ for a Cure ladies tournament last Friday with this fine catch of salmon. They were fishing with Capt. Bob Cinelli of Cinelli Sportfishing, aboard the “White Mule” out of Olcott.

The Orleans Rotary Fishing Derby ended last Sunday, leaving two derbies left going into this weekend – the Fall LOC Derby that ends on Labor Day and the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey that ends on Sunday, August 25 at 1 p.m. It’s still not too late to enter either.

First to the fishing.

Hats off to the Reel Alewives of WNY, these ladies won the Reelin’ for a Cure Tournament out of Olcott and Wilson last Friday. The team, fishing aboard the White Mule with Capt. Bob Cinelli of Newfane weighed in a 6-fish limit of 114 pounds with a big fish of over 25 pounds. A total of 36 boats competed in this year’s event, all lady teams from 4 states.

Stephanie Pierleoni (second from the right) was the organizer of the Reelin’ for a Cure ladies event and they placed 4th overall among the 36 teams who competed.

Out of Olcott, Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Thrillseeker reports that mature salmon are highly scattered with all of the wind changes. Salmon can be caught from 50 to 500 feet of water. Good steelhead can also be found in deeper water where conditions are more stable. Fishing should only get better. With winds out of the south or southwest, look for mature kings to begin staging.

Ann Swanson with her 25.33-pound king salmon to earn the top catch for the Reel Alewives of WNY team.  You could say it was love at first bite!

Out of Wilson, Capt. Alan Sauerland of Instigator Charters had the pressuring task of producing some fish for governor’s Andrew Cuomo of New York and Ned LaMont of Connecticut on Tuesday morning. They managed to catch a few steelhead and the crew lost a 20-pound salmon at the back of the boat when the fish jumped out of the net. At least, that was the way Sauerland told it. They were fishing 8-10 miles out.

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo (L) and CT Governor Ned LaMont show off their Wilson steelhead from Tuesday. They were fishing with Capt. Alan Sauerland of Instigator Charters.

In the Niagara River, Blake Kowalski of Tonawanda was bottom bouncing with a worm harness near Strawberry Island, managing to catch 3 walleyes and a few smallmouth bass. Then he hooked into something big. He wasn’t quite sure what it was until it was near the end of his 2-hour battle – a big sturgeon. It broke his line just a short distance from his boat. What a battle.

In the lower Niagara River, walleye action continues to be good, both in the river and on the Niagara Bar. The leading catch for the Walleye Division of the Fish Odyssey is a 10-pound, 10-ounce fish reeled in by Vincent Gebczyk of Niagara Falls using a harness. Leader for the special Southtowns Walleye prize for largest walleye caught by a member is Bob Patterson of Niagara Falls with a 9-pound, 10 ounce lower river fish. Lots of room for improvement for the adults and the kids in the Fish Odyssey. Check out www.fishodyssey.net for details or to register. It ends Sunday at 1 p.m. You just have to register prior to fishing.

Everyone had fun in the tournament!

The Fall LOC Derby runs thru Labor Day with a $25,000 Grand Prize. The early Grand Prize leader is Codey Allen of West Seneca with a 33-pound, 8-ounce king salmon caught out of Olcott. Top steelhead is a 15-pound, 6-ounce Olcott fish reeled in by Nick Dougherty of Lockport. Leading brown trout right now is 15 pounds, 13 ounces caught by Bruce Raggi of Farmington while out of Wayne County. Remember, no fishing license is needed if you fish in Lake Ontario or the lower Niagara River thru Labor Day.

The winner of the $4,000 Grand Prize in the Orleans County contest was Julie Schaeffer of Sligo, Pennsylvania with a 29-pound, 6-ounce king salmon caught out of Point Breeze in Orleans County. Top brown trout was a 13-pound, 3-ounce Point Breeze fish caught by Georgia Barkdoll of McConnellsburg, Pa. Keith Tessier of Hilton took first place in the lake trout category with an 18-pound, 4-ounce fish. Top steelhead was a 17-pound, 15-ounce fish caught out of Olcott by Laurie Jankowski of Sloan.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

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 www.loc.org 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 www.fishodyssey.net for details.

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

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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Destination Niagara USA
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p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
 

Walleye, Bass, King Salmon! Niagara River and Lake Ontario are Action-Filled!

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Thursday, August 8, 2019
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a big smallmouth bass caught along Artpark from shore on a small tube jig.

In the lower Niagara River, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls managed to climb around the gorge a bit this week and caught some nice smallmouth bass, walleye and silver bass from shore. Water is still high, but fish are available. A No. 3 spinner did the trick on the 7-pound walleye and small tube jigs were working on the bass.

Outdoor Writer Bob Holzhei of St. Johns, Michigan had a great day on the water in the lower Niagara River fishing with Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston last Sunday. They caught over a dozen walleyes including this dandy fish, taking advantage of the free fishing days that are now available in the lower Niagara and Lake O. through Labor Day.
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a 7 pound walleye he caught in the Niagara Gorge on a No. 3 spinner.

Also, outdoor writer Bob Holzhei of St. Mary’s, Michigan, was fishing with Capt. Joe Marra of Niagara Rainbow Charters on Sunday. They boated over a dozen walleyes using a worm harness off three-way rigs. Holzhei caught some bass using crabs, too. The action was decent throughout the morning.

In the upper river, Jeff Pippard with Niagara Outdoors in North Tonawanda sends word that the bass fishing in the east river has been good along the shoreline. The time of day is key. Focus on early morning or later afternoon/early evening. Crabs and golden shiners are the best live baits for bass. Drag a worm harness and you can catch a walleye or a sheepshead.

Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctor’s in Olcott reports that the king and steelhead action out deep has been good of late in Lake Ontario. Look for 350 to 400-foot depths and put your baits down 40 to 60 feet. Spoons and flasher-fly are working. Mirage and purple flies were the best colors. The inside waters of 120 to 220 feet were hot and cold. Try meat or flasher-fly for those waters.

Terry Walker of Kennedy, NY had an early leader in the Orleans Co. Derby last weekend with a 25-pound king weighed in at Olcott, but it didn’t last long. The current salmon leader is a 27-1/2 pound king reeled in by Larry Duckworth of Corfu. Mary Duckworth is leading the steelhead division with a 13-pound, 3-ounce Point Breeze fish, the same spot and size for the top brown trout by Georgia Barkdoll of Pa. No lake trout have been weighed in yet. The derby runs through August 18.

Niagara Bar action was picking back up for Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga over the weekend.  One day he went 5 for 8 on kings, the biggest was about 19 pounds. Cut bait on copper was hot. Also, flasher-fly was a good enticement for the salmon. The next day he reported going 9 for 13 on salmon. The biggest king was 26.41 pounds. They caught fish on everything – spoons, cut bait, and flasher-fly. The best area was just off the ledge in 90-220 feet of water. His 300-foot copper rod was hot, along with his rigger set at 60 feet. Dipsy divers set back at 120 and 160 feet were both working.  Another good one was cut bait on a twinkie rig with a spin doctor. Rohe caught some fish on Pro Troll paddles and A-Tom-Mik flies.

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga with a 26.41 pound king salmon caught on the Niagara Bar over the weekend.

Meanwhile off Wilson, Capt. Mike Johannes of Ransomville reports that action was good in 300 to 350 feet of water, putting his baits 45 to 60 feet down on the riggers. Dark magnum spoons were his best. Carbon 14, Sea Sick Waddler, Road Toad, and Frostbite patterns all worked. Divers were 110 to 150 feet back. All the fish were above the thermocline, which was down 80 feet. Johannes says that there has been a real strong current lately so you have to watch down speed and direction closely.

Terry Walker of Kennedy, NY reeled in this 25-pound king salmon while fishing out of Olcott.
Parker Cinelli with a nice bass from a Grand Island pond. 

August is a celebration of fishing contests as we head into the final full month of Summer. The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby (www.fishodyssey.net) set for August 17-25 has registrations available online starting August 1 and in the shops by August 2. Kids 15 and under can fish for free. The Reelin’ for a Cure ladies tournament to help benefit cancer-related causes will be held out of Wilson and Olcott on August 16. Call Stephanie at 481-6388 for more info. That same day, the Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby begins and runs through Labor Day, Sept. 2. The grand prize for the biggest salmon is $25,000. More info at www.loc.org.

Just a reminder: Free Fishing for Lake Ontario, the lower Niagara River and St. Lawrence River all the way through Labor Day! It’s the state’s way of trying to help out the businesses along the Lake Ontario shoreline that have suffered from the high water levels. Yes, Lake Ontario is open for business and fishing is great! In addition, it’s half-price for admission into some 30 state parks along the lake and rivers and half-price camping in those parks. Enjoy!

Good luck and good fishing!

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Big Fish, Big Money, More to Come! August is FISHING CONTEST Month!

  • Bill Hilts Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast (August 1, 2019)
  • Hot Fishing getting HOTTER
Jake Romanack with Fishing 411 shows off the bait and the salmon he used while catching a big king on the Niagara Bar.

August is a celebration of fishing contests as we head into the final full month of Summer.

The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby (www.fishodyssey.net) set for August 17-25 has registrations available online starting August 1 and in the shops by August 2. Kids 15 and under can fish for free.

The Orleans County Rotary Fishing Derby kicks off on Saturday and runs through August 18. Niagara County waters are eligible and The Boat Doctors in Olcott is now the official weigh station. Check out http://www.rotaryfishingderby.com.

The Reelin’ for a Cure ladies tournament to help benefit cancer-related causes will be held out of Wilson and Olcott on August 16. Call Stephanie at 481-6388 for more info.

That same day, the Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby begins and runs through Labor Day, Sept. 2. Grand prize for the biggest salmon is $25,000. More info at www.loc.org.

Charlotte Shea, Lucy Carlisi, and Carmella Carlisi from Tonawanda, NY and Flagler Beach, Florida caught this Smallmouth bass in the Upper Niagara River using a Ned Rig while fishing with Capt. Ryan Shea of Brookdog Fishing.

On August 4, the 14th Annual Bass Fishing Derby with Independent Living of Niagara County will be going on. Call 836-0822 Ext. 146 for more info or to register.

Speaking of derbies, Doug Parker’s 29-pound, 9 ounce Niagara Bar King Salmon didn’t win the Grand Prize. He ended up 1st place in the Salmon Division. He lost by just one ounce. Ed and Steve Klejdys of North Tonawanda won 1st and 2nd place in the lake trout division with their Niagara Bar fish and Newfane’s Tanner Niezgoda ended up in second place in the Steelhead Division with a 13-pound, 13-ounce Olcott fish.

Zack Blain of Honeoye won the Summer LOC Derby grand prize with a 29-pound, 10-ounce king salmon he caught west of Point Breeze in Orleans County. He caught it on the last weekend of the derby, winning $11,000 for his fish.

On to the fishing. Lake Ontario action has been good to very good in 100 to 200 feet of water, 70 to 90 feet down west of Wilson according to current reports from Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. The hot set-up has been white with green dot Pro Troll flashers with N&D cut bait. Purple Kingfisher with meat took some nice kings this week, too. Sea fleas were not as bad inside, but you needed to clean your lines regularly. Some browns were starting to show up, too, but it’s been spotty. The offshore bite is still pretty strong, too, with a mix of steelhead and king salmon being reported. The inside kings are starting to change color. Best spoon colors were caramel, monkey puke, and greasy chicken colors. East of Olcott to the power plant has been great for an evening bite. The Niagara Bar area still has fish stacked up on it, a good option for trollers. If kings aren’t on the bar drop off, slide out a little bit deeper.

Mark Romanack of Fishing 411 TV Show caught king salmon up to 24 pounds in filming a show last week on the Niagara Bar.

Mark and Jake Romanack’s Fishing 411 TV show last week, they caught most of their fish on Wolverine Tackle Mag spoons. Green skirt and Green Chilly Willy color patterns we’re best. They also caught a couple of studs on the Yakima Spin Fish plug stuffed with Pro-Cure gizzard Shad Super Gel. They use 300-foot lead cores and 300-foot weighted stainless steel lines and they took the most fish. Riggers were 45-55 feet down, and they were also productive.

The moss is almost gone in the Niagara River and fishing has really picked up in the lower Niagara River according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle. Bass and walleye action has improved dramatically. For bass, focus around Lewiston and Youngstown using leeches and crabs. Walleye action has been decent around the Stella Drift on worm harnesses.

Ed and Steve Klejdys of North Tonawanda with their winning 1st and 2nd place Niagara Bar lake trout.

Some of the Canadian drifts have also been producing fish. Make sure you have a Canadian license if you venture across the international line. In the upper river, the action is improving for bass and walleye as the moss dissipates. The head of Strawberry Island is always a favorite location, as is the head of the river. Best baits have been crabs, tubes and ned rigs. Worm harnesses are best for walleye.

Good luck and good fishing!

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director 
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Salmon and MORE SALMON…Bill Hilts reports from Niagara USA

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing is great right now
Doug Parker of Lockport holds up the 29 pound, 9-ounce king salmon caught on the Niagara Bar Monday to take over the lead in the Summer LOC Derby $10,000 Grand Prize.
6-year-old Ed Mort of Wilson shows off his prizes after catching the biggest bass in the Erie Canal Fishing Derby, a 5.66-pound largemouth!

The moss in the Niagara River is starting to subside according to reports from Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. As a result, the walleye fishing is starting to pick up, especially on the Niagara Bar at the outlet (mouth) of the river. Worm harnesses have been the bait of choice using hammered copper blades with red beads. Bass action is also starting to pick up. Tube jigs are the lure that seems to be working best with what moss is left in the river, both above and below Niagara Falls. In the upper river, bass, walleye, and musky have been cooperating for some anglers. Add NED rigs, worm harnesses, and crayfish to the list of preferred baits and lures.

The Erie Canal Fishing Derby is officially over. Lots of winners.

One of the hot spots on Lake Ontario this week has been the Niagara Bar off the mouth of the river. Fishing 50 to 80 feet down over 90 to 200 feet of water was producing plenty of mature king salmon. John Van Hoff hit a 29-pound king on Sunday with flasher-fly on the Bar, one of many mature kings he caught the day after the LOTSA contests.

Bill Hilts, Jr. holds up the winning fish in the LOTSA King Salmon Tournament on July 20, a 27 lb. 7 oz. king salmon for the Salmonella team.

On Monday, it was Doug Parker of Lockport that caught a 29-pound, 9-ounce king on Niagara Bar to take over the lead for the Grand Prize in the Summer Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby, also with a flasher and fly.

Capt. Joe Gallo of Two Bulls Charters reports that he teamed up with Capt. Alan Sauerland for the LOTSA contests and they produced over 50 bites over two days of fishing. They fished in over 300 feet of water, a few miles west of their home port using flasher-fly and meat programs.

Jason and Mike Johannes of On The Rocks Charters out of Wilson show off the 31-1/2 pound king salmon they caught over the weekend. No, their customers were not registered in the derby

On Sunday they moved into shallower water in front of their home port and it paid off with a 17 for 24 king salmon day with a dozen salmon up to 25 pounds. Capt. Mike Johannes of On the Rocks had the catch of the week with a 31-1/2-pound salmon caught out of Wilson, but the customers didn’t get into the derby.

The LOC event ends on Sunday. Out of Olcott, Capt. Tim Sylvester of Tough Duty ran out to 300-plus feet of water to hit an early spoon bite on Tuesday. Magnum spoons off the riggers were the way to go, 50 to 80 feet beneath the surface. His best depth was 75 feet down.

In the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s Curt Meddaugh Contest on Friday, Hooked-Up led by Dustin Petersen of Indiana, Pennsylvania, took top honors when they weighed in 3 king salmon totaling nearly 68 pounds. For the Saturday big fish contest, Joe Yaeger of Amherst and his savvy Salmonella team weighed the big fish for the day, a 27 ½ pound Niagara Bar king salmon. Marty Polovick of Lockport and his 4 Poles Team won the 3-2-3 contest, the best 3 fish over 2 days, with over 80 pounds of salmon. He beat the runnerup, Kyle Hovak and the Mean Machine team by just .01 of a pound.

Joe Yaeger always catches giant King Salmon in Lake Ontario!

Next derby up on Lake Ontario is the Orleans County Rotary Derby set for August 3-18.

James Nix, Jr. of Amherst was the lucky angler as the 29th Annual Steve Harrington Memorial Erie Canal Fishing Derby comes to an official close. Nix, who was in the final drawing by virtue of his first-place win in the pike division, was selected at the awards ceremony last Sunday to receive the Grand Prize of a boat, motor, and trailer from Brobeil Marine in Buffalo.

James Nix, Jr. of Amherst won the Grand Prize in the Erie Canal Fishing Derby – a boat, motor, and trailer from Brobeil Marine in Buffalo. He caught an 11.81-pound northern pike and was selected through a random drawing at the awards ceremony last Sunday in Gasport. Lynn and Brandon Harrington were also in the photo below.

What made it even more exciting for him is that this was his first derby ever, encouraged to join by a previous grand prize winner, Keegan Walczak. Keegan was in that same drawing for the boat package this time around, too. However, it was Nix who came out on top. Rebecca Thering of Appleton won the Kids Division Grand Prize, a new kayak. Check out www.eriecanalderby.com for final results.

John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda caught this 29-pound king on the Niagara Bar last Sunday using a flasher and fly rig.

Bill Hilts, Jr.– Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Spotty Fishing in Niagara Region is Downright Exciting!

Joel Spring of Ransomville, NY, poses with a prehistoric-looking long nose gar, he caught on a rope fly while fishing a favorite Lake Ontario tributary.

The 29th Steve Harrington Memorial Erie Canal Fishing Derby is over. We won’t know who will win the boat, motor, and trailer, though, until the Awards Ceremony on Sunday, July 21 at the Gasport Fire Hall starting at 3 p.m. There will be a random drawing of first-place winners to see who the lucky winner will be.

Chris Walczak of Amherst, NY, caught this walleye in the Erie Canal on a spinnerbait this week.

In the bass division, Ed Mort of Lockport was in first-place with a 5.66-pound fish. Sam Hillman from Lockport was the top walleye catcher at 7.04 pounds, and James Nix, Jr. of Tonawanda topped the pike division with an 11.81-pound fish. The biggest bullhead was a 1.58-pound fish reeled in by Michael Boncore of Buffalo. Biggest catfish is an 8.75-pound fish reeled in by Keegan Walczak of Amherst and Matthew Clark of North Tonawanda was the leading carp with a 26.11-pound fish. Carleen Beback of Buffalo won the sheepshead category with a 12.21-pound fish. Check out www.eriecanalderby.com for final results.

In Niagara Falls, USA, Lake Ontario salmon and trout action has been a little spotty of late and some of it can be blamed on the weather.

With Tropical Depression Barry showing up this week, the hottest weather of the season is on our doorstep through the weekend. One sleeper area could be the Niagara Bar, as mature kings have been reported this week.

Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston had some customers looking for some salmon slammin’ and they were rewarded with some mature kings in 100 to 200 feet of water, pulling magnum spoons in greens and white-glow spin doctors, with green flies, behind dipsy divers 30 to 50 feet down.

Off Wilson, fishing has actually been pretty good, but the information was tough to come by with the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association events taking place on Friday and Saturday this week. Some bigger fish are available. Robyn Wolf of Wilson came close to the top prize with a 27 pound, 15-ounce King that is currently in second place in the Salmon Division. She was fishing out of her home port with Capt. Mike Johannes of “On the Rocks” charter service and caught the fish on a magnum spoon. Darker colors have been working.

Blake Kenney from Grand Island, NY, with a walleye from the upper Niagara River. He was fishing with Capt. Connor Cinelli of Grand Island.

Capt. Tim Sylvester of Tough Duty was fishing out of Olcott on Monday and hit a 28-plus pound King on a 400-foot copper line with meat. However, the person that caught the fish was not in the LOC Derby currently going on.  He was fishing in 300-plus feet of water. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott says, “Try fishing a little east of Olcott in 400 to 450 feet of water or a little west off the red barn in 315-375 feet of water.”  The new Grand Prize leader is 29 pounds, 6 ounces.  The derby ends on July 28.

In the Niagara River, bass fishing in the lower river has picked up according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait & Tackle. The moss is still an issue, but it does seem to be getting a little better. Worms, crabs, and tube jigs have been the bait of choice. A few walleye have been reported, too.

Max Gavigan from Buffalo with a nice bass he caught on a crab in upper Niagara River over the weekend fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.

Upper river action has been great for bass, as well. According to Capt. Ryan Shea of Brookdog Fishing, his best bass bait has been a NED rig. That same rig has been producing an amazing number of muskellunge, too. So far this year he has connected with 16 muskies, all caught and released with care. Some decent walleye fishing in the river too, especially in the Emerald Channel.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Niagara Falls USA – Hot Fishing in the Forecast

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for July 11, 2019 from Destination Niagara USA
Denis Kreze of Fort Erie, Ontario, caught this huge 49.75-inch musky from the Upper Niagara River using a Venom Lures musky spinnerbait.

Moss is still an issue in the Niagara River, but fish are available to be caught if you can solve the moss problem. Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle reports some decent bass action the past week in the lower river, but you do have to work for them. Shoreline access is minimal in the lower river due to the high-water levels. Launch ramps are open at Lewiston and Fort Niagara for boaters. In the upper river, some nice muskies are being reported including a 49.75-inch fish reeled in by Denis Kreze of Fort Erie, Ontario. He was using a Venom Musky Spinnerbait. Mixed reports on bass and walleye due to the moss. Some bass were caught off the Bird Island Pier this week.

Young Carson Shiltz and his dad, Richard, hit Lake Ontario out of Olcott to reel in some nice kings this week fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni and the Thrillseeker boat.

The hard-northeast winds changed things up over the weekend. Out of Olcott, Capt. Tim Sylvester of Tough Duty and his first mate Blake Kowalski of Tonawanda headed out to 400 feet of water to find more stable conditions on Tuesday. It was a long line bite as he used meat rigs on 300 and 400-foot copper lines. You had to be patient. They caught kings up to 20 pounds and steelhead up to 10 pounds. The downrigger bites were up high at 35 to 50 feet.

Keegan Walczak of Amherst shows off a couple of Olcott kings he caught this week.

Things are starting to turn around after the weather cooperated this week. Some good catches were reported out of Wilson yesterday. Dave Scipione of Lewiston added a 25 pound, 1-ounce King from the Niagara Bar on Tuesday, so the fishing should be turning on just in time for the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s contests set for July 19 and 20.

The 19th is the free Curt Meddaugh Memorial Event for the best 3 fish and the King Salmon Tournament for biggest fish will be held July 20. Check out www.lotsa1.org for details. You must be a club member, but it only costs $10 to join.

Chris Walczak of Amherst with an Olcott king salmon from the holiday weekend.

In the Summer LOC Derby, there’s a new Grand Prize leader when Doug Higgs of Medina reeled in a 28 pound, 5-ounce king salmon out of Point Breeze. He was using cut bait. First place brown trout is a 16-pound, 9-ounce fish weighed in by Jim Sanford of Clifton Springs. Ed Klejdys of North Tonawanda is the top laker taker so far with a 24-pound, 4-ounce Niagara Bar fish. In the Steelhead Division, Steve Biernacki of Medina is setting the pace with a 14-1/2-pound fish he reeled in off Point Breeze. Check out loc.org for a current leaderboard. The derby ends on July 28th.

Anthony Henley of Buffalo caught this 22.39-pound carp to take over the early lead in the Erie Canal Fishing Derby. However, it didn’t last long in the top spot. The derby ends Sunday.

The 29th Annual Steve Harrington Memorial Erie Canal Fishing Derby is entering its final weekend, running through July 14 in Niagara, Erie and Orleans Counties. All of the fish species categories are up for grabs, but it will take a little work. In the bass division, Tyler Hillman of Lockport is in first place with a 4.92-pound fish. Sam Hillman from Lockport is the top walleye catcher at 7.04 pounds, and James Nix, Jr. of Tonawanda is setting pace in the pike division with an 11.81-pound fish. The biggest bullhead so far is a 1.58-pound fish reeled in by Michael Boncore of Buffalo. Biggest catfish is an 8.75-pound fish reeled in by Keegan Walczak of Amherst and Ron Robel of Wheatfield has the leading carp with a 24.88-pound fish. Rachel Izzo of Sanborn is leading the sheepshead category with a 10.91-pound fish. Check out www.eriecanalderby.com for details. The awards ceremony will be July 21 at 3 p.m. at the Gasport Fire Hall.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Bill Hilts Fishing Forecast for Niagara Falls USA

Pete Baio of Wheatfield with an Atlantic salmon he caught in Lake Ontario on the Niagara Bar.

