It’s a Free Fishing Days weekend in New York State and Niagara Falls USA has plenty of things going on to get a line wet. This coming Saturday, June 23, there will be a kids fishing derby at the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott for kids ages 4 to 15. The fishing starts at 8 a.m. and concludes at noon. Fish in the harbor, off the piers or up the creek for the heaviest fish. If you have any questions, call the Marina at 778-5462.
Also on Saturday is the Hyde Park Summer Bash. Things start early at 7 a.m. with a kids fishing derby for ages 6 to 16. Sign up at the Oasis Pavilion in Hyde Park in Niagara Falls with the entire fishing action taking place in Hyde Park Lake. The fishing ends at 11 a.m. followed by awards. For more information contact Joe Urso, contest coordinator at 334-0835. The lake offers up carp, catfish, bass and panfish so it should be a fun morning. Kayaking on the lake will follow at 12:30 p.m. with other fun things going on all day long.
Lake Ontario salmon and trout action is starting to pick back up a little bit as waters become more stable off Wilson and Olcott. Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters found decent fishing off Wilson on Tuesday by putting spoons and flasher-fly combos 50 to 80 feet down over 250 to 350 feet of water using divers, riggers and lead core. There was a good temperature break that you could see on the surface and he found 48 degree water down 70 feet. On board yesterday was writer Ron Hustvedt, Jr. of Minnesota who brought along his kids Vivian and Ronny. He also had his father-in-law Rich DeLisle of Wisconsin and his grandson Drake. They had just completed a whirlwind bucket list tour of fishing all five Great Lakes, catching fish in all 5. They caught king salmon, Coho salmon, lake trout and steelhead in Lake Ontario. A similar program was being run out of Olcott. The fishing should only get better from here. Get ready to compete in one of the big Lake Ontario derbies when the Summer Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby gets underway June 30 and running to July 29. $10,000 is the Grand Prize for the biggest salmon. You can also win $1000 for the division winners for salmon, brown trout, lake trout and rainbow/steelhead. The biggest salmon each week can also win $1,000 and the trout categories can win $250 each week for additional incentive. A total of nearly $30,000 in cash will be given away. Check out www.loc.org for additional details.
On July 1, the NYS Summer Classic will be underway, a statewide contest for 9 different fish species through August 31. Find out more by visiting www.nyssummerclassic.com. July 4-15 is the 28th Annual Stephen Harrington Memorial Erie Canal Fishing Derby from the Niagara River to Albion. Find out details at www.eriecanalderby.com and be sure to mark your calendar.
Niagara River action has been mostly for bass and walleye now. Below Niagara Falls to Lake Ontario, Capt. Joe Marra of Lewiston hit some big smallmouth as he used shiners off three way rigs to take bass over 5 pounds. While Marra was fishing from his boat, you can also catch bass from shore while casting from the NYPA fishing platform or along Artpark. Jigs, spinners and spoons will also give you a good chance at catching a fish. Live bait is an option, too. Upper river fishing has been decent for bass and pike. The regular bass season is now underway, meaning you can now use live bait to take bass. Congrats to Steve Drabczyk of Lewiston and Ron Hawes of Niagara Falls who won the Brauer’s Restaurant Opening Day Bass Contest last weekend with a two fish total of 11 pounds, 3 ounces. Included in their catch was a 6 pound, 1 ounce smallie reeled in by Hawes while fishing off Hamburg.