Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report-June 23, 2022

Greater Niagara Region

Frank Campbell

The state’s Free Fishing Weekend is finally here, set for June 25 and 26. While junior anglers under 16 years of age do NOT need a license anyway, the free fishing weekend lets everyone fish for free. Remember that no matter where you fish, make sure you abide by the regulations for the body of water you intend to fish. There are some kid’s events for Niagara County taking place on Saturday. Number one is the Wilson Conservation Club Derby for all Niagara County waters from 8 a.m. to noon, focusing on kids ages 3 to 14. Call Gary Alt at 315-767-5328 for any questions. Measuring will take place at the Conservation Club, and you must be in line by noon for measuring. The Town of Newfane Kids Fishing Derby is number 2 and it will also be from 8 a.m. to noon at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott. No pre-registration is needed for either event.

Kevin Guenther
Kevin Guenther of Niagara Falls caught this Lake Erie walleye recently just off Buffalo.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught some steelhead like this one from the upper river when he found a small school chasing a ball of baitfish.

On to the local angling action. One decent spot out in Lake Ontario that is producing a mixed bag of salmon and trout has been between Wilson and Olcott in 300 and 400 feet of water, reports Capt. Tom Pearse of Reel Adventures Sport Fishing. Most of his success came on a big spoon program with greens and reds as popular colors. There is a great class of steelhead with several 10-plus pound fish being caught in that area. Meat rigs took a few big mature kings. Mostly you must sort through an unusual number of 10-to-12-inch salmon that should be released carefully as they are the future of the fishery. Best depths for the riggers and divers have been 30 to 70 feet down. Target deeper for big kings, higher up for Coho salmon and steelies.

Marcia Masters
Marcia Masters of Wrights Corners caught this steelhead in Lake Ontario fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters.
Kevin Guenther
Kevin Guenther of Niagara Falls caught this Lake Erie walleye recently just off Buffalo.

As far as the Niagara River fishing, it has all been made difficult by the annual arrival of a nasty moss that grabs hold of your lure or bait. Mark Plennert of Niagara Falls says you can still catch fish from shore in the gorge if you can handle the moss. He was catching smallmouth bass, white bass, and even the occasional long nose gar tossing out a Zoom Fluke. Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston reports that the moss is creating problems for lower river boat fishermen, too. There are still bass being caught around Fort Niagara and Youngstown. Walleye action has been slow. Meanwhile, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls who normally fishes the gorge on a regular basis, switched gears and decided to fish the upper Niagara River with his girlfriend Nancy Colevecchia of Niagara Falls and they found a little area that was holding some steelhead and smallmouth bass. Tossing No. 3 spinners and small jigs, they managed to catch numerous steelhead and bass, but moss was still an issue there, too.

Mark Plennert
Mark Plennert of Niagara Falls with a lower river white bass he caught with a Zoom Fluke fighting the moss.

The next big fishing derby on Lake O. is the Summer Lake Ontario Counties Derby slated for July 2-31. You can sign up any time to compete for nearly $40,000 in cash prizes. Steelhead have been added to the mix of salmon, lake trout, brown trout, and walleye this year. Grand prize is $10,000 for the largest salmon. Visit loc.org for details.


Oswego County

Capt. J. Wallace holds a massive 35.5lb chinook (the largest of his career), caught aboard High Adventure

Oswego, NY – Lake Ontario

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast

Brown trout are starting to set up in the 40-80’ range. They are spread out in the column.

Some anglers are doing well from 15-35’ down, while others are concentrating their effort tight to bottom and in 50-70.’ Leadcores from 3-10 colors and slide divers 70-160’ have been the most productive. Standard and Stingray sizes have been getting the job done. Dark colors early and brighter colors when the sun comes out have been best.

A few more salmon have been found offshore in 120-450.’ They are very spread out, so cover water and when you find something to work, stay on it. Spoons, flies or meat, they are eating it all right now, so we recommend running whatever you feel confident with.

Mexico, NY – Lake Ontario Report

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast

Browns have been very active this week in “the Bay”. The high rocks to the buoy line have been best. Selkirk to the Sandy has also been good.

The most productive water has been 30-60.’ Leadcores have been productive. But don’t sleep on riggers close to bottom. Diehards, Lance 2 face, yellow jeans and Artic ice have all been great this week. Tight Lines everyone!

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