Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report-August 4, 2022

Sutton Austin walleye
Sutton Austin, 8, of Sanborn managed to fish with his grandfather, Bill Austin of Sanborn in Lake Erie over the weekend, catching fish like this one – his first walleye!

Greater Niagara Region

Frank Campbell

Joe Snook of Sterling won the $11,000 Grand Prize in the Summer Lake Ontario Counties trout and salmon derby with a 31-pound, 3-ounce Fair Haven king salmon. He was crowned the champ at the awards ceremony in Sodus Bay last Sunday. Top brown trout was an 18-pound, 5-ounce Rochester fish caught by Craig O’Brien of Rochester. The lake trout winner was Jason Smola of N. Syracuse at 29 pounds, 3 ounces, caught out of Henderson Harbor. Tom Christen of Depew won the Steelhead Division with a 15-1/2-pound Wilson fish. In the Walleye Category, Capt. Arnie Jonathan of Lockport was bested by his buddy Capt. Wally Blake of Niagara Falls with a 12-pound, 15-ounce Niagara Bar fish. In fact, Arnie even netted it for him! The next LOC Derby begins August 19, the same day as the Ladies Reelin’ for a Cure tournament out of Wilson and Olcott and the beginning of the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Derby set for August 19 to 28 in Niagara, Orleans, and Erie counties. Check out for details.

Capt. Wally Blake walleye
Capt. Wally Blake of Niagara Falls won the Walleye Division of the Summer LOC Derby with the 12-pound, 15-ounce Niagara Bar chunk.

Tom Christen Steelhead
Tom Christen of Depew won the Steelhead Division of the Summer LOC Derby with this 15-1/2-pound Wilson fish.

Capt. Matt Bedient of 716 Sportfishing reports that the brown trout bite has set back up again off Olcott, but you may have to look for them a bit. He has found some success in 50 to 70 feet of water. Usually, the browns will be hanging out where the thermocline meets the bottom, but he has also been catching some browns in 63-to-70-degree water with Stingray-sized Stinger spoons, as well as with the standard sized spoons, right on the bottom. Overall, after a couple days of wind and some tougher fishing, action is slowly starting to improve according to Karen Evarts with the Boat Doctors in Olcott. It’s been a mixed bag of fish with a variety of baits. Dark and green colored spoons are working, as is just about any kind of cut bait/meat. Flasher/fly is also improving, especially mirage, caramel, and yellow colors. Best action has been offshore. In Olcott Harbor and off the piers, there has been some bass action. Pike and carp are still there, but they haven’t been hitting. Evarts says that they have gotten smarter. After all, they do hang out in schools! She also reports that there are 29 boats so far in the Twin Counties Classic derby that runs through August 21. Sign up at the Boat Docs, Lake Breeze Marina, and Route 18 Tackle. Entry fee is $300 for pro boats and $150 for amateur boats. Call 778-8592 for more info.

Mike George smallmouth bass
Mike George of Niagara Falls with an upper river smallmouth bass taken on a crab.
Rzucidlo smallmouth
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a smallmouth bass he caught in the upper river.
Mike Rzucidlo white bass
Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls with a white bass he caught in the upper Niagara River recently.
Brian Graham walleye
Brian Graham of NYC caught this 9-1/2 pound walleye drifting a worm harness on the Niagara Bar.

In the Niagara River, the action has been picking up in the lower river for both walleyes and smallmouth bass according to Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Best drifts have been Stella and the Fort Niagara/Coast Guard areas, as well as on the Niagara Bar. Walleye are hitting jigs and chartreuse or green worm harnesses. Brian Graham of New York City was dragging harnesses on the bar and caught fish up to 9-1/2 pounds, fishing with his father Brian of Cambria and Jon Holden of Lockport. Bass are hitting crayfish, shiners, tube jigs, Ned rigs and drop shot set ups. In the upper river, Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls continues to do well on smallmouth and white bass using jigs and spinners. Mike George of Niagara Falls has found a little bass honey hole in the East River along Grand Island using crabs for bait. He has been catching fish up to 19 inches long.