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for July 3, 2019 from Destination Niagara USA
John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda caught this 9-pound steelhead while fishing Lake Ontario on the Niagara Bar last weekend.

The Erie Canal Fishing Derby is set to kick off today, July 3, and run through July 14 from the Upper Niagara River to Albion in the canal proper (no tributaries like Tonawanda Creek in Pendleton). Fish species include walleye, bass, catfish, bullhead, pike, sheepshead and carp. Check out www.eriecanalderby.com for details.

In the Summer LOC Derby, a 27-pound, 13-ounce king salmon is the early leader. Check out loc.org for a current leaderboard. The derby ends on July 28th. The Niagara Bar action was good this past week according to John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda. He was reporting a nice mix of fish, including two Atlantic salmon while working his riggers, dipsy divers and 7 colors of lead core. Spoons worked best for him as he focused around 45-degree water 80 feet down.

Kevin Gunther of Niagara Falls shows off a 20-pound salmon he caught on the Niagara Bar over the weekend. He was standing with Peter Baio of Wheatfield.

Bob Magra of Lorain, Ohio had a successful trip to Wilson last week. He fished four days and managed to reel in 14 kings, 1 big laker and one nice steelhead. Five of the salmon were over 15 pounds, including 2 over 20. They fished 80-280 ft. in the top 80 feet. He caught all the big fish except one on two-face Spin Doctor with a pro-am A-Tom-Mik fly 180 to 250 behind a magnum dipsy.

Karie Johns of Zanesville, Ohio was fishing off Olcott this past week and reeled in a true 30-pound king salmon – two days before the start of the Summer LOC Derby. She was using a Diabolical Meat Rig with N&D cutbait.

Capt. Tim Sylvester of Tough Duty fished this week out of Olcott. Fish were taken from 125 to 275 feet of water. There was also a decent bite out from 350-400 feet of water. Things should pick up soon as the weather was beautiful on the lake the past few days. Mostly king salmon, but they also caught a 10-pound steelhead and some lake trout.

Karie Johns of Zanesville, Ohio was fishing off Olcott this past week and reeled in a true 30-pound king salmon – two days before the start of the Summer LOC Derby. She was using a Diabolical Meat Rig with N&D cut bait.

In the Niagara River, bass can be caught with regularity from Lewiston to Youngstown below the falls, but the dreaded moss is becoming more of an issue as water temperatures continue to increase. Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston had his son Peter out recently and they caught 25 smallmouths by using a drop shot rig that offered Strike King Zero plastics for enticement. No reports of steelhead in the river with the warmer water.

The NYPA fishing platform in the lower river is still closed due to the high water. Call 796-0135 Ext. 45 to find out if it’s open. Also, the fishing pier at Joe Davis State Park is also closed.

Have a great – and safe – holiday and weekend!

John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda caught this 12-pound Atlantic salmon over the weekend on Lake Ontario while fishing the Niagara Bar.

 

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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GIANT Salmon and Carp….Lake Ontario High Water is NO PROBLEM

  • Bill Hilts Fishing Report & Forecast for Niagara USA…June 20, 2019

Capt. Hank Condes of Wilson (Blade Runner Charters), said it best as he spoke to a group of front line tourism folks this week in Wilson Harbor: “June isn’t the transition month that it used to be!” The push is on to let everyone know that Lake Ontario is open for business and that the fishing is great, even in June!

Lou Rivera of Kenmore, NY, with a 20-pound class King Salmon caught off Wilson Harbor in Lake Ontario this week while fishing with Capt. Alan Sauerland of Newfane.

Capt. Alan Sauerland (Instigator Charters) has been fishing 55 to 75 feet down over 160 feet of water straight out from his home port of Wilson Harbor.  Magnum spoons are the ticket with the best ones being Moonshine Geezer and Warrior pink-spoiler or green-spoiler patterns. They caught 25 salmon during this catch/release trip.

Jeremy Smith of Rochester (R) and his buddy Paul show off a couple of King Salmon they caught off Wilson Monday, fishing with Capt. Alan Sauerland (Instigator Charters).

Capt. Vince Pierleoni (Thrillseeker Charters) reports similar success out of Olcott Harbor, 60 to 80 feet down over 60 to 250 feet of water, also with Dreamweaver magnum and super slim spoons at the top of his list.

Joe Oakes of Wilson was fishing out of Olcott this week and wanted to try and get his 300 and 400-foot copper lines a bit deeper, so he put on a J-plug for the heck of it.  Yes, that plug took some hits too.

Next derby is the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby (LOTSA) that runs from June 29 to July 28. Check out www.LOC.org for details.  Grand prize is $10,000 for the biggest salmon and $32,000 in cash prizes overall.

The NYS Summer Classic Tournament is July 1-August 31 with a $10,000 Grand Prize.  Check out www.nyssummerclassic.com for details.  It should be mentioned that nearly every launch ramp in Niagara County is open.  At Fort Niagara, Wilson-Tuscarora, and Golden Hill State Parks, respectively, you should have at least two people launching the boat due to some higher water around the launch.  Bring along boots, too.  If you don’t want to get your feet wet, the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott Harbor has been able to adjust to keep the feet of boaters dry. The Town of Wilson launch is also a good one in the West Branch of 12-Mile Creek. Boat size there should be 20-feet or less.

Don’t forget that the 5 mph speed limit in Lake Ontario is within 1,000 feet of the shoreline.

In the Niagara River, the dreaded moss is slowly starting to arrive on the scene as the river hit the 60-degree mark this week. In the lower Niagara River, there was still some steelhead around. Bass and walleye were cooperating, giving a nice mixed bag to anglers.

Rich Pisa of Kenmore caught this 30-pound class grass carp from the Upper Niagara River.

Live bait, like minnows fished off three-way rigs, is a popular approach – but bouncing bottom with a Strike King Zero (cut down) has been working for bass up to 5-1/2 pounds this past week.

Justin Transky of East Aurora with a respectable upper Niagara River walleye he caught while fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.
Parker Cinelli of Grand Island caught this tagged bass from the Beaver Island lagoon this week.

Swim baits and tubes will still work if the moss isn’t too bad. High water levels are making fishing tricky in the Devil’s Hole area and the NYPA fishing platform is underwater. The speed limit is still in effect along the NY shoreline so run the middle of the river and take it easy.

Upper river action for bass and walleye has also been decent, especially at the head of Strawberry Island. Worm harnesses, minnows, swimbaits, and tubes, all are good baits to use.

Make sure you mark your calendar for the Erie Canal Fishing Derby set for July 3-14.

Check out www.eriecanalderby.com for details.

Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane with a big carp he caught this week.

Also, next Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30, NYS will be offering up its free fishing weekend again.

The Olcott Kids Fishing Derby normally held June 29 has been canceled due to the high water around the docks.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Phone: 1-877 FALLS US / 716-282-8992 x. 303, fax: 716-285-0809
www.niagarafallsusa.com

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King’s, Eye’s, Trout and Bass – Bill Hilts Memorial Day Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for May 23, 2019 from Destination Niagara USA
The Hideout team led by Capt. Rob Taddeo of Hilton took top honors in the Wilson Harbor Invitational last weekend with this catch of fish.

Salmon and trout fishing in Lake Ontario off the shores of Niagara County continues to be good to very good, despite the announcement that the lake is once again in a state of emergency as far as high-water levels. Lake Ontario is open for business!

The Town of Newfane Marina is in the best shape for boat launchers – you don’t even have to get your feet wet!

Wilson-Tuscarora and Fort Niagara state parks have their launch ramps open but bring a pair of boots and have at least 2 people for a safe launch.

As far as the fishing, Capt. Pete Alex of Vision Quest reports that lake trout abound in 55 to 90-foot depths from the Niagara Bar to 30 Mile Point.

For the Wilson Harbor Invitational last weekend, many of the Top 10 teams fished from Olcott to Point Breeze. Last Sunday, they fished between Wilson and Olcott in 220 to 260 feet of water and did well on all year classes of kings. Fish were scattered from 40 to 140 feet down. They ran spoons in the top 60 feet, flasher-fly combos and cut bait below that. The 25-pound, 14-ounce king salmon held up in the LOC Derby last week.

Robert Mueller of Hamburg was in the right place at the right time when his 25-pound, 14-ounce king salmon won a check for $15,500 in the spring Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby May 10-19. He was fishing west of Point Breeze when the salmon hit a Bomber stickbait, fishing with Capt. Joe Netti of Cortland and his Musky Joe boat.

Robert Mueller of Hamburg caught this 25 pound, 14 ounce king salmon to win the Spring LOC Derby.

First place in the Salmon Division was Brian Marketich of Beaver Falls, PA with a 22-pound, 13-ounce king caught west of the Niagara Bar – good for $2,500. First place lake trout was a 23-pound, 4-ounce Niagara Bar fish reeled in by Jerry Unites of Pittsburgh, PA and a check for $1,200.

Brian Marketich of Beaver Falls, Pa. reeled in the first place salmon just west of the Niagara Bar.

First place brown trout was a 17-pound, 6-ounce fish caught by Chuck Mazzola of Hamlin fishing out of Rochester – his first derby ever and his first year with a boat, good for $1,200.

Jim Hubbard of Dexter caught the top walleye, a 12-pound, 6-ounce fish, on the final day of the derby to win that category and a check for $1,000. Check out www.loc.org for details on the leaderboard.

Todd Ceisner of Depew, NY caught this 6 pound lower Niagara River smallmouth bass during a recent media event while fishing with Capt. Ernie Calandrelli of Lewiston.

In the Wilson Harbor Invitational tournament last Saturday, the Hideout team led by Capt. Rob Taddeo earned the $13,000 check with a score of 155.05 points. They were fishing between Olcott and Point Breeze. Don’t forget that the Don Johannes/Pete DeAngelo Memorial 3-Fish/Big Fish contest is set for May 30 this year out of Wilson and Olcott. You don’t have to be in the Pro-Am tournament. It’s only $100 per boat and it’s 100 percent cash payback for your best 3 fish. Contact Mike Johannes at 523-1727 for more info.

The 35th Annual Skip Hartman Memorial Lake Ontario Salmon Team Tournament is set for May 31 and June 1 out of the ports of Wilson and Olcott so things will be busy in the coming week. We’ll have a full report on all next week.

Parker Cinelli of Grand Island reeled in this Upper Niagara River walleye using a jig.

Jeff Pippard at Niagara Outdoors in North Tonawanda reports that fishing along the upper Niagara River has been good at Gratwick Park, as well as at the foot of Sheridan. Catch and release smallmouth bass fishing has been working best on tube jigs, Mepps and Vibrax spinners. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been doing well on bass from his canoe. In Cayuga Creek he managed to haul in a 30-inch carp on a worm. Some good walleye action at night at the foot of Ferry Street.

In the Lower Niagara River, it’s been a mixed bag of fish as the waters slowly start to warm. Wade Rowcliffe of Rochester hit the lower river from shore in the gorge and managed to catch some smallmouth bass and trout in the past week. Stickbaits like the Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow in black and silver was working great. Boaters are still picking up steelhead trout, the occasional lake trout and numerous smallmouth bass. Live bait like shiners or egg sacs work well for trout, while bass prefer tube jigs, Rage Swimmers or other type of swim baits.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend and stay safe!

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Outdoor Promotions Director
 
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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 www.loc.org 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 www.lakeontarioproam.net 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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Bill Hilts Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for May 9, 2019

  • Lake Ontario Counties Derby set for May 10-19, 2019 – $15,000 for biggest salmon!
  • Outdoor media catch big fish, many species, in visit to Niagara
Buddy Prause of Florida, representing Cuda Tool, shows off a lower Niagara River walleye.

The Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby is set for May 10-19 with a Grand Prize of $15,000 for the biggest salmon and a total prize structure of $45,000. Check out www.loc.org. Boats are already starting to roll into town at Lewiston/Youngstown, Wilson and Olcott.

Gene Jensen with “The Flukemaster” shows off a lake trout he caught on the Niagara Bar fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell.

Water levels are slowly starting to creep up in the lake and there could be some launching issues at Fort Niagara and Wilson-Tuscarora state parks but nothing that you can’t handle. Bring some boots.

All week long, there was a large contingent of outdoor media and corporate sponsors checking out our local waters. Despite cooler water temperatures and some unseasonable weather patterns, some nice fish were caught for the cameras. Lower Niagara River action was good for both trout and smallmouth bass.

Capt. Ernie Calandrelli of Lewiston managed to have his media folks reel in a pile of steelies along with a few brown trout. People like Mitch Anderson with wired2fish.com, Gene Jensen with The Flukemaster on YouTube, Jon Storm with Bassmaster, and freelancer Hal Schramm to name but a few.

There were over 15 different media guys representing publications like Bassmasters, Great Lakes Angler, In-Fisherman and more. TV shows like Big Water Adventure, Fishing 411 and Mid-West Outdoors, as well as numerous online sites like Point-Click-Fish. They were here because of corporate sponsors like Garmin, Lew’s, Strike King, Cuda Tool, Mammoth Coolers, Power Pole, Flambeau, Seaguar fishing line, Rapid Fishing Solutions, Lucas Oil, Mossy Oak and Jackson Kayak.

Mitch Anderson with wired2fish.com shows off a couple steelhead he caught in the lower river fishing with Capt. Ernie Calandrelli of Lewiston.

Trout action focused on shiners off three-way rigs, but egg sacs and plugs like Kwikfish or MagLips caught fish. Bass casters were bouncing bottom with tubes and swim baits. Of course, they were using the Strike King variety and doing very well on smallies up to 6 pounds. The big one was caught by Bass Pro Billy McDonald with the FLW Tour from Indiana, one of the bass pro regulars in the Greater Niagara Fishing Expo.

For Lake Ontario and tributaries, Capt. Mike Johannes of Wilson was working the waters from his home port to 4 Mile Creek, starting in 80 to 90 feet of water and moving out to water as deep as 225 feet. Best spoons were Moonshine Carbon 14 and Michigan Stinger Frostbyte. He also caught salmon and lake trout on dark colored e-chip flashers and green flies.

King salmon action was hot for a while, but it slowed a bit on Tuesday. Browns can still be found in tight to the shoreline. Jim DeGirolamo of Derby preferred to use small 6-inch dodgers in orange or pink with meat to take trout and kings. Dreamweaver spoons in purple and white produced some fish, trolling the same area. The red barn between Wilson and Olcott can be good, too.

Some fish are still being caught off the piers at Wilson and Olcott. The tributaries have a mix of fish – trout and smallmouth bass primarily, but Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors reports some panfish and pike, too.

Roberto Briones of Ottawa with a lower Niagara River bass he caught out of his Jackson Kayak.

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 www.lakeontarioproam.net for details.

The Don Johannes/Pete DeAngelo 3-fish, big fish contest is May 30.

Joey LaGuardia of Ohio caught this salmon fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni out of Olcott.
Carter Mikolay of Connecticut caught this king salmon while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni out of Olcott.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
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It’s National Travel & Tourism WeekAmerica’s weeklong celebration of travel. Travel matters in Niagara Countywhere tourism supported 16,242 jobs and generated over $708 million for our local economy in 2017.

Bill Hilts Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast – May 2, 2019

Mark Davis of Big water Adventures TV is catching Lake Trout and King Salmon near Niagara Falls, NY.

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for May 2, 2019 from Destination Niagara USA
Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters has had some great fishing stories to tell the past week, including this triple header on king salmon. Salmon fishing is hot!

We have a smelt report! One was caught this week in the lower Niagara River according to Mike Fox of Lewiston. He checks nearly every night and one night this week there was one that was netted, the first he’s seen. One fish. If smelt runs are based on water temperatures, it will still be a little while because ice is still coming down the river from Lake Erie. In the meantime, stop by the Lewiston Smelt Festival Friday night (May 3rd) at 5 p.m. in Academy Park.

Fishing in the river continues to be good for trout – steelhead, brown and lake trout – if you want to brave the ice floes. Shiners, minnows, egg sacs, Kwikfish and MagLips will all catch fish. There could be some walleye hanging around, too, for the opener on Saturday. While the big numbers aren’t there like Lake Erie, it’s a sleeper spot for big fish. Last year in the spring LOC Derby, the winning walleye came from these waters, caught by an angler trolling for salmon and trout on the Niagara Bar near the river mouth.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught this steelhead from shore in the lower Niagara River this week.

And speaking of the LOC Derby, remember that the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby is set for May 10-19 with a Grand Prize of $15,000 for the biggest salmon and a total prize structure of $45,000. Check out www.loc.org.

Finally, it looks like the lower Niagara River will be receiving its 75,000 salmon meant for the pen project in Youngstown on May 6. Due to cold water in the river due to extended ice in the system and the removal of the ice boom, DEC stocking trucks have been unable to bring salmon in from the Salmon River Fish Hatchery. The temperature difference between the trucks and the water that would be receiving the fish cannot be in excess of 10 degrees. If everything goes as planned, that will be on Monday. According to Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston, they need volunteers to help feed the fish for the next 3 weeks. If you would like to be part of the effort, contact Campbell directly at 716-523-0013. Thanks to these pens, anglers received the benefit of double the survival rate for stocked kings.

Mark Davis with Big Water Adventure arrived in Niagara Falls USA to participate in a Spring media event, something he’s been involved with for over 20 years. This was one of the first fish he caught, a huge Lake Ontario lake trout.

For Lake Ontario and tributaries, salmon fishing has been good to very good for trollers working the waters from Olcott to the Niagara Bar. Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown has had some banner days on big kings, fishing spoons and flasher-fly 50 to 75 feet down over 75 to 85 feet of water. Lake trout are also being caught.

Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters has been doing well on brown trout, too. Getting the kids involved is important for the future of the sport.

Trolling the shoreline will still produce some brown trout using stickbaits according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott. Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott reported that a couple nice Atlantic salmon were caught off the piers in Olcott recently, casting stickbaits.

Many of the tributaries are high and stained right now according to Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters. He caught some nice trout and smallmouth bass this week using yellow wooly buggers.

Don’t forget about the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament May 31 and June 1. Check out www.lakeontarioproam.net for details.

Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane , NY, has hit some big steelies in some of the Niagara County tributaries.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Atlantic Salmon catches, Lake Trout, Steelhead…Oh My! Bill Hilts Fishing News from Niagara Falls USA

Carson Shiltz of Lorain, Ohio caught this brown trout off Olcott fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane

  • Fish are Biting: Egg sacs, Kwickfish, MagLips, No.4 spinners/Spoons, Jigs…all working
  • Lewiston Smelt Festival coming up on May 3
  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast is from Destination Niagara USA
Matt Tall with a beautiful 13-pound Atlantic Salmon he caught off Wilson Harbor, NY this past week.

Monday of this week saw the New York Power Authority (NYPA) start the process of removing the ice boom at the head of the Niagara River in Buffalo, NY.  As of Thursday, there was still 3 or 4 percent of the lake ice to push through the system.

Lower Niagara River trout action continues to be decent. Artpark is still a good spot to be from boat and shore.

Steelhead are the top target using large emerald shiners according to Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Boaters are averaging 8 to 10 fish per trip, that also includes the occasional brown trout and lake trout.

Mckayla Austin of Newfane shows off a lake trout double caught while fishing for salmon and trout in front of Olcott with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane aboard the Thrillseeker.

Egg sacs will also work for trout. If you get the right wind direction, Kwikfish or MagLips off three-way rigs can work well. Shoreline casters will use No. 4 spinners, spoons or jigs. If you prefer using a float, use an egg sac or an egg imitation. Jigs will work, too.

No smelt yet, but boats are continuing to mark pods of bait on the bottom in the middle of the river. Cooler temperatures due to ice chunks coming down the river could be affecting the nightly runs.

The Lewiston Smelt Festival will be on May 3 if you want to check out the smelt fry provided by the Niagara River Anglers Association (NRAA), Tops Lewiston and the Niagara River Region Chamber. The action kicks off at 5 p.m. with live music, a smelt eating contest and more, all at Academy Park this year across from Tops.

In the Upper Niagara River, DEC’s Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) ran a sting out of Beaver Island State Park when several calls came through the violation hotline (1-844-DEC-ECOS) claiming illegal activity going on. ECO’s from Erie County hit the upper Niagara River at Beaver Island and managed to nab an illegal catch that resulted in numerous violations. Three guys were dipping emerald shiners with nets when they started catching perch, which is illegal to do. They ended up with 3,537 yellow perch, way over the limit of 50 per person. They also netted carp (187), rock bass (14), and sunfish (2).  If you see illegal activity going on, make the call. It works. Many of the fish were still alive due to the quick action of the officers and a large number were successfully released.

Carson Shiltz of Lorain, Ohio caught this brown trout off Olcott fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane.

Out in Lake Ontario, Capt. Joe Gallo of East Amherst fished in 65 to 70 foot of water on Easter morning in front of Wilson Harbor to fish for lake trout. The Two Bulls crew went 20 for 29 on lakers using glow flashers and blue/purple spoons.

Jim DeGirolamo of Derby hit 7 to 10 feet of water between Wilson and Olcott to catch browns and lake trout using 3-inch firetiger Renosky stickbaits.

Matt Tall of Wilson was using a stickbait off Wilson in 48 feet of water to take a beautiful 13-pound Atlantic salmon that was caught and released this week. There are still some steelhead and brown trout in the tributaries, but bass are slowly replacing them. Pier action has been spotty off Wilson and Olcott.

Remember the Lake Ontario Counties Spring Trout and Salmon Derby will be May 10-19 this year. Check out details at www.loc.org.

To branch out on the club’s “teaching fishing” philosophy, the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association (LOTSA) will be moving from the classroom to the lake to provide some hands-on experience for interested anglers who are members of the club. (Become a member at www.lotsa1.org for $10).

On June 9 out of Wilson, Capt. Joe Gallo of Two Bulls Sportfishing will take out six anglers (at a cost of $75 each) from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., showing off the daily routine of a charter captain from start to finish. The proceeds will benefit the club’s pen rearing project in Olcott. Call Gallo at 998-2296 to reserve your spot. Space is limited.

Jim and Conner from Rochester show off a double header on steelhead in the Lower Niagara River last weekend while fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown.
James Elliott of Toledo, Ohio caught this 16-plus pound lake trout fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni out of Olcott last weekend aboard the Thrillseeker.

 

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
 
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Bill Hilts Fishing Forecast for April 18, 2019 – Niagara Falls USA

Sean from Pittsburgh, Pa. caught this wild 10-1/2 pound Coho salmon last weekend fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane.

  • Boat and shore anglers scoring on Lakers, Browns, Coho’s and some King’s too
  • Lake Erie ice boom still in place
Rich Pisa of Kenmore, NY, reeled in this lower river steelhead while fishing from shore in the gorge.

Some ice chunks continue to come down through the Niagara River system, serving as obstacles in the upper and lower river sections. This stems from the fact that the ice boom is still in place at the head of the river between Buffalo and Fort Erie. Winds from the southwest will push ice pieces over the flexible boom. As of Tuesday morning, there was 372 square miles of ice left. There needs to be 250 square miles of ice or less before the boom is pulled. Ice thickness varies right now from 6 inches to 28 inches. We will keep you posted.

Phil Mills from New Hampshire caught this brown trout off Olcott fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane

In the upper river, Jeff Pippard at Niagara Outdoors in North Tonawanda reports that perch have been hitting around Beaver Island State Park at the marina and in many of the bays around the Island. Just look for the emerald shiners. A few rainbows and lake trout have been taken off Gratwick Park in North Tonawanda (NY) on spinners, too.

There has been good trout action in the lower Niagara River around Devil’s Hole and Artpark from boat and shore, according to Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston.  Boat drifters are using minnows, shiners and egg sacs. Shore casters are using spinners, spoons, jigs and egg sacs or egg imitations. Some captains insist that there are some smelt in the river, marking large pods of bait away from the shoreline. However, none have been dipped yet at night. Some local smelt dippers insist that this could be the week. Remember the Lewiston Smelt Festival will be in Academy Park in Lewiston on May 3 starting at 5 p.m. New this year is a smelt eating contest. If you want to sign up, call the Niagara River Region Chamber at 716-754-9500.

