Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report-May 26, 2022

Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson of Wheatfield caught his personal best 7-pound smallmouth bass while fishing in Buffalo Harbor.

Greater Niagara Region

Frank Campbell

It was an exciting weekend last weekend for the relatively new Big Boys Tournament held out of Wilson and Olcott last Saturday. The six-fish contest saw 19 teams battle the winds and the waves for the day. In the end, it was Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane and his Thrillseeker team notch another victory on his tournament belt with a score of 142.63 points based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound. In second place, less than a point away, was Reel Mania led by Mark Lewandowski of Depew with a score of 142.14 points. Thrillseeker’s strategy was to run west and troll east with the wind. Their best water was 30 to 100 feet down over 180 to 250 feet of water using Dreamweaver Magnum spoons and meat rigs off their riggers, divers, and coppers. Capt. Tim Sylvester of Ransomville reports that fishing was good on his last trip out of Olcott targeting 150 to 275 feet of water using spoons and meat rigs once he found fish straight off Olcott. Fish are scattered in the lake right now as it goes through a transition period.

Tomahawk team
Another photo of the Tomahawk team after their Wilson Harbor Invitational tournament win May 14-15.

Team Thrillseeker
Team Thrillseeker led by Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane added another notch to his tournament belt when he won the Spring Big Boy event on May 21 with these salmon … but less than one point.

In the Niagara River, there are a few steelhead and lake trout being caught in the lower section of the river according to Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Shiners off three-ways in one approach. MagLips or Kwikfish is another, again off three-way rigs. Bass action has been decent on artificial lures like swim baits, Ned rigs or tubes. Shore casters are picking up bass and the occasional trout or walleye on spinners and jigs. A few walleyes are being caught at night off the Lewiston Landing area on swim baits and Fin-S Fish plastics. There are still a few Coho salmon available on the Niagara Bar off Fort Niagara, but they are scattering with the warmer waters and the movement of the baitfish away from the green buoy marker. Bad news though – the moss is starting to show up in the river. Upper river action has been focused on bass. Capt. Connor Cinelli of Grand Island has been focusing his effort in Buffalo Harbor with golden shiners. Night action for walleye is continuing at the foot of Ferry Street on swim baits. Navigation in the Erie Canal is underway and it can offer some good fishing opportunities.

Sara Syracuse lake trout
Sara Syracuse of Newfane shows that there are still a few lake trout hanging around in the lower Niagara River.

As we move into Pro-Am tournament week in Wilson and Olcott, it’s a great time to celebrate fishing and boating in Western New York – especially with National Fishing and Boating Week coming up June 4-12. To help kick things off, the Don Johannes/Pete DeAngelo Memorial 3-fish, Big Fish contest on June 2nd runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call Mike Johannes at 523-1727 for more information. Cost is $100 per boat. The next big tournament on the Lake Ontario docket is the Skip Hartman Memorial Pro-Am Salmon Tournament out of Wilson and Olcott June 3-4. Teams of anglers will be competing for some big prizes in both the pro and amateur divisions by seeking out the big salmon and trout for two days of action. Find out more details at The deadline without a late fee is this weekend. The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association will have its monthly meeting on June 2nd at the North Amherst Fire Hall, 2200 Tonawanda Creek Road, Amherst starting at 7 p.m. Guest speakers will be Captains Brandon Hall and Kip Mammano of Rochester Sportfishing talking about Summer salmon tactics. It is open to the public.

Oswego County

This week, conditions have made lake fishing a challenge. The water has become very generic; winds from the south continue to make the water very similar. Additionally, the water temp only changes 5 degrees from the surface to 60’ down.

Ken, from Clifton NJ
Ken, from Clifton NJ, proudly holding a king salmon caught fishing with Cold Steel Sportfishing.

Oswego, NY – Lake Ontario

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast
The following report is courteous of Capt. Mark Ledden of Cold Steel Sportfishing.

Overall, the offshore fishing has been a great mix of kings, lakers, cohos and browns. The plume around the Oswego River is a great place to start.

Brown trout have spread out this week but “the early bird gets the worm.” With lots of clear water a first light pass along the shoreline has still been filling coolers. While the salmon are being found in good numbers in 80-350’. Each day is a little different. We’re finding browns are out in deep as well.

Browns have been biting on black ice, tuxedo, and uv diehard spoons. The Best baits for kings have been Stingray sized spoons on 2-6 color leadcores and slide divers. Doctor, yellow tuxedo and uv seasick have been the best colors.

