Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Nov. 30, 2017 – Brought to you by Destination Niagara USA

At the time of this report, it was starting to rain.

Using a home-made spinner, Mike Rzucidlo landed this beautiful 15-pound rainbow trout from Devils Hole, just upstream of the NY Power Authority Fishing Platform.

After a very windy day yesterday, the wind and/or rain combo could negatively affect water clarity in places like the Niagara River or some of the smaller streams off Lake Ontario. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish.

The lower Niagara River was stained yesterday, but a few captains decided to give it a go since their customers were already in town.  Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane managed to hit double digit trout – half steelhead and half lake trout – using egg sacs off three-way rigs.  Use bright colored baits when the water is stained.  MagLips and Kwikfish in silver and chartreuse will also work when drifting from a boat. When the water is stained, though, there is no guarantee you can catch fish from a boat.

Shore fishermen can actually do a little better than the boaters in that some cleaner water can sometimes be found closer to the shoreline. Egg sacs or egg imitations work well, as do spoons and spinners. You need something to get the attention of the fish.

There are still a few King Salmon remaining in the Lower Niagara River, as Mike Rzucidlo landed this one from the NYPA Fishing Platform, open to the public for fishing access (FREE).

Today is the final day of the musky season in most of the state.  However, the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario are both open until Dec. 15.  To take advantage of the extra couple of weeks of action, the Niagara Musky Association will be holding the John Henning Memorial Lower River Musky Tournament on Dec. 3 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.  We’ll have to see if Mother Nature – and the fish – cooperate for the anglers. 

Dec. 1 is the opening of lake trout season in the lower river and Lake Ontario for the Province of Ontario.  New York’s laker season opens on Jan. 1, 2018. If you do catch a lake trout, be sure to release it quickly and unharmed.

The NYPA Fishing Platform, as well as the other NYPA fishing access points like the reservoir and water intakes, will be closing down for the season after Dec. 3. They will not re-open until the spring. Speaking of the platform, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught a 16 pound salmon on 8 pound test line earlier this week and it took him and hour and 20 minutes to reel in!

Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek has been muddy and flow has been slow with around 80 to 100 cfs coming through Burt dam. Some fresh kings and cohos are still being reported, but the run is essentially over.  Those are being replaced by steelhead and browns but not in huge numbers according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker.

Some big perch have been coming out of Wilson and Olcott harbors, as well as from the creeks in those locations. The piers have been productive when you can stand on them.

The Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derbies are offering a Christmas deal right now.  Check out www.loc.org and make sure you mark Jan. 19-21, 2018 on your calendar for the 5th Annual Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. It’s going to be a good one.  Check out www.niagarafishingexpo.com. 

If you want to find out what else is happening around the Western New York area, be sure to check out www.buffalonews.com/section/sports/outdoors/ and follow the outdoor section every Wednesday or Thursday. 

Another good stocking stuffer is the NYS Winter Classic, set for Jan. 1 to Feb. 28. Sign up at www.nyswinterclassic.com. 

Bill Hilts, Jr.; Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd.,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Outdoor Promotions Director

Inline image 2
Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303, f: 716-285-0809

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Nov. 9, 2017

  • FREE FISHING DAY in New York on Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11
  • Orange/Blue are Hot Colors for Eggs, Lures and Wooly Booger’s
  • Musky Tournament Rescheduled from Nov. 5 to Nov. 12
Fish of the day was this 40-inch lake trout caught by 9 year old Ty Nichols. He is backed up by Tim Finney.

After some intense weather over the weekend and cold weather blowing in the end of this week, you will have to pick and choose how and where you want to fish.

Niagara Falls USA waters fared better than most in Western New York, just in time for the Veteran’s Day – Free Fishing Day, on Nov. 11.  In honor of our veterans, Nov. 11 is a designated free fishing day in New York State. It means you don’t need to purchase a license for that day. However, you still have to abide by the fishing regulations!

