Upstate New York Fishing Report – September 10, 2020

Greater Niagara Region

Bill Hilts, Jr.

It was almost a clean sweep for the Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby that ended on Labor Day as Niagara County fish dominated the top of the leaderboard. Tim Anderson of Columbus, Ohio reeled in a 31-pound, 5-ounce king salmon out of Olcott while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Thrillseeker Sportfishing to claim the $25,000 Grand Prize. In the Steelhead Division, Shawn Pinkham of Sanborn was fishing on the Niagara Bar when he caught a 15-pound, 9-ounce trout on a flasher with N & D cutbait. Second place was an Olcott fish, weighed in by Nick Sheldon of Horseheads at 12 pounds, 6 ounces. In the brown trout category, Maria Jackson of Rochester held on to the lead all 18 days of the derby with a fish she caught on day one, a personal best 17-pound, 14-ounce Rochester fish. Second place was a Niagara Bar brown that was caught by Ray Mahtook of Youngstown. It weighed 17 pounds, 4 ounces. For a complete leaderboard check out

Dennis Morris
Dennis Morris with smallmouth bass
Michelle Pratt
Michelle Pratt of Grand Island with walleye
Morad Zougari
Morad Zougari with first Olcott pier salmon from NYC

The first couple of salmon have been caught off the piers in Olcott but it is slow fishing according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. Some brown trout have also been caught, too. Salmon fishing has been slow after the windy weekend impacted local action. For those that have made it out and fished from the Niagara Bar to Olcott, plenty of fish have been marked on the electronics. However, getting those fish to hit has been another story entirely. If the numbers of fish staging are any indication of the run this fall, it should be a good year. With some northeast winds in the forecast for this week, it could shake things up a bit and turn things on according to Roy Letcher of Newfane.\

Paul Irving
Paul Irving with smallmouth bass
Shaughn Irving walleye
Shaughn Irving of Grand Island with walleye
Shaughn Irving smallmouth
Shaughn Irving of Grand Island with smallmouth bass

The first salmon of the year were caught off the NYPA Fishing Platform in the lower Niagara River according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle. Water levels have not been as much of an issue according to Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls. Call 286-6662 for updates on closures at the NYPA platform. Some salmon have also been caught from shore further up in the gorge, as well. It is still early in the run. Bass fishing action has slowed down a bit, but there were some good days last week for Mitch Grant of Rapid Fishing Solutions and his crew testing some new tools and bait enhancements. Some walleye and perch are being caught around the Lewiston area at night. Upper river bass action has been spotty. Remember that you must always stay in New York waters. There is no venturing into Canadian waters, even if you have a license.

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon

Lake Ontario

Some kings are staging in 120 to 150 fow. They have been marked on the screens; however, it has been tough to get them to bite.
The lake water is warm close to shore and if we get a north-east blow Lake Ontario should flip, which should present a better pattern for locating kings.

Spoons and meat have been the best presentation. Glow spoons work well.

The salmon have not been near the Sodus channel yet, however in a few weeks you can catch them off the Sodus Pier. Throw-out heavy spoons.


Recreational boat traffic has quieted making this a great time to fish largemouths in the bays. If you fish for autumn bass on Sodus Bay, you will catch five plus pound fish.

Use wacky rigs where the plastic worm is hooked in the middle with the sides hanging down. Bass cannot resist these presentations.

Port bay is another place to fish for bass. You should fish the southern end of the bay, close to the DEC launch site.

Erie Canal

There were some kayak anglers working the Widewaters section the canal for bass. You can also catch catfish in 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

1 thought on “Upstate New York Fishing Report – September 10, 2020

  1. Ron Schroder

    Big stuff is covered, what about smaller lakes – Silver, Conesus, Hemlock, Canadice and Honeoye?

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