Orleans County Fishing Report: Fall Salmon Fishing, Upcoming Tournaments and More

This report is by Capt. John Oravec from Tight Lines Charters on Tuesday, September 24, 2019:

Fish on, Fall Salmonid Anglers! Yes, king salmon and some brown trout have invaded the Orleans County Lake Ontario shallows and Oak Orchard River runs have begun. But the big news from this charter captain is there is another fabulous fishery set up on the 70 to 120 foot ledge featuring chrome “feeding” chinook up to 15#, 75 to 105 downrigger depths and steelhead at 40 to 50 feet down. Tactically it’s a basic spoon bite. Find the baitfish piles and action up! During last week, fishermen from 10 feet to 400 feet also hit a scattered “dark riverbound” king salmon so those fish will soon hit the Oak’s river mouth staging then running the Oak Orchard River. Cooler weather and fall rains will trigger more runs. Watch the weather, get rigged for more salmon.

What a season! This guide is readying my boats for St. Lawrence River musky action followed by a winter of Niagara River Drifts. It`s been my pleasure to help local and visiting anglers get on the fish, experiencing the challenges and thrills we share here in Orleans County out on the big lake. Pass the word: Orleans County is The Home of the King! Troutman out!

This report is by Ron Bierstine from Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge on Monday, September 23, 2019:

We are now on the backside of a stretch of unseasonably warm and clear and calm weather from the past week and weekend.  Looks like we are finally headed to more fall like weather this week according to the forecast.  Chance of rain and wind today, Monday.  A change toward cooler weather should bode well to get more fish on the move again.  The calendar is still a little early and then coupled with the past warm and dry weather, the salmon migrations have so far been in no great hurry.  Most fish are still likely out in the big Lake O and trollers remark that the earlier scattered staging fish are concentrating now again at around 100 FOW.  Guys are having some off and on action at the river mouth early and late and more then likely the midnight shift would be doing better.

All manner of small craft trollers, drifters and casters can get in on the action at any of the tributary mouth staging spots, especially like at the Oak.  Land lubbers from the piers or boat launches or estuary waters can also score hook ups on the staging and fresh Kings.  I have not seen any concentrations of boiling fish in the typical downstream spots like at the Bridges, but there were reliable reports of a pod of moving fish through mid last week.  So those fish are upstream somewhere and we can’t be everywhere to look.  A river walk end of the past week revealed low and clear flows, with most fish nearer the dam.  Downstream frog water drifts are extra froggy with broad and wide water due to the now slower, retreating high Lake Ontario levels.

Notes from the OC Tourism Team:

St. Mary’s Archer’s Club Catch & Release Fly Fishing Contest is Oct 16, 17 & 18th.

• Click here to view full size poster (jpg).
• Click here to download registration application (pdf).