It’s hard to believe that the 6th Annual Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo is here already Jan. 18-20 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. And it’s also hard to believe that it keeps getting bigger and better with even more education to teach Western New York anglers. If you are someone who enjoys fishing but would like to learn more about this popular outdoor pastime, this is the show for you. If you want to get started with fishing, look no further. Want tips on bass fishing? Four professional bass fishermen will be sharing their insight. Want to learn how to walleye fish? There are more than 20 seminars on different aspects of going after old marble eye. Some of the top experts in the country will be sharing their knowledge on fly fishing, salmon and trout fishing, tributary fishing, electronics, boat rigging, kayak fishing and more. All told there will be more than 200 seminars on fishing over the three days, plus over 170 booths of top quality fishing equipment and expertise. It can all be found at www.niagarafishingexpo.com. It’s $10 a day or $20 for the weekend. See you there!
Winter has arrived back on the local scene and conditions are bit difficult with snow and cold temperatures. Thanks to some excessive wind, the Niagara River is turning off-color and may be tough to fish the next few days. In the lower Niagara River, fishing from both boat and shore had been good for steelhead and brown trout, with the occasional lake trout and walleye. Silver Kwikfish worked well on Tuesday, patterned with chartreuse or green, for drifters, along with egg sacs and minnows. Shore anglers are using jigs or spinners. Hot colors have been pink, chartreuse and green. Lake trout were available on the Niagara Bar area in better numbers, when the wave action will allow you to access the lake. If this continues, the Fishing Expo could be the perfect escape to fine tune your programs in the waters of WNY. They have them all covered as far as species, tactics and locations.
In the upper Niagara river, the foot of Ferry Street has been good for fishermen. Many have been doing well on the walleye with the occasional lake trout and steelhead according to Joshua Marshall of Alden, involved with the WNY Walleye Fishing Facebook page. Baits have been mainly live minnows and crankbaits. Bite is up and down but producing fish. Jigs tipped with plastics will work, too. Buffalo Joe Pavalonis took the early lead this week in the Rudd Division of the Capt. Bob’s Outdoors winter fishing contest by measuring in an 18-inch upper river fish at the Clarence store. He was using a crappie tube jig.
For Lake Ontario, tributary action has been fair to good for steelhead and brown trout according to Scott Feltrinelli with Ontario Fly Outfitters. Before the storm, he did well on Lake Ontario tributaries but the water was clear. His bait options included olive and brown-colored streamers, not whites and brights. He was 12 for 12 on catching fish Tuesday as he bounced to Lake O. streams, releasing all of his fish. Action should improve when we start seeing some snow melt and warmer temps.
Don’t forget the new “Birds on the Niagara” Festival set for Jan. 25 and 26. Check out www.buffaloaudubon.org for further details. The Niagara River Anglers has their Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest on Feb. 2 in the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario tributaries. Check out the NRAA Facebook page.