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 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 Thursday, March 15, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston, NY, shows off a Niagara County steelhead he caught this week on an egg sac.

It’s March 15 and it’s the final day of walleye, northern pike, tiger musky and pickerel fishing seasons in New York. We’re also less than a week from the arrival of spring. However, someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. We were dumped on again, with another 6 to 8 inches of snow in Niagara. Despite the late white stuff, there are trout in most all of the streams and in the Niagara River.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been crawling around the rocks in the gorge area and he picked up a few fish in the lower Niagara River this week using a white and silver jig in the Devil’s Hole area. Water was high with visibility at about 10 feet. Water clarity has been an issue for Capt. Mark McGranahan of Sparky’s Charters, too. He was offering trout some egg sacs, minnows and plugs like Kwikfish and MagLips and managed to hook into a few. Action was not consistent though. It appeared there was a large amount of bait in the river, too. If this weather continues to stay cold with a chance of snow or ice, they may not open the New York Power Authority fishing platform or the NYPA reservoir access points. You can check by calling 716-796-0135 Ext. 45.

March 18th is the 13th Annual John Long, Sr. Memorial Raffle and Feast to be held at Niagara Active Hose on Lockport Road in the Town of Niagara from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. This is the big fund raiser for the year with the Niagara River Anglers Association. Call Paul Jackson at 731-4780 for more information.

In the Lake Ontario tributaries, conditions have been fair to good for trout. White flies and jigs have been working well. Jig tipped with a wax worm also have been catching some fish.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls his this nice steelie casting a white and silver jig in the Niagara Gorge.

Next rain or melt-off should produce a solid push of fish. Water has been cold, so fish low (deep) and slow according to Scott Feltrinelli, a local fly fishing guide out of Rochester area. Both steelhead and brown trout are being caught, depending on where you are fishing. If you can make it on the lake, you can troll the shoreline for browns with stickbaits.

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 in April. 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. Incidentally, the first meeting of the year for LOTSA will be April 12 and it will be on tournament spring king fishing. The meeting is in Lockport at 7 p.m., Cornell Cooperative Extension.

If you are looking for an opportunity to buy, sell or view antique fishing tackle, the 29th Annual Antique Fishing Tackle Show is the ticket. This is the longest-running event of its kind in the state, giving you a trip down memory lane as it relates to the fishing industry. The show is slated for March 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Elks Lodge No. 41 located at 6791 North Canal Road in Lockport. Admission into the show is $5 for adults. Kids 16 and under are free. Tables are still available if you are interested in displaying for $15 before March 17, $20 after. This is a great chance to get an appraisal on some old fishing tackle that may be lying around your basement or in your garage. For more information contact Dan Bedford at 713-9410.

Antique fishing lures will be the focus of a local show in Lockport on March 24 to be held at the Elks Lodge No. 41.

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. 28, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

  • Boat Action and Shore Action is GOOD!
  • WNY Sport & Travel Expo set for March 8-11, 2018
Anthony Henley of Buffalo caught this lower river trout on a jig tipped with a meal worm and fished under a float. He used the same set-up to take a steelie at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek.

Today is the final day of the NYS Winter Classic competition. That doesn’t mean the fishing will stop though. Lower river action has been good to very good for boaters bouncing bottom with three-way rigs. When the wind is out of the south or southwest – like it is today – go with MagLips and Kwikfish lures in silver and green or chartreuse. Silver and pink will also work. When the wind isn’t there to help you, switch over to minnows or egg sacs. Use the same three-way set-up if you are fishing from a boat.

If you are fishing from shore, tossing jigs or fishing a jig under a float and tipped with a small worm is very effective.

If the water is clear, you may have to get your bet out a bit deeper.

Anthony Henley of Buffalo was using a slip bobber to get his offering as deep as 14 feet with his jig under a float. You can also cast spinners or spoons to get your bait out and into the fish zone.

Steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and walleye are all available in the system.

If you venture into Canadian waters, make sure you have a current license. The new license year started on January 1. And know your seasons. Walleye season closes Feb. 28 on the Canadian side of the river but closes March 15 in New York.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls will a northern pike he caught in 4 Mile Creek on a spinner.

Lake Ontario tributary action has been good for the most part.  Four Mile Creek, 12 Mile Creek, 18 Mile Creek and Keg Creek all had fish in them the past week. Mostly it’s been trout, but there have been some pike around, too.

In the streams, trying using a jig under a float and tipped with a worm. Egg sacs will also work. For Taven Lukehart of Pennsylvania, he was finding success with Lick-em-lure eggs, catching his first ever steelhead at 13 years old.

Pike season closes on March 15 as well.

Speaking of kids, don’t forget that the WNY Sport and Travel Expo will be held March 8-11 at the Erie County Fairgrounds. The first 100 kids through the doors on Saturday, March 10 will receive a fully-rigged cane pole. Bass Pro Mike DelVisco will also be giving a seminar on getting kids started in fishing and he is also running a special coloring contest promotion through Texas Roadhouse March 5 and 6 locally. Check out www.eriepromotions.com for details.

This report is early this week because I am heading out to the World Fishing and Outdoor Expo in Suffern, NY early tomorrow morning. Stop in and say hi if you are going to be in the area.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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

Niagara Falls USA: Steelhead, Brown Trout, Late Coho Salmon MOVING with Late Winter Weather

  • Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Feb. 22, 2018 – Destination Niagara USA
  • Stream & River Levels, Coloration – Subject to Weather Swings
  • Fresh Fish are Entering Streams
  • Use Caution if Going Ice Fishing
  • Activities: Boat Show NOW, Outdoor Expo – Mar. 8-11, Alberto Rey at Orvis, Feb. 25 – NOON
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a nice steelhead he caught in the Devil’s Hole area of the lower Niagara from shore. He was casting a yellow jig.

It’s been a roller coaster ride for sure – from the fishing end of things, due to the ups and downs associated with the weather.  Earlier in the week, record-breaking temperatures shot up to 66 degrees. It’s back down to the 30s but back up to the 50s by the weekend.

Lower Niagara River action for trout had been good. The tributaries off Lake Ontario and Lake Erie opened back up again and anglers were catching trout consistently – before the rains came.

All the tributaries were high and muddy, but as of this morning, both 12 Mile Creek in Wilson and Keg Creek were flowing nicely according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott.  