For Lake Ontario and the tributaries, steelhead are hitting flies on the surface in some of the creeks. Browns have been hitting eggs, so sacs and beads will do the trick.

Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane shows off a tributary steelhead caught off Lake Ontario.

Pier action has been good in Wilson and Olcott according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott. Spoons, spinners and eggs.

Out in the lake, trolling stickbaits in shallow water is working in front of 4 Mile Creek and Wilson Harbor to take browns. Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown reports good action on a mixed bag, including a number of Coho salmon on Dreamweaver Super Slim “Get ‘er Done” spoons and Jr. Challenger Lady Bug lures off the boards, the downriggers and flatlining off the back of the boat in relatively shallow water. Capt. Alan Sauerland of Newfane was fishing spoons and stickbaits to take lake trout, brown trout and bass. The lakers were coming from 65 to 70-feet of water in front of Wilson.

A few Chinook salmon are also being caught.  Just a reminder that if you are fishing the lake and catch any Coho salmon, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is still conducting a study to help them determine the success of stocking spring yearlings versus fall fingerling plants. DEC biologists are asking anglers to donate any Coho salmon heads and the information of your catch, whether the fish has a tag or not.

The process is straight forward. Catch a Coho and check for an adipose fin clip. Mark all the information at a freezer site such as Fort Niagara State Park, Wilson Harbor (Bootleggers Cove and the Wilson Boat Yard) and Olcott at the Town of Newfane Marina to name a few. Bags and labels are available in the freezer. Make sure you provide the information of where you caught the fish, whether it had a clip and total length of the fish. For more information contact Mike Connerton with DEC at 315-654-2147.

Richard Brant of Amherst caught some nice brown trout like this one trolling the shoreline in Lake Ontario with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Big Spring Fish “ON THE BITE” near Niagara Falls…Steelhead, Browns, Lakers & Bullheads Too!

Chris from Lancaster, Pa. had some fun in Lake Ontario off Olcott fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane. Here he shows off a lake trout.

  • Bill Hilts Fishing Forecast for Niagara Falls USA – Niagara County, NY
  • Fishing forecast for April 10, 2019 

The lake fishing out of Wilson and Olcott, NY is really starting to turn on. Brown trout have been hitting closer to the shoreline on stickbaits and spoons.

Michael Xu caught this big Niagara River steelhead fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls this week.

Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane was focused efforts in 10 to 14 feet of water around Olcott with Bay Rats and Live Targets off the planer boards. On the riggers it was Dreamweaver SS spoons producing some nice browns, but a mix of other species including an Atlantic were also caught. Lake trout are out a bit deeper. A few king salmon are starting to show up in the lake.

Eric from Lancaster, Pa. shows off an Olcott brown trout he reeled in fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni aboard the Thrillseeker.

Chris Kempf of Cheektowaga hit a nice one on Saturday, a fish he reeled in while fishing with Capt. Joe Gallo of Amherst. They were fishing a flasher-fly 70 feet down over 125 feet of water when the bruiser hit while fishing out of Wilson. He also caught lake trout in 100 to 130 feet of water on spoons and flasher-fly.

In the tributaries, the action has been consistent for steelhead and brown trout according to Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters.

Water quality in the creeks is pretty good.

The rain recently should help bring up water levels and add a lightly stain.

Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors reports decent pier action off Wilson and Olcott for browns. Bass are starting to hit, too.

Wilson has long been known for its excellent spring bullhead fishing.

Roy Letcher of Olcott reeled in the top prize for the Wilson Bullhead Contest last week. His two fish totaled 4.36 pounds.

However, after last weekend’s performance by Roy Letcher of Olcott and Jeff Herman of Newfane, Olcott Harbor might be vying for the bullhead title in Niagara County. The bullhead contest ran from 5 p.m. on Friday to 1 p.m. on Sunday. Letcher and Herman caught 350 bullheads and cleaned 200. The best weight of Letcher’s best 2 fish was 4.36 pounds. Red worms and night crawlers were the baits of choice.

There was a tie for second place between Brud Holly IV of Wilson and Jeff Budziszewski of Newfane with two-fish totals of 3.68 pounds each. Holly won the tie-breaker based on length of the fish. Brud was using crawlers and shrimp in Wilson-Tuscarora Park and Jeff was using the same baits in 12 Mile Creek. A total of 93 entries participated in this year’s contest, including 14 kids. Youth winner was Jace Greene of Newfane with a two fish total of 3.55 pounds. Runner-up was Olivia Lampman of Newfane with a two-fish total of 3.33 pounds.

Some ice chunks have been coming down through the river system, serving as obstacles in the upper and lower river sections.

Chris Kempf of Cheektowaga shows off his first king salmon of the year fishing out of Wilson with Capt. Joe Gallo of Two Bulls (right).

Lower river trout action has been a bit more difficult due to winds and clear conditions, although not as clear as previously according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle.

Minnows have been producing steelhead and browns in the river, as well as egg sacs. Cast spinners or jigs from shore.

Lance Chamberlain of Texas with a Niagara River steelhead, caught while fishing with Capt. Arnie Jonathan of Lockport.

No reports on smelt yet. The Lewiston Smelt Festival will be May 3 in Academy Park in Lewiston this year.

The ice boom is still in place since there was still over 400 square miles of ice in the lake as of Monday. It needs to be 250 square miles or less.

 

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Bill Hilts Fishing Forecast for Niagara Falls USA – Niagara County, NY

  • For April 3, 2019 from Destination Niagara USA
Keegan Walczak of Amherst, NY, caught this stream steelhead near Olcott Harbor.

The NYPA fishing platform is open!

April 1 is traditionally the opening of the lower Niagara River’s fishing platform at the NY Power Authority, as well as the reservoir access off Upper Mountain Road and the water intakes area in the upper Niagara River. Icy conditions kept it from opening Monday and Tuesday this week, but the platform’s official opening is April 3! Feel free to check before heading down at 796-0135 Ext. 45 because the platform could be shut down temporarily if we have poor weather conditions.

Allyson Balcom of Williamsville is happy she caught this steelhead while fishing with Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston.
Eli Davila of Wheatfield caught this steelhead in the Niagara Gorge while fishing with his father.

It’s good timing because the lower river trout fishing has been pretty darn good since the weekend. Egg sacs or egg imitations are working well for steelhead and brown trout. Some lake trout are also available. Big minnows or shiners have been working on all three species according to local boat drifters. Shoreline casters are using egg sacs, spoons and spinners to take trout.

Tributary action has picked up off Lake Ontario, even though the water levels are up and the conditions are stained.  Jigs and egg sacs or egg imitations are working. Casting the mouths of the creeks is another option, such as off the mouth of 4 Mile Creek in the Town of Porter. Small boats are fishing in the harbors and some are out trolling the shoreline in 6 to 18 feet of water with spoons and small stickbaits. The piers are producing a few trout, too. Cast spoons and spinners off Wilson and Olcott.

We’ve had reports of bullhead being caught in Wilson – perfect timing! The 7th annual Wilson Bullhead Contest will be starting April 5 at 5 p.m. and running through April 7 at 1 p.m. Best total weight of 2 fish earns top prize. For more information call Eric at 628-6078. Weigh in will take place Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilson Conservation Club.

Keith Currence of West Virginia with a big lower Niagara River steelhead he caught while fishing with Capt. Jim Rores of Grand Island.

Some area waters that receive inland trout stockings include Oppenheim Park Pond in Wheatfield, as well as Hyde Park Lake and Gill Creek in Niagara Falls. The stocking date will be April 11 starting at Oppenheim at 10 a.m. followed at 11 a.m. by the other sites.

The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association will be assembling and floating the net pens for the 2019 project season starting at 9:30 a.m. on April 6. This will take place at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott. LOTSA will also be holding its first meeting of the year at a new location. April 11, the group will be meeting at the North Amherst Fire Company, 2200 Tonawanda Creek Road, Amherst starting at 7 p.m. The April meeting will feature Capt. Damian Kuzmin speaking on early spring salmon fishing techniques out of the port of Wilson, where he runs his boat.

Bill Igo of Harrisburg, Pa. boated this lower Niagara River steelhead fishing with Capt. Ted Kessler of Grand Island.
Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield found good trout fishing in the Niagara Gorge last weekend.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA,10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Bill Hilts Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast

  •  For March 28, 2019 from Destination Niagara USA
Roy Letcher of Olcott with a big 41-inch Niagara Bar laker.

The inland trout and salmon opener is April 1, but the Great Lakes are open all year! In the Lower Niagara River, there are plenty of trout available. However, the river water is super clear and fish are getting really picky according to Capt. John DeLorenzo of Niagara Falls. Your presentation must be perfect, or you won’t get the bites. Long leaders with 6-pound test fluorocarbon fishing line are a must. Downsize your baits with small egg sacs about the size of a pea in pink or yellow. Chartreuse micro yarn flies have been working for DeLorenzo and that bait produced a 16-pound steelhead over the weekend that was caught by George Peterson of North Tonawanda. Shoreline casters have been using jigs, spoons and spinners, as well as egg sacs. April 1 is traditionally the opening of the lower Niagara River’s fishing platform at the NY Power Authority, as well as the reservoir access off Upper Mountain Road and the water intakes area in the upper Niagara River. It looks good for that to happen on Monday. Feel free to check before heading down at 796-0135 Ext. 45.

Capt. Taz Morrison shows off a lower Niagara River Steelhead.

Tributary action has been good off Lake Ontario in waters big and small, and with rain in the forecast for this weekend, look for some fresh fish to arrive. Jigs and egg sacs or egg imitations are working. Casting the mouths of the creeks is another option. Small boats are fishing in the harbors and some are out trolling in the shoreline in 6 to 18 feet of water with spoons and small stickbaits. The piers are producing a few trout, too. Cast spoons and spinners off Wilson and Olcott. Lots going on right now!

Gianni Etopio with a tributary trout.

DEC does plenty of stocking in its inland waters. Call the Randolph Hatchery stocking hotline at 716-358-2050 for details. Some area waters that receive inland stockings include Oppenheim Park Pond in Wheatfield, as well as Hyde Park Lake and Gill Creek in Niagara Falls. The stocking date will be April 11 starting at Oppenheim at 10 a.m. followed at 11 a.m. by the other sites. Another sure sign of spring is the 7th annual Wilson Bullhead Contest starting April 5 at 5 p.m. and running through April 7 at 1 p.m. Best total weight of 2 fish earns top dog. For more information call Eric at 716-628-6078. Weigh in will take place Sunday morning from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wilson Conservation Club.

The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association will be assembling and floating the net pens for the 2019 project season starting at 9:30 a.m. on April 6. This will take place at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott. Remember that April 6 is also the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs annual awards banquet starting at 5:30 p.m. at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara. Call Dave Whitt at 716-754-2133 for tickets.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Bill Hilts Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report

  • Forecast for March 21, 2019 from Destination Niagara USA
  • Clear waters, active fish in river and streams
  • Shore casters and boaters doing well

Happy Spring!

Rich Pisa of Kenmore, NY was fishing the lower Niagara River gorge and caught this steelhead this past week.

Stream and river action are both strong right now and this week’s weather doesn’t look too bad as of right now, especially on Sunday.  In the lower Niagara River, Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield has been doing well in the Niagara Gorge from shore casting spoons.  Water has been very clear there. Hopefully we will see a little snow melt and rain to help stain that water up a bit.  Still, he’s been taking some nice steelhead from shore.  Boaters have more opportunity to move around and steelhead and brown trout are both producing consistently by anglers drifting shiners, egg sacs or plugs like Kwikfish or MagLips off three-way rigs.  If you are looking for browns and lakers, try drifting the Niagara Bar with a shiner near the green buoy marker.

Greg Schloerb of Amherst with a Burt Dam steelhead.
Ricardo Davila hit the Artpark area from shore in the lower Niagara to take steelhead like this one casting spoons.

The tributaries are opening up nicely and if there’s good flow, there will be some fresh trout in there.  The most popular area in Niagara Falls USA off Lake Ontario is 18 Mile Creek near Burt Dam.  Egg sacs and jigs are working to produce some feisty steelhead with an occasional brown trout. Don’t forget about the piers in Wilson and Olcott, too.  Those should start to turn on soon. And speaking of Wilson, the 7th Annual Wilson Bullhead contest is coming up soon, April 5-7.  Make sure that’s on your fishing radar screen.

Speaking of brown trout, it appears a few boats have been trolling the shoreline out near Fort Niagara and picking up some browns in 6 to 8 feet of water.  Use small stickbaits, either flatlining off the back or working the shoreline with in-line planers.

Brad and Terry Harris of Missouri hoist up some steelhead they caught in the lower Niagara River last weekend fishing with Capt. Ernie Calandrelli of Lewiston.
Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston holds a steelhead and Bill Blanchard of West Seneca shows off a walleye on the final day of the walleye season in the lower Niagara River last Friday.

On Saturday March 23rd, there will be a Lake Ontario Fisheries Symposium sponsored by NY Sea Grant and the Lake Ontario Sportfishing Promotion Council from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Finger Lakes Mall (adjacent to Bass Pro), Auburn. Expert panels and presentations on Lake Ontario will be offered up. Register for free at www.ilovenyfishing.com.

Also, on March 23rd, the 8th Annual Fisherman’s Paradise Flea market and Swap Meet will take place at the Alexander Firemen’s Rec Hall located at 10708 Route 98 in Alexander.  Admission is just $2.  Kids 12 years of age and under are free.  For more information, call Joe Kugel at 440-0004 or Jim Thompson at 585-591-0168.

April 1 is opening day of the inland trout and salmon season.  DEC does plenty of stocking in its inland waters.  Call the Randolph Hatchery stocking hotline at 358-2050 for details.  Stocking will take place in Niagara Falls at Hyde Park Lake and Gill Creek, as well as Oppenheim Park Pond in Wheatfield on April 11.

Capt. Matt Gantress of Amherst, NY shows off a Niagara Bar brown trout.

The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association will be assembling and floating the net pens for the 2019 project season starting at 9:30 a.m. on April 6.  This will take place at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott.  In addition to holding over 67,000 salmon in pens, they will also be holding 7,000 steelhead in pens to improve survival rates and imprint the fish to these waters. 

Remember that April 6 is also the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs annual awards banquet starting at 5:30 p.m. at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara in Lockport. Call Dave

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Lower Niagara River Anglers CATCHING BIG FISH

  • Bill Hilts Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for March 13, 2019 from Destination Niagara USA
Greg Schloerb of Amherst, NY, with a Lake Ontario tributary steelhead.

Action has picked back up again in the lower Niagara River according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Steelhead fishing was good in Devil’s Hole and along Artpark on pink egg sacs and Kwikfish. Some fish have also been caught on MagLips. There was no ice and water clarity was good, for now anyway. Best color of Kwikfish was gold.

Tim Thomas of Kenmore, NY, with a Lake Ontario tributary brown trout.

Some browns are still hitting downriver and walleye are still being caught. Emerald shiner fishing has been consistent off three-way rigs. Remember that walleye season closes in the state on Friday, March 15.

From shore in the gorge, be careful of the shelf ice. Artpark only had a foot or two, but more could be found further up into the gorge toward the Whirlpool.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was using jigs and spinners from shore to catch steelhead. Others were using egg sacs in pink, purple and chartreuse.
If you can find some open water in the tributaries, you should be able to catch steelhead and the occasional brown trout. One area is 18 Mile Creek near Burt Dam but don’t be afraid to try some exploring in the smaller streams.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was casting a jig off Artpark to take this lower river steelie.

Temperatures are getting close to 50 today and near 60 tomorrow and 50 on Friday so that could make a difference along the streams. Egg sacs, egg imitations and jigs fished under a float are all good approaches for this time of year.

Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston with a lower Niagara River steelhead.

We just received word from DEC that Oppenheim Park Pond will be stocked with 300 trout on April 11 at 10 a.m. and Hyde Park Lake and Gill Creek in Niagara Falls will be stocked on April 11 at 11 a.m. with over 2,500 trout.

The winners were announced for the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs Conservation Awards for 2018.  Check out the Buffalo News on March 14 for who they are.  The dinner is April 6 in Lockport at Cornell Cooperative Extension starting at 5:30 p.m.  Call Dave Whitt at 754-2133 for tickets or more information.

Mike Goostree of Cleveland, OH, with a 14-pound brown trout he caught in the lower river fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
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Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Feb. 28, 2019 from Destination Niagara USA

Eric Heim of North Tonawanda, NY, with a lower Niagara River brown trout caught while fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown.

More snow and cold arrived on the local fishing scene, but that hasn’t stopped boaters from hitting the lower Niagara River for walleye and trout. Action was hot just prior to the big blow last weekend that filled the river with ice. However, some boaters were planning on hitting the water today to check to see if the fish are just as hungry.

Egg sacs, emerald shiners, minnows and lures like Kwikfish and MagLips were all catching fish off three-way rigs. It may be cold out, but the fishing has been hot! Perfect timing, too.

Lewis Pastor of North Tonawanda caught this lower Niagara River brown trout fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown.
Dominic Kahn caught this lower Niagara River steelhead fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.

Saturday, March 2, is the Niagara River Anglers rescheduled Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead contest for the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario tributaries. The hours are sunrise to 2 p.m. with awards to follow at Lewiston No. 1 Fire Hall. Call Paul Jackson at 998-8910 for more info.  You can sign up at the Lewiston Launch Ramp, Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston or The Slippery Sinker in Olcott.

There has been some open water below Burt Dam on 18 Mile Creek and a few steelhead have been reported.

Shawn West of Lockport, NY, with a nice tributary steelhead caught in eastern Niagara County.

Ice fishing in Wilson Harbor is producing some perch, panfish, pike and the occasional trout.

Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane, NY, hit 18 Mile Creek to catch this steelhead last weekend.

March 2nd is also the 30th Annual Antique Fishing Tackle Ice Breaker show at the Elks Lodge on North Canal Road in Lockport from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring your old fishing tackle in or just see the amazing history through tackle here in WNY.

The NYSDEC will hold their Annual State of Lake Ontario meeting on March 7 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue (Route 78), Lockport, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The WNY Sport and Travel Expo is just around the corner, set for March 7 to 10 at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg. Admission is $10. Kids 10 and under are free. Check out www.eriepromotions.com for more details. One popular speaker returning will be Bass pro Mike DelVisco. He will once again be hosting a coloring contest for kids 6 years old to 12 years of age March 5 and March 6 at area Texas Roadhouse Restaurants from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 5 is in Tonawanda and March 6 is in Cheektowaga. The top four kids from each location will be invited to a private fishing contest at the fishing pond in the Expo on Saturday morning, March 9 at 9:30 a.m.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Giant Fish are in Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast

Lynda Curiale of Long Island, NY, caught this huge walleye in the lower Niagara River this week fishing with the Troutman, Capt. Johnny Oravec.
  • Feb. 21, 2019: Fishing has been good the past week in the lower Niagara River.

Capt. John Oravec, the Troutman, has been catching a mix of steelhead, brown trout and walleye – not necessarily in that order – using emerald shiners and egg sacs off three-way rigs. One of the most noteworthy catches was a 12-1/2 pound walleye that was caught and released by Lynda Curiale of Long Island.

Kenny Mikolajek of Boston took this steelhead in the lower Niagara River fishing with Capt. Ted Kessler of Grand Island.
Chris Paul of Boston caught this steelhead in the lower Niagara River fishing with Capt. Ted Kessler of Grand Island last weekend.

Capt. John Delorenzo of Niagara Falls caught 20 steelhead and 10 brown trout – catch and release – using pink egg sacs on the steelies and minnows on the browns earlier this week.

When you can slide out on the Niagara Bar, lake trout can be added to the mix as well.

Some of the Lake Ontario tributaries have opened up again and it looks like it’s going to be another crazy weekend weather-wise. The rain from last night could pull some more steelhead into the streams and Sunday looks like 50 degree temperatures and wind gusts as high as 70 mph.

Ice fishing in Wilson Harbor has been producing a few nice northern pike up to 40 inches long, as well as perch and a few trout. Be careful with the recent rain and warm temps. It will be in the 20’s again next week.

The WNY Boat Show is finishing up this weekend, concluding on Feb. 24 at the Adpro Center at One Bills Drive in Orchard Park. If you’d like to do a little dreaming or you are truly in the market for a boat or a personal watercraft, this is one great way to do a little research and help you “think spring.” Check out www.wnyboatshow.com for details.

March 2 is when the Niagara River Anglers rescheduled its Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead contest for the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario tributaries. The hours are sunrise to 2 p.m. with awards to follow at Lewiston No. 1 Fire Hall. You must be a member of the club to compete. Call Paul Jackson at 998-8910 for more information.

Buffy Frank of Lockport, NY, shows off a bomber Lake Ontario steelhead caught in a Niagara County stream.

March 2 is the 30th Annual Antique Fishing Tackle Ice Breaker show at the Elk’s Lodge on North Canal Road in Lockport from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring your old fishing tackle in.

On March 7, DEC will be holding its next State of Lake Ontario meeting at the 4-H Building of Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Route 78, Lockport starting at 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 28 is the deadline to comment on new fishing regulations in Lake Ontario. Find out more information at www.dec.ny.gov.

Shawn West of Lockport caught this steelhead in a favorite Niagara County tributary.

 

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
 
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Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
 

Hardwater and Softwater Fishing is in the Forecast at USA Niagara – It’s Free Fishing Weekend! Feb. 16-17, 2019

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report for Feb. 13, 2019 
Denis Kreze of Fort Erie (@deniskreze on Instagram) shows off the Atlantic salmon he caught in the upper Niagara River this week.

It’s a free fishing weekend in New York!

Feb. 16 and 17 are designated Free Fishing Days in the state, originally approved to help promote ice fishing in the state.  It looks like there will be plenty of that going on, but thanks to some untimely warm-ups…make sure you check your ice thickness, especially around the shoreline.  While you don’t need a fishing license, you do need to abide by the regulations for the body of water you intend to fish. Check out the DEC website at dec.ny.gov for more info.

The only hardwater action going on in Niagara County is Wilson Harbor in Tuscarora Bay.  Steelhead, pike and panfish are the species of fish being caught.

Tonya Vechnak of Mercer, Pa. caught this lower Niagara River steelhead fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown.
Michael Walaszek of Burt caught this personal best brown trout last weekend fishing in the lower Niagara River on a golden shiner. It weighed 10.7 pounds.

Soft water action in the lower Niagara River has been on fire, at least when you can get out there. Heavy winds last week pushed lots of ice into the river and created problems for a few days around the launch ramps. When the ice was gone, though, it was game on. And it’s blowing again right now!

Capt. Matt Yablonsky has been doing well on trout and walleye using a mix of minnows, egg sacs and plugs like MagLips or Kwikfish. These are all fished off three-way rigs.

All the main drifts are holding fish and they are eating everything. Incidentally, the daily limit on walleye is ONE FISH in the lower Niagara River.

Shore anglers in the gorge are also catching some fish using No. 4 spinners, jigs and egg sacs, but caution is advised due to the icy shoreline.

Danny Jankowiak of Buffalo, NY, shows off a Lake Ontario brown. If you can find open water in the trib’s, you can catch fish.

In the Lake Ontario tributaries, these are tough to fish right now with the ice and varying temperatures. Look for open water near the first impassable barrier upstream, like Burt damson 18-Mile Creek, and similar barriers. 

Above Niagara Falls, walleye action has been good for jiggers in some of the deeper holes. Denis Kreze of Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada,  even caught an Atlantic salmon this past week. A very rare catch indeed for this stretch of upper Niagara River.

The Niagara River Anglers have rescheduled its Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead contest for the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario tributaries. The new date is March 2nd and the hours are sunrise to 2 p.m. with awards to follow at Lewiston No. 1 Fire Hall.  You must be a member of the club to compete. Call Paul Jackson at 998-8910 for more info.

Also on March 2 is the Antique Fishing Tackle Ice Breaker show at the Elk’s Lodge on North Canal Road in Gasport, NY, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring your old fishing tackle in.

Jim Dunkleman of Gasport and Seth Halter of Gasport with a pair of lower Niagara River steelhead. They were fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown.

