Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report- July 27, 2023

Walleye action has been good on the Niagara Bar, bass fishing is good around Devil's Hole, and Atlantic and king salmon hit trolled spoons in Lake O.

Greater Niagara Region

Frank Campbell

There are fish and bait scattered from 80 feet of water out past 500 feet according to Capt. Joe Oakes with Salmonboy Sportfishing. Depths of 400-plus feet of water has been the most consistent for a mix of kings, steelhead, and cohos. Spoons, flasher-flies, and meat rigs are all taking fish. Focus on the zone from 50 to 80 feet below the surface. Green alewife spoons have been very effective. It was a busy week on the leaderboard for the Summer Lake Ontario Counties Salmon, Trout and Walleye Derby as the event concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m. Frank Antenori, 83, of Peckville, PA. took over the lead for the $10,000 Grand Prize salmon when he hauled in a 29-pound, 2-ounce king while fishing out of Oswego with his son Dave aboard his Screamer boat. The new brown trout leader is a 17-pound, 1-ounce Orleans County fish reeled in by Louis Drouhard of Ravenna, Ohio. He was fishing with Capt. John Oravec aboard the Troutman. The new steelhead leader is Chris Petrucci of Beallsville, PA. with a 14-pound, 3-ounce fish he caught out of Wilson. Tom Carney of Chaumont is still leading the walleye with a 10-pound, 11-ounce Henderson Harbor area fish, but it was a close call as Kurt Hartley of Lorraine, NY weighed in a fish of the same weight over the weekend. Because of the timing of the catch, time entered is the tie breaker. Leading lake trout is still a 23-pound, 12-ounce fish reeled in by Richard Dubois of Pulaski. Check out for a current leaderboard.

In the lower river, walleye action has been good on the Niagara Bar using worm harnesses and jigs. Decent numbers of fish are being reported but the size has only been up to about 7 pounds. Bass fishing has been good from Devil’s Hole to the lake according to Capt. Frank Campbell. Crayfish have been a hot bait off three-way rigs, but you can also catch fish on artificials like spinnerbaits and drop shot rigs. Matt Wilson of Lewiston was fishing the upper Niagara River where he crushed the bass, catching close to 30 smallmouth using drop shot flatworms, and the new Yum FF sonar minnows. Ned rigs took the biggest fish, using Maxscent Lil’ Generals in rusty craw color. Best areas in the upper river were Beaver Island, the Huntley plant, and the Humps.

Jon Holden of Lockport with a chunky upper Niagara River smallmouth bass he caught this week. (Rick Hilts photo)

Best sure to mark your calendars for some upcoming fishing events in August, including fund-raisers the Reel Impact Tournament in the lower river on August 4 and the Reelin’ for a Cure contest for the ladies on August 18. August 18 is also the start of the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby and the big one, the Fall Lake Ontario Counties Derby.

Mike Ziehm of Niagara Falls took some time off to salmon fish out in the lake with Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Wet Net Charters to catch some nice fish like this one. (John Jarosz photo)
Parker Costello of Lockport has been having some success fishing the Erie Canal, catching some nice fish like this walleye. (Kyle Costello photo)
Capt. Blake Kowalski of Tonawanda shows off a nice catch of Olcott king salmon that his party took this week aboard Tough Duty. (Capt. Tim Sylvester photo)

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon

Lake Ontario

Lots of bait, fleas are better, and the BT’s and kings all have fat alewives in their belly’s. All great news for trout and salmon anglers plying Lake Ontario. At 5 am troll close to shore in 100 fow using spoons down 70 feet. If you don’t see the bait, move out deeper. 

“Pappy” on Lake Ontario United offered a great suggestion for kings that are just looking and not biting your bait. He said to bump your speed to 2.8 or 2.9. Give it a try because it should “get their attention.”

All kinds of spoons are working, so use your favorite glo with ladderbacks. Charters are using riggers, dipsey divers out 200 feet and straight back for presentations. 

Don’t forget the LOC Summer Derby which started Saturday, July 1st and finishes this Sunday, July 30th  


Sodus has great bass fishing. Cast into weedbeds or any shallow points of the bay. Use artificial frog rigs for top water casting or go with Senko worm rigs. With our warm temperatures the bass have been hitting more aggressively. 

East Bay is one of the shallow bays in Wayne County. The small outlet to the lake is open. This shallow bay is loaded with weeds so try to fish in the north end. East Bay has largemouth bass and pike. 

Port Bay still has bluegills being caught all over. Fish early to avoid recreational boat traffic.  

Erie Canal

There have been some hefty 6-pound largemouths coming from the Widewaters area. You can also fish from the shore. Cast some worms out near the locks. There are some pull-offs from Route 31 to park and fish. 

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 crappies has been increased from nine inches to ten inches. 

Orleans County

Orleans County Sportfishing Coordinator Ron Bierstine, report

Edwin S. with his 6th place Summer LOC steelhead from Point Breeze waters.
Summer weather is heating up and so is the trolling action off the Oak Orchard, Point Breeze waters in Orleans County! The area has been getting its fair share of thunderstorms lately, but careful boaters are getting out there before and after the storms. Some noteworthy fish have been reported including good numbers of browns, a few more steelhead and still the consistent King action. Oh yeah, and many trollers are reporting some Atlantic salmon in the mix too! The less-than 200 feet of water action seems to still be there among lots of reported bait and there is brown trout action to be had on the “ledge” for guys who want to target those fish. More boaters are heading farther off shore too finding some action spread out there now.
Here’s some of what anglers hailing out of the Oak have hooked up lately…
Mike D. from Wexford, PA spent a few days out of the Orleans County Marine Park with robust catches of Kings each day. He and his crew ran riggers and outside wire rigs while boating a 27 pound King that came on a livewire spin doctor and meat rig. Good enough to place high in the Summer LOC – if only if derby tics had been purchased! Oh well there’s next time and no crew takes as much pride in caring for all their prime salmon fillets.
Pictured above, Edwin S. from Montgomery, PA found a big spawn weary steelhead to place in the LOC derby. It came at 11AM after a 40 min battle! The Search and Destroy boat driven by nephew Scott B. also had a nice box of teenage Kings and couple matures. The big steelie was taken on a 400 cooper and Dreamweaver paddle meat rig.
Captain John Oravec or CJO aka “Troutman” says mature Kings are strong on the 90 foot ledge and a good school of Kings is 4 – 6 miles out. Along with his big King action like in the accompanying pic, CJO has targeted that brown trout action too at times. One of his clients, Big Lou from Ravenna, OH boated the 2nd place Summer LOC brown trout aboard the Troutman2.
CJO aka “Troutman” works his Oak Orchard ledge program for mature Kings like this beauty.

1 thought on “Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report- July 27, 2023

  1. Charles Brancato Jr

    Do you have any reports from the rivers and lakes in the southern zone,Chenango,Sus

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