Over at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek, water flow has already started to come down and there was about a foot visibility.  

There should be some fresh fish around.

Ice fishing is questionable. Caution is advised any time you are heading out onto the hard water due to the wind and rain we received last go-round of warmth.  

Captain Taz Morrison caught a nice steelhead on the lower river while drifting a Kwikfish. The next day he was at Burt Dam catching late-run Coho salmon on Lick-em-lure eggs.

Getting back to the Niagara River, the water condition was affected by the dirty water coming out of the streams, but there was no indication that fishing had stopped.  Condition was stained from the power plants on down, but was more manageable above the plants.  

Shore fishermen like Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls have been casting yellow jigs to take steelhead and brown trout.

For boaters, use eggs or minnows when the wind isn’t out of the south or southwest.  When it is, use a MagLip or a Kwikfish off a three-way rig.  Conditions should be better by the weekend downriver of the power plants.

The WNY Boat Show is underway right now at the ADPRO Training Center located at One Bills Drive in Orchard Park.  It’s a great way to dream about spring and also check out some of the boats that are available on the market now.  After all, we are surrounded by water here in WNY. It continues through Sunday, Feb. 25.

If boating isn’t your thing, the next big indoor event on the outdoors is the WNY Sport and Travel Expo at the Erie County Fairgrounds in Hamburg March 8 to 11.  There’s free parking and displays in four different buildings covering everything from fishing to hunting, tourism destinations to outdoor-related products.  Check out www.eriepromotions.com for more information.  

If you want to learn about fly fishing in the Great Lakes streams, check out Alberto Rey at the Orvis Shop in Williamsville on Feb. 25 starting at noon. Call 716-276-7200 to reserve your spot.

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: 1-716-285-0809; www.niagarafallsusa.com

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Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast – Feb. 15, 2018

  • Clear Water, Lots of Fish
  • Brought to you by Destination Niagara USA

Gary Hall of Niagara Falls with a Niagara River steelhead caught while fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell.

With Lake Erie some 90 percent ice covered, the Niagara River is becoming very clear, making things a bit more difficult to be consistent on the water.

One tip is to downsize your presentation with slightly smaller baits like egg sacs or smaller MagLips in 2.5 or Kwikfish in K8.

A silver-green Kwikfish was the hot lure on Wednesday as Terry Belke from WGRZ did some filming for Channel 2 out of Buffalo, fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters.  Wobbling baits fished off three-way rigs were the most effective enticements due to a southwest wind that was blowing in some warmer temperatures.


How about this Lake Erie walleye caught by Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga – 14.67 pounds!

It is supposed to be 50 degrees here today, drop into the 20s and 30s over the weekend, but shoot back up into the 50’s early next week – bring some rain along the way.  That rain, along with melting snow and run off, should add a little stain to the river water.

Earlier in the week, Capt. Chris Cinelli and Capt. Ted Kessler, both of Grand Island, did very well using pink egg sacs to pull in some nice steelhead.  Browns and lake trout are also available.  Fish can be found from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar.

Walleye can also be caught and the daily limit is only one until March 15 when the season closes.

The warming weather should open up more water at places like 18 Mile Creek and Burt Dam, too. Jigs fished with a wax worm and under a float is one approach. Egg sacs and egg imitations are another. Water flow has been good according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott. Water clarity is also good right now. Both browns and steelhead are being reported.

Over in Wilson Harbor, roughly 10 inches of ice was being reported. Pike, steelhead, perch and panfish are all being caught.

Nearby Lake Erie walleye action has been good to very good on the hard stuff.  Fish (walleye) up to 15 pounds have reported the last week off Hamburg with 10 to 12 inches of ice thickness. Top baits have been Jigging Raps and minnows.

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, Feb. 8, 2018

  • Destination Niagara USA: Where Adventure Comes Naturally
Gary Hall with a lower Niagara River steelhead.

Temperatures continue to put a damper on open water anglers in the Niagara River and in area tributaries.  However, that’s going to change for the better this weekend as temperatures will shoot up into the 30s and it may even hit the 40 degree mark next Tuesday.

Whether you are fishing in the river or the streams, there’s no rush to get on the water. Let things warm up a little bit. Greg Schloerb of Amherst reported that fishing improved once the slush off the top of the water was gone on 18 Mile Creek at Burt Dam. He caught some dandy steelhead using his homemade olive-colored jigs tipped with a wax worm and fished under a float. He caught steelhead to 12 pounds.

In the lower Niagara River, action has been a bit more difficult with ice floes coming down through the system. If you can find areas that offer a better drift, take them. Gary Hall of Niagara Falls and Gary Fiori of Lewiston both hit the water last Wednesday and caught some nice steelhead, before they got too cold. Dress accordingly. That water is 32 degrees coming down the river.

The Niagara River Anglers Association held its annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead contest last Saturday out of Lewiston

This silver bullet was the winner in the NRAA steelhead contest, reeled in by Dan Spangler of Ohio.

Landing along the Niagara River, a celebration that’s been going on for a quarter of a century. Despite frigid temperatures that saw wind chills dip to below zero, some 32 brave fishermen fought high winds and heavy ice floats to compete for the biggest trout – with a focus on steelhead and browns. When the scales closed at 2 p.m., Dan Spangler of Ohio was the top dog with a 10.26 pound steelhead. He caught the fish on a MagLip lure, fishing with Capt. Mark McGranahan of Sparky’s Charters. Second place was 9.74 pounds, reeled in by Justin Graham of Washington State and fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. Third place was Jack Taylor of Batavia with an 8.34 pound steelie. He was fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters. Taylor also reeled in the big brown trout, a 3.74 pound fish – one of only two browns caught in the contest. Conditions were tough and hats off to the victors, as well as all of the hardy folks who competed.

 

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 Thursday, February 1, 2018

As this is being written, it’s February 1 and the temperature is near 40 degrees.

Larry Broad of West Seneca, New York,with a lower river steelhead.

The sun is shining. However, before the day is over the temperatures will plummet into the teens and it is supposed to be cold all weekend. That will continue into next week.