Lastly, the WNY Boat Show is coming up next week, set for Feb. 20 to 24 at the Adpro Center at One Bills Drive in Orchard Park, NY. Admission is free on Wednesday and Thursday. Check out www.wnyboatshow.com for details. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Feb. 7, 2019

  • From Destination Niagara USA
Rich Pisa of Kenmore, NY, with a beautiful Lower Niagara River winter fish.

After a bit of an ice storm yesterday around Western New York, temperatures will be shooting up into the 40s and 50s today, bringing with it high winds with gusts to 60 mph through late Friday afternoon. With this end of Lake Erie still open, it will undoubtedly have an effect on Niagara River fishing by pushing ice into the river and also have an effect on water conditions. Wind that strong out of the Southwest has a tendency to stain things up, but with colder temperatures in the forecast for the weekend, it should help things out.

Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield, NY, caught this steelhead from the Niagara River shoreline this week.

The Niagara River was busy from both boat and shore the past week and trout and walleye dominated the catching scene.

We heard about walleyes up to 12 pounds. Steelhead, brown trout and lake trout were all being caught by casters and boat drifters.

Boaters were pulling Kwikfish and MagLips off three-way rigs to catch fish. Minnows were also working.

From shore, spinners and jigs were both catching some fish.

18 Mile Creek in Newfane saw some things open up again and jigs tipped with a wax worm or egg sacs were working under a float.

The Back Bay in Wilson was still producing perch, crappie and the occasional trout in Tuscarora Bay through the ice.

Paul Czamara of West Seneca, NY, with a lower Niagara River lake trout he caught on a spinner.

With the recent warm ups, make sure you check the ice thickness before heading out and when heading back in.

Don’t forget next weekend is a free fishing weekend in New York State, Feb. 16 and 17. You don’t need a fishing license, but you do need to abide by the regulations for the body of water you intend to fish. Check out the DEC website at dec.ny.gov for more info.

The WNY Boat Show is coming up Feb. 20 to 24 at the Adpro Center in Orchard Park. Check out www.wnyboatshow.com for details.

Finally, the Niagara River Anglers has announced that they have rescheduled its Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest for March 2 in the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario tributaries. The contest, for NRAA members, runs from sunrise to 2 p.m. with the awards to follow at Lewiston No. 1 Fire Hall in the village. Call Paul Jackson for more details at 998-8910.

Kerrianne Mesiti of Chili, NY with her first walleye caught on a minnow with Capt. Arnie Jonathan of AJ Guide Service while fishing the lower Niagara River.
Parker Cinelli of Grand Island with a 12 pound lower Niagara River walleye.

DEC has also announced new regulations proposals for Lake Ontario and the Niagara River. Go on the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov to find out what they are and pass along your comments.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019 from Destination Niagara USA

Aaron Horvatits of Buffalo shows off a brown trout just before the storm hit. He was using jigs fished under a float.

With a severe winter storm blanketing the region in snow and cold temperatures, there hasn’t been too much fishing action going on other than some diehard ice fishermen. Wind chills as low at minus 30 has kept most people home for the most part with hundreds of schools and businesses being closed throughout Western New York.

The Niagara River Anglers announced that the Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest set for Saturday, Feb. 2, is postponed. If you want to find out more information, give Paul Jackson a call at 731-4780.

With the combination of cold and wind, the Niagara River has quite a bit of ice flowing through its waters. The Lewiston launch ramp was filled with ice at last report and we won’t see any movement there until the weather starts to turn for the better. The end is in sight though. Saturday temperatures are vaulting into the 30’s and Sunday will see the 40’s. Monday it could hit 50 degrees with some rain. If that happens, it could open a few fishing opportunities, but it will depend on what the storm does with the waters of the Niagara River.

Danny Jankowiak of Buffalo found some open water just before the storm and caught steelhead using Janky jigs in black and white.

Steelhead, brown trout and lake trout are all available in the river system below Niagara Falls. If you fish from shore, jigs, egg sacs and spinners will catch fish. Take extreme caution walking the shoreline and use some type of ice grippers on your boots. From boats (if you can get out), top baits include MagLips and Kwikfish, egg sacs, minnows and imitation egg flies or beads. Bounce your offering along the bottom using three-way rigs from boat. From shore, using a float can be productive.

Ice fishing in Wilson Harbor was good for perch in Tuscarora Bay for hardwater anglers using minnows. Over 6 inches of ice was last reported.

In 18 Mile Creek, the last open water we heard about was below Burt Dam, but with the recent wind chills and actual temperatures, things are probably locked up at this point. Wait for that warm up before you give it a try.

If you are looking for something indoors, Bass Pro Hank Parker will be coming to the Oak Orchard Assembly of God Church in Medina on Friday night, Feb. 1, as the guest speaker for its 15th Annual Dinner and Seminar. For more information Call Merle Fredericks at 585-765-2839. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Winter Fishing Report

  • Fishing Report for Jan. 24, 2019 from Destination Niagara USA
  • Steelhead, Lake Trout and Walleye…Winter Bite Fun

Ely Moskal from Albany, NY, made the trip west to fish the Niagara River for whopper winter fish like this.

 After the heavy rains yesterday, much of the Niagara River shoreline snow and ice was melted away. However, more cold weather is on the horizon and we saw about an inch of snow this morning to make the going a little slippery along the Niagara River shoreline rocks. Be careful out there.

Spinners in orange and chartreuse are still working to take a mix of trout that include steelhead and lake trout. Jigs will also produce some fish according to Mike Rzucidlo, of Niagara Falls, who caught lake trout on orange and steelhead on white in the Niagara Gorge area.

Matt Yonkin with a nice steelhead from the Niagara gorge.

From boats, add in brown trout and walleye to the mix, depending on where in the river you are fishing. Pink egg sacs, Kwikfish, MagLips and live minnows will all produce fish for you. If you run plugs, make sure the lures are working properly.

Fishing was very good yesterday in the rain for Ely Moskal and Matt Yonkin of Albany, New York. They caught all three trout species on Pautzke brined eggs and MagLips while fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls. It should continue into the weekend.

Ely Moskal with a beautiful brown trout from the Niagara River.

The Niagara River Anglers Association (NRAA) will be hosting the Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest on Saturday, Feb. 2 from sunrise to 2 p.m.  Sign up at the Lewiston Landing launch ramp the morning of the event or register at Creek Road Bait & Tackle or The Slippery Sinker in Olcott. You must be a NRAA member to participate. Eligible waters include the lower Niagara and Niagara County tributaries off Lake Ontario. www.niagarariveranglers.com.

In the upper Niagara River, we have to mention the huge lake trout caught by Denis Kreze of Fort Erie when he reeled in a 30-plus pound fish this week. We are trying to find out more details. What a trophy!

For the Lake Ontario tributaries, the heavy rains yesterday opened up some water in the creeks, but we’ve not had any reports on turbidity or fish cooperation. The precipitation event should have pulled some more fish into the streams. Egg sacs, jigs tipped with wax worms, egg imitations like Lick-em Lures should all work to catch you a trout or two. Streamers and woolly buggers can also be very effective. We’re not sure what the rain did with the ice in the harbors. With more cold weather on the way, you might want to wait until safety on the ice is assured again. Use a spud to check ice thickness.

Don’t forget the Birds on the Niagara Festival – a winter celebration is going on Friday and Saturday of this week with the opening ceremony at 5 p.m. at Tifft Nature Preserve in Buffalo.  Saturday, Jan. 26, there will be seminars, vendors and demonstrations at Niagara University from noon to 5 p.m. Check out www.buffaloaudubon.org for details.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast – from Destination Niagara USA

  • 6th Annual Greater Niagara Fishing Expo is running Jan. 18-20
  • Tough Weather…Great Time for an Outdoor Show, BUT WE STILL HAVE great fishing
  • REPORT FOR Jan. 17, 2019
Gary Laidman of Eden caught this 12 pound walleye in the lower Niagara River. He also caught some nice steelhead on pink egg sacs fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.

The 6th Annual Greater Niagara Fishing Expo is almost here, set for Jan. 18-20 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. The website is  www.niagarafishingexpo.com.  There is a winter storm advisory but it appears to be more of a southern track right now with 6-7 inches expected Saturday night. Don’t let that scare you off! The show will go on!! Here are a few small tidbits worthy of consideration in making your way to the Cataract City with over 200 seminars, 96 speakers and over 170 vendor booths:

  • Antique Fishing Tackle – Mark Schmitkons of Wilson will be showing off some of his antique fishing tackle. More importantly, he will be happy to appraise your own old/antique fishing equipment to see if it’s of any value. He will even store your old gear, so you don’t have to walk around the show with it.

Harry S. from Pittsburgh, Pa. caught this nice steelhead in Devil’s Hole on an egg sac Monday while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane, NY.

  • Capt. Lance Valentine of Walleye 101 is a Pro Staff representative for Lowrance Electronics and Sonar/GPS whiz. If you have a Lowrance unit on your boat that is Gen 2 or newer, his booth will be offering free updates and set up on Lowrance Sonar/GPS units.
  • DEC Bureau of Fisheries Chief Steve Hurst will be mingling with anglers at the show. He will be sitting in on Capt. Bob Songin’s Lake Ontario Niagara Bar salmon seminar at 5 p.m. and answer some questions then. He will also have his own Q and A on Saturday at noon, fielding questions from the audience. Lake Erie Unit biologists Dr. Jason Robinson and James Markham will be around on Friday to give talks on walleye movement and steelhead study updates.

    Connor Cinelli of Grand Island was fishing the lower Niagara River on Monday and caught this nice steelhead on a pink egg sac.
  • Make sure you check the website out at www.niagarafishingexpo.com and print out the $5 parking voucher. Pay just $5 for the day. Park in the city ramp. The Expo will go on no matter what the weather or conditions.
  • Four different Bass pros will be hanging out in the Rapid Fishing Solutions booth, at the Hawg Trough and in the seminar rooms. They are Billy McDonald, John Murray, Brad Knight and Mark Menendez. There are also many other local bass experts sharing their insights on fishing local waters.
  • Need a fishing license? Stop in at The Boat Doctors booth at the show and pick one up.

And on to the local fishing. They are still catching some nice trout and walleye in the lower Niagara River, but conditions have been brutal. Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island took his son Connor out to catch some steelhead on pink egg sacs. The following day it was steelhead and walleye, including a 12 pounder reeled in by Gary Laidman of Eden. What a fish!

Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield reports that the bite was slower than expected from shore recently while casting the gorge area of the lower Niagara River.

Dan Ettipio of Tonawanda caught this hawg lake trout on a shiner while fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli in the lower Niagara River.

Water had good visibility, but he couldn’t get the reaction strikes he wanted with spoons and spinners so he switched over to a gulp minnow on a jig head. With the move, he managed 3 steelies by bouncing the jig off the bottom very slowly.

Gary Laidman with a nice steelhead from the Lower Niagara River.

Learning how to read the water and fish your baits accordingly is part of Davila’s seminars this weekend at the Fishing Expo in Niagara Falls. Be sure to check them out at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday to learn how to fish from shore there.

With some snow, cold and wind scheduled for the weekend, it’s a perfect time to attend the fishing Expo! Don’t forget that the Niagara River Anglers has their steelhead contest Feb. 2. Mark your calendars! Call 731-8710 for more information. Sign up at Creek Road Bait and Tackle or The Slippery Sinker.

For the Lake Ontario tributaries, most creeks are frozen partially or fully according to Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters. Finding open spaces to place your bait or fly is going to be a challenge right now. Fish the faster water at the top of big pools where things don’t freeze as much. Feltrinelli managed to find some open water in some Lake Ontario tributaries, and he needed to fish it low-and-slow to take brown trout and steelhead due to the cold water temperatures. Check his seminar out at the Expo. Ice fishing in Wilson and Olcott harbors are a more likely scenario, but we’ve not had any reports.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Great Fishing All Winter, Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo is Just Ahead

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report for Jan. 10, 2019 – from Destination Niagara USA
Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters with a Lake Ontario brown trout he caught last Tuesday (Jan. 8, 2019).

It’s hard to believe that the 6th Annual Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo is here already Jan. 18-20 at the Conference and Event center Niagara Falls. And it’s also hard to believe that it keeps getting bigger and better with even more education to teach Western New York anglers. If you are someone who enjoys fishing but would like to learn more about this popular outdoor pastime, this is the show for you. If you want to get started with fishing, look no further. Want tips on bass fishing? Four professional bass fishermen will be sharing their insight. Want to learn how to walleye fish? There are more than 20 seminars on different aspects of going after old marble eye. Some of the top experts in the country will be sharing their knowledge on fly fishing, salmon and trout fishing, tributary fishing, electronics, boat rigging, kayak fishing and more. All told there will be more than 200 seminars on fishing in quiet seminar rooms over the three days, plus over 170 booths of top quality fishing equipment and expertise. It can all be found at www.niagarafishingexpo.com. It’s $10 a day or $20 for the weekend. See you there!

Rich Pisa of Kenmore hit the Niagara River gorge for some steelies last week.

Winter has arrived back on the local scene and conditions are bit difficult with snow and cold temperatures. Thanks to some excessive wind, the Niagara River is turning off-color and may be tough to fish the next few days.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught this steelhead in the Niagara Gorge on Tuesday.

In the lower Niagara River, fishing from both boat and shore had been good for steelhead and brown trout, with the occasional lake trout and walleye.

Silver Kwikfish worked well on Tuesday, patterned with chartreuse or green, for drifters, along with egg sacs and minnows.

Shore anglers are using jigs or spinners. Hot colors have been pink, chartreuse and green. Lake trout were available on the Niagara Bar area in better numbers, when the wave action will allow you to access the lake. If this continues, the Fishing Expo could be the perfect escape to fine tune your programs in the waters of WNY. The seminar speakers have them all covered as far as species, tactics and locations.

Joshua Marshall (left) caught this walleye at the foot of Ferry Street this week in the upper Niagara River.

In the upper Niagara river, the foot of Ferry Street has been good for fishermen. Many have been doing well on walleye with the occasional lake trout and steelhead according to Joshua Marshall of Alden, involved with the WNY Walleye Fishing Facebook page. Baits have been mainly live minnows and crankbaits. Bite is up and down, but producing fish.  Jigs tipped with plastics will work, too.

Buffalo Joe Pavalonis took the early lead this week in the Rudd Division of the Capt. Bob’s Outdoors winter fishing contest by measuring in an 18-inch upper river fish at the Clarence store. He was using a crappie tube jig.

For Lake Ontario, tributary action has been fair to good for steelhead and brown trout according to Scott Feltrinelli with Ontario Fly Outfitters. Before the storm, he did well on Lake Ontario tributaries, but the water was clear. His bait options included olive and brown-colored streamers, not whites or brights. He was 12 for 12 on catching fish Tuesday, as he bounced to Lake Ontario streams, releasing all of his fish. Action should improve when we start seeing some snow melt and warmer temps.

Don’t forget the new “Birds on the Niagara” Festival set for Jan. 25 and 26. Check out www.buffaloaudubon.org for further details.

Chris Walczak of Amherst with a nice steelhead caught in a favorite Lake Ontario tributary.The Niagara River Anglers has their Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest on Feb. 2 in the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario tributaries. Check out the NRAA Facebook page.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
 

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast – Jan. 2, 2019…from Destination Niagara USA

  • New Year, New Fishing Rules…Check Them Out
  • Fishing is GOOD, really good for January
Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane, NY, with a nice steelhead from a Lake Ontario stream the final day of the year.

Happy New Year’s! Now that the ball has dropped on 2019, area fishermen should be aware of some changes in regulations. Lake trout season is now open below Niagara Falls in the Niagara River and on the Niagara Bar in Lake Ontario.  Also, walleye fishermen must note that the daily limit drops from 3 to 1 fish per person from Jan. 1 to March 15 in the lower river.

If you fish the Canadian side of the river, in either the upper or lower stretches, the new license year also started up Jan. 1.  Be aware of these changes if you take advantage of the mild winter conditions we are now experiencing.

Gianni Etopio of Youngstown, NY, with his biggest brown trout of the season, a 28 inch fish caught in a favorite Lake Ontario tributary.

As far as Niagara River fishing conditions, it was a little spotty before the last wind and rain storm New Year’s eve.  Fortunately, water conditions weren’t destroyed.  Action should be good going into the weekend with mild conditions in the forecast.  Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait & Tackle in Lewiston says there are steelhead, brown trout and walleye all being caught.

Ken Jackson of Sanborn caught this huge steelhead while fishing a favorite Lake Ontario stream on the first day of 2019.

Anglers seem to be using more pinks and oranges when using egg sacs, beads and spinners.  Kwikfish and MagLips are also hot lures off three-way set-ups at times.  Minnows are working to take fish, too.

In the Upper Niagara River, lake trout and walleye are being caught around the Thompson’s Hole area on jigs.

Gianni Etopio of Youngstown with his biggest steelhead of the season, stretching the tape at 29-1/2 inches long. He was using a mix of egg sacs, jigs and beads to catch trout off Lake Ontario.

In the Lake Ontario tributaries, Gianni Etopio of Youngstown caught a dozen trout to start off the New Year using jigs, egg sacs and beads in 18 Mile Creek. His biggest brown was 28 inches and his biggest steelhead was 29-1/2 inches. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott reports that wax worms are also producing a few trout – on a single hook or on a jig and fished under a float.

The Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo is Jan. 18-20 at the Conference center in Niagara Falls. Check out www.niagarafishingexpo.com for details.

Mark your calendar for the new “Birds on the Niagara” Festival set for Jan. 25 and 26. More to come on that one before the event.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director 

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Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
 

Christmas Week Fishing is Spectacular in Niagara Country!

Ray Richards hit Burt Dam and his this brown trout this week on a jig, not tipped with anything.

Many of the tributaries off Lake Ontario have been low and clear with the lack of precipitation. That said, there will be a significant rain event tonight that could bring up to an inch of rain. Today the high is 50 degrees but it will get cooler by the weekend. Ray Richards of Amherst has been hitting the tributaries several times a week, picking up browns and a few steelhead. When the water is stained, he will use a jig, normally tipped with a wax worm or a salted minnow. However, this week when he went out, he thought he forgot the waxies and still produced a big brown on his marabou jig. The rain should pull some fresh fish into the system and don’t forget about some of the smaller streams like 12 Mile in Wilson, Keg east of Olcott and 4 Mile in Porter.

Jeff Rioux caught this lower Niagara River steelie fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Thrillseeker.

For the lower Niagara River, the action has been good for most. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls did well last weekend using swim baits to take bass and walleye, minnows and egg sacs to take steelhead and salmon.

Eddie Verost of Grand Island caught this walleye to celebrate his 16th birthday with his buddy Parker Cinelli, who was also celebrating his 16th birthday, too.
Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island caught this big northern pike fishing for walleye with a shiner.

Two Grand Island 16-year olds – Eddie Verost and Parker Cinelli – celebrated their birthday fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island (Parker’s dad) and hit the lower river last weekend. They did well on walleye and steelhead. MagLips worked for the steelhead, shiners worked for the walleye. Chris managed to catch a 36-inch pike on a shiner, too. Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle reports egg sacs and beads are also working to entice fish to hit off three-way rigs. For the Jan. 1 lake trout opener, try around the green buoy marker at the mouth.  They’ve been stacked up out there according to guys fishing for bass, walleye and browns.

If you are looking for a last minute gift item, consider a lifetime license (if you are a state resident). If you need a present for dad or grandpa and they are 70 or older, you can pick up a lifetime license for just $65 – hunting and fishing together! Also, a guided fishing trip from area charter captains is a great way to get the family out for some fun in the sun – river fishing or lake fishing! Check out https://www.niagarafallsusa.com/things-to-do/outdoor-adventure/fishing/charters/ … and don’t rule out a gift certificate from your local tackle shop, too.

Here’s wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director 

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Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
 

Brown Trout, Walleye, Steelhead Dominate the Niagara Region Winter Fishing Action

Buffy Frank of Lockport with her 34-inch, 15-plus pound brown trout caught on a jig.

The Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Dec. 13, 2018 from Destination Niagara USA beckons to all anglers.

Richard Pisa of Tonawanda caught this 16-pound upper Niagara River lake trout on a jig.

Brown trout and steelhead are dominating the Niagara Region fishing report this week, with walleye not far behind. Buffy Frank of Lockport caught a monster brown trout yesterday while fishing a favorite Niagara County Lake Ontario tributary. Using a black marabou jig tipped with wax worms, she hauled in a 34-inch brownie that tipped the scales at better than 15 pounds. She didn’t get an actual weight because she wanted to get it back into the water and release it as quickly as possible. She did get a quick photo though. Nice fish!

Buffy Frank of Lockport with her 34-inch, 15-plus pound brown trout caught on a jig.

Tributaries seem to be offering moderate to medium flows. Egg sacs, single eggs, egg imitations and a variety of flies are all working to take fish. Surprisingly, there hasn’t been a lot of fishing pressure the past week. We could see a little bit of rain and temperatures into the 40’s over the weekend.

In the lower Niagara River, fishing was good from both boat and shore. Brown trout, steelhead and walleye have all been caught with consistency.

Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston used a jig to take this nice Devil’s Hole steelhead.  

Boaters are using three-way rigs to entice fish to hit with MagLips, Kwikfish, beads, egg sacs and minnows. A minnow is what worked for Matt Gerhart of Spring Mills, Pa. when he was fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. He reeled in an 11-pound walleye fishing the lower river.

Matt Gerhart of Spring Mills, Pa. caught this 11-pound walleye in the lower river on a minnow.

Some nice browns and steelies into the double-digits have also been caught by drifters. Shoreline casters in the gorge are using spinners, jigs and egg sacs to take trout and the occasional walleye, too. Even a few late salmon are hanging around.

Musky season ends on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Above Niagara Falls in the upper river, Rich Pisa of Kenmore grabbed his boat and hit some favorite spots with his dad, Richard of Tonawanda. Using jigs, they managed to catch 3 lake trout up to 16 pounds, 10 walleye and some silver bass. Water conditions were near-perfect.

Rich Pisa of Kenmore hit the lower river gorge around the Whirlpool to take some nice steelhead like this one, using a pink egg sac.

We’re only a month away from the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo, set for Jan. 18-20, 2019 at the Conference and Event Center in Niagara Falls. Check the website out at www.niagarafishingexpo.com and see what all the buzz is about.

Captions:

Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston used a jig to take this nice Devil’s Hole steelhead.

 

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
 
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Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
 

Fishing 411 TV Show – Mark and Jake Romanack on the Lower Niagara River

Niagara Falls USA Fishing – from Destination Niagara USA…the FISHING REPORT for Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018

Mark Romanack with Fishing 411 TV Show hit the lower river this week and put a show together on brown trout with his son Jake and Capt. Frank Campbell.

After some muddy water slowed things up earlier in the week, anglers are catching fish again in the lower Niagara River. You never know what you are up against after a storm in Western New York. Winds, rain and snow can have an effect on water conditions, especially in the Niagara River. There is a difference, though, and fishermen and fisherwomen need to be cognizant of that difference between stained and dirty conditions.

Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls caught this brown trout on a MagLip plug fishing with the Fishing 411 TV Show that airs on the World Fishing Network.
Connor Cinelli of Grand Island caught this 8 pound lower Niagara River walleye using a Swedish pimple tipped with a minnow.

Mark and Jake Romanack of the Fishing 411 TV Show that appears on the World Fishing Network, visited town on Monday to put a show together on the lower Niagara River. The water was stained, but definitely fishable. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls met up with them and they fished the afternoon using 3.0 MagLips in Double Trouble and Green Machine colors.

In 2 hours of actual fishing time they boated 9 browns on 9 hits, enough for a show. The next day the water was dirty. After 4 hours, not a single hit, but the crew was able to take some drone footage and film some tech tips before the headed back to Michigan.

As of today, the shore guys were already catching fish again according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Along Artpark, pink and chartreuse spinners are working for steelies, orange for the browns. Chartreuse egg sacs and beads are also producing for the shore guys, as well as the boat drifters. Shore casters are out-fishing the boat guys right now, but that will change a bit as the waters start to clear a bit more.

John Keeler and his son, Shawn, were fishing the lower Niagara River last weekend and they caught nice steelhead like these fishing with Capt. Jim Rores of Grand Island.
Shawn Keeler with a nice lower Niagara River steelie last weekend.

