Three different Lake Ontario fishing derbies will be going on at the same time this weekend, Saturday and Sunday. You might want to stay away from Dunkirk this weekend due to a big power boat race.
Walleye action is continuing at a rapid clip, if you can locate the schools of fish. Capt. John DeLorenzo simply followed the fish out of Buffalo into deeper water. He was doing well this week in 57 to 60 feet of water along the Canadian line. All of his fish are within 10 feet of the bottom, strictly fishing bottom-bouncers with harnesses. It hasn’t been a problem for Capt. Don Ruppert of Wave Tamer Charters either. He has been limiting out on walleyes in 70 to 85 feet of water from Cattaraugus Creek to Dunkirk. Most of the fish are 2 to 4 pound eater size with an occasion 6-7 pound fish on the top end. The bite is best first thing in the morning. Run deeper lead core lines of 4 to 8 colors and copper lines 100 to 150 feet back. Best speed has been 2.0 to 2.4 mph. Divers and downriggers are working well. “Use long leads off the riggers,” insists Ruppert. Best lures have been Northern Lights Bombers, Yaleye Lures in Oil Slick and Bay Rat in Cedar Point patterns.
If you were planning on fishing out of Dunkirk this weekend, be forewarned that there is a huge power boat race going on that could limit the boat launch and parking access. Sunday is “race day” and the launch ramp will be closed from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Speaking of Dunkirk, Capt. Joel Ruggiero of Bait Master Charters
Capt. Arnie Jonathan of AJ’s Guide Service says that the walleye fishing in the lower river has been good the past week. Leeches fished off three-way rigs has been effective. Some anglers prefer the old standby, a Yellow Sally fly, spinner and a worm fished off a three-way rig. Standard worm harnesses will also work, but you will catch other species of fish, too, when using live bait like sheepshead. Smallmouth bass action has been good for crab drifters. The NYPA fishing platform is still producing a mix of fish. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught 6 bass and a couple big sheepshead the last time out using a small white tube that he super-glues to a small jig head. While standing on the platform looking down, you will see muskies, gar pike, carp, bass, suckers and more.
The bite has been good offshore since the big east blow on Friday according to Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters. There are fish spread out from 300 to 450 feet of water off Wilson and Olcott. The hot spot has been changing every day. Start shallow and go north till you start getting bites according to Yablonsky. He has been using a mix of spoons and flasher-fly combinations. He hasn’t had to run any meat yet. As things settle back in, look for staging fish off the creek and river mouths. At the Oak, the area out front was holding some mature fish in 100 to 150 feet of water earlier this week. Spoons, flasher-flies and cut bait were all working on kings. Lake Ontario has three different fishing derbies going on this weekend. The Orleans County Rotary Derby has been going on for 2 weeks, ending this Sunday, August 19. On Friday, August 17, the Fall Lake Ontario Counties or LOC Derby started up for 18 days, offering contestants a chance to earn $25,000 for the largest salmon. Finally, the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey is set for August 18 to 26 in Erie, Niagara and Orleans counties. Cash prizes for the adults, merchandise prizes for the kids. If you were to catch a big salmon, and you were entered in all three contests, you could conceivably win all three competitions. For the LOC Derby, find out more information at www.loc.org. Species categories include salmon, brown trout and rainbow/steelhead trout. For the fish odyssey, check out www.fishodyssey.net. Species categories include salmon, smallmouth bass, lake trout, walleye, carp and brown/rainbow trout. Kids can fish in a special youth division for free. The leading fish in the Orleans County contest is currently a 29-pound, 14-ounce king salmon reeled in by Joseph Miller of Harrisburg, Pa. Top rainbow trout is a 12 pounder caught by Dan Heglin of Gardner, Mass. Big brown is 14 pounds, 13 ounces, weighed in by Michael Grager of Lyndonville. Brian Gambell of Hilton is still leading the lake trout division with a 17 pound, 12 ounce fish. The derby ends Sunday.
Walleye are being caught at sun up on worm harnesses, slow trolled tight to the weedlines in the north basin according to Mike Sperry at Chautauqua Reel Outdoors. Some fish are being caught later in the morning vertical jigging No. 7 and 9 ice jigging Rapalas. Around 18-foot seems to be the consistent depth right now. Anglers are catching a few white bass in the same areas. Most muskies landed recently have been by trolling on the north basin. Use small shad style baits like Tuff Shads and Leo Mojoes. Best depth has been from 15 to 25 feet of water. Tyler Franz of Annville, Pa. was jigging a Rapala Snap Rap while fishing with Capt. Frank Schoenacker of Infinity Charters last week for a Chautauqua “Fish Camp.” His reward was his first-ever musky. Check out the online Catch of the Week gallery this week to see his fish.