In the meantime, fishing action has been very good in the lower Niagara River for boaters drifting egg sacs or minnows off three-way rigs. If the winds are out of the southwest (like they are today), throw on a 2.5 or 3.0 MagLip or a K8 or K9 Kwikfish to get a trout to hit. Steelhead, browns and lake trout are all being caught with regularity. And if you are using minnows, add in walleyes. There has been good walleye fishing all week, but you have to pick your spots for them. Actually you can catch trout and walleye from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar. If you do catch some walleye, remember that the minimum size is 18 inches and from Jan. 1 to Mar. 15, the daily creel is one fish per person per day. The intent there is to protect the females that are getting ready to spawn soon. While shore fishing is still an option in the gorge, caution is advised due to the shelf ice. Be careful out there. That water is 32 degrees flowing down through the river.

Things are looking promising for the Niagara River Anglers Association’s Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest on Saturday, Feb. 3. Sign up at the launch ramp in Lewiston early Saturday or stop in to Creek Road Bait and Tackle or The Slippery Sinker. If you are interested in musky, the Niagara Musky Association will be holding their monthly meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at the Eldredge Club, 17 Broad Street in Tonawanda starting at 7 p.m.

Stream fishermen are still picking up some trout at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek. Jigs tipped with a wax worm,  egg sacs by themselves or egg imitations are still working to trick a steelhead or brown. A variety of flies and nymph patterns will also produce a trout or two, as will some streamer patterns. How long the water will remain open depends on how long the cold will grab hold. It looks like the lower temps will be hanging around for at least a week. While there is no ice left in Olcott Harbor (a few people were seen casting in the harbor earlier this week), there was a little in the Back Bay at Wilson. Be careful if you give it a try. Take no unnecessary chances!

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 – Destination Niagara USA

  • Walleye, Steelhead, Trout ON-THE-BITE in Soft Winter Water of Lower NIAGARA RIVER
  • Forecast/Report for Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls, NY, shows off a dandy Burt Dam winter steelie.
Ryan O’Neill had a banner day on Wednesday (Jan. 24, 2018) as he shows off a big lower Niagara River lake trout.

In the ice fishing arena, it’s been a good ice fishing year so far but with the recent rain and warm weather, you will rally want to be very careful out there. The last time this happened a few weeks ago, the ice in Olcott Harbor was affected due to the excessive flow coming through the 18 Mile Creek system. Wilson was not as severely affected and at last report there was up to 6 inches of ice.

There is quite a bit of water open right now at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek and with the added flow of water, it should be pulling in some fresh fish into the system. Anglers are reporting steelhead with the occasional brown trout mixed in.

White or black jigs tipped with a wax worm and fished under a float was working for Greg Schloerb of Amherst this past week.

In the lower Niagara River, fishing for trout and walleye has been surprisingly good.

While melting snow, run-off and rain could muddy things up for a bit, there are plenty of trout available from boat or shore. If you are fishing from shore,

Ryan O’Neill with two lower Niagara River walleye of the four-man, four fish limit.

 

again, extreme caution should be taken in the gorge area where most of the fishing is taking place. Jigs seem to be the bait of choice right now.

From boat, the Lewiston launch ramp is the easiest access to get you on the water. Fish can be caught from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar. Steelhead, brown trout, lake trout and walleye are all being caught with regularity and the bait you use is dependent upon the conditions. If the wind is out of the south or southwest, use a lure like a MagLip or Kwikfish off a three-way rig. If the drift is slower, use a minnow or an egg sac.

Several reports came in the last two days of boaters catching a limit of trout and walleye.

If you do target walleye, remember that you only allowed one fish per person from Jan. 1 to March 15.

 

 

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 Jan. 18, 2018 – Destination Niagara USA, Visit the EXPO

  • 2018 Niagara Outdoor Expo IS ON this Weekend
  • You can FISH THRU the EXPO
  • Learn at the EXPO, Over 120 Seminars!
Ohio writer, Rick Henniger, shows off a beauty brown from the lower Niagara.

Yes, people are catching fish, but you do have to work for them. More importantly, right now, is the fact that the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo is about to open, slated for Jan. 19-21 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. Check out the website at www.niagarafishingexpo.com for all the details and make sure you print out your $5 parking voucher for the city parking lots. With 70 guest speakers, 120 seminars and clinics, as well as over 150 vendor display booths, this is a fishing extravaganza like no other. I can’t emphasize enough, how good this event is from an educational standpoint. You are guaranteed to learn something new. There are too many quality speakers to list. Simply click on the website and be amazed.

Capt. Frank Campbell with a chunky river brown trout as he eyes it up for the camera.

One of the educational opportunities for the Niagara Fishing Expo already started this morning, when Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls hit the lower Niagara River and took out a couple brothers for a trout fishing lesson. Yes, on-water lower river trips are available through Monday morning, held in conjunction with the Expo. Despite the cold conditions, Craig and John Austin of Niagara County, still managed to go 4 for 7 on steelhead this morning, they were using MagLips and fished off three-way rigs. It’s been tough fishing with the colder weather, but that should change this weekend when things will warm up into the 40s. Last Thursday, when the temperatures soared into the 60’s,

Jason Henniger of Ohio with his first steelhead ever!

quite a few people made it out and took advantage of the spring-like weather. Rick and Jason Henniger of Ohio reeled in a dozen nice browns and steelhead in the lower Niagara fishing with Campbell,  using MagLips and Kwikfish in gold and silver. The best fishing was downriver, away from the boating pressure on Artpark. Shore fishermen have it a bit tougher with the shoreline shelf ice and extreme caution is advised.

The last warm up also produced some good walleye fishing in the lower river according to Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. He reported better than a dozen fish caught last week using minnows and Kwikfish. Just a reminder that the walleye limit in the lower Niagara River is only one fish per person from Jan. 1 to March 15.

Off Lake Ontario, Wilson has some safe ice, but Olcott was busted up with the excessive run-off created by the warm weather and ensuing rain. Water is stained in 18 Mile Creek, but it’s still fishable. Use jigs tipped with a wax worm and fished under a float to take trout and a few Coho salmon that are still hanging around. Things should open up nicely this weekend.

ill 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; f: 716-285-0809
 

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Dec. 28, 2017 – Destination Niagara USA

 

Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga, New York, with a nice upper Niagara River walleye during Christmas week!

Record-breaking cold and adverse weather conditions have put a damper on fishing action in Western New York.

