Remember that there are a few big events coming up this weekend, Sept. 28 and 29. On Sept. 28, NY will be offering another free fishing day around the state. It’s also National Hunting and Fishing Day and the NYPA Wildlife Festival will be held both Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28 and 29 at the visitors center located at 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston next to Niagara University from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Lots to see and do for the whole family, and it’s free!
For Lake Ontario, action on the lake for salmon and trout has been spotty. Capt. Alan Sauerland of Newfane ran straight out of Wilson to deep water (he turned around at the Canadian border) and caught a mix of fish on spoons. There are some fish staging off Olcott, but numbers seem to be down. Salmon are jumping near the piers but not coming into the creek. If you can find a pocket of fish in the lake and stay on them, you can do well. Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane found them in 100 feet of water one day and then they were gone the next. Pike fishing off the piers and in the harbors at Wilson and Olcott has been decent. A few browns and salmon are being caught. Try casting large J13 Rapalas or spinnerbaits, spoons or spinners. A couple salmon and steelhead have been reported at Burt Dam, but nothing of any significance. Perch and bass in the creeks according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott.
In the Niagara River, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls reports that it’s been a slow run on kings so far with the lack of rain and warm water temperatures. To make up for it he’s taken a few good-sized browns on artificial eggs. The water was clear and warm. Tuesday, he tried for walleyes in the gorge and stuck 4 nice ones on plugs. Bass fishing has been good to help make up for the lack of salmon. Mike McGrath and Brendan Walsh, both of Niagara Falls, won the Safe Harbor Open Bass Tournament recently with a 5-fish bag that totaled 25.31 pounds. It also included at 5.75 lunker for the contest. The amazing thing was that Lake Ontario was off limits and all the contestants were required to fish in the river due to high winds. When the winds cooperate, the Niagara Bar can be decent around the green buoy marker according to Capt. Ned Librock of Pendleton. He was fishing with Roy Larson of Wheatfield and Anthony Karam of West Seneca to take smallmouth bass to 5 pounds for a morning last Friday. Salmon fishing has been tough from boats in the river, too. Capt. Nick Calandrelli of Lewiston said it’s been a tough go in Devil’s Hole. A few fish have been caught. Local captains are starting to theorize that the high water of 2017 in the lake and terrible pen project production that year could be playing a negative role this year. In the upper Niagara River, Capt. Mike Capizzi of Niagara Falls used crayfish to take some big smallmouth (and some sheepshead) around Strawberry Island in 15 to 20 feet of water with Robbie Burgio of Pendleton.
If you are making plans for the winter, the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo is set for Jan. 17-19, 2020 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls. In conjunction with that show, the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s Salmon School set for Jan. 18 is now open for registrations at www.lotsa1.org. Last year it sold out just after Thanksgiving. Keynote speakers include Capt. Pete Alex, Capt. Matt Yablonsky and Capt. Andy Bliss with special talks from Capt. Lance Valentine and Canadian rec angler Karl Chmilnitzky. Another great one! Register early.