What a week! It’s been a flurry of activity, starting with three derbies at the same time last weekend. The Orleans Rotary Fishing Derby ended last Sunday, leaving two derbies left going into this weekend – the Fall LOC Derby that ends on Labor Day and the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey that ends on Sunday, August 25 at 1 p.m. It’s still not too late to enter either. First to the fishing. Out of Wilson, Capt. Alan Sauerland of Instigator Charters had the pressure task of producing some fish for governors Andrew Cuomo and Ned LaMont of Connecticut on Tuesday morning. They managed to catch a few steelhead and the crew lost a 20-pound salmon at the back of the boat when the fish jumped out of the net. At least, that was the way Sauerland told it. They were fishing 8-10 miles out. Out of Olcott, Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Thrillseeker reports that mature salmon are highly scattered with all of the wind changes. Salmon can be caught from 50 to 500 feet of water. Good steelhead can also be found in deeper water where conditions are more stable. Fishing should only get better. With winds out of the south or southwest, look for mature kings to begin staging. Hats off to the Reel Alewives of WNY who won the Reelin’ for a Cure Tournament out of Olcott and Wilson last Friday. The team, fishing aboard the White Mule with Capt. Bob Cinelli of Newfane weighed in a 6-fish limit of 114 pounds with a big fish of over 25 pounds. A total of 36 boats competed in this year’s event, all lady teams from 4 states.
In the Niagara River, Blake Kowalski of Tonawanda was bottom bouncing with a worm harness near Strawberry Island, managing to catch 3 walleyes and a few smallmouth bass. Then he hooked into something big. He wasn’t quite sure what it was until it was near the end of his 2 hour battle – a big sturgeon. It broke his line just a short distance from his boat. What a battle. In the lower Niagara River, walleye action continues to be good both in the river and on the Niagara Bar. The leading catch for the Walleye Division of the Fish Odyssey is a 10-pound, 10-ounce fish reeled in by Vincent Gebczyk of Niagara Falls using a harness. Leader for the special Southtowns Walleye prize for largest walleye caught by a member is Bob Patterson of Niagara Falls with a 9-pound, 10 ounce lower river fish. Lots of room for improvement for the adults and the kids in the Fish Odyssey. Check out www.fishodyssey.net for details or to register. It ends Sunday at 1 p.m. You just have to register prior to fishing.
The Fall LOC Derby runs thru Labor Day with a $25,000 Grand Prize. The early Grand Prize leader is Codey Allen of West Seneca with a 33-pound, 8-ounce king salmon caught out of Olcott. Top steelhead is a 15-pound, 6-ounce Olcott fish reeled in by Nick Dougherty of Lockport. Leading brown trout right now is 15 pounds, 13 ounces caught by Bruce Raggi of Farmington while out of Wayne County. Remember, no fishing license is needed if you fish in Lake Ontario or the lower Niagara River thru Labor Day.
The winner of the $4,000 Grand Prize in the Orleans County contest was Julie Schaeffer of Sligo, Pennsylvania with a 29-pound, 6-ounce king salmon caught out of Point Breeze in Orleans County. Top brown trout was a 13-pound, 3-ounce Point Breeze fish caught by Georgia Barkdoll of McConnellsburg, Pa. Keith Tessier of Hilton took first place in the lake trout category with an 18-pound, 4-ounce fish. Top steelhead was a 17-pound, 15-ounce fish caught out of Olcott by Laurie Jankowski of Sloan.