Oswego County

Joe S king salmon
Joe S., from Union NH caught this massive king salmon while fishing with Cold Steel.

Lake Ontario – Oswego

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast
Salmon have hanging offshore in 400-650.’ They have been most active at 43-57 degree water. Find that range in the column and you’ll find feeding kings. They have been readily taking mag spoons. Shelly Snack, SSW, and Pickle-Seed have been good.

But it’s still the flashers and meat rigs out fishing all other presentations. Scumline, 2 face, Valium and Chin Music have all been performing best. We recommend pulling Primetime, Stud, and Green/Glo Twinkies.

John O. king salmon
John O. from Somersworth NH caught this king salmon out of Mexico NY.

Lake Ontario Report – Mexico, NY

Click Here of the 10 day Forecast
Browns have been very active this week. The most productive water has been targeting the bottom 15 feet in 85-115’. Downriggers with cheaters have been the most effective along with divers scraping the bottom.

On top of great brown trout fishing there are plenty of kings starting to filter into the salmon river out flow. Additionally, the run north is producing lots of lake trout.

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon

Lake Ontario

LOC Summer Derby awards ceremony were held Sunday at Riley’s Bar and Grill at the south end of Sodus Bay.

During the Summer LOC, three out of the top five salmon in the contest were caught in Wayne County waters.

Make sure you sign up for the fall event which runs from August 19th through Labor Day.

The kings have been in 300 fow water with 50 to 80 down being the latest temp breaks. Of course, that changes by the day…or by the hour.

Meat rigs and flasher/flies have been working better than spoons, however changing to spoons does catch kings. Spoons have been purple/black.
In 170 fow cowbells and peanuts will catch lakers.

The fleas are everywhere so use heavier line.

Lake Ontario tributary regulations:

Three fish in combination and not to include more than one Rainbow Trout (or Steelhead) and One Brown Trout.


Port Bay has panfish action near the channel and bass at the weedlines. The Port Bay Improvement Association will have its annual fishing derby August 31st. Info is at Sodus Bay bass action is hot as the water warms. The bass are in the weeds at the south end of the bay and next to the islands. Use heavy braided line with strong leaders. Senko worn rigs are working the best.

Perch are still being caught next to the breach at the northeast section of the bay.

Erie Canal

Widewaters is the place to be for largemouth bass. Fish the south section of the canal where the weeds are the thickest. The catfish are in the deepest pools west of the Clyde launch. Use shrimp or worms for the cats.

Kayak fishing has been popular in the canal. You don’t need to be concerned with wind or large waves.

Keep informed from the NYS Canal web for changes and restrictions with canal waters. Keep informed about 2022 canal hours.

There are no tolls or fees for recreational use of the Canal system this year.

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)
    • 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
  • The statewide minimum size limit for crappie has been increased from nine inches to ten inches.

Orleans County

Captain Jeremy Sage of JDS Custom Charters

Captain Jeremy Sage of JDS Custom Charters provided this report:

Offshore waters off Oak Orchard are the hot spot for a really good bite on mature king salmon and jumbo steelhead. We had an exceptional bite going once you find them.

Steelhead up to 12 lbs and Salmon 20-22 lbs were hitting the net. Fishing the top 50-80 ft from the 28.5 a north line all the way out to 32 producing fish. Prime area 29-30.5 when being most productive.

A lost brown trout also came to the party out in 550 FOW! Black and silver regular sized spoons and magnums fished together off downriggers. Long copper and steel combos with spoons or attractors and Atommik flies.

Summer LOC Trout & Summer Derby Results

Joe Snook

Joe Snook from Sterling, NY took home the $10,000 Grand Prize in the Summer LOC with this 31 lb 3 oz King weighed in at Screwy Louie’s in Fairhaven.

Click here to view the leaderboard

The Fall derby starts Friday, August 19 to Labor Day.

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