In the Niagara Musky Association John Henning Memorial Musky Contest last Sunday, Andrew Lacko of Kenmore took top honors with a 41-inch fish caught on a Bondy bait. It was the only fish caught for the event held in the lower Niagara River. Musky season continues in the lower river and Lake Ontario until Dec. 15. Lake trout season is now open on the Canadian side of the lower river, but closed until Jan. 1 on the New York side of the river.

For the Lake Ontario tributaries, weather conditions have not been the best with a mix of rain, snow, wind, warm and cold temperatures. Still, trout are being caught. Not too many anglers have been hitting the streams according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott, but for those that are making the effort to wet a line, they have been rewarded with some nice brown trout, a few steelhead and even some late salmon. Spikes and wax worms are the baits being talked about most, usually tipped on a small jig and fished under a float. Fishing your bait slow with the slightly cooler conditions could help increase your chances for a hook-up.

Scott Feltrinelli with Ontario Fly Outfitters reeled in some nice brown trout this week from a favorite Lake Ontario tributary.

Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters caught some impressive fish yesterday in a favorite Lake Ontario stream. You might have to do a little searching. When you find them, the rewards are great.

Christmas Yule:

  • The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association has its Christmas meeting on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport. It’s a joint meeting with the county’s Fisheries Development Board.
  • The Niagara River Anglers will hold their Christmas meeting on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Sanborn Historical Society. Call Paul Jackson at 731-4780 for details.
  • The Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs will hold its Christmas meeting on Dec. 12 at the Hartland Conservationists Club, Orangeport Road, Gasport. Doors open at 5 p.m. Bring a dish to pass.

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Nov. 30, 2018

 

Nancy Colavecchia and Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls show off a double header in the lower Niagara River.

It’s November 30 and there are quite a few noteworthy occurrences that take place.

For example, muskellunge season closes today with one exception – the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. The upper Niagara River produced a few nice late-season fish, like the 50-inch trophy reeled in by Rebecca Gaulteri of Hamilton, Ontario. She was fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island over the weekend and managed to catch the fish of a lifetime. Joining her was her husband, Francesco and her dad Chris Mills (who also caught a 45-inch fish the same morning).

John Anthone of Sanborn shows off a 49 inch upper Niagara River musky he caught Nov. 29 while fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.

John Anthone of Sanborn hit a 30-plus pound 49 inch musky on Nov. 29, also fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli.

Below Niagara Falls, water was stained, but still fishable after the most recent storm. The lower river had been hot the past week as waters cleared and trout fishing took off. Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston reported that beads, egg sacs and Kwikfish/MagLips lures (all fished off three-way rigs from boats) has been good to very good for a mixed bag of trout.

Just ask 87-year-old George Gregory of Lewiston who was fishing with his son Kurt and Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston. They caught double-digit trout over the long weekend using primarily egg sacs, catching steelhead up to 13 pounds and some nice browns. What had them talking though, was a lake trout that both father and son caught at the same time. Remember that lake trout season is closed on the NY side until Dec. 31. However, on the Canadian side of the river, the lake trout season opens on Dec. 1.

Shore fishermen are still doing well with the good conditions, especially off the NYPA fishing platform. However the platform closes at dusk on Nov. 30.  Nancy Colavecchia of Niagara Falls caught her first-ever steelhead with a green egg sac while fishing off the platform.  She was fishing with Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls who caught nearly double-digit steelies on egg sacs and 4 walleyes on jigs. Drabczyk also reported that spinners and beads are also working in chartreuse, orange and pink colorations.

Nancy Colavecchia of Niagara Falls caught her first steelhead off the NYPA fishing platform this week.

The Niagara Musky Association will be hosting the John Henning Memorial Lower River Musky Tournament, a catch-and-release event, that will be held Dec. 2 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. You must be a member of NMA. Contact Scott McKee at 225-3816.

Fishing has been a bit slow in some of the Lake Ontario tributaries for steelhead and browns. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctor in Olcott says that there are fish (mostly browns) around, but not much pressure from anglers. Hot baits in the tributaries have been spikes, egg sacs and beads. Gianni Etopio of Youngstown has been using his own hand-tied marabou jigs to take a mix of salmon, steelhead and browns.

Dec. 1 starts up the catch and release season for bass fishing. The only exception is for Lake Erie were anglers can keep one fish if they so desire, but the minimum size is 20 inches in length. Consult the DEC regulations at www.dec.ny.gov.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA; 10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
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NOVEMBER MUSKY MADNESS! Niagara Falls USA

Niagara River Mucky Madness! Happening Now.

Musky, Brown Trout, Coho, Walleye, Bass…Fish-Catching Madness: Niagara Falls USA – Full Report, Nov. 21, 2018

Double on Musky! Brad and Virgil Mosiman were fishing with Capt. Ted Kessler of Grand Island on the upper Niagara River this week.

The place to be this week is the Niagara River both above and below Niagara Falls. The musky are on their usual hot fall bite.

In the Upper Niagara River, Capt. Ted Kessler was reporting some good musky action recently, including a double-header for two brothers – Virgil Mosiman of Kenai, , and his brother Brad from Warsaw, NY, with 47-inch and 38-inch ‘skies while fishing with Capt. Ted Kessler of Grand Island in the Upper Niagara River. The musky season closes on Nov. 30 in the upper river and Lake Erie, as well as the rest of the state, except for the Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario.

Gary Hall of Niagara Falls with a nice lower Niagara River musky. The season is open until Dec. 15 in the lower river.

Gary Hall of Niagara Falls had a good day fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell on Monday and he was rewarded with a big musky on a MagLip lure in silver and chartreuse. The musky season is open until Dec. 15 in the Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. The Niagara Musky Association will be hosting the John Henning Memorial Musky Tournament on Dec. 2. Call Scott McKee at 225-3816. You must be a member to participate.

Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane caught this nice steelhead at Burt Dam.

Also at the top of the list the past week in the lower river has been the steelhead and brown trout. As of Monday, river conditions were near perfect according to Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. Pink egg sacs were the ticket for steelhead in Devil’s Hole and along Artpark. Head down river for brown trout. Egg sacs were working on them as well.

Lake trout continue to be caught too, as part of incidental catch. Lake trout season is closed until the end of the year.

Dick Hill of Maryland caught this lower Niagara River steelhead this week.

One popular fishing spot will be closing for the winter on Nov. 30 at dusk – the NYPA fishing platform in the gorge, including the parking area and stairs. They’ll be shutting down for the season due to the winter conditions. This also includes the Upper Mountain Road access point for the reservoir.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls is still picking up a few fresh salmon and some walleyes at the NYPA fishing platform on spinners and jigs. Swimbaits work, too.

Action in the streams off Lake Ontario has slowed for browns and steelhead, as well as the occasional late king salmon. We’ve heard a few Coho’s being caught, too. Water has been slightly stained and conditions aren’t too bad, but fish have been finicky.

It’s a good bet that many people are hunting. There hasn’t been a lot of fishing pressure.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303, f: 716-285-0809
www.niagarafallsusa.com

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Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been hitting his salmon using a No. 4 spinner.
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a walleye off the NYPA fishing platform in the lower Niagara River.

After a week of muddy water in the Niagara River, the fishing is slowly starting to improve to the delight of boaters and shore anglers. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls saw a slight green tint show up in the lower river on Tuesday and he grabbed his gear to head down to the New York Power Authority (NYPA) fishing platform in the gorge. Using a pearl zoom swimtail, he took a couple of walleyes. He switched to a No. 4 spinner and caught a couple of late-run king salmon. When he switched to a jig he managed to catch a small rainbow trout. The fishing platform is normally shut down for the winter on Dec. 1, unless we see some ice. If we do, the platform will be shut down early. Keep that in mind. A couple of boats hit the lower river yesterday under marginal conditions and the fish were hungry. Gold 3.0 MagLips worked off three-way rigs, as did beads and egg sacs. They caught a mixed bag of fish that included steelhead, brown trout and lake trout.

Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane had this brown trout hammer his black jig just before dark.

Remember that lake trout season is closed so be sure to release those fish quickly and unharmed. Bass are still available in the lower river, too. If you want to try and target smallmouth, head down river from Lewiston and bounce swim baits off the bottom.

Justin Lee of Niagara Falls hit the Lake Ontario tribs and caught this dandy brown recently.

With the start of the Southern Zone regular big game season on Saturday, Nov. 17, look for fishing pressure in the Lake Ontario tributaries to lessen considerable. Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek, as well as 12 Mile Creek in Wilson have both been good for trout fishing the past week according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors.  There have been quite a few brown trout hanging around, some late-run salmon and a few steelhead. Eggs, jigs tipped with wax worms and spikes, crystal meth and sucker spawn, beads and more beads are all catching fish. Colors seem to be changing every day. White woolly buggers, pink and orange eggs, egg sacs with a white bead – plenty of options to use and many (if not all) seem to be working.

We will try and update this by next Wednesday but if we don’t have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
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Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Niagara River / Lake Ontario Trib’s – Fishing is GOOD! Fishing Report for Niagara County, NY

Paul Carlone of Hamburg caught this lower river lake trout while he was fishing for steelhead.

  • Free Fishing Day in New York State: Nov. 11, 2018
  • Upper Niagara River Musky Fishing is Hot
  • Burt Dam has a Fresh Run of King Salmo
  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018
Danny Jankowiak of Buffalo took this steelhead in the lower Niagara River on a jig.

Make sure you mark Nov. 11 on your calendar. That’s now a “free fishing day” in New York State. No license is required and it’s a great opportunity to reach out and take a vet fishing. Remember you do have to abide by the NYS fishing regulations wherever you are going to wet a line.

Winds are continuing on the local front today which created a mess of the water conditions in the lower Niagara River. If the shore casters can locate a little clean water along the shoreline, you might have a chance at catching a trout. For sure, the land-bound fishermen will be fishing before the boaters in the lower Niagara River. 

Michael Cardmone with his brown trout caught from the NY Power Authority Fishing Pier.

Just prior to the winds, action in the lower river was good for trout. Steelhead were hitting MagLips and beads for boaters and shoreline anglers were tossing spoons, spinners, jigs, eggs or egg imitations to take fish. Along Artpark, steelhead are available, but the lake trout have been very aggressive. Remember that lake trout season is closed and fish should be released quickly and unharmed. Downriver, bass are still hitting swimbaits on a consistent basis.

Paul Carlone of Hamburg, New York, caught this lower Niagara River lake trout while he was fishing for steelhead.

In the upper Niagara River, the muskellunge fishing action the past week improved for Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island as he saw fish up to 51 inches come to his boat the last several days. The big one was caught by Ray Dietz of Youngstown. He also caught a 48-inch fish the same day.

In the Tim Wittek Memorial Catch and Release Musky Tournament run by the Niagara Musky Association last Sunday, first place when to Anthony Scime of Tonawanda with a 46-inch fish that was caught on a Red October Baits tube. Second place went to John Miller of Lackawanna with a 42-inch fish, also caught on a Red October Baits tube. Third place went to Hans Mann of Alden with a 35.5-inch musky and caught on a Red October Baits tube for a sweep of the winners. A total of 19 anglers competed in the “iron man” contest. Musky fishing will stop for now until the water can clear.

In Lake Ontario, water was high and stained in many of the streams but that didn’t stop people from trying to catch both salmon and trout according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctor’s in Olcott. There were plenty of fish around.

Gianni Etopio of Youngstown, New York, caught this salmon in a favorite Niagara County stream.

A fresh batch of silver kings came into Olcott and headed up to Burt Dam. Many of the smaller streams to the east and to the west are also holding fish because of the recent rains. We heard 12 Mile Creek had some fresh salmon in it. Egg sacs, beads, jigs tipped with wax worms or spikes were all catching salmon and trout. Bait or lure colors keep changing from day to day because of the unpredictable water conditions. Green and orange egg pattern flies have been taking some fish, too.

Pier action has been spotty. If you see any illegal fishing activity going on, please call the toll-free hotline at (844) DEC-ECOS and report it with as much information as possible. You can remain anonymous.

The regular big game season (whitetail deer and black bear) opens in the New York State Southern Zone next Saturday, Nov. 17.  It might not be a bad idea to wear an orange hat when you go fishing. Pressure on the streams will probably be less due to the opener.

Good luck out there and stay safe.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Musky, Bass, Brown Trout, Coho’s, King Salmon…ALL BITING NOW in Niagara County, NY

  • Tribs hold king salmon, brown trout and steelhead now
  • Egg sacs in chartreuse, orange or pink and nymphs, glo bugs, woolly buggers are HOT
  • Upper Niagara River musky fishing picks up with downturn in water temps
Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane caught his personal best brown trout over the weekend, a 14 pound Niagara County trophy.

Oct. 31, 2018 – Niagara Falls, USA: Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek continue to be good for king salmon, brown trout and steelhead according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott. Skein, egg sacs or egg imitations are the way to go. Maribou jigs and beads are also working.

Sandy Troutman of Butler, Pa. with her first King Salmon from Burt Dam.

Chartreuse, orange and pink egg sacs have been working, along with nymphs, glo bugs and woolly buggers in purples, browns and blacks. Peach and orange beads have been catching fish, too.

The Olcott and Wilson piers have been producing some pike and steelhead for casters using spoons and spinners. Water flow is still an issue in many of the smaller streams in the lake. When they do get water, it pulls fish in and many times those fish will be stranded in some of the deeper holes. If you notice any illegal activity, use your phone to call 844-DEC ECOS.

Anthony LaRosa of Lewiston with a NYPA fishing platform King Salmon.

Lower Niagara River fishing is switching from salmon to trout, and some lake trout are starting to move in. Remember lake trout season is closed right now. Shore fishing guru Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been tossing jigs and No. 4 spinners to take salmon, walleye, steelhead and lake trout (all released quickly and unharmed) off the New York Power Authority Fishing Platform. If we don’t see any snow and ice, expect the platform to remain open until Dec. 1 at least.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a Lower Niagara River lake trout caught from shore.

Rzucidlo has also done well in the gorge, especially along the Artpark trail. If you would prefer to target smallmouth bass, the bronzebacks have been on a fall feed and Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls reports that his hot bait was a Strike King Rage Swimmer producing fish up to almost 6 pounds. They were taken downriver and action was fast for the most part.

In the upper Niagara River (above Niagara Falls), Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island reports decent musky action as waters start to cool and fish move in to winter over.

Local angler Joe Soldaczewski caught this 49-inch muskellunge in the upper Niagara River Sunday while fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.

This past week he caught fish up to 49 inches long using a three-way rig and a special set-up involving live bait. Timing is perfect for the Tim Wittek Memorial Catch and Release Musky Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 4. It is hosted by the Niagara Musky Association from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. You must be a club member to participate. Cost for tourney is $25. For more info call Scott McKee at 225-3816. The club’s month meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 6 at the Eldredge Club, 17 Broad Street, Tonawanda starting at 7 p.m. Five different members will talk about different fall musky fishing points. It should be a good one. As of Nov. 1, you are now required to wear a personal flotation device if you are on or in a water craft 21 feet in length or smaller. It’s a good idea anyway.

Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls shows off a 5-plus pound smallmouth from the lower Niagara River caught on a Strike King Rage Swimmer over the weekend.

Bill Hilts, Jr.- Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA; 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US; 1-716-282-8992 x. 303; f: 716-285-0809
www.niagarafallsusa.com

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Salmon & Trout Time is NOW for Niagara River/Lake Ontario

Michelle Jones of Pittsburgh, Pa. reeled in this nice Burt Dam brown trout this week.

Gabriela Yip from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, came to fish with her dad, Tom Warda of Niagara Falls and Capt. Joe Marra of Niagara Rainbow Charters in the Lower Niagara River.

Lower Niagara River salmon fishing is still going on and some trout are starting to move in. There are salmon and trout at Burt Dam, too, but things have been a hot and cold, depending on whom you talk to.

Karen Evarts at the Boat Doctor’s in Olcott, NY, reports only fair action off the piers, usually early morning or at dusk for spoon and spinner casters. There has been quite a few salmon and trout being reported off the Route 425 pier, but don’t rule out the Wilson piers off the main harbor for browns and steelhead with an outside shot at an occasional salmon. Egg imitations will also work at any of these spots.

A pink bead worked for one angler on 18 Mile Creek for a beautiful Atlantic salmon. At the dam in Burt, brown trout top the list of preferred targets, followed by steelhead and salmon.

Practice catch and release when you can. Small boaters have been fishing some of the deeper holes with egg skein and picking a few salmon up, too.

Trolling with J13 Rapala’s is another option in the creeks at Olcott and Wilson. In the lake, there aren’t too many people heading out, but fishing can be good out deep (over 300 foot depths) for a mix of salmon and trout. Staging fish off the creek mouth has been limited so far at Wilson and Olcott.

Michelle Jones of Pittsburgh, Pa. reeled in this nice Burt Dam brown trout this week.

In the Niagara River, it’s been more of a mixed bag with salmon still leading the way. Boaters are bouncing bottom with three-way rigs and a chunk of treated egg skein to take Kings, Coho’s, steelhead and a variety of other fish. Casting from shore, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls scored on 4 different species of fish one day while tossing No. 4 spinners off the NYPA Fishing Platform.

The Niagara Gorge is still producing salmon up to the Whirlpool and the steelhead are starting to show up, too. Using a float to drift eggs or egg imitations is starting to work.

This is also a good time to target big smallmouth bass downriver toward Fort Niagara and on the Niagara Bar if the winds cooperate. Upper river bass action can also be good. And as waters finally start to cool down, muskellunge fishing should start to improve as fish start to move in and winter over. There should still be some walleye around, too.

In New York, pheasant hunting season opens up for all hunters on Saturday, Oct. 20th and your best bet is to head to those areas that have been stocked by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Take note that three state parks in Niagara County – Joe Davis, Wilson-Tuscarora and Golden Hill – these are “permit-only” for the first three Saturdays. However, there are other stocked locations in Somerset, Newfane and at the Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Areas.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls took a salmon and a steelhead, one off the NYPA platform and one in the gorge.

Next Saturday, Oct. 27, is the start of duck and goose seasons in the Western part of New York State. If you want to go for a blind at Joe Davis, Fort Niagara, Wilson-Tuscarora or Golden Hill state parks, drawings will take place on Thursday’s starting Oct. 25 at the Fort Niagara Maintenance Building, 6:30 p.m. Sharp! There may be some issues at Wilson-Tuscarora due to launch ramp renovations. Those are being worked out right now. If your preference is the upper river at Beaver Island, the West River Parkway, Motor or Strawberry islands, the lottery drawings will take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting Oct. 26 at the Beaver Island Clubhouse starting at 6:30 p.m. When attending these lottery drawings, make sure you have your license, a signed duck stamp, your HIP number and your waterfowl identification certification card.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls

Bill Hilts, Jr.- Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA; 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US; 1-716-282-8992 x. 303; f: 716-285-0809
www.niagarafallsusa.com

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Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018 – Destination Niagara USA


The Niagara River salmon action is still going strong according to reports from shoreline casters and boat drifters. From shore, Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield was doing well tossing Booker glow in the dark spinners. Rich Pisa of Kenmore was drifting egg skein under a float along the shoreline around the Whirlpool. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was tossing No. 3 spinners to take his first lake trout of the year off of Artpark. At the Sanddocks in Lewiston, Gianni Etopio of Youngtown was using a soft splittail plastic on a jig to take some walleye and even a salmon the last week. Charter guys like Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters are still reporting success in Devil’s Hole drifting treated egg skein on a three-way rig. Mike Cardamone of Lewiston was 5 for 8 on Salmon on Tuesday. A few steelhead are starting to show up, too. With air temperatures plummeting into the 50s this weekend, look for fishing to turn on again.

Olcott fishing action has not been consistent, but when it’s on it’s great according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. Pier action is a bit spotty for hardware chuckers tossing spoons and spinners. Egg skein will also work, off the piers and up the creek from a boat. Burt Dam is seeing some salmon and a few brown trout being caught. Over in Wilson, Joel Spring of Ransomville caught a big salmon off this kayak, dragging him around the harbor for a while. Pier casters are picking up some trout and an occasional salmon there, too. Out in the lake, head out deep for a mix of salmon and trout if the weather cooperates.

This weekend is the youth hunters for waterfowl and pheasant. Early archery season is still going on and other small game opportunities are also available such as for woodcock, rabbit and squirrel.

If you are into fly fishing or you are looking for a way to start up the activity, look no further than the Orvis Shop in Williamsville. This coming Saturday are two sessions on steelhead fishing – Steelhead fly fishing 101 and steel-heading Cattaraugus Creek. Sunday has a steelhead tube fly seminar and a fly tying session focusing on steelhead favorites. Call 276-7200 to see if openings are still available.


Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
f: 716-285-0809
www.niagarafallsusa.com

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KING SALMON on the Bite! Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018: from Destination Niagara USA

Fall is in the air.  Oct. 1 is the opening of a long list of different hunting seasons, including the Southern Zone opening of the early archery season for deer and bear.

With so many things going on, it’s the perfect time to go fishing! The rains that fell Tuesday night into Wednesday morning were a welcome sight. Early season salmon action in the lower Niagara River finally turned on the past week. Devil’s Hole is the place to be, fishing from a boat. Drift treated egg skein from a three-way rig.

Capt. Tony LaRosa of Lewiston with a Devil’s Hole salmon caught this week.

Shore anglers are picking up a few fish by casting spoons and spinners or drifting egg skein under floats. That action has already improved since the rains. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was three for five on salmon last night with salmon egg skein. Bass and walleye are still available downriver toward Stella Niagara and the Fort.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught this 20 pound salmon from shore in the gorge using salmon egg skein.

In the upper Niagara River, some bomber bass have been caught the past week on live bait and tubes.

Over in Wilson and Olcott, good salmon and trout action is still being reported out in deep water, 300 to 400 foot depths. Pierhead trolling is still working for king salmon from boat. Spoons, J-plugs and meat are all working according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctor’s in Olcott.

Pier action had been a little sporadic, but things have turned on for salmon and the occasional trout off the piers casting spoons or spinners. Yesterday there were reports of large numbers of salmon hanging off the ends of the piers in Olcott. Cast orange or firetiger color Cleos or Gems.

Vince Cerrone and Gordie LaPorte, former local captains, hold up king salmon caught while fishing with Capt. Ernie Calandrelli of Lewiston.

A few salmon and trout are being reported at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek, but the big run hasn’t really started there. We’ll see what happens as a result of the rain. It could be happening right now.

A few notes, like lake trout season closes on Sep. 30 in Lake Ontario.

There are a few youth hunts coming up like the Youth Deer Hunt Oct. 6-8, the youth waterfowl hunt Oct. 13-14 and the youth pheasant hunt Oct. 13-14.  Oct. 1 is the deadline for applying for Deer Management Permits.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
 

 

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018

The King Salmon are on the big bite in the Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario...read the details!

Ashley Dobbs of Ocala, Fla. was in town attending Travel Media Showcase in Niagara Falls USA and took a side trip fishing. She caught her first fish every – a 20 pound salmon…on a worm harness while she was fishing for walleye. What a story!

National Hunting and Fishing Day is Saturday, September 22, a tradition since 1972. As you look around Niagara Falls USA, there are a number of exciting events going on this weekend, including the two-day Wildlife Festival sponsored by the New York Power Authority and the Niagara Co. Federation of Conservation Clubs. The event is held at the NYPA Visitors Center in Lewiston next to NU and it runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days with a huge emphasis on getting the kids in tune with nature and the outdoors. In honor of NHF Day, New York State has announced that Sept. 22 will be a free fishing day in the state.

The Niagara River Anglers Association’s fishing pond is a popular attraction at the Wildlife Festival every year at the Power Vista in Lewiston, the area’s National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration Sept. 22-23. Photographer: Anne Dykstra.

No one needs a fishing license, but you do have to abide by the fishing regulations in the state and on the body of water you intend to fish. This is a great opportunity to share your expertise with someone who you’ve always wanted to take on the water. It could be a neighbor or friend, a co-worker or a family member. Make the effort and it could make a huge difference in a person’s life. There is a kids fishing derby on Saturday morning at Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by canoeing and kayaking starting at 12:30 p.m. The fishing derby is for kids ages 6 to 16 years old. Get down there and get the next generation fishing.

Gianni Etopio of Youngstown, NY, caught this king salmon from shore off the NYPA fishing platform in the Lower Niagara Rive this week.

