The Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby is set for May 10-19 with a Grand Prize of $15,000 for the biggest salmon and a total prize structure of $45,000. Check out www.loc.org. Boats are already starting to roll into town at Lewiston/Youngstown, Wilson and Olcott. Water levels are slowly starting to creep up in the lake and there could be some launching issues at Fort Niagara and Wilson-Tuscarora state parks but nothing that you can’t handle. Bring some boots. All week long, there was a large contingent of outdoor media and corporate sponsors checking out our local waters. Despite cooler water temperatures and some unseasonable weather patterns, some nice fish were caught for the cameras. Lower Niagara River action was good for both trout and smallmouth bass. Capt. Ernie Calandrelli of Lewiston managed to have his media folks reel in a pile of steelies along with a few brown trout. People like Mitch Anderson with wired2fish.com, Gene Jensen with The Flukemaster on YouTube, Jon Storm with Bassmaster, and freelancer Hal Schramm to name but a few. There were over 15 different media guys representing publications like Bassmasters, Great Lakes Angler, In-Fisherman and more. TV shows like Big Water Adventure, Fishing 411 and Mid-West Outdoors, as well as numerous online sites like Point-Click-Fish. They were here because of corporate sponsors like Garmin, Lew’s, Strike King, Cuda Tool, Mammoth Coolers, Power Pole, Flambeau, Seaguar fishing line, Rapid Fishing Solutions, Lucas Oil, Mossy Oak and Jackson Kayak. Trout action focused on shiners off three-way rigs, but egg sacs and plugs like Kwikfish or MagLips caught fish. Bass casters were bouncing bottom with tubes and swim baits. Of course, they were using the Strike King variety and doing very well on smallies up to 6 pounds. The big one was caught by Bass Pro Billy McDonald with the FLW Tour from Indiana, one of the bass pro regulars in the Greater Niagara Fishing Expo.
For Lake Ontario and tributaries, Capt. Mike Johannes of Wilson was working the waters from his home port to 4 Mile Creek, starting in 80 to 90 feet of water and moving out to water as deep as 225 feet. Best spoons were Moonshine Carbon 14 and Michigan Stinger Frostbyte. He also caught salmon and lake trout on dark colored e-chip flashers and green flies. King salmon action was hot for a while, but it slowed a bit on Tuesday. Browns can still be found in tight to the shoreline. Jim DeGirolamo of Derby preferred to use small 6-inch dodgers in orange or pink with meat to take trout and kings. Dreamweaver spoons in purple and white produced some fish, trolling the same area. The red barn between Wilson and Olcott can be good, too. Some fish are still being caught off the piers at Wilson and Olcott. The tributaries have a mix of fish – trout and smallmouth bass primarily, but Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors reports some panfish and pike, too. The Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament is May 18 and the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament is May 31 and June 1. Check out www.lakeontarioproam.net for details. The Don Johannes/Pete DeAngelo 3-fish, big fish contest is May 30.