Much warmer temperatures blanketed the area this week, bringing winds and some thunderstorms the tail end of the week. The temperature spike did trigger some fish to hit for the 23rd Annual Niagara Spring Media Event that was happening all week in Western New York waters.
Because of the winds, one of the better spots this week was the lower Niagara River. It was a mixed bag of fish as a variety of trout, walleye and bass were all being photographed by the influx of outdoor media. Mark Davis of Big Water Adventures TV Show was a photo subject with his 12-1/2-pound walleye caught on a swim bait. Yes, he was fishing for bass. Walleye season opens on Saturday, May 5 by the way, along with pike, pickerel and tiger musky. Just a quick point of clarification that tiger musky is only for inland waters. Getting back to the lower river, bass anglers were doing well on some big fish. Todd Ceisner of Depew, editor of BassFan.com, hauled in a 5-pound, 9 ounce bronzeback and Gerry Benedicto, general manager with Seaguar Fishing Line, hit the scales at 5 pounds, 10 ounces for their biggest of the trip. Benedicto was chasing his personal best from these very waters a few years ago – 6 pounds, 13 ounces. Capt. Frank Campbell had a bass around 6 pounds for this week’s lunker board. Roberto Briones, representing Jackson Kayaks, was bass fishing around Youngstown and he was surprised with a 45-inch musky, his biggest ever. Remember that musky season is closed this year until June 16, the 3rd Saturday. There are still steelhead and lake trout hanging around, along with an occasional brown trout. Up in the gorge, some good action off the NYPA fishing platform. Mike Rzucidlo and Mark Plennert, both of Niagara Falls, tag-teamed on some nice steelhead on jigs earlier in the week. Mike also hit a 10-pound red horse sucker. Hey, you never know what you are going to catch. Up in the whirlpool area, Rich Pisa of Kenmore was hitting steelhead on pink egg sacs and jigs. Don’t forget that the Lewiston Smelt Festival is May 4 at Lewiston Landing starting at 5 p.m. Rain or Shine. No word on any smelt runs in case you are wondering.
Above Niagara Falls, Pisa and his dad, Richard of Tonawanda hit some nice lake trout and rainbows. There were some perch and crappie being reported in the canals and marinas around Grand Island, too.
Out in Lake Ontario, things are gearing up for the Lake Ontario Counties trout and salmon derby, set for May 11-20. Check out www.loc.org for details. Of course, the best place to be on the entire lake is right here in Niagara Falls USA. Check out past leaderboards to see where the winners come from. More than 60 percent of all the winning fish come from right here. King salmon were being caught a bit more consistently just west of the Niagara Bar so timing should be perfect for the LOC event. It’s been a bit tough getting on the lake with all the wind. It looks like a good weekend, though. Trolling stickbaits off boards will be one approach for trout and Coho salmon. Salmon have been hitting plugs, spoons and spin doctors and flies if you want to give that a go. Olcott is hosting an ultimate fishing expo on Sunday, May 6 from noon to 5 p.m. Bring the kids for the NRAA fishing pond or the Niagara County Federation shooting trailer.
LOTSA has their next meeting on May 10 and this one will be on the dock at the Wilson Boat Yard next to the boat of Capt. Rich Hajecki and Yankee Troller. Learn about salmon fishing starting at 7 p.m. and this is open to the public.