Fishing 411 TV Show – Mark and Jake Romanack on the Lower Niagara River

Niagara Falls USA Fishing – from Destination Niagara USA…the FISHING REPORT for Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018

Mark Romanack with Fishing 411 TV Show hit the lower river this week and put a show together on brown trout with his son Jake and Capt. Frank Campbell.

After some muddy water slowed things up earlier in the week, anglers are catching fish again in the lower Niagara River. You never know what you are up against after a storm in Western New York. Winds, rain and snow can have an effect on water conditions, especially in the Niagara River. There is a difference, though, and fishermen and fisherwomen need to be cognizant of that difference between stained and dirty conditions.

Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls caught this brown trout on a MagLip plug fishing with the Fishing 411 TV Show that airs on the World Fishing Network.
Connor Cinelli of Grand Island caught this 8 pound lower Niagara River walleye using a Swedish pimple tipped with a minnow.

Mark and Jake Romanack of the Fishing 411 TV Show that appears on the World Fishing Network, visited town on Monday to put a show together on the lower Niagara River. The water was stained, but definitely fishable. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls met up with them and they fished the afternoon using 3.0 MagLips in Double Trouble and Green Machine colors.

In 2 hours of actual fishing time they boated 9 browns on 9 hits, enough for a show. The next day the water was dirty. After 4 hours, not a single hit, but the crew was able to take some drone footage and film some tech tips before the headed back to Michigan.

As of today, the shore guys were already catching fish again according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Along Artpark, pink and chartreuse spinners are working for steelies, orange for the browns. Chartreuse egg sacs and beads are also producing for the shore guys, as well as the boat drifters. Shore casters are out-fishing the boat guys right now, but that will change a bit as the waters start to clear a bit more.

John Keeler and his son, Shawn, were fishing the lower Niagara River last weekend and they caught nice steelhead like these fishing with Capt. Jim Rores of Grand Island.
Shawn Keeler with a nice lower Niagara River steelie last weekend.

In the Niagara Musky Association John Henning Memorial Musky Contest last Sunday, Andrew Lacko of Kenmore took top honors with a 41-inch fish caught on a Bondy bait. It was the only fish caught for the event held in the lower Niagara River. Musky season continues in the lower river and Lake Ontario until Dec. 15. Lake trout season is now open on the Canadian side of the lower river, but closed until Jan. 1 on the New York side of the river.

For the Lake Ontario tributaries, weather conditions have not been the best with a mix of rain, snow, wind, warm and cold temperatures. Still, trout are being caught. Not too many anglers have been hitting the streams according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott, but for those that are making the effort to wet a line, they have been rewarded with some nice brown trout, a few steelhead and even some late salmon. Spikes and wax worms are the baits being talked about most, usually tipped on a small jig and fished under a float. Fishing your bait slow with the slightly cooler conditions could help increase your chances for a hook-up.

Scott Feltrinelli with Ontario Fly Outfitters reeled in some nice brown trout this week from a favorite Lake Ontario tributary.

Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters caught some impressive fish yesterday in a favorite Lake Ontario stream. You might have to do a little searching. When you find them, the rewards are great.

Christmas Yule:

  • The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association has its Christmas meeting on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport. It’s a joint meeting with the county’s Fisheries Development Board.
  • The Niagara River Anglers will hold their Christmas meeting on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Sanborn Historical Society. Call Paul Jackson at 731-4780 for details.
  • The Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs will hold its Christmas meeting on Dec. 12 at the Hartland Conservationists Club, Orangeport Road, Gasport. Doors open at 5 p.m. Bring a dish to pass.

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Nov. 30, 2018

 

Nancy Colavecchia and Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls show off a double header in the lower Niagara River.

It’s November 30 and there are quite a few noteworthy occurrences that take place.

For example, muskellunge season closes today with one exception – the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario. The upper Niagara River produced a few nice late-season fish, like the 50-inch trophy reeled in by Rebecca Gaulteri of Hamilton, Ontario. She was fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island over the weekend and managed to catch the fish of a lifetime. Joining her was her husband, Francesco and her dad Chris Mills (who also caught a 45-inch fish the same morning).

John Anthone of Sanborn shows off a 49 inch upper Niagara River musky he caught Nov. 29 while fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.

John Anthone of Sanborn hit a 30-plus pound 49 inch musky on Nov. 29, also fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli.

Below Niagara Falls, water was stained, but still fishable after the most recent storm. The lower river had been hot the past week as waters cleared and trout fishing took off. Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston reported that beads, egg sacs and Kwikfish/MagLips lures (all fished off three-way rigs from boats) has been good to very good for a mixed bag of trout.

Just ask 87-year-old George Gregory of Lewiston who was fishing with his son Kurt and Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston. They caught double-digit trout over the long weekend using primarily egg sacs, catching steelhead up to 13 pounds and some nice browns. What had them talking though, was a lake trout that both father and son caught at the same time. Remember that lake trout season is closed on the NY side until Dec. 31. However, on the Canadian side of the river, the lake trout season opens on Dec. 1.

Shore fishermen are still doing well with the good conditions, especially off the NYPA fishing platform. However the platform closes at dusk on Nov. 30.  Nancy Colavecchia of Niagara Falls caught her first-ever steelhead with a green egg sac while fishing off the platform.  She was fishing with Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls who caught nearly double-digit steelies on egg sacs and 4 walleyes on jigs. Drabczyk also reported that spinners and beads are also working in chartreuse, orange and pink colorations.

Nancy Colavecchia of Niagara Falls caught her first steelhead off the NYPA fishing platform this week.

The Niagara Musky Association will be hosting the John Henning Memorial Lower River Musky Tournament, a catch-and-release event, that will be held Dec. 2 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. You must be a member of NMA. Contact Scott McKee at 225-3816.

Fishing has been a bit slow in some of the Lake Ontario tributaries for steelhead and browns. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctor in Olcott says that there are fish (mostly browns) around, but not much pressure from anglers. Hot baits in the tributaries have been spikes, egg sacs and beads. Gianni Etopio of Youngstown has been using his own hand-tied marabou jigs to take a mix of salmon, steelhead and browns.

Dec. 1 starts up the catch and release season for bass fishing. The only exception is for Lake Erie were anglers can keep one fish if they so desire, but the minimum size is 20 inches in length. Consult the DEC regulations at www.dec.ny.gov.

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 Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018

The King Salmon are on the big bite in the Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario...read the details!

Ashley Dobbs of Ocala, Fla. was in town attending Travel Media Showcase in Niagara Falls USA and took a side trip fishing. She caught her first fish every – a 20 pound salmon…on a worm harness while she was fishing for walleye. What a story!

