Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report-May 5, 2022

Greater Niagara Region

Frank Campbell

Early May is the culmination of so many things all happening at once. If you like craziness, including some outstanding fishing, come to Niagara Falls USA! Traditionally this is when we host an outdoor media event as we showcase the Western NY fisheries. The fish seem to always cooperate. Too bad the weather wasn’t a bit more forgiving!

Matt Crawford and Brian Evans
Matt Crawford from Game and Fish Magazine and Brian Evans from Seaguar with a lake trout doubleheader on Strike King Swim-n-Shiner on the Niagara Bar.

The salmon and trout action on the lake is on fire according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. Reports have been coming in like crazy from the Niagara Bar to Olcott. You can pick your poison for how you want to fish for salmon and trout right now in the lake. Some of the media guys like Jay Feimster with Point-Click-Shoot and Matt Crawford with Game and Fish were with other boats on the Niagara Bar drifting with emerald shiners off 3-way rigs to take a mix of kings, Cohos, brown trout, lake trout, steelhead, and walleyes. Strike King’s Swim-n-Shiners were also working, as well as their other swim baits. How cool is that! Evarts reports that for the trollers, the spoon bite is great right now with greens for kings and oranges for Cohos. Sticks and flasher-fly will also work. Many of the big charter boats have moved into Wilson and Olcott to get ready for the spring salmon fishing, the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby (May 6-15), and the Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament (May 14-15) along with some other events like the $1K a day and the Trout and Salmon Slam running from May 7-13. For LOC visit For the other Wilson events call Kevin Jerge at 863-1001. Capt. Rich Hajecki of Crazy Yankee Sportfishing will be hosting the “dock talk” for the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association on Thursday, May 5 at Bootleggers Cove Marina Hot dogs at 6 p.m. and the seminar at 7 p.m. He will be talking about spring king fishing and electronics. It’s a good time for it, too. He absolutely slew the salmon over the weekend. He was using spoons and Bay Ray sticks northwest of Wilson. The Fat Rat in orange worked well off 10 colors of Stealthcore on the boards for Cohos. Riggers were 40 to 60 feet down and spoons with ladderbacks were working best for kings and lakers. Divers back 85 feet on a No. 2 setting were also catching fish. In fact, everyone is catching fish! There are still some trout in the tributaries, too, but they are quickly being replaced by warm water fish like bass.

Mike Rzucidlo lake trout
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a lake trout from the Niagara gorge.

Many of the trout are almost gone from the river and are heading back out into Lake Ontario according to Mike Ziehm of Niagara Falls. He still managed to catch some nice fish in the gorge and saw an uptick in smallmouth bass action as the waters continue to warm. Once again, he caught a good number of steelhead and lake trout on his homemade No. 5 chartreuse spinners and his blue and white bucktail jigs. There’s bait fish still all around the river above and below the power plant. Water visibility is good and is now at 5 feet. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls had the same report, catching lakers, steelhead and bass. Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle says that the smelt are done for the year. Trout and salmon are on the Bar and the bass action is picking up in the river. A few steelhead and lake trout are being caught off the NYPA Platform and along Artpark. A good number of walleyes are also being caught in the river from boats. Tommy Ortolano with Lake Effect Bait and Tackle reports that walleye, lakers, and rainbows are being caught at Ferry Street in Buffalo on white plastics. Capt. Andy Full of Full Fishing Guide Service has had some banner bass days casting the upper river this week with jerkbaits along the I-190.

Oswego County

Walleye on the Oswego River (Click Here to Watch the Video)

NYS walleye season opened on May 1st, and anglers on the Oswego River aren’t wasting time getting back “in the groove.”  Watch our Facebook video of Oswego native, John W. catch a walleye on the Oswego River yesterday (May 4th) Click here.

Lake Ontario Report

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast

Shoreline fishing out of Oswego has been very good this week. With the Oswego River running at a lower flow, there has been a lack of colored water. The wind has created patches of good water to the west of port. The river has attracted a few salmon to the waters around the harbor.

