Each week, catch up on a full report on where to fish, popular baits and lures, weather conditions and upcoming fishing tournaments and derbies.
Niagara Falls USA Weekly Fishing Report for September 20, 2023
National Hunting and Fishing Day is Sept. 23 this year and one of the biggest celebrations is the NYPA Wildlife Festival, set for Sept. 23 and 24 at the Power Vista located at 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. It’s free to attend and co-sponsored by the Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs. Remember that the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Awards ceremony is Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Festival at 4 p.m. in the Primate Sanctuary tent. Speaking of free, Saturday Sept. 23rd is a free fishing day for all of New York State to honor NHF Day. While no license is required, you still must abide by the regulations for the body of water you intend to fish.
The dual shore fishing duo of the Mike and Mike show were back at it this week. Mike Ziehm of Niagara Falls has been targeting the fast oxygenated waters in the gorge of the lower Niagara River to target fresh kings that have been entering the system. One day it’s pearl white No. 4 spinners and another day is chartreuse or a combination of the two. In addition to mature kings, he’s also been catching some chunky walleyes in the gorge. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls managed to make it into the gorge this week, too. Silver and green No. 5 spinners worked best for him, and he actually caught king salmon on back-to-back casts. In addition to salmon, walleyes were on his catch list.
Tom Calvert of Lynchburg, Virginia was able to do some of his own casting for walleyes, fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston. Using KVD Elite stickbaits from Strike King, he managed to catch a limit of ‘eyes by working the current structure with a slow retrieve in Devil’s Hole. Smallmouth bass were also caught, and they even hooked into a king salmon that pulled the hooks out of the lure when it made a run upriver.
Capt. Joe Srouji of Angler Edge Charters reports that fishing has been very good for walleyes and smallmouth bass in the lower Niagara River this past week. For bass, crayfish off three-way rigs has been best. Walleyes prefer worm harnesses and vertical jigs.
In the upper Niagara River, bass and walleye action continues to be good. One hidden fishing hole is the Erie Canal, and the fall action has been good. Calvert tried his luck trolling from a boat with small body baits and no weight to catch over 20 fish. Most of the fish were feisty smallmouth bass, but he also caught channel catfish, perch, and rock bass for a great day on Monday – his first fishing experience on the canal. Water releases for 18 Mile Creek, the Oak Orchard River and Sandy Creek are now underway from the Erie Canal.
Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott reports that they are seeing a few salmon and brown trout caught off the piers with spoons and J13 Rapala stickbaits. Try using treated sacs or skein under a float. Night fishing is best for salmon. Browns seem to be moving in and out, with a few being caught by trollers close to the shoreline. Lake staging is happening now for salmon all along the lakeshore. Evarts reported some salmon action in 60 to 80 feet of water out front with plugs, meat, and flasher/fly. Some fish are being caught in the harbor at night, too. There have been some kings staging on the Niagara Bar drop off as well.
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