Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report – September 16, 2021

West Marine

Greater Niagara Region

Frank Campbell

It’s salmon time in Niagara Falls USA both in Lake Ontario and the Niagara River. A few salmon have been caught off the NYPA platform but sometimes the power generator next to the platform is shut down, impacting success off the fishing area.

Mike Ziehm king
Mike Ziehm of Niagara Falls found his first couple of salmon by adding weight to his spinners to get them down deeper.

Mike Ziehm of Niagara Falls caught a couple kings just downstream of the powerplant this week. He was using extra weight as they were down deep on the bottom where it was colder, in the bubbly heavily oxygenated water. He was using his blue and chartreuse ¾-ounce No. 4 spinners with ¼-ounce split shots about 20 inches above the spinner. Visibility as of Sunday was 3 to 4 feet in most spots on the lower river.

Mike Rzucidlo walleye
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a nice walleye from the lower Niagara River.
Mike Rzucidlo salmon
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with his first Niagara River salmon of the year.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was at it again, too, and he caught his first salmon of the year before he headed down to some slower waters and picked up some walleyes and bass. Bass fishing was tough this week, in part due to the winds. It could also be associated with the salmon migration up the river, too. In the upper Niagara River, Capt. Connor Cinelli of Grand Island reports that it has been good for bass. The crab bite is still good but it’s switching to a shiner bite now according to Cinelli. There are still a few walleyes around, too. Cinelli has been fishing above Strawberry Island and around the “round house” at the head of the river.

Dave Jarosz
Dave Jarosz of Elma caught this salmon in Lake Ontario out of Wilson while fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky

John Jarosz of Lakeview enjoyed a banner day with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters out of Wilson this week. They started in 100 feet of water east of Fort Niagara and found the water all riled up from recent winds. From the surface to 10 feet off the bottom was 70-plus degree water temperatures. The bottom 10 feet was 45 degrees and Yablonsky trolled A-Tom-Mik flies and spin doctors around large pods of bait surrounded by salmon. Working that edge, Jarosz and company managed to catch their 9 mature kings by 10:30 a.m.

Nick Calandrelli
Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston hit the Niagara Bar and caught some nice mature king salmon.

Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston reports he had some good action fishing with his dad, Capt. Ernie on the Niagara Bar drop off using green magnum spoons and flashers with cut bait fished on the bottom in 80-90 feet of water for a mixed bag of salmon and trout including some mature kings. They were using both downriggers and divers to take their fish. Salmon seem to be staging nicely. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott reports that action has been a bit slow inshore for boaters working the inside waters, but the fish are there. The offshore bite has been better for kings and steelhead with plugs, flies, spoons, and meat. Pier action at Olcott is on hold due to the construction, but they are ahead of schedule. A few kings have been reported at Burt Dam, but it is early. In the harbor it is pike and perch. Over in Wilson harbor it is pike and bass.

Remember that the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Awards Ceremony will take place at the NYPA Wildlife Festival at 3 p.m. on Sept. 25 at the Visitor’s Center grounds located at 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston. The Wildlife Festival is the county’s celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Day, set for Sept. 25-26. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Oswego County

Report is Courtesy of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning

Chris Zaccheo
Angler Chris Zaccheo of Tilson, NY, with a big coho salmon caught on an 11” flasher/A-TOM-MIK fly combo. 135’ just north of the salmon river with Capt. Mike Ford of Reel Addicted Charters

Lake Ontario Report:

Lake conditions have been windy this week. But we are looking forward to some stable conditions over the next few days.

This week’s lake report is from Captain Mike Ford of Reel Addicted Charters.
Fishing from the salmon river to the north dunes have been on fire! Temperature have been super low for this time of year 130-140ft down. Dragging the bottom 10 feet of water with 11-inch paddles has been very productive! Limits every trip! Pig pen/glow pig pen have been on fire followed by hammer and mirage flies. It’s definitely the year of the coho. Tight lines!

Oswego River Report

The CFS was at 3910 as of this morning. Temperatures have been in the upper to mid-70s. This is typical for this time of year.

This following report is courtesy of Captain Andy Bliss, of Chasin’ Tail Adventures Guide Service:

The first good group of kings has entered the Oswego river with the warmer temps most of headed up to the dam.

But with these flows, kings will be found from the 104 bridge all the way through the dam.

Please check our website, at, for the current CFS.

