Despite poor weather conditions, some nice salmon, trout and walleye have come to the scales in the Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby. The derby ends Sunday.
Lake Erie and tributaries
Steve Brzuszkiewicz of Marilla reports that with Sturgeon Point ramps still closed, he headed of Cattaraugus Creek towards Sturgeon Point, where there was perch on Monday, and they were gone. There was an armada further east towards Buffalo and the active fish were about 2 miles east of Sturgeon in 52-54 feet of water. The schooled fish were moving, so you had to adjust periodically, and when you found them, “neighbors” quickly surrounded you. Action was terrific over the fish. He put 31 perch on ice and released an undersized walleye. Most perch were 10 to 13 inches, with half of them spawned out. Capt. Joe Fonzi of Gasport reports that fishing is still good. The night walleye bite is on at all traditional spots. Day time is better than average, with anglers using jigging spoons, hair jigs and blades. Depth doesn’t seem to be important. He’s caught them as shallow as 18 feet and as deep as 56 feet. Finding the fish marks on the graph is key. Perch have been good a little deeper, now 53 to 60 feet. Bass fishing is slower than normal due to colder water, but he is still averaging 15 to 20 smallmouth a day. Size is good for these bass with many in the 5-pound class. Look for them in 22 to 36 feet of water with tubes and swimbaits.
Water levels continue to pose a problem for shoreline anglers. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls managed to find a good spot along Artpark on Monday to go 6 for 8 on steelhead and lake trout using No. 4 spinners and jigs. His biggest fish was a 13-pound lake trout that he caught and released. On Tuesday, jigs were the hot ticket. The NYPA fishing platform was closed Monday due to fluctuating water levels. Call 796-0135 Ext. 45 to find out if it’s open. Boaters can still do well on trout. The steelhead fishing is good in Devil’s Hole if you have the patience and good boat control with the high water according to local charter captain Jim Rores of Grand Island. Fish there are eating egg sacs and minnows. There are some feisty silver bass on the Artpark backdrift, chowing on emerald shiners, says Rores. The smallmouth are showing up on the river. Minnow imitation tubes are best. Try downriver for bass. Walleye have been hitting around the Lewiston sand docks area at night, according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle. You can pick some up during the day a bit deeper by using a boat.
Lake Ontario and tributaries
The LOC Derby is in full swing and ends May 19. The early leader is a 25-pound, 14-ounce king salmon reeled in by Robert Mueller from Hamburg. He was fishing out of Point Breeze when the salmon hit a Bomber stickbait, fishing with Capt. Joe Netti and the Musky Joe boat. Will it hold on for the $15,000 grand prize? Check www.loc.org for the leaderboard. Other leaders include Brian Marketich of Beaver Falls, Penn., with a 22-pound, 13-ounce Olcott salmon for the Salmon Division. Top lake trout is a 23-pound, 4-ounce fish caught Jerry Unites of Pittsburgh while fishing out of Wilson. Top walleye is a 10-pound, 6-ounce fish from Henderson Harbor, weighed in by Larry Dishaw, Jr. of Mexico. Top brown trout is 17 pounds, 6 ounces from the Rochester area reeled in by Charles Mazzola of Hamlin. The derby ends at 1 p.m. Sunday. According to Mark Vilardo of Kingfisher Charters in Olcott, fishing has been good, with a mix of kings and lakers. Start in 70 to 80 feet of water, his best depth, fishing near bottom. Saturday was a good king bite according to Vilardo. One productive set-up was a glow fly with a white e-chip flasher. There should be some heavy fish caught this summer and fall. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors reports decent salmon and trout action at the 28-line. Black and glow spoons and meat behind a flasher are both working. Some kings were reported in shallower, too. However, specific details are limited due to the LOC Derby going on and the Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament on Saturday. The deadline for the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament is May 19. Sign up at www.lakeontarioproam.net.
Crappie action has been a little spotty this week. On Saturday, Capt. Mike Sperry of Chautauqua Reel Outdoors managed to get some nice fish on 1/32-ounce jigs with a rubber tail in deeper water. There was nothing in shallow. On Tuesday, crappie fishing was tougher. The water temp has dropped back to 54 degrees. Minnows under a slip bobber and small rubber jigs will work when the conditions are right. Walleye have been landed by fisherman slow trolling worm harnesses in 10-feet of water during the day. The best bite is still after dark casting F9 and F11 Rapalas and Shadow Raps from shore (wading). The Chautauqua Lake Bassmasters will hold its annual Team Crappie Tournament this Sunday. Call Matt Fish at 720-2388 for details.