National Hunting and Fishing Day is Saturday, September 22, a tradition since 1972. As you look around Niagara Falls USA, there are a number of exciting events going on this weekend, including the two-day Wildlife Festival sponsored by the New York Power Authority and the Niagara Co. Federation of Conservation Clubs. The event is held at the NYPA Visitors Center in Lewiston next to NU and it runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days with a huge emphasis on getting the kids in tune with nature and the outdoors. In honor of NHF Day, New York State has announced that Sept. 22 will be a free fishing day in the state.

The Niagara River Anglers Association’s fishing pond is a popular attraction at the Wildlife Festival every year at the Power Vista in Lewiston, the area’s National Hunting and Fishing Day celebration Sept. 22-23. Photographer: Anne Dykstra.

No one needs a fishing license, but you do have to abide by the fishing regulations in the state and on the body of water you intend to fish. This is a great opportunity to share your expertise with someone who you’ve always wanted to take on the water. It could be a neighbor or friend, a co-worker or a family member. Make the effort and it could make a huge difference in a person’s life. There is a kids fishing derby on Saturday morning at Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by canoeing and kayaking starting at 12:30 p.m. The fishing derby is for kids ages 6 to 16 years old. Get down there and get the next generation fishing.

Gianni Etopio of Youngstown, NY, caught this king salmon from shore off the NYPA fishing platform in the Lower Niagara Rive this week.

Lake Ontario salmon and trout fishing continues to be very good, especially out deep from 300 to 400 feet of water off Wilson and Olcott. Quality steelhead in the double digit range have been reported consistently on a spoon bite along with a mix of mature and immature salmon. If you are looking for some big boys, try trolling the pier heads at Wilson and Olcott at first light with J-plugs, cut bait behind a flasher, flasher-fly or a magnum spoon.

Shawn West of Sanborn caught this salmon off the Olcott pier this past week on a KO Wobbler.

Pier casters are picking up some fish tossing spoons with anything blue in the color pattern according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. Wilson harbor has been producing some nice pike according to Joel Spring of Ransomville. Fishing with a jointed X-Rap, he managed 3 nice pike fishing off his kayak on Tuesday of this week. Bowfin were hitting in the west branch of 12 Mile Creek.

Mike Cardamone of Lewiston caught this king salmon in Devil’s Hole fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters

Lower Niagara River fishing is continuing to improve for salmon in the Devil’s Hole area and boat captains have switched from plugs to treated salmon egg skein fished off three-way rigs. While it’s far from the peak, they are picking up some fish consistently. The fishing platform at the power project is producing some kings on spoons, jigs and eggs. During the Travel Media Showcase event hosted by Destination Niagara USA in Niagara Falls at the Doubletree, four of the attendees were participating in a “Hooked on Adventure” fishing tour. Ashley Dobbs of Ocala, Fla. was fishing with a worm harness along the Stella drift in the lower river when she hooked into a 20 pound salmon. On a worm! That’s one of the best things fishing the lower river – you never know what you are going to catch. She was one happy camper for sure and hooked for life. It was her first fish ever!

Joel Spring of Ransomville is still using his kayak to take some pike from Wilson harbor. This one hit a jointed X-Rap plug.

Bill Hilts, Jr. –Outdoor Promotions Director

Inline image 2
Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, August 29, 2018 – Destination Niagara USA

Chris Taylor of Grand Island is holding a 29 pound, 7 ounce Niagara Bar king salmon he caught Sunday morning to win the Salmon Division of the Fish Odyssey Derby. He's also leading the Salmon Division of the LOC Derby that ends on Labor Day. Mike Mongan (L) and Walt Zebker, both of Grand Island, were also fishing on the boat.

Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters holds up a 32-pound Niagara Bar king salmon caught by Kyle Kraft of Ohio. 

Mature king salmon are moving closer to their natal streams and are starting to darken up in Lake Ontario.

Crazy winds have riled things up a bit, making fishing a bit more difficult.

The Niagara Bar finally turned on for big fish as a 32 pounder was caught, as well as a 29-pound, 7 ounce king. Flasher-fly and flasher with cut bait top the list of enticements on the drop off near the red can.

Chris Taylor of Grand Island is holding a 29 pound, 7 ounce Niagara Bar king salmon he caught Sunday morning to win the Salmon Division of the Fish Odyssey Derby. He’s also leading the Salmon Division of the LOC Derby that ends on Labor Day. Mike Mongan (L) and Walt Zebker, both of Grand Island, were also fishing on the boat.

Olcott Harbor reports have some fish in close. but hit it early, before the sun comes up. One of the better areas has been 250 to 350 feet of water out in  front of Olcott. The microwave tower and the power plant are both good landmarks for fall fishing, too. Fish 70 to 90 feet down. Out a bit deeper, 400 to 500 feet of water, steelhead have been hitting spoons. Just ask Gabby Hovak of North Tonawanda and Tom Milleville of Sanborn, a couple of winners in the Fish Odyssey this past week.

Speaking of the Odyssey, the 42nd Annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby concluded last Sunday and plenty of big fish and last minute heroics came to the scales by both young and old alike. For the adults, Robert Geiger of Lackawanna won the bass division with a 5-1/2 pound Lake Erie smallmouth bass and then proceeded to win the $3,000 Grand Prize in a special drawing of all first place winners. Chris Taylor of Grand Island caught the biggest salmon on the final day of the derby, a 29 pound, 7 ounce Niagara Bar king that is currently first place in the LOC Derby. It also won a special $700 LOTSA prize for the biggest salmon caught by a member.

Chris Walczak of Amherst caught this northern pike off the piers at Olcott while casting for salmon and trout this week.

Milleville of Sanborn caught the big steelhead, a 12 pound, 7 ounce fish reeled in off Olcott. Top lake trout came from Lake Erie when Jerry Bielicki of Akron hauled in a 22 pound, 14 ounce fish. Jason Henning of Machias was first in the carp division with a 23 pound, 4 ounce Lake Alice carp and Eric Majka of Niagara Falls took top honors in the walleye division with an 11 pound, 1 ounce lower river ‘eye. He also took a special $500 for the largest walleye caught by a Southtowns Walleye Assn. member. Grand prize in the Junior Division went to Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane, earning the right to be in the drawing by catching a 35 pound, 3 ounce carp. Wow! Top salmon was caught in the last hour of the derby, a 22 pound, 10 ounce Olcott king weighed in by Alex Heath of Sanborn. That’s 2 years in a row! Gabby Hovak of North Tonawanda had the big trout at 13 pounds, 7 ounces, a fish that’s also leading the Steelhead Division of the LOC Derby. Gabriella Geiger, Robert’s daughter, was top bass catcher with a 5 pound, 1 ounce Lake Erie fish and Abigail McGrath of Niagara Falls took top panfish with a 10 ounce rock bass from Lake Erie. The walleye division winner was Ethan Brolinski with a 10 pound, 6 ounce lower Niagara River fish. He was dragging a Berkley Flicker Shad on the bottom when the fish hit. He also won the drawing for a bike from the Primate Sanctuary.