Lake Ontario salmon and trout fishing continues to be very good, especially out deep from 300 to 400 feet of water off Wilson and Olcott. Quality steelhead in the double digit range have been reported consistently on a spoon bite along with a mix of mature and immature salmon. If you are looking for some big boys, try trolling the pier heads at Wilson and Olcott at first light with J-plugs, cut bait behind a flasher, flasher-fly or a magnum spoon.

Shawn West of Sanborn caught this salmon off the Olcott pier this past week on a KO Wobbler.

Pier casters are picking up some fish tossing spoons with anything blue in the color pattern according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. Wilson harbor has been producing some nice pike according to Joel Spring of Ransomville. Fishing with a jointed X-Rap, he managed 3 nice pike fishing off his kayak on Tuesday of this week. Bowfin were hitting in the west branch of 12 Mile Creek.

Mike Cardamone of Lewiston caught this king salmon in Devil’s Hole fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters

Lower Niagara River fishing is continuing to improve for salmon in the Devil’s Hole area and boat captains have switched from plugs to treated salmon egg skein fished off three-way rigs. While it’s far from the peak, they are picking up some fish consistently. The fishing platform at the power project is producing some kings on spoons, jigs and eggs. During the Travel Media Showcase event hosted by Destination Niagara USA in Niagara Falls at the Doubletree, four of the attendees were participating in a “Hooked on Adventure” fishing tour. Ashley Dobbs of Ocala, Fla. was fishing with a worm harness along the Stella drift in the lower river when she hooked into a 20 pound salmon. On a worm! That’s one of the best things fishing the lower river – you never know what you are going to catch. She was one happy camper for sure and hooked for life. It was her first fish ever!

Joel Spring of Ransomville is still using his kayak to take some pike from Wilson harbor. This one hit a jointed X-Rap plug.

Bill Hilts, Jr. –Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast: Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was fishing along Artpark when he hooking into this lunker bass on a No. 3 spinner

Buffy Frank of Lockport was casting a Booker wobbler when she reeled in this big northern pike off the Olcott pier.

Fall was in the air last weekend as cooler temperatures and rain triggers some early movement into the Niagara River and closer to the mouths of area streams.

Staging kings off Wilson and Olcott were finicky the past few days, forcing boats to head out for more stable conditions starting in 300 feet of water off Wilson and Olcott. It was a spoon program for Capt. Mike Johannes of On the Rocks to take a mix of salmon and trout out deep. His last trip he was 7 for 13 on salmon and trout – not as good as it’s been but it kept his customers happy.

Clarence “Peanut” Chamberlain caught this staging king salmon off Wilson fishing with Capt. Taz Morrison of West End Charters.

Staging kings should be cooperating again soon. Use J-plugs, flashers with cut bait, flasher-fly or magnum spoons for the kings and some trout are also available in the same waters.

Chris Trzaska of Buffalo caught this steelhead off the Wilson pier on a Booker No. 4 spinner.

The piers at Olcott were hot on Monday and Tuesday according to Karen Evarts of The Boat Doctors in Olcott.  J13 Rapalas in perch and firetiger were working for Mark Vogt of Newfane Tuesday, but Booker glow spoons and spinners have been catching fish, too, according to Evarts.

Nothing to speak of in 18 Mile creek yet.

In the Niagara River below Niagara Falls, small schools of mature salmon were seen moving up into the gorge area. Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle was reporting salmon action off the NYPA fishing platform in the gorge over the weekend and early this week. Nothing from boats in Devil’s Hole. Bass and walleye are still hitting from shore along Artpark and further down river, too, for boaters dragging crabs, shiners and worm harnesses along the bottom on 3-way rigs. The river water temperatures dropped 5 degrees from last week, but so far that has not made a huge difference. If cooler temps prevail, it could trigger more of a river run of kings.

In the meantime, make sure you mark Sept. 22-23 on your calendar for activities. Sept. 22 is a kids fishing derby at Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Young anglers from 6 to 16 are eligible. Register at the Oasis Pavilion off Robbins Drive in the park.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was fishing along Artpark when he hooking into this lunker bass on a No. 3 spinner

Sept. 22 and 23 is the NYPA’s Wildlife Festival, co-sponsored by the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs in honor of National Hunting and Fishing Day. The event is held on the visitor center grounds adjacent to Niagara University both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

And just so you know, Saturday Sept. 22 is a free fishing day in New York State being declared by the state in honor of National Hunting and Fishing Day. Everyone 16 years of age and older do not need a license, but you must abide by the regulations.

Good luck and good fishing!

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for September 6, 2018 – Destination Niagara USA

Pier Fishing is just beginning to "Get Hot!"

  • Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby Winners – BIG FISH!
  • Kings are coming in closer to shore each day, BE READY
  • New York Power Authority hosting Wildlife Festival Sept. 22/, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Braden Petrucci with his winning 14 pound steelhead caught out of Olcott Labor Day weekend.

The days are getting shorter as Pacific salmon slowly migrate closer to their home ports.

Last Saturday morning, Keegan Walczak of East Amherst was casting a spoon off the Olcott pier when he caught the first salmon of the year. A few more were caught over the weekend by other anglers. This is the first sign that we’re getting close to some fall fishing, but we still have a ways to go. High temperatures will be in the 60’s over the weekend and we will see some cool rain on Sunday so that should make a difference.

In the meantime, the Niagara Bar is holding fish at the drop-off according to some mixed reports.

Keegan Walczak of Amherst with the first salmon off the Olcott piers this year.

Off Wilson, the salmon were stacking up in 40 to 80 feet of water according to Kyle Duncan of Newfane. He was fishing with Capt. Carl Martin of Dublin Up Charters and doing very well on matures. Duncan says use spoons and cut bait early in the day and switch over to spoons later, using your electronics to help identify prime areas. These fish could feed at any time so stay on them until you figure out what they want. Flasher-fly combos were also catching numbers of fish, including brown and rainbow trout while boaters are targeting salmon.

Kyle Duncan of Newfane caught this salmon with Capt. Carl Martin of Dublin Up Charters.

Off Olcott earlier in the week, 60 to 90 feet was a good depth contour to follow. J-plugs, flasher and cut bait, flasher-fly and magnum spoons were all producing fish early in the day.  Russell Pray of Kesseville went fishing Labor Day weekend with his buddy Rick Coon of Kesseville and they were greeted with a torrential downpour out on the waters in Eastern Lake Ontario. In the middle of the downpour, a rod went off so Pray went and started to fight a king salmon – a fish that took nearly 400 feet of line in a matter of seconds. Twenty minutes later, after fighting (and losing) another salmon, 4 foot waves and a very long leader on their dipsy diver, they netted a 31 pound, 4 ounce salmon – his biggest ever in the lake – to take home the Grand Prize check for $25,500 to win the Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby that ended on Labor Day. That story would have been secondary had Kyle Kraft of Ohio insisted to his buddy that he get into the derby. Fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell, they caught a 32 pound salmon on the Niagara Bar – but everyone on the boat must be in the derby.

In the salmon division, Eric Beaver of Locust Gap, Pa. was just 3 ounces behind Pray when he reeled in a 31 pound, 1 ounce king, winning a check for $5,500.

Taz Morrison of West End Charters shows off a daily brown trout winner while fishing out of Wilson.

One angler who didn’t wait until the last minute was David McGowan of Rush who reeled in the winning brown trout – a 16 pound, 4 ounce fish reeled in on the first day of the 18 day derby while fishing off Braddocks Bay. Jason Dale of Lockport caught the second place brown trout off Wilson on Monday morning of Labor Day (the final day of the derby), a 15 pound, 12 ounce brownie on a customized Stinger spoon.

Braden Petrucci of Coal Center, Pa. caught the winning steelhead out of Olcott Labor Day weekend, a 14 pound fish caught on a Moonshine spoon – his biggest steelhead ever. The second place steelhead was caught the same day – September 1 – a 13 pound, 11 ounce fish reeled in by Anthony Alonzo of Monongahela, Pa., also fishing out of Olcott. No salmon yet in the lower Niagara River, but bass and walleye are still snapping.

Some nice walleye are coming from shore along Artpark. Here’s one Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught this week on a No. 3 spinner.

Shore anglers have been using plugs and spinners off Artpark to take some nice walleye and bass both. The better fishing has been at night.

Remember that Sept. 22 is a kids fishing derby on Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls starting at 8 a.m. and NYPA will be hosting a Wildlife Festival Sept. 22 and 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day to honor National Hunting and Fishing Day weekend.

Good luck and good fishing!

Bill Hilts, Jr.- Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, August 29, 2018 – Destination Niagara USA

Chris Taylor of Grand Island is holding a 29 pound, 7 ounce Niagara Bar king salmon he caught Sunday morning to win the Salmon Division of the Fish Odyssey Derby. He's also leading the Salmon Division of the LOC Derby that ends on Labor Day. Mike Mongan (L) and Walt Zebker, both of Grand Island, were also fishing on the boat.

Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters holds up a 32-pound Niagara Bar king salmon caught by Kyle Kraft of Ohio. 

Mature king salmon are moving closer to their natal streams and are starting to darken up in Lake Ontario.

Crazy winds have riled things up a bit, making fishing a bit more difficult.

The Niagara Bar finally turned on for big fish as a 32 pounder was caught, as well as a 29-pound, 7 ounce king. Flasher-fly and flasher with cut bait top the list of enticements on the drop off near the red can.

Chris Taylor of Grand Island is holding a 29 pound, 7 ounce Niagara Bar king salmon he caught Sunday morning to win the Salmon Division of the Fish Odyssey Derby. He’s also leading the Salmon Division of the LOC Derby that ends on Labor Day. Mike Mongan (L) and Walt Zebker, both of Grand Island, were also fishing on the boat.

Olcott Harbor reports have some fish in close. but hit it early, before the sun comes up. One of the better areas has been 250 to 350 feet of water out in  front of Olcott. The microwave tower and the power plant are both good landmarks for fall fishing, too. Fish 70 to 90 feet down. Out a bit deeper, 400 to 500 feet of water, steelhead have been hitting spoons. Just ask Gabby Hovak of North Tonawanda and Tom Milleville of Sanborn, a couple of winners in the Fish Odyssey this past week.

Speaking of the Odyssey, the 42nd Annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby concluded last Sunday and plenty of big fish and last minute heroics came to the scales by both young and old alike. For the adults, Robert Geiger of Lackawanna won the bass division with a 5-1/2 pound Lake Erie smallmouth bass and then proceeded to win the $3,000 Grand Prize in a special drawing of all first place winners. Chris Taylor of Grand Island caught the biggest salmon on the final day of the derby, a 29 pound, 7 ounce Niagara Bar king that is currently first place in the LOC Derby. It also won a special $700 LOTSA prize for the biggest salmon caught by a member.

Chris Walczak of Amherst caught this northern pike off the piers at Olcott while casting for salmon and trout this week.

Milleville of Sanborn caught the big steelhead, a 12 pound, 7 ounce fish reeled in off Olcott. Top lake trout came from Lake Erie when Jerry Bielicki of Akron hauled in a 22 pound, 14 ounce fish. Jason Henning of Machias was first in the carp division with a 23 pound, 4 ounce Lake Alice carp and Eric Majka of Niagara Falls took top honors in the walleye division with an 11 pound, 1 ounce lower river ‘eye. He also took a special $500 for the largest walleye caught by a Southtowns Walleye Assn. member. Grand prize in the Junior Division went to Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane, earning the right to be in the drawing by catching a 35 pound, 3 ounce carp. Wow! Top salmon was caught in the last hour of the derby, a 22 pound, 10 ounce Olcott king weighed in by Alex Heath of Sanborn. That’s 2 years in a row! Gabby Hovak of North Tonawanda had the big trout at 13 pounds, 7 ounces, a fish that’s also leading the Steelhead Division of the LOC Derby. Gabriella Geiger, Robert’s daughter, was top bass catcher with a 5 pound, 1 ounce Lake Erie fish and Abigail McGrath of Niagara Falls took top panfish with a 10 ounce rock bass from Lake Erie. The walleye division winner was Ethan Brolinski with a 10 pound, 6 ounce lower Niagara River fish. He was dragging a Berkley Flicker Shad on the bottom when the fish hit. He also won the drawing for a bike from the Primate Sanctuary.

The LOC Derby ends on Monday, Sept. 3. If you are going fishing, get in the derby. One unlucky angler caught a 32 pound salmon last weekend, only to find out one person wasn’t in. He could have won $25,000.

Niagara River action has been good for walleye and bass with no confirmed reports of salmon in the gorge yet. They should be there very soon. Michael and Alyssa Cardamone of Lewiston had a banner bass day earlier this week when they caught more than 15 bass in just a couple hours of fishing. They were caught on crabs.

Good luck and good fishing!

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd.
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
 

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, August 22, 2018 – Destination Niagara USA

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga with his leading Odyssey salmon at 22 lb. 14 oz.

  • Lots of fish near Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario
  • Tournaments offering large prizes for many age groups
  • King Salmon on the big bite with right winds
Taven Lukehart, 14, caught a 21.5 pound king salmon out of Olcott Harbor to take over the early lead in the Junior Salmon Division of the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey.  He weighed it in at the Boat Doctor’s in Olcott.

We’re at the half-way point of the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby, ending on Sunday, August 26 at 1 p.m. It’s still not too late to enter, especially for the kids who can fish for free in a special Junior Division. There is over $1,000 in kids prizes up for grabs. Check out www.fishodyssey.net for details.

Some nice fish have already come to the scales, like the 10 pound, 6 ounce walleyes weighed in by Charles Hoy of Niagara Falls in the adult division AND by

Gabby Hovak of North Tonawanda caught this 13 pound, 7 ounce steelhead east of Olcott to take over the trout division of the kids in the Fish Odyssey AND the Steelhead Division for the Fall LOC Derby! She caught it on a Finn Tackle spoon.

Ethan Brolinski of Lewiston in the Junior Division! Both were caught on the Niagara Bar at the mouth of the Niagara River. Biggest salmon so far is a 22 pound, 14 ounce king hauled in by Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga, caught out in front of Olcott on a spin doctor and cut bait. Steve Olay of Ransomville has first place rainbow/brown so far with a 11 pound, 1 ounce steelie. Richard Barber of Niagara Falls is the top laker taker with a 19 pound, 2 ounce Niagara Bar fish. Dave Stahura, Jr. of Lackawanna has the big bass so far, a 5 pound, 7 ounce smallmouth from Lake Erie. Michael Boncore of Buffalo is leading the carp division with an 18 pound, 6 ounce Lake Ontario fish. For the kids, Gabby Hovak of North Tonawanda is leading the trout division in the Odyssey. She is also leading the entire field in the Fall LOC Derby with her 13 pound, 7 ounce steelhead caught east of Olcott on a Finn Tackle spoon over 400 feet of water. Taven Lukehart of Reynoldsville, Pa. has the top salmon at 21 pounds, 5 ounces out of Olcott on a spoon. Gabriella Geiger of Lackawanna is current leader in the bass division with a 4 pound 8 ounce Lake Erie smallmouth caught on a tube. Jacob Velesko of Middleport is leading carp catcher with an 18 pound, 15 ounce fish from the Oak and Abigail McGrath of Niagara Falls is leading the panfish division with a 10 ounce perch. Get out there and catch some fish!

Congratulations are in order for the “Reelin’ for a Cure” tournament held last Friday out of Wilson and Olcott. Top ladies team in the 3rd annual event was the Legacy Ladies captained by Rob Wescott of Hamlin. They scored 166.30 points for their best 6 fish based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound to best 20 other boats in the fun contest. They also raised funds for “Look Good, Feel Better” as a support for ladies suffering from cancer.

Niagara River walleye action has been good the past week with worm harnesses or yellow sally-spinner-worm rigs catching fish. Bass action has been good in the river, too, with crabs and shiners at the top of the list for getting fish to hit according to Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle.

In the lake, the salmon and trout fishing has been hampered a bit the last few days from an east wind that has brought in cold waters. Head out deep to 350 to 450 foot depths in the top 100 feet to target a mix of salmon and trout. There were some trollers working the waters from 180 to 220 feet picking up some matures on Tuesday, but it’s a blow day today again so we don’t know what’s happening inside right now.

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga with his leading Odyssey salmon at 22 lb. 14 oz.

Best baits for mature kings have been spin doctors and flies, flashers with cut bait (Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott says the N & D Cut Bait has been flying out the doors) and J-plugs first thing in the morning. Spoons are also catching fish. Hot colors have been white, black and green.  The LOC Derby runs through Labor Day and the leading fish right now is a 28 pound, 6 ounce fish for the $25,000 Grand Prize. It ends on Labor Day. Check out the leaderboard at www.loc.org.

Don’t forget the kids fishing derby at Widewaters Marina on the Erie Canal in Lockport August 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration starts at 8 a.m.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for August 15, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

Paige Rosenberger got into the NIagars County Lake Ontario fishing fun this week, fishing with her family aboard On The Rocks Sportfishing with Capt. Mike Johannes.

  • East wind has shifted action, but the bite is HOT
  • Spoons and flasher-fly combo’s are effective
  • Look for Kings to start staging off Niagara River mouth 

The Rosenberger family with a great salmon catch out of Wilson, fishing with Capt. Mike Johannes of On The Rocks.

Lake Ontario has three different fishing derbies going on this weekend.

The Orleans County Rotary Derby has been going on for 2 weeks, ending this Sunday, August 19 and Niagara County is part of it. On Friday, August 17, the Fall Lake Ontario Counties or LOC Derby started up for 18 days, offering contestants a chance to earn $25,000 for the largest salmon. Finally, the


Jay Zuppa and his crew display their salmon catch out of Wilson, fishing with Capt. Joe Gallo of Two Bulls Sportfishing.

Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby is set for August 18 to 26 in Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties. Cash prizes for the adults, merchandise prizes for the kids. If you were to catch a big salmon or trout, and you were entered in all three contests, you could conceivably win all three competitions. For the LOC Derby, find out more information at www.loc.org. Species categories include salmon, brown trout and rainbow/steelhead trout. For the fish odyssey, check out www.fishodyssey.net. Species categories include salmon, smallmouth bass, lake trout, walleye, carp and brown/rainbow trout. Kids can fish in a special youth division for free.

The leading fish in the Orleans County contest is currently a 29-pound, 14-ounce king salmon reeled in by Joseph Miller of Harrisburg, Pa.  Top rainbow trout is a 12 pounder caught by Dan Heglin of Gardner, Mass.  Big brown is 14 pounds, 13 ounces, weighed in by Michael Grager of Lyndonville.  Brian Gambell of Hilton is still leading the lake trout division with a 17 pound, 12 ounce fish.  The Orleans derby ends Sunday.

The bite has been good offshore since the big east blow on Friday, that according to Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters.  There are fish spread out from 300 to 450 feet of water off Wilson and Olcott.  The hot spot has been changing every day.  Start shallow and go north till you start getting bites according to Yablonsky.  He has been using a mix of spoons and flasher-fly combinations.  He hasn’t had to run any meat yet.  As things settle back in, look for staging fish off the creek and river mouths.  Target the area out front of Wilson and Olcott for mature kings in 50 to 150 feet of water. J-Plugs, magnum


Sara holds up a 20 pound salmon that was reeled in by Frank Davis of E. Amherst. They were fishing with Capt. Joe Gallo of Two Bulls Sportfishing.

spoons, flasher-flies and cut bait were all working on kings.  Don’t forget about the Niagara Bar for staging fish, too, as we advance later into the summer.  Some salmon have been seen Porpoising in the lake.

Capt. Arnie Jonathan of AJ’s Guide Service found walleye fishing to be very good in the lower Niagara this past week.

Capt. Arnie Jonathan of AJ’s Guide Service says that the walleye fishing in the lower river has been good the past week.  Leeches fished off three-way rigs have been effective.  Some anglers prefer the old standby, a Yellow Sally fly, spinner and a worm fished off a three-way rig.  Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish too, when using live bait…like sheepshead. S mallmouth bass action has been good for crab drifters.

The NYPA fishing platform is still producing a mix of fish. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught 6 bass and a couple big sheepshead the last time out using a small white tube that he super-glues to a small jig head. While standing on the platform looking down, you will often see muskies, gar pike, carp, bass, suckers and more.

The 5th Annual “End of Summer” Free Kids Fishing Derby will take place on August 25 at Widewaters Marina in Lockport.  Registration starts at 8 a.m. and fishing will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast: Aug. 9, 2018

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga caught this 23.4 pound salmon while trolling off Olcott with a flasher-fly combo.

  • King Salmon are Staging in Lake Ontario off Niagara River
  • Bass and Walleye Hitting in River
  • Contests in Progress and in the Future, Sign-Up

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga, NY, caught this 23.4 pound salmon while trolling off Olcott Harbor with a flasher-fly combo.

Salmon fishing in the lake is moving along at a steady clip and the Niagara River action is improving.

In the Niagara River, it won’t be long before the first salmon will be making their way through the system. In the meantime, bass and walleye suffice. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls hit the Artpark shoreline for action and he managed to catch 5 bass using 2-inch tubes in 2 hours of fishing. Then he hit the New York Power Authority fishing platform and caught some huge Rudd by tossing those same 2-inch tubes. In the 13th Annual Bass Derby run by Independent Living of Niagara County at Lewiston, George Rohr, fishing with Capt. Arnie Jonathan of Lockport, reeled in the first place bass with 15 minutes to spare – a 3.72 pound smallmouth that hit a crayfish.


Mike Erdt of Williamsville, NY, with an King he caught off Olcott Harbor last weekend.

In Lake Ontario, Salmon have started to show the early signs of staging with mature kings available in 80 to 150 feet of water during the morning; maybe even closer than that with J-plugs, meat and flasher-fly before the sun comes up. Out deep, it’s been easy picking for a mix of salmon and trout.

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga hit the water Sunday with Mike Erdt of Williamsville and they went 8 for 11 on kings with the biggest being a 23.4 pound salmon that hit a flasher-fly combo. There was no specific pattern as they hit fish on the riggers at 45-55-65 feet and off the divers 120 and 220 feet back. Spoons, flasher-flies and cut bait all caught fish.

In the Orleans County Rotary Derby, in which Niagara County waters are eligible and Olcott is a weigh station at The Slippery Sinker, the current Grand Prize leader is a 26 pound, 14 ounce king salmon weighed in by Mike Schaeffer of Sligo, Pa.  Top Rainbow trout is a 12 pounder reeled in by Dan Heglin of Gardner, Mass. First place lake trout is 17 pounds, 12 ounces caught by Brian Gambell of Hilton. There’s plenty of room for improvement though and still lots of fishing left through August 19.

The next LOC Derby is August 17 through Labor Day. Grand Prize for the biggest salmon is $25,000. Find out more info at www.loc.org.

The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey is set for August 18 to 26 and people are already starting to sign up. Kids 15 and under can fish for free. Check out www.fishodyssey.net.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a big Rudd caught off the NYPA fishing platform.
Greg Pratt caught his first walleye ever while fishing the lower Niagara River.

The Reelin’ for a Cure ladies tournament to benefit a cancer-related charity is August 17 out of Wilson and Olcott. Put together a ladies team and compete for just $250. If you need a boat, tournament organizers may be able to find one for you. Entry fee is $250. Contact Stephanie Pierleoni at 481-6388 for more information or go on the Reelin’ for a Cure facebook page or website.

The 5th Annual End of Summer Free Kids Fishing Derby will take place on August 25 at Widewaters Marina in Lockport. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and fishing will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lots of prizes! See you there!

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
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Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

King Salmon on the MOVE TO YOUR LINE near Niagara Falls USA

David Salvalzo of Derby with the winning king in the Summer LOC Derby, 28 pounds, 10 ounces while fishing out of Wilson. Click for Story.

  • Kings are on the move Early and Close to Shore!
  • Spoons, Lures, Meat…all working
  • Fishing Forecast and Tournament Results (August 2, 2018) 
Alicia Joyce Salvazo, holds up the winner caught by her husband, David, after weighing in at the Wilson Boat Yard.

August is a crazy time of year for fishing because of the number of fishing contests and because the fishing is usually so darn good. Salmon are reaching their peak size as they slowly migrate back to the areas they were stocked or the places they were spawned and call home.

Niagara County is blessed with 30 Miles of Lake Ontario shoreline and the ports of Wilson and Olcott top the list of popular locations. One great spot is the Niagara Bar, launching at Fort Niagara and Youngstown at the mouth of the Niagara River. There are mixed reports across the board on what people are doing for success. Kings have been reported as close (to shore) as 100 feet of water and as deep as 400. Other good lake depths have been 165 feet, 200 feet, 275 feet and others. Depth for lures have been 60 to 100 feet down, depending on temperatures and where fish are on the graph.

