National Hunting and Fishing Day is Saturday, September 22, a tradition since 1972. As you look around Niagara Falls USA, there are a number of exciting events going on this weekend, including the two-day Wildlife Festival sponsored by the New York Power Authority and the Niagara Co. Federation of Conservation Clubs. The event is held at the NYPA Visitors Center in Lewiston next to NU and it runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days with a huge emphasis on getting the kids in tune with nature and the outdoors. In honor of NHF Day, New York State has announced that Sept. 22 will be a free fishing day in the state. No one needs a fishing license, but you do have to abide by the fishing regulations in the state and on the body of water you intend to fish. This is a great opportunity to share your expertise with someone who you’ve always wanted to take on the water. It could be a neighbor or friend, a co-worker or a family member. Make the effort and it could make a huge difference in a person’s life. There is a kids fishing derby on Saturday morning at Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by canoeing and kayaking starting at 12:30 p.m. The fishing derby is for kids ages 6 to 16 years old. Get down there and get the next generation fishing.
Lake Ontario salmon and trout fishing continues to be very good, especially out deep from 300 to 400 feet of water off Wilson and Olcott. Quality steelhead in the double digit range have been reported consistently on a spoon bite along with a mix of mature and immature salmon. If you are looking for some big boys, try trolling the pier heads at Wilson and Olcott at first light with J-plugs, cut bait behind a flasher, flasher-fly or a magnum spoon. Pier casters are picking up some fish tossing spoons with anything blue in the color pattern according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. Wilson harbor has been producing some nice pike according to Joel Spring of Ransomville. Fishing with a jointed X-Rap, he managed 3 nice pike fishing off his kayak on Tuesday of this week. Bowfin were hitting in the west branch of 12 Mile Creek.
Lower Niagara River fishing is continuing to improve for salmon in the Devil’s Hole area and boat captains have switched from plugs to treated salmon egg skein fished off three-way rigs. While it’s far from the peak, they are picking up some fish consistently. The fishing platform at the power project is producing some kings on spoons, jigs and eggs. During the Travel Media Showcase event hosted by Destination Niagara USA in Niagara Falls at the Doubletree, four of the attendees were participating in a “Hooked on Adventure” fishing tour. Ashley Dobbs of Ocala, Fla. was fishing with a worm harness along the Stella drift in the lower river when she hooked into a 20 pound salmon. On a worm! That’s one of the best things fishing the lower river – you never know what you are going to catch. She was one happy camper for sure and hooked for life. It was her first fish ever!