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!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal for September 29, 2016

Hats off to Joe Yeager with this monster King Salmon recently caught in western Lake Ontario.

The cool down continues for the rest of this week and well into next week.

Rain is in the forecast throughout the end of the week and into Monday of next week, which should spur movement of salmon towards their spawning locations. Fishermen are reporting more hookups around the tributary mouths of Johnson and Sandy Creeks, as well as at the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek.

Right now the flows on the tributaries within Orleans County are at moderate levels to slightly below moderate levels, but the rain over the next few days should improve those conditions.

Right now fishing pressure is light but with conditions improving that should be on the increase.

The weather conditions are moving these fish up to at least the mid-pools and some all the way up to the Waterport dam on the Oak. Please remember that if you are utilizing fishing opportunities on Brookfield Power property to take the time to familiarize their guidelines concerning safety procedures.

On Lake Alice, the Bluegill fishing is starting to drop off slightly, but the bass fishing is on the rise.

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 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 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

Buffalo Black Bass on the Big Bite!

Drop Shot Rigs are Snag-Free Key

When giant bronzebacks begin to gather on Labor Day weekend for their fall feeding binge, look to fish the bottom, the top and in-between for fun and thrills with leaping bronzebacks. Forrest Fisher Photo

For most folks, Labor Day marks the end of summer fun and back-to-school for kids. In a sense, some say it’s a sad time, but if you’re not yet ready to store the boat and hang up the fishing rods, taking an hour or two away from the grill can provide a most enjoyable fish-catching time.

Black bass, both largemouth and smallmouth, while not particularly vulnerable to easy hook-ups, usually do often provide the ultimate gift of a ready connection when the offering of the angler is placed right and is irresistible.

buffaloblackbass2My grandson and I are anglers that usually fish artificial lures and plastic bait imitations for nearly every species. On this day, we decided to make a switch to live bait and direct all of our efforts to catching smallmouth bass near Buffalo Harbor in Lake Erie.

We visited Tony’s Bait and Tackle on Niagara Street in Buffalo for two dozen live crabs, the cost was only $7. Affordable fishing! We also purchased some size 2 hooks and ½ ounce sinkers that we planned to fish drop-shot style using 8-pound Stren monofilament. Simple fishing style, usually is snag-free and the rigs don’t cost much even if you do snag up or break off your sinker on the plentiful zebra mussel farms that cover the bottom of Lake Erie shoals.

buffaloblackbass3

The crabs were lively and not very big, about 2 to 2-1/2-inches long or so, but they were of the hardy variety and two dozen of the fleeting critters fit comfortably into a small container with a nice containment cover provided by Tony’s Tackle free of charge.

We tied up our rigs using a Palomar knot for the hook, then taking the down line and putting it back down through the upside eye of the hook so the hook point always pointed up. This is key to hoking the fish first time and every time.

The sinker was tied on 15-18 inches below the hook and we were set to fish. Using light 6-1/2 foot long Carbon-X graphite rods (IM7), we had good sensitivity and feel with the bottom in 30 to 35 feet of water.

We headed for the Number 2 buoy on the NOAA lake chart, locally known as Seneca Shoal, only to find the area was being worked pretty hard by at least four charter anglers with a full crew. We steered clear of the pack and move southwest toward Myers Reef where we found a nice rock pile with serious hooks in 37 feet of water.

We deployed the new MinnKota Ulterra electric bow motor and returned to the spot, set the automatic anchor lock on the unit and rigged up a live crab (through the tail) for the drop-shot rig.

buffaloblackbass4On the very first drop, my grandson lowered his rod tip to allow the crab to appear helplessly falling to the bottom and then lifted gently. Wham! “Fish on!” he yelped. “This is a big one!” His drag was screaming to protect the line and he was being patient with not forcing the fish to the top. It took about two minutes before the hefty smallmouth went airborne twice, then quietly surrendered to a hand lift, belly style. Fun.

On our way out, we had realized that we were signed up for the last day of a summer bass contest and there was even more anticipation and excitement added to our Labor Day journey. The contest was at Bison City Rod and Gun Club in Buffalo, New York.