The LOC Derby ends on Monday, Sept. 3. If you are going fishing, get in the derby. One unlucky angler caught a 32 pound salmon last weekend, only to find out one person wasn’t in. He could have won $25,000.

Niagara River action has been good for walleye and bass with no confirmed reports of salmon in the gorge yet. They should be there very soon. Michael and Alyssa Cardamone of Lewiston had a banner bass day earlier this week when they caught more than 15 bass in just a couple hours of fishing. They were caught on crabs.

Good luck and good fishing!

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
 

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, August 22, 2018 – Destination Niagara USA

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga with his leading Odyssey salmon at 22 lb. 14 oz.

  • Lots of fish near Lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario
  • Tournaments offering large prizes for many age groups
  • King Salmon on the big bite with right winds
Taven Lukehart, 14, caught a 21.5 pound king salmon out of Olcott Harbor to take over the early lead in the Junior Salmon Division of the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey.  He weighed it in at the Boat Doctor’s in Olcott.

We’re at the half-way point of the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby, ending on Sunday, August 26 at 1 p.m. It’s still not too late to enter, especially for the kids who can fish for free in a special Junior Division. There is over $1,000 in kids prizes up for grabs. Check out www.fishodyssey.net for details.

Some nice fish have already come to the scales, like the 10 pound, 6 ounce walleyes weighed in by Charles Hoy of Niagara Falls in the adult division AND by

Gabby Hovak of North Tonawanda caught this 13 pound, 7 ounce steelhead east of Olcott to take over the trout division of the kids in the Fish Odyssey AND the Steelhead Division for the Fall LOC Derby! She caught it on a Finn Tackle spoon.

Ethan Brolinski of Lewiston in the Junior Division! Both were caught on the Niagara Bar at the mouth of the Niagara River. Biggest salmon so far is a 22 pound, 14 ounce king hauled in by Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga, caught out in front of Olcott on a spin doctor and cut bait. Steve Olay of Ransomville has first place rainbow/brown so far with a 11 pound, 1 ounce steelie. Richard Barber of Niagara Falls is the top laker taker with a 19 pound, 2 ounce Niagara Bar fish. Dave Stahura, Jr. of Lackawanna has the big bass so far, a 5 pound, 7 ounce smallmouth from Lake Erie. Michael Boncore of Buffalo is leading the carp division with an 18 pound, 6 ounce Lake Ontario fish. For the kids, Gabby Hovak of North Tonawanda is leading the trout division in the Odyssey. She is also leading the entire field in the Fall LOC Derby with her 13 pound, 7 ounce steelhead caught east of Olcott on a Finn Tackle spoon over 400 feet of water. Taven Lukehart of Reynoldsville, Pa. has the top salmon at 21 pounds, 5 ounces out of Olcott on a spoon. Gabriella Geiger of Lackawanna is current leader in the bass division with a 4 pound 8 ounce Lake Erie smallmouth caught on a tube. Jacob Velesko of Middleport is leading carp catcher with an 18 pound, 15 ounce fish from the Oak and Abigail McGrath of Niagara Falls is leading the panfish division with a 10 ounce perch. Get out there and catch some fish!

Congratulations are in order for the “Reelin’ for a Cure” tournament held last Friday out of Wilson and Olcott. Top ladies team in the 3rd annual event was the Legacy Ladies captained by Rob Wescott of Hamlin. They scored 166.30 points for their best 6 fish based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound to best 20 other boats in the fun contest. They also raised funds for “Look Good, Feel Better” as a support for ladies suffering from cancer.

Niagara River walleye action has been good the past week with worm harnesses or yellow sally-spinner-worm rigs catching fish. Bass action has been good in the river, too, with crabs and shiners at the top of the list for getting fish to hit according to Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle.

In the lake, the salmon and trout fishing has been hampered a bit the last few days from an east wind that has brought in cold waters. Head out deep to 350 to 450 foot depths in the top 100 feet to target a mix of salmon and trout. There were some trollers working the waters from 180 to 220 feet picking up some matures on Tuesday, but it’s a blow day today again so we don’t know what’s happening inside right now.

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga with his leading Odyssey salmon at 22 lb. 14 oz.

Best baits for mature kings have been spin doctors and flies, flashers with cut bait (Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott says the N & D Cut Bait has been flying out the doors) and J-plugs first thing in the morning. Spoons are also catching fish. Hot colors have been white, black and green.  The LOC Derby runs through Labor Day and the leading fish right now is a 28 pound, 6 ounce fish for the $25,000 Grand Prize. It ends on Labor Day. Check out the leaderboard at www.loc.org.

Don’t forget the kids fishing derby at Widewaters Marina on the Erie Canal in Lockport August 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration starts at 8 a.m.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

Inline image 2
Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast: Aug. 9, 2018

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga caught this 23.4 pound salmon while trolling off Olcott with a flasher-fly combo.

  • King Salmon are Staging in Lake Ontario off Niagara River
  • Bass and Walleye Hitting in River
  • Contests in Progress and in the Future, Sign-Up

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga, NY, caught this 23.4 pound salmon while trolling off Olcott Harbor with a flasher-fly combo.

Salmon fishing in the lake is moving along at a steady clip and the Niagara River action is improving.

In the Niagara River, it won’t be long before the first salmon will be making their way through the system. In the meantime, bass and walleye suffice. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls hit the Artpark shoreline for action and he managed to catch 5 bass using 2-inch tubes in 2 hours of fishing. Then he hit the New York Power Authority fishing platform and caught some huge Rudd by tossing those same 2-inch tubes. In the 13th Annual Bass Derby run by Independent Living of Niagara County at Lewiston, George Rohr, fishing with Capt. Arnie Jonathan of Lockport, reeled in the first place bass with 15 minutes to spare – a 3.72 pound smallmouth that hit a crayfish.


Mike Erdt of Williamsville, NY, with an King he caught off Olcott Harbor last weekend.

In Lake Ontario, Salmon have started to show the early signs of staging with mature kings available in 80 to 150 feet of water during the morning; maybe even closer than that with J-plugs, meat and flasher-fly before the sun comes up. Out deep, it’s been easy picking for a mix of salmon and trout.

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga hit the water Sunday with Mike Erdt of Williamsville and they went 8 for 11 on kings with the biggest being a 23.4 pound salmon that hit a flasher-fly combo. There was no specific pattern as they hit fish on the riggers at 45-55-65 feet and off the divers 120 and 220 feet back. Spoons, flasher-flies and cut bait all caught fish.

