Lake Ontario – Orleans County STREAM FISHING REPORT from Ron Bierstine from Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge – October 23, 2018

By most all accounts, there is good action on the Oak.  Brown trout numbers are definitely picking up and fish reportedly are on the move.  Some steelhead have been reported every day too.  The end of this past weekend and beginning of this week have been good for hookups around the Archers Club and it sounds like plenty of fish are in the downstream frog water too.  Legit light line deep drifts have been the ticket there. 

Oak Orchard stream-run King Salmon. Patrick Carl photo

Salmon numbers are still strongest at or nearer the dam.  Kings in smaller numbers are still migrating from downstream and that will probably be the MO from here out with fish trickling in over a prolonged period.  There are not a lot of dying or zombie fish yet so that tells me there are still plenty on the “run” ahead.  Look for Kings well into November which really hasn’t been a new scenario these past few years.

Fishing pressure was high over the weekend but thus far seems more manageable this week.  Flows are real nice at medium-ish on the Oak compared to lower and clearer flows in the other area smaller tributaries.  Scattered numbers of fish are in those smaller upstream watercourses.  There was some precipitation last night and a decent downpour today so the flows in the smaller waterways may bump up slightly while flows in the Oak should be pretty well maintained. 

Big Joe on the Oak. Patrick Carl photo

Leaf fall is becoming more prevalent so look for the chance for water level fluctuations on the Oak thanks to hydro-power operations.  Seasonably cool weather, if not cold, in the forecast through the week should put more Kings on gravel and keep encouraging what has already been pretty good numbers of steelhead and brown trout migrations.

Provided by Ron Bierstine, Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge

Visit our Fishing Report on OrleansCountyTourism.com, including weather forecasts and our “At the Oak, Orleans County” Facebook feed.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County, let’s make everyday a great fishing day right here in Orleans County!

Sincerely,

The Team at Orleans County Tourism

Orleans County, NY – Fishing Report from Capt. John Oravec of Tight Lines Charters, Sep. 4, 2018.

Orleans County King Salmon in Lake Ontario are on the BIG BITE!

From a tired Captain, the day after Labor Day…

Fish on and Happy Labor Day from everyone at Orleans County Tourism, the Fishing Fleet and the supporting area merchants that make coming to the “Oak” the top Great Lakes Fishing Package again this year!

Whether you are a local fisher-person going out for a couple of hours of great fishing with our famous sunsets or one of the out-of-state rigs I see every day slipping out the harbor at sunrise – go get ’em!

Weather systems typical for Labor Day week have repositioned the thermocline from 25 to 40 down early in the week to 70 feet down over the weekend.

More boats had good luck in the mid-water (150-250 feet). Another hotspot developed in 50 to 70 FOW west from Johnson’s Creek to Chrome Dome. Remember, mature river-bound kings, browns and coho sniff out duckweed lines and Johnson Creek can be a strong drawing force.

A NOTE ABOUT THE CURRENT NOW: THE RIP IS PUSHING FROM NORTHEAST TO SOUTHWEST SO WATCH YOUR GROUND SPEED ON ANY KIND OF WEST TROLL. IF FISH AREN’T LOOKING AT AND HITTING YOUR SPREAD, THROW OUT THE BAG! THEN, WHEN ON THE EAST TROLL, THROTTLE UP and WATCH YOUR GPS SPEED…AND MAKE THE RODS POP! THIS CAPT HASN’T CHANGED LURE COLORS IN A MONTH (300 fish later). I focus on speed, vary lead lengths, use flouro-carbon line and stealth spreads. It matters!

While some may think that with derbies now over, that’s it! Don’t believe it! With the high percent of mature fish in the daily catch, plus good soaking rains pushing rich water out of the tributaries, ledge-staging big mature Kings will become the target in the coming weeks. Then followed by pierhead, shallow water J-plug trolling and pier casting. River runs can start early in a year like this.
There is plenty of big fish action ahead.

There is less overall boat traffic, good availability with area charters and lodging operators and plenty of fish. Fish on! Oil the reels, get fresh, strong line, tie new knots.

Shark wars are coming!

See you on the Orleans County Ledges no deeper that 120 ft.

“Troutman” – Captain John Oravec; Tight Lines Charters
1857 Countyline Rd * Lyndonville, NY 14098
Boat/Mobile: 585-590-2045; Email: captjohnoravec.com

Capt Johnny Oravec is a 43 year veteran of Orleans County charter captain of the 33 foot Trojan the “Troutman 2”. Capt Johnny has been helping Great Lakes anglers learn and develop fishing techniques by writing for the In Fisherman Magazine TV and Radio.
Visit our Fishing Report on OrleansCountyTourism.com, including weather forecasts and our “At the Oak, Orleans County” Facebook feed.

Orleans County, NY – HOME OF THE KING!!! – Lake Ontario Fishing Report, July 30, 2018 –

Ready at the Ready! King Salmon are everywhere when you fish Lake Ontario in the right place off Orleans County, NY!

This week’s fishing report is from Capt. John Oravec of Tightlines Charters.

Ready at the Ready! King Salmon are everywhere when you fish Lake Ontario in the right place…Orleans County, NY.

As Sonny and Cher once sang: “And the Beat Goes On!” There is a steady traffic of fishing boats. I counted over 50 on the weekend rigged for Salmon action and getting it! Boats from Vermont, Ohio, New Jersey, Michigan, Indiana, Connecticut, Maine and Pennsylvania.

The stable wind pattern has created a broad pattern of fishing depths which will let you catch fish anywhere from 160 to 350 feet of water – AKA the mid “28 line”.  The salmon and now “bonus steelhead” are lying 60 to 80 feet down.  Remember that when to trolling in deep water currents, wily trollers add extra cable footage to consistently reach feeding fish.  Please remember to release the steelhead and smaller salmon! Those immature fish are the future fish population!

Watch the changing weather systems mid-week and bring rain gear to be sure.  Also, be ready, pull your lines and boogie to home port at any sign of thunderstorm activity. Be safe.

I saw many charters heading in early Sunday, limited out, their boats full of happy “salmon whooped” anglers.  My boys from Columbus are already set on coming back in 2019.

If you are still considering a fishing visit this year, go to www.OrleansCountyTourism.com for all your trip planning info.  See you on the water in Orleans County – Home of the King!!!

Capt. John Oravec, www.captjohnoravec.com, Tight Lines Charters, 1857 Countyline Rd. Lyndonville, NY,  14098; Phone (boat/mobile): 585-590-2045.

Capt. Johnny Oravec is a 43 year veteran of Orleans County charter captain of the 33 foot Trojan, the “Troutman 2.” Capt. Johnny has been helping Great Lakes anglers learn and develop fishing techniques by writing for the In-Fisherman Magazine TV and Radio.

Visit our Fishing Report on OrleansCountyTourism.com, including weather forecasts and our “At the Oak, Orleans County” Facebook feed.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County, let’s make everyday a great fishing day right here in Orleans County!

Sincerely, The Team at Orleans County Tourism; www.OrleansCountyTourism.com, 14016 Route 31 West, Albion, NY 14411; 1-800-724-0314

 

King Salmon Move Near Shore RIGHT NOW! Lake Ontario, Orleans County, NY – July 24, 2018

It's Spoon Time!

Lake Ontario Fishing News from Tightline’s Charters – July 24, 2018.

By Capt. John Oravec

It’s Spoon Time! See more photos – http://captjohnoravec.com/photos.htm 

The Lake Ontario waters off Point Breeze – simply put – are teaming with big king salmon after a big nor’easter storm caused the inside water to roll over.  A classic upwelling, the salmon are feeding closer to the shoreline and near the surface!

I heard from a duo hailing from New Jersey and West Virginia that they had super action in close, plus one of the biggest salmon yet for 2018 – a 40″ 27 plus pounder!

Another group of trollers plowed thru fog only to find lots of schoolie kings and scrappy steelhead 30 to 40 feet down over 400 feet depths. Hot lure wise the consensus is spoons! Spoons! Spoons!  Try to simplify a lure spread with a couple downriggers and a trailing 10 color leadcore or 250 ft. copper Flatline. The water is very clear, less can catch more.

Your local tackle shops have the prime baits and accessories to repair all the breakage during salmon wars like this! Be careful when running offshore. Have plenty of fuel, safety gear and stay in sight of the boat fleet.

Go get ’em!

Capt. John Oravec, www.captjohnoravec.com, Tight Lines Charters, 1857 Countyline Rd., Lyndonville, NY, 14098; Phone: boat/mobile 585-590-2045

Capt. Johnny Oravec is a 43 year veteran of Orleans County charter captain of the 33 foot Trojan the “Troutman 2.” Captain Johnny has been helping Great Lakes anglers learn and develop fishing techniques by writing for the In-Fisherman Magazine TV and Radio.

Visit our Fishing Report on OrleansCountyTourism.com, including weather forecasts and our “At the Oak, Orleans County” Facebook feed.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County, let’s make everyday a great fishing day right here in Orleans County!

Sincerely, The Team at Orleans County Tourism

Orleans County Fishing Report – Sep. 19, 2017

  • Weather Warm-Up will Cool-Down Lake Ontario Fish Movement in Trib’s
  • Archer’s Club Tourney Coming Up on the “Oak,” see Details
  • Smallmouth Fishing Good on Lake Alice

Today is Tuesday September 19, 2017.

Well it looks like we are in for another long stretch of pleasant summerlike weather conditions.  This should slow down the migration of trout and salmon towards their spawning grounds just a bit.

Early morning and late evening fishing from the pier heads have been fairly productive, as has been trolling the “wall” at those times.

There are still a good number of fish and bait in the 70 to 200 feet of water range for those who still have boats in the water.

This past weekend I was at a function at the Archers Club and conditions never looked better.  There is a good water flow throughout the entire area which should make for some fantastic fishing this fall.  They also have made some great improvements to the facilities in the enlarged kitchen area.

Mark on your calendar October 18th, 19th and 20th for the St. Mary’s Archers Club Catch and Release Fly Fishing Derby.  This great event features 3 days of great fishing, fantastic food and some wonderful prizes, truly an event not to be missed.

With the warm up, fishing in the lower stretches of the “Oak”, Lake Alice and the Erie Canal has slowed a bit except for the smallmouth bass fishing.  That will all change once some cooler temperatures return to our area.

Initial reports from the DEC creel census folks look like this has been one of the highest catch rate years for trout and salmon they have ever seen.  This proves, once again, that Lake Ontario and its tributaries are alive and very healthy, even with the little extra water Mother Nature has given us.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

 

 

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast

  • For Wed. July 12, 2017
  • Salmon, Trout, Bass, Walleye, Musky…WOW!
Kristy Cox from New Vienna, Ohio, with her very nice King Salmon caught near Wilson Harbor, Niagara County, New York.

Water levels are continuing to come down in Lake Ontario to the delight of boaters and landowners. However, even the high water levels have not had any negative effects on fishing in the lake.
Salmon fishing continues to be very good out on the Niagara Bar, as well as out of Wilson and Olcott. Salmon action just outside the drop-off on the Bar continues to be excellent. Spin doctors and flies are near the top of the list for preferred baits; a flasher and meat rig with cut bait is another. Some fish are being caught on spoons, too, but they seem to be third on the list. The new A-Tom-Mik stud fly has been mentioned quite a bit by trollers in the lake. Niagara Falls USA waters are still at the top of the Lake Ontario stage for the Summer LOC Derby that is going on through July 30. Leading grand prize salmon is still a 27 pound fish caught by Lee Beaton of Clifton Springs, he caught that one out of Wilson, The first place salmon is another Wilson

Mike Rzucidlo with a nice Steelhead that he caught in the Lower Niagara River on July 5.

fish, a 26 pound, 10 ounce king weighed in by Charles Jaenecke of North Tonawanda. Steve Klejdys of North Tonawanda is back at the top of the lake trout leaderboard with a 23 pound – 13 ounce Niagara Bar fish, and Darryl Raate of Fulton is in first place in the steelhead division with a 13 pound trout he caught while fishing out of Wilson. Top brown trout is a 16 pound, 2 ounce fish weighed in by Joey Guernsey of McGraw while fishing out of Fair Haven.

Jerry Howe of Grand Island, New York, caught this 30 lb musky in the Niagara River.

Lower Niagara River action has been good and the moss has not been as much of a factor as in previous years for some reason. Shoreline casting with 2-inch pearl tubes was working for Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls this week, catching double digit bass and even a 9 pound steelhead. Boaters are still doing well on bass by casting the shoreline with spinnerbaits or working shiners or crayfish off three-way rigs. On July 17, the Devil’s Hole State Park stairs and trail will be shut down until the spring of 2018 for reconstruction and repairs. There are still plenty of other access points to get you into the gorge, but this trail is one of the more popular ones. Alternative access can be gained through the New York Power Authority’s South Access Road where a fishing platform and a stairs to the shoreline is available from Apr. 1 to Dec. 1. Other access points include the stairs at Whirlpool State Park; the Suspension Bridge Stairs (under the Whirlpool Bridge); the Great Gorge Railway Trail (that begins at the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center); and the elevator at the Schoellkopf Site (adjacent to the Discovery Center). A copy of the Niagara Gorge Trail Map is available at: http://www.nysparks.com/parks/attachments/WhirlpoolNiagaraGorgeTrailMap.pdf
There are lots of fishing contests going on. The 27th Annual Erie Canal Derby is going on through Sunday, July 16th. Some pretty impressive catches have already come to the scales that will be tough to beat. For example, Michael Boncore of Buffalo is leading the carp category with a 28.02 pound fish; Todd Wells of Medina leads the sheepshead category with an 11.39 pounder; and Charles Rizzo of North Tonawanda has the leading catfish with a 14 pounder. The new walleye leader is Albert Whaley of Tonawanda with a 5.19 pound fish.
Upper Niagara River action continues to be good for bass, walleye and the occasional musky. A spinner and a worm produced all three this week for Capt. Chris Cinelli. The musky was about 46 inches long, probably in the mid-30 pound range as far as weight. It was caught by Jerry Howe of Grand Island and released.
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

Orleans County Fishing Report – July 12, 2017

  • LOC Derby Fishing Helps Find Fish
  • Fish for a Cure starts This Week
  • Erie Canal Tourney is ON!

Today is Wednesday July 12, 2017.

It seems like this appears in my report a lot, but rain is in the forecast for most of the rest of this week, except for Saturday and into the first part of next week.

Even with that, the Army Corps of Engineers predicts that the level of Lake Ontario will drop approximately 7″ by the end of July.  Maybe businesses and land owners along the shoreline will finally get a break.

As far as fishing goes along the Orleans County portion of Lake Ontario, things have been pretty consistent in a very good way for a change.

Most trollers are working the area from 140 to 240 feet of water with very good success. Spoons are still taking a back seat to some type of spinner/fly combinations and sometimes cut bait has been the ticket.

With the Summer LOC Derby in full swing, some great catches are showing upon the leader board including a good number caught right here in Orleans County.  The derby runs through the end of this month so why not enter and get your share of some of those great cash prizes.

Don’t forget that this Saturday is the Drew’s Crew Fishing for a cure for Juvenile Diabetes Derby. This is a chance to help out for a very worthwhile cause while enjoying some of the great fishing on Lake Ontario.  Enter by 7 AM this Saturday and be at the weigh-in at Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina by 3 PM with your best 3 fish.

On the “Oak,” it’s been a mixed bag of fish from the mouth all the way to the dam consisting of perch, bass, northern pike and even some walleye thrown into the mix.

Other tributaries within Orleans County are experiencing the same success including the Erie Canal.

Speaking of the Erie Canal, the annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby wraps up on July 16th this year, so there’s still plenty of time to enter.

Word has it that some great entries have been made from the Medina and Albion area.

On Lake Alice fishing has slowed somewhat for bass and panfish but I know of one lad that is doing very well on carp off his grandfather’s dock.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County, let’s make everyday a great fishing day right here in Orleans County.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.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!

Orleans County Fishing Report – June 21, 2017

  • Orleans County King Salmon ARE BACK!
  • Lake Alice good with Smallmouth and Largemouth
  • Fishing-For-A-Cure Tourney Coming Up, July 15

Today is Wednesday June 21, 2017.

Occasional rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast into next week, along with more seasonal temperatures.

On Lake Ontario, the king of the lake – Chinook salmon, have made their presence known in a big way.  Fishing in the 100 feet of water range has been very productive all along the shoreline of Orleans County.  Most fish are being taken in the lower portions of the water column, from 60 feet down and with a mixture of lure combinations but cut bait seems to be the most productive.  Some lake trout and steelhead are also being caught, but not in the numbers of the kings.

Near the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek (the “Oak”), perch and bass fishing is good to very good.

Lake Alice is producing some decent numbers of both Largemouth and Smallmouth bass along with a combination of panfish.

I haven’t had a good report from the Erie Canal fishermen as of yet.

