Bristol Bay, Alaska – VOTE YES for SALMON

Mining near Bristol Bay, Alaska – PLEASE VOTE YES for SALMON

 

By Chris Wood

Some bad ideas rise above others: New Coke, Diet Water, the Red Sox trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees. One of the worst ideas of all time? The proposal to build a mine in the headwaters of Bristol Bay, Alaska.

Vote Yes for Salmon

Scientists during the during the Obama Administration said the mine was too risky. Then, the Trump Administration breathed new life into it. This November, the voters of Alaska will decide whether the state should have the authority to say no to a mine, such as Pebble, that can cause irreparable harm to salmon streams.

Seven rivers drain into Bristol Bay. One is the Nushagak—every year one of the top chinook salmon producing streams in the world. Another is the Kvichak; it supplies nearly half of the world’s wild sockeye salmon. A Canadian mining company, the Pebble Partnership, has proposed building a massive gold and copper mine in the headwaters of these two rivers.

Bristol Bay is the world’s most important salmon fishery. Every year, it sustains a $1.5 billion salmon industry that provides more than 14,000 family wage jobs. The village of Igiugig, population 70, sits at the outflow  of the Kvichak. Last week, Brian Kraft, the owner of Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge, and I, took his daughter, Dakota, to school in Igiugig by boat. Students are more likely to arrive by ATV and boat to school than by car. “Stop Pebble Mine” stickers adorned several ATVs, and more than one student was wearing a “Wrong Mine, Wrong Place” shirt.

Brian and Dakota Kraft outside of school

The Alaska economy is highly dependent on the development of its natural resources. That is what makes the widespread opposition to the Pebble Mine from communities such as Igiugig so unique. Native villages and local communities in the Bristol Bay region oppose the Pebble Mine by more than 75 percent. Their opposition stems from the fact that salmon have provided them sustenance, and cultural and natural touch-points for a millennia.

Outside of school

The Bristol Bay landscape is about the size of West Virginia, with only 8,000 people living in it. The Pebble Partnership proposes to industrialize this wilderness quality landscape with roads, pipelines, a power plant, stream crossings, and other associated development to process and move the ore from the earth to the market. Their preliminary mine plan called for filling more than 4,000 acres of wetlands. It also calls for a tailings pond more than one-third of a mile deep and a mile long to forever store the toxic tailings produced by the mine. The landscape is seismically active. Surface water and groundwater mingle freely in the area. The likelihood of the mine’s toxic tailings contaminating the Kvichak and the Nushagak is high.

Ground and surface water mingle in Bristol Bay

On the boat ride back to his lodge, I asked Brian why native villages such as Igiugig are so opposed to the mine. He said, “In the lower 48, we have spent more than $15 billion to try to recover imperiled salmon and steelhead. Most of those fish remain on the brink of extinction. The cost of keeping Bristol Bay’s salmon runs intact is a lot less expensive than trying to recover them after we destroy their habitat.”

It is David versus Goliath. Opponents of the ballot measure have raised $9 million to the $1.2 million raised by those in support. This year 62 million sockeye returned to their natal waters in Bristol Bay to spawn—the highest number of fish to return since 1893. In a few weeks, the voters of Alaska will decide if that represents a high-water mark against a future of decline and loss or a new normal because the state had the good sense, and the authority, to say “no” to the Pebble Mine.

Vote Yes for Salmon.

Chris Wood is the president and CEO of Trout Unlimited. He lives in Washington, D.C., and works at TU’s Arlington, Va., headquarters.  This message was paid for by Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program, Anchorage, AK, Nelli Williams, Alaska Director. The top three donors to Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Fish Habitat Initiative Fund are Dan Michels, Wasilla, AK; Alaska Fishing Unlimited, Port Alsworth, AK; and Josh Grieser, Anchorage, AK.

