Bill Hilts Fishing Report






Huge announcement today from Gov. Cuomo and DEC: Free Fishing Licenses for Lake Ontario, the lower Niagara River and St. Lawrence River all the way through Labor Day! Itís the stateís way of trying to help out the businesses along the Lake Ontario shoreline that have suffered from the high water levels. Yes, Lake Ontario is open for business and fishing is great!

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Thursday, August 1, 2019
August is a celebration of fishing contests as we head into the final full month of Summer. The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby (www.fishodyssey.net) set for August 17-25 has registrations available online starting August 1 and in the shops by August 2. Kids 15 and under can fish for free.

The Orleans County Rotary Fishing Derby kicks off on Saturday and runs through August 18. Niagara County waters are eligible and The Boat Doctors in Olcott is now the official weigh station. Check out http://www.rotaryfishingderby.com.

The Reeliní for a Cure ladies tournament to help benefit cancer-related causes will be held out of Wilson and Olcott on August 16. Call Stephanie at 481-6388 for more info.

That same day, the Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby begins and runs through Labor Day, Sept. 2. Grand prize for the biggest salmon is $25,000. More info at www.loc.org.

On August 4, the 14th Annual Bass Fishing Derby with Independent Living of Niagara County will be going on. Call 836-0822 Ext. 146 for more info or to register. Speaking of derbies, Doug Parker's 29-pound, 9 ounce Niagara Bar king didn't win the Grand Prize. He ended up 1st place in the Salmon Division. He lost by just one ounce.

Ed and Steve Klejdys of North Tonawanda won 1st and 2nd place in the lake trout division with their Niagara Bar fish and Newfane's Tanner Niezgoda ended up in second place in the Steelhead Division with a 13-pound, 13-ounce Olcott fish.


On to the fishing. Lake Ontario action has been good to very good in 100 to 200 feet of water, 70 to 90 feet down west of Wilson according to current reports from Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. The hot set-up has been white with green dot Pro Troll flashers with N&D cut bait. Purple Kingfisher with meat took some nice kings this week, too. Sea fleas were not as bad inside, but you needed to clean your lines regularly. Some browns were starting to show up, too, but itís been spotty. The off-shore bite is still pretty strong, too, with a mix of steelhead and king salmon being reported.

The inside kings are starting to change color. Best spoon colors were caramel, monkey puke and greasy chicken colors. East of Olcott to the power plant has been great for an evening bite. The Niagara Bar area still has fish stacked up on it, a good option for trollers. If kings arenít on the bar drop off, slide out a little bit deeper.For Mark and Jake Romanackís Fishing 411 TV show last week, they caught most of their fish on Wolverine Tackle Mag spoons. Green skirt and Green Chilly Willy color patterns weíre best. They also caught a couple studs on the Yakima Spin Fish plug stuffed with Pro Cure gizzard Shad Super Gel. They use 300-foot lead cores and 300-foot weighted stainless steel lines and they took the most fish. Riggers were 45-55 feet down, and they were also productive.

The moss is almost gone in the Niagara River and fishing has really picked up in the lower Niagara River according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle. Bass and walleye action has improved dramatically. For bass, focus around Lewiston and Youngstown using leeches and crabs. Walleye action has been decent around the Stella Drift on worm harnesses. Some of the Canadian drifts have also been producing fish. Make sure you have a Canadian license if you venture across the international line. In the upper river, action is improving for bass and walleye as the moss dissipates. The head of Strawberry Island is always a favorite location, as is the head of the river. Best baits have been crabs, tubes and ned rigs. Worm harnesses are best for walleye.
Good luck and good fishing!

Bill Hilts, Jr.
Outdoor Promotions Director












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