Niagara Gazette — 1. Lake Ontario and tributaries
New York State’s Free Fishing Weekend is next Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30. It’s an opportunity to get out and try your hand at fishing in the Empire State and not have to worry about a fishing license. However, you do have to abide by the fish regulations for the water you intend to fish.
You can check out regulations at the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov or visit your nearest license-issuing agent. Next Saturday is the Olcott Lions Club kids fishing derby, scheduled for the Town of Newfane Marina between 8 a.m.-noon. The summer Lake Ontario Counties derby (www.loc.org) is underway, as well, and the early leader is a 26 1/2-pound salmon caught by Brady Mickatavage of Pennsylvania. The summer derby continues through July 28.
Wes Walker at the Slippery Sinker in Olcott reports some brown trout action inside of 60 feet in the lake and a few salmon, mixed with trout, are being reported in the mid-water of 80-150 feet and out deep from 350-450 feet. Smaller fish like cohos, steelhead and smaller kings are being caught on spoons and flasher-fly in the top 50 feet of water; bigger kings are coming from 70-100 feet down. Olcott and Wilson harbors are producing smallmouth and largemouth bass, while rock bass and carp are starting to move in right now.
2. Lower Niagara River
Some nice bass were caught during opening day contests around the area last Saturday. At the Wagon Wheel Restaurant in Niagara Falls, Paul Devlin won top two-fish honors with a total weight of 9.82 pounds. Bob Hubler was second with 9.73 pounds, but included in his catch was the biggest fish overall – a 5.36-pound smallmouth taken from Lake Erie. Third place was Mike McGrath of Niagara Falls with 9.58 pounds for two fish. Not too much going on as far as fishing in the lower river because of the moss situation. Bass are available throughout the system, but you have to work for them. Some silver bass are still being caught off of the NYPA fishing platform in the Niagara Gorge.