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

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Orleans County/Lake Ontario Fishing Report – Oct. 31, 2017

  • Trout/Salmon are in Trib’s
  • Trib’s will Offer GOOD Action into Winter
  • Lake Alice Bass Action Good on Upper Stretch

Today is Tuesday October 31, 2017.
This Halloween, the trick is to make the perfect cast with that special fly to that very special spot and catch that ever-elusive fish you have been dreaming about for years.
This fall has been an absolute bonus year for both Lake Ontario and the tributaries of Orleans County.
Those with small boats are still doing well in the near-shore waters of Lake Ontario, while all of our tributaries within Orleans County are alive and producing an abundance of the cold-water species.
Salmon are still entering the tributaries from the lake in good numbers, and the brown trout and rainbow/steelhead trout are starting to really pick up in numbers.
With temperatures falling to more seasonal levels and with water flows at excellent levels, great fishing is in the forecast for well into the future this year.
The Erie Canal has yet to start their dewatering process, so good water flows should continue well into the winter months.
On the lower stretches of the “Oak,” perch fishing has been good and reports have an occasional northern pike being taken, along with a bass or two in the mix.
On Lake Alice it’s been mostly bass in the upper stretches.
I haven’t had any fishing reports from the Erie Canal, but I have to believe that at least bass are still active.
From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.
Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

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!

Orleans County/Lake Ontario Fishing Report – Oct. 24, 2017

  • Runs of Trout/Salmon ON_AGAIN, OFF-AGAIN
  • Lake Alice Bass Action Good on Upper Stretch
  • St. Mary’s Archers Club Derby was SUCCESSFUL

Today is Tuesday October 24, 2017.
The temperature yo-yo continues with the temperatures looking more like late September than late October.
Runs of all of the cold-water species are on again and off again on all of the tributaries within Orleans County.
That’s not to say that there is any shortage of any of the cold-water species in our tributaries, they are not the bigger runs that one would normally see this time of year.
Temperatures will be above average into late next week and beyond.
What this means to me and others is that the tributary season will be extended this year and that is great news.
Another positive part of this whole weather thing is that people with boats still in the water have been having great success in the near-shore waters of Lake Ontario off Orleans County.
All of the inland stream and lakes have been fairly quiet right now, but bass fishing is still doing well, especially on the upper reaches of Lake Alice. Please don’t forget that bass season closes on November 30th this year, so bass catch and release starts on December 1st.
Yellow perch are being caught on the lower Stretches of the “Oak”.
The Catch and Release Fly Fishing Derby at the St. Mary’s Archers Club was, once again, a great success with some fantastic fish being weighed in. There was great food being served, great prizes being awarded and great new friends made.
From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.
Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for October 19, 2017

  • Olcott Pier and Burt Dam turn on!
  • Watch wind for Pier Action hot bite.
  • Lower River Shore Fishing has been HOT

There are plenty of fish around to be caught!

Scott Scheffler, Marina Director for the Town of Newfane and heading up Fisherman’s Park at Burt Dam/18 Mile Creek, reports that some dandy brown trout are starting to show up in the creek a bit more readily. It’s a nice complement to the salmon and steelhead that are already on the scene. Fresh fish can be found in all of the deeper holes further down towards the harbor and fish are still being caught off the piers and in the lake.

When there’s a northeast wind, you can’t fish the piers at all because of the waves. However, when those winds subside, get out there and start casting spoons, spinners, rattlebaits, stickbaits or whatever. The fishing usually turns on! Another popular method is to use treated egg skein under a float. You can anchor or drift from a boat, too.

Over in Wilson, they are still picking up some yellow perch off the piers, as well as some nice trout. Use spinners and spoons for trout.  Use minnows for the perch. Don’t rule out lake fishing either. If the weather cooperates – and it will be this weekend – don’t be afraid to try trolling for salmon and trout off the creek mouths or even out deep. There are plenty of fish to be caught!

The lower Niagara River salmon action is starting to wind down a little, but they are catching some silver fish that are fresh in the system. Casting glow-in-the-dark spinners and Little Gem spoons under low light conditions work best.  Rat-L-Traps can also produce salmon.

Rich Pisa of Kenmore caught six kings from shore on Monday and four on Tuesday, so they are still getting them just fine. Even his father Richard picked up a few nice kings, fishing the Whirlpool area with treated egg skein. Boaters are still catching kings and coho’s as well, with an occasional trout. It won’t be long before lake trout start showing up to spawn. Remember that the lake trout season is closed now until the end of the year.

In the upper Niagara River, bass action has been good in the east river (east side of Grand Island) on shiners. A few musky are starting to show up, too.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

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

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

Niagara 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!

Orleans County Fishing Report – Aug. 23, 2017

  • King of the Oak Tournament News
  • King Salmon and Coho’s have New Location
  • Lake Alice Bass Fishing

Today is Tuesday August 22, 2017.