This fish tilted the Normark digital scale at 4-pounds even. We flipped on the live well and aerator, and the first cast of the day already made this adventure on the water a huge success. You see, my grandson has Lyme disease and he is still fighting to find energy and remission from the nasty Lyme bug. This fish, however, had brought the biggest smile – ear to ear, that I had seen in a long time. Good medicine!

We caught seven more hefty bass from that one rock pile before the fish seemed to be tired of watching us lift their buddies of the bottom. The biggest fish was 5 pounds -1 ounce, a fatty.

Because the drop-shot rig with live bait allowed us to hook all the fish in the jaw, not the gullet, we released all the fish where we caught them and only keep the two largest for the weigh-in at the contest.

The end result was a first place and third place finish! Ah, the difficult labors of Labor Day! These proved to be fish-filled fun for the both of us. The switch to live bait was new for us and it also provided a baseline we may have forgot always using lures, there is something about scent from live bait, movement from live bait, and for the understanding between predator and prey, when the prey is live bait.

A membership to the view of the underwater community that we will respect and cherish for all time. We observed catch and release from nearly every boat. Nice to see cooperation and respect for the fishery like that!

Share life with others, make new friends in the outdoors, lead by example.

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!

Lightning Bolt Walleye on Lake Erie

Solutions for Thunder and Skittish Fish

John Mills from Orchard Park, New York, was straining to lift his walleye prize from the clear water depths of Lake Erie while fishing with Captain Jim Skoczylas aboard Ultimate Adventure Sportfishing.

When Mother Nature decides to drop in on your fishing plans, the wind and the rain may not keep you from fishing, but those big bright lightning bolts with clapping thunder will sure turn most of us around.

What’s almost worse, when the cloudburst and natural fireworks happen the night before a fishing day plan for 60 people and the lake turns calm, the fish do too.

That’s what happened for the VIP Fishing Day in Dunkirk Harbor, New York, on Wednesday, August 11, 2016. Our dedicated hosts included Zen Olow (Northern Chautauqua County Conservation Club), Lance Erhardt (Lake Erie Charter Captain’s Association) and Andrew Nixon (Executive Director Chautauqua County CVB) and their supporting crew. The plan was to provide the time and resources for a networking opportunity where 12 charter boats (walleye and bass guides), local expert fishermen, legislators, business owners and Mother Nature, could share conversation. lightningwalleye2There is nothing like a face-to-face meeting of the minds. Issues can often find solutions or at least become identified. This annual event is one an effective way to bring real issues and the potential for discussion and action together on the battlefront of conservation, the outdoors, Great Lakes resources and other factors.

Overnight the lake was a sea of flashing thunder and driving rain, but by morning, the lake was calm and the charter anglers all knew where the schools of walleye had been located over the last few days. So off they went, some of the boats carrying three, four and five of the would-be angler folks to fish catching destinations looking for the sweet song of a screeching drag.

There is nothing like walleye gills and fins to bring a smile to anglers that expect fishing action.

I was aboard the new 31-foot Tiara piloted by Captain Jim Skoczylas (Ultimate Adventure Sportfishing, (716-796-5372) with his first mate, Tom Yetzer, and it was fully equipped with 16 rods/reels, downriggers, diving planes, planer boards, temperature and current speed sensing equipment for surface and down deep detection, and all the lures necessary to fool those fish we call walleye in untold different ways.

We could see the fish suspended 55 to 65 feet down in 91 feet of water, but they decided to play hard to get. Question was why? Answer: Overnight lightning seems to spook both baitfish and predators. I have often wondered if when we see what appears to be a lightning bolt striking the surface of the lake, that the effects are not more serious than we think. Maybe the fish are getting a shock treatment?! Whatever it is, it seems they head for their brick house in the lake bottom and stay there for a bit before thinking about breakfast.

The interconnectivity of water molecules and electrons may have secondary effects that have not been yet explored, since it appeared on this day, that the fish were just going to take a breather.

