Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report- August 3, 2023

Capt. Ned Librock with Desmond Benimoff
11 year old Desmond Benimoff of Orchard Park caught this big sheepshead in the Niagara River fishing with Capt. Ned Librock of Pendleton and Capt. Connor Cinelli of Grand Island.

Greater Niagara Region

Frank Campbell

Fishing has been great out on Lake Ontario for salmon and trout. Out of Wilson, there are several options for salmon and trout fishing according to Capt. Mike Johannes of On the Rocks Sportfishing. Brown Trout can be caught in 50 feet of water if the water temperature is right. Or you can set up in 200 feet of water and troll north to pick up some salmon and steelhead. When you get a couple of quick bites, start working that area over to set up a pattern. A third option is that you can run offshore about 10 to 12 miles where the bite has been fast and furious when you find the right water. Look for a temperature or current break to find the fish. Spoons and flashers with flies were best for Johannes. Target the top 100 feet from 200 to 400 feet of water. Out of Olcott, Jesse Snyder of Lockport enjoyed some great fishing last week with his son Henry. They fished in 430-530 feet of water, east of port. Their first king in the boat was a few minutes after 6 a.m. It was insane action for the next two hours. Fish were taken anywhere from 65-100 feet down on meat rigs and magnum spoons. Henry caught a large 13-pound, 7-ounce steelhead on a 300-foot weighted steel line on a planer board. All the kings that they boated came on the downriggers, but divers both took a few whacks and came unbuttoned immediately. The fishing was as good as it gets out there. In the Summer LOC Derby, Frank Antenori’s 29-pound, 2-ounce Oswego king won the $10,000 grand prize. Check out for a final leaderboard.

Matt Vogt
Matt Vogt of Newfane with a chunky Lake Ontario salmon he caught out of Olcott this week.
Chris Petrucci
Chris Petrucci of Beallsville, PA won the Summer LOC Derby steelhead division with this 14-pound, 3-ounce fish caught out of Wilson on July 22.
Tim Holden
Tim Holden of Mineral, Virginia caught this brown trout fishing with Bob Hood of Pendleton and Thure Larson of East Amherst while fishing out of Wilson.

Smallmouth bass and walleye are both cooperating in the lower Niagara River according to Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston. Action for bass has been very good the past week from Devil’s Hole to Lake Ontario and the best drifts have been along Stella Niagara and the Coast Guard area. Best enticement this week was crabs, but you can still get them on drop shots, spinnerbaits, and swimbaits. Walleye fishing picked up in the river and one of the better drifts was along Artpark. Queenston was also a good one, but make sure you have a Canadian fishing license if you venture across the border. The Reel Impact tournament is Friday, August 4 in the lower river to benefit PUNT’s Pediatric Cancer Collaborative and Catching Dreams Charters.

Matt Wilson
Matt Wilson of Lewiston with a smallmouth bass he caught in the upper Niagara River.

Weekend action in the upper Niagara River was good according to Matt Wilson of Lewiston south of Strawberry Island, but not until after a thunderstorm had driven him and another boat to cover. After the storm, the fishing turned on. Drop shot rigs, Ned rigs, and tubes were the best baits to get fish into the boat. The FF Sonar Minnow was hot and the best bait to use on drop shot rigs since the flatworm according to Wilson.

Landon Costello
Landon Costello of Lockport caught his personal-best smallmouth bass fishing the Erie Canal east of Lockport.

Three big fishing events coming up later this month – all being held or beginning on August 18. First is the 8th Annual Ladies Reelin’ for a Cure Tournament, a one-day event for women. The second is the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby, August 18-27. Kids are free. The last one is the big one – the Lake Ontario Counties Fall Derby August 18 thru Sept. 4. Check out details at Grand Prize is $25,000 for the biggest salmon in the 18-day contest. Details can be found at

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon

Lake Ontario

All our recent rainfall has dumped warmer water into the lake and the browns are on shore, just like spring fishing. Fish them straight out from Sodus Bay, west to Hughes’ Marina. Use small spoons for the bt’s.

The kings are scattered. They have been hitting anywhere from 120 to 400 fow. Look for the bait pods. Charters are using meat-rigs, flasher flies, and ladderback spoons.