The lower Niagara River was too stained to fish on Tuesday, but there is hope for the weekend if not before.  However, the extreme cold may keep people from being on the water or casting from shorelines along the Niagara River.  Just before this most recent cold snap, some walleye were hitting jigs, both above and below Niagara Falls.

Perch were hitting in some of the marinas in the upper river and trout were cooperating below the falls from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar.  From the boats, lots of charters captains are running, call first, w/MagLips and Kwikfish lures working off three-way rigs.  Egg sacs also produced some steelhead, browns and a mixed bag of other fish species.

In the tributaries of Lake Ontario, the only hope was 18 Mile Creek at Burt Dam, but water flow has been slow. By the time you read this, there will probably be ice below the trestle at Fisherman’s Park.

While fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters, Randy from Tonawanda, New York, hit some steelhead in the lower Niagara River. MagLips was the hot lure.

The only other good news could be for hard water anglers in Niagara County.  Wilson and Olcott harbors could have some safe ice by the weekend, but make sure there is at least 4 inches of ice.  Follow all of the usual hardwater safety protocols.

The New Year is here on Monday, which means that lake trout season will be underway in the lower Niagara River.  The walleye limit in those same lower river waters will be one per person and the new license year in the Province of Ontario waters will be in effect.  From a competitive fishing standpoint, the New York State Winter Classic Fishing Tournament will be going on (starting Jan. 1st) for the next two months until February 28th.  Check out www.nyswinterclassic.com for details.

At the same time, Capt. Bob’s Outdoors in Clarence has a derby going on Jan. 2 through March 15.  You will need to stop down to the Main Street store to register.

In three weeks the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo will be held at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls January 19th to the 21st. The three-day event is a must-attend if you want to learn more about fish and fishing. With 70-some speakers and over 120 different seminars to choose from, the education during this event is second to none on the Great Lakes. Bass fans will be clamoring over the likes of Bass Elite pros Shaw Grigsby and Mark Menendez. Walleye chasers will be able to learn from Mark Romanack, Lance Valentine, Sam Cappelli, Joe Fonzi and Don Ruppert. For salmon there’s Dan Keating, Mark McClutchey, Greg Amiel, Matt Yablonsky and Rick Hajecki. In the trout arena, there’s Frank Campbell, Danny Colville, and Drew Nisbet . And the sold-out show floor has 150 top quality exhibitors, too. Check out www.niagarafishingexpo.com for all of the details.

Happy New Year!

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 Dec. 21, 2017 – Destination Niagara USA

Bob Rustowicz of Cheektowaga won the brown trout division of the Capt. Bob’s Outdoors fall derby with a 30-inch Johnson Creek fish.

While weather forecasters are calling for a white Christmas followed by a blast of Arctic air from the North Country, anglers right now have been limited in where they can get a line wet.  High winds, rain and snow melt contributed to muddy conditions in the Niagara River both above and below Niagara Falls.

Shore fishermen should be the first to be able to target trout in the lower river from the Whirlpool to Artpark.  Jigs, egg sacs or egg imitations like trout beads fished under a float are good options for drifters.  Casters can use spoons, spinners or jigs to hook up with a steelhead or brown trout.  Lake trout are still around, too.  Remember that laker season opens on January 1.  January 1 is also the start of a special walleye regulation. The daily limit drops from three to one until March 15 to help protect spawning females.

Patrick Vinh Truong of Buffalo caught this nice steelhead from the Artpark area of the Niagara Gorge on an egg sac.

In the upper river you can try to target trout with egg sacs just above the upper rapids before the white water. Some perch can be found in some of the marinas where water clarity is a bit better. Find some emerald shiners for best success.

Lake Ontario tributaries have been low and slow in Niagara Falls USA.  At Eighteen Mile Creek at Burt Dam, the water flow was limited and more clear than stained.  In those situations with clear water, downsize your presentation with lighter line, smaller hooks and smaller baits.  Steelhead and brown trout are available, but they have been limited in numbers.  In Wilson, the harbor ice that had started to form was busted up from the weather conditions. With temperatures soaring into the mid-40s on Saturday with rain, we are probably back to square one.

Here are a few last minute gift items for Christmas to consider: A Lake Ontario Counties derbies Season Pass at www.loc.org.  You can save $20 by purchasing one before Dec. 31 – a great stocking stuffer.  You can also buy tickets for the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo Jan. 19-21 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. Admission tickets and special clinic tickets are available.  However, the popular LOTSA Salmon School is already sold out – the earliest ever!  Check out www.niagarafishingexpo.com. Here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

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 Dec. 7, 2017 – from Destination Niagara USA

Drew Nisbet with a Lower Niagara River steelhead from shore.

A good old-fashioned snow storm hit Western New York this week. In fact, it’s still going on south of Buffalo.  So far, it hasn’t touched Niagara Falls USA with snow, but it did impact water conditions in the Niagara River.  Rain and high winds hit first, creating a muddy mess in the Niagara River that was quite severe.  Just prior to the change though, the Niagara River was on fire with a focus on steelhead but offering anglers a mixed bag of fish all the way around – from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar.

Tributary brown trout are in!

Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charter Service was using MagLip plugs in 3.0 size to take steelhead, brown trout, lake trout, Atlantic salmon, walleye and Coho salmon just prior to the storm.  The plugs were fished off three-way rigs.  Along Artpark and in Devil’s Hole, boat drifters were also using egg sacs and beads to take trout.  Shore fishermen have been picking up trout, too, but it had slowed a bit.  With the storm still going on, we don’t know if anyone will be able to fish by the weekend.   We may see some of the white stuff by then, too. Water temperatures were still in the low 40’s.

In the John Henning Memorial Musky Tournament, Frank Alcorn of Pennsylvania won the Niagara Musky event last Sunday with a fat 47-inch muskellunge trolling with a Legend perch bait.  Also just prior to the storm, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls used egg sacs and spinners to take some small trout in the smooth water before the upper rapids area just before the water plummets over the falls.  Remember that lake trout season is closed in the lower river and bass season is now catch and release only all around the state (except Lake Erie).

Bob Rustowicz with a beautiful coho salmon from a local tributary stream in Niagara County.

In the tributaries off Lake Ontario, water continues to be stained but fishable.  Some nice steelhead and browns have been caught on egg sacs or egg imitations, jigs tipped with wax worms and fished under a float, beads fished under a float and a variety of flies and streamers.

Burt Dam and Fisherman’s Park has fish in it and is probably the most consistent producer.

