Greater Niagara Region
Niagara Falls USA anglers fared quite well this year in the Fall Lake Ontario Counties Salmon Derby that ended on Labor Day. The winner of the $25,000 grand prize was Zane Smith of New Brighton, PA fishing out of Olcott with Capt. Kurt Driscoll aboard Stalker. The fish weighed 32 pounds, 4 ounces. Second place was 2 ounces less, also from Olcott, when Theresa Hoodley of Pottstown, PA reeled in the runner up. Third place was also from Niagara when Larry Wills of Lewiston hauled in a 31-pound, 11-ounce king from the Niagara Bar on Sept. 4 coming up just short. Top youth was Blake White of Lancaster with a 30-pound, 9-ounce king salmon and he placed fifth overall while fishing out of Olcott. In the steelhead division, Karen Mang of East Concord, NY won with another Olcott fish, a 16-pound, 12-ounce trout. It was her first derby and her first fish ever caught on Lake Ontario. Top brown trout was Gary Creegan of Rochester with a 16-pound, 12-ounce Orleans County fish. In the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby that ended last Sunday, all we can say at this point is that a bunch of nice fish were caught based on length this year using the Fishing Chaos app, both the adult division and the junior division for the kids. The Grand Prize announcements will take place at the NYPA Wildlife Festival on Sept. 25 at 3 p.m. That is where they will draw from all the first-place winners to see who wins the big prize! The wildlife festival will be held at the visitor’s center located at 5777 Lewiston Road in Lewiston next to Niagara University. We will start to name the divisional winners in next week’s forecast.
In the meantime, Lower Niagara River action is picking up. Smallmouth bass are starting to go into their fall feeding frenzy reports Capt. Arnie Jonathan of AJ’s Guide Service. Crabs are the best live bait to use if you can find them. For artificials, tubes and Ned rigs are the best options. Some bass are also being caught on drop shot rigs with Strike King dreams shots a good alternative. Some bass are also being caught off the NYPA fishing platform in the gorge area according to Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. A few walleyes are being caught in the gorge but the better fishing for ‘eyes as been on the Bar at the mouth of the river. Worm harnesses fished off three-way rigs is the way to go. The first reports of salmon being seen in the Devil’s Hole area and off the platform for September have also come in. If any of the cooler water from Lake Erie makes it into the river system, it will be game-on for an early salmon run. Capt. Ned Librock with Chasing Dreams Charters reports that smallmouth bass fishing has been decent in many of the traditional drifts around Strawberry Island and the east river. Crabs fished off three-way rigs are the way to go, bouncing bottom along the way. Weeds have been a bit of a problem the past week. Worm harnesses fished off three-way rigs will also work. Alex Gauld of Tonawanda hit a monster smallie this week, too, tipping the scales at 7.45 pounds. With the Douglas Rods tournament coming up Sept. 18, there was no other information.
Larry Wills of Lewiston was fishing the Niagara Bar doing some combat trolling over the weekend while competing in the LOC Derby and found plenty of salmon marks with bait at the drop off. It wasn’t until he slid off the drop into 185 feet of water that he hit a big salmon using the 450-foot copper and an e-chip paddle teaser program. His secret “bait” was a MC Rocket, an artificial herring strip in a frog pattern. He swears by it. The fish weighed 31 pounds, 11 ounces. First place was caught off Olcott, slightly to the east off the power plant, in 500-plus feet of water. The Grand Prize fish came 2 miles west of Wilson off a diver in 80 to 90 feet of water set back 180 feet with a purple/silver fish paddle and a purple glow head that held hardened herring strips that had been soaking in Pro Cure herring oil.
Report is Courtesy of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning
Lake Ontario Report:
The last week we have seen ever-changing conditions. The wind has been changing multiple times a day with one big west blow that is really course a lot of warm water into the eastern based onLake Ontario.
All the captains are hoping the next week will bring more stable water in better conditions.
This week’s report is brought to you by Captain Casey Prisco, of Dirty Goose Sportfishing.
All the wind, currents and temperatures have been causing havoc on the lake. Each day we find ourselves searching for our fish and each day they seem to move never staying in one spot for long. Our best baits have been atommik mirage, pro-am, b-fly and hammer flies behind Stinger chips. Marvs fatty, white green dot, black eye pea uv, pig pen and jacks pretty girl.
With the changing additions we have been fishing anywhere from 15 feet to 180 feet over the last week; the last few days 120 to 140 feet has been the best.
Oswego River Report
The CFS was at 4590 as of this morning. This is a huge drop from the record highs we’ve seen the last few weeks. Temperatures have been in the upper to mid-70’s. 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 have entered the Oswego River. With the warmer temps most of them have headed up to the dam where there are 3 to 500 kings at the base of the dam right now.
But with these flows, kings will be found from the 104 bridge all the way to the dam.
When fishing downstream of the powerhouse from the Highwall or low wall and between the bridges, the best technique is to cast deep dive and crank baits, such as thunder sticks, in brighter colors. Another technique is to slow float fish. Keep your bait a foot or two off bottom. Pautzke fire cure in pink natural orange and red are go to colors. The skein bite will pick up as water temps drop, so right we recommend sticking with casting plugs.
Don’t be surprised if you encounter some warm water species this time of year as well.
