Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, September 16, 2016

Bass, King Salmon, Walleye News

Ed Shannon shows up a 30-plus pound Niagara Bar king caught on Kingfisher Charters.

Lake Ontario and Trib’s

An important meeting is being held this Monday, September 19, at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, starting at 6:30 pm. If you are a Lake Ontario drifter, troller or tributary fisherman, you’ll want to attend this meeting. Members of DEC will be discussing what their proposed plans are for 2017 when it comes to salmon and trout stocking, based on recent forage base assessments. This is your opportunity to listen to the proposal and voice your concerns.

On September 23, the King of the Creek salmon contest – from both boat and shore – is being run by All in the Same Boat Tackle, 2911 Lockport-Olcott Road, Newfane, through November 6. Call 716-638-4158 for more info or visit www.abstackle.com.

Speaking of salmon, one of the hottest spots has been the Niagara Bar at the drop-off. Salmon are stacked up there like you wouldn’t believe. Captain Mike Johannes of On the Rocks Charters out of Wilson, went 15 for 18 matures last Saturday on the Niagara Bar before the wind picked up and cut the day short. Fish were in 80 to 200 feet of water down 50 to 80 feet on wire divers set on 3 out 160 to 180. Out of the 15 boated, 14 were caught on meat behind large flashers and Twinkie rigs. His best flasher was a white King’s Flasher. He also caught some on white/green Bechhold flashers. When running the larger flashers, a speed of 2.2 to 2.4 is best. They were marking a lot of fish and quite a bit of bait when they were there.

Olcott also has a fair number of fish hanging inside of 80 feet of water according to Wes Walker at the Slippery Sinker. Plugs, cut bait and flasher-fly are working there for matures. They are starting to pick up a few off the piers and some browns, too. Browns off the piers in Wilson, as well, with spoons. Both harbors have a mix of warm water fish. A few trout and salmon have been caught at the dam, but mostly warm water fish have been hanging around.

Lower Niagara River – Walleye Action

Ray Van Horn with lower river smallie with fishing with First Choice Charters.

Salmon numbers are slowly starting to increase for the shore guys. A few have been caught on spoons; some have been caught on spinners. Rattlebaits will also work. NYPA Platform casters are out-producing the boaters right now as far as salmon in the river. That said, the boaters are still doing well on bass and walleye – especially downriver and on the bar. Worm harnesses for the walleye; tubes and live bait for the bass. Captain Randy Lingenfelter reports that fishing has been good with soft baits and crayfish if you still can find them. B.A.S.S. pro, Ray Van Horn, fished on his boat recently, throwing Strike King Soft Baits doing very well. Baby Rage Craw in three inch. They were catching 25 to 30 fish a day. One of his charters caught a 6.5 lb. smallie last week. Several local media were in town last weekend and managed to get some decent smallmouth bass.

The New York Power Authority’s Wildlife Festival, held at the Visitor Center, 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston will be September 24 and 25 from 10 am to 5 pm both days. Everything is free! This is the area’s version of National Hunting and fishing day and the event is co-sponsored by the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs. Get ready to have a great weekend!

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal – Bass Action

Bass are still the best thing to go after with tubes, spinnerbaits or live bait like crayfish and shiners, fished off three-way rigs. Know where you are at all times in the river because there are severe restrictions in Canadian waters – on bait and on calling in before you venture across the line, or is it as you cross the line, or is it when you are in Canadian waters. Not quite sure because we’ve been getting different answers from different people.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

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

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

Western New York Fishing Forecast for Friday, July 15, 2016

Lake Ontario, Niagara River


Lake Ontario and Tributaries

Fishing in Lake Ontario continues to be as hot as the weather – really!

Captain Dan Evans of Lone Wolf Charters in Wilson reports fishing was great earlier in the week – lots of kings and steelhead from 120 to 350 feet of water. He found good temperature from 60 to 75 feet down so he was setting riggers at 45-60-75 feet using spoons in black and glo, green and glo down deeper; orange and silver up higher. Off the divers, he was running green dot spin doctors and hammer flies or white-glo spinnies and hammer flies. He’ll also run copper, using spoons to entice the fish to hit way back behind the boat. He will run lures back from 200 to 350 feet with copper.

Over in Olcott, mature kings have been inside of 200 foot depths according to Wes Walker with The Slippery Sinker. Good mix of steelhead and salmon are being reported. You can also head out deeper to 350-450 feet of water with steelhead and coho’s in the top 50 feet; the bigger kings below 60 foot depths with spoons or flasher-fly.

