Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report- August 10, 2023

Jason Kennedy walleye
Jason Kennedy with the Heinrich Chevrolet team caught this walleye during the Reel Impact Tournament fishing with Capt. Ryan O’Neill of Buffalo Wingz Waterfowl and Sportfishing.

Greater Niagara Region

Frank Campbell

The lower Niagara River was the battleground for the Reel Impact Fishing Tournament as 15 boats competed for bragging rights for a morning on the water in raising funds for PUNT Pediatric Cancer Collaborative and Catching Dreams Charters. The biggest fish overall during the competition was the Anchor Marine team with Capt. Connor Cinelli of Grand Island at the helm.

Alan Raymond catfish
Alan Raymond, Sr. of Youngstown caught this 14-1/2-pound catfish while walleye fishing in the Devil’s Hole area while fishing with Capt. Connor Cinelli of Grand Island.

Alan Raymond, Sr. of Youngstown hauled in a 14-1/2-pound channel catfish while walleye fishing, a personal best, in the Devil’s Hole area. They also caught a pile of walleyes, but not enough to win the “most fish” portion of the event. Catching the most fish was the Ecolab team of Christian Librock, Dominic Gatti, and Jon Weeks fishing with the “Fishgrappler,” Capt. Mark Kessler of Amherst. They boated 31 fish, mostly smallmouth bass, in less than 4 hours of fishing. They were working the waters in Devil’s Hole, and then further downriver when action slowed in the gorge.

The Ecolab team
The Ecolab team, fishing with Capt. Mark Kessler, caught the most fish in the Reel Impact Tournament fundraiser on the lower Niagara River.

Kessler’s cousin, Capt. Ted Kessler of Grand Island, enjoyed a bit of a thrill when one of his assigned team members from Praxis Financial hooked into a huge sturgeon that breached the surface near the boat. It was estimated to be 5 to 6 feet long. A surprising number of walleyes were caught by anglers during the event, most of them being caught on worm harnesses fished off three-way rigs. Crayfish was the best bait for bass.

Pete Ross (left) and Capt. Arnie Jonathan of AJ's Guide Service walleye
Pete Ross (left) and Capt. Arnie Jonathan of AJ’s Guide Service poses with a walleye Ross caught in the lower Niagara River.
Robert Fox walleye
Robert Fox with the Heinrich Chevrolet team caught this walleye during the Reel Impact Tournament fishing with Capt. Ryan O’Neill of Buffalo Wingz Waterfowl and Sportfishing.

Out in Lake Ontario, the bite out of Wilson has been good but you must work for them reports Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters. You need to cover a lot of water and find pockets of fish. He says there is an endless supply of bait fish out there, so finding hungry fish can be a challenge. The weather has had the fish all spread out and on the move. For Yablonsky, the bite has been between the 24 and 30 lines offshore. Everyday has been different. Some days the salmon and trout are in 350 feet of water; some days they are in 450 feet of water. Other days they are spread out in between both of those depths. Everything is working lure-wise, including spoons, meat, and flies. The best action is basically 50 to 80 feet down, using riggers, divers, and torpedo weighted steel to get you into the fish zone.

Colegan Stiner salmon
Colegan Stiner of Wellsboro, Pa. caught this 22-pound salmon this week fishing with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters out of Wilson.

Some big fishing events will be starting up next week so get ready to rumble! The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey is set for August 18th to the 27th. Everything is being run once again through the Fishing Chaos app, including registration. Kids 15 and under are free. Check out the Outdoor Beat at for a complete explanation. Next Friday, August 18, is the start of the Fall Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby. It runs through Labor Day. Check out for details. The Ladies Reelin’ for a Cure Tournament will be held on August 18 as well. Contact Stephanie Pierleoni at 481-6388 for more information.

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon

Lake Ontario

The kings are scattered, however 80 to 90 down over 200fow has been a good starting point. Meat rigs, and flasher flies have been working. Downriggers, dipsey divers and flat lines running back 400 have been successful.

Michigan Stinger’s NBK spoon has the perfect flutter to entice salmon.

Different wind directions have changed daily. Matter of fact…they change by the hour. If the warm water comes close to shore fish for browns.

Find your bait pods and work in that area.

Make sure you sign-up for the LOC Fall Derby. The top prize money is a “whooping” $25,000.
The Derby starts August 18th and runs through Labor Day September 4th.


The Wayne County Youth Fishing Derby held its awards ceremony August 6th at the Sodus Point Firehall. A complete list of winners and some fantastic photos are available at

There was a bass tournament on Sodus Bay Sunday. The competitors were fishing the weedlines, however recreational boat waves made for bouncy casting experiences.

Sodus has a great fishery, however the best time to try your angling skills is during the week. Use Senko worm rigs and look for the weedlines. Fish off the points and between the islands.

If you fish in Port Bay use the south DEC ramp. There is plenty of room for trailers and the north barrier road will knock your teeth out.

The water in Port Bay has flipped leaving a green surface which has made fishing difficult. It should clear in a few weeks. The channel at Port Bay has produced some smallmouth bass.

Erie Canal

Widewaters continues to be the place to hook some hefty bass. Fishing anywhere on the canal gives you a chance to avoid all the wind experienced fishing the bays bordering the lake.

Bait for fishing is available on the south end of Sodus at Davenports and Bay Bridge Sport Shop.
On Port Bay Jarvis Bait Farm is open on Brown Road. The signs are on East Port Bay Road at the junction of Brown Road.
Toadz Bait is near the end of West Port Bay Road.

