Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report- August 24, 2023

Greater Niagara Region

Frank Campbell

Wind is the nemesis of Great Lakes anglers and with the derbies and tournaments going on this past week, it looks like it’s still a wide-open board for the Lake Ontario Counties Fall Trout and Salmon derby. As of this report, there were only two salmon on the leaderboard, but that could change quickly. The current leader for the $25,000 Grand Prize is Robert White of Angelica with a 28-pound, 12-ounce king salmon he caught out of Wayne County. In the Rainbow Division, it is a 14-pound, 10-ounce fish reeled in by Danielle Steiner of Edinboro, Pennsylvania that she caught out of Olcott. The top brown trout is a 12-pound, 11-ounce fish weighed in by Arthur O’Mara of Moravia while fishing out of Wilson. The LOC Derby continues through Labor Day and it’s still not too late to register, including one-day options. Check out

Everett Arber steelhead
Everett Arber with a Lake Ontario steelhead he caught with Capt. Mike Trifiletti.

Mason Shea
Mason Shea with a Lake Ontario steelhead he caught with Capt. Paul Schirmer of Cambria.

In Lake Ontario, Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott reports good action all along the lake, from the Niagara Bar to Point Breeze at the Oak. The best action has been out deep in 350 to 400 feet of water with spoons, meat, and flasher/flies. Target the top 80 feet of water, where the marks are on your electronics.

Chaos Sportfishing king salmon
Tina Felix of Lisonier, Pa. and Kim Crawford of Lisonier, Pa. flank Capt. Ed Sobislay of Controlled Chaos Sportfishing holding up their two king salmon they caught out of Olcott.
Ethan Zent salmon
Ethan Zent caught this Lake Ontario salmon fishing with Capt. Paul Schirmer of Cambria.

A few mature salmon are starting to show up in 150 feet of water and at the Niagara Bar reports Capt. Mike Johannes of On the Rocks Charters of Wilson. A steady bite of a mixed bag of mature salmon, steelhead and 2-year-old salmon has been holding up offshore. Johannes has been running 8 to 10 miles straight out of Wilson. His best luck has been on magnum spoons such as the Carbon 14 and Road Toad or most spoons in a dark pattern. First thing in the morning, a white paddle and fly or meat is always good for a fish or two. Temperature focus has been around 80-foot down over 450 feet of water. Don’t be afraid to try a rod in the warm water as the mature salmon are willing to go there to grab a bait or two.

Adam Lundquist smallmouth bass
Adam Lundquist with a smallmouth bass he caught in the lower river with Capt. Peter Goretti of Amherst.
Camden Brown and Conner Colleary smallmouth bass
Camden Brown and Conner Colleary of Amherst caught these bass in the river fishing with Capt. Ryan Shea of Brookdog Fishing Company.

Capt. Joe Srouji of Angler Edge Charters reports decent fishing for bass and walleye in the lower river for the early Fish Odyssey derby for Caleb and Kara Parete of Lancaster. Bass were caught on three-way rigs with live bait while the walleyes were taken on a vertical jigging technique. Bruce Kowalski with TAAR Outdoors reports he had guys fishing the upper river and inside the breakwall near Buffalo this past weekend. There were lots of small fish inside the wall near the Coast Guard and harbor, but if you moved around there were some decent keeper size walleyes in the 18 to 22-inch range. They were slow trolling bottom bouncers with harnesses in 25 to 29 feet of water. It was also good off the Strawberry Island area drifting live bait to produce some good ‘eyes. Bass and sheepshead were also available in good numbers. The bass and walleye action in the lower Niagara River has been good as well. Crayfish work best for bass, worm harnesses for walleyes. Both are fished off three-way rigs.

Kara Parete of Lancaster and her brother Caleb with lower Niagara River walleyes
Kara Parete and her brother Caleb with a pair of lower Niagara River walleyes caught this week with Capt. Joe Srouji.

In the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby, there is almost a full leaderboard but there is still room for improvement. You can also still register and remember that kids can fish for free. Everything is through the Fishing Chaos Smartphone app. The contest is based on fish length and some big catches have hit the measuring boards. Check out the Fishing Chaos app for a complete leaderboard and details on how to participate.

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon

Lake Ontario

It was another blow-off day Sunday with gusts hitting 30 to 35 knots. No fishing, however, the waves were nice to look at from shore.

Currently, the salmon are deep in 500 to 600 fow down 120. There was bait out there and some kings hit spoons and cut bait off the riggers.