Returning again this year is the Drew’s Crew – “Fishing for a Cure” for Juvenile Diabetes.  The derby will take place on July 15th this year and will follow the best 3-fish format that is so popular.  The entry fee is $50.00 cash with half going to the prize structure and half to Juvenile Diabetes research.  This year you will be able to fish out of either Point Breeze or Bald Eagle Marina, but the weigh-in will take place at Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina.  You must be entered by 7AM on the 15th and the weigh-In closes at 3PM so please don’t be late.  Please join us for a fun day of fishing while supporting this great cause.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast – May 24, 2017

  • Kings, Coho’s, Lures
  • Lake Ontario Water Levels Still High
  • Upper Niagara & Lower Niagara Action
Fishing with Capt. Mark Vilardo, Kingfisher Charters, Jon Eckert of Lockport, reeled in a 30-pound King Salmon last Thursday fishing out of Olcott Harbor on a flasher-fly.

Lake Ontario

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 500 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 for sure). It’s worth the effort for the good fishing!!

Lake Ontario Pro-Am Tourney

Congratulations to all of the winners in the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Tourney out of Wilson and Olcott last weekend.  The Screamer team led by Dave Antenori of Pennsylvania was on a mission. After placing second in the Wilson Harbor Invitational the weekend before, they wanted to take the first place prize in the Niagara County/Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament held May 19-21 out of the ports of Wilson and Olcott.  After catching a 12-fish tournament limit the first day, he was poised to be in a perfect position as he sat in second place – behind Team Maverick and Capt. Chris LoPresti.  After a very windy blow day on Saturday, it was all business on Sunday as the team boated another limit and won the Niagara County version of the Pro-Am and the $15,000 prize with a score of 471.02 points (10 points per fish and a point per pound).  Second place was Maverick led by Capt. Chris LoPresti, taking home a check for $7,500 with a score of 448.59 points.  Third place went to Dirty Goose/Cold Steel led by Capt. Casey Prisco ($5,000) with 447.79 points, followed by Vision Quest and Capt. Pete Alex ($2,500) with 429.84 points. Big fish for the tournament was a 24.04 pound king salmon caught by Thrillseeker led by Capt. Vince Pierleoni.  He won $300 plus a new Raymarine Axiom Unit.

The Screamer Team, led by Dave Antenori of Pennsylvania, took top prize in the Niagara County/Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament.

In the Amateur Division, it was Mother Moose winning the $500 prize and a special Cup for the three day event.  Anonymous, last year’s cup winner, led by John Muehl, won the Day 3 contest for the amateur open, but it wasn’t enough to repeat.  Big fish for the day was Dipsy Ranger with a king salmon weighing 19.23 pounds.  In the Amateur Open, each day was a separate contest.  Day one winner was Dipsy Ranger led by John Nevlezer.  Day two winner (by drawing due to inclement weather) was HK1 and Chris Petrucci.  Big fish prizes, good for $500 and an ITO Flies prize package were: Day one – Mean Machine and Kyle Hovak with a 19.43 pound king salmon; Day two (drawing) – Streaker and Matt Dunn; Day three – Dipsy Ranger with a 19.23 pound king salmon.

Best action for kings and cohos has been out in 110 to 300 feet of water. DW Super Slims and Spin Doctors with the new A-Tom-Mik stud fly doing pretty good right now in the top 80 feet of water. Riggers, dipsy divers and 200 and 300 feet of copper. Browns can still be caught inside of 50 feet. Congrats to Jon Eckert of Lockport who reeled in a 30 pound king last Thursday out of Olcott on a flasher-fly. He was fishing with Capt. Mark Vilardo, Kingfisher Charters.

Lower Niagara River

Lower Niagara River fishing action is still good in Devil’s Hole where boaters were using minnows and egg sacs to take trout off three-way rigs. Try coloring up the minnows with Pautzke Fire Dye in chartreuse. Steelhead, lake trout, silver bass and smallmouth bass are still all being caught from boat and shore but water temps are heating up so the trout won’t be around long.  The New York Power Authority stated that the fishing platform was closed down again on Monday due to high water levels. It will remain closed until water levels recede. Before you head down fishing there, you might want to call 796-0135 Ext. 45 to see if it’s open. White jigs were working for Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls earlier in the week when he caught silver bass, smallmouth and lakers. No problems at the Lewiston launch ramp but Fort Niagara is having some issues with the high water. The south ramp is closed. As waters continue to rise, the north ramp could be closed soon, too.

Upper Niagara River

Upper Niagara River fishing action has been good for a mixed bag of fish the past week. Decent walleye have been caught along with bass and lake trout. Good numbers of lake trout are showing up as bass casters target catch and release smallmouth.

Fishing Report: Orleans County, NY

  • Today is Wednesday – May 17, 2017
  • Brown Trout Action is Hot
  • Lake Alice Bite Coming Around Now
  • Lake Ontario Consumed Captain’s Cove Tackle Shop

The next few days will have temperatures in the 80’s and then drop back to more seasonal temperatures.

Fishing on Lake Ontario has been up and down, but more up than down.

In close, brown trout seem to be the catch, while out just a little deeper it is a mixture of lake trout near the bottom in 80 feet of water, and then Coho salmon and Chinooks in the upper portions.

I have one report of a 22-pound Atlantic salmon being taken a few days ago.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak,” the Perch bite has been fairly consistent, as well as some early bass action.  Remember that the bass season doesn’t open until the third Saturday in June, so for now it’s catch and release.

On Lake Alice, fishing is picking up with catches of Rock Bass, Perch, Bluegills and Crappie all being taken, even though the lake is still slightly high and dirty.

I know that many ports are in rough shape due to the high-water levels, but all of the marinas within Orleans County have been putting in overtime raising their docks and are open and ready to offer the full service that you have come to expect from them.

In short, the open sign is lit for all boaters and fishermen alike.

Captain’s Cove has lost their tackle shop at the bottom of the hill, but fear not, the new shop at the top of the hill will be open in the next few weeks.

Last Sunday, Bald Eagle Marina hosted the LOC Spring Derby Awards Ceremony which was well attended.  If you get a chance, visit them to see what a great job they have done bringing that facility up to date with all services available.

Speaking of Bald Eagle Marina, with their opening again, the Oak Orchard Open has changed their name to Orleans County Open to include Bald Eagle Marina.

You will now have the choice of fishing out of either port in Orleans County for this great event, which takes place on June 10th and 11th this year.

Also, the Condor Derby will take place on June 9th.

It’s amazing what can be done when a community works together towards a common goal.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal for October 13, 2016

The cold temperatures and frost of Monday night and Tuesday morning should go a long way in convincing salmon that it’s spawning time. Even though daytime temperatures will be back up in the 70’s this week, tributary temperatures are definitely heading in the right direction.

Some solid reports have Brown trout and even some Atlantic salmon entering the mix. The best action is still occurring around the mouths of the tributaries and from small boats working the shoreline.

There are fish all the way up to the dam on Oak Orchard, but not as heavy as you would expect at this time of year.

Basically it seems that everything is about two weeks behind where you would expect it to be. A good rain would go a long way towards bringing things back to something close to being normal.

On Lake Alice the cooler temperatures have moved many of the species back to the weed beds around the lake. Bluegill and Crappie are still being taken from the Waterport Bridge but not in the numbers they were a week ago.

Don’t lose out on some great fishing, food, friends and prizes at the St. Mary’s Archer’s Club Catch and Release Derby which will be held on October 19th to the 21st this year. It is truly one of the great events of the fall fishing season.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, October 7, 2016

Right now, King Salmon are on the angler menu in Niagara County, New York. Wet Net Charters Photo

Lake Ontario and Trib’s

A few fish are still being caught off the Olcott piers the last couple of nights on the lake side of the piers. While spoons are normal hardware for casting there, it was Rattletraps that made the difference of late. Try skein under a float, too. A few slugs of salmon made it up into the harbor but no further than that according to reports. A few browns at the dam but only early in the morning at first light. Hopefully this rain that is in the forecast for Saturday will trigger some sort of a run in the creek at 18 Mile.

Over in Wilson Harbor, there has been a good bite on northern pike. Try casting spinnerbaits. Wilson Pier is a good spot for browns, too, if we get some water flow coming out of the creek. Maybe this weekend.

If you want to make it out into the lake for some trolling action, the better bite has been out deep for a mix of immature kings and some trout. Spoons are the way to go. Anchoring up at the pier heads in Olcott is another option to try and cast for kings.

Lake trout season ended on Sept. 30.

Lower Niagara River –

Rob Morrison of Ashtabula, Ohio shows off a nice king in Devil’s Hole while fishing with Capt. Ernie Calandrelli of Lewiston.

The kings finally showed up in Devil’s Hole a bit more frequently. Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Lewiston is reporting a minimum of five kings every trip out. Secret to his success if the “magic eggs” that have been cured by his wife, Lisa at Creek Road Bait and Tackle. He uses three-way rigs and bounces bottom to take his fish. According to him he is out-fishing everyone!

The NYPA Fishing Platform is still one of the best spots for a king salmon. Casting spoons, spinners or rattle baits can catch fish, but the best is yet to come. Other shore anglers have been using spoons, spinners and jigs to take a mix of fish, including bass and walleye. Try up toward the Whirlpool area, too.

Some action along Artpark on mixed species. River water temp was down to the 60’s.

Bass fishing continues to be spotty. Some days are better than others.

The south launch ramp at Fort Niagara is closed as of Oct. 3 for some work on the ramp, shoreline and the dock.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal – Bass Action

Bass action should start to pick up as water temps start to cool down. Ditto for musky action.

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!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal for October 6, 2016

The cooler temperatures of the past few days have the salmon population slowly moving towards their spawning grounds. The biggest concentration of salmon on the “Oak” seems to be by the deep hole at the bridges area.

Later this week we will be experiencing even more cool down which should speed up the pre-spawn movement.

Water levels on all of the tributaries within Orleans County are at slightly below levels to low levels for this time of year. With no great amount of precipitation in the near future these levels should remain.

On Lake Alice, Bluegills are still being taken by the Waterport Bridge and now some Crappie are starting to show up. Bass are becoming more active and should increase in activity as temperatures cool down.

Don’t miss out on some great fishing, food, friends and prizes at the St. Mary’s Archer’s Club Catch and Release Derby which will be held on October 19th to the 21st this year. It is truly one of the great events of the fall fishing season. Visit the weigh station, Narby’s Superette – to sign up, see Sharon Narburgh, 1292 Oak Orchard Rd. (RTE 98), Kent, NY 14477, or call 585-682-4624.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, September 30, 2016

fishreport9_30a

Lake Ontario and Trib’s

A call from Chuck Booker of Amherst reported that there were a few fish caught off the Olcott piers the last couple of nights on the lake side of the piers. While spoons are normal hardware for casting there, it was Rattletraps that made the difference and they produced two kings and a steelhead for Ricardo Davila!

A few slugs of salmon made it up into the harbor, but no further than that according to reports. A few browns at the dam. Hopefully this rain that is in the forecast will trigger some sort of a run in the creek at 18 Mile.

Don’t forget that the King of the Creek salmon contest is being run by “All in the Same Boat Tackle” will run to Nov. 6. There is a boat and a shore category. Call 716-638-4158 for more info.

fishreport9_30b

Over in Wilson Harbor, there has been a good bite on northern pike according to Pastors Dave Emmons and Nate Hlad of Newfane. Try casting spinnerbaits. Wilson Pier is a good spot for browns, too.

If you want to make it out into the lake for some trolling action, the better bite has been out deep for a mix of immature kings and some trout. Spoons are the way to go. Anchoring up at the pier heads in Olcott is another option to try and cast for kings. Lake trout season ends tomorrow until the end of the year.

Lower Niagara River –

Anxious anglers are waiting in force to try and catch king salmon. Capt. Steve Drabczyk reports that he caught three kings Tuesday in Devil’s Hole – the best we’ve heard so far from boaters. Then some Facebook posts went up and Capt. Ernie Calandrelli reported a five for nine day on kings on Wednesday, so it appears to be picking up a little bit. The rain is certainly helping. Treated egg skein off three way rigs is best for the boaters.

The NYPA Fishing Platform is still one of the hotspots for your best chance for a king salmon. Casting spoons, spinners or rattle baits can catch fish, but the best is yet to come. Other shore anglers have been using spoons, spinners and jigs to take a mix of fish, including bass and walleye. River water temp was down to the 60’s.

Bass fishing continues to be spotty. Some days are better than others. Look for the active fish by moving around the river and the green can at the mouth. Live bait like shiners or crabs will work; tubes, too.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal – Bass Action

Bass action should start to pick up as water temps start to cool down. Ditto for musky action. The next Niagara Musky Assn. meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 4 at the Eldridge Club, 17 Broad St., Tonawanda starting at 7 pm.

In addition to some reports on the local fishing action, guest speaker will be Jonah Withers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service talking about the acoustic telemetry project involving lake sturgeon in Buffalo Harbor.

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!

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, September 23, 2016

NHF Days are This Weekend!

Lake Ontario and Trib’s

On the eve of National Hunting and Fishing Day activities for this weekend, it looks like there will be plenty of things going on to see and do.

If you want to wet a line, the Niagara Bar is still a place to be for a salmon bonanza … if the forecasted northeast wind doesn’t do too much damage to the waters. It looks like a beautiful weekend otherwise and the Niagara Bar is holding mature kings getting ready to run up the Niagara … we hope!

Target the red can at the drop off to take your salmon, using flasher-fly, cut bait or spoons. J-plugs will also work for you. Just get your baits into the fish zone using downriggers, dipsy divers, lead core line – whatever it takes.

Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters took his 20-foot Lund out to the drop and used dipsy divers to take five nice kings by employing spin doctors and flies behind his dipsy divers. It proved to be much better than trying to drift for kings in Devil’s Hole, trying to satisfy customers looking to catch a salmon.

Over in Wilson and Olcott, brown trout are starting to show up in small numbers. Ditto for kings in Olcott. A small slug of salmon showed up in the harbor, but not at the dam yet. There are a few fish around there, but nothing to write home about.

Bass fishing has been better.

Don’t forget that the King of the Creek salmon contest is being run by All in the Same Boat Tackle from Sept. 23 to Nov. 6. There is a boat and a shore category. Call 638-4158 for more info.

There was a good turnout at the special DEC meeting held in Lockport last Monday. For a position paper on this, check out www.dec.ny.gov. Make your comments by Sept. 30 at fwfishlo@dec.ny.gov.

Lower Niagara River –

Anxious anglers are waiting in force to try and catch these king salmon in the last stages of their lives. The NYPA Fishing Platform is one of the hotspots for your best chance for a king salmon. Casting spoons, spinners or crankbaits can catch fish, but the best is yet to come. Other shore anglers have been using spoons, spinners and jigs to take a mix of fish, including bass and walleye.

River water is still 74 degrees.

Bass fishing has been spotty. Some days are better than others. Look for the active fish by moving around the river and the green can at the mouth. Live bait like shiners will work; tubes and Ned rigs will catch some fish, too.

With the NYPA Wildlife Festival going on Sept. 24-25, co-sponsored by the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs, remember that there’s also a kids fishing contest that’s part of the Festival. Just catch a fish in Niagara County and bring it to the scales at the NRAA fishing pond. Lots to see and do from 10 am to 5 pm each day. It’s free and a great family activity.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal – Bass Action

A few musky were active the past week, but you really might want to wait until water temperatures come down a bit more before you start putting any heavy pressure on them. Ryan Shea of the Brookdog Fishing Company had been focusing on bass this week, but he still had a couple follows on his fly while casting the upper river areas.

Bass action continues to be fair to good, depending on the day and the conditions.

Be careful around the Canadian boundary and don’t venture across that line without calling in. Abide by the bait regulations, too.

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!

 

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, September 16, 2016

Bass, King Salmon, Walleye News

Ed Shannon shows up a 30-plus pound Niagara Bar king caught on Kingfisher Charters.

Lake Ontario and Trib’s

An important meeting is being held this Monday, September 19, at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, starting at 6:30 pm. If you are a Lake Ontario drifter, troller or tributary fisherman, you’ll want to attend this meeting. Members of DEC will be discussing what their proposed plans are for 2017 when it comes to salmon and trout stocking, based on recent forage base assessments. This is your opportunity to listen to the proposal and voice your concerns.

On September 23, the King of the Creek salmon contest – from both boat and shore – is being run by All in the Same Boat Tackle, 2911 Lockport-Olcott Road, Newfane, through November 6. Call 716-638-4158 for more info or visit www.abstackle.com.

Speaking of salmon, one of the hottest spots has been the Niagara Bar at the drop-off. Salmon are stacked up there like you wouldn’t believe. Captain Mike Johannes of On the Rocks Charters out of Wilson, went 15 for 18 matures last Saturday on the Niagara Bar before the wind picked up and cut the day short. Fish were in 80 to 200 feet of water down 50 to 80 feet on wire divers set on 3 out 160 to 180. Out of the 15 boated, 14 were caught on meat behind large flashers and Twinkie rigs. His best flasher was a white King’s Flasher. He also caught some on white/green Bechhold flashers. When running the larger flashers, a speed of 2.2 to 2.4 is best. They were marking a lot of fish and quite a bit of bait when they were there.