Capt. Mike Johannes was hitting fish this morning 75 feet down over 400 foot depths off Wilson using a Green Jeans spoon and 400′ copper with a paddle and meat.

If you look at the LOC Derby leaderboard for the winners, magnum spoons by Moonshine, Michigan Stinger and Dreamweaver were all in the mix. Spin Doctors and flies, as well as meat offerings will catch fish for you, especially if you are targeting matures.

Speaking of the LOC Derby, David Salvalzo of Derby caught a 28-pound, 10 ounce king salmon while fishing out of Wilson to win the $10,000 Grand Prize in the Lake Ontario Counties Summer Trout and Salmon Derby. He also won the $1,000 weekly prize for the biggest salmon. Jim Maziekien of Blairstown, NJ was just 3 ounces back to place first in the Salmon Division. Big Brown trout was a 19 pound, 5 ounce fish reeled in by Aron Brophy of Montgomery Center, Vermont. His fish was just one ounce bigger than Kurt Charland’s Orleans County fish. For the lake trout, Steve Burkowski of Rochester took top honors with a 21-pound, 15-ounce Braddocks Bay fish. You guessed it, the fish was one ounce bigger than the runner-up that was caught on the Niagara Bar by Ed Klejdys of North Tonawanda. Top steelhead was a 14 pound, 8 ounce fish caught by Rick Droshin of Oswego. The next LOC Derby is August 17 through Labor Day.

Matt Wilson of Lewiston releasing his big sturgeon, was caught in the Lower Niagara River on a crab while bass fishing.

The next derby on the lake is the Orleans County Rotary Derby August 4 through 19.

The Reelin’ for a Cure ladies tournament for cancer is August 17 out of Wilson and Olcott.

The Wilson Bicentennial salmon tournament was finally held last Saturday and the winning team was Claire Bear out of Wilson with a three-fish weight of 88.24 pounds. Second place was Dublin’ Up with 84.74 pounds and third was Summer School with 83.38 pounds. Big fish was Papa Smurf with a 20.98 pound king salmon.

In the Lower Niagara River, the moss is pretty much history and bass and walleye are the order of the day. However, every once in a while you end up with a surprise catch. For example. Matt Wilson of Lewiston was bass fishing with a crab and hooked into a 6-foot long sturgeon that was estimated at 100 pounds. It was quickly released. These fish are a protected species.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, July 18, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

Steve Nichols of Connecticut caught this 27 pound, 3 ounce salmon while fishing with Capt. Mike Johannes of On The Rocks Charters out of Wilson. No, they were not in the LOC Derby.

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, July 18, 2018 from Destination Niagara USA

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga was doing well on kings off Olcott in 200 to 300 feet of water, hitting double-digit kings like this 22 pounder with spin doctors and flies.

Salmon fishing continues to be very good in the lake out of Wilson, Olcott and out of Fort Niagara on the Niagara Bar. It’s too late to sign up for the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s club tournaments July 20 and 21, but it’s not too late to sign up for the Wilson Bicentennial Trout and Salmon Tournament July 22. Call Mike Johannes at 523-1727. The contest is only $100 per boat and it’s a Big Fish, 3-fish tournament. Make sure you are in line for the weigh in at Bootleggers Cove Marina in Wilson by 3 p.m. There is $10,000 in prize money up for grabs as the community prepares to celebrate its 200th anniversary.

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga did well off Olcott in 200 to 300 feet of water. His best rigger was 60 feet down, 20 feet behind the ball with a spin doctor and fly. The two-face spinny and a stud fly did the trick. His 85 foot rigger also took a couple of fish as did some divers set back 180 feet on a No. 3 setting. A green Pro Troll paddle in front of a green hammer fly was the ticket. His biggest was 22 pounds.  With the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby going on until July 29, your odds of catching a winning fish are better than playing the lottery. Time and time again, possible winning fish are caught by people who did not enter the contest.

Steve Nichols of Connecticut caught this 27 pound, 3 ounce salmon while fishing with Capt. Mike Johannes of On The Rocks Charters out of Wilson. No, they were not in the LOC Derby.

Steve Nichols and his son Arri are the latest victims of fate. They were fishing east of Wilson with Capt. Mike Johannes of On The Rocks Charters over the weekend and Steve reeled in a 27-pound, 3-ounce king salmon on a 400 foot copper rod rigged with a custom painted flasher and meat. Nope, no derby ticket.

The leading fish is a 26-pound, 15 ounce Wilson fish hauled in by Scott Foster of North Tonawanda. Of course, that could change this weekend with a flurry of fishing events from LOTSA and the Wilson Bicentennial contest.

Bob Migra of Lorain, Ohio heard about the good king fishing and decided to give it a try. Most of their fish were 15 to 26 pounds. Yes, 26 pounds. No, they weren’t in the derby. The 26 pounder was caught in the afternoon in 140 feet of water just east of Wilson. They also caught steelhead over 10 pounds in 400 feet of water.

In the meantime, Capt. Joe Gallo of Two Bulls Sportfishing hit the water last weekend outside Wilson in 250 feet of water using a meat rig on a long copper line. His reward was a 26-pound king that is in third place on the LOC board.

In the Niagara River, the dreaded moss situation is slowly starting to dissipate, giving local anglers more of a reason to chase bass and walleye both above and below the Falls.

A big bass tournament is coming to Buffalo next week when the Costa FLW Series Tournament hits Safe Harbor Marina July 26 to 28. Weigh-ins each day will be at 2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Saturday’s weigh-in for the Top 10 anglers, based on the first two days of fishing, will be at Cabela’s in Cheektowaga at 3 p.m. The FLW Foundation will be sponsoring a Unified Fishing Derby out of Safe Harbor Marina on Saturday morning, July 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is for any kids under 18 years of age and special Olympic athletes of all ages. To pre-register contact tom-bassman@hotmail.com.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

 
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report & Forecast: Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kurt Charland of Victor caught this Orleans County brown that is the new LOC Derby leader at 19-pounds, 4-ounces.

King salmon fishing continues to be good to very good on Lake Ontario. With the good is the bad though. The sea fleas have been a nuisance. A new LOC Derby leader came to the scales out of Wilson this past week when Scott Foster of North Tonawanda recorded a 26-pound, 15-ounce King to take over the lead for the $10,000 Grand Prize. Another notable catch was a 19-pound, 4-ounce brown trout that tipped the scales for Kurt Charland of Victor, NY, while he was fishing out of Bald Eagle Marina in Orleans County. A 21-pound Niagara Bar lake trout was weighed in by Steve Klejdys of North Tonawanda this week, to take over the lead for the weekly prize as he sat in 4th place. The leaderboard is posted at www.loc.org.

Mike Schweizer of Orange County, NY holds up a decent Niagara Bar King Salmon.

If you want a reason to get into this month-long derby, ask Capt. Tom Pearse of Grand Island. His customer, Cole Welcomer of Harrisburg, reeled in a 36-pound, 41-inch long king salmon while fishing out of Olcott this past week. It’s not a fish story. There are pictures. No. They weren’t in the derby. If you are looking for mature kings, run flasher-flies or meat rigs 90 to 110-feet down over 90 to 140 feet of water according to Wes Walker at the Slipper Sinker in Olcott.

Cole Welcomer of Harrisburg, PA, shows off a 36-pound King Salmon he caught last week while fishing with Capt. Tom Pearse and the Summer School Boat out of Olcott Harbor.

Boaters are also picking up Kings 60 to 80 feet down over 150 to 250 feet of water, fish the top 60 feet if you want to try for steelhead or Coho salmon with spoons. On the Niagara Bar, John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda had good success over the weekend fishing spin doctors and flies as well as spoons over 150 to 200 feet of water.

In the Niagara River, action has been slowed by the excessive moss. Live bait, like shiners and worm harnesses, can still produce some fish, including bass and walleye, but you really have to work for them.

The popular Erie Canal Fishing Derby is going into its final weekend and some impressive catches have already been weighed in from Albion to the Tonawanda’s. Check the 22 pound carp reeled in by Lee Hathaway of Gasport or the 10 pound sheepshead hauled in by Michael Boncore of Buffalo! Rob Robel of Newfane is leading the catfish division with nearly a 10 pounder and top walleye is almost 9 pounds, caught by Joe Torregrossa of Grand Island. Richard Hawes of Lockport picked up the leading pike at nearly 8 pounds and Judy Woolson of Lockport is tops with a 1-1/2 pound bullhead. Mike Wrobel of Newfane is the bass division leader with a 3.77 pound fish. For a complete leaderboard check the website at www.eriecanalderby.com. The derby ends at 9 p.m. on Sunday. The awards will be at the Gasport Fire Hall on July 22 starting at 3 p.m.

The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association has its club tournaments coming up July 20 and 21. Find out more at www.lotsa1.org.  On July 22, there will be a Wilson Bicentennial Tournament fun event and $10,000 in prize money for a big fish, three fish format out of the 200 year old port. Call Mike Johannes at 523-1727 for info.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303, f: 716-285-0809

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Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for July 5, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

Scott Foster of North Tonawanda, NY, took over the lead in the Lake Ontario summer LOC Derby with a 26 pound, 15 ounce Wilson King salmon on a DW spoon. Click picture for story.

Bill Winch of North Tonawanda caught this 20 pound king on the Niagara Bar while fishing with John Van Hoff (holding fish) of N. Tonawanda.

Lake Ontario is continuing to offer up a mix of good fishing opportunities for Salmon and Trout.

Scott Foster of North Tonawanda took over the lead in the Summer LOC Derby with a 26 pound, 15 ounce salmon while fishing out of Wilson with a Dreamweaver spoon on July 5. No other details because the derby continues through July 29.

Top lake trout is 21 pound, 15 ounces caught by Steve Burkowski of Rochester. It is just 1 ounce better than Ed Klejdys’ Niagara Bar laker. Randy Snyder of Marion is top brown trout catcher with a 13-1/2 pound Wayne Co. fish. Top steelhead is a 12 pound, 13 ounce fish reeled in by Bob Holdsworth of PA. Check out www.loc.org for the complete leaderboard.

John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda headed out on the 4th and had some fireworks out on the Niagara Bar with some feisty king salmon up to 21 pounds. The water was messed up a bit from earlier east wind. They caught their fish from the drop off to 270 feet of water, 40 to 75 feet down with spoons and flasher-fly combos due to cold water issues.

Niagara River action has been hampered by the dreaded moss monster again, making it difficult to keep your bait or lure in the water too long. Gianni Etopio of Youngstown is still catching some nice carp off the NYPA fishing platform on corn.

The popular Erie Canal Fishing Derby started July 4 and there are plenty of people fishing from the Niagara River to Albion through July 15th this year. Some nice catches are already on the board like Chris Fletcher of Gasport with a 16.59 pound carp. It’s a great family contest that offers up 7 different species categories for young and old alike. Fish from a boat or fish from shore, there are plenty of great prizes to give away. For more information or to see the updated leaderboard, check the website out at www.eriecanalderby.com.


Chance Porter of Silver City, New Mexico with a 9-1/2 pound walleye from the lower Niagara River while fishing with Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston.

If you want to learn how to fish for walleye, the next monthly LOTSA meeting at 7 p.m. on July 12 will feature Lake Erie Charter Captain Jim Skoczylas talking about summer walleye fishing. The meeting will be held at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport. Their club tournament is coming up July 20-21 so get registered. Check out www.lotsa1.org.

Will Elliott of Pavilion passed away last Sunday. Here he holds up a Niagara County steelhead he caught last summer while fishing out of Olcott. He was only 78 year old.

Also, the Wilson Bi-Centennial Tournament is July 22, a big fish, 3-fish contest that costs only $100 per boat. There should be some great prizes. For more information contact Mike Johannes at 523-1727.

On a sad note, our condolences to the family of outdoor writer Will Elliott who passed away last Sunday. The long time writer for the Buffalo News and NY Outdoor News was well loved and admired. His legacy lives on through the many people he touched through fishing education, his many writings and through his seminars. Long a friend to Niagara Falls USA, he will be missed.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303, f: 716-285-0809
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Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for June 28, 2018 by Destination Niagara USA

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls hit a walleye in Cayuga Creek off Cayuga Island.

You are never too old to catch fish! Here is 83 year old Barry from New Jersey with a king salmon caught off Olcott with Capt. Vince Pierleoni and Thrillseeker.

This coming weekend is the start of the Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon derby, set to kick off June 30 and run through July 29. The summer contest runs for a month, offering up $29,000 in cash prizes. Included in the mix is a $10,000 Grand Prize for the largest salmon and $1,750 in weekly prizes – $1,000 for salmon and $250 each for lake trout, brown trout and rainbow/steelhead … every week. If you are going to be fishing in Lake Ontario the next month, it’s worth rolling the dice and taking a chance. Last year it was Sandra Brown from Pennsylvania fishing the Niagara Bar during the LOTSA in-club tournaments who walked away with the big prize. Find out more at www.loc.org.

Fishing for salmon and trout continues to be good off the ports of Wilson, Olcott and Point Breeze. While east winds have put a bit of a damper on the comfort end of things, it hasn’t seemed to affect the fishing that much.

For Capt. Joe Gallo of Two Bulls Sportfishing out of Wilson, he’s seen consistent fishing right in front of his home port 40 to 80 feet down over 100 to 160 feet of water. He also caught fish in 250 to 300 feet of water, running a couple of afternoon trips with Capt. Alan Sauerland of Instigator Charters. Spoons, flasher-flies and cut bait on twinkie rigs all produced fish. On Monday afternoon they were 14 for 18 on salmon and trout in 4 hours of fishing. They had 30 bites Sunday afternoon.

Capt. Mike Johannes of On the Rocks Charters caught a limit on Sunday for his customers hitting those same waters and running primarily a spoon program of Green Hulk and Geezer spoons. He was hitting some fish up high using sliders off his riggers and 100-foot and 200-foot copper line set-ups.

Gianni Etopio of Youngstown, NY, has been catching some nice carp off the New York Power Authority Fishing Platform in the lower Niagara River.  This NYPA fishing area offers free angler access to some of the best fishing water in the Lower Niagara River.

The lake is a good place to be with the forecasted heat wave starting this weekend. Cooler water temperatures will serve as a natural air conditioner.

In the Erie Canal, the 28th Annual Stephen Harrington Erie Canal Fishing Derby will be starting July 4 and run through July 15. All of the details can be found at www.eriecanalderby.com. This year’s event will remember its founder who passed away last fall.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls hit a walleye in Cayuga Creek off Cayuga Island near the Upper Niagara River outflow.

As far as the Niagara River is concerned, there are still a few trout hanging around the river. Devil’s Hole in the lower river has produced a few steelies and the upper river has a few trout hanging around, too. Capt. Joe Czyrny of Anglers Obsession Charters hit a brown trout this week while drifting a worm harness in the upper river. For the most part, though, it’s been bass and walleye. Live bait like minnows, shiners and worm harnesses is a good approach. Tubes, drop shot rigs and body baits will catch fish, too.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was in his canoe this week working the waters around Cayuga Island and actually caught a walleye in Cayuga Creek. Some nice largemouth in the main river around the island, too. He’s still hitting an occasional pike but they are starting to scatter.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls hit a largemouth bass off Cayuga Island.

Gander Outdoors will be holding a grand opening on Saturday, June 30 starting at 9 a.m. The store is located at 880 Young Street, Tonawanda.

The NYS Summer Classic statewide tournament starts July 1. Check out www.nyssummerclassic.com.

If you missed the Summer Bash kids fishing contest on Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls last Saturday, you really didn’t. With the rain issues, that event was rescheduled for Sept. 22 in conjunction with National Hunting and Fishing Day and another free fishing day.

 

 

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast – Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Ron Hustvedt, Jr. of Minnesota shows off a chunky king he caught off Wilson with Capt. Matt Yablonsky.

Rich DeLisle of Wisconsin with his 10 year old grandson, Drake DeLisle, of Wisconsin with a Wilson king salmon.

It’s a Free Fishing Days weekend in New York State and Niagara Falls USA has plenty of things going on to get a line wet. This coming Saturday, June 23, there will be a kids fishing derby at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott for kids ages 4 to 15. The fishing starts at 8 a.m. and concludes at noon. Fish in the harbor, off the piers or up the creek for the heaviest fish. If you have any questions, call the Marina at 778-5462.

Also on Saturday is the Hyde Park Summer Bash. Things start early at 7 a.m. with a kids fishing derby for ages 6 to 16. Sign up at the Oasis Pavilion in Hyde Park in Niagara Falls with the entire fishing action taking place in Hyde Park Lake. The fishing ends at 11 a.m. followed by awards. For more information contact Joe Urso, contest coordinator at 334-0835. The lake offers up carp, catfish, bass and panfish so it should be a fun morning. Kayaking on the lake will follow at 12:30 p.m. with other fun things going on all day long.

Lake Ontario salmon and trout action is starting to pick back up a little bit as waters become more stable off Wilson and Olcott.

Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters found decent fishing off Wilson on Tuesday by putting spoons and flasher-fly combos 50 to 80 feet down over 250 to 350 feet of water using divers, riggers and lead core. There was a good temperature break that you could see on the surface and he found 48 degree water down 70 feet. On board yesterday was writer Ron Hustvedt, Jr. of Minnesota who brought along his kids Vivian and Ronny. He also had his father-in-law Rich DeLisle of Wisconsin and his grandson Drake. They had just completed a whirlwind bucket list tour of fishing all five Great Lakes, catching fish in all 5.  They caught king salmon, Coho salmon, lake trout and steelhead in Lake Ontario.  A similar program was being run out of Olcott.  The fishing should only get better from here.

Get ready to compete in one of the big Lake Ontario derbies when the Summer Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby gets underway June 30 and running to July 29. $10,000 is the Grand Prize for the biggest salmon. You can also win $1000 for the division winners for salmon, brown trout, lake trout and rainbow/steelhead. The biggest salmon each week can also win $1,000 and the trout categories can win $250 each week for additional incentive. A total of nearly $30,000 in cash will be given away. Check out www.loc.org for additional details.

Eight year-old Vivian Hustvedt with a king salmon, completing her quest to catch fish in all five Great Lakes … since she left school for summer vacation!

On July 1, the NYS Summer Classic will be underway, a statewide contest for 9 different fish species through August 31. Find out more by visiting www.nyssummerclassic.com.

10 year-old Ronny Hustvedt shows off a feisty coho salmon he caught as Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters looks on.

July 4-15 is the 28th Annual Stephen Harrington Memorial Erie Canal Fishing Derby from the Niagara River to Albion. Find out details at www.eriecanalderby.com and be sure to mark your calendar.

Niagara River action has been mostly for bass and walleye now. Below Niagara Falls to Lake Ontario, Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston hit some big smallmouth as he used shiners off three way rigs to take bass over 5 pounds.

While Marra was fishing from his boat, you can also catch bass from shore while casting from the NYPA fishing platform or along Artpark. Jigs, spinners and spoons will also give you a good chance at catching a fish. Live bait is an option, too.

Upper river fishing has been decent for bass and pike. The regular bass season is now underway, meaning you can now use live bait to take bass.

Congrats to Steve Drabczyk of Lewiston and Ron Hawes of Niagara Falls who won the Brauer’s Restaurant Opening Day Bass Contest last weekend with a two fish total of 11 pounds, 3 ounces. Included in their catch was a 6 pound, 1 ounce smallie reeled in by Hawes while fishing off Hamburg.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303,
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Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for June 13, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

Parker and Connor Cinelli of Grand Island show off a couple of the steelhead they caught this week in the upper Niagara River while they were drifting worm harnesses around Strawberry Island targeting walleye.

Joel Spring of Ransomville grabbed his kayak and his fishing rod. He threw on a spinnerbait and headed out into 12 Mile Creek in Wilson to catch this bowfin.

The third Saturday in June is the statewide opening of the regular bass season and Great Lakes muskellunge season. To help kick the bass season off, there are plenty of options going on such as the 1st Annual Brauer’s Restaurant Opening Day Bass Contest. This fun competition is for two-person teams and score will be based on the weight of the best two fish. You can fish the upper Niagara River and Lake Erie OR the lower river and Lake Ontario. The challenge will be on. Sign up at Brauer’s Restaurant on Campbell Blvd. in Pendleton or sign up at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Cost is $40 per team. If you have any questions, contact Dave or Kathy Muir at 695-5552.

Bass fishing has been decent in the Niagara River, both above and below the falls for anyone casting artificial baits like tubes or swimbaits. As of Saturday, you can use live bait again to target bass with the opening of the regular season.


Gianni Etopio of Youngstown caught these silver bass off the NYPA fishing platform using an emerald shiner and fishing it under a float.

Gianni Etopio of Youngstown has been doing well off the NYPA Fishing Platform on silver bass, walleye and smallmouth.

Boaters are bouncing bottom with tubes and swimbaits or dragging bottom with three-way rigs using Kwikfish. There are still a few trout in the river but it won’t be for long.

The upper river, too, was producing some trout. Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island reported that he caught four chunky steelies while walleye fishing around Strawberry island. Some walleye were caught this week by fishermen using jigs, but with the Southtowns Walleye Contest going on, we can’t tell you where.

For Lake Ontario, northeast winds have stirred up the water a bit.  Capt. Roy Letcher of Newfane reported good action off Olcott in the top 40 feet of water over 200 to 300 foot depths using spoons. Everything was up high due to the cold water upwellings. We’ve had no other reports with many of the boats heading east last weekend to fish in the Orleans County Open tournament

For the kids, the Wilson Conservation Club will be holding its annual youth fishing derby from 8 a.m. to noon on June 16. Eligible waters are any waters in Niagara County and the contest is based on fish length. All the measuring will take place at the club located on Route 425 in Wilson. There is also a special Huck Finn division this year for kids using cane poles. Pick up your free pole prior to the contest or use your own. To find out more information call Mike Melcher at 930-7500.

There’s also a kids contest on the upper Niagara River in Niawanda Park sponsored by the City of Tonawanda on Saturday June 16. Registration starts at 8 a.m.

Don’t forget that next weekend is the Free Fishing Weekend around the state, June 23 and 24.  There are some special events going on that weekend such as the Hooked on the Tonawanda’s out of Gateway Harbor in North Tonawanda. Call 628-1247 for more information.

On Saturday, June 23, the Olcott Kids Fishing Derby will be held out of the Town of Newfane Marina from 8 a.m. to noon. Kids age 4 to 15 are eligible. Call the marina at 778-5462 if you have any questions.

Also on Saturday the 23rd, there will be a kids fishing contest at 9 a.m. on Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls, held in conjunction with a summer bash. After fishing, try your hand at kayaking with Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper at 12:30 p.m.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing: Forecast for May 23, 2018 from Destination Niagara USA

  • LOC Contest Winners Announced…BIG CASH WINNER$
  • Big Salmon, Big Brown Trout, Big Walleye, Lots of Smallmouth
  • It’s a Good Time to Be Fishing Niagara!
Capt. Mike Johannes of On The Rocks and his second place team for the WHI.

Congratulations to all of the derby and tournament winners! In the Wilson Harbor Invitational tournament last Saturday, it was Tom Allen’s A-Tom-Mik team winning the $20,000 check by scoring 162 points – based on 10 points a fish and a point per pound – for his 6 best salmon. Runner-up and earning a check for $10,000 was On The Rocks led by Capt. Mike Johannes of Ransomville. In the LOC Derby, the 28 pound, 10 ounce Oswego fish held up for the $15,000 Grand Prize – caught by Daniel Manti of Cortland. Salmon were being caught all around the lake. More than half of the salmon winners came from Niagara. Niagara Falls USA also produced the first place lake trout and the leading walleye. In the laker division, Steve Klejdys of North Tonawanda took top honors with a 22 pound, 5 ounce fish caught on the Niagara Bar. For walleye, it was Harry Crannell of Queensbury winning the division with a 12 pound, 1 ounce fish he also caught on the Niagara Bar.  Capt. Chris Vogt of Albion won the brown trout division with an 18 pound, 1 ounce fish caught out of Bald Eagle Marina in Orleans County.

Lake Ontario

Tom Allen and the A-Tom-Mik team show off their winning catch for the Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament last weekend.

