Get ready to Rumble – Lake Ontario fishing style! This weekend, there will be three different fishing derbies going on, as well as a ladies tournament. First, the Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby kicks off on August 18 and runs through Labor Day. $25,000 is the Grand Prize for the largest Salmon. Check www.loc.org for details. Also on August 18, the Second Annual Reelin’ for a Cure will be held out of Wilson and Olcott from 6 a.m. to noon. This all-ladies event will be raising funds for the Breast Cancer Network of WNY. It looks like right around 20 teams for this year. It’s a fun time for sure. Contact Stephanie Pierleoni at 481-6388 for more information or go on the event’s Facebook page. Another fun contest that starts up this weekend is the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby, set for August 19th to the 27th. Six species categories for the adults and a Grand Prize of $3,000. For the kids, it’s free to enter with loads of merchandise prizes and trophies. Sign up at any of the LOC weigh stations or at www.fishodyssey.net. This is for Niagara, Orleans and Erie counties. Many thanks to Jim and Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott who do a lion’s share of the work behind the scenes, such as the website and the leaderboard. This is a great way to get the whole family out to enjoy the waters of Western New York. The Orleans County Rotary Derby is still going on and that contest will end on Sunday, August 20.
Now to the fishing. The water has been messed up a bit in the lake due to some unfavorable winds. The most stable water has been out deep. Hawg Charters and Capt. Jim Gordon headed out of Olcott this week and fished the 29 line one day and did well on kings, cohos and steelhead. All his action was on spoons in the top 60 feet of water. He repeated the performance the next day on the 27 line heading north, but the action was mostly 80 to 90 feet down. Capt. Mark Vilardo used spin doctors and flies to catch some nice kings in the 300 to 350 foot depth range, 80 to 90 feet down. Mark Lewandowski of Buffalo was fishing in 120 feet of water and took a 31 pound king so the mature fish are slowly starting to make their way closer to home. The Niagara Bar has been a here today – gone tomorrow scenario … and them back again depending on what was happening with the wind and weather. In the Lower Niagara River, bass and walleye have both been biting. Capt. Jake Joseph with Jiggin’ Jake’s Charters has been doing well on walleye along drifts like Stella Niagara and around the green buoy marker. Bass have also been cooperative with shiners and crabs. Reports of the first salmon are normally seen by the third week in August and there were some rumors that some were seen this past week. However the main run isn’t for another month. It should be a good one! Upper Niagara River bass and walleye action remains consistent and the Erie Canal is still offering up some fish – pike and bass. Kayakers working Wilson Harbor have been catching some pike and bass. Spinnerbaits are good to toss around the weed edges.