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


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 ( 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

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

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