Notable Freshwater Fishing Regulation Changes

The following list offers a summary of the most notable fishing regulation changes resulting from the adopted rulemakings described above.

  • New statewide regulation for rainbow trout, brown trout, and splake in lakes and ponds. The season will now be open year-round, with a five-fish daily limit, any size, with a “no more than two longer than 12 inches” harvest rule.
  • Statewide Atlantic salmon regulations will now allow for a year-round open season.
  • Ice fishing is permitted on all waters in New York unless specifically prohibited with the exception of Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington counties where previous rules remain.
  • New specific dates replaced floating dates for statewide season openers to include:
    • May 1 – Walleye, Northern Pike, Pickerel, and Tiger Muskellunge.
    • June 1 – Muskellunge. (Note that in 2022, DEC will allow for the fishing of muskellunge beginning the last Saturday in May to accommodate previously planned fishing trips);and
    • June 15 – Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.
  • A five-fish daily walleye limit in Oneida Lake.
  • A new regulation to limit the growth of the walleye population in Skaneateles Lake. No daily possession limit; 12-inch minimum size limit, open year-round.
  • The statewide sunfish daily harvest limit has been reduced from 50 to 25 fish: and
  • The statewide minimum size limit for crappie has been increased from nine inches to ten inches.

Orleans County

Orleans County Sportfishing Coordinator Ron Bierstine:

Pat and Tatianna king salmon
Pat and Tatianna with a big catch and release King from the ladders reef! Courtesy of Capt. John Oravec.

Some days of not so great weather has put a break in what’s been a real good stretch of consistent trolling action. Through the past weekend the NE winds kicked up a bit and kept most guys off the water early Saturday and then later on Sunday. Neither days blow though was enough to spoil the whole day or bring all the cold water near shore. Whatever cold water did move in will probably be chased by forecasted stiff W and NW winds around mid week. We’ll take those favorable NW winds to hopefully keep Oak Orchard fish as homebodies! For this later week and with steadier weather conditions look for that good King action most have enjoyed in <300 fow to kick back up. About now and in August ahead we’ll start looking for those big mature fish to be staging closer and not deeper, with not a lot that will keep them from that shallow water spawning mission – even non preferred temps.

Spoons continue to work well for most trollers, and it’s a preferred method when the conditions are right for Captain Rich Hajecki of Crazy Yankee Sportfishing. He found good success at the 30 line in the 500 – 600 fow range. He likes a magnum spoon on a cheater while the downrigger clip pulls a standard spoon. Check out his latest YouTube for the “Mup” rig explained.

Captain Bob Songin of Reel Excitement Sportfishing says “the 150 – 300 fow mid-water range is still good and there’s good concentrations of salmon east and west of Point Breeze. Fifty – 90 ft down on the riggers and divers set at 140 – 200 have produced. A 400 cooper has also been a go to. Put down the program you have confidence in, in the right zone and you should have action.”

Oswego County

Spey Nation

Spey Nation Returns in 2023 — Part of Swing the Fly!

August 11-13, 2023

Spey Nation will now be a three-day event at the Pineville Boat Ramp and Tailwater Lodge on the Salmon River in New York and feature a combination of presentations open to the public as well as casting and fishing classes requiring a fee and pre-registration.

Free On-river Demonstrations will take place from 8am to 2 pm on Saturday 8/12 at the Pineville Boat Launch:

8:30am – Lines, Tips, Rigging – Rick Kustich
9:15am – Waterborne Casts – Nick Pionessa
10:00am – Touch and Go Casts –Topher Browne
10:45am – Creative and Effective Presentations for Swinging Flies – Walt Geryk
1:00pm – Adjusting the Cast for Fishing Conditions – Jeff Liskay

Aaron S giant king salmon
Aaron S., of Syracuse NY, caught this giant king salmon while fishing with Squirrelly Sportfishing.

Lake Ontario – Oswego

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast

Boats have been having success in 100-600+’ of water this week. Overall, 100-200’ has been good early. Then you need to head deeper. While other boats are finding success starting in 400’ and heading deep.
Salmon have been taken on meat, flies and spoons.

  • Meat combos in: white green dot, Scumline, Davy Jones, and yellow jeans with Primetime and Mustard Gas meat rigs, have been hot!
  • Spoons in carbon 14 varieties, pickleseed, circus freak and NBK, Green glo, hammer and b flies have all been good.

Lake Ontario – Mexico, NY

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast

Most salmon anglers have been frustrated lately with the number of bites they are getting while marking lots of targets. But when they do hook up, they are rewarded with some big fish!

Those fishing for brown have been having higher success rates. Just look for where 58 degree water meets the bottom and work the structure.

Spoons in Geezer, Diehard, Artic ice, and Green Glo Alewife early; then get out the bright stuff in the sun. Pickle seed, yellow tux, yellow Nbk, and frogs.

Also, don’t be afraid to switch up sizes. Standard size stingers to mag moonshines have been taking their fair share.

free fishing guide

Free Oswego Fishing Guide

Click Here to Order a Free Guide

The 68-page guide includes a detailed overview of fishing opportunities on eastern Lake Ontario, Oneida Lake, the Oswego and Salmon rivers and a variety of other tributaries, as well as the more than 40,000 acres of public lands available for hunting.

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