Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report – September 30, 2021

West Marine

Greater Niagara Region

Frank Campbell

Congratulations to Mike Leising of East Amherst who won the Grand Prize in the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby last weekend. There was a drawing of all first-place winners at the Wildlife Festival during National Hunting and Fishing Day and the Rainbow/Steelhead category was selected for the $2,500 check. In the Youth Division, Mariah Majka of Niagara Falls won the Grand Prize among the kids following the same type of drawing.

John Gwara king salmon
John Gwara of Ohio caught this king salmon in Devil’s Hole this week fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell.

As far as the fishing, water releases are providing additional benefit to area tributaries off Lake Ontario including 18 Mile Creek in Newfane and Olcott. Additional water is being released until the end of this month, with regular Erie Canal water supplements to continue through mid-December. According to Karen Evarts with the Boat Doctors in Olcott, there have been plenty of salmon porpoising off the mouth of 18 Mile Creek thanks to the additional flow provided by the canal and recent rains. You can’t fish off the piers in Olcott yet due to the breakwall construction, but you can fish off the mouth and in the harbor from small boats. The nighttime is the right time for consistent hook-ups. Decent numbers of king salmon are being reported at Burt Dam, but it will get better. If you want pier action, try the Wilson pier. There have been good reports of anglers hooking up with kings and it might be worth a try. If you are fishing off the piers or casting from a small boat, try using spoons (Little Cleos or K-O Wobblers), spinners or J13 Rapalas.

Alex Taco king salmon
Alex Taco of Ohio holds up a Niagara River king he caught with Capt. Frank Campbell.

Last weekend Capt. Mike Johannes of On the Rocks Sportfishing reported that he fished approximately 5 miles offshore in front of Olcott on Saturday and had 10 fish out of 13 bites, boxing 8. Small spoons were best with Carbon 14 taking several fish, Pink Taco, and Agent Orange taking some, too. There was a mix of nice steelhead and two-year-old kings. He said that the 100-foot rigger up to the 40-foot rigger took bites with some coming on free sliders. The waves were 3 to 4 feet high. On Sunday, he fished in front of Wilson but had to go 7 to 10 miles to find good water temperatures. The waves were 6 to 8 feet high, so it was tough fishing. Once again it was a 2-year-old salmon and steelhead mix. Wire divers with Appleseed e-chips and mirage flies took several bites. A 2-face spin doctor and fly were working also. Divers were between 135 and 225 feet out. He also took some fish on 40-foot riggers and a green taco spoon.

Mike Ziehm salmon
Mike Ziehm of Niagara Falls with one of many salmon he caught from shore in the Niagara Gorge after the recent rains.

Mixed reports on the Niagara River salmon fishing. Mike Ziehm of Niagara Falls reports that after the recent rains there were lots of salmon hitting on silver and chartreuse No. 4 spinners throughout the entire shore of the lower river with 3 to 4 feet of visibility. He landed 9 kings and lost a bunch more. However, the next day or two most of the salmon completely disappeared, leaving him with only a couple bass. Capt. Justin Warriner reports that lower Niagara River smallmouth fishing is starting to get good, catching them almost every cast at times downriver. The NYPA platform is slow according to Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Capt. Connor Cinelli of Grand Island reported some great bass fishing this week using big shiners. The best area has been on the humps above Strawberry Island and on the flat outside of Donnelly’s wall for consistent fishing.

The annual antique fishing tackle show will be celebrating its 31st year Saturday, Oct. 2 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Elk’s Lodge on North Canal Road in Lockport. If you have any old tackle that you would like to have appraised, bring it to the show. Admission is $5.


Oswego County

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

Mike Byrns king salmon
Mike Byrns from Westchester NY, with a big
king salmon with Chasin’ Tail Adventures this week.

Oswego River Report

The CFS was at 2590 as of this morning. Temperatures have finally dropped below 70 degrees. With cooler weather coming up, this is just what we need.

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

The kings have steadily been entering the Oswego River. With these flows kings will be found from the 104 bridge all the way through the dam.

When fishing downstream of the powerhouse from the Highwall or low wall and between the bridges the best technique is the cast deep dive and crank baits such as thunder sticks and BayRats in brighter colors; fire tiger and green glow have been best. The other technique is the float chunks of skein under a slip float keeping your bait a foot or two off bottom. Pautzke fire cure in pink natural orange and red are the “go-to” colors. The skein bite has started to pick up as the water temps have dropped.

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.

Click here for the Brookfield Varick Fish Safely brochure.

Click here for the current water flow.

Salmon River Report:

The Water flow from the dam was at 350 cfs as of today and the flow at the Pineville gauge was 511 cfs.

This week’s report is courtesy of the Douglaston Salmon Run:

The more consistent action seemed to in the morning hours when fish were more on the move. After mid-day (perhaps because of the sunshine) fish movement diminished and most of the fish seemed to concentrate in the deeper pools and runs. Most anglers had success, but had to work a little harder for them than we’ve seen in recent days. Still good numbers of Coho are being reported and the brown trout have reappeared in better numbers than we have seen of late.

This second report is courtesy of Whitaker’s:

Anglers reported a steady movement of mostly cohos along with kings throughout the day from top to bottom. As these fish continue to keep moving upriver anglers should get into a mix of kings and cohos in the Town Pool area, Ballpark area, Papermill and RT2A. Anglers reported fish holding in the deeper holes in the mid to upper section of river. Anglers who fished the Upper and Lower Fly-Fishing Areas reported having some action under light fishing pressure.

Whitaker’s recommended egg patterns this week are: Estaz eggs in blue, orange, pink, chart, purple size 6. Glo-bugs in chart, pink, Oregon cheese, size 6. Sucker spawn in pink, chart, orange, blue size 6

Orleans County

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

Orleans king salmon
Orleans king salmon

Only a smattering of anglers are spread out in the Oak and other area tribs finding good salmon action for fish spread from rivermouth areas all the way upstream to fast water spots. On the backside now of higher flows from about a week ago – something like med to slightly high flows in the Oak and med in the smaller area waterways. Look for slowly dropping flows all around back to the baseline Canal and normal run of the river contributions.

A small crush of people are at the Waterport dam, but even by those standards, its really not that crowded. Look for angling pressure to build likely toward this weekend. The action at the Oak rivermouth is something like a few fish each prime period like dawn or dusk.

Small boat trollers and casters are both in on the action with glow hardware and/or plugs. Proceeding upstream thru the Oak downstream frog water areas the reports are quieter but I suspect guys are into a decent skein bite. Same for estuary slow water areas on the smaller tribs where guys have had on and off action.

Last night at dusk I had no problem finding some Kings crashing and boiling around at the Bridges area on the Oak and even a few at Point Breeze. Pier head foot soldiers may want to at least occasionally do an about face from lakeside casting at times to check the scene in the channel. Hearing of legit salmon bites and even a few browns too in fast water areas on the Oak. Then there’s the building King numbers at the dam, fish numbers probably outpacing the creeping pressure to this point. Most all fish are in real nice shape, some legit fresh Kings after the last rain which isn’t always a sure thing in our area low gradient tribs.

So far a nice start to the action, forecast looking mostly dry and seasonably cool right thru the upcoming weekend.

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