With this being the end of the year, there are a few Christmas parties going on you should be aware of.  The Niagara River Anglers Association will be holding it’s Christmas meeting on Monday, Dec. 11 at the Sanborn Farm Museum on Route 31 starting at 6:30 p.m. and the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. has their Christmas meeting Dec. 14 at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Lockport starting at 7 p.m. with the Niagara County Fisheries Board.  Also, the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs will have its year-end holiday gathering at the Hartland Conservationists Club located on Orangeport Road in Gasport starting at 7 p.m.

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
f: 716-285-0809

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 from Destination Niagara USA

  • Devil’s Hole Stairs to Gorge – Repaired and Reopened!
  • Big Musky on a Good Bite All Week
  • Walleye, Steelhead and Lake Trout fishing good from Shore and Boat
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls is still doing well off the New York Power Authority fishing platform, catching walleye, trout and occasional Coho salmon, all on homemade jigs.

There’s another storm blowing in this weekend, but Niagara County could luck out on some of the rain and white stuff, should it arrive. Keep your fingers crossed!

This just in from New York State Parks: The stairs into the Niagara Gorge at Devil’s Hole State Park will be reopened on Saturday, November 18, after having been closed all summer so that they could be rebuilt.  The stairs had been expected to be closed until Spring 2018.  This is great news for shore fishermen who like to cast for trout in the Devil’s Hole area.

Lower Niagara River trout fishing has been good from both boat and shore. We will have to wait and see what the storm blows in for water clarity. Rain and wind in Lake Erie can sometimes impact the lower river fishing. Conditions were near perfect the past week and steelhead are cooperating nicely along the Artpark shoreline. Boaters were bouncing egg sacs off three-way rigs to take some nice steelhead. Of course, you will catch some lake trout along the way. Be careful with them and release the fish immediately. Lake trout season is closed until Jan. 1 in New York waters, Dec. 1 in Canadian waters. Other baits that you should try if the egg sacs don’t work for you include plugs like MagLips and Kwikfish. Minnows will also catch you a fish or two, as will egg imitations like yarn flies.

From shore, any egg or egg imitation will catch fish as will spoons, spinners and jigs. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls is still doing well off the New York Power Authority fishing platform to catch walleye, trout and the occasional Coho salmon. This week he was using homemade jigs.

Rich Pisa with a nice steelhead from Niagara County, NY.

Upper Niagara River musky fishing was good the past week according to Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. He caught three on Monday using large common shiners.

In the Niagara Musky Association’s Tim Wittek Memorial Musky Tournament last Sunday, a total of 28 anglers competed – catching 16 fish for the day. Top fish was a 50 and a half inch fish caught by Jeremy Schneider of Stratford, Ontario using a homemade body bait. Second place was John Pensyl of Lockport with a 48-inch fish jigged a Red October Tube. Third place was Stratford with a 46-inch ‘lunge jigging a Red October Tube. All the fish were released unharmed to fight another day. Other notable catches included a 46-inch musky reeled in by Daniel Lacko of Kenmore, a 43-inch fish hauled in by Andrew Lacko of Kenmore (Dan’s father) and Andrew Porzio of East Aurora with a 40-inch ‘lunge. The season closes on Nov. 30 in the upper river and around the state – except in the lower river and Lake Ontario. That season closes on Dec. 15.

The Lake Ontario tributaries like 18 Mile Creek are still muddy but not high. Some salmon are still struggling to swim around as the browns and steelhead are taking over. While eggs and egg imitations are still good baits to use, the past week seemed to switch over to more of a live bait presentation like crawlers, wax worms and spikes according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors.

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, f: 716-285-0809

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Nov. 2, 2017

  • Fishing is Switching Gears with Colder Weather
  • Smaller Streams HAVE FISH NOW, especially AFTER EVERY RAIN
  • Musky Tournament is ON, Nov. 5
Tyler Dannhauser of Wilson was fishing in the gorge this week and caught a mixed bag of salmon and trout.

Weather conditions have certainly impacted the fishing this past week. High winds and rain resulted in water temperatures dropping 5 degrees since last weekend. That said, it could be just what the “Fish Doctor” ordered to force a transition into the next phase of fall fishing.

In the Upper Niagara River, the last month of musky fishing action improved with the adverse weather, just in time for the Niagara Musky Association’s Tim Wittek Memorial Catch and Release Tournament. The action will take place on Nov. 5 out of the launch ramp area at the foot of Sheridan from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. To get your blood circulating again, there will be a post-tourney chili-fest at the foot of Sheridan in Tonawanda. Cost is $25 to enter this catch-and-release “iron man” tournament. Call Scott McKee at 716-225-3816 for more information. If you just want to find our more information about fall musky fishing in the Niagara, stop in at the NMA monthly meeting at the Eldredge Club, 17 Broad St., Tonawanda, NY, on Tuesday night (Nov. 7) starting at 7 p.m. Guest speaker will be Marc Arena with Red October Baits. Water conditions were murky this week thanks to the wind. The lower river musky season extends to Dec. 15.

Mike Rzucidlo with another great Lower Niagara River king salmon caught from the NYPA fishing pier.

And speaking of the lower Niagara River, we had a report that there were some boats on the water today, just prior to the weekend. The first fish they caught was a musky – drifting MagLips off three-way rigs. They also caught a walleye before they hit some trout – steelhead and lake trout. Lake trout season is closed until the end of the year, but sometimes you just can keep them off the hook!

In the gorge area of the lower river, shoreline casters are still catching a mix of salmon and trout. Treated egg skein fished under a float has been a consistent producer for Rich Pisa of Kenmore around the whirlpool area. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was picking off some steelhead and salmon on a No. 4 spinner while casting the New York Power Authority Fishing Platform before he was chased off due to high water levels (probably due to the high winds).

If you want to check whether or not the Fishing Platform is open, call 716-796-0135, ext. 45. It usually closes down for the winter around Dec. 1.

Tyler Dannhauser of Wilson was fishing in the gorge this week and caught a mixed bag of salmon and trout.

