GIANT Salmon and Carp….Lake Ontario High Water is NO PROBLEM

  • Bill Hilts Fishing Report & Forecast for Niagara USA…June 20, 2019

Capt. Hank Condes of Wilson (Blade Runner Charters), said it best as he spoke to a group of front line tourism folks this week in Wilson Harbor: “June isn’t the transition month that it used to be!” The push is on to let everyone know that Lake Ontario is open for business and that the fishing is great, even in June!

Lou Rivera of Kenmore, NY, with a 20-pound class King Salmon caught off Wilson Harbor in Lake Ontario this week while fishing with Capt. Alan Sauerland of Newfane.

Capt. Alan Sauerland (Instigator Charters) has been fishing 55 to 75 feet down over 160 feet of water straight out from his home port of Wilson Harbor.  Magnum spoons are the ticket with the best ones being Moonshine Geezer and Warrior pink-spoiler or green-spoiler patterns. They caught 25 salmon during this catch/release trip.

Jeremy Smith of Rochester (R) and his buddy Paul show off a couple of King Salmon they caught off Wilson Monday, fishing with Capt. Alan Sauerland (Instigator Charters).

Capt. Vince Pierleoni (Thrillseeker Charters) reports similar success out of Olcott Harbor, 60 to 80 feet down over 60 to 250 feet of water, also with Dreamweaver magnum and super slim spoons at the top of his list.

Joe Oakes of Wilson was fishing out of Olcott this week and wanted to try and get his 300 and 400-foot copper lines a bit deeper, so he put on a J-plug for the heck of it.  Yes, that plug took some hits too.

Next derby is the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby (LOTSA) that runs from June 29 to July 28. Check out for details.  Grand prize is $10,000 for the biggest salmon and $32,000 in cash prizes overall.

The NYS Summer Classic Tournament is July 1-August 31 with a $10,000 Grand Prize.  Check out for details.  It should be mentioned that nearly every launch ramp in Niagara County is open.  At Fort Niagara, Wilson-Tuscarora, and Golden Hill State Parks, respectively, you should have at least two people launching the boat due to some higher water around the launch.  Bring along boots, too.  If you don’t want to get your feet wet, the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott Harbor has been able to adjust to keep the feet of boaters dry. The Town of Wilson launch is also a good one in the West Branch of 12-Mile Creek. Boat size there should be 20-feet or less.

Don’t forget that the 5 mph speed limit in Lake Ontario is within 1,000 feet of the shoreline.

In the Niagara River, the dreaded moss is slowly starting to arrive on the scene as the river hit the 60-degree mark this week. In the lower Niagara River, there was still some steelhead around. Bass and walleye were cooperating, giving a nice mixed bag to anglers.

Rich Pisa of Kenmore caught this 30-pound class grass carp from the Upper Niagara River.

Live bait, like minnows fished off three-way rigs, is a popular approach – but bouncing bottom with a Strike King Zero (cut down) has been working for bass up to 5-1/2 pounds this past week.

Justin Transky of East Aurora with a respectable upper Niagara River walleye he caught while fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island.
Parker Cinelli of Grand Island caught this tagged bass from the Beaver Island lagoon this week.

Swim baits and tubes will still work if the moss isn’t too bad. High water levels are making fishing tricky in the Devil’s Hole area and the NYPA fishing platform is underwater. The speed limit is still in effect along the NY shoreline so run the middle of the river and take it easy.

Upper river action for bass and walleye has also been decent, especially at the head of Strawberry Island. Worm harnesses, minnows, swimbaits, and tubes, all are good baits to use.

Make sure you mark your calendar for the Erie Canal Fishing Derby set for July 3-14.

Check out for details.

Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane with a big carp he caught this week.

Also, next Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30, NYS will be offering up its free fishing weekend again.

The Olcott Kids Fishing Derby normally held June 29 has been canceled due to the high water around the docks.

Bill Hilts, Jr. – Outdoor Promotions Director

Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Phone: 1-877 FALLS US / 716-282-8992 x. 303, fax: 716-285-0809

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