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 28, 2022
There were two grand prize winners in the Greater Niagara fish odyssey derby awards ceremony last Sunday. In the final drawing of first place winners, when the final two species categories came up, the two remaining winners decided to split the $2500 prize – Paul Natiella with his 35.75-inch carp and Capt. Anthony Ellis with his 32-inch steelhead.
Other winners for the different categories were Marty Polovick with a 40.25-inch salmon, Ray Mahtook with a 28.5 brown trout, Dave Muir with a 21.5 smallmouth bass, Catherine Snyder with a 29-inch walleye, and Steve Klejdys with a 38.75-inch lake trout.
In the Junior/Youth Division, Reagan McCarthy scored the top salmon with a 37-inch fish; Jayden Hubert was the top trout with a 30-inch steelhead; Gabby Geiger was the big bass with a 21-inch smallmouth; Mariah Majka led the carp division with a 25.75-inch fish; Landon Noon was the top panfish catcher with an 11-inch white crappie; Dominic Srouji with a 27.5-inch walleye; and Trevor Wilson with a 26.25-inch sheepshead.
Salmon are jumping all around the pier heads at Olcott, according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott. Seeing jumping salmon brings out the fishermen to cast Cleo’s, KO Wobblers and Moonshine casting spoons. Spoons with anything glow, blue, green, or orange will work. Some are being caught on eggs, both sacs and skein.
Nothing much at Burt Dam yet, except for a few walleyes and an occasional salmon. Small boat harbor trollers are using J-13 Rapalas according to Evarts. Most action is from dawn to dusk. Matt Vogt of Newfane has been picking up a few salmon in the harbor and off the piers. It’s kind of a flavor of the day thing. Glow spoons, eggs, Rapalas – it just depends on where the fish are and what they want. The Wilson pier is also producing a few trout and pike.
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls says the first wave of salmon have come through the river, but things are a bit slower now. Casting spinners or glow spoons early morning or in the evening should produce a few fish. He expects more fish to start showing up when the waters cool a bit more. Water color was 3-4 feet on Tuesday.
On the NYPA fishing platform, Tommy Holycross of Wheatfield reported some action recently. He insists that there are so many variables in that platform area with water color and how strong the current is being generated by the generators. Ideally, all generators (but especially pump No. 1 generator, closest to the platform) are pumping and that creates a good flow for salmon and steelhead fishing. Twister tails on a two-foot leader under a barrel swivel and egg sinker is what most fishermen are using successfully. A couple of casters are using skein or egg sacks and have had good luck, too.
If the No. 1 generator is off, it creates a situation where BIG jigging spoons bounced off the bottom will work for salmon as well as walleye, according to Holycross. If you are into drift fishing, you can catch salmon and steelhead using a center pin rod or long spinning rod. At least a 10-foot rod is recommended. Leader length for drift fishing is about 8 feet and most guys are using trout beads in size 8mm to 10mm.
Matt Wilson of Wheatfield was in the lower Niagara River over the weekend as well as out into the lake. Bass have been cooperating very well with swimbaits, Kietech’s, and drop shots, working baits from deep to shallow.
The jerk bait bite really kicked off on Saturday in front of the Fort Niagara boat launch. The Berkley cutter jerk bait worked well for Wilson.
Upper Niagara River reports show that things are changing drastically now that temperatures are falling into the 60s. Fish can be in 8 feet and in 29 feet, but when you find them there’s a bunch of them, insists Wilson. Note: there’s no such thing as too shallow of water now. Don’t let the fall bite fool you when people say they go deep. These bass will be sitting right under your boat in 5 feet of water. Back off and cast slow sinking jerk baits, reports Wilson.
Sign up for a fishing tournament or derby in Niagara Falls USA. See the full schedule of events here.