At Olcott Harbor and 18 Mile Creek, good reports of steelhead and brown trout have surfaced to complement the salmon that are still hanging around upstream at Burt Dam. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott reports that there are king and Coho salmon in various stages of their life cycle, including some fresh ones entering into the system. Egg skein and egg sacs work best. If the water is stained, chartreuse and orange-colored egg sacs are best. If we get the rain we are supposed to receive, you can try drifting an egg sac or a single egg in some of the smaller streams like Keg Creek to the east of Olcott, or 12 Mile Creek at Wilson, west of Olcott. Fishing pressure should drop off a little bit as whitetail deer fall into their rut stage and as crossbow season opens Nov. 4.

The regular big game season kicks off for the Southern Zone on Nov. 18. Waterfowl and other small game are also open to spread the activity out. No reports on perch in the harbors, but if the waters are clear enough, they should be starting to move in and become active. If you catch any nice fish, please share with us at bhilts@niagarafallsusa.com.

Stay safe!

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions
Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
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Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for October 26, 2017

  • Olcott Pier: Salmon and ONE BIG MUSKY!
  • Trib’s Hold Lots of Fish after Every Rain
  • Shore Fishing and Boat Fishing is VERY GOOD

There are many fishing activities going on right now so you will have to pick

Young Ethan Brolinski of Lewiston with one of his three Coho salmon caught at Lewiston Landing.

and choose what you want to do.

For example, salmon fishing is good in Olcott right now at 18 Mile Creek and the lower Niagara River still has a mix of king salmon, Coho salmon and steelhead.  If you want trout, you can catch them wherever there is good water flow.  The most popular areas are the Niagara River and 18 Mile Creek, but you can do well after a rain in some of the smaller streams, too.  Fishermen were picking up some trout in places like Keg and 12 Mile Creeks last week.  Anglers are getting a few perch on Lake Erie and there are some hungry bass around as well.  There are lots of fish to cast for if you so choose.

Sean Keen of Grand Island shows off his first salmon ever, caught off the NYPA fishing platform in the gorge.

The piers in Wilson and Olcott are both good spots with spoons or spinners.  The talk of Olcott this past week was the huge musky that was caught off the Olcott pier by a fisherman using a homemade spinner.  According to reports, the fish was over 60-inches long, which would put it into a 50 pound class of fish. Huge! It was released to fight another day. The same angler did manage to catch a nice brown trout for the smoker later in the day.

In Olcott Harbor and up the creek, some nice salmon and trout are being caught by casters and drifters. One salmon caught by John Miller of Pennsylvania stretched 45 inches long! At Burt Dam and Fisherman’s Park, there have been lots of fish, but also lots of fishermen. Mostly salmon right now, but steelhead and browns are both being taken as well.

Lower Niagara River action for salmon has been slowing down for boat drifters in the Devil’s Hole area.  A few kings are still being caught, but Coho salmon have arrived, as well as a few trout.  Steelhead and browns are both possible catches.  Lake trout season is closed, but you may start to catch a few when the water temperatures finally drop below 60 degrees – probably this weekend.

Father and son team of Rich and Richard Pisa caught a double on king salmon in the Whirlpool area of the gorge.

Shore casters are still doing well in the gorge on salmon, but it is starting to slow a little bit. Spoons and spinners with glow in the dark tape is one approach; treated egg skein under a float is another option.

Downriver, boat drifters are started to target steelhead along Artpark.  Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston even managed to pick up a few salmon there while targeting trout.  Ethan Brolinski, a 7 year-old fisherman from Lewiston, was casting around the launch ramp in Lewiston this past week when local captain Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls tossed him a “lucky” fishing lure to use.  Before Ethan’s day was up, he managed to catch 3 Coho salmon from the docks.

Let’s go fishing!

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303 p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809 website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast for July 27, 2017

Sandra Brown of Pa. with her husband, Ed (L), Joe Yaeger and her 32 pound-4 oz. King Salmon.

The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association held its annual club tournament(s) last weekend and some impressive fish were caught.  At the top of the list is the current leader in the Lake Ontario Counties trout and salmon derby, a 32 pound – 4 ounce king caught by Sandra Brown of Clearfield, Pennsylvania.  She was fishing on the Niagara Bar with her husband Ed and Joe Yaeger of Amherst.  The fish came on a Dreamweaver Spin Doctor and Mirage A-Tom-Mik fly, 60 feet down over 160 feet of water a mile east of the red can.

Matt and Marc Dunn of Newfane with some of their LOTSA catch.

For the LOTSA Curt Meddaugh Memorial Tournament, it was the best three fish for Friday.  The Streaker team, consisting of Matt Dunn of Newfane with his dad Marc (also of Newfane), Doug Parker of Lockport and Doug Parker II of Wilson (another father-son duo), won the event. Their three fish total for the day was 66.48-pounds, narrowly defeating 4 Poles led by Marty Polovick of Lockport. Yaeger’s Salmonella team finished in fourth despite having the 32-pound kicker. However, there was another aspect to the two day LOTSA contests. A 3-2-3 contest (best 3 fish over 2 days with 3 winners) was in place, and Yaeger’s Salmonella crew won the top prize with a total of 72.46-pounds.  Second place was Matt Dunn’s Streaker team with 70.99-pounds.  The Saturday club contest was for big fish and Capt. Adam Gearich and the Diversion II team led the way when Tim Bromund of Colden reeled in a 26-pound – 4 ounce king in 100 feet of water between Wilson and Olcott. LOTSA details can be found at www.lotsa1.org.

Check out the LOC Derby leaderboard at www.loc.org. The Summer Derby ends on Sunday at 1 p.m. The awards ceremony is a Capt. Jack’s in Sodus Point at 4 p.m.

Lower Niagara River fishing action has been consistent.  A few more walleye are starting to show up and smallmouth bass fishing continues to be good.  Live bait like crayfish and shiners are working for bass; worm harnesses for walleye. Yesterday it was a rowdy crew from Texas fishing with Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston and the highlight of the trip was a 6 pound smallmouth reeled in by Evan Scanlon – a personal best, caught along the Coast Guard Station.

Upper Niagara River action has leveled off but some bass and walleye are still showing up consistently.  The big news this past week was Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island guiding Sawyer Dolce of Orchard Park.  Fishing the humps around Strawberry Island, Dolce was drifting a crayfish when a nice bass hit. Affixed to the back of the fish was another tag from the Canadian Tire bass tournament from two years ago. Cinelli had caught two previously in the lower Niagara River.  This is his first in the upper river, where the tagged fish were released.