There were a lot of derbies and tournaments going on this weekend with some fantastic catches brought to the scales.

The “King-of-the Oak” Tournament was postponed on Saturday due to a small craft advisory on Lake Ontario and was held instead on Sunday.  For this second leg of the tournament, Captain Tom Boddy and crew of Screamin’ Reels Charters amassed a fantastic catch with three salmon weighing in at 73.13 Pounds.  Right behind Tom, was Capt. Rick Hajecki of Yankee Troller and in 3rd place was Capt. Bob Songin of Reel Excitement Charters.  The third and final leg of the tournament will be held on September 3rd and will determine who gets the coveted title of “King of the Oak” for next year.

Sunday was also the end of the Orleans County Rotary Derby and this year it was a nail biter right to the end.  With a very short time left, John Vanhoff of North Tonawanda landed a 30-pound 12-ounce salmon to knock Keith Sheffield’s 30-pound 9-ounce salmon out of the grand prize winner’s spot by just 3 ounces. That put Keith in the first-place spot for the salmon division.  In the steelhead/rainbow trout division, Robert Griffith of Copley, Ohio, brought in a 15-pound 14-ounce beauty to take first place.  The first place brown trout was taken by Bill Cole of Albion with a 14-pound 3-ounce beauty and the big lake trout was caught by Dan DeGeorge of Rochester, with a monster 17-pound 10-ounce fish.

It’s interesting to note that two of the participants that made it to the leader board are young gentlemen, Jason Grager in 2nd place with a 12-pound 12-ounce brown trout, and in 3rd place in the lake trout division was Braydon Gambell with a 14-pound 9-ounce beauty. Just goes to show that the youth of today are into the great outdoors and especially fishing.

This report is getting too long, so I’ll cover the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey and the Fall LOC Derby in my next report.

On Lake Ontario, after a rocky start this year, fishing has settled in to an area around the 25.5 to the 27 lines with some great catches of both Chinook and Coho salmon along with very large steelhead thrown into the mix.

On Lake Alice, around the Waterport Bridge, catches of Bluegill are good but a lot of smaller fish in the mix.  Please remember that those smaller fish are the future catches so put them back to grow into next year’s catch.  Bass fishing on Lake Alice remains good to very good in the upper reaches.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak” a good mixed bag of the warm water species is being taken.  One gentleman I know of says that Gar pike fishing in this area is just about the best anywhere.  It won’t be long before the perch fishing starts up again on the lower stretches of the “Oak” and that will be followed by some of the best tributary fishing to be found anywhere.

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

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Orleans County Fishing Report – Aug. 15, 2017

  • Rotary Derby Awards this Sunday
  • Mid-Level Fishing producing King Salmon
  • Border Water Fishing producing Steelies & Salmon

Today is Tuesday August 15, 2017.

By request, the Orleans County Hotline Report will now be updated every Tuesday instead of Wednesday.

First, the location of the Rotary Derby Awards Ceremony this Sunday has been changed from the Carlton Rec Hall to the Black North.  Hope to see all of you there for a great time and I know that great food and drink will be available.  After a slow start to the derby this year, the leader board is filling up with some fantastic catches in all of the categories, and there’s still time to enter and be one of those on the leader board at the awards ceremony.

Hit and miss showers are in the weather forecast over the next week, so let’s hope for more miss and less hit.

The mid-water fishing, around the 200 feet of water mark, has started to come on with mostly salmon in the catches.  The off-shore fishing has moved out to almost the border and is producing a good mixed bag of both salmon and steelhead.  The baits being used are all over the place so the best advice I can give is to use what you have the greatest confidence in and then change as needed.

Please remember that we now have two great ports to fish out of and two great charter fleets for you to book trip with, Point Breeze and Bald Eagle Creek Marina.  The marinas at Point Breeze have been working all season long to provide the very best of service while fighting the high-water conditions as has the great crew at Bald Eagle Creek Marina.

On Lake Alice, around the Waterport Bridge, catches of Bluegill are good but a lot of smaller fish in the mix.  Please remember that those smaller fish are the future catches so put them back to grow into next year’s catch.  Bass fishing on Lake Alice remains good to very good in the upper reaches.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak” a good mixed bag of the warm water species is being taken.  One gentleman I know of says that Gar pike fishing in this area are just about the best anywhere.

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

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

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

Niagara Bar, Lake Ontario: SALMON & STEELIE Fishing is HOT!