Chuck S., from Naples
Chuck S., from Naples Florida, holding a big king salmon.

Mexico, NY – Lake Ontario Report

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast
The following report is courteous of Capt. Mark Ledden of Driftwater Fishing.

Fishing in the Mexico Bay region has really offered up opportunities to target multiple species – kings, brown or lakers.

Kings have been found north of 9mile point in 50-200’ water. Browns are being caught on the inside waters, 15-30’. Cowbells on the bottom are still catching lake trout.

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon

Lake Ontario

More spring kings are heading east from Wilson, which is the normal pattern this time of year. Water temps from Rochester are currently 48 degrees.

The browns are scattered, however still hitting spoons and stickbaits in 50 fow. The king bite has been 300 fow down 100 feet and they are hitting spoons. Many have been caught with Moonshine Carbon 14.

Straight out from Hughes’ Marina and straight out from Chimney Bluffs has been a good starting point.

Lake Ontario tributary regulations: Three fish in combination and not to include more than one Rainbow Trout (or Steelhead) and One Brown Trout.


Bass season starts June 15th with a five fish 12-inch limit. The bass in Sodus and Port Bays can be found at the southern sections of the bays. The largemouth will also be hiding under the docks.

Margaretta Road has plenty of spaces for trailers for the north end of Sodus and you can launch at Bay Bridge Sport Shop at the south end.

Both the northern DEC ramp and southern launch site at Port Bay have easy places to launch and park.

The perch are still in the bays and can be caught with shad colored rubber bait tipped with spikes.

Erie Canal

The canal is now flooded and there are plenty of launch sites in the Wayne County. They are listed on this web page.

You can also fish from the shore on either side of the canal. Currently the crappies and bluegills are hitting next to the Port Gibson Bridge.

The canal also has channel cats in the deeper pools, especially near Palmyra. Use shrimp for bait.

The 2022 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 2022 canal hours.

Mariners are advised that, conditions permitting, all portions of the New York State Canal system are scheduled to open Friday, May 20, 2022, at 7:00 a.m. for the 2022 Navigation Season. If adjustments to the schedule are necessary, the public will be notified accordingly. There are no tolls or fees for recreational use of the Canal system this year. LEARN MORE

Notable Freshwater Fishing Regulation Changes

The following list offers a summary of the most notable fishing regulation changes resulting from the adopted rulemakings described above.

  • New statewide regulation for rainbow trout, brown trout, and splake in lakes and ponds. The season will now be open year-round, with a five-fish daily limit, any size, with a “no more than two longer than 12 inches” harvest rule.
  • Statewide Atlantic salmon regulations will now allow for a year-round open season.
  • Ice fishing is permitted on all waters in New York unless specifically prohibited with the exception of Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington counties where previous rules remain.
  • New specific dates replaced floating dates for statewide season openers to include:
    • May 1 – Walleye, Northern Pike, Pickerel, and Tiger Muskellunge.
    • June 1 – Muskellunge. (Note that in 2022, DEC will allow for the fishing of muskellunge beginning the last Saturday in May to accommodate previously planned fishing trips)
    • June 15 – Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.
  • A five-fish daily walleye limit in Oneida Lake.
  • A new regulation to limit the growth of the walleye population in Skaneateles Lake. No daily possession limit; 12-inch minimum size limit, open year-round.
  • The statewide sunfish daily harvest limit has been reduced from 50 to 25 fish
  • The statewide minimum size limit for crappie has been increased from nine inches to ten inches.

Orleans County

Saturday May 20th: With the strong west winds this morning we elected to forgo getting pounded with waves and stayed close to shore for some brown trout fishing. Recently the shoreline has been gin clear and the browns have been a little challenging to get. Today the waves were enough to camouflage the sunlight just enough to get a few bites. The water temp was 50-53 degrees. We set-up right outside of port (Bald Eagle Marina). A 6 rod spread with all spoons. We had a mix of some natural and bright colors. Leads were 100-120 ft back. Although the bite was not hot and heavy we managed a decent box in a short morning trip. Our fish came in 8-10 feet of water anywhere we found 53 degrees. Best water was from port to the pines. Warrior XL spoons got it done today with the “Killer Perch” being our MVP. There are still browns around in close to shore. A great option if the wind is blowing.
Good Fishing

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