After a crazy couple of weeks of salmon fishing on the lake, things slowed down a little bit as the waters need to set back up again following a northeast blow. Most consistent action has been to the northeast of Wilson and Olcott in 250-plus feet of water.  Capt. Mike Johannes of On the Rocks Charters, coming off a second place finish in the Wilson Harbor Invitational tournament last weekend, reported he had to go a bit deeper on Tuesday morning.  His best rigger was set at 80 feet down, divers were back 150 and he was hitting fish with 200 feet of copper wire out, too. Best baits were a Sea Sick Waddler and a 2-Face spoon. Everything was magnum size. Earlier, most of the fish were up high in the 30 to 60-foot range, with divers working the best getting spoons out away from the boat. Lake trout were stacked up on the Niagara Bar again, but there weren’t too many salmon around according to reports.

Next big events on the angling calendar include the Don Johannes-Pete DeAngelo Memorial Big Fish-Three Fish Contest on May 31 and the 34th Annual Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament June 1-2. Check out www.lakeontarioproam.net. Deadline to register for the Pro-Am without a penalty/late fee is May 25.

Daniel Manti of Cortland caught this 28-pound, 10-ounce king salmon to win the spring LOC Derby.

Niagara River

Lower river trout and bass action continues to be good for boaters. Using three-way rigs, bounce bottom with minnows to take steelhead or lake trout. Lakers up to 17 pounds were reported this past week. Bass are hitting swim baits and tubes. White and silver jigs will work off the NYPA fishing platform for trout and bass. Silver bass were hitting along Artpark from shore. The Lewiston Landing area is still producing walleye at night on plastics. During the day, bass and sheepshead have been hitting zoom swim baits according to Gianni Etopio of Youngstown.

In the upper river, some big rudds have been hitting jigs, bass are all over the place and some walleye were hitting around Unity Island.  For smallmouth bass, use tubes or swim baits around Strawberry or Motor islands. At the head of the river, bass were being cooperative there, too.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for May 16, 2018 – Destination Niagara USA

Andries Maree of South Africa also caught some steelies in the lower river fishing with Marra

  • Fish Bite is HOT! 
  • Upper Niagara River, Lower Niagara River, Lake Ontario
  • Smallmouth Bass, King Salmon, Walleye, Brown Trout, MORE
Delegates from Poland visiting Niagara Falls for the CIPS International Fishing Congress reeled in some big bass from the Upper Niagara River.

What a week is all we can say. The start of the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby kicked off, the CIPS International Fishing Congress was going on and the Salmon Slam and $1,000 a Day Derby started on Monday,  as a precursor to the Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament May 19. Yes, there were plenty of things going on and, yes, the fishing has been great!

Some big catches have been coming to the scales in the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby still going on right now. Even if you are going fishing for one day, take the chance and sign up. There are plenty of ways you can win some cash prizes. The leader for the $15,000 Grand Prize is Daniel Manti of Cortland with a 28-pound, 10-ounce king salmon caught off Oswego.

Andries Maree of South Africa caught some nice steelhead in the lower Niagara River fishing with Captain Joe Marra.

While anglers have been catching salmon at a variety of locations around the lake, the best place to be is still the waters off Niagara County. The king fishing has been crazy good so far this year. Kings can be found from the Canadian line off Fort Niagara to Wilson. Most are fishing water depths of 60 to 150 feet anywhere from 30 feet down to 90 feet down. Magnum spoons, flasher-flies and cut-bait rigs have all been working off riggers, divers and copper set-ups.

Look for the Wilson Harbor Invitational Salmon-only Tournament to be a good one this Saturday. Top LOC Derby lake trout so far is 22 pounds, 5 ounces from the Niagara Bar and weighed in by Steve Klejdys of North Tonawanda. Big brown trout is 15 pounds, 9 ounces caught by Gerald Darling of Maine fishing out of Oswego, and the walleye leader is an 11-pound Eastern Basin fish caught by Dan Peschler of Pulaski. Check out www.loc.org for details. It ends Sunday.

Niagara River fishing was really spotlighted during the International Fishing Congress the past week. There was a potpourri of fish species, with the focus being on bass or trout depending on where you were fishing.

Above Niagara Falls in the upper river, the Strawberry Island area was a hot one for smallies, fished with tubes or swim baits. There were several spots around Grand Island that were also good. There has been a good walleye bite off Unity Island at night.

Below Niagara Falls in the lower river, a similar night walleye bite is occurring at the sand docks in Lewiston with plastics like Fin-S Fish. If you are looking for a trout, try Devil’s Hole from boat or shore. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was starting to haul in some big silver bass as the water hit 45 degrees, along Artpark and off the NYPA platform. Some big smallmouth bass are also available from Lewiston down to Lake Ontario on Strike King swim baits and tubes. Andries Maree of South Africa hit a personal best just under 5 pounds on Monday.

Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island had it happen again in the past week, catching another tagged smallmouth bass from the same event, the Canadian Tire Lake Erie Open, run out of the Upper Niagara River. For the fourth time, this one came from the lower Niagara River (yes, below Niagara Falls) after being reeled in by Steve Vargo from Vermont. He was dragging a Strike King tube. Cinelli has also caught one from the Upper Niagara River around Strawberry Island. Amazing!

Mohamed Kaddah of Egypt shows off a big lower river steelhead caught with Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303; p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303; f: 716-285-0809

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Lower Niagara River, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario – Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report from Destination Niagara USA

  • May 9, 2018 Fishing Report and Advice for Catching Fish
  • King’s Coho’s and Lake trout action in Lake Ontario is HOT
  • Smallmouth Bass in Lake Erie, Lower Niagara and Trib’s is HOT
  • It’s Tournament Time, check out the schedules below

Capt. Pete Alex of Vision Quest Sportfishing shows off a big spring king salmon he caught over the weekend out of Wilson.

It’s time for the long-awaited International Fishing Congress in Downtown Niagara Falls USA and delegates from around the world were greeted with bountiful sunshine and 80 degree temperatures. The first couple of groups wanted to sample Lake Erie’s smallmouth bass fishery and they weren’t disappointed. Swimbaits and spot-tail shiners were the ticket for most of the fish, including bass up to nearly 6 pounds and a musky around 39-inches that was immediately released.

Meanwhile, a group went after trout in the lower Niagara River. Action has been good for boaters, producing a mix of steelhead and lake trout. An occasional walleye and musky is also being caught. If you want to target smallmouth bass with artificial baits, they are also cooperating for anglers. Tube jigs and swim baits are the ticket for smallmouth; Kwikfish, MagLips and minnows/shiners for trout, all fished off three-way rigs. Shore guys are working the New York Power Authority (NYPA) fishing platform with jigs and spinners to take trout and a mix of whatever else swims in the river…like suckers, silver bass, smallmouth bass, muskellunge and maybe even a sturgeon!

Out in Lake Ontario, the fishing for kings turned on last weekend and is continuing, a great start for the LOC Derby set for May 11-20. For more details go to www.loc.org. Best salmon action with a mix of King’s, Coho’s and lake trout. Target 60 to 100 feet of water with spoons and flasher-flies. Greens and golds were working, but so are some glow colors. Fish are hungry. Water temps were around 45 degrees in the lake.

Delegates and guests from Spain visiting Niagara falls celebrate some nice smallmouth bass that were immediately released.

Our international guests will be hitting the lake Thursday morning and we hope to have some nice pictures to share in the future. You can check out photos of the media event at www.buffalonews.com/section/sports/outdoors to see an impressive gallery. In addition, don’t forget that the Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament is set for May 19 and, as a lead-in to that big event, there are two other salmon contests that will be held from May 14 to May 18. The first is a $1,000 a day option for the biggest salmon caught each day. The second is the Salmon Slam. There are five days of fishing and the competition focuses on the best 7 fish for those 5 days. You pick and choose when to weigh a fish in. A certain amount of strategy is involved. Find out information on all three at www.wilsonharborinvitational.com.

Tributary action was very good over the weekend with a mixed bag of steelhead and smallmouth. With warming waters, though, the steelhead option could be a thing of a past by this weekend. All you can do is check it out. Jigs and egg sacs.

Remember that the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament is set for June 1 and 2 this year, preceded by the Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo memorial events on May 31. You can check out www.lakeontarioproam.net for details on the Pro-Am. For the Johannes/DeAngelo contest, stop in a Bootleggers or the Gas Shack in Wilson; The Boat Doctors or The Slippery Sinker in Olcott. Good luck and good fishing!

Buffy Frank of Lockport had a banner weekend on steelhead and smallmouth bass in 18 Mile Creek near the Town of Newfane. She also caught some lunker bass!

Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director

 
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for May 3, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

Roberto Briones of Ottawa used his Jackson Kayak in the lower Niagara River to catch some nice bass on tube jigs…and even a 45-inch musky!

Much warmer temperatures blanketed the area this week, bringing winds and some thunderstorms the tail end of the week. The temperature spike did trigger some fish to hit for the 23rd Annual Niagara Spring Media Event that was happening all week in Western New York waters.

Because of the winds, one of the better spots this week was the lower Niagara River. It was a mixed bag of fish as a variety of trout, walleye and bass were all being photographed by the influx of outdoor media.

Mark Davis of Big Water Adventures TV Show was a photo subject with his 12-1/2-pound walleye caught on a swim bait. Yes, he was fishing for bass. Walleye season opens on Saturday, May 5 by the way, along with pike, pickerel and tiger musky. Just a quick point of clarification that tiger musky is only for inland waters.

Getting back to the lower river, bass anglers were doing well on some big fish. Todd Ceisner of Depew, editor of BassFan.com, hauled in a 5-pound, 9 ounce bronzeback and Gerry Benedicto, general manager with Seaguar Fishing Line, hit the scales at 5 pounds, 10 ounces for their biggest of the trip. Benedicto was chasing his personal best from these very waters a few years ago – 6 pounds, 13 ounces. Capt. Frank Campbell had a bass around 6 pounds for this week’s lunker board.

Roberto Briones, representing Jackson Kayaks, was bass fishing around Youngstown and he was surprised with a 45-inch musky, his biggest ever. Remember that musky season is closed this year until June 16, the 3rd Saturday.

There are still steelhead and lake trout hanging around, along with an occasional brown trout. Up in the gorge, some good action off the NYPA fishing platform. Mike Rzucidlo and Mark Plennert, both of Niagara Falls, tag-teamed on some nice steelhead on jigs earlier in the week. Mike also hit a 10-pound red horse sucker. Hey, you never know what you are going to catch.

Up in the whirlpool area, Rich Pisa of Kenmore was hitting steelhead on pink egg sacs and jigs. Don’t forget that the Lewiston Smelt Festival is May 4 at Lewiston Landing starting at 5 p.m. Rain or Shine. No word on any smelt runs in case you are wondering.

Rich Pisa of Kenmore this is steelhead in the gorge on a pink egg sac.

Above Niagara Falls, Pisa and his dad, Richard of Tonawanda hit some nice lake trout and rainbows. There were some perch and crappie being reported in the canals and marinas around Grand Island, too.

Out in Lake Ontario, things are gearing up for the Lake Ontario Counties trout and salmon derby, set for May 11-20. Check out www.loc.org for details.

Of course, the best place to be on the entire lake is right here in Niagara Falls USA. Check out past leaderboards to see where the winners come from. More than 60 percent of all the winning fish come from right here. King salmon were being caught a bit more consistently just west of the Niagara Bar so timing should be perfect for the LOC event. It’s been a bit tough getting on the lake with all the wind. It looks like a good weekend, though. Trolling stickbaits off boards will be one approach for trout and Coho salmon. Salmon have been hitting plugs, spoons and spin doctors and flies if you want to give that a go. Olcott is hosting an ultimate fishing expo on Sunday, May 6 from noon to 5 p.m. Bring the kids for the NRAA fishing pond or the Niagara County Federation shooting trailer.

LOTSA has their next meeting on May 10 and this one will be on the dock at the Wilson Boat Yard next to the boat of Capt. Rich Hajecki and Yankee Troller. Learn about salmon fishing starting at 7 p.m. and this is open to the public.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
 
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Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast (April 26, 2018) – from Destination Niagara USA

  • Smelt Run is Triggered by Rising Water Temps
  • Lower River Fishing is HOT for Steelies, Lakers
  • Warming Trend – Fish are Dropping Back in Trib’s
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls, NY, with a nice steelhead he caught fishing from shore off the New York power Authority (NYPA) fishing platform this week with jigs, his lure of choice.

It looks like the weather is finally breaking. Lower river drifters were doing well again according to Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls. He has hit steelhead and lake trout all week using minnows, egg sacs, MagLips and Kwikfish throughout the river, all fished off three-way rigs. Water conditions have been good.

The smelt could be running any day in the lower Niagara River if temperatures are the main trigger point. However, the Lewiston Smelt Festival is still on the calendar for May 4 at Lewiston Landing starting at 5 p.m. There will be over 400 pounds of smelt cooked up by the Niagara River Anglers Association.

Speaking of the lower river, the NYPA fishing platform has re-opened. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was 5 for 8 on steelhead using jigs on Wednesday.

For Lake Ontario and tributaries, flows were back to normal at 18 Mile Creek and Burt Dam, according to Wes Walker of The Slippery Sinker in Olcott. However, the water was still a bit stained and temperatures were in the mid-40’s in the creek. Those temperatures will start to rise and trout will drop back and leave the creek soon. Fish are still available for now. Egg sacs, egg imitations and jigs are all good baits to try.

Out in Lake Ontario, it’s been a tougher go with the winds. A mud line extended to 120 feet off Olcott earlier in the week, but things should start to settle a bit more by the weekend. Winds have kept people off the piers and smaller boats from chasing salmon and trout.

Remember that some of the bigger fishing contests have been pushed back by a week or two.

The Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby (www.loc.org) for the spring will be held this year from May 11-20.

The Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament is May 19 (www.wilsonharborinvitational.com).

The Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament is June 1-2 out of Wilson and Olcott. Check out www.lakeontarioproam.net.

The Don Johannes/Pete DeAngelo one fish-three fishing contest is May 31. Stop in at the Gas Shack in Wilson or the Slippery Sinker in Olcott for details.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls, NY, with a nice steelhead he caught fishing from shore off the New York power Authority (NYPA) fishing platform

If you can make it on the lake, the shoreline trolling for browns, the occasional Coho and steelhead can be caught on stickbaits like Bay Rats, Challengers and Live Target lures. For those of you looking for Kings, they’ve been picking up a few, but exact details are sparse with the first tournament of the year kicking off this weekend in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Pen rearing projects are in full swing right now, with pens in place in Olcott, Wilson and the Niagara River out of Youngstown.

The Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs has rescheduled its awards banquet, set for May 19 at Terry’s Corners Fire Hall. Call Dave Whitt at 754-2133 for more information or to reserve your ticket.

Good luck out there and enjoy yourself.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA
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p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
 

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast: April 17, 2018 – Destination Niagara USA

Jeff Redfield of Albany with a steelie taken in the lower Niagara River prior to the last round of storms. He was fishing with Niagara Region Charters.

If you are looking for some sort of a fishing update, the easiest way to describe our situation right now is that it’s a mess. Mother Nature took a few weeks to play some April Fool’s chicanery by throwing up a complete smorgasbord of weather wizardry that included excessive rains, high winds, snow, ice, sleet and unseasonably cold temperatures.

Just prior to this last round of severe weather, some decent trout fishing was reported in the lower Niagara River for boat drifters and shoreline casters. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was tossing some No. 3 spinners to take steelhead in the Devil’s Hole area and boaters were drifting minnows on three-way rigs to take a mix of steelhead, brown trout and lake trout.

There was a report of some smelt taken along Artpark two nights ago, but most of the reports are showing very limited numbers if any at all. Some of the boat captains have reported seeing large pods of baitfish showing up on their fish finders and they suspect smelt. Water temps were around 37-38 degrees as of Tuesday and it won’t be long.

Gianni Etopio of Youngstown was fishing the Niagara County tribs prior to the rains and taking some nice steelhead…like this one.

The big smelt celebration is May 4 at Lewiston Landing for the annual Lewiston Smelt Festival. Come on out at 5 p.m. and join in on some of the festivities.

The Niagara River pen rearing project for salmon and trout will be starting up the week of April 25 and if you would like to lend a hand, give Capt. Frank Campbell a call at 716-523-0013. The project will be housed in Youngstown next to Youngstown Yacht Club. The NYPA fishing platform is still closed.

For Lake Ontario and the tributaries, no one has been able to get on the lake to work the shoreline for browns, steelhead and Coho salmon. The piers have been empty because of all of the northerly winds and every tributary is high and muddy. It should bring in any remaining steelhead attempting to spawn this spring and open up any creek mouths that have been closed because of earlier northerly winds.

Bullheads should still be available around Wilson in both branches of 12 Mile Creek and when the waters start to clear, perch should be available again, too, in both Wilson and Olcott harbors and off the piers. Everything is in a holding pattern right now.

Pen projects in Wilson and Olcott are underway and hopefully this weather event will not impact those numbers. The Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby has pushed its dates back to May 11-20 this year and the Wilson Harbor Invitational tournament is May 19. The Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament is June 1-2 and the Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo 3 fish-1 fish contest is May 31. Get those contests on your fishing calendar.

The weather looks clear and 50 this weekend and if things don’t change too much and the waters settle down, it could be good enough for some fishing.

If things don’t settle down you might want to consider attending the Bison City Rod and Gun Club’s annual Outdoor Gear and Flea Market on Saturday, April 21 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The club is located at 511 Ohio Street in Buffalo. There will be a full-day boating safety class at Fort Niagara from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 21. Call 390-7727 for more info or for future classes.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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Destination Niagara USA
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p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303
 

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Thursday, April 12, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

  • Steelhead, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Bullheads too!
  • Fish are biting off 3-way Rigs/Minnows
  • NYPA Platform Still Closed due to High Water and Ice

The signs of spring are all around us!

Ely Moskal of Albany with a couple Niagara River trout from this week.

The New York Power Authority started pulling the ice boom at the head of the Niagara River where it meets up with Lake Erie and remaining ice is minimal due to the extreme wind event last week. There is still a pile of ice hanging around the base of Niagara Falls, but the warmer temperatures and rain should break that up in the coming week.

Lower Niagara River trout action took back off when the waters cleared this week. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls had a banner day earlier this week with double digit trout, finding a mix of steelhead, browns and lake trout. Minnows fished off three-way rigs were the bait of choice.

Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston hit the lower river and caught some nice steelhead.

No reports on the shore fishing action and the NYPA fishing platform is still closed due to the high water and potential for ice coming down the river (still). No word on smelt, other than the Lewiston Smelt Festival is set for May 4 this year. This will NOT coincide with the Spring LOC Derby as dates have been pushed back to May 11-20 this year. Check out www.loc.org for details.

Over in Wilson and Olcott, ice that was flowing north out of the Niagara River after last week’s wind storm encountered some strong northwesterly winds in the lake. That ended up pushing ice into Wilson and Olcott. It was a mess for boaters and pier casters. With warmer temperatures on the way and rain in the forecast again, things could be back to normal by the weekend. According to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott, the LOTSA pen rearing project received fish from DEC on Monday and that operation is underway.

Shoreline trolling with stickbaits should resume in 10 to 20 feet of water along any mud line or creek mouth. Seek out warmer water temperatures for best success. Pier casters should do well with spoons or spinners.

Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston, Lower Niagara River in the Niagara Gorge.

Last weekend, the Wilson Conservation Club held its 5th Annual Wilson Bullhead Contest. Some 43 adults and five youth participated in the spring kick-off event. In the Adult Division, the best two-fish bullhead weight and overall winner was Francis Holly IV of Wilson, with a 4.23-pound total. He was using cider worms at dusk to catch his bigger fish in 12 Mile Creek. Second place was Tyler Morrison of Appleton with 3.70 pounds of bullhead. He was fishing during the day in the west branch of 12 Mile Creek using shrimp. Third place went to John Pittsley of Lockport with 3.46 pounds using shrimp both day and night. In the Youth Division, it was Trever Wilson winning with a weight of .95 pounds.

Bill Hilts, Jr.- Outdoor Promotions Director

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, April 4, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

Aidan Pachucinski, an 8-year-old from Collins, NY reeled in this nice brown trout while fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters. The 15-pound fish hit a firetiger Rapala behind an Offshore inline planer board while trolling the Lake Ontario shoreline.

April 1 was the designated opener for the NY Power Authority Fishing Platform in the Niagara Gorge and the reservoir is now open for business as of April 1, too. However, a wind storm is ripping through the region today and a high wind warning is in place. Thanks to those winds, the Power Authority Platform is closed today. It’s under water. If you want to check before heading down there so you don’t waste a trip, call 796-0135 Ext. 45 for regular updates. We’d been told that the ice boom wasn’t going to be pulled until there was less than 250 square miles. Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. The wind broke the ice boom loose today. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Lower River action has been up and down, like the water. Egg sacs, beads, spoons and spinners are all working from shore. Boaters are using egg sacs and minnows when the conditions call for it. Capt. Mark Vilardo of Kingfisher Charters reports that his last trip out saw clearer conditions in the Devil’s Hole area, but varying degrees of stain further downriver below the power plants. Clarity depends on wind and runoff. Finding the best color is key. When the winds aren’t a factor, the Niagara Bar has been productive for browns and lake trout. Large golden shiners have been the bait of choice on the bar according to Vilardo.

Out in the lake, Capt. Matt Yablonsky with Wet Net Charters has been working the shoreline from Wilson to Fort Niagara in 8 to 15 feet of water for cookie cutter browns with a few bigger ones mixed in. Aidan Pachucinski of Collins, NY, reeled in a 15 pounder while using a firetiger Rapala. Other hot baits have been Junior Challengers and MagLips in 2.5 sizes, all bright colors along the mud line using Offshore inline planers. Down off Olcott, best depths have been 12 to 18 feet of water with clown-colored Scatter Raps. At least that worked for John Van Hoff and Wade Winch of North Tonawanda over the weekend.

Trout are still available in 18 Mile Creek. Anthony Henley of Buffalo, NY, hit some nice ones over the weekend fishing a jig under a float. When the water clears again, look for perch in Wilson and Olcott harbors and off the piers. With all the north wind, not too much action off those piers, though. The weather has not been cooperative.

If you like fishing for bullhead, the Wilson Conservation Club will be holding its 5th Annual Niagara County Bullhead Tournament from 5 p.m. on April 6th to 1 p.m. on April 8. Call Eric at 628-6078 for details. You can also register at the Slippery Sinker in Olcott.

The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association is looking for some volunteers to help put their pens together and get them ready for the salmon and trout stockings April 9. On April 7, volunteers will be meeting at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott at 9:30 a.m. to work on the pens. For more information contact Alan Sauerland at 504-7789.

At the LOTSA meeting on April 12 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Ave. (Route 78) Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Thrillseeker Charters will be the featured speaker starting at 7 p.m. talking spring kings.

Don’t forget that the Niagara County Federation of CC will be holding its annual awards banquet on April 14 at Terry’s Corners Fire Hall starting at 5 p.m. Call Dave Whitt at 754-2133 for advance sale tickets.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
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Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for March 29, 2018 from Destination Niagara USA

Jack Mings of Amherst his this 17-plus pound steelhead in the lower river while fishing with Capt. Matt Gantress. A peach egg sac made the difference.

We finally saw some warmer temperatures this week as the thermometer hit the 50 degree mark for the first time in March. We also received some rain which should draw even more trout into the tributaries. More rain is expected tonight. In the lower Niagara River, conditions have been clear and you have to work for trout. Minnows and egg sacs were working for local guides drifting the river this week.

Late March seems to be a time for big brown trout in Niagara. Last year it was Bob Klemm’s 31 pounder that shook things up from the lower Niagara River. This year, Jack Mings hit a 27 pounder while fishing with Capt. Matt Gantress out in the lake. We had no other details other than a photo of the impressive fish. Mings has had a pretty good week. Earlier he caught a 17-plus pound, 35 inch lower Niagara River steelhead on a peach-colored egg sac – again with Capt. Matt. He should buy a lottery ticket!

Jack Mings of Amherst shows off his 27 pound brown trout caught this week.

Shoreline trolling for browns with stickbaits like Bay Rats, Live Targets, Rapalas and Challenger lures can all be effective. Use planer boards or inland boards to get your baits close to the shoreline and away from your boat.