Despite record high water levels in Lake Ontario, salmon and trout fishing continues to be good in the lake. Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane reports good numbers of fish in the area off Olcott and Wilson, but you have to adapt and locate the fish. Heavy current and winds have scattered fish. A mix of salmon and trout can be found in 100 to 300 feet ofwater. Flasher-fly, meat rigs and spoons like Dreamweavers and Michigan Stingers have been producing fish on a consistent basis. Pierleoni just returned from the Orleans Open Salmon and Trout Tournament last weekend where he placed second – less than 5 points behind the winner, Capt. Ed Monette and Cannonball Runner. Pierleoni actually caught one more fish that Monette – 16 to 15 – but scoring is based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound. This Saturday is the opening of the regular bass season so you will probably see a few more boats heading out. The Newfane launch ramp at Olcott is not having any water issues and launching is not a problem. All the boat slips are viable. The kids fishing derby set for June 24 in the Town of Newfane marina has been cancelled for this year. However, this coming Saturday, June 17, is the Wilson Conservation Club’s 31st annual kids derby from 8 a.m. to noon. Fish in any Niagara County waters. This contest is based on length and you must have your fish measured by noon. Call 930-7500 for more info. The club is located on Route 425 near the water tower. In Tonawanda, the kids derby will be at Niawanda Park near the band shell along River Road. Registration starts at 8 a.m. There are other activities going on in addition to the fishing. In addition, that same day will be the start of a new event across the state – the New York State Summer Classic Fishing Tournament, and running through August 31. There are a total of 10 different fish species categories and 55 weigh stations throughout the state. To find out more information, check out www.nyssummerclassic.com.
In the Lower Niagara River, water temperature are still slowly creeping up there. Only a few steelhead and lake trout are still holding on. Mostly bass were caught this week on jigs, Kwikfish and MagLips. The regular season opens on Saturday the 17th and live bait can then be used again. Shore casters in the gorge have been using tubes, swim baits and marabou jigs. Inline spinners will work, too. Moss hasn’t increased that much. The worse is yet to come. Take advantage of the clearer water while you can.
Upper Niagara River bass fishing also continues to be good. Remember that the regular bass season opens Saturday. Speaking of bass, the Annual Opening Day Bass Contest sponsored each year by Kelly’s Korners will NOT be held this year. Organizers for the tournament didn’t want to see the big bass end up in a fish fry and they decided to retire the event to help protect the resource. Some walleye are being caught at the head of the river and at the head of Strawberry Island on worm harnesses and jigs. Great Lakes musky season opens up this Saturday, too. For some tips and a nice story on the Niagara Musky Assn., check out www.buffalonews.com/section/sports/outdoors/ this week.
There is still a state of emergency along the Lake Ontario shoreline for high water levels. This isn’t really going to affect the fishing that much, but the Niagara County Sheriff is asking that boats creating a wake stay at least 600 feet from shore. This doesn’t include trolling. Caution is advised for floating debris when you are out in the lake moving around. The problem seems to be launching. The best spot to be right now is the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott. Fort Niagara has an open launch but you need boots up to your knees or above. Golden Hill State Park launch is closed and Wilson-Tuscarora Park is day to day (but you need hip boots there, too). It’s worth the effort for the good fishing!!