Smallmouth bass, perch, rockbass and pike are all being caught in the harbors.

The Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Summer Derby is producing some nice fish, many from right here in Niagara County. While it’s still early in the game for a contest that runs through July 31st, Niagara County has jumped out of the starting gates after the first week to lead every single category. Based on the new structure for the summer competition, every one of the current leaders has already earned some early cash. Larry Wills of Lewiston won $1,000 for the biggest salmon during the first week of action with his grand prize-leading 30 pound, 15 ounce king out of Wilson.

Other species categories earning $250 each were steelhead, led by Wade Winch of North Tonawanda, with a 17 pound, 10 ounce fish; Bob Turton of Sanborn with a 23 pound, 7 ounce lake trout; and Tom Gies of Ann Arbor, Michigan with a 17 pound, 6 ounce brown trout – all caught out of Niagara waters.

Of course, it’s a new week and new anglers can try to cash in. Check out the leaderboard at www.loc.org. You have to be in it to win it! That’s a hard lesson to learn and we hear it every derby. This time it was customers of Capt. Paul Czarnecki of Tri-State Charters who caught a 32 pound salmon. They weren’t it.

This weekend is the LOTSA In-Club Tournament (July 16) and the Curt Meddaugh Memorial event (July 15).

Check out www.lotsa1.org for details.

Lower Niagara River

Moss is still an issue for anglers casting and drifting the section of water below Niagara Falls. Hopefully it will be gone by the time the Niagara River Anglers Association’s smallmouth bass contest is here, set for July 23. Don’t have any of the details yet, so your best bet is to contact tournament coordinator Ed Garcia at 870-5318 for more info.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal

Bass are your best option still and moss seems to be getting better. Just in time for some unique fishing to take place. The Bassmaster Bracket Tournament is July 19-22 on the upper river between the north Grand Island Bridge and the Peace Bridge – no Canadian waters. It should be interesting. Weigh in will take place in live time right on the boats, of which there will only be eight. Check out the website at www.bassmaster.com.

Another big contest going on right now is the 26th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby, ending on Sunday, July 17th. Like with all of these contests, some really nice fish are being caught and the leaderboard can change overnight. Here’s some of the leaders so far: Ron Robel of Wheatfield with a 8.4 sheepshead; Craig Udell of Gasport with a 20 pound carp; Patty Young of Kent with a 9-plus pound catfish; Albert Whaley of North Tonawanda with a 7.9 pound pike; Phyllis Whaley of North Tonawanda with a 2.5 pound walleye; Joe Cwiklinski of Depew with a 2.9 pound bullhead; and John Justice of North Tonawanda with a 3.8 pound bass. The derby ends Sunday night at 9 pm.

The website is www.eriecanalderby.com

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

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

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

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal

Wednesday June 29, 2016

Let’s start out with fishing derby news.

This Friday, July 1st, starts the LOC Summer Derby which runs through July 31st.  There is $29,000 in cash up for grabs with a $10,000 grand prize for the biggest salmon.  More information can be found at www.loc.org or by calling 888-733-5246.  Register at any of these Orleans County locations or on-line: Captain’s Cove Resort, 14339 Rt. 18, Waterport, NY, 14571, 585-682-3316, http://fishcaptainscove.com Narby’s Superette and Tackle, 1292 Oak Orchard Rd, Kent, NY, 14477, 585-682-4624, http://www.narbys.com/;  Orleans Outdoors, 1764 Oak Orchard Rd., Albion, NY, 14411, 585-682-4546, http://www.orleansoutdoor.com/.  

Then there is the 26th Annual Erie Canal Derby which runs from July 6th to the 17th this year.  In this event a boat, motor and trailer is the grand prize and in the youth division, a canal trail bike is available.  Great fishing abounds on the Erie Canal. Eligible waters are the Erie Canal from the Niagara River to the Route 98 Bridge, located in the heart of Albion. More than $8,000 in prizes is available. For more information check out their website at www.eriecanalderby.com.

Fishing on Lake Ontario has been good to exceptional over the past week.  Winds have been fairly kind to us and that has kept the fishing in closer to shore, mainly the 90 to 150 feet of water range.  Most anglers are reporting a good mix of fish, mainly Chinook salmon, Lake trout and Steelhead trout with some reporting some exceptional size fish in each category.  With the great weather predicted through the weekend and well into next week, fishing should continue to improve.