Olcott also has a fair number of fish hanging inside of 80 feet of water according to Wes Walker at the Slippery Sinker. Plugs, cut bait and flasher-fly are working there for matures. They are starting to pick up a few off the piers and some browns, too. Browns off the piers in Wilson, as well, with spoons. Both harbors have a mix of warm water fish. A few trout and salmon have been caught at the dam, but mostly warm water fish have been hanging around.

Lower Niagara River – Walleye Action

Ray Van Horn with lower river smallie with fishing with First Choice Charters.

Salmon numbers are slowly starting to increase for the shore guys. A few have been caught on spoons; some have been caught on spinners. Rattlebaits will also work. NYPA Platform casters are out-producing the boaters right now as far as salmon in the river. That said, the boaters are still doing well on bass and walleye – especially downriver and on the bar. Worm harnesses for the walleye; tubes and live bait for the bass. Captain Randy Lingenfelter reports that fishing has been good with soft baits and crayfish if you still can find them. B.A.S.S. pro, Ray Van Horn, fished on his boat recently, throwing Strike King Soft Baits doing very well. Baby Rage Craw in three inch. They were catching 25 to 30 fish a day. One of his charters caught a 6.5 lb. smallie last week. Several local media were in town last weekend and managed to get some decent smallmouth bass.

The New York Power Authority’s Wildlife Festival, held at the Visitor Center, 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston will be September 24 and 25 from 10 am to 5 pm both days. Everything is free! This is the area’s version of National Hunting and fishing day and the event is co-sponsored by the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs. Get ready to have a great weekend!

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal – Bass Action

Bass are still the best thing to go after with tubes, spinnerbaits or live bait like crayfish and shiners, fished off three-way rigs. Know where you are at all times in the river because there are severe restrictions in Canadian waters – on bait and on calling in before you venture across the line, or is it as you cross the line, or is it when you are in Canadian waters. Not quite sure because we’ve been getting different answers from different people.

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!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice for September 15, 2016

The weather for the next week or so seems to have higher than normal daytime temperatures and cooler than normal night time temperatures, or at least that is what the weathermen say.

There doesn’t seem to be much action on our portion of Lake Ontario, but the pier fishermen are starting to get some hook-ups. With the shorter days and longer nights water temperatures should start dropping towards that magic number to signal the start of the spawning migration for trout and salmon. With September also half gone, tributary fishermen are preparing for what should be a great tributary season.

This is also the time of year when many fishermen’s minds and hearts start turning towards hunting season.

On Lake Alice there has been an upswing in the Bluegill catch rate and also the sizes of the catch especially around the Waterport Bridge area. Also the bass fishing productivity has increased due to some cooler water temperatures.

Please remember that the St. Mary’s Archers Club Catch and Release Tournament will be held from October 19th to the 21st this year. It’s a great time for some great competition, fantastic food and some of the finest tributary fishing to be found anywhere.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice for September 8, 2016

As the hot weather continues the fish occupying those inside waters remain very elusive. Most reports are of those fish diving to the bottom as boats pass by them. The offshore fishing seems to be holding up very well beyond the 28 line with a good mixed bag of fish in all year classes.

With the last of the Lake Ontario Derbies and Tournaments over for this year, the activity on the big lake will start dwindling as that portion of our fishery takes a rest over the fall and winter.

With the waters of Lake Alice still registering in the 80’s, tributary fishing is still a ways off yet. Lake Alice fishing seems to be best for Bluegill around the Waterport Bridge area and then Bass in all of their deep water locations.

Rain today and into tomorrow should help to drop water temperatures slightly, but not enough to make significant change in the present conditions.

There is a slight cool down coming next week, but I’m not sure that it will change conditions that much.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, September 2, 2016

Contest Winners, Methods, Lures

Lake Ontario and Trib’s

Scott Foster (left) of N. Tonawanda, NY caught a nice 15 lb 13 oz Brown. His father, Earl Foster (right) of Wilson, NY did a little better with a 17 lb 4 oz Brown that took over the lead in that division. Both fish were caught on Bay Rat Stickbaits and weighed in at Wilson Boatyard Marina. It was a great fishing day for the Fosters! Photo LOC Derby.

The LOC Derby is starting to wind down, ending on Labor Day. Grand prize leader for the $25,000 is still the 33 pound, 13 ounce King Salmon weighed in by Richard Clark. To make the leader board, you need a fish better than 30 pounds, 3 ounces! There’s a new brown trout leader out of Wilson as of this week. Earl and Scott Foster of Wilson, a father-son fishing team, were fishing out their home port trolling Bay Rat lures when they scored on two dandies – a 17 pound, 4 ounce fish for Earl and a 15 pound, 13 ounce fish for Scott. Bigger fish are still out there! Go to www.loc.org for details.

Salmon are stacked up on the Niagara Bar right now according to Captain Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown. Flasher-fly, cut bait, plugs and spoons will all catch fish. The same will work for you off Olcott where you have the option to target staging fish in 30 to 120 feet of water or go deep for a mixed back of salmon and trout. Same baits mentioned earlier will work in close; primarily spoons offshore. After recent rains jacked the CFS in 18 Mile Creek to 175, we did see a few pier casters hook up with salmon at night by casting Cleo’s out into the lake. A few browns are being reported, too. The best is yet to come.

Another successful Fish Odyssey is in the books! Grand prize winner in the Adult Division was Matt Dunn of Newfane with his 31 pound, 5 oz. pound salmon. In addition to his $4,000 Grand Prize check, he also won $500 from the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association for the largest salmon caught by a LOTSA member and $100 for big salmon of the day. Dunn won the Grand Prize in the drawing at the awards ceremony at the Newfane Town Hall. Other divisional winners were Dennis Stabler of Lockport with a 17 pound brown trout; Patrick Barber of Niagara Falls with a 17 pound, 5 ounce lake trout; Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston with a 25 pound, 10 ounce carp; Dave Muir of North Tonawanda with a 6 pound, six ounce smallmouth bass; and Steve Majka with a 12 pound, 10 ounce walleye. Some outstanding catches came to the scales, a tribute to the local fishery. In the Junior Division, it was 5 year old Alyssa McGrath of Niagara Falls winning the Grand Prize with a 10 ounce panfish. She won a $100 Cabela’s gift card, a nice plaque, a rod and reel and tackle box.

Other winners in their respective divisions were: Alex Heath of Sanborn with a 26 pound, 13 ounce salmon; RayLee Peterson of Home, PA with a 9 pound brown trout; Abigail McGrath of Niagara Falls with a 4 pound, 13 ounce smallmouth bass; Matthew Kelsey of Attica with a 13 pound, 7 ounce carp; and Ethan Brolinski of Lewiston with an 8 pound, 7 ounce walleye. Take time to remember the person that we honored this year – the late, great Jeremiah Heffernan, a local charter captain who did much to promote the local fishery.

Lower Niagara River – Walleye Action

The walleye bite has been pretty consistent for some; not for others. In the Niagara River Anglers Associations Lower River Walleye Contest, some 25 contestants were vying for some decent cash prizes. In the end it was Steve Majka who had the hot hand with two fish totaling 13.86 pounds. Majka also caught the big walleye in the Fish Odyssey at 12 pounds, 10 ounces at the mouth of the river, power trolling an orange and gold worm harness to take his biggest walleye ever.

Hook N Look has taken fishing and scuba diving to provide new levels of learning and outreach to anglers on the Outdoor Channel. Photo Credit: http://www.hooknlook.com/

Back to the NRAA event, Mike Fox of Lewiston reeled in 12.07 pounds of walleye for second place; third place went to Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Lewiston with 11.87 pounds. Big fish for the contest went to Charlie Hoy with an 8.07 pound ‘eye. More than $1,000 in prizes were given out to the winning anglers. We mentioned Nick Calandrelli’s 25 pound, 10 ounce carp and that was caught in the lower river too, while fishing in the NRAA contest with a worm harness. It was caught on the Jackson Drift.

Bass fishing on the Bar has been spotty, but the lower river has been pretty good. Kim Stricker of Hook ‘n Look TV Show on the Outdoor Channel was on the water Tuesday to take some dandy smallies around Lewiston and film a show that will air in February. The cool thing about the show is that it includes underwater footage that takes you into the world of the fish and pinpoint specific holding areas. They will also talk about the importance of current.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal – Bass Action

Bass – both smallmouth and largemouth – are available for boaters and shore-casters. Finding holding areas like flats or deep holes will be key to success. If you do venture into Canadian waters, make sure you call in to notify the Canadian authorities of your intentions to fish. Worms are the only live bait you can use and they can NOT be in dirt. It’s a pretty painless process, but they do mean business if you violate the rules over there. Sheepshead seem to be everywhere, from both boat and shore. Softshell crabs are the best bait for those, but they have also been hitting tubes

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!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal for September 1, 2016

Some rain today and the more moderate temperatures predicted for the rest of the week should help create better fishing conditions well into next week.

Lake Ontario is slowly setting up for the migration of Chinook salmon preparing for their spawning runs. Reports have the action slowly picking up in the inside waters especially around the 80 feet of water area. It’s not hot and heavy yet but it is increasing.

Labor Day signals the end of the Fall LOC Derby which means that there’s still time to enter and catch your share of the great cash prizes that are up for grabs.

Also this Sunday is the final King of the Oak Derby for this year.

This is also the time of year that the tributary fishermen have been waiting for. Hope that you all have tied all your flies, repaired that leak in your waders and checked rods, reels and line for those last minute repairs.

On Lake Alice, around the Waterport Bridge, the bite seems to be mainly Bluegill right now. On the rest of Lake Alice it seems to be Rock bass and Smallmouth bass, especially around the brush piles.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, August 19, 2016

10 year old Adam Flachbart of Fairview Park, Ohio, fishing with his dad, landed this 14 lb 5 oz Brown Trout while casting a Yo-Zuri crankbait from the Olcott Pier in Niagara County, New York. The youngster won the youth award for that species in the Summer LOC Derby. Picture courtesy of LOC Derby

Lake Ontario – King Salmon & Steelhead Action

It will be a busy weekend in Wilson, Olcott and the Fort Niagara areas. It happens when the calendar aligns properly – three different fishing derbies on the same weekend, giving you nearly $100,000 in cash and prizes – if you get into all three contests.

Just another friendly reminder that you have to be in it to win it and the odds are better for these contests than they are for the state lottery!

Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker sends word that the mature king salmon are starting to stage off Olcott in 50 to 100 feet of water as they start to darken up color-wise. Any lure that will get them to strike out of aggression – J-plugs, cut bait and flashers, flasher-fly rigs, or magnum spoons – will work on any given day. This is a time when you can catch them outside of the preferred temperature zones, too.

Out deep, a mix of immature salmon, the occasional mature and steelhead will show up in the top 60-70 feet of water over 350 to 500 foot depths. Standard or super slim sized spoons are the preferred trolling bait.

Perch and rock bass are being caught in the harbors at Wilson and Olcott. Largemouth, smallmouth and pike are also possibilities. Over in Wilson at the state park, some work around the launch ramp should be completed by Friday for the LOC Derby, but it might take an extra day or two so be prepared for a secondary option for launching.

Eighteenmile Creek has good water flow after recent rains. It was 87 cfs on Wednesday morning, blowing out duck weed and triggering some fish to hit.

First up on the contest calendar is the Orleans County Rotary Derby, currently running through August 21. Yes, it ends this Sunday. The current leader for the Grand Prize is a 30 pound, 14 ounce king salmon reeled in by Julie Schaeffer of Sligo, Pennsylvania – well within reach. Top steelhead is a 14 pound, 1 ounce fish caught by Robert Griffith of Akron, Ohio. Jessie Pepper of Rochester has the top lake trout with 16 pounds, 12 ounces and Patrick Pullinzi of Hamlin is the leading brown trout catcher at 15 pounds, 7 ounces. The Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby – the Fall Return of the King event that runs for 18 days – starts on August 19 and will be offering up over $70,000 in cash and prizes including $25,000 for the largest salmon weighed in. Go to www.loc.org for details.

The third event kicks off on Saturday, August 20 – the 40th Annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby honoring the late, great Capt. Jeremiah Heffernan. The prize structure has been increased for this year’s history-making contest, including $4,000 for the Grand Prize. There are categories for salmon, smallmouth bass, walleye, carp and trout. The winning catches in each of those categories will be placed into a hat at the Captain’s meeting in Newfane. The winning pick earns the Grand Prize. Last year it was young Nick Perri, winner of the Brown Trout Division winning the top prize. The best part of the Odyssey is that kids fish for free in a special Youth Division. Lots of great prizes will be handed out – whether you catch a fish or not! Sign up at www.fishodyssey.net or at any of the registration outlets. Get out there and have some fishing fun.

Also on Friday, August 19, is the inaugural “Reelin’ for a Cure” event out of Olcott.

Lower Niagara River – Walleye Action

Walleye action has increased a bit, just in time for the NRAA walleye contest on Sunday. Worm harnesses or yellow sally flies rigged with a spinner and a worm, fished off three way rigs is the best approach. Mike Heylek and the Niagara River Anglers Association will be holding the annual lower Niagara River walleye contest on August 21. There will be a guaranteed $500 prize structure no matter how many people are in – $250 for first; $150 for second; $100 for third. 100 percent cash pay back from the $20 entry fee and $5 big fish category. Best two fish, total weight. Scales will be open all day at the Lewiston Landing until 2 pm. The picnic and awards will also be at the pavilion at Lewiston Landing – pizza and wings from Mr. B’s. You can check the NRAA website (www.niagarariveranglers.com) and the Facebook page Niagara River Anglers for details, or stop in at Creek Road Bait and Tackle. If you fish in the contest, make sure you are registered for the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby set for August 20-28. Just ask John Walaczak! Bass action has also picked up a bit, but you do have to work for them. Crayfish and shiners top the list of preferred baits. Expect to catch a few sheepshead or silver bass, too.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal – Bass Action

Bass is still the primary focus for drifters and casters with live bait working the best, fishing off three way rigs for drifters. Casters are using tubes, drop shot rigs or stickbaits – the same artificial lures that worked for the fishing pros a few weeks ago. Strawberry Island is always a good spot to start, at the head of the island or just east of the island. In the west river, bass action can be good, but remember that is mostly Canadian waters – follow the rules. The head of the river in the current is also a good spot to target bass and the occasional walleye. Sheepshead are showing up regularly.

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!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal for August 18, 2016

Last night we had a wild wind come through and really rile up the lake. Reports this morning are that things are starting off slow and temperature is down below 100 feet out at the 30 plus line. As short as the wind event was, I would have to believe that the lake should settle out rather quickly today.

Some great fish have been entered in the Orleans County Rotary Derby which ends this Sunday August 21st.

Also the Greater Niagara 40th Annual Fish Odyssey runs from August 20th to the 28th this year.

And of course let’s not forget the Fall LOC Derby running from August 19th through September 8th.

On the inland waters of Orleans County, the warmer weather has slowed things down a bit but the cooler temperatures, well kinda cooler, and the rains should help to pick that fishery up again.

Whether it’s on the Erie Canal, some of the smaller lakes and ponds or on the mighty Lake Ontario, help further our youth interest in the great outdoors by taking the time to take a kid fishing.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, August 12, 2016

Senator Thomas O’Mara with his 15 year-old son, Thomas, fishing out of Olcott Harbor with Captain Bob Cinelli, found the secret to catching lots of steelhead in Lake Ontario.

Lake Ontario – King Salmon & Steelhead Action

Captain Tim Sylvester of North Tonawanda sends word he had a good trip Tuesday with local anglers Lee Bolsover, Mike Hanowski , Mark Clark , Eric Thursom and Ryan Gebphart, all from North Tonawanda. Ryan had just landed a 21 pound King off the port rigger, 55 feet down, using a mag NBK spoon when they put out a 300 foot copper.

We were fishing the top 60 feet of water in 300-400 feet of water west of Olcott with a brown on black spoon when it tore out of the release. Clark grabbed the rod, his first time fishing Lake Ontario. It took 25 minutes to get it into the boat – a 31 pound King! Of course, they would be leading the Orleans County Fishing Derby had they been entered. They ended up with a nice mix of kings and steelhead, boating 9 fish for the morning trip.

Wednesday, it was Captain Bob Cinelli of Newfane hosting Senators Rob Ortt and Thomas O’Mara, as well as O’Mara’s son Thomas – showing off. Fish are spread out right now after the recent blow and they picked salmon and trout from 5 miles out to 13 miles out using all spoons – a mix of Wonderbread, Spooks and some Silver Streaks with a green stripe through it. None were out of the package as they were all doctored up to a personal preference. They were fishing the top 65 feet of water using downriggers and copper lines from 200 to 350 feet back. Mostly steelhead were caught.