In the Orleans County Rotary Derby, in which Niagara County waters are eligible and Olcott is a weigh station at The Slippery Sinker, the current Grand Prize leader is a 26 pound, 14 ounce king salmon weighed in by Mike Schaeffer of Sligo, Pa.  Top Rainbow trout is a 12 pounder reeled in by Dan Heglin of Gardner, Mass. First place lake trout is 17 pounds, 12 ounces caught by Brian Gambell of Hilton. There’s plenty of room for improvement though and still lots of fishing left through August 19.

The next LOC Derby is August 17 through Labor Day. Grand Prize for the biggest salmon is $25,000. Find out more info at www.loc.org.

The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey is set for August 18 to 26 and people are already starting to sign up. Kids 15 and under can fish for free. Check out www.fishodyssey.net.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a big Rudd caught off the NYPA fishing platform.
Greg Pratt caught his first walleye ever while fishing the lower Niagara River.

The Reelin’ for a Cure ladies tournament to benefit a cancer-related charity is August 17 out of Wilson and Olcott. Put together a ladies team and compete for just $250. If you need a boat, tournament organizers may be able to find one for you. Entry fee is $250. Contact Stephanie Pierleoni at 481-6388 for more information or go on the Reelin’ for a Cure facebook page or website.

The 5th Annual End of Summer Free Kids Fishing Derby will take place on August 25 at Widewaters Marina in Lockport. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and fishing will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lots of prizes! See you there!

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!

King Salmon on the MOVE TO YOUR LINE near Niagara Falls USA

David Salvalzo of Derby with the winning king in the Summer LOC Derby, 28 pounds, 10 ounces while fishing out of Wilson. Click for Story.

  • Kings are on the move Early and Close to Shore!
  • Spoons, Lures, Meat…all working
  • Fishing Forecast and Tournament Results (August 2, 2018) 
Alicia Joyce Salvazo, holds up the winner caught by her husband, David, after weighing in at the Wilson Boat Yard.

August is a crazy time of year for fishing because of the number of fishing contests and because the fishing is usually so darn good. Salmon are reaching their peak size as they slowly migrate back to the areas they were stocked or the places they were spawned and call home.

Niagara County is blessed with 30 Miles of Lake Ontario shoreline and the ports of Wilson and Olcott top the list of popular locations. One great spot is the Niagara Bar, launching at Fort Niagara and Youngstown at the mouth of the Niagara River. There are mixed reports across the board on what people are doing for success. Kings have been reported as close (to shore) as 100 feet of water and as deep as 400. Other good lake depths have been 165 feet, 200 feet, 275 feet and others. Depth for lures have been 60 to 100 feet down, depending on temperatures and where fish are on the graph.

Capt. Mike Johannes was hitting fish this morning 75 feet down over 400 foot depths off Wilson using a Green Jeans spoon and 400′ copper with a paddle and meat.

If you look at the LOC Derby leaderboard for the winners, magnum spoons by Moonshine, Michigan Stinger and Dreamweaver were all in the mix. Spin Doctors and flies, as well as meat offerings will catch fish for you, especially if you are targeting matures.

Speaking of the LOC Derby, David Salvalzo of Derby caught a 28-pound, 10 ounce king salmon while fishing out of Wilson to win the $10,000 Grand Prize in the Lake Ontario Counties Summer Trout and Salmon Derby. He also won the $1,000 weekly prize for the biggest salmon. Jim Maziekien of Blairstown, NJ was just 3 ounces back to place first in the Salmon Division. Big Brown trout was a 19 pound, 5 ounce fish reeled in by Aron Brophy of Montgomery Center, Vermont. His fish was just one ounce bigger than Kurt Charland’s Orleans County fish. For the lake trout, Steve Burkowski of Rochester took top honors with a 21-pound, 15-ounce Braddocks Bay fish. You guessed it, the fish was one ounce bigger than the runner-up that was caught on the Niagara Bar by Ed Klejdys of North Tonawanda. Top steelhead was a 14 pound, 8 ounce fish caught by Rick Droshin of Oswego. The next LOC Derby is August 17 through Labor Day.

Matt Wilson of Lewiston releasing his big sturgeon, was caught in the Lower Niagara River on a crab while bass fishing.

The next derby on the lake is the Orleans County Rotary Derby August 4 through 19.

The Reelin’ for a Cure ladies tournament for cancer is August 17 out of Wilson and Olcott.

The Wilson Bicentennial salmon tournament was finally held last Saturday and the winning team was Claire Bear out of Wilson with a three-fish weight of 88.24 pounds. Second place was Dublin’ Up with 84.74 pounds and third was Summer School with 83.38 pounds. Big fish was Papa Smurf with a 20.98 pound king salmon.

In the Lower Niagara River, the moss is pretty much history and bass and walleye are the order of the day. However, every once in a while you end up with a surprise catch. For example. Matt Wilson of Lewiston was bass fishing with a crab and hooked into a 6-foot long sturgeon that was estimated at 100 pounds. It was quickly released. These fish are a protected species.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
Inline image 2
Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, July 18, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

Steve Nichols of Connecticut caught this 27 pound, 3 ounce salmon while fishing with Capt. Mike Johannes of On The Rocks Charters out of Wilson. No, they were not in the LOC Derby.

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, July 18, 2018 from Destination Niagara USA

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga was doing well on kings off Olcott in 200 to 300 feet of water, hitting double-digit kings like this 22 pounder with spin doctors and flies.

Salmon fishing continues to be very good in the lake out of Wilson, Olcott and out of Fort Niagara on the Niagara Bar. It’s too late to sign up for the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s club tournaments July 20 and 21, but it’s not too late to sign up for the Wilson Bicentennial Trout and Salmon Tournament July 22. Call Mike Johannes at 523-1727. The contest is only $100 per boat and it’s a Big Fish, 3-fish tournament. Make sure you are in line for the weigh in at Bootleggers Cove Marina in Wilson by 3 p.m. There is $10,000 in prize money up for grabs as the community prepares to celebrate its 200th anniversary.

Scott Rohe of Cheektowaga did well off Olcott in 200 to 300 feet of water. His best rigger was 60 feet down, 20 feet behind the ball with a spin doctor and fly. The two-face spinny and a stud fly did the trick. His 85 foot rigger also took a couple of fish as did some divers set back 180 feet on a No. 3 setting. A green Pro Troll paddle in front of a green hammer fly was the ticket. His biggest was 22 pounds.  With the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby going on until July 29, your odds of catching a winning fish are better than playing the lottery. Time and time again, possible winning fish are caught by people who did not enter the contest.

Steve Nichols of Connecticut caught this 27 pound, 3 ounce salmon while fishing with Capt. Mike Johannes of On The Rocks Charters out of Wilson. No, they were not in the LOC Derby.