Running 12 lines at depths of 40 to 65 feet down in 90 feet of water, some with 10 colors of leadcore line with fluorocarbon leaders, some off diving planes, some off downriggers and all displaying either homemade spinner/worm rigs or Bay Rat hard stickbait teaser lures with extra sharp hooks, Captain Jim and First mate Tom had hooked us up with eight fish on a day in waters where 19 or 20 fish in the boat were the norm for four hours of fishing on the days before. Other boats hooked up far less, some had no hookups.

Even secret fishing lures are not overly effective on days following an electrical rainstorm.

The fish we lost were light-biters, even the fish we landed were lightly hooked. Did it matter? It sure made for good conversation time! Maybe it was the best scenario! We caught a few fish and enjoyed more time to discuss issues and answers.

The chef-supreme walleye fish fry and fish chowder lunch with multiple desserts that was shared by all made the mediocre fishing of the storm effects just dissolve. It didn’t matter. Everyone enjoyed a great time networking about life in the outdoors and the incredible natural resource, Lake Erie, which we all work hard to keep as a treasure into the future.

God Bless America!

Program coordinator, Zen Olow, from the Northern Chautauqua County Conservation Club in Dunkirk, New York, is the friendly mastermind that has brought national, state and county legislators to the common discussion table everyone can find when they go fishing for a few hours.

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, August 5, 2016

Lake Erie bass fishing can be unbelievable at times, especially when you fish with Captain Frank Campbell

Lake Erie – Walleye and Bass

Closest consistent action for walleye continues to be off Sturgeon Point in 70 feet of water. While trolling worm harnesses or stickbaits are always an option off planer boards, downriggers or diving planes – like Dipsy-Divers, some anglers prefer to use the very basic approach of a three-way rig, bouncing bottom with a worm harness trailing.

Capt. John DeLorenzo of Niagara Falls has been focusing between Sturgeon Point and Cattaraugus Creek in 68 to 73 feet of water to take limit catches of ‘eyes. The recent northeast winds did shut things down a bit and he only had 8 fish on Wednesday. Orange and chartreuse are the best colors, but firetiger does well, too. His basic set-up has the distance from the three-way to the worm harness at 3 feet. His front rods will have a 5 ounce drop weight; the back rods a three ounce weight to avoid tangles. GPS ground speed is normally around 1.3 mph, using his trolling motor to supply the speed he needs. Bass action has been a bit tough. Deeper has been better on the outside of reefs and shoals. Crayfish and shiners; tubes and drop-shot rigs. Start in 25 feet of water and work out.

Lake Ontario – King Salmon, Steelhead

After a hard east-northeast blow last weekend, the lake is just starting to settle back down and resume with some of the great salmon and trout action we’ve seen this summer. Anglers are still experiencing tackle-busting salmon inside of 150 feet of water, starting in 60 feet of water at first light according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker. Meat rigs, flasher-fly or spoons will all take fish, but some days you do have to work harder than others.

Browns have pushed inside of 50 feet of water and the leading youth catch in the LOC Derby was Adam Flachbart of Fairview Park, Ohio with a 14 pound, 5 ounce brown trout, caught off the pier in Olcott on a Yo-Zuri crankbait! Walker also reported a few jack kings came from the pier after the lake rolled over following the storm. Now it’s back to the normal catch of bass, perch and a few crappies. Ditto for warm water fish over in Wilson. Out deep, the 23 to the 26 north line continues to be productive on steelhead and teenager kings. It was actually tougher fishing in the 450 to 500 depth range due to some cold water upwelling.