The other option for anglers was inside of 160 feet of water for mature kings, Captain Vince Pierleoni of Newfane was targeting big fish early in the morning and they did turn a nice 28 pounder using flasher and cut bait. They were not in the Orleans County derby either!

Tim Sylvester with Mark Clark (right) with 31 pound king.

After getting blown off a tournament at the eastern end of the lake, Captain Pete Alex and Vision Quest launched at Wilson (another advantage being west) and fished from noon until 6 pm on Sunday. They took 21 bites landing a nice bunch of kings and steelhead straight north of Wilson. They worked the suspended bait pods and targeted 50’-75’ down. Hot spoons were DW Carmel Dolphin, Martell (rocked), and Get-R-Dun. They did have some meat mixed in. Kings were a mixed class with biggest about 22 pounds.

The Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby will be held August 19 to September 5. A $25,000 check is up for grabs for the largest salmon caught. Check out www.loc.org for details. On August 19, “Reelin’ For-A-Cure” is a team ladies fishing event with proceeds going for cancer. Contact Stephanie Pierleoni at 481-6388 for details.

Lower Niagara River – Walleye Action

Walleye action is finally starting to pick up a bit according to Captain Arnie Jonathan of Lockport. He managed to catch a few fish last Sunday during the Independent Living Bass Contest. He was fishing with Doug Usiak and Jeff Riefensnyder. Worm harnesses fished off three way rigs at Stella worked best. The winner had five walleye registered. Some bass were caught too, but bass fishing continues to be tough overall.

August 20th kicks off the 40th Annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby for Niagara, Erie and Orleans counties. Six species categories and kids 15 and under fish for free. All the prizes have been increased for this landmark competition honoring the late Jeremiah Heffernan, a charter captain from North Tonawanda who passed away last fall. The Odyssey runs until August 28th. Check out www.fishodyssey.net for details.

The Niagara River Anglers Association will be hosting its annual walleye contest on the lower Niagara River August 21st to help round out the month of action. This is a change from the original announcement. Go to www.niagarariveranglers.com or stop in at Creek Road Bait and Tackle for additional details.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal – Bass Action

Bass fishing continues to be decent around the upper river. Live bait, like crayfish and shiners, are your best bet. Canadian waters have been the most productive in the west section of river and around Strawberry Island. If you do go into Canadian waters, make sure you call in to Canada Border Services and make sure you know what bait is allowed.

Attention all you kids out there: The 3rd Annual Free “End of Summer” Kids fishing contest will be held at Wide Waters Marina, Lockport, on the Erie Canal, Saturday, August 13 from 10 am to 2 pm. Get out there and have some fun!

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!

Beginner’s Luck Wins Again!

Summer Lake Ontario Fish Derby Shares Big Cash

beginnersluckFor Chad Fenstermaker of Warren, Ohio, this was a maiden voyage on Lake Ontario out of Olcott, fishing with Capt. Mitch Shipman of Signature Charters. Little did he realize he was about to make derby history by setting the pace in the 7th Annual Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Summer Derby held July 1-31, 2016 – winning the $10,000 Grand Prize by reeling in a 31 pound, 7 ounce Chinook salmon the final weekend of the contest. They also won the $1,000 weekly salmon prize.

It started Friday morning, July 29. Weather was a bit rough but they decided to head out in Shipman’s 21-foot 2010 Ranger 620 named Signature Charters about 10 am. At around 12:30 pm, pulling a Raspberry Shadow Moonshine spoon 90 feet back on a Dipsey-Diver set on No. 2 over 205 feet of water somewhere north of Wilson off Niagara County, the big fish hit.

“It took out over 500 feet of line when we hooked the winner,” said Fenstermaker, reeling in his first and biggest salmon ever. He told the crowd at Captain Jack’s in Sodus Point that he will split the Grand Prize with Captain Mitch. Fenstermaker is a signal maintenance employee for Norfolk Southern Railroad and is also in the Air Force Reserves. His share of the money will probably go for a honeymoon. He was married to his wife Rachel last November and they’ve not had that special celebratory trip yet. Remember Chad, Niagara Falls is the honeymoon capital – a perfect place after your Niagara USA king!

First place in the Salmon Division was Larry Wills of Lewiston, NY with a 30 pound, 15 ounce king salmon reeled in on July 8. The fish held up in the race for Grand Prize for three weeks before the last weekend heroics. Fishing with his brother-in-law Don Stephenson and Timothy Wills aboard Wills’ 24-foot Penn Yan “Reel Therapy,” they made a last minute decision to take off from work late in the day and meet at the Wilson launch ramp. “You need a pass in the derby if you want to get on the boat,” said Wills at the awards gathering. “It was my biggest salmon ever and it took about 40 minutes to bring to the net.” They were fishing straight out from Wilson 40 feet down over 400 feet of water with a purple colored Warrior spoon off the downrigger, hooking the fish at 6:30 pm. They won $1,000 for first place plus $1,000 for the weekly salmon prize.

Second place salmon winner was Doug French of Webster, NY with a 30 pound, 3 ounce king salmon he caught aboard the 31 foot Baha named “Missdemeanor.” He was fishing with his brother Matt; his father, Bob; and friend Tom Lombardozzi in the Salmon Creek Shootout on July 23. They were fishing west of Sandy Creek in 200 feet of water, using a meat rig that was composed of a Minon Twinkie in Mirage color and cut bait behind a wire dipsy. It was also big fish for the Shootout. French won $400 for second place in the LOC Salmon Division plus $1,000 for the weekly salmon prize.

Top Youth salmon catcher was Nicolas Curtiss of Overland Park, Kansas with a 28 pound, 5 ounce fish reeled in off Olcott while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni and Thrillseeker on a spin doctor and A-Tom-Mik fly. He placed 13th overall in the division. John Powell of Niagara Falls, NY weighed in the largest salmon by a Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association member to win an extra $500 in addition to his 11th place winnings. The fish checked in at 28 pounds, 8 ounces and was caught out of Wilson. It was interesting to note that the 20th place salmon weighed in at 27 pounds, 7 ounces.

In the Brown Trout Division, Guy Witkiewitz of Ontario, NY set the pace by reeling in a personal best 18 pound, 14 ounce brownie to win the $1,000 first place prize and the $250 weekly prize. “We were fishing east of Irondequoit Bay on July 28 at 10:30 am when the fish hit,” said Witkiewitz. He was fishing with Capt. Andy Sykut aboard Andy’s 31-foot Tiara aptly named “Candy” for his Andy’s Candy business. Trolling an Oscar Moonshine spoon behind a dipsy diver back 200 feet over 80 feet of water, the duo teamed to net the fish successfully and get it to Mitchel’s Bait and Tackle right away. They have been fishing derbies since 1975.

Second place Brown Trout went to Thomas Gies of Ann Arbor, Michigan with a 17 pound, 6 ounce. He caught the fish on July 3 and it held up almost the entire derby. Fishing with Capt. Dan Evans of Lone Wolf Fishing Charters out of Wilson, they were trolling over 220 feet of water – an unusual place for a big brown – especially since they had been catching salmon. Gies’ personal-best brown bit an Ice Shadow Moonshine spoon 45 feet down. They were fishing out of Evans’ 32 foot Luhrs that sports the name “Lone Wolf.”

Top Youth Brown also came in through some unique circumstances. Adam Flachbart of Fairview Park, Ohio was casting off the pier in Olcott with his dad when a 14 pound, 5 ounce trout grabbed hold of his Yo-Zuri crankbait – “a color they don’t make any more.” While the fish didn’t make the Top 20, he still received a nice trophy for his efforts.

In the Lake Trout Division, the winning catch this time around came from Henderson Harbor as the east and the west continue to have a slug-fest from derby to derby. Ephraim Burt of Watertown was fishing with angling buddies Chuck Trump and Joe Sabadish took the lead on July 16 and never looked back when they weighed in a 24 pound, 3 ounce laker. They caught the fish in 130 feet of water right on the bottom, using a downrigger to get the green spin-n-glow into the fish zone. They caught the fish at 7:30 am out of a 25-foot Chapparal named “Ramblin’ Rose.” The fishing team also connected with 4th place when Trump reeled in a 20 pound, 9 ounce fish; and 6th place when Sabadish weighed in a 19 pound, 13 ounce lake trout.

Second place laker went to the Western Basin when Bob Turton of Sanborn registered a 23 pound, 7 ounce fork-tail, a fish he caught with his father (Roger) on July 3 for the early lead. Fishing from their 19-foot Crestliner named “RT and Son,” they were trolling the Niagara Bar with a green Kwikfish lure in 80 feet of water. They caught the fish at 10:30 am and it took them about 15 minutes to reel the fish to the net. “Dad” also managed to place a fish on the board, a 19 pound – 1 ounce Lake Trout that finished in 12th.

Top Youth laker taker was Owen Herholtz of Fulton, NY with a 19 pound, 13 ounce Henderson Harbor fish caught on a flasher and fly on July 20. The fish placed 5th in the competition.

The Rainbow-Steelhead Division saw a tight battle for first. Wade Winch of North Tonawanda was crowned the overall champ by virtue of his 17 pound, 10 ounce personal best trout. He caught the winning fish with Pete Baio while fishing out of a 21 foot Cruisers named “S & K.” They were trolling off Wilson in 180 feet of water using a purple Dreamweaver spoon behind a slide diver set back 185 feet on a No. 2.5 setting. It hit their offering at 8 am. This was the first time the two anglers fished together.

Just two ounces back for second place was Alfonse Gouker of N. Versailles, Pennsylvania. He caught the personal best steelie out of Olcott while fishing with Dave Pasquale (Captain Dave) and John Cyprowski aboard Captain Dave’s 24 foot Imperial boat named “Way-In.” They were fishing straight out from Olcott in 230 feet of water using a spin doctor and green A-Tom-Mik fly behind a dipsy diver set on No. 3 and pulled behind 220 feet of line. They caught the fish at 9 am. Gouker was driving the boat when he jumped up to grab the rod.

Top Youth division catch was a 16 pound, three ounce fish winched in by Francis Holly IV of Wilson. It ended up in 4th place overall. Fishing straight out of Wilson with his father, Francis Holly III, they were in 90 feet of water, using downriggers 40 feet down with green Stinger spoons when they hit a double – a salmon and a steelhead. They boated both with a lot of luck. Francis III also placed 15th in the Steelhead Division with a 12 pound, 5 ounce fish. They were fishing out of their 21-foot Sea Nymph named “Blue.”

Next up on the derby calendar is the “Return of the King” Fall LOC Trout and Salmon contest slated for August 19 through Sept. 5. Over $66,000 in cash will be up for grabs including a $25,000 check for the largest salmon; daily prizes for largest salmon ($500), brown trout ($200) and steelhead ($200). For more information or to find a list of weigh stations and registration outlets, go to the derby website at www.loc.org.

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, July 29, 2016

John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda, targeting King Salmon between 4 Mile and 6 Mile in 120 to 140 feet of water, 50 to 80 feet down, hammered the fish using DW cut bait and DW Twinkie rigs.

Lake Ontario and Tributaries

Salmon and trout action continues to be very good for trollers. Karen Evarts at the Boat Doctor’s in Olcott reports limit catches by many of the charter captains.

One in particular was Captain Jim Gordon of the Hawg, has been doing excellent on a mix of kings and steelies anywhere from 100 to 400 feet of water, depending on the day and the winds. Sometimes he will fish a little bit west (as far as the red barn), sometimes a little bit east. Using a Hog Wild spin doctor and a Dreamweaver (DW) Kryptonite (green and gold) fly, he’ll run those set-ups off his divers 170 to 180 feet back on a 1.5 setting for salmon.

N and D Cutbait (AKA “The Good Stuff”) has also been working like dynamite. For steelhead, he’ll run the divers 100 to 150 feet back on a 3.5 setting with his best bait being a DW “Super-Slim Spook” spoon in black-white-silver. For his riggers, the Spooks are working there too, set down 50-60-70 feet. Fishing has been the best he’s seen in years.

A little closer to the Niagara River, John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda had another banner weekend targeting kings. Saturday it was between 4 Mile and 6 Mile in 120 to 140 feet of water, 50 to 80 feet down using DW cut bait and DW Twinkie rigs. They only ran four rods. Sunday it was 200 feet of water from 4 Mile to the Red Can on the Niagara Bar. The LOC Derby ends at 1 pm on July 31.

Where are you Niagara lake trout guys? There was a 32 pound salmon caught in Sodus last weekend that would have taken over the Grand Prize, but not everyone on the boat was registered!! Check out the leaderboard at www.loc.org.

Lower Niagara River

Bass and walleye are starting to pick up. No results on the NRAA bass contest, but we did hear from Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle that there’s been some action around the fort and the green can.

In addition, Yellow Sally rigs turned a few mid-sized walleye at the Stella drift this week, so that aspect of the fishery is starting up. The Whirlpool Stairs are open again for gorge trekkers. Get down there and catch some bass from shore on spoons and spinners.

The 11th Annual Bass Fishing Derby to benefit Independent Living of Niagara County is August 7 at Fort Niagara. Call 284-4131 Ext. 146 for more info.

The 40th Annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby is slated for August 20-28 this year and the prize structure has been increased to honor the four decades of derbies. Go to www.fishodyssey.net. Registration page is live and registrations are at most of the outlets.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal

Best action has been for sheepshead and silver bass around Ontario and Ferry Streets from shore. Smallmouth bass can be caught with regularity from boats. There is a restricted area off Strawberry Island on the inside due to nesting bald eagles.

In the Bassmaster Elite Bracket Tournament held on the Upper Niagara River last week, it was the legend – Kevin Van Dam of Michigan – winning his 23rd Bassmaster contest in a (first-time) unique catch-weigh-release live-time event. In the finals against Brett Hite of Arizona, a change in the rules saw the two bass catchers try to reel in as many fish as they possibly could in the time allotted. In the end, Van Dam hauled in 11 fish for a total weight of 20 pounds, 3 ounces. Hite tipped the scales with 13 pounds, 9 ounces on seven bass. KVD’s main baits were Strike King tubes, drop-shot rigs and jerk baits. There was a short controversy going on when KVD caught a fish out of the NYS boundaries, but that fish was disqualified, a ruling was made and the competition continued.

In the Erie Canal Fishing Derby, it was John Justice of North Tonawanda winning the boat, motor and trailer in the special drawing of winners at the Gasport Fire Hall last Sunday. Justice earned the right to be in the drawing by catching a 3.8 pound bass.

Other first place winners were Shawn West of Lockport with a 3-1/2 pound walleye; Albert Whaley of North Tonawanda with a 7.9 pound pike; Joe Cwiklinksi of Depew with a 2.9 pound bullhead; Patty Young of Kent with a 9.8 pound catfish; Craig Udell of Gasport with a 20 pound carp; and Ron Robel of Wheatfield with a 8.4 pound sheepshead.

In the youth division, Kyler Nowak of Lockport won the Grand Prize bike. He caught the top walleye at 1-1/4 pounds. Other youth division winners were Jakob Bensiger of North Carolina with a 3.1 pound bass; Tim Hughes of Amherst with a 4.9 pound pike; Emma Hermam of Medina with a 1-1/2 pound bullhead; Cassandra Sanney of Lockport with a 5.6 pound catfish; Ava Udell of Gasport with a 17-1/2 pound carp; and Colby Lawrence of Sanborn with a 3.3 pound sheepshead.

The Third Annual End of Summer Free Kids Fishing Derby is set for Wide Waters Marina in Lockport on August 13 from 10 am to 2 pm. Awards to follow at 2:30 pm.

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!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal for July 28, 2016

There are only a few more days until the end of the Summer LOC Derby this Sunday, but still enough time to enter and win one of the great cash prizes that are up for grabs.

Next up, will be the Orleans County Rotary Derby running from August 6th to the 26th this year.

On Lake Ontario the storms of earlier this week have shaken things up just a bit. Cold water moved to the inside waters causing fish to move out as far as the 30 line. Not sure just how long it will take for conditions to return to more normal, but I suspect it won’t be too long. Even with all of that some great catches are being reported from those outside waters.

On Lake Alice the Crappie bite seems to have slowed a bit fishing from the bridges, but the bass bit is as heavy as ever.

There is still an occasional Walleye being caught, but not with any consistency.

As always, the Erie Canal provides a broad spectrum of fish species for all to enjoy, offering a great place to enjoy all that the canal has to offer.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, July 22, 2016

Lake Ontario, Niagara River

Steve Liebler of Williamsville with his 30.02 Lake Ontario King Salmon

Lake Ontario and Tributaries

Action on Lake Ontario continues to be very good for trout and salmon trollers working out of the mouth of the river, Wilson and Olcott. In the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s King Salmon Tournament last weekend, Fisherman’s Daughter came away with the win for big fish – 27 pounds 14 ounces and the 3-2-3 win with 65.56 pounds for three fish! Impressive totals.

Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters has been doing great all week. Last weekend this was his hot set-up on the Niagara Bar. Morning bite was in 190-205 feet of water around the red can, 40-60 down and an all-spoon bite. Early afternoon bite was 140-150 feet of water, but closer to the Canadian line, 55-80 feet down with still mostly a spoon bite. Silver Streak lures were taking most bites. Afternoon/early evening bite was 100-150 feet of water on the ledge. Tried to turn a few but was never able to. He ended up by 4 mile. He couldn’t keep his spin doctor and A-Tom-Mik flies in the water. Afternoon matures all came on flies.

There has been a good mix of fish off Olcott 40 to 50 feet down over 80 to 100 foot depths. Spoons or flasher-fly rigs. Of course, you can also fish out deep over 300-plus feet of water for a mixed bag of salmon and steelies. Stephen Liebler of Williamsville reeled in a 30.02 pound salmon earlier in the week to take over the lead in the Salmon Division on a flasher-fly. Larry Wills of Lewiston is still leading for the Grand Prize with a 30 pound, 15 ounce fish. Wade Winch of North Tonawanda is still the top steelie catcher, but Alfonse Gouker of Pennsylvania got close Sunday with a 17 and a half pound steelhead weighed in at The Slippery Sinker. Bob Turton of Sanborn lost hold of the lake trout lead when Ephriam Burt weighed in a 24 pound, three ounce fish in the eastern basin around Henderson Harbor. First place brown is still 17.06 pound brown trout caught out of Wilson by Thomas Gies of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The derby continues to July 31 and the website to follow the action is www.loc.org.

Lower Niagara River

Moss is slowly starting to dissipate and bass are starting to cooperate a bit more. The Niagara River Anglers Association Bass Contest is this Saturday, July 23, and you can sign up at Creek Road Bait and Tackle. Crayfish and shiners are the best live baits; tubes and drop shot rigs for artificials.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal

While bass numbers have been decent, bass size has been smaller for the Bassmaster pros fishing the bracket tournament right now. Catch some of the live action at www.bassmaster.com. The two top fish catchers going into Thursday action was Kevin Van Dam and Brett Hite with 20 pounds 8 ounces and 21 pounds, 14 ounces respectively. Action continues through Friday.

The Erie Canal Fishing Derby is over as far as the fishing is concerned, but the real excitement will take place at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday in Gasport at the fire hall starting at 3 pm. The unofficial leaders for the different divisions are: Here’s some of the leaders so far: Ron Robel of Wheatfield with a 8.4 sheepshead; Craig Udell of Gasport with a 19.9 pound carp; Patty Young of Kent with a 9-plus pound catfish; Albert Whaley of North Tonawanda with a 7.9 pound pike; Shawn West of Lockport with a 3.58 pound walleye; Joe Cwiklinski of Depew with a 2.9 pound bullhead; and John Justice of North Tonawanda with a 3.8 pound bass. The website is www.eriecanalderby.com.

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!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal for July 21, 2016

First congratulations to all of the winners of the 26th Annual Erie Canal Derby. Some great fish were caught which proves what a great fishery the canal provides right at our doorstep. It provides a great place to take a kid fishing on a lazy summer afternoon and enjoy nature.

Another great spot is Lake Alice which is producing Crappie, Bass and some Walleye right now.

Fishing can’t get much better than it is right now in Lake Ontario off the shores of Orleans County. In 80 to 150 feet of water seems to be packed with fish, especially Chinook salmon of all age classes. Although lure types change from day to day, all seem to be working at a steady rate. Colors and patterns vary greatly depending on who you talk to, so as always start with your favorites and go from there. With fishing this close to shore even smaller boats can participate when weather conditions allow.

Don’t forget that the LOC Summer Derby runs through July 31st this year.

Word has it that the lower portion of Oak Orchard River is teeming with Gar pike this year.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, July 15, 2016

Lake Ontario, Niagara River

fishreport7_15

Lake Ontario and Tributaries

Fishing in Lake Ontario continues to be as hot as the weather – really!

Captain Dan Evans of Lone Wolf Charters in Wilson reports fishing was great earlier in the week – lots of kings and steelhead from 120 to 350 feet of water. He found good temperature from 60 to 75 feet down so he was setting riggers at 45-60-75 feet using spoons in black and glo, green and glo down deeper; orange and silver up higher. Off the divers, he was running green dot spin doctors and hammer flies or white-glo spinnies and hammer flies. He’ll also run copper, using spoons to entice the fish to hit way back behind the boat. He will run lures back from 200 to 350 feet with copper.

Over in Olcott, mature kings have been inside of 200 foot depths according to Wes Walker with The Slippery Sinker. Good mix of steelhead and salmon are being reported. You can also head out deeper to 350-450 feet of water with steelhead and coho’s in the top 50 feet; the bigger kings below 60 foot depths with spoons or flasher-fly.

Smallmouth bass, perch, rockbass and pike are all being caught in the harbors.

The Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Summer Derby is producing some nice fish, many from right here in Niagara County. While it’s still early in the game for a contest that runs through July 31st, Niagara County has jumped out of the starting gates after the first week to lead every single category. Based on the new structure for the summer competition, every one of the current leaders has already earned some early cash. Larry Wills of Lewiston won $1,000 for the biggest salmon during the first week of action with his grand prize-leading 30 pound, 15 ounce king out of Wilson.

Other species categories earning $250 each were steelhead, led by Wade Winch of North Tonawanda, with a 17 pound, 10 ounce fish; Bob Turton of Sanborn with a 23 pound, 7 ounce lake trout; and Tom Gies of Ann Arbor, Michigan with a 17 pound, 6 ounce brown trout – all caught out of Niagara waters.

Of course, it’s a new week and new anglers can try to cash in. Check out the leaderboard at www.loc.org. You have to be in it to win it! That’s a hard lesson to learn and we hear it every derby. This time it was customers of Capt. Paul Czarnecki of Tri-State Charters who caught a 32 pound salmon. They weren’t it.

This weekend is the LOTSA In-Club Tournament (July 16) and the Curt Meddaugh Memorial event (July 15).

Check out www.lotsa1.org for details.

Lower Niagara River

Moss is still an issue for anglers casting and drifting the section of water below Niagara Falls. Hopefully it will be gone by the time the Niagara River Anglers Association’s smallmouth bass contest is here, set for July 23. Don’t have any of the details yet, so your best bet is to contact tournament coordinator Ed Garcia at 870-5318 for more info.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal

Bass are your best option still and moss seems to be getting better. Just in time for some unique fishing to take place. The Bassmaster Bracket Tournament is July 19-22 on the upper river between the north Grand Island Bridge and the Peace Bridge – no Canadian waters. It should be interesting. Weigh in will take place in live time right on the boats, of which there will only be eight. Check out the website at www.bassmaster.com.

Another big contest going on right now is the 26th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby, ending on Sunday, July 17th. Like with all of these contests, some really nice fish are being caught and the leaderboard can change overnight. Here’s some of the leaders so far: Ron Robel of Wheatfield with a 8.4 sheepshead; Craig Udell of Gasport with a 20 pound carp; Patty Young of Kent with a 9-plus pound catfish; Albert Whaley of North Tonawanda with a 7.9 pound pike; Phyllis Whaley of North Tonawanda with a 2.5 pound walleye; Joe Cwiklinski of Depew with a 2.9 pound bullhead; and John Justice of North Tonawanda with a 3.8 pound bass. The derby ends Sunday night at 9 pm.

The website is www.eriecanalderby.com

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

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

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal for Wednesday July 13, 2016

The Erie Canal Derby is in full swing with some great fish already on the leader board. With 4 more days left in the derby there is still plenty of time to get out there and catch a winner. On the Erie Canal catches of both catfish and sheepshead are being reported all along the system.

Speaking of derbies, the LOC Summer Derby is just past the half-way point and the 30 pound mark for Chinook salmon has already been broken.

The waters of Lake Ontario off Orleans County have been very active with a great mix of fish, but Chinook salmon has made up the majority of the catches. Fishing has moved out to the 400 to 450 feet depth range, but there are still some fish being produced on those inside waters. What started out slowly has sure picked up to some great fishing on the big lake.

Lake Alice is still producing some nice catches of Crappie and some great catches of bass. The water clarity has improved greatly over the past week or two and now shows a visibility of 5 or 6 feet.

Give a gift of the great outdoors to our youth by taking a kid fishing!

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, July 8, 2016

Lake Ontario, Niagara River
Lake Ontario and Tributaries

fishreport7_8Fishing for salmon and trout was on fire over the long holiday weekend, evidenced by the leaderboard of the Summer Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby.

John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda targeted the waters off Wilson in 100-plus feet of water and in two days of fishing had 60 releases!! He ended up catching 30-something salmon and some nice steelhead, including one that made it onto the board of the LOC Derby. It didn’t seem to matter what he threw at them as far as his spoon selection, or how he fished them – riggers, copper lines, dipsy-divers. It was the best fishing he’s seen in years. If you are going to be fishing in the lake, make sure you are in the derby.

Ask Capt. Paul Czarnecki of Tri-State Charters, the featured speaker at the next Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association meeting set for July 14 in Lockport. He boated a 32 pound King over the weekend, but the customers failed to register for it. The current leader for the $10,000 check is still Tim Condes of Wilson with a 29 pound, 8 ounce king caught on a flasher with cut bait. First place in the Salmon Division is Cory Kyovsky of Branchview Heights, Ohio, with a 29 pound, 2 ounce King out of Wilson. Second place is a 28 pound, 5 ounce King out of Olcott reeled in by Nicolas Curtiss of Overland Park, Kansas. It hit a Spin Doctor and Fly while fishing with Captain Vince Pierleoni out of Olcott in 180 feet of water. He was also the top youth catcher for the salmon division so far at 15 years old. Top brown trout is out of Wilson, a 17 pound, 6 ounce fish caught by Thomas Gies of Ann Arbor, Michigan, caught on an Ice Shadow Moonshine spoon over 220 feet of water, 45 feet down on a rigger with Captain Dan Evans of Wilson. Yes, out deep targeting salmon.

Current lake trout leader is Bob Turton of Sanborn with a 23 pound, 7 ounce fish from the Niagara Bar. He was trolling a Kwikfish lure. First place steelhead is a 16 pound, 3 ounce fish hauled in by Francis Holly IV of Wilson while fishing out of his home port. Yes, all of the current leaders are off the shores of Niagara County! The derby continues through July 31 so there’s plenty of room for improvement and plenty of fish to catch! Go to www.loc.org for a complete leaderboard update.

Lower Niagara River

Moss is still a factor but it seems like things are slowly starting to subside. Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston reports the better action has come around the Coast Guard station and the green can, but it’s been difficult. The slack water near the Fort Niagara launch ramps has produced a few bass, as well. A few walleye have been reported, too. Remember that the NRAA Bass Contest is July 23, register at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston or check out the website at www.niagarariveranglers.com for details.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal

Moss is still an issue but manageable. Hopefully things will be clear for the new bracket tournament being held from Grand Island to the Peace Bridge by Bassmasters July 19-22. Only 8 boats and no formal weigh in – everything is weighed on each boat live time. Watch next week’s Outdoor Beat with BASS writer Don Barone as he covers the circuit and the new tournament. It starts Wednesday (the show) at 4 pm. The big news is the 26th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby underway through July 17. While fish have been coming to the scales early on, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Big bass is a 2 pound fish caught by Albert Whaley of North Tonawanda; biggest pike so far is a 6.7 pound fish reeled in by Michael Boncore of Tonawanda; Amy Schultz has the top bullhead at 0.79 pounds; Ed Lane of Lockport is leading the catfish division with a 3.79 pound fish; first place carp is 14 pounds, caught by Richard Udell of Gasport; and the sheepshead leader is Jacob Velesko of Middleport with a 8.28 pound bomber. No walleye yet.

Go to www.eriecanalderby.com.

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

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

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal

First a big thank you to the Erie Canal crews who got the emergency repairs done quickly and the canal back open in time for the start of the Erie Canal Fishing Derby which starts today and runs through July 17th this year.

Fishing on Lake Ontario has gone past good to GREAT for all of the cold water species.

Fishing in the 100 feet of water range is producing very well, but some are finding great success farther out on the lake.

With the warmer surface temperatures in the lake, fish are being taken somewhat deeper than in the previous several years.

Orleans County has fish entered in each category of the LOC Summer Derby with the exception of Lake Trout.

Speaking of the LOC Summer Derby which runs through the end of July, big fish abound with leaders in each category as follows: Salmon over 29 pounds, Brown trout over 17 pounds, Lake trout over 23 pounds and Steelhead over 16 pounds and this is just the first part of July.

Lake Alice is still producing a good mixed bag of fish, but with the warmer weather all species are moving to deeper water.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, July 1, 2016

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Lake Ontario and Tributaries 

Some monster fish are being caught out there. Captain Dan Evans of Wilson reported a 32.5 pound salmon hauled in by Todd Garzarelli on Tuesday.  According to Evans with Lone Wolf Sportfishing, fishing for both salmon and trout has been good from 80 to 350 feet of water depending on wind direction.  He was finding 48 degree water 60 feet down, stacking spoons on either side of that temperature break.  Silver-green glo/black colors have been working best off copper rigs and downriggers.  Spin doctors and A-Tom-Mik flies have worked best off the divers.  White with green dot doctors and hammer flies are at the top of the list for him.

He also hit a milestone last weekend when Harry Camardella of Wilson caught the biggest steelie Evans has ever taken off his 32 foot Luhrs, a 20-pound steelhead.  With the LOC Derby starting July 1, don’t be surprised if we break the 20-pound mark for each one of the trout species and 35 for the king salmon division.

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Over in Olcott, Capt. Bob Cinelli was using all spoons to take a mix of salmon and trout – including a nice 12 pound Atlantic. Riggers, divers, and coppers.  His best copper rigs were back 350 and 400 feet.  Fish seem to be laid out west of Wilson all the way down the lake.  His best fish catching depth was the 65 to 80 foot zone.

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The Lake Ontario Counties Summer Salmon and Trout Derby is slated for July 1-31, 2016.  A total of $29,000 will be up for grabs during July around the lake, including a Grand Prize of $10,000 for the biggest salmon weighed in.  Four different species categories will be offering a $1,000 prize for the biggest fish in each.  In addition, a weekly prize of $1,000 will also be given out to the largest salmon and $250 each to the largest lake trout, brown trout and rainbow/steelhead.  And, if you are a member of the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association, you can win another $500 in cash just for entering the largest salmon caught by a LOTSA member and witnessed by a LOTSA member.

For $10, become a member of a group that’s fighting for every fish in the lake.  Find out more on LOTSA at www.lotsa1.org. For information on the LOC Derby go to www.loc.org. Capt. Paul Czarnecki of Tri-State Charters will give a talk on fall salmon fishing at the next LOTSA meeting on July 14 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara starting at 7 pm.

Lower Niagara River

Lower river action continues to be slow for bass and walleye because of the moss situation, however, some spots in the river where the moss isn’t bad are near launch ramps at Fort Niagara.  Minnows or crayfish work best.  The Niagara River Anglers Association will be holding its annual bass contest on July 23.  To find out more information go to niagarariveranglers.com or call 807-6111 at Creek Road Bait and Tackle.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal 

Moss is still a problem in the upper river, too, but according to Scott McKee, president of the Niagara Musky Assn., the most is manageable for trollers and casters pursuing Mr. Toothy.

The 26th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby is set for July 6th through the 17th. With more than $20,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs, there should be plenty of anglers lining the banks of the canal from the Niagara River to Albion.  Categories include bass, sheepshead, northern pike, carp, catfish, bullhead and walleye.  To find out more information contact Steve Harrington at 772-7972 or visit the derby website at www.eriecanalderby.com.

In the Hooked on the Tonawanda’s tournament held June 25 and 26, some impressive catches came to the scales including a 22.4 pound carp reeled in by Matt Steffan of Williamsville; a 5-1/4 pound Northern pike hauled in by Dan Dolan of Grand Island; Matt Melendez of Buffalo caught the biggest bullhead, a 1.22 pound fish; Richard Jopp of Buffalo led the charge with a .43 pound perch; and Sean Franklin of Buffalo placed first with a three pound bass.

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!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal

Wednesday June 29, 2016

Let’s start out with fishing derby news.

This Friday, July 1st, starts the LOC Summer Derby which runs through July 31st.  There is $29,000 in cash up for grabs with a $10,000 grand prize for the biggest salmon.  More information can be found at www.loc.org or by calling 888-733-5246.  Register at any of these Orleans County locations or on-line: Captain’s Cove Resort, 14339 Rt. 18, Waterport, NY, 14571, 585-682-3316, http://fishcaptainscove.com Narby’s Superette and Tackle, 1292 Oak Orchard Rd, Kent, NY, 14477, 585-682-4624, http://www.narbys.com/;  Orleans Outdoors, 1764 Oak Orchard Rd., Albion, NY, 14411, 585-682-4546, http://www.orleansoutdoor.com/.  