In the lower Niagara River, the water turned to mud and chased away the boaters until waters start to clear a little.  Capt. John DeLorenzo of Niagara Falls got a jump on the Veteran’s Day celebration by taking out a mother and son through Western New York Heroes, when the weather was decent last Saturday.  WNY Heroes is a non-profit veteran’s assistance organization.  Along for the ride was Tim Finney of Wheatfield, who was helping DeLorenzo, Danielle Nichols and her 9 year old son, Ty.  They caught two nice steelhead up to 11 pounds and lake trout up to 40 inches for the morning.  Best bait was a chartreuse trout bead fished on a three-way rig.  Other captains working the drifts were doing well on MagLips and Kwikfish.

Danielle Nichols of Clarence holds up an 11 pound steelhead.

Shoreline anglers have been casting spoons and spinners, as well as drifting eggs or egg imitations, to take a mix of trout and a few salmon. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been hitting the New York Power Authority fishing platform to catch both salmon and steelhead.  A No. 4 spinner has been working best for him. Further up the gorge, state parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened.  Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access.

In the upper Niagara River, musky action should improve as waters clear.  Last Sunday’s annual Tim Wittek Memorial Musky Tournament hosted by the Niagara Musky Association was cancelled due to weather. It has been rescheduled for Nov. 12 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Cost is $25 to enter this catch-and-release event.  Call Scott McKee at 225-3816 for more information.

Capt. John DeLorenzo holds up a lake trout caught by Danielle and Ty Nichols of Clarence. They both lost their husband/dad in a helicopter accident while serving in the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Lake Ontario tributaries, like 18-Mile Creek, are muddy, but not high.  Some salmon are still struggling to swim around as the browns and steelhead are starting to move in.  According to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott, large numbers of fish are in the creeks. Orange and blue were the hot colors for eggs, poppers and wooly buggers.  Keg Creek was too low for fish passage. Twelve-Mile Creek in Wilson was stained.  If you are wondering why you haven’t seen more water flow there, blame it on the beavers.  They have dammed some of the upper stretches and it’s been impacting the flow.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

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

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

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Report for August 10, 2017

Lake Ontario – The hottest action out deep has been for steelhead off Wilson and Olcott.  Boats have been heading out to 400-500 feet of water for salmon and trout, but most of the fish have been nice steelhead taken on spoons.

Flasher-fly will work for trout but if there are kings and coho’s around, those seem to be the best baits to use. The DW 42nd spoon keeps popping up for one popular bait; for spinnies, white on white, white 2 face, and chrome green dot flashers with stud fly, purple or lime mirage fly have worked best, but other colors are working, too.

A few salmon have started to make it in closer to shore, but the best and most consistent fishing has been out deep.

The Niagara Bar is producing some nice fish, as well.

John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda was out last weekend and did well with flasher-fly 90 feet down over 100 feet of water right at the drop off.  He caught a dozen nice kings to 25 pounds.

Out of Wilson, Capt. Mike Johannes has been reporting fish about 8 miles out, but fish are also available in the 100 to 200 foot depth range.  Spoons and flasher-fly, what’s been working elsewhere, has been the hot bite.  Meat will also work for kings as we move closer to the time when salmon will be making their way in to the ports they were stocked at.

The Orleans County Rotary Derby has been plugging along slowly the past week. Mike Schaeffer of Sligo, Pa., is leading the grand prize quest with a 28 pound, 6 ounce salmon out of the Oak.  In the Salmon Division, Chase Lamb of Burt is in first place with an Olcott king that weighed 23 pounds, 15 ounces.  The contest runs through August 20th, which helps set up for one of the busiest weekends of the year as far as the fishing scene is concerned.

The Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby kicks off on August 18 and runs through Labor Day.  Also on August 18, the Second Annual Reelin’ for a Cure will be held out of Wilson and Olcott from 6 a.m. to noon.  This all-ladies event will be raising funds for the Breast Cancer Network of WNY.  Last year there were 12 teams.  This year it looks like it has more than doubled!  They need boats – charter boats and rec boats – to make it all happen.  It’s a fun time for sure. Contact Stephanie Pierleoni at 481-6388 for more information or go on the event’s Facebook page.

