Mature king salmon are moving closer to their natal streams and are starting to darken up in Lake O. Crazy winds have riled things up a bit making fishing a bit more difficult. The Niagara Bar finally turned on for big fish as a 32 pounder was caught, as well as a 29-pound, 7 ounce king. Flasher-fly and flasher with cut bait top the list of enticements on the drop off near the red can. Olcott reports have some fish in close but hit it early, before the sun comes up. One of the better areas has been 250 to 350 feet of water out in front of Olcott. The microwave tower and the power plant are both good landmarks for fall fishing, too. Fish 70 to 90 feet down. Out a bit deeper, 400 to 500 feet of water, steelhead have been hitting spoons. Just ask Gabby Hovak of North Tonawanda and Tom Milleville of Sanborn, a couple of winners in the Fish Odyssey this past week. Speaking of the Odyssey, the 42nd Annual Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby concluded last Sunday and plenty of big fish and last minute heroics came to the scales by both young and old alike. For the adults, Robert Geiger of Lackawanna won the bass division with a 5-1/2 pound Lake Erie smallmouth bass and then proceeded to win the $3,000 Grand Prize in a special drawing of all first place winners. Chris Taylor of Grand Island caught the biggest salmon on the final day of the derby, a 29 pound, 7 ounce Niagara Bar king that is currently first place in the LOC Derby. It also won a special $700 LOTSA prize for the biggest salmon caught by a member. Milleville of Sanborn caught the big steelhead, a 12 pound, 7 ounce fish reeled in off Olcott. Top lake trout came from Lake Erie when Jerry Bielicki of Akron hauled in a 22 pound, 14 ounce fish. Jason Henning of Machias was first in the carp division with a 23 pound, 4 ounce Lake Alice carp and Eric Majka of Niagara Falls took top honors in the walleye division with an 11 pound, 1 ounce lower river ‘eye. He also took a special $500 for the largest walleye caught by a Southtowns Walleye Assn. member. Grand prize in the Junior Division went to Ethan Bronschidle of Newfane, earning the right to be in the drawing by catching a 35 pound, 3 ounce carp. Wow! Top salmon was caught in the last hour of the derby, a 22 pound, 10 ounce Olcott king weighed in by Alex Heath of Sanborn. That’s 2 years in a row! Gabby Hovak of North Tonawanda had the big trout at 13 pounds, 7 ounces, a fish that’s also leading the Steelhead Division of the LOC Derby. Gabriella Geiger, Robert’s daughter, was top bass catcher with a 5 pound, 1 ounce Lake Erie fish and Abigail McGrath of Niagara Falls took top panfish with a 10 ounce rock bass from Lake Erie. The walleye division winner was Ethan Brolinski with a 10 pound, 6 ounce lower Niagara River fish. He was dragging a Berkley Flicker Shad on the bottom when the fish hit. He also won the drawing for a bike from the Primate Sanctuary. The LOC Derby ends on Monday, Sept. 3. If you are going fishing, get in the derby. One unlucky angler caught a 32 pound salmon last weekend, only to find out one person wasn’t in. He could have won $25,000.
Niagara River action has been good for walleye and bass with no confirmed reports of salmon in the gorge yet. They should be there very soon. Good luck and good fishing! Michael and Alyssa Cardamone of Lewiston had a banner bass day earlier this week when they caught more than 15 bass in just a couple hours of fishing. They were caught on crabs.