Steve Nichols and his son Arri are the latest victims of fate. They were fishing east of Wilson with Capt. Mike Johannes of On The Rocks Charters over the weekend and Steve reeled in a 27-pound, 3-ounce king salmon on a 400 foot copper rod rigged with a custom painted flasher and meat. Nope, no derby ticket.

The leading fish is a 26-pound, 15 ounce Wilson fish hauled in by Scott Foster of North Tonawanda. Of course, that could change this weekend with a flurry of fishing events from LOTSA and the Wilson Bicentennial contest.

Bob Migra of Lorain, Ohio heard about the good king fishing and decided to give it a try. Most of their fish were 15 to 26 pounds. Yes, 26 pounds. No, they weren’t in the derby. The 26 pounder was caught in the afternoon in 140 feet of water just east of Wilson. They also caught steelhead over 10 pounds in 400 feet of water.

In the meantime, Capt. Joe Gallo of Two Bulls Sportfishing hit the water last weekend outside Wilson in 250 feet of water using a meat rig on a long copper line. His reward was a 26-pound king that is in third place on the LOC board.

In the Niagara River, the dreaded moss situation is slowly starting to dissipate, giving local anglers more of a reason to chase bass and walleye both above and below the Falls.

A big bass tournament is coming to Buffalo next week when the Costa FLW Series Tournament hits Safe Harbor Marina July 26 to 28. Weigh-ins each day will be at 2 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Saturday’s weigh-in for the Top 10 anglers, based on the first two days of fishing, will be at Cabela’s in Cheektowaga at 3 p.m. The FLW Foundation will be sponsoring a Unified Fishing Derby out of Safe Harbor Marina on Saturday morning, July 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is for any kids under 18 years of age and special Olympic athletes of all ages. To pre-register contact tom-bassman@hotmail.com.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

 
Inline image 2
Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for July 5, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

Scott Foster of North Tonawanda, NY, took over the lead in the Lake Ontario summer LOC Derby with a 26 pound, 15 ounce Wilson King salmon on a DW spoon. Click picture for story.

Bill Winch of North Tonawanda caught this 20 pound king on the Niagara Bar while fishing with John Van Hoff (holding fish) of N. Tonawanda.

Lake Ontario is continuing to offer up a mix of good fishing opportunities for Salmon and Trout.

Scott Foster of North Tonawanda took over the lead in the Summer LOC Derby with a 26 pound, 15 ounce salmon while fishing out of Wilson with a Dreamweaver spoon on July 5. No other details because the derby continues through July 29.

Top lake trout is 21 pound, 15 ounces caught by Steve Burkowski of Rochester. It is just 1 ounce better than Ed Klejdys’ Niagara Bar laker. Randy Snyder of Marion is top brown trout catcher with a 13-1/2 pound Wayne Co. fish. Top steelhead is a 12 pound, 13 ounce fish reeled in by Bob Holdsworth of PA. Check out www.loc.org for the complete leaderboard.

John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda headed out on the 4th and had some fireworks out on the Niagara Bar with some feisty king salmon up to 21 pounds. The water was messed up a bit from earlier east wind. They caught their fish from the drop off to 270 feet of water, 40 to 75 feet down with spoons and flasher-fly combos due to cold water issues.

Niagara River action has been hampered by the dreaded moss monster again, making it difficult to keep your bait or lure in the water too long. Gianni Etopio of Youngstown is still catching some nice carp off the NYPA fishing platform on corn.

The popular Erie Canal Fishing Derby started July 4 and there are plenty of people fishing from the Niagara River to Albion through July 15th this year. Some nice catches are already on the board like Chris Fletcher of Gasport with a 16.59 pound carp. It’s a great family contest that offers up 7 different species categories for young and old alike. Fish from a boat or fish from shore, there are plenty of great prizes to give away. For more information or to see the updated leaderboard, check the website out at www.eriecanalderby.com.


Chance Porter of Silver City, New Mexico with a 9-1/2 pound walleye from the lower Niagara River while fishing with Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston.

If you want to learn how to fish for walleye, the next monthly LOTSA meeting at 7 p.m. on July 12 will feature Lake Erie Charter Captain Jim Skoczylas talking about summer walleye fishing. The meeting will be held at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport. Their club tournament is coming up July 20-21 so get registered. Check out www.lotsa1.org.

Will Elliott of Pavilion passed away last Sunday. Here he holds up a Niagara County steelhead he caught last summer while fishing out of Olcott. He was only 78 year old.

Also, the Wilson Bi-Centennial Tournament is July 22, a big fish, 3-fish contest that costs only $100 per boat. There should be some great prizes. For more information contact Mike Johannes at 523-1727.

On a sad note, our condolences to the family of outdoor writer Will Elliott who passed away last Sunday. The long time writer for the Buffalo News and NY Outdoor News was well loved and admired. His legacy lives on through the many people he touched through fishing education, his many writings and through his seminars. Long a friend to Niagara Falls USA, he will be missed.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

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

facebook | twitter | Instagram

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Thursday, April 12, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

  • Steelhead, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Bullheads too!
  • Fish are biting off 3-way Rigs/Minnows
  • NYPA Platform Still Closed due to High Water and Ice

The signs of spring are all around us!

Ely Moskal of Albany with a couple Niagara River trout from this week.

The New York Power Authority started pulling the ice boom at the head of the Niagara River where it meets up with Lake Erie and remaining ice is minimal due to the extreme wind event last week. There is still a pile of ice hanging around the base of Niagara Falls, but the warmer temperatures and rain should break that up in the coming week.

Lower Niagara River trout action took back off when the waters cleared this week. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls had a banner day earlier this week with double digit trout, finding a mix of steelhead, browns and lake trout. Minnows fished off three-way rigs were the bait of choice.

Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston hit the lower river and caught some nice steelhead.

No reports on the shore fishing action and the NYPA fishing platform is still closed due to the high water and potential for ice coming down the river (still). No word on smelt, other than the Lewiston Smelt Festival is set for May 4 this year. This will NOT coincide with the Spring LOC Derby as dates have been pushed back to May 11-20 this year. Check out www.loc.org for details.

Over in Wilson and Olcott, ice that was flowing north out of the Niagara River after last week’s wind storm encountered some strong northwesterly winds in the lake. That ended up pushing ice into Wilson and Olcott. It was a mess for boaters and pier casters. With warmer temperatures on the way and rain in the forecast again, things could be back to normal by the weekend. According to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott, the LOTSA pen rearing project received fish from DEC on Monday and that operation is underway.

Shoreline trolling with stickbaits should resume in 10 to 20 feet of water along any mud line or creek mouth. Seek out warmer water temperatures for best success. Pier casters should do well with spoons or spinners.

Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston, Lower Niagara River in the Niagara Gorge.