Niagara County led the charge once again in the Summer Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby held July 1-31. Grand Prize catch came from Olcott and Wilson both – Chad Fenstermaker and Mitch Shipman of Ohio were fishing out of Olcott, but ended up north of Wilson in 205 feet of water when a 31 pound, 7 ounce salmon hit their raspberry shadow Moonshine spoon 90 feet back of their dipsy diver set on No. 2. Chad reeled the fish in – his first salmon on his first Lake Ontario fishing trip – to take home the $10,000 check. First place in the salmon division was Larry Wills of Lewiston with a 30 pound, 15 ounce king salmon caught out of Wilson on a purple Warrior spoon – 40 feet down over 400 feet of water. First place brown trout was Guy Witkiewitz of Ontario, NY with an 18 pound, 14 ounce fish caught east of Irondequoit Bay. Second place came from Wilson when Thomas Gies of Michigan reeled in a 17 pound, 6 ounce trout while fishing with Capt. Dan Evans of Lone Wolf Charters. It hit a Moonshine Ice Shadow spoon 45 feet down over 220 feet in front of Wilson. In the Lake Trout Division, Ephriam Burt of Watertown bested Bob Turton on Sanborn with a 24 pound, 3 ounce fish from Henderson harbor. Turton’s Niagara Bar laker tipped the scales at 23 pounds, 7 ounces. He was using a green Kwikfish to take his local trout. Top steelhead came from Niagara when Wade Winch of North Tonawanda hauled in a 17 pound, 10 ounce fish from Wilson. He was using a slide diver, back 185 feet on a No. 2.5 setting over 180 feet of water with a purple Dreamweaver spoon as bait.

Next derby on the calendar is the Orleans County Rotary Derby, set for August 6-21. The Slippery Sinker and the Boat Doctors in Olcott are both registration points.

The inaugural Reelin’ for a Cure team tournament – focusing just on the ladies – will be held out of Olcott on August 19. Get those teams together and plan on fishing! For more info contact Stephanie Pierleoni at 481-6388 for more info. Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey registrations are now online at www.fishodyssey.net and at area registration outlets.

Canadian Open Bass Tournament (Lake Ontario) – Congratulations are in order to Capt. Joe Fonzi of Gasport who placed third overall in the Canadian Open last month out of Kingston, Ontario, on Lake Ontario, with a three day catch of 64.50 pounds. He caught 19.5 pounds, but with a penalty for one dead fish. It may have cost him second place. Day two he reeled in 19.85 pounds of bass, sitting in 8th place. On the third day, he brought in the big bag of the tourney, a five fish total of 25.65 pounds, anchored by a 6.75 smallmouth that was big fish for the day. Steve Boris of London, Ontario, won the tournament with over 67 pounds of bass. Big fish of the tournament was caught by Darren Izumi, son of Canadian legend Bob Izumi, with a 7.2 pound fish. Secret to Fonzi’s success was a drop shot rig approach in 18 to 28 feet of water with goby imitation plastics, running about 27 miles to his favorite fishing hole. He attributes his successful runs to his Ranger 621FS Fisherman that handled the 3 and 4 foot waves admirably and his Cabela’s fishing gear that helped him to deal with the adverse conditions.

Lower Niagara River – Sturgeon Caught!

After a lake roll-over resulted in some great bass fishing at the mouth of the river last Sunday (according to Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Lewiston), those fish scattered and it was a struggle for anglers fishing in the Lower River Fishing Challenge to benefit Cystic Fibrosis, part of the second annual Charity for Children event held Monday and Tuesday.

Moss is no longer an issue, but finding bass and walleye during the dog days of summer was definitely a “challenge” as the name suggested. The most bass any one person caught was Tim Kolb with 5 on Monday; 7 for Dean Hale on Tuesday. Only a few walleye were caught and trollers that hit the lake did produce some salmon and trout on the Niagara Bar. Top salmon catcher on Monday was Jim Weber of Newfane; Tuesday it was Adam Thomas of Amherst with Beneficial Soil #2 – who also won the individual title for the overall contest with 1,305 points. He was fishing with Capt. Mark “Sparky” McGranahan. In the end for the team title, it was Capt. Jim Gordon of Appleton leading the Team event for Beneficial Soil #1 (Frank D’Amico, Joe Manz and Rick O’Brien) with a total of 3,320 points.

The surprise catch of the contest would have been Gary Hall’s 5 foot sturgeon that he fought for a half-hour before losing it at the side of the boat when the hook came out. Quite a thrill!

The 11th Annual Bass Contest to benefit Independent Living of Niagara County will be held at Fort Niagara and the Three-F Club on August 7. Contact 284-4131 Ext. 146.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal – Silver Bass Time

Best fishing has been along the east side of Strawberry Island for smallmouth on crayfish, shiners or tubes. The inside of the Strawberry Island horseshoe has been closed due to nesting bald eagles. Bass action has been consistent, but you can catch sheepshead and silver bass from boat and shore if you are using live bait like crayfish or shiners.