On Lake Alice, the Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Carp seem to be providing most of the action.  Reports have the bass mostly at legal size with few undersize fish being seen.

The Erie Canal from Middleport to Brockport is in the process of being de-watered for some emergency repairs in two locations, but the portion from Middleport to Albion should be reopened by the end of next week.

The 4th of July is when we celebrate the birth of our great nation and a great way to celebrate is to take a kid fishing, hiking or any other activity that helps our youth to enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer.

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

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

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

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


Lake Ontario and tributaries 

New York State’s Free Fishing Weekend is set for this weekend, June 25-26.  There are plenty of events for the entire family to keep people busy – and happy – right here in Western New York!

In this day and age where nothing seems to be for free any more, the Empire State will offer up an opportunity to fish all around the state without purchasing a license.  You do have to follow the fishing regulations in the water you intend to fish however.

For salmon and trout, action has started to heat up a little bit out of Wilson and Olcott.  Boats have been heading out to 350 feet and beyond off Wilson for a mix of steelies and kings.  Action has been a bit closer off Olcott with some fish being taken in as close as 150 to 180 feet of water – when they can get out there.  Spoons are the primary enticement, but don’t rule out flasher-fly or flasher-cut bait, especially for bigger fish.  Target the top 60 feet according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker.  There are also fish in the 330 to 380 depth contour.

The Summer LOC Derby is set for July 1-31.  Go to www.loc.org for details. More cash is up for grabs.

The Olcott Lions Club will be hosting its annual kids fishing contest on Saturday, June 25 at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott from 8 a.m. to noon.  Get the kids out and enjoy the local fishing.

Lower Niagara River

Action in the Lower Niagara River has been plagued by moss, but that doesn’t mean you can’t catch fish.  Capt. Dave Tripiciano organized an outing for young Shelby, a teenager with Muscular Dystrophy last Tuesday out of Youngstown.  Using the expertise of some local fishermen like Tim L., they managed to lift Shelby’s 350 pound wheelchair into the boat and drift for smallmouth around Fort Niagara.  They found an area that was pretty-much moss free and caught bass up to 4 pounds.  Shelby was granted this trip through an organization called Moment of Peace Adventures of Pennsylvania and, in addition to visiting Niagara Falls (and being the first physically-challenged person to utilize the facilities at the re-opened and revamped Terrapin Point), they had a great time.  Tim had been doing very well in that area on smallmouth the two days prior, too.  When he fished in the main river, though, it was a tough go with the moss. Shiners were the best bait, fished off three way rigs.

Upper Niagara River / Erie Canal 

In the Kelly’s Korner’s opening day bass contest, it was Dan Hudson of Tonawanda winning with the best two fish weight of 10.25 pounds.  Not far off the pace was Bob Hubler of Niagara Falls with a total of 10.07 pounds, but he had big fish that hit 5.75 pounds.  He was using a big chub in 40 feet of water to take his lunker catch off Wanaka, where many of the fish came from.  Bass are still available in the river, too, with the bass opener in Canada happening on Saturday, June 25.

There are numerous events that coincide with the New York State Free Fishing Days weekend and at the top of the list is the Tonawanda’s Fishing Tournament sponsored by Gateway Harbor, that will go the entire weekend.  Register for the event if you are an adult for a nominal fee.  Kids under 16 can register for a free youth division.  You are restricted as to where you can fish in the Canal, what amounts to about a one mile stretch between Tonawanda and North Tonawanda from the Niagara River to the City line.  You can register at area tackle shops or stop down to Gateway Harbor in North Tonawanda on Friday to register.  Species categories include bass (both largemouth and smallmouth), bullhead, channel catfish, carp, perch, northern pike and walleye.  The weigh station will be open 7 am to 6 pm on Saturday; 7 am to 3 pm on Sunday.  This is a transition year for the event as the local organizing committee hands the contest off to the Boys and Girls Club of the North Towns.  A new website location for an entry form can be found at www.bgcnt.net and the organization will be taking the lead role after this year.  After last year’s wash out, organizers are hoping for some decent weather to show off the Canal’s angling potential and help to showcase this natural resource.

Speaking of the canal, some local anglers were worried that the dewatering that was going to take place from Middleport to Brockport on Monday, June 27, was going to affect the Erie Canal Fishing Derby July 6-15.  It looks like after three days, the Canal will be opened up from Middleport to Albion; the remainder will be opened by the weekend.

A huge Family Fishing Day will also be taking place out of Broderick Park both Saturday and Sunday this weekend starting at 7 am each day, as well. This is their 8th Annual event.

