Orleans County Lake Ontario Fishing Report

  • Posted Wednesday – May 22, 2019
LOC Derby winner 2019, Robert Mueller with his 25# King Salmon. Photo Courtesy Narby’s Superette

By Capt. John Oravec, Tight Lines Charters

LOC Derby winner 2019, Robert Mueller with his 25# King Salmon. Courtesy Narby’s Superette.

Wow! All week long strollers found hungry king salmon from “Chrome Dome” to “the Nose” in 45 to 65 feet of water. Lots of salmon! The consensus at the Orleans County Marine Park free fish cleaning unit was the spoon program attracted most hits.

Yours truly found teenager sharks as shallow as 15 feet. Most had fun in 35 to 60 ft, 30 to 50 feet down. With lighter winds on the forecast models, clearing shallows will uncover hungry browns.  Remember to try downsizing lures inside the 20 ft. contour where the browns lurk!

The Spring LOC Derby winning king salmon – a 25# monster – weighed in at Narby’s Superette and also took the Grand Prize this past weekend. Yeah baby! A Hamburg, NY angler on-board the Musky Joe boat made the big catch.

Yours truly actually crossed paths with Musky Joe coming off the Niagara Bar. Hearing that they were not finding big fish, I told them “there are plenty of king salmon off Point Breeze in Orleans County.” The rest is now history!

A couple updates:

#1:  Remember that you can still enter the Oak Orchard Open tournament til May 31st. Register at https://greatlakesspecialevents.regfox.com/2019-orleans-county-open.

#2: All Point Breeze boat ramps are good to go despite the high water levels. Plenty of dry parking. Our marinas, restaurants, tackle and lodging operations welcome you to the Home of the King!

See you on the Salmon Grounds!

Troutman (Capt. Johnny Oravec)


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
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Destination Niagara USA, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY 14303

Beginner’s Luck Wins Again!

Summer Lake Ontario Fish Derby Shares Big Cash

beginnersluckFor Chad Fenstermaker of Warren, Ohio, this was a maiden voyage on Lake Ontario out of Olcott, fishing with Capt. Mitch Shipman of Signature Charters. Little did he realize he was about to make derby history by setting the pace in the 7th Annual Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Summer Derby held July 1-31, 2016 – winning the $10,000 Grand Prize by reeling in a 31 pound, 7 ounce Chinook salmon the final weekend of the contest. They also won the $1,000 weekly salmon prize.

It started Friday morning, July 29. Weather was a bit rough but they decided to head out in Shipman’s 21-foot 2010 Ranger 620 named Signature Charters about 10 am. At around 12:30 pm, pulling a Raspberry Shadow Moonshine spoon 90 feet back on a Dipsey-Diver set on No. 2 over 205 feet of water somewhere north of Wilson off Niagara County, the big fish hit.

“It took out over 500 feet of line when we hooked the winner,” said Fenstermaker, reeling in his first and biggest salmon ever. He told the crowd at Captain Jack’s in Sodus Point that he will split the Grand Prize with Captain Mitch. Fenstermaker is a signal maintenance employee for Norfolk Southern Railroad and is also in the Air Force Reserves. His share of the money will probably go for a honeymoon. He was married to his wife Rachel last November and they’ve not had that special celebratory trip yet. Remember Chad, Niagara Falls is the honeymoon capital – a perfect place after your Niagara USA king!

First place in the Salmon Division was Larry Wills of Lewiston, NY with a 30 pound, 15 ounce king salmon reeled in on July 8. The fish held up in the race for Grand Prize for three weeks before the last weekend heroics. Fishing with his brother-in-law Don Stephenson and Timothy Wills aboard Wills’ 24-foot Penn Yan “Reel Therapy,” they made a last minute decision to take off from work late in the day and meet at the Wilson launch ramp. “You need a pass in the derby if you want to get on the boat,” said Wills at the awards gathering. “It was my biggest salmon ever and it took about 40 minutes to bring to the net.” They were fishing straight out from Wilson 40 feet down over 400 feet of water with a purple colored Warrior spoon off the downrigger, hooking the fish at 6:30 pm. They won $1,000 for first place plus $1,000 for the weekly salmon prize.

Second place salmon winner was Doug French of Webster, NY with a 30 pound, 3 ounce king salmon he caught aboard the 31 foot Baha named “Missdemeanor.” He was fishing with his brother Matt; his father, Bob; and friend Tom Lombardozzi in the Salmon Creek Shootout on July 23. They were fishing west of Sandy Creek in 200 feet of water, using a meat rig that was composed of a Minon Twinkie in Mirage color and cut bait behind a wire dipsy. It was also big fish for the Shootout. French won $400 for second place in the LOC Salmon Division plus $1,000 for the weekly salmon prize.

Top Youth salmon catcher was Nicolas Curtiss of Overland Park, Kansas with a 28 pound, 5 ounce fish reeled in off Olcott while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni and Thrillseeker on a spin doctor and A-Tom-Mik fly. He placed 13th overall in the division. John Powell of Niagara Falls, NY weighed in the largest salmon by a Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association member to win an extra $500 in addition to his 11th place winnings. The fish checked in at 28 pounds, 8 ounces and was caught out of Wilson. It was interesting to note that the 20th place salmon weighed in at 27 pounds, 7 ounces.