Evan Scanlon of Texas with 6-pound smallmouth.

Erie Canal – It was a packed house at the Gasport Fire Hall last Sunday for the final grand prize drawing in the 27th annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby.  All the first place winners were put into a hat in one of the final orders of business.  Lynn Harrington reached into the hat and pulled out an Ace of Clubs – and that corresponded with a card being held by 13 year old Keegan Walczak of Amherst.  He won a new boat, motor and trailer from Brobeil Marine in Buffalo, a new Polar Kraft.  He ended up giving a high-five immediately to his dad Chris, who was also standing up front as one of the divisional winners.  In the youth division, James Benzinger won the new fishing kayak in the grand prize drawing for the kids.  He is from North Carolina and comes up every year to fish with his grandparents in the derby.  For a complete list of all of the winners go to www.eriecanalderby.com.

Keegan Walczak with his dad, Chris in front of Keegan’s new boat!

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  facebook | twitter | instagram

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Report – July 6, 2017

  • FISH: King Salmon Action is HOT
  • WHERE: Wilson Harbor, Niagara County, NY
  • LURES: A-Tom-Mik Twinkie set-ups & Dreamweaver UV Frog Spin Doctor

Lake Ontario salmon action is continuing on a consistent clip to the delight of trollers at Wilson, Olcott and the Niagara Bar.

Big King Salmon are becoming the norm off Wilson Harbor, Niagara County, NY, these last few days.

Don’t take my word for it, though, just ask Capt. Casey Prisco of Matamoras, Pennsylvania.  He was fishing in the Monroe County Offshore Classic last weekend out of Rochester and ran his boat 153 miles round trip in the one-day contest, settling in to fish off Niagara County in Wilson.  The fish zone was 71 to 111 feet down over 130 to 180 feet of water, using a Dreamweaver UV Frog spin doctor and an A-Tom-Mik Twinkie set-up.  With the A-Tom-Mik meat set out 205 feet on a diver.  Another productive rod was a 10-inch white green dot Dreamweaver spin doctor with A-Tom-Mik meat set down 91 feet.  He went 21 for 22 on fish for the morning before running back – catching nearly 84 pounds for five fish.

For local captains, the new A-Tom-Mik stud fly has also been a hot ticket for kings, too.  Earlier this week, we had some fishing writers from Germany show up in town for an “I Love NY” familiarization tour.  They did spend a few hours in the morning, catching salmon and steelhead with Capt. Mike Johannes and On-The-Rocks charters out of Wilson before travelling to their next stop.

The day before, they fished the Lower Niagara River for smallmouth bass with Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters, catching roughly 25 fish on spinnerbaits. The biggest was 6 pounds. 

Fishing with Captain Frank Campbell, visitors to the Lower Niagara River in Niagara County, NY, are cashing in on GIANT smallmouth bass, like this 6-pound bronzeback.

There are quite a few fishing contests in the month of July and two are going on right now.  They include the Lake Ontario Counties Summer Trout and Salmon Derby and the 27th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby.

If you are going fishing on Lake Ontario, if even for a day, make sure you sign up.  Day passes are available.  Leading fish for the $10,000 Grand Prize is Lee Beaton of Clifton Springs, NY, with a 27 pound King caught out of Wilson.  Darryl Raate of Fulton is leading the steelhead division with another Wilson fish – this one weighing 13 pounds.  Top brown is 16 pounds, 2 ounces and the first place lake trout is 22 pounds, 10 ounces. The derby continues through July 30. Go to www.loc.org for details. 

Meanwhile on the Erie Canal, the derby kicked off on Wednesday, July 5, and will continue through July 16.  There is a family pass for just $25 if you want to take advantage of a group entry fee.  The leader board is wide open.  Get out there and catch some fish.  Find out information at www.eriecanalderby.com

The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association is ready to have a party – a fishing party for its members.  You can join for just $10 and become part of the festivities, set for July 21-22 out of Olcott.  The first event on the fishing calendar is the Curt Meddaugh Memorial Tournament on Friday, a big fish contest that is free for club members.  All you have to do is register! Big fish for the day must be weighed in by 3 p.m. at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott.  On Saturday, the LOTSA Club Tournament will be going on all day.  This is a big fish contest, as well, and entry fee is $60.  Weigh in at Krull Park by 3 p.m. to be included for the cash prizes.  The final piece to the LOTSA fishing puzzle is the club’s 3-2-3 contest over the two days. Best 3 fish over 2 days of fishing, paying out the top 3 weights.  Entry fee is $50 for this portion of the contest.  The club picnic will be immediately following on Saturday and the awards will be handed out.  You can find out more information and also register for these contests at www.lotsa1.org. And speaking of LOTSA, the next meeting is July 13 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara in Lockport, guest speaker will be Capt. Matt Yablonsky:  “Talking Small Boat King’s” at 7 p.m.

As we mentioned, bass fishing in the lower Niagara River has been decent and the moss really hasn’t been that bad.  In the upper Niagara River, bass and walleye are still cooperating at the head of the river and around Strawberry Island.  The best bait has been with a spinner and a worm.  Remember that you can now venture into Canadian waters without calling in.  Make sure you understand the live bait regulations and you are carrying a Canadian fishing license if you do cross the border. 

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

DESTINATION NIAGARA USA HIGHLIGHTS LAKE ONTARIO FISHING

  • Free Fishing this Weekend in New York State (June 24-25, 2017)
  • New USA-CANADA Border Fishing Rules Eased
  • Lake Ontario Counties Tourney Series Starting
  • Detailed Fishing Report for June 22, 2017
Scott Rohe with a nice Lake Ontario King Salmon.

Lots of good news in this week’s report. It’s a Free Fishing Weekend in New York State. However, you do have to abide by the fishing regulations. Check out www.dec.ny.gov to find out what the rules are in the waters you intend to fish.

This is also the weekend for the Hooked on Fishing Tournament presented by the Boys and Girls Club of the Northtowns both Saturday and Sunday. Everything is run out of Gateway Harbor, North Tonawanda. Register June 23 from noon to 6 p.m. or any time after 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more info visit www.bgcnt.net or call 873-9842 Ext. 211.

