Upstate New York Fishing Report – August 6, 2020

Mike Panepinto

Greater Niagara Region

Bill Hilts, Jr.

At the top of the list is the Greater Niagara Fishing Odyssey Derby, set for August 22 to 30 this year, has started to allow for registrations online at The fun family-oriented contest is important because this year there has not been a single kids fishing derby in the area and the Odyssey has a special youth division that is free for anyone 15 years of age or under. If you would rather go to a registration outlet, forms should be available by the end of the week.

Capt. Carl Martin
Capt. Carl Martin with Dublin Up and a couple king salmon the team caught

Dublin Up Fishing Team
The Dublin Up Fishing Team winner of the 2020 Big Boys Tournament

Karen Evarts at the Boat Doctor in Olcott reports that the lake saw a little bit of a flip the last day or two, but some salmon were being reported in as close as 90 feet of water in front of Olcott. Cut bait rigs and flasher-fly combos have been working on the kings. Roy Letcher of Newfane reported that he found a pocket of big kings just east of the Somerset power plant recently. They went 15 for 17 in 3 hours of fishing with 10 kings being over 20 pounds. Their 24-pound, 15-ounce king took 3rd on Friday in the Big Fish contest for the Big Boys tourney. The overall winner was the Dublin Up team led by Capt. Carl Martin of Pendleton. He runs his operation out of Wilson. Martin and company fished 12 miles west of the Oak away from the pack in a small pocket of 100 to 135 feet of water that was holding some mature kings. Their program was mostly A-Tom-Mik meat rigs with Familiar Bite herring, or Dreamweaver Spin Doctors with A-Tom-Mik flies. Their fish came from 55 to 90 feet down.

Mike Panepinto
Mike Panepinto of Tonawanda with 15 lb. Atlantic salmon

Fishing has been difficult the past week or two in the Niagara River, both above and below Niagara Falls. In the upper river, Capt. Ryan Shea of Tonawanda reports that there has been a lot of loose weeds floating around from boat wakes and natural shedding, as well as weeds on the bottom (not moss). Smallmouth bass and sheepshead are both available on Ned rigs and soft-shelled crabs, but you do have to work for them. There are a few walleyes in the river, too. Remember to stay out of Canadian waters. It goes both ways, too. Some Canadians were caught fishing in U.S. waters and forced back. While Canadian authorities have been issuing warnings, they are about to take the next step and issue fines and/or confiscate boats so know where you are in the river at all times. Lower river action has also been slower than normal, although you can go out and have a good day here and there. It has been inconsistent at best. Bass and walleye are both available, but do not be surprised if you catch a sheepshead or two. Crayfish and shiners for bass; worm harnesses for walleyes, all fished off 3-way rigs. Bass will also take Ned rigs, drop shot offerings and the occasional tube. Careful where you are on the Niagara Bar as far as boundary line, too. Canadian authorities are policing the line. The NYPA fishing platform is open, but it usually closes late morning when the water comes up. Call 286-6662 for updates on the platform.

Robbie Cehulik and Justin Messing
Robbie Cehulik, 15, from Lockport and Justin Messing, 16, from Wilson, with their first salmon from Lake O.

Two other contests coming up are the Reelin’ for a Cure ladies’ tournament on August 21 and the Fall LOC Derby August 21 to Sept. 7. For the ladies contest, go to For the LOC, go to

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon

Lake Ontario

There has been some excellent kings being caught right through the weekend, however the “wind switch” slowed the bite.

Currently, the kings have been in deeper water… 500 plus feet. Charters are starting deep and working to 200 fow straight out from Sodus Bay.

Spoons and meat have been the most productive. You can also use flasher-flies. If you fish west to Bear Creek, you’ll find some lake trout in 100 fow. Use cowbells rigs for lakers.


Port Bay was the hot spot for largemouth bass over the weekend. Use worm rigs and fish the weeds. Use the launch at the south end of the bay. The barrier road at the north is a bumpy mess.

Sodus Bay has weeds everywhere in the shallower water. Fish the points for bass and try to stay away from the middle of the bay because of boat traffic waves.

Launch sites are Bay Bridge Sport Shop at the south and Margaretta Road near Sodus Point on Route 14.

Erie Canal

Now that the canal is open there is opportunities for anglers along the stretch in Wayne County. Launch sites are in Clyde, Lyons, Newark, and Macedon. The canal waters have all the warm species and you don’t have to fight the wind.

Summer is the time to catch some big channel catfish. Use cut shrimp and fish the deeper pools.

Keep informed from the NYS Canal web for changes and restrictions with canal waters.

Charters in Wayne County are Opened for Business

Wayne County Charters are now opened for business. The Finger Lakes region has currently met all the necessary requirements during Phase One to operate their business. All steps and guidelines to ensure safety are listed HERE.

Charters in Wayne County are Opened for Business

Wayne County Charters are now opened for business. The Finger Lakes region has currently met all the necessary requirements during Phase One to operate their business. All steps and guidelines to ensure safety are listed HERE.

Boat Launches Opened

Privately-owned marinas, boat launches, and many other recreational marine locations are now opened.

The official statement from New York State is made in conjunction with similar ones from the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut, is the latest change to the guidance from Empire State Development on what is and isn’t affected by the governor’s Executive Order 202, which ordered employers to reduce the number of employees working at individual locations to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The guidance regarding privately-owned marinas, boatyards and recreational marine manufacturers allows for operations and boat repair/maintenance so long as the facilities ‘adhere to strict social distancing and sanitization protocols.’ However, watercraft cannot be used for charters or rentals, and any restaurant facilities there must remain take-out or delivery only.

Safety Precautions from DEC

While enjoying the outdoors, please continue to follow the CDC/New York State Department of Health guidelines (leaves DEC’s website) for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:

  • Try to keep at least six (6) feet of distance between you and others.
  • Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, and kissing.
  • Wash hands often or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs, handrails, and playground equipment.

When fishing, DEC recommends avoiding busy waters and following the guidelines on DEC’s website about fishing responsibly in New York State. If an angler arrives at a parking lot and there are several cars, they should consider going to another parking lot. If an angler is fishing upstream, they should fish downstream of the other angler or consider fishing another day. Anglers fishing from boats should be able to maintain at least six feet of distance between one another. For more information about the benefits of being outdoors safely and responsibly, go to DEC’s website.

New York State is open for fishing and DEC encourages anglers to recreate locally at a nearby waterbody. New York’s lakes and streams offer great opportunities for fishing in a wide array of settings across the state. Even during the current COVID-19 public health crisis, getting outdoors and connecting with nature while angling in New York’s waters is a great way to help maintain mental and physical health.

Charters and Guides

The “New York State on PAUSE” Executive Order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone during the COVID-19 response, includes a directive that all non-essential businesses statewide must close effective at 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, and temporarily bans all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason.

At this time, fishing guides or charters of any size have been determined to be not essential and are subject to workforce reduction requirements of the Executive Order. The full and updated guidance on which types of businesses are determined essential and other designations associated with the order can be found online. For more info

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