Last weekend, the Wilson Conservation Club held its 5th Annual Wilson Bullhead Contest. Some 43 adults and five youth participated in the spring kick-off event. In the Adult Division, the best two-fish bullhead weight and overall winner was Francis Holly IV of Wilson, with a 4.23-pound total. He was using cider worms at dusk to catch his bigger fish in 12 Mile Creek. Second place was Tyler Morrison of Appleton with 3.70 pounds of bullhead. He was fishing during the day in the west branch of 12 Mile Creek using shrimp. Third place went to John Pittsley of Lockport with 3.46 pounds using shrimp both day and night. In the Youth Division, it was Trever Wilson winning with a weight of .95 pounds.

Bill Hilts, Jr.- Outdoor Promotions Director

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, April 4, 2018 – from Destination Niagara USA

Aidan Pachucinski, an 8-year-old from Collins, NY reeled in this nice brown trout while fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters. The 15-pound fish hit a firetiger Rapala behind an Offshore inline planer board while trolling the Lake Ontario shoreline.

April 1 was the designated opener for the NY Power Authority Fishing Platform in the Niagara Gorge and the reservoir is now open for business as of April 1, too. However, a wind storm is ripping through the region today and a high wind warning is in place. Thanks to those winds, the Power Authority Platform is closed today. It’s under water. If you want to check before heading down there so you don’t waste a trip, call 796-0135 Ext. 45 for regular updates. We’d been told that the ice boom wasn’t going to be pulled until there was less than 250 square miles. Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature. The wind broke the ice boom loose today. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

Lower River action has been up and down, like the water. Egg sacs, beads, spoons and spinners are all working from shore. Boaters are using egg sacs and minnows when the conditions call for it. Capt. Mark Vilardo of Kingfisher Charters reports that his last trip out saw clearer conditions in the Devil’s Hole area, but varying degrees of stain further downriver below the power plants. Clarity depends on wind and runoff. Finding the best color is key. When the winds aren’t a factor, the Niagara Bar has been productive for browns and lake trout. Large golden shiners have been the bait of choice on the bar according to Vilardo.

Out in the lake, Capt. Matt Yablonsky with Wet Net Charters has been working the shoreline from Wilson to Fort Niagara in 8 to 15 feet of water for cookie cutter browns with a few bigger ones mixed in. Aidan Pachucinski of Collins, NY, reeled in a 15 pounder while using a firetiger Rapala. Other hot baits have been Junior Challengers and MagLips in 2.5 sizes, all bright colors along the mud line using Offshore inline planers. Down off Olcott, best depths have been 12 to 18 feet of water with clown-colored Scatter Raps. At least that worked for John Van Hoff and Wade Winch of North Tonawanda over the weekend.

Trout are still available in 18 Mile Creek. Anthony Henley of Buffalo, NY, hit some nice ones over the weekend fishing a jig under a float. When the water clears again, look for perch in Wilson and Olcott harbors and off the piers. With all the north wind, not too much action off those piers, though. The weather has not been cooperative.

If you like fishing for bullhead, the Wilson Conservation Club will be holding its 5th Annual Niagara County Bullhead Tournament from 5 p.m. on April 6th to 1 p.m. on April 8. Call Eric at 628-6078 for details. You can also register at the Slippery Sinker in Olcott.

The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association is looking for some volunteers to help put their pens together and get them ready for the salmon and trout stockings April 9. On April 7, volunteers will be meeting at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott at 9:30 a.m. to work on the pens. For more information contact Alan Sauerland at 504-7789.

At the LOTSA meeting on April 12 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Ave. (Route 78) Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Thrillseeker Charters will be the featured speaker starting at 7 p.m. talking spring kings.

Don’t forget that the Niagara County Federation of CC will be holding its annual awards banquet on April 14 at Terry’s Corners Fire Hall starting at 5 p.m. Call Dave Whitt at 754-2133 for advance sale tickets.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
Inline image 2
Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US, 1-716-282-8992 x303, f: 716-285-0809

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast – Feb. 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director
 
Inline image 2
Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

 

 

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Jan. 18, 2018 – Destination Niagara USA, Visit the EXPO

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

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

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

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

Jason Henniger of Ohio with his first steelhead ever!

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

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

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

ill Hilts, Jr.; Outdoor Promotions Director
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 Dec. 21, 2017 – Destination Niagara USA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Hilts, Jr.

Outdoor Promotions Director
Destination Niagara USA
10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
p: 1-877 FALLS US | 716-282-8992 x. 303

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report & Forecast for Nov. 22, 2017 – Destination Niagara USA

  • New York Power Authority fishing platform FISHING IS STILL HOT
  • Jigs, ¼ ounce, Working to Fool Walleye and Brown Trout
  • Trib’s have Fish TOO

The water in the Niagara River is still in bad shape according to many of the local charter captains looking to target musky in the upper river or trout in the lower river. It could be fishable by the weekend.

Shore fishermen have a bit of an advantage over the boaters when the water turns muddy. Find some clean water and you should catch fish. One spot that is still available is the New York Power Authority fishing platform. The announcement just came through today that (weather permitting) the final day for fishing will be Dec. 3. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been casting his homemade ¼ ounce jigs to take some more walleye and even a nice brown trout the past week off the platform.

Downriver along Artpark, chartreuse trout beads and egg sacs fished under a float was the ticket for trout. While the water was off color a bit earlier in the week, the scent emitted by the sac helped the trout to locate the bait. Spoons and spinners still work as well.

Remember that lake trout season is closed in New York until the end of the year but the season opens Dec. 1 in the Province of Ontario waters. If you do catch a lake trout incidentally, release it quickly and unharmed. If you take a photo, make sure it’s a quick one.

In the Lake Ontario tributaries, there have been good numbers of fish and not too many fishermen at Burt Dam and the Fisherman’s Park area of 18 Mile Creek. The final day of charging (fees) at the park will be today. Good numbers of fresh Coho salmon are still working their way up to the dam with eggs, egg imitations (like trout beads), and jigs tipped with wax worms all working under a float. Live bait could catch some fish, too. Move around to find the active fish.

Four mile and 12 Mile were both high and muddy on Tuesday. No report out of Keg Creek but that had fish last week.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Outdoor Promotions Director

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

facebook | twitter | instagram

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Nov. 2, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay safe!

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

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for October 26, 2017

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

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

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

and choose what you want to do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s go fishing!

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

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

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

King’s, Coho’s and Brown Trout Wacking Baits from Boat & Shore in Lower Niagara River

  • King’s, Coho Salmon on Niagara Bar ON-THE-MOVE to Devil’s Hole
  • Browns Biting at Night from Shore
  • Rainy Weather May Cause Big Run
  • Bass & Walleye Biting in Upper Niagara/Lake Erie
Mike Rzucidlo with an October brown trout casting from shore in the Lower Niagara River.
Jon Gwara with a nice King Salmon fishing with Captain Frank Campbell.
Ricardo Davila with a King Salmon caught from shore.

