Niagara Gazette — For nearly 15 years, key members of the outdoor media have been coming in to visit every May to take advantage of our outstanding spring angling action – Lake Ontario salmon, trout and bass; Niagara River steelhead, lake trout and brown trout; Lake Erie smallmouth bass. While things have been quiet in local media circles all those years, it was great to see them take notice this time around.
“I fish from Alaska to Panama every year, focusing primarily on salt water fishing,” said Mark Davis of South Carolina. “I’ve been coming for 15 years to Western New York, however, the first week of May every one of those years. You have some outstanding fishing!” Davis is the host of Penn’s Big Water Adventures that appears on The Outdoor Channel. He was also quick to point out that having the support of Niagara Tourism and Convention Corp. was huge.
Davis was telling that to Kevin O’Neill from the parking lot of Tops in Lewiston as O’Neill worked his morning magic on the NBC affiliate in Buffalo, WGRZ. As he told him, the message went out to the watchers of this popular station. And it didn’t stop there. The morning news team continued to banter about the fishing in the area as they extended comments about the live coverage.
When O’Neill asked about the economic impact of sportfishing in the area, his jaw almost dropped when we told him that sportfishing generated $30 million annually, based on a recent study conducted by Niagara University. He pointed that out the next time he was on the air. Yes, fishing is big business in Western New York. More people need to recognize that.
The day before, it was Jeff Pierce of Scottsville and Bob George of Idaho extolling the fishing virtues of Western New York to YNN, the news channel for Time Warner Cable. “My company recently relocated from Auburn to Miami, Florida,” said Pierce, National Sales Manager for Mustad Hooks and one of the corporate sponsors for the event. “I told them flat out that if they wanted me to continue, I had to be able to work from home … because of the fishing opportunities on the Niagara River, Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. I travel the world fishing and these are some of the best waters anywhere.”