Niagara Fishing Forecast for Thursday, July 3, 2014.
- Lake Ontario and tributaries – In Lake Ontario, salmon and trout action has been poor due to a continuation of the east wind creating unstable conditions. If you want to take a chance at finding a fish or two, try for lake trout, steelhead or salmon in the 200 to 400 foot range or on the Niagara Bar area. Might as well try for a LOC Derby fish while you are at it with the sparse leaderboard that is up. Casey Prisco’s 23 pound, 13 ounce salmon is still leading the way for the salmon – which still isn’t filled yet. Top laker is a 22 pound, six ounce Niagara Bar fish weighed in by Steve Klejdys of North Tonawanda. First place steelhead is a 12 pound, 11 ounce fish weighed in by Kyle Carrigan of Montour Falls out of Point Breeze. Brown trout leader is Fred Setera of New York Mills with a 16 pound, 7 ounce Oswego County fish. Check out the leaderboard at www.loc.org. The derby continues until July 27.
- Lower Niagara River – If you want to fish in the Niagara River, you might want to hold off for a while. The moss has gotten even worse since our last report – bad news for drifters and casters. Not much to report because no one has ventured out.
- Upper Niagara River-Erie Canal – Moss is posing a problem in the upper river, too, but some bass and perch are being reported around the islands and at the head of the river if you can keep away from the green stuff. Better off heading into the Erie Canal for more consistent action. The 24th Annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby is underway and will continue through July 13 in the 50 mile stretch of water from Albion to the Niagara River. Steve and Lynn Harrington of Gasport have done a fine job organizing this year’s event with many more sponsors and up to $20,000 in prizes up for grabs. Check out www.eriecanalderby.com for details on registration points and weigh stations. Species categories include bass, pike, walleye, bullhead, catfish, carp and sheepshead. In the Hooked on the Tonawandas Fishing Tournament last weekend held out of Gateway Harbor, nearly 200 people competed in the fun contest. Winners in the adult division included Anthony Henley of Lockport with a 6 pound pike; Matt Steffan of Williamsville with a 16-1/2 pound carp; Ernie Kielbasa of Niagara Falls with a 3 pound catfish; Robert Grant of Niagara Falls with a 2.3 pound smallmouth bass; and John Green with a .73 pound perch. Three juniors won a trophy in the kids division including Tiffany Phelps of Buffalo with a 1.3 pound bass; Victoria Alciki of Clarence Center is a one pound bullhead; and Kalub Allen of North Tonawanda with a .36 pound perch. A good time was had by all.
- Lake Erie and tributaries – Walleye fishing continues to be good to very good, depending on who you talk to. Fish are being caught from Buffalo to Barcelona and many spots in between. Closer to Buffalo, 30 to 45 feet seems to be the magic depth. As you move further west, boats have been out as deep at 55 feet. Worm harnesses are the staple bait. Personal preference comes into play on how you want to fish for them – three-way rigs with a slow troll or more traditional trolling using downriggers, dipsy divers or jet divers to get your baits into the fish zone. Some fish are on the bottom; others are suspended. With some excellent walleye fishing taking place on Lake Erie, you might want to think about signing up fopr the 21st Annual Amara-Can Walleye Tournament out of Dunkirk. Teams can consist of two to four members and may weigh in their five biggest each day, July 12-13. There is free dock space for the tournament at Chadwick Bay Marina and registration is just $250 a team. For more information, give Bob Zoeller a call at 875-8148. You can register up until the day before the event. Perch and bass fishing was a bit slower this week but both of those species are still available for those willing to put some time in to locate active fish schools. A good place to start for perch is off Cattaraugus Creek. Bass anglers should concentrate around 20 to 40 foot depths.
- Chautauqua Lake – Good reports of walleye are still coming from fishermen in the southern basin of the lake along the weed edges. Trollers are using stickbaits and worm harnesses; jiggers are using blade baits and jigs tipped with a crawler or leech. Those same weed edges are also good for bass and musky. Adjust your baits accordingly.
- Finger lakes-Inland waters –
Oneida Lake – Walleye, bass and pickerel are cooperating for anglers – and not necessarily in that order. The walleye bite has slowed but fish are still available in 15 to 30 feet of water around the weed beds. Use jigs or blade baits to work their offerings on the bottom. Bass are still relatively shallow and pickerel are everywhere, preferring anything flashy.
Bill Hilts, Jr.
Director, Outdoor Promotions
Niagara USA sportfishing accounts for over $30 million annually to the local economy.