Greater Niagara Region
Labor Day is when the big Lake Ontario Counties Fall Trout and Salmon Derby will be ending at 1 p.m. The current leader is now a 32-pound, 4-ounce fish reeled in by Zane Smith of New Brighton, PA while fishing out of Olcott this week. He is first in line for the $25,000 Grand Prize. In the Steelhead Division, Karen Mang of East Concord, NY is top fish catcher with a 16-pound, 12-ounce Olcott fish. Biggest brown trout so far is a 16-pound, 12-ounce fish out of Point Breeze, weighed in by Gary Cregan of Rochester. The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey is slowly catching on with the new Fishing Chaos app and there are 7 different fish species categories up for grabs in both the adult and the youth divisions. The youth division is free. The derby ends on Sunday at 11:59 p.m.
Like we said, Zane Smith of New Brighton, Penn. ran out of Olcott to fish with his dad aboard the “Stalker” with Capt. Kurt Driscoll. They started in 60 feet of water trolling northwest with cut bait and the reel started screaming. Zane fought the fish all the way to the net, and they immediately headed into Olcott to weigh their fish at the Boat Doctors. The king was 32 pounds, 4 ounces and it was a new Grand Prize leader for the derby. It is still not too late to enter. Check out loc.org.
Capt. Pete Alex of Vision Quest Charters reports that he caught a limit of salmon and trout both days last weekend out of Wilson. Friday’s big east wind iced the inside waters where mature kings were being caught from 120 feet of water and in prior to the wind. Then it was east most of Saturday, which did not help. Alex fished 210-240 feet of water and then deeper in 380-400-foot depths and took a mix of mature kings, two-year old salmon, and steelheads. They also caught their biggest king at 27-1/2 pounds. Alex found offshore bait, then a couple pockets of fish each day with the bait. Most fish came from 50-90 down (44 degrees to 60-degree water) under 74-degree surface waters. Spoons chipped in but flasher/fly and meat rigs were good. With the final weekend of the Lake Ontario Counties Fall Derby approaching, it is important to be in the contest if you are on the water.
Lower Niagara River action picked up a tick or two this week for bass and walleye according to Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Best bass spots are downriver around Joseph Davis State Park and Youngstown near Fort Niagara. Crabs are working off 3-way rigs, as are Ned rigs and swim baits. Walleye fishing has been good on the Niagara Bar. Hair jigs and worm harnesses fished off 3-way rigs is the way to go. Capt. Ernie Calandrelli has been slapping the ‘eyes with harnesses. Try around the green buoy marker. There were salmon porpoising around the green can and the red can. Up in the gorge, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was at Artpark on Tuesday and caught two small walleyes and eight small bass on jigs. Water is moss green color, with 6-7 feet of visibility. Josh Dunkelburger of Olcott reports some walleye and carp were being caught off the NYPA fishing platform this week. In the upper river, Rzucidlo was tossing No. 3 spinners to catch a fair number of smallmouth bass earlier this week. He is also doing some scuba fishing for bass for something a little different off Tonawanda.
The 12th Annual Women Conquering Outdoors Adventures is set for Sept. 11 at the North Forest Rod and Gun Club in Lockport, Call Colleen Gaskill at 628-9023 for more info. On Sept. 11 there will be a First Responders Fishing Day, sponsored by the Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY. It will be held out of all NY harbors in Lake Erie from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. A fish fry and Picnic to follow at the Southtowns Walleye clubhouse located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg starting at 2 p.m. Call Steve Haak at 225-0229 for more info
Report is Courtesy of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning
Lake Ontario Report:
Lake conditions have been very erratic over the last week. And we predict even more mixed-up conditions for the next few days.
The following report is courtesy of Captain Andy Bliss of Cold Steel Sportfishing.
The fishing this last week has been better than the previous couple weeks. Salmon are starting to stage in shallow water and becoming more active.
The last 2 days the salmon have moved closer and closer to the rivers. We are catching fish in 50-110’ water in front of the major rivers and off 9-mile point.
Keys to our success can be credited to ATOMMIK flies behind Stinger Flashers, specifically pigpen, scumline, Marv’s fatty, and white Bikini. Trailing stud, B & B fly glows, and green glo flys.
We have also been catching fish from 25-70’ down. Remember as these kings start to stage that their preferred water temps are also changing. Don’t be afraid to start targeting the warmer water many kings will hold and 60 to 67° water this time of year. Some days you’ll find the only active fish up in that warm water so don’t be afraid to fish up high.