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:
The CFS was at 480 as of this morning. Although after the heavy rain, the CFS spiked to 530 at the time of writing this report. Temperatures have been In the 60s and low 70s And we expect that to stay the same.
This following report is courtesy of Captain Troy Creasy of High Adventure Guide Service.
The 2021 Salmon River season is off to a great start. Kings and coho salmon have been entering the river throughout the last week. Today there was a decent push through the bottom end and real good reports have come out of the DSR and staircase areas.
There has not been a major run of fish yet, but it has been steady and for this early in September I would rate the fishing as “good.” It looks like we have a big West blow coming and that could very well bring more fish into the tributary and the lower river over the next couple days.
With the crowds being light we are able to spend a portion of our day running side planners and Yakima flatfish. The fish haven’t been very aggressive but we did find a few willing to snap.
The other part of our days we spend drifting Flies through the pinch points at the heads and tails of several pools. A light green to olive colored Estas fly have proved successful. We’ve also had a few hook ups on chartreuse and purple.
The crowds will be showing up soon so if you can get out now, you’ll be able to enjoy some good fishing and style points at the same time. Tight lines!
Oneida Lake Report:
The lake is starting to enter transition mode. Soon the walleye will start showing up along the shoreline at night where anglers can target them from shore or wading out.
For now, most boats are catching them in about 30’ feet of water. Stick baits are a “go-to” this time of year. Check out our website for more information on charters.
The bass are another species which size and quantity shouldn’t be underestimated. With an average depth of 22’, bass can be caught throughout most of the lake. We recommend first-timers who are targeting bass to try the mouth of the Oneida River as well, since it’s easy to identify where the cover is.
Wayne County Fishing Update
September kings and cohos have been in 85 to 125 fow. That was before yesterday’s front brought extra large waves to the “Big O.”
The fish have been hitting Flasher-flies and green UV spoons. You can still look for temp breaks and bait to find late season salmon.
Some mature browns have been caught in 60 fow west of Hughes’ Marina.
LOC Fall Salmon Derby Aug 20th – September 6th
$67,400 Total Cash Pay-Out
$25,000 Grand Prize for the largest salmon
Labor Day is over which means less boat traffic on Sodus and Port Bays. September has always been the past time for largemouth bass. They are now feeding heavily so cast into the weedbeds.
Use the common worm rigs or weedless spinner baits and make sure you have some solid braided line spooled for bass.
The water level is not that bad for launching. Use Bay Bridge Sport Shop’s ramp at the south end of Sodus for easy access.
Port Bay still has perch action off the points and at the north end of the bay. You only have one ramp and that is at the north end off West Port Bay Road.
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.
The largemouth bass are hitting at Widewaters. The canal still has high water so use caution because of the current. The catfish are still hitting near Clyde and Palmyra. Try to find a calm section and cast out into any pools. Catfish love cut shrimp.
The 2021 New York State fishing guide can be found at https://www.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.
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.
This week’s report is from Lou Borrelli from Get the Net Fishing Charters:
The last few weeks out of Bald Eagle Marina we have been fishing offshore as there has been some good steelhead action with a few teenage kings in the mix. Fishing out deep has been hit and miss and no real pattern of lures to speak of. Fish have been taking mostly spoons with a few meat and flasher/fly mixed in. Saturday was a brief morning trip. With the lake conditions ideal for offshore fishing, we headed out to the 27 line and trolled north. The bite was not hot and heavy but we picked at a few steelhead as we approached the 30 line. Riggers were parked at 75 & 85 ft with fixed cheaters 10 ft above. As we hit 515 FOW the 85 rigger fires with a Warrior Lures “Blue Jeans” (on the 10 ft cheater). The bend in the rod didn’t feel like an average steelhead and we were thinking a decent king salmon was on the line. After a few decent runs, the fish was starting to cooperate… That was until it got to the back of the boat. The monster steelhead was not coming in easy, and it took some “negotiating” to get it in the net. A beautiful 15 lb steelhead had hit the deck. It was the biggest steelhead that the man had caught and was excited to say the least. We ended the morning with all steelhead and a memory that will last forever.
Launch Construction Notice Update
The date has been pushed back for the reconstruction of the east boat launch at the end of Ontario Street. It 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!
ARCHERS CLUB UPDATES for Fall Stream Fishing
The Archer’s Club will be open for parking 7 days/week beginning Oct 01 until Nov 11. The parking donation will be $10 per car. The gate at the top of the driveway will be closed at 2PM for no entry after that. No parking will be allowed at anytime on the road at the top of the driveway and therefore no walk in access down the driveway. On the dates not included above anglers can still fish any of the water adjacent to the Archer’s Club but access will have to be by walking and wading from downstream at the Park Ave Ext Fishing Trail or from upstream at the Waterport dam and anglers cannot be on the Archer’s Club grounds – only in the immediate bankside water. You can lay a rod down on the bank or net a fish or walk around a wading obstruction for safety – but anglers cannot be on the Archer’s Club grounds on the dates not included above. Many thanks to the Archer’s Club for opening up the Fall fishing access. No prepared food will be served and the Catch and Release Fly Fishing Tourney will not take place for 2021. This is the available info at this time, “unless something changes, it will be enforced.”