Then there is the 26th Annual Erie Canal Derby which runs from July 6th to the 17th this year.  In this event a boat, motor and trailer is the grand prize and in the youth division, a canal trail bike is available.  Great fishing abounds on the Erie Canal. Eligible waters are the Erie Canal from the Niagara River to the Route 98 Bridge, located in the heart of Albion. More than $8,000 in prizes is available. For more information check out their website at www.eriecanalderby.com.

Fishing on Lake Ontario has been good to exceptional over the past week.  Winds have been fairly kind to us and that has kept the fishing in closer to shore, mainly the 90 to 150 feet of water range.  Most anglers are reporting a good mix of fish, mainly Chinook salmon, Lake trout and Steelhead trout with some reporting some exceptional size fish in each category.  With the great weather predicted through the weekend and well into next week, fishing should continue to improve.

On Lake Alice, the Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Carp seem to be providing most of the action.  Reports have the bass mostly at legal size with few undersize fish being seen.

The Erie Canal from Middleport to Brockport is in the process of being de-watered for some emergency repairs in two locations, but the portion from Middleport to Albion should be reopened by the end of next week.

The 4th of July is when we celebrate the birth of our great nation and a great way to celebrate is to take a kid fishing, hiking or any other activity that helps our youth to enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, June 24, 2016

Lake Ontario, Niagara River
Free New York State Fishing Days This Weekend

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Lake Ontario and tributaries 

New York State’s Free Fishing Weekend is set for this weekend, June 25-26.  There are plenty of events for the entire family to keep people busy – and happy – right here in Western New York!

In this day and age where nothing seems to be for free any more, the Empire State will offer up an opportunity to fish all around the state without purchasing a license.  You do have to follow the fishing regulations in the water you intend to fish however.

For salmon and trout, action has started to heat up a little bit out of Wilson and Olcott.  Boats have been heading out to 350 feet and beyond off Wilson for a mix of steelies and kings.  Action has been a bit closer off Olcott with some fish being taken in as close as 150 to 180 feet of water – when they can get out there.  Spoons are the primary enticement, but don’t rule out flasher-fly or flasher-cut bait, especially for bigger fish.  Target the top 60 feet according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker.  There are also fish in the 330 to 380 depth contour.

The Summer LOC Derby is set for July 1-31.  Go to www.loc.org for details. More cash is up for grabs.

The Olcott Lions Club will be hosting its annual kids fishing contest on Saturday, June 25 at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott from 8 a.m. to noon.  Get the kids out and enjoy the local fishing.

Lower Niagara River

Action in the Lower Niagara River has been plagued by moss, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish.  Capt. Dave Tripiciano organized an outing for young Shelby, a teenager with Muscular Dystrophy last Tuesday out of Youngstown.  Using the expertise of some local fishermen like Tim L., they managed to lift Shelby’s 350 pound wheelchair into the boat and drift for smallmouth around Fort Niagara.  They found an area that was pretty-much moss free and caught bass up to 4 pounds.  Shelby was granted this trip through an organization called Moment of Peace Adventures of Pennsylvania and, in addition to visiting Niagara Falls (and being the first physically-challenged person to utilize the facilities at the re-opened and revamped Terrapin Point), they had a great time.  Tim had been doing very well in that area on smallmouth the two days prior, too.  When he fished in the main river, though, it was a tough go with the moss. Shiners were the best bait, fished off three way rigs.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal 

In the Kelly’s Korner’s opening day bass contest, it was Dan Hudson of Tonawanda winning with the best two fish weight of 10.25 pounds.  Not far off the pace was Bob Hubler of Niagara Falls with a total of 10.07 pounds, but he had big fish that hit 5.75 pounds.  He was using a big chub in 40 feet of water to take his lunker catch off Wanaka, where many of the fish came from.  Bass are still available in the river, too, with the bass opener in Canada happening on Saturday, June 25.

There are numerous events that coincide with the New York State Free Fishing Days weekend and at the top of the list is the Tonawanda’s Fishing Tournament sponsored by Gateway Harbor, that will go the entire weekend.  Register for the event if you are an adult for a nominal fee.  Kids under 16 can register for a free youth division.  You are restricted as to where you can fish in the Canal, what amounts to about a one mile stretch between Tonawanda and North Tonawanda from the Niagara River to the City line.  You can register at area tackle shops or stop down to Gateway Harbor in North Tonawanda on Friday to register.  Species categories include bass (both largemouth and smallmouth), bullhead, channel catfish, carp, perch, northern pike and walleye.  The weigh station will be open 7 am to 6 pm on Saturday; 7 am to 3 pm on Sunday.  This is a transition year for the event as the local organizing committee hands the contest off to the Boys and Girls Club of the North Towns.  A new website location for an entry form can be found at www.bgcnt.net and the organization will be taking the lead role after this year.  After last year’s wash out, organizers are hoping for some decent weather to show off the Canal’s angling potential and help to showcase this natural resource.

Speaking of the canal, some local anglers were worried that the dewatering that was going to take place from Middleport to Brockport on Monday, June 27, was going to affect the Erie Canal Fishing Derby July 6-15.  It looks like after three days, the Canal will be opened up from Middleport to Albion; the remainder will be opened by the weekend.

A huge Family Fishing Day will also be taking place out of Broderick Park both Saturday and Sunday this weekend starting at 7 am each day, as well. This is their 8th Annual event.

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!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal

Wednesday June 15, 2016

The New York State black bass season opens on Saturday, June 18, 2016, and spinner baits like this Lucky Strike lure from Bass Pro Shops will be among the most popular of artificial lure baits that anglers use to fool ‘ol mossback.

First congratulations to all of the winners in the 4th Annual Oak Orchard Open Tournament.

Although the weather shortened the fishing day, some great catches were brought to the weigh-in that showed the great abilities of all the entries.

It looks like after the storm tomorrow, summer will finally be upon us.

Temperatures will be in the 80’s by the end of the week with an almost perfect Sunday for Father’s Day.

After the storms and winds of the past weekend, Lake Ontario is still trying to settle out to what are more normal conditions.  Right now the picture is scattered, but the best area seems to be the 300 to 400 foot range, with fish coming deeper in the water column.

On Lake Alice fishing has slowed a bit with Bluegill still fairly active.

Of course this Saturday, June 18, 2016, is the opening day of Bass season, so there should be plenty of action along all our shorelines and even on the Erie Canal.  As one person put it, there should be foam on the water from all of the spinner baits being pulled through the waters this Saturday.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, June 10, 2016

Lake Ontario, Niagara River
Cold Front Turn Fishery Topsy-Turvy

fishreport6_10
Bob George with his first ever muskie, 35 pounds, pushing 50 inches. Congrats! Frank Campbell, Niagara Guide Service (on right), has customers return year after year for good reason. Contact Captain Campbell at 716-284-8546.

Lake Ontario and tributaries 

Rough conditions and cool temperatures the past week has made it pretty rough on the fishermen.  On Monday, we only know of a couple charter captains who braved the waves and while conditions were uncomfortable, they did catch fish.  The most consistent fishing has been in 350 to 450 feet of water with a mix of steelhead and kings in the top 100 feet.

Spoons work best up high; flasher-fly combos work best down deep.  Cold water could be found down 50 feet, so patterns for this time of year are messed up according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker.

There have been some fishing in the 100 to 150 foot range, too. Some browns can be found inside of 40 feet off Olcott and Wilson.  Because of the cold water, some browns can also be caught off the piers.

In 18 Mile Creek in Olcott, the river water was in the mid-60s, so the bass are also starting to turn on all the way to Burt Dam.  Remember bass season doesn’t open until June 18, so if you are going to target bass, make sure you use artificial baits.

Panfish and pike are also available in both Olcott and Wilson Harbors.

Some kids fishing derbies are on the angling docket for the next couple of weeks, including the youth fishing derby sponsored by Faith Lutheran Church on the west side of 18 Mile Creek in Olcott Harbor, it will run from 8:00 a.m. to noon. For more info call Joe Thomas at 531-5815.

On June 18, the Wilson Conservation Club will be holding its annual county-wide fishing derby for the kids from 8:00 a.m. to noon.  Measure your fish by noon at the club located on Route 425 in Wilson.  Awards will be held at 1:00 p.m.  Call 930-7500 for more info.

On June 19, there will be a kids fishing derby at Widewaters Marina in Lockport, hosted by the Lock-City Moose Lodge 617. Registration at 7:30 am; fishing from 8:00 -11:00 a.m.  Call 417-4198 for more info.

Don’t forget about the kid’s derby at the Town of Newfane Marina on June 25, which also happens to occur on our New York State Free Fishing Weekend.

Lower Niagara River

Fishing has really slowed down the past week. Not because the fish aren’t there, but because the dreaded moss has finally arrived in larger quantities to take some of the joys out of fishing in this productive stretch of water.  There are actually a few steelhead still hanging around, but it’s anyone’s guess how long that will be.  Bass is a better option for getting a fish to hit, but the moss really limits how much time you can keep your lures in the water.

Remember that the Catch and Release season is in effect in the Niagara River until June 18 and only artificial lures can be used up until then.  Tube jigs, swim baits and jerk baits are all good options for this time of year.

Upper Niagara River 

Nothing was on fire the week with the cold front weather.  Musky anglers can’t wait for the June 18 opening, next Saturday, and neither can the bass guys, since opening day for bass in New York occurs the same day.

Speaking of bass, Kelly’s Korners in Niagara Falls will be holding an opening day bass contest on June 18 and most of the fishermen and women will be hitting Lake Erie.  It’s your best two fish for the day.  Hours are from 5:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. that day.  You must be signed up by June 17.  Best two fish total weight wins the prize money. For more information call 716-283-2040.

Northern pike, perch and other panfish can also be caught throughout the upper river and even into the Erie Canal.

There will be a kids fishing derby at Widewaters Marina in Lockport on June 19, hosted by the Lock-City Moose Lodge 617.  Registration begins at 7:30 am; fishing from 8:00 -11:00 a.m.  Call 716-417-4198 for more info.

Speaking of the Canal, the “Hooked on the Tonawanda’s” giant Fish Derby is set once again for June 25-26, the same weekend as the free New York State fishing days. Check out www.bgcnt.org for details.

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!

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, June 3, 2016

Lake Ontario, Niagara River
Warm Weather Causing Changes!

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Lake Ontario and tributaries

Action in the lake has been good for a mix of salmon and steelhead out of both Wilson and Olcott.  Writer Paul Liikala of Ohio was out fishing with Capt. Bob Cinelli out of Olcott earlier this week and they limited out on kings and steelies, with two salmon in the 20 pound class.

Reports coming in show fish in the 250 to 350 foot range in the top 100 feet of water.  Some salmon are down 80 to 100 according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker; steelies in the top 30 feet – but that was before the east blow on Wednesday.  Don’t know what that will do to the lake.  There were some cold water upwellings and some trollers found 39 degree water just 40 feet down in some spots.

Smallmouth bass have been hitting in the creeks and harbors. Remember you must use artificials. Anything goes for pike, though, and Wilson has been a good spot.

A few perch and panfish in both Wilson and Olcott. More perch are being reported off Golden Hill State Park.

A few browns have been caught off the piers on spoons.

National Fishing and Boating Week kicks off on June 4 and continues through June 12 as the country celebrates these popular outdoor pastimes.  Helping to initiate local angling activities is the 25th Annual Kids Fishing Derby at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge east of Lockport.  Registration begins at 7:30 am.  The actual contest is from 8 am to 11 am.  There will be three different age categories. The event will be held at Ringneck Overlook on Oak Orchard Road.  Call 585-948-5445 for more info.

The Town of Newfane Marina will host a kids contest on June 25, too. For the adults, the Oak Orchard Open fishing contest will be held Out of Point Breeze in Orleans County June 10-12.  To find out more information call 585-589-3103.

If you would like to learn more about fishing for king salmon in the summer, Capt. Roger Young with Papa Smurf Charters out of Wilson will be the featured speaker at the next Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. meeting June 9 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara starting at 7 pm.

Lower Niagara River

Fishing changed considerable over the weekend with the unseasonably hot weather.  Water temperatures shot from the 50’s into the upper 60’s and trout were tough to come by, getting chased out into the lake.  Bass have started to turn on even more with artificial baits like tubes and swim baits good options for smallmouth.  Silver bass are still around, too.

The dreaded moss is starting to show up on the scene a bit more, creating problems for both drifters and casters.

Some good news on the stocking front the past week as plants of 33,000 bonus Coho salmon and 8,000-plus brown trout were put into the river.

On the boating ends of things, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary will be hosting a Vessel Exam at the Lewiston Launch Ramp from 10 am to 2 pm on June 4. Call John Roach at 751-2057 for more info.

Upper Niagara River 

Upper river action for bass and panfish is available from the head of the river to Niagara Falls.  Remember bass must be artificial baits only, catch and release until June 18.

Other youth contests coming up include the kid’s derby at Niawanda Park in Tonawanda on June 18 and a kid’s event at Widewaters Marina in Lockport on June 19. It will be held from 7:30 am (registration) until noon. Fishing will be from 8-1 am. Call Phyllis at 417-4198 for more info.

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!

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, May 27, 2016

Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Niagara River, Chautauqua Lake, Finger Lakes

Captain Vince Pierleoni and Team Thrillseeker outsmarted the bruiser King Salmon to finish in the money in the professional division of the Pro-Am Tournament on Lake Ontario last.

Weather Helps Fishing Action! 

We finally saw some west wind blow some fish into local waters, but it wasn’t easy fishing for the Pro-Am tournament last weekend for sure.  According to Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Team Thrillseeker (who placed in the money yet again for the Professional Division), transition time in the lake is rapidly approaching with the super warm weather arriving this weekend.

Combine that with four straight days of calm weather before the recent winds at mid-week – there are some quality king salmon around, but there is no set pattern for a consistent bite.  You can find fish (kings, lakers and steelhead) in 80 to 300 feet of water, from 20 to 100 feet down.

It’s been a mix of techniques and baits working. One approach that has worked better for bigger kings has been a flasher with cut bait.  N&D is one brand type that keeps surfacing around fishing circles as a good brand according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors.  One interesting note is that the fish have been moving around with the more favorable west and southwest winds.  Last Saturday, tournament teams out of Wilson and Olcott all headed west in pursuit of salmon.

Capt. Jim Gordon of Olcott, who was not fishing in the tournament, headed straight out of his home port of Olcott to take a dozen nice kings for customers just a mile or two straight north.  No one did that good in the tournament that day.  In the 32nd annual Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament held May 20 to 22 out of Wilson and Olcott, it was the Shark Tank team led by Capt. Greg Gehrig of Oswego leading the way with an impressive score of 599 points in the Classic Division and 391 in the Trophy Division – based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound – to win the tournament.  They also won the ITO flies big fish for the contest with a 24 pound king salmon.  For their efforts, they won more than $29,000.  Second place was Capt. Rich Hajecki and his Yankee Troller team out of Rochester.  They were just 10 points behind the winners in the Classic or 12 fish category.  They won $8,000.  Third place in Trophy was Dirty Goose led by Capt. Casey Prisco with 341 points.  Fourth place was Team Thrillseeker led by Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane with 338.  Third place Classic Division team was Thrillseeker with 505 points.  Fourth was Free Spirit with 498 points led by Capt. Paul Czarnecki of Waterford, PA.

Rochester anglers are happy with yellow perch taken from a marina waterway.

In the Amateur Open on Day One it was Abe DeBadts of Rochester and his Fishin’ Physician Assistant team with a score of 88.49 points.  Winner of Day 2 was Greg Wiacek of Lockport and his Fisherman’s Daughter team with a score of 72.52 points.  For Day Three, it was Mean Machine and Kyle Hovak of North Tonawanda taking the day with a score of 80.10 points.  However it wasn’t enough to win the Amateur Open Cup for the best two days of fishing combined.  That was reserved for Anonymous led by John Muehl of Maryland, NY, who scored 150 points over two days.

Next contest is the Oak Orchard Open set for June 10-12 out of Point Breeze.

The 1st Annual Reelin’ for a Cure is set for August 19 out of Niagara County, an event that will get the ladies out fishing on Lake Ontario and competing for fun prizes while at the same time raising funds for cancer research.

For more info call Stephanie Pierleoni at 716-481-6388.

Lower Niagara River

The first signs of the dreaded moss have started to show up to the dismay of anglers. You can still fish without much of a problem, but be forewarned – it will be here before we know it.

Trout are still available in the river – steelhead and lake trout – and smallmouth bass are starting to turn on now, too.

Shiners and Kwikfish top the list for trout; Kwikfish, tubes, shiners and swim baits will all trick smallies into hitting.  Best areas have been around Fort Niagara, Peggy’s Eddy and the clay banks for bass; Devil’s Hole for the trout and the occasional bass.  You can still pick some of these fish up from shore, too.  Spinners are taking some nice fish.

Upper Niagara River 

The shoreline bite can be good for walleye at night or under low-light conditions as post-spawn fish move in to feed.  Worms work best.  Panfish action has been good around marinas and around Grand Island bays, channels and tributaries.