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


Sodus Bay is where you want to fish if you enjoy battling 6-pound largemouths. Senko worms are still the favorite of bass anglers. Fish next to the weed beds, which are located all over the bay.
If you like top water…fish at 5:30 am and at dusk. During the day top water fishing doesn’t work.

Port Bay still has the tasty blue gill. Use small jigs with spikes. Fish with your favorite ultra-light outfit for the most fun.

Erie Canal

The Widewaters County Park now has a kayak launch. Kayak fishing has become extremely popular, and this launch is in one of best places on the canal. There is plenty of water to fish between locks at Widewaters. And…the largemouths hit the scales around 6 plus pounds.

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:

Brandyn with mature king
The mature kings are stacking in the OC waters for Brandyn. Courtesy of Capt. John Oravec.

The Kings are getting bigger! Some good fish are being caught most everyday here in the Orleans County waters off Point Breeze. Good action continues and there seems to be more mature fish now in the mix. Trollers are still working inshore waters and marking good concentrations of bait so as long as temps hold those hungry Kings are lurking nearby! More charters and recs are heading farther offshore too like to the 28 line and there’s stable action there most days. A few more steelhead are also in the mix, although still not big numbers. Could be most guys are content enough with all the King action. Back inshore there’s the brown trout action too and Atlantics for good measure! High 20’s and 30 pound Kings now could mean some real heavyweights by end of August or beginning September for staging sharks!

More good weather days then not means guys have been getting out there. Some rains and winds this past beginning of weekend but everyone got out right after that and got right back into the fish. A good amount of water from precipitation lately has passed through the tribs and into the Lake for a nice water condition reset. All that Oak Orchard scent going into the Lake will hopefully keep “our” fish a – lurking and homing in for Fall staging runs.

Capt. John Oravec of Tight Lines Charters says “fishing is centering around 2 King salmon hotspots off the Orleans County coast of Lake Ontario. Large areas of baitfish east of the pierheads are in 50 – 150 fow attracting Kings, brown trout and frequent Atlantic salmon. The preferred temp has been yo-yoing between 40 – 80 ft down. Many charter and rec boats are finding scattered Kings, cohos, steelhead trolling north/south in 180 – 350 fow. Spoons and flasher/fly rigs are hitting good fish like a 17 lb brown, 32 in whopper Atlantic and 41 in mature King. This week’s less stormy weather and the high flows from recent rains bode well for attracting mature Kings to the traditional staging areas. Fish On!”

Oswego County

Sonny's Fishing Tournament

Sonny’s Fishing Tournament

Visit their Facebook Page for Registration Info..
(Aug. 18-20th)

Aug 18th-20st will be Sonny’s Fall 4k a day tournament. All prizes are guaranteed. Free food over the weekend. Thank you to the sponsors and everyone that joined the last event.

Cody with a king caught aboard Hat Trick Charters.
Cody, from Skowhegan ME, with a king caught aboard Hat Trick Charters.

Lake Ontario – Oswego

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast

Salmon can be found from 120-700’.  The best plan of attack is to head out until you mark bait.  Then set up and find the best direction to troll and head deep. When you run out of marks, turn around.
All rods have been productive lately: downriggers, divers and coppers.

  • 300-500’ sections of copper
  • Divers 170-300’
  • Downriggers 60-120’ down

43-54 degree water has been the part of the water column you want to concentrate on.

  • Flasher fly combos have been: white green dot/ green glo, green/green and Valium/b flies
  • Meat rigs: white green dot, hammertime, green jeans, dragon lady
  • Spoons: pickleseed, Green Glow Alewife, and carbon 14
Nick D., from Connecticut, caught this king salmon while fishing Lake Ontario with Driftwater Fishing.
Nick D., from Connecticut, caught this king salmon while fishing Lake Ontario with Driftwater Fishing.

Lake Ontario – Mexico, NY

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast

The boats targeting kings have been finding more kings offshore in 200-300’. There are lots of fish in closer, but they don’t want to bite. The browns are set up nicely in their typical summer holding areas.

Salmon bait recommendations are the same as Oswego. When targeting browns, target the areas where 58-63 degree water meets the bottom.

Top baits are spoons in black/green/glow patterns early, with chartreuse and silver patterns excelling in the sun.

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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