In the Brown Trout Division, Guy Witkiewitz of Ontario, NY set the pace by reeling in a personal best 18 pound, 14 ounce brownie to win the $1,000 first place prize and the $250 weekly prize. “We were fishing east of Irondequoit Bay on July 28 at 10:30 am when the fish hit,” said Witkiewitz. He was fishing with Capt. Andy Sykut aboard Andy’s 31-foot Tiara aptly named “Candy” for his Andy’s Candy business. Trolling an Oscar Moonshine spoon behind a dipsy diver back 200 feet over 80 feet of water, the duo teamed to net the fish successfully and get it to Mitchel’s Bait and Tackle right away. They have been fishing derbies since 1975.

Second place Brown Trout went to Thomas Gies of Ann Arbor, Michigan with a 17 pound, 6 ounce. He caught the fish on July 3 and it held up almost the entire derby. Fishing with Capt. Dan Evans of Lone Wolf Fishing Charters out of Wilson, they were trolling over 220 feet of water – an unusual place for a big brown – especially since they had been catching salmon. Gies’ personal-best brown bit an Ice Shadow Moonshine spoon 45 feet down. They were fishing out of Evans’ 32 foot Luhrs that sports the name “Lone Wolf.”

Top Youth Brown also came in through some unique circumstances. Adam Flachbart of Fairview Park, Ohio was casting off the pier in Olcott with his dad when a 14 pound, 5 ounce trout grabbed hold of his Yo-Zuri crankbait – “a color they don’t make any more.” While the fish didn’t make the Top 20, he still received a nice trophy for his efforts.

In the Lake Trout Division, the winning catch this time around came from Henderson Harbor as the east and the west continue to have a slug-fest from derby to derby. Ephraim Burt of Watertown was fishing with angling buddies Chuck Trump and Joe Sabadish took the lead on July 16 and never looked back when they weighed in a 24 pound, 3 ounce laker. They caught the fish in 130 feet of water right on the bottom, using a downrigger to get the green spin-n-glow into the fish zone. They caught the fish at 7:30 am out of a 25-foot Chapparal named “Ramblin’ Rose.” The fishing team also connected with 4th place when Trump reeled in a 20 pound, 9 ounce fish; and 6th place when Sabadish weighed in a 19 pound, 13 ounce lake trout.

Second place laker went to the Western Basin when Bob Turton of Sanborn registered a 23 pound, 7 ounce fork-tail, a fish he caught with his father (Roger) on July 3 for the early lead. Fishing from their 19-foot Crestliner named “RT and Son,” they were trolling the Niagara Bar with a green Kwikfish lure in 80 feet of water. They caught the fish at 10:30 am and it took them about 15 minutes to reel the fish to the net. “Dad” also managed to place a fish on the board, a 19 pound – 1 ounce Lake Trout that finished in 12th.

Top Youth laker taker was Owen Herholtz of Fulton, NY with a 19 pound, 13 ounce Henderson Harbor fish caught on a flasher and fly on July 20. The fish placed 5th in the competition.

The Rainbow-Steelhead Division saw a tight battle for first. Wade Winch of North Tonawanda was crowned the overall champ by virtue of his 17 pound, 10 ounce personal best trout. He caught the winning fish with Pete Baio while fishing out of a 21 foot Cruisers named “S & K.” They were trolling off Wilson in 180 feet of water using a purple Dreamweaver spoon behind a slide diver set back 185 feet on a No. 2.5 setting. It hit their offering at 8 am. This was the first time the two anglers fished together.

Just two ounces back for second place was Alfonse Gouker of N. Versailles, Pennsylvania. He caught the personal best steelie out of Olcott while fishing with Dave Pasquale (Captain Dave) and John Cyprowski aboard Captain Dave’s 24 foot Imperial boat named “Way-In.” They were fishing straight out from Olcott in 230 feet of water using a spin doctor and green A-Tom-Mik fly behind a dipsy diver set on No. 3 and pulled behind 220 feet of line. They caught the fish at 9 am. Gouker was driving the boat when he jumped up to grab the rod.

Top Youth division catch was a 16 pound, three ounce fish winched in by Francis Holly IV of Wilson. It ended up in 4th place overall. Fishing straight out of Wilson with his father, Francis Holly III, they were in 90 feet of water, using downriggers 40 feet down with green Stinger spoons when they hit a double – a salmon and a steelhead. They boated both with a lot of luck. Francis III also placed 15th in the Steelhead Division with a 12 pound, 5 ounce fish. They were fishing out of their 21-foot Sea Nymph named “Blue.”

Next up on the derby calendar is the “Return of the King” Fall LOC Trout and Salmon contest slated for August 19 through Sept. 5. Over $66,000 in cash will be up for grabs including a $25,000 check for the largest salmon; daily prizes for largest salmon ($500), brown trout ($200) and steelhead ($200). For more information or to find a list of weigh stations and registration outlets, go to the derby website at www.loc.org.