It was a “Big Fish Sunday” on Lake Ontario as the leader board changed several times. It started with John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda reeling in a 27-pound, 9-ounce salmon out of Wilson. His fish would beat out Lee Beaton’s 27-pounder, also caught off Wilson, that had been leading the derby since the opening weekend. The grand prize lead would be short-lived as two more fish would come to the weigh stations Sunday that would tip the scales even more – a 29-pound, 8-ounce king hauled in by Ed Klejdys of North Tonawanda while fishing on the Niagara Bar, and a 30-pound, 13-ounce Chinook that was reeled in by Richard Peaslee of Lowman while fishing out of Fair Haven. If the last name of Klejdys sounds familiar, his son Steve is the current leader in the Lake Trout Division with a 23-pound, 13-ounce Niagara Bar laker. On Monday of this week, a new rainbow leader came out of Olcott, knocking out the leading Wilson fish – a huge 17-pound, 4-ounce steelhead that was caught by Adam Robinson of Portland, Ore., while fishing with Capt. Vince Pierleoni and Thrillseeker II. But then came Tuesday and Kristin Wilson of Rockstream reeled in the fish of her life out of Point Breeze – a 31-pound, 10-ounce king salmon on a spin doctor and fly. With the way the fishing is going, there will be more changes. Keep posted on www.loc.org.
King salmon fishing on the lake remains very good. To the delight of many that have been fishing Point Breeze at the Oak, the state launch ramp on the west side of the river has finally been reopened after a little political pressure. Capt. Jim Gordon of Appleton runs his “Hawg” out of Olcott. He reported that his best bite was just east of Olcott in 150 to 250 feet of water with spin doctors and flies down 60 and 70 feet. He’s also been using spoons down 40 and 50 feet. Best colors have had anything green in them. His divers have been primarily spin doctors and green flies set back 150 and 170 feet on a No. 1.5 setting. The Niagara Bar continues to be a hot spot, too. in the Summer LOC Derby. The third-place salmon came off Wilson when John Van Hoff of North Tonawanda reeled in a 27-pound, 9-ounce king while trolling a Northern King spoon in 450 feet of water. Good king salmon fishing is also being reported off Point Breeze so it appears you have a few choices. Going back to Olcott, it will be a busy port Friday and Saturday for the LOTSA fishing club events going on.
Water levels in the lower river continue to be a problem for shoreline fishermen. Remember that Devil’s Hole State Park stair access is closed until spring of 2018, too. Bass are available for boaters, but you may have to move around to find active fish. What may be there one day, may not work the next. Usually the latter part of July is a good fishing time in the lower section of river, especially for walleye when they turn on for a summer bite. Upper river action continues to be good for bass and walleye in traditional areas like the head of the river and around Strawberry Island. And if you want to find out what happened with the Erie Canal Fishing Derby, check out Scattershot for a brief recap.
Capt. Tom Marks with Gr8 Lakes Fishing Adventures reports that if you can tough it out with the rough weather we’ve been experiencing of late, the walleye bite is excellent. There are fish in almost every local "hot spot,” according to Marks. Myers Reef has produced good catches, the "fence" (border) from Sturgeon Point to Buffalo is loaded with walleye, too. Work your baits in 65 to 70 foot depths off Evangola where walleye stacked up, as well. Marks has even found schools of yellow perch off Evangola. He keeps his presentations simple by bottom-bouncing worm harnesses. “The warm water has their metabolism kicked into high gear so now is the time to get fishing!” The Sunset Bay Shootout is this weekend so we should have a report for you next week if we can collect the information from organizers. Bass action has been consistent as well. Target 26 to 40 feet of water with crayfish, shiners, tubes or drop-shot rigs outfitted with live bait or plastics like Jackall Crosstails. Capt. Ryan Shea with Brookdog Fishing Co. has been targeting Myers Reef area in 25 to 30 feet of water with three-way rigs offering shiners or crayfish – keeping the bait moving a 1 to 1.5 mph. He’ll also cast a crayfish imitation fly to take some fish, too. Last week, Todd Aikin and Richard Snyder were trolling for walleye around Seneca Shoal with a blue and silver Renosky stickbait and they couldn’t keep the bass off. That should tell you something. They also caught a huge musky that measured well over 50-inches. Read “A Sportsman’s Tale” online in the Outdoors section of www.buffalonews.com.
Walleye continues to be good according to Capt. Mike Sperry of Chautauqua Reel Outdoors. Trolling worm harnesses behind bottom bouncers is working, as is trolling crankbaits on lead core line. White perch are abundant. Musky action is picking up, both casting and trolling.