A couple fishing contests to mark down on your calendar, including a kids fishing contest at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge on June 4 at the Ringneck Overlook starting at 8 am; the City of Tonawanda kids fishing contest at Niawanda Park with registration at the bandshell along River Road on June 18 starting around 7:30 am; and a Teach Me To Fish program at the East Aurora Fish and Game Club on June 4.

Lake Erie and Tributaries 

Perch action seems to be picking back up again according to Capt. Joe Fonzi of Thumbs Up Charters.  He had customers out this week, including Salvador, James and Raymond LaChase of Rochester, and they did well between Sturgeon Point and Cattaraugus Creek in 56 feet of water.  The key is finding the fish and staying on them.

The walleye bite has been best at night with stickbaits along the shoreline, but that could be changing this week according to Fonzi, who is anticipating those post-spawn fish to turn on any day.

Bass action around Buffalo Harbor has been decent with shiners, drop shot rigs and tubes.

In the Annual Southtowns Walleye Association In-Club Perch Tournament last Saturday, Ben Slawatucki won the five-fish contest with a weight of 6.98 pounds.  Jim Dolly Sr. was runner-up with 6.81 pounds.  There were nearly 170 anglers in the fun contest that requires the weight of your 5 biggest fish in the tally.  These perch are all post-spawn now

Chautauqua Lake 

Smallmouth bass are hitting three-inch tubes in a pumpkinseed color around Warner’s Bar in 12 to 24 feet of water.  You can also pick up some nice bass by moving into the weed pockets with a black and blue pig and jig according to Craig Robbins of Jamestown.

There is also a top water bite in the mornings and evenings off the Mayville Flats, Rock Island and the point off Lakewood Bar. You can also hit the dicks in Dewittville Bay and along the condos with buzz baits or spinnerbaits in white and chartreuse.

This is opening weekend for inland musky (not Great Lakes) and you can find success throwing over-sized jerk baits and bucktails over weed beds in places like around Wee Wan Chu Cottages and trolling in the southern basin of the lake in Ashville Bay in 10 to 14 feet of water.

Finger Lakes 

Seneca Lake – This Finger Lake will see a busy weekend because of the National Lake Trout Derby that will run through Memorial Day.  Not too many people have been sharing information going into this popular contest, but going into this week lake trout were being taken in 90 to 150 feet of water on spoons, flasher-fly combos and jigs tipped with plastics or live bait.

Atlantic salmon can be found near the surface with stickbaits, spoons or streamers. Good luck! Good to www.laketroutderby.org for information.

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!

Polovick Lightning Strikes Twice in Lake Ontario

Master Angler Wins Second Grand Prize, says, “Timing is Everything!”

Marty Polovick of Lockport, New York, believes that lightning CAN strike twice in the same spot, that is, as far as winning the Grand Prize in the Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derbies and his fishing rod is concerned.

Polovick won his second Grand Prize, this time in the spring contest held May 6-15, 2016, by reeling in a 26 pound, four ounce king salmon to take the $15,000 top prize.  He also earned an extra $500 for big fish of the day and a check for $1,000 by catching the largest salmon by a Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. (LOTSA) member.  He had previously won a Grand Prize in the 2011 Summer Derby with a 36 pound, 14 ounce king.

On the final weekend of the derby, the weather forecast wasn’t pretty.  They were calling for high winds on the lake Saturday, but not until after 11 am or so.  The crew of Doug Parker of Lockport; Matt Dunn of Newfane; and Matt’s father, Marc Dunn of Lockport along with Polovick boarded Matt’s 27-foot Tiara aptly named “Streaker” out of Bootleggers Cove in Wilson.  The water was flat early in the morning and they headed west to an area off Six Mile Creek where they boated three nice salmon in the high teens.  Using an 8-inch Dreamweaver Spindoctor (white glow and green dots) rigged with a white John King Baithead with a piece of Crowes Cut Bait, they put their downrigger on the bottom in 100 to 110 feet of water.  The fish hit between 8:30 and 9 am, taking Polovick about 20 minutes to reel the king to the boat.  When they hoisted the fish up onto the handheld scale, it was heavier than they thought so they pulled lines and ran into port to weigh their prize catch at Bootleggers.  By the time they finished up weighing in the new leader and filling out the paperwork, it was too rough to go back out into the lake.  Timing is everything.  It’s interesting to note that Parker, Dunn and Dunn tagged teamed to tie for the Grand Prize in the spring of 2014, but the timing was off by a week. They had to settle for first place in the Salmon Division. Again, it was that timing thing…but this time they got it right. They will split the cash up equally between the four of them.

“It was a team effort all the way around,” said Polovick who is no stranger around local Niagara County fishing circles. He is active with LOTSA, serving on its Board of Directors. “We also won this for Pat Comerford of East Aurora who passed away earlier this year. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him as a mentor and fellow fisherman.” Pat was also a previous LOC Derby winner. Unfortunately, sometimes time is too short.

First place in the Salmon Division was Tracy Lindsay of Seneca Falls, NY with a 25 pound, four once king caught opening weekend, May 7. He was fishing with Capt. Scott Fletcher of Kings Ferry, NY aboard his 25 foot Starcraft named “Blue Moon”; and friends Eric Carlson of North Syracuse and Steve Fiorello of Liverpool, NY. Lindsay won the $2,000 first place prize plus big fish of the day at $500.

“We were fishing west of Wilson about two miles during the Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament,” said Lindsay at the Awards Ceremony. “We were using a Michigan Stinger “42nd Spoon” working a double header at 7 am. Our downrigger was 130 feet down over 180 feet of water. Twenty minutes later we boated the big fish. It helped us to place second in the WHI, too.” He hopes to use some of the winning proceeds for a new deck at home.

In the Brown Trout Division, Ryan Massey of Oriskany Falls, NY was fishing with Capt. Dave Wilson of Oswego aboard the captain’s 28-foot Baha named “Spankmayer.” Also on board was Ryan’s nine year old son, Aidan, and a couple of buddies from Vermont (Steve and Dave). On the first Saturday, they were fishing east of Oswego when they hooked into a nice fish at 7:45 am. They had been using Otter boards and placed a Smithwick stickbait in blue and silver about 100 feet back of the board. Less than 10 minutes later, they were netting his 16 pound, two ounce brownie.

“It wasn’t the biggest brown that I’ve ever caught, though,” said Massey. “The biggest I ever caught was one better than this one … but I wasn’t in the derby. I would have won. Now the rule is for everyone in the boat to be in the derby and it finally paid off.”

Second place brown trout was a 15 pound, seven ounce fish that was hauled in by Mike Spinelli of Rochester. To go with the whole “timing” theme, he caught is fish the final day of the derby in Irondequoit Bay – because the lake was too rough from high winds.

“I was fishing with Steve Greive of Irondequoit and Dave Allison of Greece aboard Steve’s 25-foot Sea Ray named ‘Skamaniac.’ I knew there were browns in the bay, so we just trolled around with a chartreuse Rebel Fastrac 100 feet behind the board and we hit the fish over 60 feet of water. It only took about five minutes to bring the fish in.”

Greive also had a fish on the board, a 15th place brown at 11 pounds, four ounces; and Spinelli also helped David McGowam of Rush, NY with a, 11th place fish – a 12 pound, eight ouncer caught off Mike’s boat. Both of those fish were caught in the lake.

The lucky Laker Taker was no stranger to the winner’s circle either. Patrick Barber of Niagara Falls was fishing with his brother Richard (also from Niagara Falls) on Friday the 13th. While trolling the Niagara Bar off the mouth of the famed Niagara River aboard the infamous “Killer B’s” Crestliner, the duo was starting to face rough conditions on the lake. Dick wanted to go in. As he started to pull rods, the 27 pound, 8 ounce fork tail hit their chartreuse holographic Kwikfish rigged with Hammerhead cowbells. “And this time my brother was able to net it successfully!” That’s another story for another time.

Richard placed fourth in the spring contest with a 21 pound, six ounce lake trout. All told, their derby winnings are over $80,000 now for the “Killer B’s” fishing squad. It was weighed in at Creek Road Bait and Tackle, a new last minute addition for the spring to save the day in the weigh station department.

Second place lake trout was a 25 pound, 11 ounce fish out-fought by Robert Batchelder of West Burke, Vermont. He was fishing out of Wilson with Norm Paquette of Lyndonville, VT (aboard Norm’s 24-foot Thompson named “Care Free”); Richard Rice of Sutton, VT; and Michael Rice of Lyndonville, VT. They were trolling a flasher-fly rig west of Wilson about half way to the Niagara Bar, 135 feet down over 150 feet of water on the downrigger, when the fish hit on May 10 at 7:15 am. “We use to fish with a friend who made his own ‘Harris’ fly – green, yellow and white with sparkles – behind an E-Chip flasher that was green and white. That’s what we used this time. It was the biggest laker of my life and it came at a good time.” Timing is everything.

Top Youth Lake Trout was a 13 pound, 12 ounce fish reeled in by Zachary Enos of Canandaigua. He “caught it in Lake Ontario” according to his expert testimony, weighed in at Hughes Marina in Williamson.

In the Walleye Division, Tim Farmer of Dexter led the pack with an 11 pound 14 ounce fish from Chaumont Bay off Jefferson County. He was fishing with his sons, Paul and Richard, as well as Jan Coburn of Henderson on the opening day of walleye season, May 7. They were fishing out of the “Lucky Lund,” a 19 footer that does them well. The elder Farmer, a charter captain for over 30 years, attributes his success to the “luck of the Irish … and being at the right place at the right time.” In addition, his mom had passed away around St. Patty’s Day this year and it could have been a little gift from above.

“I like fishing worm harnesses and tried to get the boys to put one out that afternoon,” said Farmer. “They finally listened to me and we put a blue and silver Northland Bait worm harness out 100 feet back from the board. Our next fish was the winner. We thought it was a pike when it hit. This was a proud moment with my boys.” Speaking of the sons, they also place high in the contest, finishing in third and fifth with an 11 pound, six ounce and a 10 pound, 13 ounce fish respectively. They have also placed in the top two in the Walleye Division four times previously, winning twice.

Sometimes the timing is off just a little bit, like Dan Peschler of Pulaski can attest. He weighed in an 11 pound, 14 ounce walleye the day after Farmer’s catch with a fish of the same weight. First angler in to the scales is the tie-breaker. Peschler was fishing with Robert Holdsworth of Pennsylvania at 2 am in Oswego Harbor and his fishing partner was sleeping aboard Peschler’s 16-foot Mini-Fish Magnet, a DuraNautic. The walleye hit a black and silver Smithwick lure trolled 50 feet behind a mini-Off Shore board over eight feet of water. Peschler is another regular in the winner’s circle.

Jared DiFrancesco of Baldwinsville took home the youth trophy in the walleye division with a nine pound, three ounce fish. “We were fishing in 20 to 30 feet of water using planer boards,” the 14-year-old youngster said. “During the week we fished there were a lot of snags. We lost nine lures.”

His lunker walleye was caught on May 8th around 4 pm in the afternoon. The youngster was fishing with his father and Tony Chatt of West Monroe, last year’s Lake Ontario Pro-Am Challenge Cup winner with “Five More Minutes.” The winning fish took a Smithwick stickbait. It was weighed in at Woody’s Tackle in Pulaski. DiFrancesco is a ninth grade student at Durgee Junior High School and plays soccer and is on the track team. Asked if fishing, soccer, and track are his favorite sports the youngster quipped, “No… messing around is my favorite.”

Next up on the LOC Derby calendar is the Summer Derby, set for July 1-31. The Fall Derby is slated for August 19-September 5, 2016. For a complete leaderboard for the spring contest go to www.loc.org.

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Friday, May 20, 2016

Lake Ontario and tributaries

Marty Polovick of Lockport, New York, won the Grand Prize in the Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby that was held May 6-15, reeling in a 26 pound, four-ounce king salmon to take the $15,000 top prize.

Tournament Week Kicks off into High Gear 

Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament Week is upon us, with the main event starting on Friday out of Wilson and Olcott.  A total of 50 teams will be competing for some great cash prizes based on a unique scoring system.  East wind continues to be a problem, but action finally turned on for some decent spring salmon fishing on Tuesday for many of the boats.  Exact details are sparse because of the tournament, but many boats were catching fish between Wilson and the Niagara Bar, as well as east of Olcott.  Decent kings, too, in the 20 pound class. A 31 pound king was caught off St. Catharine’s last weekend as the catch was flying around social media circles.

In the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Charity Fishing Outing last Wednesday, a total of 24 boats hit the waters around Olcott.  The captain guiding the crew to the biggest fish was Capt. Mark Vilardo with Kingfisher.  His 19 pound, 3 ounce king took the top prize with numerous in the 18 pound class on other boats.  It was a fun time had by all as the local fishery was showcased.

Look for a mixed bag this weekend at the tournament weigh in at Krull Park at 2 pm each day.  Check out www.lakeontarioproam.net for details.  Marty Polovick of Lockport won the Grand Prize in the Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby held May 6-15, reeling in a 26 pound, four ounce king salmon to take the $15,000 top prize.  He also earned an extra $500 for big fish of the day and a check for $1,000 by catching the largest salmon by a Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. member.  On the final weekend of the derby, the crew of Doug Parker of Lockport; Matt Dunn of Newfane; and Matt’s father, Marc Dunn of Lockport along with Polovick used an 8-inch Dreamweaver Spindoctor rigged with a white John King Baithead and a piece of Crowes Cut Bait (aka N&D Bait) to take the winning fish.  They put their downrigger on the bottom in 100 feet of water.

The lucky Laker Taker was Patrick Barber of Niagara Falls while fishing with his brother Richard (also from Niagara Falls) on Friday the 13th.  They were trolling the Niagara Bar off the mouth of the Niagara River in 25 feet of water on the bottom when the 27 pound, 8 ounce fork tail hit their chartreuse holographic Kwikfish rigged with Hammerhead cowbells on the rigger.  Big brown trout came from Oswego when Ryan Massey of Oriskany Falls reeled in a 16 pound, 2 ounce fish east of the harbor.  First place walleye was weighed in by Tim Farmer of Dexter, an 11 pound, 14 ounce fish from Chaumont Bay.

Lower Niagara River

Devil’s Hole is the place to be for a mixed bag of fish, but with the closure of the gorge early in the week because of the transmission line removal, it forced guides down river to try and target other areas and other fish species.  Kwikfish and minnows are the best baits to use.  Mitch Grant of Virginia was showing off some of his new Rapid Fishing Solutions gear while fishing with Capt. Bruce Blakelock on Tuesday.  They reeled in some nice smallmouth bass on tubes and swim baits.  It won’t be long before the hard baits will be working on the smallies, as those water temps were just starting to hit 50 degrees.  We told you about the green can area working for the Killer-B’s at the mouth of the river on lake trout.  During the derby they reeled in over 100 lake trout.

Upper Niagara River 

KIDS FISHING CLINIC: There will be a Teach Me to Fish Clinic at Bison City Rod and Gun Club in Buffalo on Sunday, May 22 starting at 2 pm.  Get there a little early for registration.  Fish the harbors, inlets and creeks for a mixed bag of panfish and bass around Grand Island and along River Road.  The Erie Canal is open for fishing now, too.

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!

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Friday, May 13, 2016

Lake Ontario and tributaries

The Yankee Troller team led by Capt. Rich Hajecki lead the field of nearly 50 competitor boats to take the 2016 Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament last Saturday. Many of the fish landed were fooled using a 150-foot diver pulling a Familiar Bite Whip Flash/Meat combo off 6-Mile Creek west of Wilson Harbor, New York.

An East wind is the nemesis of Lake Ontario salmon and trout fishermen, and we’ve had a bunch of it the last couple of weeks.  Despite the less than ideal conditions, it was the Yankee Troller team led by Capt. Rich Hajecki leading a field of nearly 50 boats to take the annual Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament last Saturday – the WHI.  The one day event target’s salmon only and the team scored the tournament limit of six salmon – all kings – and averaged nearly 18 pounds per fish. Pretty impressive!!  There wasn’t anyone close to them.  The team fished from 6 mile to 4 mile in 100 to 225′ of water.  In practice they had some bites on Dreamweaver spoons, but during the event it was all Familiar Bite Meat.

Their best set-up was a 150-foot diver pulling a Familiar Bite Whip Flash/Meat combo.  They also had a similar combo going on a rigger.

The LOC Derby is going on right now and the current Grand Prize leader is Tracy Lindsey of Seneca Falls with a 25 pound, 4 ounce salmon weighed in at Wilson.  The first place lake trout 24 pounds, 1 ounce caught by Brent Burgess of Portland, NY while fishing out of Wilson.  All these fish were caught on Saturday, so the fishing turned on for big fish. Seeking out active fish hasn’t been easy with the east wind.

Wednesday morning, Capt. Kurt Driscoll found some kings in tight around Wilson in 40 to 60 feet of water, all in the top 30 feet, where his deepest rigger was set. He was trolling hot, too – down speed was 3.4 mph using spoons in black-white-green-gold.

