It’s time for the long-awaited International Fishing Congress in Downtown Niagara Falls USA and delegates from around the world were greeted with bountiful sunshine and 80 degree temperatures. The first couple of groups wanted to sample Lake Erie’s smallmouth bass fishery and they weren’t disappointed. Swimbaits and spot-tail shiners were the ticket for most of the fish, including bass up to nearly 6 pounds and a musky around 39-inches that was immediately released.
Meanwhile, a group went after trout in the lower Niagara River. Action has been good for boaters, producing a mix of steelhead and lake trout. An occasional walleye and musky is also being caught. If you want to target smallmouth bass with artificial baits, they are also cooperating for anglers. Tube jigs and swim baits are the ticket for smallmouth; Kwikfish, MagLips and minnows/shiners for trout, all fished off three-way rigs. Shore guys are working the NYPA fishing platform with jigs and spinners to take trout and a mix of whatever else swims in the river like suckers, silver bass, smallmouth bass, muskellunge and maybe even a sturgeon!
Out in Lake Ontario, the fishing for kings turned on last weekend and is continuing, a great start for the LOC Derby set for May 11-20. For more details go to www.loc.org. Best salmon action with a mix of kings, cohos and lake trout. Target 60 to 100 feet of water with spoons and flasher-fly. Greens and golds were working, but so are some glow colors. Fish are hungry. Water temps were around 45 degrees in the lake. Our international guests will be hitting the lake Thursday morning and we hope to have some nice pictures to share in the future. You can check out photos of the media event at www.buffalonews.com/section/sports/outdoors to see an impressive gallery. In addition, don’t forget that the Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament is set for May 19 and, as a lead-in to that big event, there are two other salmon contests that will be held from May 14 to May 18. The first is a $1,000 a day option for the biggest salmon caught each day. The second is the Salmon Slam. There are five days of fishing and the competition focuses on the best 7 fish for those 5 days. You pick and choose when to weigh a fish in. A certain amount of strategy is involved. Find out information on all three at www.wilsonharborinvitational.com.
Tributary action was very good over the weekend with a mixed bag of steelhead and smallmouth. With warming waters, though, the steelhead option could be a thing of a past by this weekend. All you can do is check it out. Jigs and egg sacs.
Remember that the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament is set for June 1 and 2 this year, preceded by the Don Johannes and Pete DeAngelo memorial events on May 31. You can check out www.lakeontarioproam.net for details on the Pro-Am. For the Johannes/DeAngelo contest, stop in a Bootleggers or the Gas Shack in Wilson; The Boat Doctors or The Slippery Sinker in Olcott. Good luck and good fishing!