Lake Ontario salmon fishing continues to be very good all along the Niagara County shoreline. Good reports are coming from the Niagara Bar to Olcott and beyond. Salmon in the upper 20 pound range were caught all last week and Capt. Dan Evans out of Wilson, fishing in a tournament on the north shore, managed to reel in a 32 pound chunk pre-fishing and releases the fish to fight another day. Top lures include a variety of Dreamweaver metal, Silver Streaks and Michigan Stingers.

However, the bigger fish seem to prefer the spin doctor and fly combos. The new A-Tom-Mik Stud Fly is really working well, producing that 32 pounder we just mentioned. White crush-glow pattern.  Meat rigs are also tricking fish to hit. Yes, Lake Ontario is open for business!  Start in 100 feet of water and head north out to 300 foot depths. Salmon seem to be in the top 80 feet of water. And some steelhead have started to move in to accompany the salmon so make sure you put a few baits out for them, too. In other good news, the lake levels have started to come down.

Captain Danny Evans with another nice Lake Ontario King Salmon, sliding to get out of the picture!

According to lake level reports, the waterline has dropped over 4 inches already and the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Water Board has announced that after the three-day experiment last week to increase outflows, they are going to continue with it to provide additional relief in the lake. The Town of Newfane Marina launch area and the Lewiston Landing launch are your two best bets for easy boat launch access.

More good news is that the Canadian Government finally passed a law that no longer required Americans to call into Canada Border Services when crossing the international boundary. You still need a fishing license and need to abide by the country’s regulations, but the hassle of calling in is no longer required. Remember no live bait other than worms in approved bedding or in water. Nothing in dirt. No minnows or crabs. Still, it’s just gotten a whole bunch better.

With the Lake Ontario Counties, trout and salmon summer derby just around the corner, set for June 30 to July 30, anglers are excited to take advantage of the summer action. Check out www.loc.org for details. In addition, the New York State Summer Classic Fishing Tournament is on and running through August 31. There are a total of 10 different fish species categories and 55 weigh stations throughout the state. To find out more information, check out www.nyssummerclassic.com.

In the Lower Niagara River, water temperature are still slowly creeping up there.  Lake Erie hit 72 degrees this week, so the trout are history. The bad news is that the moss has become more of a problem.  Mostly bass were caught this week on jigs, Kwikfish and MagLips. Shore casters in the gorge have been using tubes, swim baits and marabou jigs. Inline spinners will work, too.  They can be caught but you will be cleaning your lures frequently.

Upper Niagara River bass fishing also continues to be good, but the moss is putting a kink in that action.  Some walleye are being caught at the head of the river and at the head of Strawberry Island on worm harnesses and jigs. The Great Lakes musky season opener was slow, probably due to the warmer water already flowing through the system.  For an outdoors update this week, check out www.buffalonews.com/section/sports/outdoors/ to find out what’s happening.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA, 14303 p: 1.877 FALLS US | 716.282.8992 x.303 | f:716.285.0809 website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Travel Destination: NIAGARA USA

  • Water Temp Rising Now, Salmon Hitting with Fish to 22 Pounds
  • Smallmouth Bass Fishing is Good on Upper and Lower Niagara River
  • Southtowns Lake Erie Walleye Contest runs June 10-18

Niagara County, NY; June 9, 2017.   Despite record high water levels in Lake Ontario, salmon and trout fishing continues to be good in the lake, although it did slow down a bit with the recent east winds.  Some good fishing was being reported over the weekend from Tanner Niezgoda, of Newfane, while fishing out of Olcott

Jason Krebs with a pretty Lake Trout taken in the Lower Niagara River on a drift.

Best depths were 60 to 80 feet down over 150 to 300 feet of water with spoons and flasher-fly combos. Salmon up to 22 pounds were caught by Tanner and his sister.

Many of the captains have been tight-lipped on information with the Orleans County Open happening this weekend.  Be forewarned about the Niagara Bar with a report that moss is starting to come down through the river system.

In the Lower Niagara River, the fishing has been good to very good the past week.  Steelhead and lake trout are still holding on, but they probably won’t be around for long as the water nears the 60 degree mark. Minnows, Kwikfish and MagLips were all working on trout from boats up in Devil’s Hole; shore casters in the gorge have been using tubes, swim baits and marabou jigs.

That same hardware will also work on smallmouth bass downriver, but Chuck Booker of Amherst proved that his signature in-line spinners can also catch bass by going 17 for 20 on his last outing this week north of the sand docks in Lewiston.  

Yes, some moss is starting to show up, but you can still catch fish just fine. It will continue to get worse, though, as the month progresses.  Outdoor Writer Mike Brown of Ohio came into town over the weekend and his crew of family and friends managed to catch about 40 fish while fishing with Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston.  Tip of the week: Don’t set your rod down to take a picture for your story in the Niagara River without reeling in a little line first.  Anyone who hooks into a nice spinning outfit in the river with a brand new reel on it could be returned to Capt. Joe.

Tanner Niezgoda, of Newfane, New York, Caught a beautiful lake Trout fishing Lake Ontario out of Olcott Harbor.

Upper Niagara River bass fishing also continues to be good.  Remember that the regular season doesn’t open until the third Saturday in June (June 17 this year) and if you are targeting bass, you must use artificial baits.  Speaking of bass, the Annual Opening Day Bass Contest sponsored each year by Kelly’s Korners will NOT be held this year.  Organizers for the tournament didn’t want to see the big bass end up in a fish fry and they decided to retire the event to help protect the resource.  Some walleye are being caught at the head of the river and at the head of Strawberry Island on worm harnesses and jigs.  This could be a sleeper area for the Southtowns Walleye Association’s tournament that kicks off on Saturday, June 10. www.southtownswalleye.org

To help Celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week, there will be a Free Fishing Clinic at Ellicott Creek Park on Saturday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Call Mike Todd at 851-7010 to pre-register – although it’s not required.  

Just a quick reminder on water levels: There is still a state of emergency along the Lake Ontario shoreline for high water levels. This isn’t really going to affect the fishing that much, but the Niagara County Sheriff is asking that boats creating a wake stay at least 600 feet from shore. This doesn’t include trolling.  Caution is advised for floating debris when you are out in the lake moving around.  The problem seems to be launching.  The best spot to be right now is the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott.  Fort Niagara has an open launch, but you need boots up to your knees or above.  Golden Hill State Park launch is closed and Wilson-Tuscarora Park is day to day (but you need hip boots there, too).  It’s worth the effort for the good fishing!!