In the Erie Canal, the kids will be flocking to the Wide Waters Marina in Lockport on August 13 from 10 am to 2 pm for a special free derby that is open to the public.

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, 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 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!

Tuning Up for Summer Walleye – Part 2

Find the Forage, Match Your Lure, Catch Fish!

Bob Rustowicz has been a tournament winning angler for many decades- he fishes hard and often, following bait schools near his favorite fishing areas in Eastern Basin Lake Erie. This 11.42 pound walleye is currently leading the 32nd Annual Southtowns Walleye Association Tournament.

When tournament anglers travel to a waterway that they know, it is often a brand new ball game because everything changes week to week.  Sometimes it’s better not to know the waterway, that way you can’t make the same mistakes by fishing the same way you did last time when you caught fish and now, the conditions are changed.  Bad habits can cause bad fishing days, of course, we all know there are no days that are actually bad days to be out fishing!

You may know where the creek beds and the sunken roads are in reservoir lakes, the offshore shoals and reefs in natural lakes – maps can tell you that too, but it’s the other variables that affect forage location.  Where the forage schools are controls where the predator fish are and what they will strike.  As you choose your lures, this is a big key to catching fish.

Plain and simple, walleye like to eat.  As waters warm, they eat often.  Their metabolism rises and they have no choice, so they stay close to forage school locations.  As anglers, it is up to us to understand how the wind direction and water temperature changes affect the forage.  It pays to know as many details as possible about the forage community.  What types of forage live in the waterway?

On Lake Erie, the deep eastern basin off New York and Pennsylvania offers many forage types, but the primary forage are emerald shiners, rainbow smelt, yellow perch and round goby.  The walleye will key on whichever species has the most abundance where the walleye are located.

Walleye favorites in Lake Erie are the emerald shiners and smelt, so angler lures that mimic those forage types – when those forage types are available, are usually taking fish to the boat.

Usually, the smaller walleye key on the emerald shiner minnows, the larger walleye key on the longer and heavier smelt, but when or the other is in low supply, the fish switch in favor of abundance.  When these two forage are hard to find, the walleye move toward shore into shallower waters and key on the yellow perch.  Again, the walleye locations vary with forage density locations.

So while I am not a biologist, I have been fishing out there for nearly seven decades and have learned from the best of the best anglers.  Today, we have so much equipment to help us cheat fair out there, since it now largely a matter of who can afford the best equipment to catch fish with science and technology helping us figure out where the forage is.  We can monitor, water temperature, wind speed, water current, boat speed, oxygen content and Ph to narrow down where we fish any length of time.

To simplify, watch your graph, study the wind and wave weather maps – the resulting current eddy’s control the flow of phytoplankton and photoplankton. The young of the year emerald shiner and smelt nursery schools feed on these the larger forage is never too far from them.  The walleye are nearby.

The wind maps can be found here: http://www.coastwatch.msu.edu/erie/e3.html.

Wind maps and lake current maps are available for all the Great Lakes at this link sector.  These maps help you locate the surface temperature of interest and help you figure out where the forage are located in their highest density.

Rig up your preferred fishing tackle, just allow for adjusting to the baitfish that you locate to catch fish.  As we transition into summer, the temperature cycles have been fluctuating and the wind shifts the lake currents topsy-turvy, often causing short duration turnovers.  When you leave the dock and head out about a mile or so, check the water temp.  If it’s 45, turn around and go fish somewhere else.  Or, head out about 15 miles to get to the other edge of the thermal break.

Match the hatch is the key rule.  Mimic the forage.  New model lures always seem to catch more fish than old stuff for some reason.  Are the fish educated?  Nope.  It’s just that they seem to always slam new baits, new colors, new sizes better than old stuff.  Can the old stuff still work? Sure it can, but sometimes only on those days when the fish are really gorging themselves.  Funny how that works.

