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The Fishing Beat (Aug. 29)

As the end of summer approaches, the mad dash of fishing contests is underway with many coming to a close by Labor Day. It serves as a sounding call for the return of the mighty king salmon to Lake Ontario rivers and streams, as well as the arrival of trout just around the corner in all Great Lakes tributaries.

Lake Ontario

The mighty king salmon is showing up on the doorstep of many rivers and streams as they stage for a final spawning run. The Niagara Bar has not been a consistent salmon fishery in August, but the big fish showed by over the weekend, according to Mike Mongan of Grand Island. Fishing with Chris Taylor and Walt Zebker, both of the Island, the trio ran to the Canadian line last Sunday and trolled east along the ledge picking up matures. At 10 a.m., they hit a big boy that hit a 2-Face UV flasher and an A-Tom-Mik stud fly 55 feet down over 70 feet of water. It won the Salmon Division of the Fish Odyssey and its currently in first place in the Salmon Division of the Fall Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby at 29 pounds, 7 ounces. The leading fish is 31 pounds, 1 ounce.

A 32-pound king was caught over the weekend by Kyle Kraft of Ohio while fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell on the Niagara Bar. However, one of Kraft’s (former) buddies failed to register for the derbies going on. Kyle Hovak of North Tonawanda was fishing the top 90 feet of water east of Olcott over 400 to 500 foot depths to take some bomber steelhead. One fish, reeled in by his 10-year-old daughter Gabby, tipped the scales at 13 pounds, 7 ounces to win the kids division in the Odyssey and lead the way in the LOC Derby overall in the division. The LOC Derby continues to Labor Day so there is still time left to catch some big fish. Check out for details. One-day passes are available.

Wilson, Olcott and Point Breeze are attracting mature salmon to the creek mouths, and you should be able to catch fish as close as 50-60 feet of water at first light with J-plugs, flasher and cut bait or flasher and fly to take some kings. Capt. John Oravec of Tightlines Charters reported good success Monday trolling cut bait in front of the Oak 80 feet down over 120-foot depths, as well as 60 foot down on the bottom. A heavy rain could trigger a small run.

Niagara River

There have been unconfirmed reports of a few kings in the Whirlpool area, but we’ve not heard anything at the NYPA fishing platform. That’s usually the first place that they show up, seeking oxygen from the tailrace as they hit the warm water coming down from Lake Erie. In the meantime, walleye fishing was pretty good in the last week if the Fish Odyssey is any indication. Winning fish was an 11-pound, 1-ounce Niagara Bar 'eye reeled in by Eric Majka of Niagara Falls. He caught it on purple and yellow worm harness. In the Junior Division, 8-year-old Jamie Brolinski of Lewiston was casting a Berkley Flicker Shad when he hit a 10-pound, 6-ounce walleye to win. Michael and Alyssa Cardamone of Lewiston had fun catching smallmouth bass Monday. They hit 15 smallies in just a couple of hours using crayfish, Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Region Charters said.

Lake Erie

The walleye action is still is good as it gets for this time of year, although it seems like fish are slowly starting to migrate west a bit. Check out Scattershots to see how the “Evil Eyes” team, led by Curtis Loveless of Williamsville, won the Innovative Outdoors tournament last weekend. Best depth for his team was 55 feet down over 80 to 100 foot depths. Off Cattaraugus Creek, Steve Brzuszkiewicz of Marilla did well in 65 to 70 feet of water as he needed to search a bit deeper with his firetiger worm harness just off the bottom. Best speed was 1.2 mph. He found the walleye mixed in with some small schools of perch. Lots of smaller walleyes are still being caught. If you want to target lake trout, Jerry Bielicki of Akron recommends off Barcelona. He did well enough to win the Fish Odyssey in the lake trout division with a 22-pound, 14-ounce fish he caught on a Northern King spoon. The fish hit the rigger offering 90 feet down over 120 feet of water.

Cayuga Lake

If you fish out of the north end of Cayuga Lake at the Mud Lock boat launch, the ramp will be closed Sept. 4 for renovations. Included in the plans will be a new concrete ramp, floating docks, paved launch access and a new parking area. The ramp is expected to be closed through October.

If you would like to access the north end of the lake, it is recommended to use Cayuga Lake State Park on the west side of the lake or Frontenac Park located in the village of Union Springs on the east side of the lake.

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