Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report- August 17, 2023

Nancy Peters king salmon
Nancy Peters of Buffalo with her first Lake Ontario fish – a king salmon caught aboard the Thrillseeker with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane.

The biggest fishing contest of the year, the Lake Ontario Counties Fall Trout and Salmon Derby, is underway Friday the 18th and running all the way until Labor Day. Grand Prize for the largest salmon is a check for $25,000. Because the focus is on salmon, the Salmon Division offers double the prizes, including $5,000 for first place in the salmon division. For the Steelhead and Brown Trout Divisions, first place will earn $2,500. There is also $1,000 in daily prizes for the biggest fish each day, including $500 for the biggest salmon and $250 for the largest trout. Check out for details. The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey is also underway, running from August 18th to the 27th. Everything is being run once again through the Fishing Chaos app, including registration. Kids 15 and under are free. There are seven species categories including salmon, brown trout, steelhead, lake trout, smallmouth bass, carp, and walleye for the adults. Junior categories include salmon, trout, bass, walleye, sheepshead, panfish, and carp. Register through the Fishing Chaos app on your smartphone and make sure you have an accepted measuring board. All entries are based on length. Did we mention that kids can register for free? If you have trouble registering on your smartphone, ask the kids or grandkids or call Frank Campbell at 523-0013.

Connor Smith brown trout
Connor Smith, 14, of Williamsville caught this 12-pound brown trout out of Wilson fishing with Capt. Brett Schmittendorf.

In the fishing department, action in the lower river has been good for bass and walleye for shoreline casters and drifters in boats. Walleyes are being caught regularly at the NYPA Fishing Platform during early morning and evening hours, reports Tommy Holycross of Wheatfield. Worm harnesses are working best currently. Smallmouth Bass and the occasional drum are also being caught. There are no signs of early salmon yet, but he is hoping to catch one of the early ones in the next few weeks.
Capt. Ned Librock of Pendleton and Roy Larson of North Tonawanda drifted the river this past week with crabs to catch 30 to 40 smallmouth bass off a three-way rig. They started at the clay banks and worked their way downriver until they finished up at the Coast Guard drift. When Larson caught three sheepsheads in a row on the same drift, that was their sign that it was time for a Silo hot dog.

Mike Rzucidlo smallmouth bass
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught some nice bass like this one from both shore and boat this week.
Mike Rzucidlo walleye
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a lower Niagara River walleye.

Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls reports good bass action in the lower river and a decent walleye bite. He hit 4 ‘eyes from a boat along with 10 bass earlier this week, then on Sunday went off the shoreline in the gorge and connected on 8 bass and 3 ‘eyes. His baits of choice were jigs and plugs.

Jean Hymes king salmon
Jean Hymes of Hamburg with a Lake Ontario king salmon she boated out of Olcott with Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Thrillseeker Sportfishing.

Out in the lake, listen for some whooping and hollering on Friday with the 8th Annual Reelin’ for a Cure taking place for the ladies out of Wilson and Olcott. According to Capt. Pete Alex of Vision Quest Charters out of Wilson, brown trout fishing remains good inside of 80 feet of water along the shoreline. Find the intersection where cooler water hits the warmer inside waters. Locating that inside bait may also help you find active browns. DW-sized spoons and Michigan Stinger Stingrays are the preferred sizes. The deeper waters produce a mix of kings and steelhead of varying year classes, reports Alex. A few adult kings are making their way inside now, but adult fish can be found as far out to 500 feet of water. Fish marks more so than temperature this time of year when looking for adult salmon, says Alex. Flasher/flies and meat seem to catch a lot of the bigger kings this time of year until they run the tributaries, perfect timing for the derbies.

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon

Lake Ontario

The west blows over the weekend has pushed the temps around…plus the fact it was too rough for many to fish.
It’s calmer today, however t-storms are predicted throughout the day.

Start in 120 to 180 fow with your bait down 105 to115 fow. Then work your way out deeper. Stay straight-out from Sodus Bay. The kings are hitting spoons and cut bait.

Make sure you sign-up for the LOC Fall Derby. The top prize money is a “whopping” $25,000.
The Derby starts this Friday the 18th and runs through Labor Day September 4th.
The exciting awards ceremony will be held at Riley’s Bar and Grill on the south end of Sodus Bay.