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So I am always trying new lures. The new effective lures from my end include those that look like smelt.  This one from Live-Target Lures simulates an elongated school of baitfish.  I really like it, especially when it’s working!  It’s ideal when walleye are feeding on small baitfish, has a wide body profile, two hook or three hook design dependent on size, it suspends and is silent.  The EBB90S in pearl/olive (color 801) is a 5/16 ounce suspending lure, 3-1/2 inch long that will dive 3-4feet.  It has two hooks in size 4.  The EBB115S is a 4-1/2 inch model and has three hooks in size 6.

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Another of the new lures that has met with recent success is this one from Rapala.  Another of the newbies that has attracted some of the country’s best anglers for many species is the Rapala Shadow Rap (SDR11MBS).  This lure works best when there are also gizzard shad in the forage mix, as sometimes happens here in WNY in spring.  It has flatter sides and offers a swimming minnow action, has a rattle, will suspend and stay there, a very effective lure to cast or troll, especially when fished as a jerk bait.  The moss back shiner color has been my favorite here.  It runs just 2 to 4 feet deep, but works well off the boards with weight or a diving plan or 3-color lead core for the June timeframe.

These lure types are also offered in deeper diving models if you prefer to fish without lead core or weights as the fish head out deeper.

In the Southtowns Walleye Association Tournament on Lake Erie’s eastern basin, the largest fish so far include (June 13th) for first place: 11.42 lbs, second: 10.72, third: 10.51 lbs.  For the junior anglers under 16, first place is 9.52 lbs, second is 7.80 and third is 7.75.    Bob Rustowicz is leading with the big fish.

Tight lines!

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!

fishreport6_3

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!

Smallmouth Bass GIANTS are Biting in Buffalo Harbor

Dave Mull caught and released this nice 6lb-7oz smallmouth bass taken in Buffalo Harbor – note Buffalo City Hall in the background. Hefty bass like this one are the norm at this time of year in the City of Buffalo harbor waters of Lake Erie.

Old friend, Dave Mull, took the drive all the way from Paw Paw, Michigan, to test the chilly, 43 degree, Buffalo Harbor waters of Lake Erie.  The reason was simple: BIG BASS are in their customary, pre-spawn, feed cycle.

Fishing Eastern Lake Erie within sight of Buffalo City Hall with guide Jeff Draper, Mull joined forces with Ray Lynch from Realtree and Charlie Puckett of Flambeau Company to search for the giant bass known to be found here during the month of May.

The recent 35-40 degree mornings made fishing a bit chilly, but this crew came prepared with the proper weather gear.  If the fishing was uncomfortable, some of the catching made up for it!

While Mull said the smallmouth were a bit finicky, the trio still caught nine chunky bass, including a personal best for Mull.  The monster smallmouth tipped the scales at 6 pounds – 7 ounces!  Mull is a distinguished outdoor media professional and is digital editor for Midwest Outdoors Magazine and Television and director at Inner Viking Media Services

New York State Department of Environmental Fisheries Biologists report that the best Lake Erie smallmouth bass fishing of the entire year is in the spring near rocky reefs, harbor waters and tributary streams.  The bass caught can make for great fun because the bass are concentrated in those areas, catches of 40, 50 and even more numbers of fish in one outing are not uncommon.  With some of the largest bass caught in spring, anglers do travel from distant places to catch the trophy of a lifetime.  New York now offers a special trophy bass season to support the recreational angler interest in the big bass fishery.

The last five state record smallmouths have come from Lake Erie, with the current record standing at 8 lbs., 4 oz.  Anglers can enjoy this early trophy bass season on Lake Erie, which runs from the 1st Saturday in May until the 3rd Saturday in June, when the regular bass season opens.  During this early season, there is a one fish limit and 20″ minimum size requirement.  The bass are feeding on smelt and emerald shiner forage found in these locations where the water warms up early.

Local anglers concentrate fishing with tube jigs dragged on bottom and flutter tail jigs cast and retrieved (swimming style) near gravel rubble in 10 to 25 feet of water.  Deep diving stickbaits that swim near bottom are also effective.

For more information: visit: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/58757.html

Map is courtesy of NYSDEC (http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/fish_marine_pdf/lakeeriesmb.pdf)