Weekly Fishing Report

Niagara Falls USA Fishing Forecast for Sept. 14, 2022 from Destination Niagara USA

Lower Niagara River action is slowly transitioning into a fall time frame. Bass are starting to bulk up as they get ready for winter. Smallmouth bass action was good for Capt. Ned Librock of Catching Dreams Charters and Roy Larson of Wheatfield heading into the weekend. Crayfish was the bait of choice as they drifted from Lewiston to Joe Davis. When they sampled the area around Fort Niagara, they had a rude greeting from only sheepshead. Matt Wilson of Wheatfield reported that things are starting to change, too. Bass are finally starting to show in numbers on the lake and they are in places they haven’t been in 2 years.  Fishing with his wife Katie Wilson, they bumped into a large school of smallies and put the smack down on them putting over 20 fish in the boat in just 3 hours. Matt let Kate take the controls over for the day and it didn’t take her long to find them on the graph. Tubes in watermelon candy and roadkill produced numbers of fish. As far as quality, the big boys haven’t shown up yet. Meanwhile up in Devil’s Hole, the first salmon have finally arrived off the NYPA fishing platform. The best is yet to come.

In the upper Niagara River above Niagara Falls, Wilson enjoyed a banner day on Sunday putting 50 smallies in the boat. Once again, the worse the weather, the better the fishing. Drop shots and Ned’s took the day with Berkley flatworms, and KVD dream shots taking the day by far. Big fish, big numbers – focus on bottom changes with drastic drop offs. Those fish are using the current to their advantage, staying on the back side of drop offs and letting the food come to them. Light weights are the ticket. Let your bait fall very slow and you’ll pick them up on the drop. If you don’t feel the bottom, you have a fish.

Out in Lake Ontario, Capt. Pete Alex of Vision Quest Sportfishing reports that recent northeast winds had the lake all riled up and changed things in close. The salmon were back trickling into the Niagara Bar and a few fish have been caught there, but nowhere near the numbers that were hanging out previously. Some of those fish ran into the river. Alex says the offshore bite has been fast paced for steelhead, 2-year-old kings and occasional mature salmon in 350-450 feet of water north and northwest of Wilson.  The action had been between 35 and 85 down with steelies coming higher.  The water offshore has been relatively cool and keeping their offerings in the top 90 feet of water.  The steelhead action has been near spectacular. Several steelies in that 10-12-pound range of fish were being caught. Their best fish of the season were caught recently, including a 21-pound Coho on flasher and meat and a 28-pound king on flasher and fly. Meat, flies, and spoons have all been working offshore for the salmon and trout out there. Off the bar, flies have been outproducing meat, spoons and plugs for staging salmon. You can also work the waters off Wilson and Olcott in 85 to 120 feet of water for staging kings. 

In Olcott and Wilson off the piers, some fish are being caught according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. A few salmon are showing up along with the occasional brown trout. There are plenty of bluegills around, too. Some pike have been caught off the Wilson pier. Spoons, spinners, Rat-L-Traps and jerk baits will all catch fish.

The September meeting of the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association has been moved and it is now being held Sept. 15. Starting time is still 7 p.m. at the North Amherst Fire Hall on Tonawanda Creek Road and it will be a panel of LOTSA captains giving a season recap. Salmon School registration is now taking place for members. It will open to the public on Sunday. Check out www.lotsa1.org. The next meeting of the Lake Erie Chapter of Fly Fishers International (Federation of Fly Fishers) will be Sept. 15 at the American Legion Post 735 on Legion Drive in West Seneca starting at 7 p.m. Guest speaker will be local expert Rick Kustich of Getzville, accomplished author and fly fishing guru doing a presentation on spey casting and micro spey casting. It is open to the public.

Lake Ontario flipped due to recent winds. Wayne Culverwell of Ransomville was back on the lake Monday trying to improve on his 29-pound, 7-ounce king salmon that had been sitting at the top for the Lake Ontario Counties Fall Derby. It was all cold water. Action on the Niagara Bar had been decent for mature salmon according to Capt. Richard Brant of North Tonawanda. Boat traffic was a bit heavy with the derby going on, but things should settle down now as they begin to stage and get ready to run up the river. Brant found that both flasher-fly and meat rigs were working for him on the drop off outside the red buoy marker.  

Out of Wilson, fishing for staging salmon and browns had been good inside of 170 feet according to Capt. Joe Oakes with Salmonboy Charters. However, the east winds rolled the lake over and you may have to wait until things set back up again. Best bet is to fish offshore with spoons to hit the more stable water in the top 60 feet. Oakes says that both browns and salmon had been hitting flasher-fly combos in close and that should resume once things settle back down again.

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