Year-Round Notice: There are mandatory personal flotation device (PFD) zones on the river. For more information, visit our website at and click on the Fishing Report along the top bar on the home page. The Oswego Fire Department offers loaner life jackets at no charge through its “Loaner for Life” program. For more information contact the fire station at 35 E. Cayuga St. by calling 315-343-2161.

Click here for the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely brochure.

Click here for the current water flow.

Salmon River Report:

The CFS was at 499 as of this morning.

Temperatures have been In the 60s and low 70s and we expect that to stay the same.

The 2021 Salmon River season is off to a great start. Kings and coho salmon have been entering the river throughout the last week. There was a decent push through the DSR last week. But has slowed down the last few days.

There has not been a major run of fish, but it has been pretty steady and for this point in in September.

With the crowds being light, you are able to fish a lot of great water without being shoulder to shoulder with other anglers. With the warm water temperatures, the fish were not real aggressive, but you are always able to find a few willing to snap.

Most successful anglers are drifting flies through the pinch points at the heads and tails of several pools. Light green to olive-colored Estas flies are the most effective patterns, with chartreuse and purple producing well. The crowds will be showing up soon, so if you have the opportunity to get out now, you can enjoy some good fishing and style points at the same time.

Tight lines!

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon

Lake Ontario

Salmon fishing has been tough last week. Try 100 to 140 fow west of Sodus Bay. The kings that have been caught are turning darker which is a middle September color.

They have been hitting Mag spoons, Hammer Flies, and a few fish chomping on meat rigs. Temperatures were 70 degrees down to 100 fow.

Not too much happening in Maxwell Creek yet, however, the flow is decent with recent rainfall.


Bay fishing has been excellent with smallmouth bass everywhere close to shore in Sodus Bay. Use the regular presentations like worm rigs and other rubber bait. The weeds are thick so make sure your line can haul them out of cover.

The perch are hitting at the north end of Port Bay. Use ultra-light rods and 2- inch shad rubber. There has been some pike caught at the south end of the bay. Cast-out Little Cleos or the “tried and true” Eppinger Dardevle.

The 2021 New York State fishing guide can be found at for downloading and printing at home. Production of hard copies is finished and have been delivered to License Issuing Agents. Hard copies can be requested by emailing

Erie Canal

The bass boats were out competing near Widewaters on Saturday. The largemouths go six pounds in the canal. The water level is perfect for fishing the canal, either on the shore or from a boat.

The 2021 New York State fishing guide can be found at for downloading and printing at home. Production of hard copies is finished and have been delivered to License Issuing Agents. Hard copies can be requested by emailing

Keep informed from the NYS Canal web for changes and restrictions with canal waters. Keep informed about 2021 canal hours. (There will be no fees for the 2021 canal boating season.) May 21st is the scheduling for the canal opening. Hours are 7 am till 5pm. Stay informed with the below web page.

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.

Orleans County

This week’s report is from Ron Bierstine from Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge:

STREAMS: No quick start to the salmon action yet. Lots of anglers anxious to get out there, and a few are, but the Kings are pretty much following a normal script as far as timing. Especially with the way the weather is proceeding. Its been pretty warm, and the near-term forecast thru this week is continued warm with highs pushing the 80’s F. Yes the area has been getting some precipitation lately, but no single rain event (yet) has been enough to move fish upstream. Chance of rain again on Wednesday. There’s no obvious movement of fish around the Oak rivermouth either, although there has been a few Kings caught there by the casting foot soldiers. Most successful trollers are still a bit offshore at least in the 80+ FOW range or more for best action (pictured below).

At the Waterport Dam, there are just a few fish and likely none holding in downstream fast water runs or holes. No obvious staged-up concentration of fish like at the Bridges. Stay tuned, potential for lots of good action ahead when we get some consistent cooler weather and good water flows. And Erie Canal “bolstered” flows (year 2) will be contributing to the fishy equation sooner then later in multiple tribs!

Oak river mouth dredging operations are likely days away from finishing. Hopefully, they can move to and get in and out of the smaller area tribs that they are dredging next with minimal impact on salmon and trout migrations.

Launch Construction Notice Reminder

The east boat launch at the end of Ontario Street will be closed starting Mon., Sept 20th. Please use the west boat launch (Oak Orchard State Boat Launch) on Archbald Rd. Access fees will be waived. FREE boat launching until the Spring!

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