Mexico Bay has seen an invasion of salmon. From 9-mile point to the high rocks has been the most consistent producer for a lot of boats; as well as in front of the Salmon River.
Oswego River Report
After the extremely high water we have had the last two weeks it is finally receded enough to produce safer wading conditions. The river is still very dangerous to wade at 10k+, so be careful!
With the river water at 75+ degrees salmon won’t be heading up in big numbers but there are always a few of the early runners. Early fish always tend to head to the dam as it has the most oxygen and they are hoping to go farther upstream to cooler waters.
The best way to target these fish is to concentrate on the shoots coming off the dam. Egg patterns work best to generate strikes.
Please check our website, at visitoswegocounty.com, 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 visitoswegocounty.com 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.
Salmon River Report:
We had report of the first salmon of the season about two weeks ago. The angler was Norbert Samok who was a guest at Eddies Salmon River Lodge.
Since then, the Douglaston Salmon Run has reported salmon entering the river on a consistent basis.
This weekend there is a scheduled white-water release, that plus the cooler temperatures should attract a better push. Salmon will likely be found from the estuary up through town.
Concentrate on the faster shires and ruffles as they are more oxygenated. Best baits will be small egg patterns; be it flies, rubber eggs or even egg sacs. We recommend wearing cleats and to always be careful crossing.
Wayne County Fishing Update
Fishing has been a challenge. The salmon are scattered and after the marks are found, they are not hitting easily.
Try trolling straight out from Sodus Bay west to Ontario searching for kings down 50 over 150 fow. A weak cold front coming through today will change water temps…hopefully creating a better bite.
The late summer bites have been with spoons and flasher-flies. Spoons are UV Mags, green.
If you mark fish, trying trolling through a few times and get them to bite.
The LOC started Friday and runs until September 6th…Labor Day. The awards ceremony has been scheduled Labor Day at Captain Jack’s Tavern, Sodus Point.
Dave Chilson and company keep the LOC leaderboard updated on an hourly basis. Register now and see your name at the top of the list!
LOC Fall Salmon Derby Aug 20th – September 6th
$67,400 Total Cash Pay-Out
$25,000 Grand Prize for the largest salmon
Fishing on the bays has been excellent. Water temps on Port Bay are in the high 70’s and autumn is the time fish start gobbling food.
Port Bay still has perch fishing along the north end of the bay. Use Power Bait shad color 2 inches in length.
Port Bay water is very warm and there has been weed growth near the south end. Fish for bass with Senko rigs
Fish for bass on Sodus Bay throwing-out worm rigs between the islands at the north end of the bay. On the south end of Newark has been a great place for catching bass.
The 2021 New York State fishing guide can be found at dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7917.html 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 FWFish@dec.ny.gov.
Canal water is still high from our rainfall. Use caution because the current on the narrow waterway can be dangerous.
The large catfish are biting in Clyde and Palmyra. Anchor where the current isn’t strong and cast out shrimp.
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.
According to Capt. Bob Songin’s “At the Oak” report this past week:
The mature salmon are both off shore (31-33) and in-shore (80-150). The best spinner/fly set up is DW Gator Flasher Spindoctor with an A-TOM-IK BAM fly. Best spoon is a gold laser spook. Best meat rig is a 10″ white double crush glow green dot spindoctor, w/an Irish Thunder Twinkie rig behind it.
Starting Tues, Sept. 7th, the Orleans County Boat Launch at the end of Ontario Street (east side of the river) will be closed for reconstruction. Please use the Oak Orchard State Boat Launch on Archbald Rd. Access fees will be waived. FREE boat launching until the Spring!
The Oak Orchard Harbor is in the process of being dredged which started last week (8/25) and is expected to be finished in mid September. The state is funding the effort as part of the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. The last time it was dredged was in 2014. Read more on the Hub.
Also to note is the Ridge Road/Route 104 bridge over the Oak Orchard Creek in the town of Ridgeway is now open to travelers. It has been closed to traffic for construction since late April.
CURRENT DERBY UPDATES
The Fall LOC Derby is in its final stretch this week, ending Sept. 5th. The current leader is a 32 lb 4 oz salmon caught by Zane Smith of New Brighton, PA. He captured the lead today aboard the Stalker, weighing in at Olcott. See more info at www.loc.org/leaderboard-current.
The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey is underway in Erie, Niagara and Orleans County August 20 until September 5, 2021. New for 2021: enter and weigh from your phone! For more details including payouts, visit their website.