Salmon and trout fishing in Lake Ontario off the shores of Niagara County continues to be good to very good, despite the announcement that the lake is once again in a state of emergency as far as high-water levels. Lake Ontario is open for business! The Town of Newfane Marina is in the best shape for boat launchers – you don’t even have to get your feet wet! Wilson-Tuscarora and Fort Niagara state parks have their launch ramps open but bring a pair of boots and have at least 2 people for a safe launch. As far as the fishing, Capt. Pete Alex of Vision Quest reports that lake trout abound in 55 to 90-foot depths from the Niagara Bar to 30 Mile Point. For the Wilson Harbor Invitational last weekend, many of the Top 10 teams fished from Olcott to Point Breeze. Last Sunday, they fished between Wilson and Olcott in 220 to 260 feet of water and did well on all year classes of kings. Fish were scattered from 40 to 140 feet down. They ran spoons in the top 60 feet, flasher-fly combos and cut bait below that. The 25-pound, 14-ounce king salmon held up in the LOC Derby last week. Robert Mueller of Hamburg was in the right place at the right time when his 25-pound, 14-ounce king salmon won a check for $15,500 in the spring Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby May 10-19. He was fishing west of Point Breeze when the salmon hit a Bomber stickbait, fishing with Capt. Joe Netti of Cortland and his Musky Joe boat. First place in the Salmon Division was Brian Marketich of Beaver Falls, PA with a 22-pound, 13-ounce king caught west of the Niagara Bar – good for $2,500. First place lake trout was a 23-pound, 4-ounce Niagara Bar fish reeled in by Jerry Unites of Pittsburgh, PA and a check for $1,200. First place brown trout was a 17-pound, 6-ounce fish caught by Chuck Mazzola of Hamlin fishing out of Rochester – his first derby ever and his first year with a boat, good for $1,200. Jim Hubbard of Dexter caught the top walleye, a 12-pound, 6-ounce fish, on the final day of the derby to win that category and a check for $1,000. Check out www.loc.org for details on the leaderboard. In the Wilson Harbor Invitational tournament last Saturday, the Hideout team led by Capt. Rob Taddeo earned the $13,000 check with a score of 155.05 points. They were fishing between Olcott and Point Breeze. Don’t forget that the Don Johannes/Pete DeAngelo Memorial 3-Fish/Big Fish contest is set for May 30 this year out of Wilson and Olcott. You don’t have to be in the Pro-Am tournament. It’s only $100 per boat and it’s 100 percent cash payback for your best 3 fish. Contact Mike Johannes at 523-1727 for more info. The 35th Annual Skip Hartman Memorial Lake Ontario Salmon Team Tournament is set for May 31 and June 1 out of the ports of Wilson and Olcott so things will be busy in the coming week. We’ll have a full report on all next week.
Jeff Pippard at Niagara Outdoors in North Tonawanda reports that fishing along the upper Niagara River has been good at Gratwick Park, as well as at the foot of Sheridan. Catch and release smallmouth bass fishing has been working best on tube jigs, Mepps and Vibrax spinners. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been doing well on bass from his canoe. In Cayuga Creek he managed to haul in a 30-inch carp on a worm. Some good walleye action at night at the foot of Ferry Street. In the Lower Niagara River, it’s been a mixed bag of fish as the waters slowly start to warm. Wade Rowcliffe of Rochester hit the lower river from shore in the gorge and managed to catch some smallmouth bass and trout in the past week. Stickbaits like the Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnow in black and silver was working great. Boaters are still picking up steelhead trout, the occasional lake trout and numerous smallmouth bass. Live bait like shiners or egg sacs work well for trout, while bass prefer tube jigs, Rage Swimmers or other type of swim baits.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend and stay safe!