The bass are hitting in Sodus Bay. Water levels are high so anglers can cast close to shore on the south end of the bay where the weeds are heavy.

Senko worm rigs are the favorite bait for catching largemouths. You can also try on the northwest side of Sodus for bass.

On the east side bass are being caught near the islands and in the shallow water close to the LeRoy Island bridge.

Port Bay also has largemouth bass, especially at the south end next to the DEC launch site. There have been some smallmouths caught at the channel.

Erie Canal

The kayak anglers were fishing at Widewaters Sunday and Monday. The new kayak launch at the county park makes it very easy to get on the water.

The largemouths are five to six pounds. Fish on the south side of the canal. Unlike Lake Ontario, the wind is seldom an issue on the canal.

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:

Big Lou brown trout
“Big Lou” from Ravenna, OH boats a big brown aboard Troutmans2. Courtesy of Capt. John Oravec.

Point Breeze is still getting its fair share of rain and thunderstorms. Many storms have hugged the shoreline and there’s been some winds and lots of precipitation at times. What was light N winds yesterday on Monday are forecasted a bit stiffer out of the NE today with the chance of storms again later. Rest of the week forecast is clearer but the wraparound prevailing winds may be stiffer midweek. We will have to wait and see if today’s NE winds are sustained enough to change the temp profile out there.

Charters and rec anglers have spread out some lately. The <100 – 150 fow action is not as consistent as it was earlier this season. Trollers are now venturing out and offshore to the 28 line and beyond. The temp profile out there looks better to most guys and the rigger action has been about 45 – 75 feet down. Some rec anglers are sticking with their spoon program and the charters are mixing in dipsey and wire lines. Even if you choose to run out and find more stable water conditions, it doesn’t mean some guys aren’t quietly still near shore in the warmer water and picking off mature salmon and big browns like the beauty from Troutman2 pictured below. Fishing near shore on the ledge may be a little more challenging but the rewards can be those big mature Kings or browns especially this time of the year.

Captain Bob S. from Sunrise II Sportfishing says “off shore fishing has gotten spotty but still great catching. It is mid August after all. Fish in 80 – 110 fow near the bottom with meat and flies.”

For the tributary minded angler that action is not that far off. Of course a lot can depend on the weather and water flows over the next 1 – 2 months. For planning purposes the Archer’s Club has announced parking will be open from Oct 14 until Nov 12 for a $10 parking donation. No food or fly fishing tournament is planned at this time.

Oswego County

Oneida Lake Angler Battles a Sturgeon

Read the Full Article –

Jackie McManus is a certified fishing guide from Mexico NY. She guides on Oneida Lake’s North Shore, Salmon River, and Sandy Pond. The best way to reach her is via her Instagram profile.

Oneida Lake: Reputed to be the “Walleye Capital” of New York State, this expansive 23-mile lake spans 50 square miles in the southeastern corner of Oswego County.

Popular species include: bullhead, northern pike, pan fish, black crappie, smallmouth bass, walleye.

Lake Ontario Tournaments

This week starts the Lake Ontario sweepstakes. The LOC Derby starts Friday and runs until Labor Day. This weekend is also “Sonny’s 3-Day Salmon Derby;” worth $12-13k per day! Don’t miss out on your chance to win some cash.

Al G. king salmon
Al G. of Orange County landed this big king fishing with Cold Steel Sportfishing.

Lake Ontario – Oswego

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast

Boats have been having success from 100-600+’ of water this week. 120-150’ has started to set up with some big staging salmon. While other boats are starting in 400 and then head deep.

Salmon have been taken on meat, flies and spoons.

  • Meat combos in “Green Jeans,” “Scumline,” “Hammertime,” and “Valium with Shenster and Stud” meat rigs have been hot!
  • Spoons in “Carbon 14” varieties have all been good too.
king salmon
This king salmon was landed on Strike Zone Charters earlier this week.

Lake Ontario – Mexico, NY

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast

Salmon fishing is really starting to heat up in the bay. Kings have completed their journey home to stage in 120-150’ in front of the Salmon River and to the north.

Fly combos have been the best baits. “White Mountain Dew” with b flies and hammers are our go-tos this week. Mag spoons and j-plus are taking fish as well.

Tight Lines everyone!

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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