After some intense weather over the weekend and cold weather blowing in the end of this week, you will have to pick and choose how and where you want to fish. Niagara Falls USA waters fared better than most in Western New York, just in time for the Veteran’s Day Free Fishing Day on Nov. 11. In honor of our veterans, Nov. 11 is a designated free fishing day in the state. It means you don’t need to purchase a license for that day. However, you still have to abide by the fishing regulations!
In the lower Niagara River, the water turned to mud and chased away the boaters until waters start to clear a little. Capt. John DeLorenzo of Niagara Falls got a jump on the Veteran’s Day celebration by taking out a mother and son through Western New York Heroes, when the weather was decent last Saturday. WNY Heroes is a non-profit veteran’s assistance organization. Along for the ride was Tim Finney of Wheatfield, who was helping DeLorenzo, Danielle Nichols and her 9 year old son Ty. They caught two nice steelhead up to 11 pounds and lake trout up to 40 inches for the morning. Best bait was a chartreuse trout bead fished on a three-way rig. Other captains working the drifts were doing well on MagLips and Kwikfish.
Shoreline anglers have been casting spoons and spinners, as well as drifting eggs or egg imitations, to take a mix of trout and a few salmon. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls has been hitting the New York Power Authority fishing platform to catch both salmon and steelhead. A No. 4 spinner has been working best for him. Further up the gorge, state parks announced that the lower trail (trail 3) that connects the Schoellkopf site to the Great Gorge Railway Trail has been re-opened. Anglers will be able to use improved access to the water via a new set of stairs. Take the elevator adjacent to the Discovery Center for easy access.
In the upper Niagara River, musky action should improve as waters clear. Last Sunday’s annual Tim Wittek Memorial Musky Tournament hosted by the Niagara Musky Association was cancelled due to weather. It has been rescheduled on Nov. 12 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost is $25 to enter this catch-and-release event. Call Scott McKee at 225-3816 for more information.
The Lake Ontario tributaries like 18 Mile Creek are muddy but not high. Some salmon are still struggling to swim around as the browns and steelhead are starting to move in. Larger numbers can be found according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott. Orange and blue were hot colors for eggs, poppers and wooly buggers. Keg Creek was too low for fish passage. Twelvemile Creek in Wilson was stained. If you are wondering why you haven’t seen more water flow there, blame it on the beavers. They have dammed some of the upper stretches and it’s been impacting the flow.
Danielle Nichols of Clarence holds up an 11 pound steelhead.
Fish of the day was this 40-inch lake trout caught by 9 year old Ty Nichols. He is backed up by Tim Finney.
Capt. John DeLorenzo holds up a lake trout caught by Danielle and Ty Nichols of Clarence. They both lost their husband/dad in a helicopter accident while serving in the U.S. Coast Guard.