Get ready for another slug of fish to arrive in the lower Niagara River and area tributaries off Lake Ontario! Both wind and rain are in the forecast and that could be the trigger to bring some more fish into area waters.
In the lower Niagara River, Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters called me at 9:30 a.m. to say he had limited out for his two customers. That’s six salmon in just a couple hours. Not every day is like that, but if the rains in the afternoon trigger a run, there are a bunch of fish – kings and Coho salmon – hanging out on the Niagara Bar waiting for a push from Mother Nature.
We haven’t seen good numbers of Coho salmon in the fall in a number of years. This is great news! For boaters, the Devil’s Hole area is the place to be. Pautzke-treated egg skein is the ticket for taking Pacific salmon, fished off three-way rigs.
Shore fishermen have been doing pretty well too. Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield has been tossing glow-in-the-dark spoons and spinners to take salmon early in the morning. When that sun comes up though, fishing gets a bit tougher in that Devil’s Hole area.
From shore, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been using the same kind of hardware. He’ll also toss a Rat-L-Trap. Today he started catching some brown trout mixed in with his salmon in the Whirlpool area. He also reported some good bass fishing along the shoreline at Artpark.
If you enjoy fishing around the Schoellkopf Site near the Discovery Center (yes, there’s an elevator there), this new access point will be closed Oct. 11-12, next week, as they use a crane to complete some work.
Over at Olcott and 18 Mile Creek, Burt Dam has seen more fishermen than fish. Hopefully that will change soon. Some fish are being caught from boats anchored around the harbor, as well as around the piers.
Pier casters are only picking a few fish up now, but hopefully that will change, too. Spoons and spinners will work, but harbor boats are using treated egg skein and fished under a float.
Boat trollers are still pounding the mature salmon with flasher and fly or meat until they hit. Sometimes it’s tough getting them mad enough to strike, but when they do you have your hands full. If the weather cooperates, you can always run out deep off Wilson and Olcott to take a mix of salmon and trout.

Captain Chris Cinelli with another nice walleye rom the Upper Niagara River / Lake Erie.

Capt. Alan Sauerland of Instigators Charters out of Wilson found some salmon and trout in 450-plus feet of water, but he had to go deep to find the right temperatures. His riggers were from 75 to 110 feet deep, the divers were 280 and 300 feet back and he needed 500 feet of copper line to hit the fish zone with spoons and flasher-fly presentations.
In the Upper Niagara River, bass and walleye are still the primary focus. Capt. Chris Cinelli has been hitting some nice fish at the head of the river with shiners and spinner-worm combos.
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 Falls USA Fishing Forecast for September 15, 2017

  • King Salmon are SNAPPING!  The Run is ON.
  • Lake Ontario, Niagara River, Piers, Creeks – All Have Fish.
  • Shore or Boat, Grab Your Gear.
Captain Jeff Draper with another mature King Salmon caught in the Lower Niagara River. Fishing if HOT right now.

The salmon are snapping all around Niagara Falls USA as the mighty fish have shown up in the Niagara River and off the piers in Olcott.  Lake action is continuing too, for pier head trollers seeking a mature king.  Out deep, some salmon are available along with a mix of two and three year olds, as well as steelhead.

Let’s start with the Niagara River where king salmon action in Devil’s Hole area was on fire from both boat and shore.  Boaters were drifting treated egg skein all week to take some limits of kings.  Three way rigs get the presentation on the bottom.  Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls reported good success every day he’s been out, with his best day being 9 mature kings.

For shore casters along Artpark, Devil’s Hole and the Whirlpool, glow in the dark spoons and spinners have been taking fish under low light conditions.

A few walleye and bass are around, too. Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield was 5 for 7 on kings Tuesday, before he went into work in the Hole.  Remember that the stairs at Devil’s Hole State Park are closed for improvements until next spring.  The New York Power Authority fishing platform is open and kings are being taken by hardware tossers, especially in the tailrace of the power generators.  If you want bass and walleye, fish are hitting drop shot rigs and tubes, as well as live bait like leeches, crabs and shiner.

Even the kids are enjoying the salmon fishing this year! Ricardo Davila’s daughter is one happy angler!

Out in the lake, the Niagara Bar has been a little slow for king action.  Your better bet is to target mature kings on J-plugs, spoons, flasher-fly and flasher-meat rigs inside 100 feet.  Capt. Mike Johannes of On-the-Rocks Charters out of Wilson, reports that the Niagara Bar was ice water after the recent northeast winds.  He was finding good action in 300 to 400 feet of water straight out from his home port, 40 to 80 feet down on the riggers, 300 copper and 10 colors of lead core.  Use flashers and meat for the biggest kings, UV orange spoons for steelhead.  Out of Olcott, Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane was doing some thrill-seeking out to 500 foot depths, focusing his DW spoons and A-Tom-Mik flies in the top 80 feet of water.

Gary Hall with a nice King Salmon in the Lower Niagara.

Off the piers, Cleo’s and other heavy spoons are taking both salmon and trout, but the action isn’t hot and heavy. We need a good cool rain to really trigger a run. The east pier at Olcott is now open.

Mark your calendars for National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 23.  The big celebration in Niagara County is the Wildlife Festival at the New York Power Authority’s Visitors Center, set for both Sept. 23 and 24.  Doors are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and it’s free.  This event is cosponsored by the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs and there will be a fishing pond, shooting trailer, archery and crossbow demos and more.  Carmen Presti with the Primate Sanctuary will be there along with a pile of kids activities.  Bring the whole family!  Good luck and good fishing in Niagara Falls USA.

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 Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Labor Day Weekend

  • LOC Ends Soon: 39 lbs – 3 oz King in Lead(51 inches long!)
  • Recent North Wind, Lake Turnover, Cold Water Close to Shore
  • PIER FISHING Fishing for King Salmon is STARTING
  • FISH ODYSSEY Tourney Winners Announced

Brought to you by Destination Niagara USA, Aug. 31, 2017

Assemblyman Mike Norris (L), Dr. John Syracuse (C) a Niagara County legislator, and Rick Updegrove (R), Niagara County Manager, show off some of the fish they caught aboard the White Mule with Capt. Bob Cinelli (Forrest Fisher Photo)

The 41st Annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby ended on a high note as the awards ceremony was held last Sunday at the Olcott Fire Hall.  This year, the $3,000 Grand Prize winner was the Lake Trout Division and the lucky angler was Ed Klejdys of North Tonawanda.  He earned the right to be in the drawing by weighing in a 21-pound, 6-ounce lake trout caught on the Niagara Bar.