Browns have been chewing on stickbaits and spoons. A few of our recommended spoons are Black & Silver, Fire Tiger Sticks, UV diehard, Angry Bird, Doctor, and Neon Gator.

The best baits for kings have been Stingray sized spoons on 2-4 color leadcores and slide divers. The best colors have been Pickleseed, Artic ice, Alewife and Diehard.

Mexico, NY – Lake Ontario Report

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast

Lake Conditions have been calm since Saturday due to the winds out of the southeast.  The winds have also clearer out dirtier water making it possible to see bottom in up to 15 feet of water on certain areas.

The following report is courtesy of Captain Adam Deslandes of Northeastern Sportfishing Charters.

The overcast skies and partial rain each day has led to some steady fishing. Water temp. has been holding between 44-51 degrees.  Our biggest recommendation this time of year: if you find a warmer pocket of water that’s holding fish – stick with it!

We’re seeing good catches of both Brown Trout, Lake Trout, and even a few Salmon.  Browns have been coming in 12-35 feet of water for us on mostly natural-colored baits but there has been the exception of a few brights.

Baits such as Michigan stinger spoons in stinger size in “green glow alewife”, “diehard”, “caramel dolphin” and “lances 2 face” as well as stick baits in Smithwick black n silvers and the “fire tiger.” Spoons have been run off short segments of cores, shallow riggers, and close divers. Sticks have been off flatlines, run 100-170 back.  Lake Trout have also been readily available in 140-160 feet of water and are mostly being caught on hammerhead blades in size 5/0.

Salmon River and Oswego River Report

Click Here to see the CFS on the Oswego River

During the spring and summer months, a variety of species are plentiful. Including walleye, bass, pan fish, and carp. Check back with us in September when the king salmon make their way into the river systems.

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon

Lake Ontario

Water temperatures off of Rochester are 41 degrees. Today we have no wind (yahoo). There ae some mudlines near Chimney Bluffs and to the east of Port Bay.

Browns have been in 15 to 30 fow and hitting green/orange glow spoons and Bay Rat stickbaits. Both the riggers and the boards have been the set-ups.

Some kings have been caught west of Hughes’ Marina with glow spoons.
Winds are predicted to be calm which is a pleasure after last week’s missed trips by charters.

The Coast Guard Station launch is open at Sodus Point. The Bear Creek launch will not be opened until Memorial Day.

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


New fishing regulations adopted April 1st are listed below. Pike and walleye are now opened May 1st.
Sodus Bay has walleye although not in great numbers. South of Eagle Island has seen some walleye action. Use purple jigs with 3-inch tails.

The pike can be caught between LeRoy Island and the east shoreline using bright spoons or live bait (pike Minnows).
Walleye regs: 15-inch 5 fish.
Northern pike: 18-inch 5 fish.

Perch are in Port Bay, however scattered. Launch at the south end off West Port Bay Road and work the east side of the bay.

All persons on board a recreational vessel less than 21 feet in length (including canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) must wear a USCG–approved PFD from November 1 to May 1.

Erie Canal

Widewaters has seen panfish action on the south side of the canal. You can also fish near the locks west of Lyons.

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. 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 Captain Bob Songin from Reel Excitement Charters

Ed's king salmon
Ed landed this 14# King near Shadigee with Reel Excitement Charters this week.

Captain Bob gives an impressive report from yesterday, April 25th as they trolled west to the Bar in Niagara County. On their way to Wilson Harbor, he reports that they started catching browns and cohoes just east of Shadigee in 7-10 FOW. On the west side of Shadigee just past Flat Top, they hit their first King and the further they went, the better it got – consistently doubles & triples all throughout the area, in 7-10 FOW, then followed along the green water (as opposed to the murky brown water). View his full report, “From at the Oak to the Bar” on his Facebook page.

• Starting this weekend, they will be fishing at the Bar chasing Kings then return to the Oak around Memorial Day as the Kings migrate east.

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