The Erie Canal Fishing Derby is set to kick off today, July 3 and run through July 14 from the Upper Niagara River to Albion in the canal proper (no tributaries like Tonawanda Creek in Pendleton). Fish species include walleye, bass, catfish, bullhead, pike, sheepshead and carp. Check out www.eriecanalderby.com for details. In the Summer LOC Derby, a 27-pound, 13-ounce king salmon is the early leader. Check out loc.org for a current leaderboard. The derby ends on July 28th. The Niagara Bar action was good the past week according to John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda. He was reporting a nice mix of fish, including two Atlantic salmon, while working his riggers, dipsy divers and 7 colors of lead core. Spoons worked best for him as he focused around 45-degree water 80 feet down.
Bob Magra of Lorain, Ohio had a successful trip to Wilson last week. He fished four days and managed to reel in 14 kings, 1 big laker and one nice steelhead. Five of the salmon were over 15 pounds, including 2 over 20. They fished 80-280 ft. in the top 80 feet. He caught all the big fish except one on two-face spin doctor with a pro-am A-Tom-Mik fly 180 to 250 behind a magnum dipsy.
Capt. Tim Sylvester of Tough Duty fished this week out of Olcott. Fish were taken from 125 to 275 feet of water. There was also a decent bite out from 350-400 feet of water. Things should pick up soon as the weather was beautiful on the lake the past few days. Mostly king salmon but they also caught a 10-pound Steelhead and some lake trout. Karie Johns of Zanesville, Ohio was fishing off Olcott this past week and reeled in a true 30-pound king salmon – two days before the start of the Summer LOC Derby. She was using a Diabolical Meat Rig with N&D cutbait.
In the Niagara River, bass can be caught with regularity from Lewiston to Youngstown below the falls, but the dreaded moss is becoming more of an issue as water temperatures continue to increase. Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston had his son Peter out recently and they caught 25 smallmouths by using a drop shot rig that offered Strike King Zero plastics for enticement. No reports of steelhead in the river with the warmer water.
The NYPA fishing platform in the lower river is still closed due to the high water. Call 796-0135 Ext. 45 to find out if it’s open. Also, the fishing pier at Joe Davis State Park is also closed. Have a great – and safe – holiday and weekend!