The final contest that starts up next weekend is the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby, set for August 19th to the 27th. Six species categories for the adults and a Grand Prize of $3,000.  For the kids, it’s free to enter with loads of merchandise prizes and trophies.  Sign up at any of the LOC weigh stations or at www.fishodyssey.net.  This is for Niagara, Orleans and Erie counties. Many thanks to Jim and Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott, who do a lion’s share of the work behind the scenes, such as the website and the leaderboard.  This is a great way to get the whole family out to enjoy the waters of Western New York.

Niagara River action, both above and below Niagara Falls, has been dominated by bass, but the walleye fishing can be pretty good, too.  Bass are liking crayfish and shiners, in that order.

Walleye are liking worm harnesses and other spinner-worm combinations.  Yellow sally rigs are a local favorite in the lower river.

  Captain Ernie Calandrelli of Lewiston also hit the top walleye on the same drift, using the same bait as Fox – a softshell crab.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director

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

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Report – July 6, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Outdoor Promotions Director

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

Travel Destination: NIAGARA USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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

fishreport7_1a

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.

fishreport7_1b

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.

fishreport7_1c

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!

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

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

fishreport6_24

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!

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!

Lake Erie & Niagara River Status Update

lakeriverstatus

New York State Fishery Biologists Outreach Event – June 21, 2016

An upcoming free seminar to update the public about the status of the Lake Erie and Upper Niagara River Fisheries is scheduled for Tuesday, June 21 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., at Woodlawn Beach State Park’s Lodge, Blasdell (Erie County), by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

The free seminar will begin with informal discussion and poster exhibits, followed by a series of presentation topics on Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River fisheries.  These will include an opportunity for angler input on a variety fisheries management activities.  The meeting will conclude with questions and an open discussion.

“DEC is committed to sound management of Lake Erie and Upper Niagara River fisheries to maintain high-quality angling opportunities and associated economic benefits,” DEC Regional Director Abby Snyder said.  “This event provides an excellent opportunity for anglers to interact with DEC experts who study and manage Great Lakes fisheries.”

Key members of Lake Erie and Niagara River’s fisheries management and research community will present on Lake Erie fisheries management and assessment activities for steelhead, walleye, muskellunge, research initiatives, and habitat improvement projects.  This seminar is sponsored by DEC’s Lake Erie Fisheries Unit and Region 9 Fisheries offices.  Anyone interested is welcome to attend this free event and registration is not required.

The Lake Erie and the Upper Niagara River rank among New York State’s top fishing destinations, especially for walleye, smallmouth bass and steelhead.

A recent survey (2007) of statewide anglers estimated more than 800,000 angler days spent on these waters.  The estimated value of these fisheries exceeded $22 million to the local New York economy.

For further information contact Don Einhouse, Lake Erie Unit Leader, (716) 366-0228.

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!

Niagara River – Niagara Fishing Forecast for Friday, April 15, 2016

niagara_river

Lower Niagara River – Trout action has been decent of late as the weather conditions finally settle down. A call from Mike Fox of Lewiston noted that he reported good numbers of smelt on Wednesday night and hopefully that will continue with the warmer weather finally arriving. While the Lewiston smelt festival will not be held until May 6, the early dippers can do well. Keep your fingers crossed! Trout can be found from Devil’s Hole to the Niagara Bar. Minnows, egg sacs and wobbling baits like Kwikfish or Mag-Lips are all good baits to use, but it seems to change daily and you need to be flexible. Steelhead and lake trout top the list; a few browns are also available. Capt. Jeff Draper of Grand Island had the brown trout touch earlier this week using minnows to take double digit browns on the Niagara Bar – fish up to 10 pounds. Shore casters can use spinners, egg sacs or egg imitations fished under a float. Remember that the stairs at Whirlpool State Park are closed. The NYPA fish platform is open again, as is the shoreline access and the reservoir.

Upper Niagara River –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. Oppenheim Park Pond in Wheatfield received 200 rainbow trout and 100 two year old browns last Friday; Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls received 1,720 brown trout and 200 two year old browns. Gill Creek, the outflow of the lake, also received 560 yearling browns. Those fish have been cooperating for anglers.

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!

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
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