Tournaments & Derbies

Reel in a big payday with a big catch at one of the many fishing tournaments and derbies throughout Niagara Falls USA.

From fishing competitions, derbies and special events, Niagara Falls USA is the place to be to enjoy this popular outdoor angling adventure!

Don't miss out! Each year, New York State offers free fishing days/weekends, allowing anyone to fish the fresh waters of New York State, and no fishing license is required. It's a great opportunity to try fishing for the first time, or a chance for the whole family to participate. Upcoming free fishing dates for 2023 include:  February 18-19, June 24-25, September 23, and November 11. 

Please note, events may be canceled or rescheduled.

Upcoming 2023 Niagara Falls USA Fishing Competitions, Derbies and Events

Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo
Feb. 16-19, 2023 – Held at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, this fishing show offers over 300 hours of fishing education from 70 different speakers, as well as 100+ booths of fishing exhibitors. Visit their website for more information. 

LOTSA Salmon School at the Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo
Feb. 17-19, 2023 – Part of the Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, this three-day workshop is sold out!

Roger Tobey Memorial Niagara River Anglers Steelhead Contest
February 25, 2023 (tentative) – The Niagara River Anglers Association will be holding their winter steelhead classic at Lewiston Landing in the lower river and Lake Ontario tributaries. $20 entry, plus optional $5 brown trout. Must be a member for $20. For information, visit their Facebook page.

Niagara County Bullhead Tournament
April 7-9, 2023 - Entry fee is $10 for ages 13 and older; free for ages 12 and under. Best 2 fish. Weigh in the final day at the Wilson Conservation Club. For more information, contact Eric at 716-628-6078.

Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Spring Trout and Salmon Derby
May 5-14, 2023 – This premier spring kick-off classic, offering a $15,000 Grand Prize for the largest salmon caught overall, sports over $44,000 in cash and prizes overall. More than 60 percent of all the winning fish come from the waters off Niagara. For more information, call (888) REEL-2-IN or visit their website.

11th Annual Wilson Harbor Invitational Salmon Tournament 
May 20-21, 2023 – The tournament is back for another battle of salmon seekers. Check out their Facebook for tournament details. Each day is a separate tournament, plus overall options. $1K a day and Salmon Slam options are set for May 13-19.

21st Annual Don Johannes Memorial Big Fish Contest and 15th Annual Pete DeAngelo Memorial Three-Fish Contest
June 1, 2023 – This is a precursor to the Pro-Am tournaments to get the teams warmed up for the fishing action. You don’t have to be in the pro-am to fish, though. Sign up at The Boat Doctors, Bootleggers Cove or The Gas Shack in Wilson. Call 716-523-1727 for more info. $100 per boat. 100 percent cash payout.

38th Annual Skip Hartman Memorial Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament 
June 2-3, 2023 – Back to a two-day event with a third day set aside for weather challenges. Over $40,000 in cash and prizes last year. For more info call (877) FALLS US or log onto the tournament website for rules and sign up information. 100 percent payback of entry fees!

12th Annual Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Summer Derby
July 1-30, 2023 – Grand prize is $10,000 for biggest salmon. Weekly prizes for the divisions ($1,000 for salmon and $500 for trout), $30,000 overall. Click here for all the details for this new summer event or call (888) REEL-2-IN.

20th Annual Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. King Salmon Tournament 
July 15, 2023 – This event offers 100 percent cash pay back. All participants must be LOTSA members. Deadline to register is July 13 at 6 p.m. For more information, click here. July 14 is the 10th Annual Curt Meddaugh Memorial Fishing Derby to remember an important LOTSA member. Free for anyone registered in the Saturday event. For more information, click here.

Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Fall Trout and Salmon Derby
August 18 - September 4, 2023 – Over $70,000 in cash and prizes including a $25,000 Grand Prize for the largest trout or salmon caught during this 18-day event. Help anglers celebrate the return of the mighty king salmon on Lake Ontario!  Sign up in local tackle shops or call (888) REEL-2-IN. Visit their website for more information or to register.

Reelin’ for a Cure Tournament (Ladies-Only Event)
August 18, 2023 – This 6th annual ladies’ event will once again be held out of Wilson and Olcott. It’s a great way to celebrate life and pay tribute to cancer survivors. Call Stephanie at (716) 481-6388 and or visit the tournament Facebook page for more information. 

47th Annual Greater Niagara “Fall Classic” Derby – 2023: A Fish Odyssey 
August 18-27, 2023 – The journey continues with another great event set for 2023 – 46 years of derbies! Last year, over $14,000 in cash and prizes were handed out to winning anglers at Krull Park in Olcott on awards night. Species categories included salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, smallmouth bass, carp, and walleye. All have a chance to win the Grand Prize. For more information, call (877) FALLS US or click here. Kids are FREE in a special youth division.

35th Annual NYPA Wildlife Festival
Sept. 23-24, 2023 (tentative) – Held in conjunction with National Hunting and Fishing Day weekend, this event is co-sponsored by the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs and held on the grounds of the Power Authority’s Visitor Center in Lewiston. Doors are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free admission. 

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