Greater Niagara Region
The highlight last week was the Reel Impact Fishing Tournament to help raise funds for the PUNT Pediatric Cancer Collaborative and the Catching Dreams program run by Capt. Ned Librock who arranges fishing trips for kids dealing with cancer. Some 15 boats were on the lower Niagara River last Friday, involved in one way or another. Capt. Joe Marra of Niagara Rainbow Charters took out the Canas Family from Eden – Juan, Janette, Edward and Delphina. Edward is a cancer survivor. Their boat won the Mark “Sparky” McGranahan Memorial Award for the most fish for the morning, catching 27 bass, plus some other non-target species like sheepshead. Largest fish for the morning was a 29-inch, 10-1/2-pound walleye reeled in by Bob Powaski III of Buffalo. He was with Praxis Financial Group, title sponsor for the morning. He was fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. Powaski’s big fish won the Jed Woomer Memorial Award, named for a young gentleman who battled and lost to cancer.
Matt Wilson of Wheatfield reports that he enjoyed an awesome weekend in the lower river and Niagara Bar at the lake mouth. Good numbers of walleye could be found. Best colors were copper and firetiger for the best color harnesses. He caught fish between 19 to 40 feet. The later in the day, the deeper they went. Later in the day the river bite is a little better. Bass action was a fun-packed day. He used all plastics with drop shotting the best approach using KVD Dream Shots, half shells and Yamamoto shad shape worms. The lake is holding the bigger bass overall, but the river did produce a couple over 5 pounds. It seems the hotter it got, the deeper they went. He caught fish in 40 to 48 feet near Stella.
In the upper river, bass and walleye fishing has been decent in front of Strawberry Island, in the Emerald Channel, and along Grand Island in the east river in various locales. Thure Larson of East Amherst and Jim Williams of Lockport caught good numbers of smallmouth using crabs along Grand Island.
Capt. Tim Sylvester of Tough Duty Charters reports the fishing in Lake Ontario is still offshore from 7 to 12 miles out. The prime fish zone is in the top 60 feet with standard size spoons working the best. You can mix in flasher-fly combos, but it has been mainly spoons. They are mostly catching steelhead mixed in with some kings and Cohos. There are some 10-plus pound Cohos out there!! The kings are not as numerous this year, with a lot of smaller kings coming to the boat. Anglers should be prepared to release these small fish. Sylvester is putting these small Kings on a small fish gripper attached to a line and towing the fish behind the boat until they revive. This will allow them to release the fish. It’s important to revive these fish to sustain our fishery. There are some mature kings close to shore if you look for them. In front of Wilson, the brown trout action is set back up again. Bob Hood and Mike Darlak of Lockport split up to fish their own boats over the weekend. Hood saw to it that his granddaughter Kendall Duncan of Lewiston caught her first brown, focusing on 30-40 feet of water where the thermocline hit bottom. Darlak had his son Jake on board, and they caught fish up to 10 pounds. Both boats were using small spoons in a variety of colors.
On Friday, August 19, three different Lake Ontario fishing contests will begin or take place, headlined by the big Fall LOC Derby. Grand Prize for the largest salmon is $25,000! Over $68,000 in cash and prizes. Check out loc.org for details. The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby will also start on Friday and run through August 28. Over $10,000 in cash and prizes for 7 different species categories for the adults. Kids can fish for free in a special youth division. Everything is through the Fishing Chaos smartphone app and you can sign up through fishodyssey.net. Sign up soon to qualify for some great early bird drawings. The awesome Reelin’ for a Cure tournament is also August 19, an all-ladies team event that helps to raise money for various cancer causes. Sign up a team today by contacting Stephanie Pierleoni at 481-6388.
Lake Ontario – Oswego
The salmon are feeding! Just find them and it’s “game on!” Salmon have hanging way offshore 500-700.’ They have been most active at 46-58degree water. Find that range in the column and you’ll find feeding kings.
Salmon have been readily taking mag spoons. Lance 2 face , Grn glo alewife, and cigs 187 have been good. But flashers and meat rigs continue to outperform all other presentations. Bullfrog , 2 face, Wht Grn Dot and stud flashers have all been good. Pulling Dirty Goose, stud, and green/glo twinkies. Clean heads have also been doing well.
Lake Ontario Report – Mexico, NY
Browns have still been very active this week. But finally, we are starting to see some salmon enter ‘The Bay.’ The most productive water for browns has been targeting the bottom 15 feet in 85-115 fow.
Downriggers with cheaters have been the most effective along with divers scraping bottom.
As for the kings you want to head NW to 350+ fow.
Tight lines everyone!
Wayne County Fishing Update
The kings have been scattered and difficult to find. Go deep, fishing 500 to 700 fow. Try running flasher flies and cut bait down 60 to 100 fow.
Lakers and some steelhead are closer to shore in 150 fow. Cowbells and peanuts for lakers and red spoons foe steelhead.
Lake Ontario tributary regulations:
Three fish in combination and not to include more than one Rainbow Trout (or Steelhead) and One Brown Trout.
The bass in Sodus Bay are hitting worm rigs. The Senko 5-inch has been lethal in and out of the weeds. Texas rigged worm rigs are also productive.
Use heavy lines if you are tossing the rigs into weeds.
Perch are being caught at the north end of Sodus near the breach.
Fish early in the day as recreational boat activity will create large waves all afternoon.
Port Bay has two launches. The south DEC site has a large area for trailers. The 500-acre Port Bay has largemouths near the docks and at the south end of the bay in the weeds.
You can also catch panfish near the channel.
Bass anglers were fishing the canal near Palmyra. Anglers were also catching bass near Abbey Park in Lyons. The Ganaruga Creek dumps into the canal next to the park.
From the shore you can fish near the locks in Newark and Lyons. There are pull-off areas along Route 31.
Keep informed from the NYS Canal web for changes and restrictions with canal waters. Keep informed about 2022 canal hours.
There are no tolls or fees for recreational use of the Canal system this year.
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.