The LOC Derby continues until Sunday at 1 pm, May 15.  Awards will be held at Captain Jack’s on Sodus Bay starting at 4 pm.  Check out the leaderboard at www.loc.org.

Don’t forget that Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo 3 fish- one fish contest is set for May 19. Register by 7 am the morning of the event in either Wilson or Olcott — In Olcott it’s the Slippery Sinker and the Boat Doctors; in Wilson at Bootleggers Cove Marina or the Gas Shack.

The Lake Ontario Pro-Am tournament is set for May 20-22 and the deadline to sign up for everyone is May 16 at 5 pm. Find out everything on the website at www.lakeontarioproam.net.

It’s a celebration of our fishing resources, for sure, an event started up by the late Skip Hartman of Olcott in conjunction with Lowrance Electronics – 32 years ago!

Remember to save those salmon heads from clipped fish.

Lower Niagara River

The big news is that the Devil’s Hole area in Lower Niagara River will be CLOSED on Monday, Tuesday and possibly Wednesday according to National Grid officials.  The culprit is the removal of some old transmission lines and numerous precautions are being taken – including closing boat traffic, Artpark Trail No. 7 and even the Robert Moses Parkway from traffic.  It might be for only 90 minutes per day, but it’s anyone’s guess how long it will really take.  That’s starting Monday, May 16.

Trout are still hanging on as the warm water fish are becoming a bit more active.  Kwikfish are working on lake trout; steelhead prefer shiners. Filming a TV show on the lower river recently with Mid-West Outdoors, we managed to catch seven different species of fish.  The number one species we caught were numerous silver bass in the Wagon Wheel area just south of the launch ramp on swim baits.  While drifting for bass, Bob George with Buck Knives had the surprise of his life – a 50 inch musky!

Check out the Facebook page for Niagara USA Fishing and Outdoors to see a video of it. Because it’s not in season, it was released immediately.  It still provided a nice thrill.  He was using a Strike King Rodent soft plastic bait.  John Antone of Sanborn was fishing with Capt. Steve Drabczyk recently and he managed to catch five different species.  Egg sacs and shiners worked best but the key was using a 7 foot leader.

Some big smallmouth bass in the six pound class were caught last week in the river and at the river mouth during the annual media event utilizing tubes and swim baits.  The key was fishing the baits slow.

Speaking of Television shows, if you want to see Niagara County in a positive light, check out Fishing University next weekend on the Outdoor Channel.  It will air on Friday, May 20th at 12:30 pm, Sat., May 21st at 4:30 pm and Sun., May 22nd at 9:30 am Eastern.  It’s another way to promote our great fishing, as well as the area!

Thanks to Jennifer Pauly and the Lower River Chamber who took the lead on this effort last fall.  The Niagara River Anglers Association will hold their next meeting on Monday, May 16, starting at 7PM at the Jetport Restaurant, 7100 Porter Rd., Niagara Falls.  If you wanna know more about this fishing resource in Western New York, attendance is free.

Upper Niagara River 

Not too many reports to share, but this should be a good time to target panfish around Grand Island and along River Road.  Use minnows if you are targeting perch or crappies.  Bass anglers must still use artificial baits in the river.  Northern pike and walleye seasons are now open, too.

The Erie Canal is open for business and offers some good fishing options this time of year.

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!

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Jake Romanack with a hefty King Salmon caught trolling with a Mag-Lip 3.5 on Niagara Bar near Fort Niagara, New York.

Lake Ontario and tributaries

Mark Romanack of Michigan reported that his son, Jake Romanack, and his friend, Jarod Higginbotham of Yakima Bait, fished the Niagara Bar Tuesday morning while filming an episode of Fishing 411 TV.

The much anticipated salmon bite has kicked into high gear.  The crew boated three kings over 20 pounds, plus three bonus Coho and countless lake trout.  The Yakima 3.5 Mag Lip plug stole the show producing all the big kings and Lakers.  The top colors included NFL, gold/orange flame and Pay Day.  Most of the fish came in 100 feet of water, east of the Red Can.

Riggers 50 to 60 feet down produced well as did 300-foot wire rigs fished with Off Shore boards.  A few Coho were in the top 20 feet of water.  That’s the best piece of information that we can give you with what is happening starting on Friday.  If you are looking for lake trout, they seem to be all over the place.

Bill Fekete of Ransomville was fishing with his son, Corey, every chance they got, have been doing well on Lakers.  Fire tiger pattern has been working the best – spoons or sticks.  Best depth was 50 down over 70 feet of water on the Niagara Bar for them.  Friday, May 6, kicks off the spring Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby – a 10 day contest that focuses much of the angling effort on the waters off Niagara County.

This is the spot on the lake that offers the best chance at winning the $15,000 Grand Prize for the biggest salmon.  There’s another $25,000 in other prizes, too, with divisions for salmon, brown trout, lake trout and walleye – the latter starting at one minute after midnight on May 7, the opening of walleye season in New York. Check out www.loc.org for details.

Also on May 7 is the start of the Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament. Best six salmon for the day wins the big bucks, based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound. Less than two weeks after that one is the granddaddy of trout and salmon tournaments, the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament, held out of the ports of Wilson and Olcott May 20-22.  Deadline to register is May 16 at www.lakeontarioproam.net. With a bigger emphasis on the amateurs, each single day is an event with more than 100 percent return on your registration dollar for the Amateur Open and for the Pro Division.

The Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo Memorial one fish-three fish contest is May 19 this year, another fun event leading up to the Pro-Am. Sign up at the Boat Doctors or the Slippery Sinker in Olcott; Bootleggers Cove Marina or the Gas Shack in Wilson.

Lower Niagara River

Corey Fekete of Ransomville, New York, fishing with his dad (Bill) had a fun day catching lake trout and King Salmon this on Firetiger color spoons on Niagara Bar.

Plenty of excitement around town for the Smelt Festival on Friday, May 6. Things kick off at 5 pm at Lewiston Landing.  Trout fishing has been holding on, but it hasn’t been easy for sure.  Steelhead and lake trout are still available with minnows or egg sacs.  At the mouth of the river, the bass are just starting to turn on (catch and release only, no live bait) and Capt. Bruce Blakelock of Lewiston was guiding Mitch Grant and George Thomas of Virginia, co-owners of the Trailer Hook Pal.  They were in town for a media event that was going on all week and they had some new products to use.  Best baits were tubes and swim baits in a green pumpkin color.  The tubes were rigged with Tube Mate Spinners by Trailer Hook Pal, a new added enticement that really seemed to trigger the fish to hit.  They were just starting to turn on Tuesday and it will continue to improve as the waters continue to warm.  Several fish were over 5 pounds.

Upper Niagara River 

The head of the river at the Buffalo Harbor was really starting to turn on for bass fishing Tuesday. Buddy Prause, VP of Sales and Marketing for Yo-Zuri, was in town from the Florida office, along with three factory reps from Japan.  They were testing some new baits that really seemed to work wonders on the smallmouth, despite 43 degree water around the breakwalls.  All they used were hard baits – specifically the Hardcore Longbill Series in 90 mm Orange Tiger and Ayu, as well as the Hardcore Spin in several different colors.  The blade seemed to mimic the flash of the emerald shiner.  Prause caught is two personal best smallmouth on the trip and they were amazed at how good they worked in the cold water.  The bite was tough overall, too, and plastics did not seem to be as effective.  At least on this day.  May 7 is the opening of walleye, northern pike, pickerel and tiger musky seasons throughout the state. However, tiger musky is still closed on the Great Lakes until the regular musky season opener on June 18 this year.

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!

Orleans County Fishing Report

orleans_county

Lake Ontario, Point Breeze, Oak Orchard River, Lake Alice 

Once we get thru the cold temperatures of last night, more spring like conditions will come into play.  I mean after all May 1st is this coming Sunday.  The Erie Canal opened today, just slightly early of their normal opening date.

On Lake Alice both Bluegills and Crappie have been fairly active along with bass.  Please remember that opening day of bass season is not until the 3rd Saturday in June, so for now it’s catch and immediately release.  Also on the tributaries within Orleans County Bullhead are still being taken by those who know their super-secret hideouts.

On Lake Ontario, the system seems to be fish for brown trout when the mud line is present and if it’s not go out for lake trout.  Over the past few days the surface temperature has dropped about 5 degrees with those wonderful northerly winds.

The story at the Niagara Bar is this weather pattern has kept the Kings from turning on yet, but that could change very quickly with some favorable winds.  The cooler temperatures also mean that we may be able to keep our pen fish a little longer so please give a helping hand with the feeding and cleaning of the pens.

As always, this summer is filled with some of the very best fishing derbies and tournaments you can find anywhere covering all of Lake Ontario.   Why not join in on all of the fun and the possibility of cashing in on some very impressive prizes.  From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA, and the rest of Orleans County, let’s make everyday a great fishing day right here in Orleans County.

Orleans County Tourism
14016 Route 31, West Albion, NY   14411

Lending a Hand to Lake Ontario King Salmon Study

Dan Knuth from Utica, holds up one of the heavily schooled, monster spring King salmon found off Niagara Bar in Lake Ontario. They are called “SCREAMERS” for good reason, they will smoke a weak reel drag and snap a line during a burst run, but right now Lake Ontario fish scientists need angler help.

If you fish Lake Ontario, like the Beatles song goes, we all need a little help from our friends – and this is the perfect time to lend a hand … while you are fishing!

The Niagara County Fisheries Development Board working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Niagara River Anglers Association (NRAA) and Lake Ontario Trout & Salmon Association (LOTSA) want to get a better understanding of the makeup of the large number of Chinook salmon that show up along the Niagara County shoreline every May.

This coming May (2016), many of the three-year-old class of Chinook salmon will have their adipose fin missing (clipped) if they were raised in the Salmon River Fish Hatchery.  And if that fin is clipped, the fish will have a coded wire tag implanted in their head that identifies their stocking type (direct versus pen reared) and their stocking location.  Biologists need the head for the study.

kingsalmonstudy2

In order to obtain this information, we need the help of all anglers fishing Lake Ontario out of the ports of Fort Niagara/Youngstown, Wilson and Olcott.  We are requesting the head from any Chinook salmon caught in the month of May that is harvested for food and has the adipose fin missing.  Only 3-year old kings with the adipose fin missing.  These heads can be placed in a bag and then in freezers located at Fort Niagara, Wilson and Olcott in specific locations (Fort Niagara State Park next to the fish cleaning station; Bootlegger’s Cove Marina next to the ship’s store; Wilson Boat Yard next to the Gas Shack; Wilson-Tuscarora State Park near the fish cleaning station; and the Town of Newfane Marina (Olcott) adjacent to the fish cleaning station. The DEC will collect the heads from the freezers, as well as analyze the data so that it can be used as another piece of information to help with management of the king salmon program.

This is the last year class of Chinook salmon that were clipped and marked in the lake.  Therefore, it is our last chance to capture this important data to help with managing the Chinook salmon program in Lake Ontario.  Assisting with this program is a win-win situation for all – you will be helping yourself as well as your fellow anglers.  We all need a little help from our friends!

Just a quick comment on the spring salmon fishery in Niagara and Lake Ontario: One of the best places to be in the entire Great Lakes in the spring is anywhere from the Niagara Bar off the mouth of the Niagara River to 30-Mile Point east of Olcott, New York.  This is where the salmon hang out because of the forage that’s available.

When the kings are in, it’s some of the best salmon fishing you’ve ever seen anywhere.  These fish are champion fighters.  Catching a 15-pound fish in the spring is like catching 30-pound fish in the fall, tearing out 100 yards of line like an NFL running back in an open field run looking to the end zone – without any contract disputes or ham strings to worry about!

To find out more information, check out www.niagara-usa.com and click on the fishing section.  A free map outlines all of the information you need to know to get you connected.

Thanks for your help!

Lake Ontario – Niagara County Fishing Forecast for Friday, April 15, 2016

niagarafishing

Lake Ontario and tributaries – Spring has finally arrived this week to the joy of both shore and boat fishermen. In the weather department, the bullhead contest in Wilson was a week off. This weekend will be more like May than April. Shoreline trollers are working the waters inside of 15-20 feet to take a mix of browns and Coho salmon with an occasional steelhead thrown in. Stickbaits in fire tiger, rainbow trout and black-silver or black-blue have all been working off boards. Some boaters have been using spoons to take some fish, as well.

Casting spoons or spinners off the piers is another way to take a trout or two. Fishing minnows under a bobber will also work. In the streams, fresh trout are still available, primarily steelhead. Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek is still producing, but so are some of the smaller streams like Keg. Fish a small jig under a float and tip it with some meat. Egg sacs will also work.

Over at the Oak, one surprise for a trout caster was a 15-plus pound walleye reeled in by Matt Bedient of Lockport. He caught the monster on a jig.

Walleye season is closed and he released the lunker immediately. Remember that come May 7 when the season opens. Walleye is a category in the LOCWalleye is a category in the LOC Derby. The LOC Derby will be May 6-15 and registrations are coming in hot and heavy now. Go to www.loc.org for details or sign up at any Niagara County location.

Richard Haun of Niagara Falls braved the cold temperatures to win the Wilson Bullhead Contest last weekend with two fish totaling 3.69 pounds. He as using nightcrawlers at Wilson Tuscarora State Park after dark. Second place was Terry Molinari of Appleton with 3.56 pounds. He was fishing near the cow bridge in Wilson with worms and shrimp at dusk and after dark. John Pittsley of Niagara Falls and Bob Shank of Wilson tied at 3.53 pounds but Pittsley won the tie-breaker with length of his two fish. Top youth angler was Zachary Heath with two fish totaling 2.21 pounds. Nearly 40 anglers competed in the contest.

The Lake Ontario Pro-Am Tournament, set for May 20-22 this year, has a live website now for registrations at www.lakeontarioproam.net.

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!

Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Niagara River

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Friday, April 8, 2016

1.Lake Ontario and tributaries – The topsy-turvy weather has put a damper on fishing action for sure. Cold temperatures and a few inches of snow at the very least kept many fishermen home instead of on the water the past week. Piers were ice covered again when they weren’t under water; high winds kept boaters from trolling the shoreline. Some action in the tributaries for trout in places like 18 Mile Creek and Burt Dam, but water was high and muddy. The better fishing was in the smaller streams like Keg Creek. It probably won’t warm up at all until next week. A few bullhead and catfish are being caught in Wilson, but it’s not easy fishing. Worms and dead minnows are producing a few fish. The Wilson Conservation Club will be running a bullhead contest this weekend starting April 8 at 5 pm and running through April 10 at 1 pm. Weigh in for your best two fish will be held on Sunday morning between 9 am and 1 pm at the Wilson Conservation Club, Route 425, Wilson. Register at the Slippery Sinker in Olcott (778-0713) or CMC Auto Repair in Wilson. We told you about the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. getting their pens ready to accept fish from the state on April 9th. Be at the Town of Newfane Marina at 9 am to help. They will also need help feeding the fish after they are put into the pens, which it was just announced that it would take place on April 13 at 1 pm. Check out the group’s website at LOTSA1.org for details on how you can help. Speaking of LOTSA, the group will be holding its monthly meeting on April 14 and keynote speaker will be Capt. Rich Hajecki with Crazy Yankee Sportfishing, one of the top tournament fishermen on the lake. The meeting will take place at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue (Route 78), Lockport starting at 7 pm.

2. Lower Niagara River – After the recent storms muddied the water up earlier in the week, things started getting clear by Tuesday. Wednesday was good for Capt. Frank Campbell with a couple customers from Georgia (Chip and Douglass Holloway) who were in town visiting Craig Avery of Lewiston. Using chartreuse colored Pautzke Fire Dye on minnows, they caught about a dozen steelies in three hours, the biggest tipping the scales at 13 pounds. However, we’ll have to wait and see what the 40-plus mile an hour winds will do on Wednesday afternoon and into the evening to the water conditions. Trout can be found from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar when it’s fishable, but the bigger numbers seemed to be down river. Minnows, egg sacs and wobbling baits like Kwikfish or Mag-Lips are all good baits to try when you can get back out there. Steelhead and lake trout top the list; a few browns are also available. Shore casters can use spinners, egg sacs or egg imitations fished under a float. Remember that the stairs at Whirlpool State Park are closed. And when we get wintery weather like this, the NYPA fish platform gets shut down, as does the shoreline access and the reservoir. It will re-open when it gets warmer. No reports on smelt by dippers yet.

3. Upper Niagara River – Stained water and winter conditions impacted fishing the past week. Trout should still be available off Unity Island and out of Broderick Park, as well as off Bird Island Pier when you can get out there. Egg sacs, minnows and spoons or spinners will catch fish. Use emerald shiners for perch or other panfish. On April 8, Oppenheim Park Pond in Wheatfield will receive 200 rainbow trout and 100 two year old browns at 10 am. That same day at 11 am, Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls received 1,720 brown trout and 200 two year old browns. Gill Creek, the outflow of the lake, will also receive 560 yearling browns. Get out there and take advantage of those trout!

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