This coming weekend is the start of the Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon derby, set to kick off June 30 and run through July 29. The summer contest runs for a month, offering up $29,000 in cash prizes. Included in the mix is a $10,000 Grand Prize for the largest salmon and $1,750 in weekly prizes – $1,000 for salmon and $250 each for lake trout, brown trout and rainbow/steelhead … every week. If you are going to be fishing in Lake Ontario the next month, it’s worth rolling the dice and taking a chance. Last year it was Sandra Brown from Pennsylvania fishing the Niagara Bar during the LOTSA in-club tournaments who walked away with the big prize. Find out more at www.loc.org. Fishing for salmon and trout continues to be good off the ports of Wilson, Olcott and Point Breeze. While east winds have put a bit of a damper on the comfort end of things, it hasn’t seemed to affect the fishing that much. For Capt. Joe Gallo of Two Bulls Sportfishing out of Wilson, he’s seen consistent fishing right in front of his home port 40 to 80 feet down over 100 to 160 feet of water. He also caught fish in 250 to 300 feet of water, running a couple of afternoon trips with Capt. Alan Sauerland of Instigator Charters. Spoons, flasher-flies and cut bait on twinkie rigs all produced fish. On Monday afternoon they were 14 for 18 on salmon and trout in 4 hours of fishing. They had 30 bites Sunday afternoon. Capt. Mike Johannes of On the Rocks Charters caught a limit on Sunday for his customers hitting those same waters and running primarily a spoon program of Green Hulk and Geezer spoons. He was hitting some fish up high using sliders off his riggers and 100-foot and 200-foot copper line set-ups. The lake is a good place to be with the forecasted heat wave starting this weekend. Cooler water temperatures will serve as a natural air conditioner.
In the Erie Canal, the 28th Annual Stephen Harrington Erie Canal Fishing Derby will be starting July 4 and run through July 15. All of the details can be found at www.eriecanalderby.com. This year’s event will remember its founder who passed away last fall. As far as the Niagara River is concerned, there are still a few trout hanging around the river. Devil’s Hole in the lower river has produced a few steelies and the upper river has a few trout hanging around, too. Capt. Joe Czyrny of Anglers Obsession Charters hit a brown trout this week while drifting a worm harness in the upper river. For the most part, though, it’s been bass and walleye. Live bait like minnows, shiners and worm harnesses is a good approach. Tubes, drop shot rigs and body baits will catch fish, too. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was in his canoe this week working the waters around Cayuga Island and actually caught a walleye in Cayuga Creek. Some nice largemouth in the main river around the island, too. He’s still hitting an occasional pike but they are starting to scatter.
Gander Outdoors will be holding a grand opening on Saturday, June 30 starting at 9 a.m. The store is located at 880 Young Street, Tonawanda. The NYS Summer Classic statewide tournament starts July 1. Check out www.nyssummerclassic.com. And if you missed the Summer Bash kids fishing contest on Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls last Saturday, you really didn’t. With the rain issues, that event was rescheduled for Sept. 22 in conjunction with National Hunting and Fishing Day and another free fishing day.