August is a crazy time of year for fishing because of the number of fishing contests, and because the fishing is usually so darn good. Salmon are reaching their peak size as they slowly migrate back to the areas they were stocked or the places they were spawned and call home. Niagara County is blessed with 30 Miles of Lake Ontario shoreline and the ports of Wilson and Olcott top the list of popular locations. Another great spot is the Niagara Bar, launching at Fort Niagara and Youngstown at the mouth of the Niagara River. There are mixed reports across the board on what people are doing for success. Kings have been reported as close as 100 feet of water and as deep as 400. Other good fishing lines have been 165 feet, 200 feet, 275 feet and others. Depth for lures have been 60 to 100 feet down, depending on temperatures and where fish are on the graph. Capt. Mike Johannes was hitting fish this morning 75 feet down over 400 foot depths off Wilson with a Green Jeans spoon and 400 copper with a paddle and meat. If you look at the LOC Derby leaderboard for the winners, magnum spoons by Moonshine, Michigan Stinger and Dreamweaver were all in the mix. Spin Doctors and flies, as well as meat offerings will catch fish for you, especially if you are targeting matures. Speaking of the LOC Derby, David Salvalzo of Derby caught a 28-pound, 10 ounce king salmon while fishing out of Wilson to win the $10,000 Grand Prize in the Lake Ontario Counties Summer Trout and Salmon Derby. He also won the $1,000 weekly prize for the biggest salmon. Jim Maziekien of Blairstown, NJ was just 3 ounces back to place first in the Salmon Division. Big Brown trout was a 19 pound, 5 ounce fish reeled in by Aron Brophy of Montgomery Center, Vermont. His fish was just one ounce bigger than Kurt Charland’s Orleans County fish. For the lake trout, Steve Burkowski of Rochester took top honors with a 21-pound, 15-ounce Braddocks Bay fish. You guessed it, the fish was one ounce bigger than the runnerup that was caught on the Niagara Bar by Ed Klejdys of North Tonawanda. Top steelhead was a 14 pound, 8 ounce fish caught by Rick Droshin of Oswego. The next LOC Derby is August 17 through Labor Day. The next derby on the lake is the Orleans County Rotary Derby August 4 through 19. The Reelin’ for a Cure ladies tournament for cancer is August 17 out of Wilson and Olcott. The Wilson Bicentennial salmon tournament was finally held last Saturday and the winning team was Claire Bear out of Wilson with a three-fish weight of 88.24 pounds. Second place was Dublin’ Up with 84.74 pounds and third was Summer School with 83.38 pounds. Big fish was Papa Smurf with a 20.98 pound king salmon.
In the Lower Niagara River, the moss is pretty much history and bass and walleye are the order of the day. However, every once in a while you end up with a surprise catch. For example. Matt Wilson of Lewiston was bass fishing with a crab and hooked into a 6-foot long sturgeon that was estimated at 100 pounds. It was quickly released. These fish are a protected species.