Fish straight out from Sodus and troll towards Fair Haven. If you find bait pods alter your speeds for strikes.

So far, the Grand Prize salmon came from Wayne County waters.
The 28-pounder hit a Pro troll Flasher/ Fly rig.

Make sure you sign-up for the LOC Fall Derby. The top prize money is a “whopping” $25,000.
The Derby started on 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.


Sodus Bay has the largemouth, however you need to be on the water early to beat the recreational boat traffic.
Use spinner baits next to the weedlines or cast out the worm rigs.

The water in Port Bay has flipped leaving a green mucky surface. Fishing is tough.

Erie Canal

The kayak anglers were fishing at Widewaters Sunday and Monday. The new kayak launch at the county park makes an effortless put-in.
I checked out the new launch and it will make it easy to “plop” inside your kayak.

They were catching bass near the Port Gibson bridge and along the south shore of the Erie.

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:

Dave and Omelia heft a couple nice Kings from the near shore waters. Courtesy of Capt. John Oravec.

Derby Fever time! The big money LOC Fall Derby is underway and the Niagara County Fish Odyssey. All it takes is a ticket and a dream and you could be a happy angler with bragging rights! Be sure everyone aboard has a ticket for the LOC Derby. Instances of would-be derby placing fish from anglers who didn’t purchase a derby ticket are frequent. Don’t be that guy or gal!

Good fishing continues, somewhat spread out now and with a little dodging of weather required here and there! Many trollers are staying on good catches by heading off-shore to the 30+ line and finding Kings and some nice steelhead too. There was some stiff prevailing winds for some part of the past weekend that kept the fleet off the water, but as soon as conditions turned for the better toward the end of the weekend guys got back out there and into the fish. There’s been lite NE or N breezes yesterday and forecast today, perhaps not enough to flip any cold, cold water in-shore, but enough to keep fish committed to the near shore ledge waters – there. And mature Kings should be sliding in and setting up to stage, getting ready to run the Oak Orchard River as late summer progresses. Boaters with the patience to hang in there even with warmer water temps are still pulling good fish. Check out the trophy brown pic below boated from Troutman2 and a couple nice Kings. Darker matures and fresher silver fish are all in the mix.

Capt. John Oravec reports “a 32 inch 17# brown, part of a boat limit was caught off Point Breeze on the O’s glow goby spoon. Brown trout are feeding and hitting along the bottom structure in 50 – 90 fow east of the rivermouth. Downrigger tactics with stealth long lines like copper and leadcore and small spoons are best.” (Pictured above: Norm with his 17# “hawg”.)

Off shore, its a mixed bag of tactics with trollers running their confidence spread with spoons or meat or flasher/flies.

Oswego County

Tributary Fishing - Season Chart

Tributary Fishing – Season Chart

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Both the Salmon River and the Oswego River offer year-round fishing. The Salmon River runs over 17 miles from Altmar to Port Ontario, with 12 miles of public fishing rights along its shoreline. Chinook salmon, coho salmon, and Atlantic salmon are abundant from mid-August through mid-October. Brown trout are primarily available from September to November and steelhead are the main catch from November to April. Plan your trip today!

Lake Ontario Tournaments

Lee L, of Peekskill NY, shows off a big king
Lee L, of Peekskill NY, shows off a big king caught fishing with Son of a Gun Charters.

Lake Ontario – Oswego

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast

While some boats are starting in 400’ and heading out later. Most boats are finding success running 8+ miles to the deep to begin their day.
Salmon have been taken on meat, flies and spoons.

  • Meat combos in “White Green Dot,” “Hammertime,” “Kryptonite,” and “Green Jeans” with clean bait heads and stud Twinkies have been productive.
  • For spoons, we recommend carbon 14 varieties, “Double Trouble,” “Purple Shadow” and “NBK.”
  • “Green Glo,” “Hammer” and b flies have all been good behind “Tom’s Tree,” “Pig Pen” and “Scumline.”
Nick M. holds massive king salmon
Nick M. holds up this massive king salmon, caught on Midway Charters.

Lake Ontario – Mexico, NY

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast

The boats fishing The Bay have had a hard time this week, with most fish holding in temperatures of 160-180’ down. This makes for tough fishing. Many boats have even chosen to make the king run to deeper water, off Oswego.

Those grinding the bottom are having success with flashers and flies. “Valium/Kev’s Secret,” “Pig Pen/glo b fly and “Marvs Fatty” with green glo.

Tight Lines everyone!

free fishing guide

Free Oswego Fishing Guide

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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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