  • Thursday, July 20, 2017
    The King Salmon fishing in Lake Ontario is one of the hottest bites going, especially in the waters off Niagara County! “Salmon fishing has been on fire at the Niagara Bar in 120 to 180 feet of water,” says Jake Joseph of Jiggin’ Jake’s Charters. “The fish zone has been 60 to 80 feet down.

    The new Mr. & Mrs. Kimball enjoy a honeymoon fishing trip with BIG SMILES of Niagara Bar.

    Dipsy divers are out 180 to 240 feet with flasher fly combos; riggers down 65 to 85 with flasher and cut bait combos. Best colors have been mostly pearls and greens. Smaller fish have been coming on spoons and some steelies have been mixed in, being taken on sliders and king lines.
    Wilson and Olcott are also offering up some great catches, too. Just take a look at the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby leaderboard at www.loc.org.
    John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda reeled in a 27-pound, 9-ounce salmon off of Wilson last Sunday (but launching at Olcott) and his fish would beat out Lee Beaton’s Grand Prize leading king, a 27 pounder, also caught out of Wilson back on July 1. Van Hoff caught his king on a Northern King spoon over 450 feet of water. Van Hoff’s Grand Prize lead would be short-lived as two more fish would come to the scales that Sunday that would tip the scales even more – a 29-pound, 8-ounce king hauled in by Ed Klejdys of North Tonawanda while fishing on the Niagara Bar. Then a 30-pound, 13-ounce Chinook that was reeled in by Richard Peaslee of Lowman while fishing out of Fair Haven. If the last name of Klejdys sounds familiar, his son Steve is the current leader in the Lake Trout Division with a 23-pound, 13-ounce Niagara Bar laker.
    On Monday of this week, a new rainbow leader came out of Olcott, knocking out the leading Wilson fish – a huge 17-pound, 4-ounce steelhead that was caught by Adam Robinson of Portland, Oregon while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni and Thrillseeker II. He caught it on a Dreamweaver spoon in charteuse signature series. Tuesday brought us a new Grand Prize leader out of Point Breeze, a 31 pound, 10 ounce king reeled in by Kristin Wilson of Rockstream, NY. We have until July 30 to post up some bigger fish and that will probably happen if the weather continues to cooperate.
    Joseph also reports that “walleye are starting to show up in Lower Niagara River and the green can at the mouth. You just have to work for them. Worm harnesses on the bottom with three-way rigs. Bass fishing is good as always!” Bass can be caught from Devil’s Hole to the mouth of the river on a variety of baits like minnows, crayfish, worm harnesses, spinnerbaits, tubes and drop shot rigs.

    The new steelhead leader came out of Olcott Harbor – a huge 17-pound, 4-ounce fish that was caught by Adam Robinson of Portland, Oregon while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni and Thrillseeker II.

    Shore fishermen have been struggling in the gorge because the shoreline access has been limited due to the high water levels. In addition, the Devil’s Hole stairs are closed until next spring. There are still plenty of other access points to use, but that one is being reconstructed.
    Upper Niagara River action continues to be good for both bass and walleye with an occasional musky showing up.
    The 27th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby ended last Sunday and the first place winners are waiting for the awards ceremony to take place July 23 at the Gasport Fire Hall starting at 3 p.m. All the first place winners – both for the adults and for the kids – will be in two separate drawings for the Grand Prize. For the adults, a boat, motor and trailer; for the kids a kayak. Some great fish came to the scales during the 12-day event. Top bass was a 4.94-pound largemouth reeled in by Chris Walczak of Amherst. His son, Keegan, checked in with a 9.65-pound northern pike to take that division. Albert Whaley of Tonawanda was the winner in the walleye category with a 5.19-pound fish. Big bullhead was a 2.25-pound fish reeled in by Anthony Moule of Lyndonville. Top catfish was a 14 pounder weighed in by Charles Rizzo of North Tonawanda. First place carp was a 28.02 pound fish out-muscled by Mike Boncore of Buffalo. Sheepshead winner was Todd Wells of Medina with an 11.39-pound fish. Yes, the Erie Canal has some impressive fish swimming around in it. Another great job by Steve and Lynn Harrington of Gasport.
    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

Orleans County Fishing Report – July 12, 2017

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

Today is Wednesday July 12, 2017.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

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!!