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

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

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

Niagara Fishing Forecast for Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Jake Romanack with a hefty King Salmon caught trolling with a Mag-Lip 3.5 on Niagara Bar near Fort Niagara, New York.

Lake Ontario and tributaries

Mark Romanack of Michigan reported that his son, Jake Romanack, and his friend, Jarod Higginbotham of Yakima Bait, fished the Niagara Bar Tuesday morning while filming an episode of Fishing 411 TV.

The much anticipated salmon bite has kicked into high gear.  The crew boated three kings over 20 pounds, plus three bonus Coho and countless lake trout.  The Yakima 3.5 Mag Lip plug stole the show producing all the big kings and Lakers.  The top colors included NFL, gold/orange flame and Pay Day.  Most of the fish came in 100 feet of water, east of the Red Can.

Riggers 50 to 60 feet down produced well as did 300-foot wire rigs fished with Off Shore boards.  A few Coho were in the top 20 feet of water.  That’s the best piece of information that we can give you with what is happening starting on Friday.  If you are looking for lake trout, they seem to be all over the place.

Bill Fekete of Ransomville was fishing with his son, Corey, every chance they got, have been doing well on Lakers.  Fire tiger pattern has been working the best – spoons or sticks.  Best depth was 50 down over 70 feet of water on the Niagara Bar for them.  Friday, May 6, kicks off the spring Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby – a 10 day contest that focuses much of the angling effort on the waters off Niagara County.

This is the spot on the lake that offers the best chance at winning the $15,000 Grand Prize for the biggest salmon.  There’s another $25,000 in other prizes, too, with divisions for salmon, brown trout, lake trout and walleye – the latter starting at one minute after midnight on May 7, the opening of walleye season in New York. Check out www.loc.org for details.

Also on May 7 is the start of the Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament. Best six salmon for the day wins the big bucks, based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound. Less than two weeks after that one is the granddaddy of trout and salmon tournaments, the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament, held out of the ports of Wilson and Olcott May 20-22.  Deadline to register is May 16 at www.lakeontarioproam.net. With a bigger emphasis on the amateurs, each single day is an event with more than 100 percent return on your registration dollar for the Amateur Open and for the Pro Division.

The Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo Memorial one fish-three fish contest is May 19 this year, another fun event leading up to the Pro-Am. Sign up at the Boat Doctors or the Slippery Sinker in Olcott; Bootleggers Cove Marina or the Gas Shack in Wilson.

Lower Niagara River

Corey Fekete of Ransomville, New York, fishing with his dad (Bill) had a fun day catching lake trout and King Salmon this on Firetiger color spoons on Niagara Bar.

Plenty of excitement around town for the Smelt Festival on Friday, May 6. Things kick off at 5 pm at Lewiston Landing.  Trout fishing has been holding on, but it hasn’t been easy for sure.  Steelhead and lake trout are still available with minnows or egg sacs.  At the mouth of the river, the bass are just starting to turn on (catch and release only, no live bait) and Capt. Bruce Blakelock of Lewiston was guiding Mitch Grant and George Thomas of Virginia, co-owners of the Trailer Hook Pal.  They were in town for a media event that was going on all week and they had some new products to use.  Best baits were tubes and swim baits in a green pumpkin color.  The tubes were rigged with Tube Mate Spinners by Trailer Hook Pal, a new added enticement that really seemed to trigger the fish to hit.  They were just starting to turn on Tuesday and it will continue to improve as the waters continue to warm.  Several fish were over 5 pounds.

Upper Niagara River 

The head of the river at the Buffalo Harbor was really starting to turn on for bass fishing Tuesday. Buddy Prause, VP of Sales and Marketing for Yo-Zuri, was in town from the Florida office, along with three factory reps from Japan.  They were testing some new baits that really seemed to work wonders on the smallmouth, despite 43 degree water around the breakwalls.  All they used were hard baits – specifically the Hardcore Longbill Series in 90 mm Orange Tiger and Ayu, as well as the Hardcore Spin in several different colors.  The blade seemed to mimic the flash of the emerald shiner.  Prause caught is two personal best smallmouth on the trip and they were amazed at how good they worked in the cold water.  The bite was tough overall, too, and plastics did not seem to be as effective.  At least on this day.  May 7 is the opening of walleye, northern pike, pickerel and tiger musky seasons throughout the state. However, tiger musky is still closed on the Great Lakes until the regular musky season opener on June 18 this year.

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!