In the Walleye Division, Tony LaRosa of Lewiston was dragging a worm harness along the bottom on the Niagara Bar off the mouth of the Niagara River to reel in an 11 pound, 6 ounce winner.  The most interesting thing about his catch is that it came during the solar eclipse.  In the Smallmouth Bass Division, there was a tie for first place. Both were 5 pound smallmouth bass from Lake Erie and they were caught by a husband and wife fishing duo – Dave and Kathy Muir of North Tonawanda.  Since Dave’s was weighed in first, that was the tie breaker.

Biggest salmon for the Odyssey was a 34 pound, 8 ounce King caught out of Wilson in Lake Ontario by Joe Oakes of Lockport.  Oakes also won a special $500 prize for the largest salmon caught by a LOTSA member.  Biggest brown or rainbow trout was a 13 pound, 9 ounce brown reeled in by Ken Trontel of Sharon, Pa.  In the Carp Division, Paul Natiella of South Lima reeled in the winner from the Oak Orchard River using corn – a 30 pound, 9 ounce fish.  Nice catch!

There is also a Junior Division for kids 15 and under.  For the second year in a row, the Grand Prize species category was panfish.  And, for the second year in a row, the lucky winner was 6 year old Alyssa McGrath of Niagara Falls.  This time it was a 1 pound, 2 ounce Lake Erie perch that did it for her.

Joe Szcafranski from West Seneca, NY, with a King Salmon he caught while fishing from shore off the Olcott Pier. (Slippery Sinker photo)

Other Junior Division winners were: Megan Walsh of Niagara Falls with a 7 pound, 14 ounce Lower Niagara River walleye; Abigail McGrath of Niagara Falls (Alyssa’s sister) with a 4 pound, 5 ounce Lake Erie bass; Cole Gallo of E. Amherst with an 8 pound Wilson steelhead; Alex Heath of Sanborn with a 26 pound, 3 ounce Niagara Bar King salmon; and Jacob Velesko of Middleport with a 16 pound 6 ounce carp from the Oak Orchard River.

The LOC Derby is still going on through Labor Day and the Grand Prize leader is now a 39 pound, 3 ounce king salmon reeled in by Daniel Klinger of Auburn.  Top steelhead is a 16 pound, 9 ounce fish from the Oak, weighed in by Steve Gardinsky of Ohio.  Big Brown is a 16 pound, 15 ounce Rochester fish checked in by Anthony DiGiovanni of Rochester.  We still have a few days to go. Check out www.loc.org.

Lake Ontario rolled over and there is cold water close to shore. In fact, a nice salmon was caught off the pier in Olcott (west pier) by casting a Moonshine spoon.  The east pier should be ready to go by Sept. 15 as they are doing some renovations and clean up from the high water earlier this year.  Lots of steelhead around and many fish were caught off Wilson in 150 to 300 feet of water in the top 50 feet. Spoons seem to work the best.  For salmon, flasher-fly or flasher-cutbait has been the ticket. The Niagara Bar was tough with the roll-over, but it should pick back up by the weekend if past performance is any indication.  Lower river bass action has been great on leeches, crabs and shiners.  Worm harnesses are working for walleye.  Shad Rap’s and Rapala’s are producing walleye in the gorge under low light conditions.  No word on the NYPA fish platform, but it could be opening soon.

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

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Report for August 16, 2017 – Presented by Destination Niagara USA

Lake Ontario Fishing Derbies Start this Weekend

Get ready to Rumble – Lake Ontario fishing style! This weekend, there will be three different fishing derbies going on, as well as a ladies tournament.

Jim Gasewski of Ohio hoists of a tasty salmon caught fishing aboard the Hawg with Capt. Jim Gordon.

The Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby kicks off on August 18 and runs through Labor Day. There is a $25,000 is the Grand Prize for the largest Salmon. Check www.loc.org for details.
The Second Annual Reelin’ for a Cure will also begin on August 18 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. It looks like right around 20 teams for this year. It’s a fun time for sure. Contact Stephanie Pierleoni at 716-481-6388 for more information or go on the event’s Facebook page.
The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby is set for August 19th to the 27th. This contest includes 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.

Ricky Deubel of Cleveland, Ohio, reeled in this 31 pound king salmon while fishing with Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo.

The Orleans County Rotary Derby is still going on and that contest will end on Sunday, August 20.
Now to the fishing. The water has been messed up a bit in the lake due to some unfavorable winds. The most stable water has been out deep. Hawg Charters and Capt. Jim Gordon headed out of Olcott this week and fished the 29 line one day and did well on kings, Coho’s and steelhead. All his action was on spoons in the top 60 feet of water. He repeated the performance the next day on the 27 line heading north, but the action was mostly 80 to 90 feet down. Capt. Mark Vilardo used spin doctors and flies to catch some nice kings in the 300 to 350 foot depth range, 80 to 90 feet down. Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo was fishing in 120 feet of water and took a 31 pound king so the mature fish are slowly starting to make their way closer to home. The Niagara Bar has been a here today – gone tomorrow scenario, and them back again, depending on what is happening with the wind and weather.

Capt. Jim Gordon holds up a trophy steelhead.

In the Lower Niagara River, bass and walleye have both been biting.  Capt. Jake Joseph with Jiggin’ Jake’s Charters has been doing well on walleye along drifts like Stella Niagara and around the green buoy marker.  Bass have also been cooperative with shiners and crabs.  Reports of the first salmon are normally seen by the third week in August and there were some rumors that some were seen this past week.  However the main run isn’t for another month. It should be a good one!
Upper Niagara River bass and walleye action remains consistent and the Erie Canal is still offering up some fish – pike and bass. Kayakers working Wilson Harbor have been catching some pike and bass. Spinnerbaits are good to toss around the weed edges.

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast for July 27, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evan Scanlon of Texas with 6-pound smallmouth.

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

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

Bill Hilts, Jr., Outdoor Promotions Director.

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

Destination Niagara USA Fishing Forecast – May 24, 2017

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

Lake Ontario

Just a quick reminder on water levels: There is still a state of emergency along the Lake Ontario shoreline for high water levels. This isn’t really going to affect the fishing that much, but the Niagara County Sheriff is asking that boats creating a wake stay at least 500 feet from shore. This doesn’t include trolling. Caution is advised for floating debris when you are out in the lake moving around. The problem seems to be launching. The best spot to be right now is the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott. Fort Niagara has an open launch but you need boots up to your knees or above. Golden Hill State Park launch is closed and Wilson-Tuscarora Park is day to day (but you need hip boots for sure). It’s worth the effort for the good fishing!!

Lake Ontario Pro-Am Tourney

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

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

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

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

Lower Niagara River

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

Upper Niagara River

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