Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

High water? Yes, but Lake Ontario is open for some great fishing

As water levels finally start to drop on Lake Ontario, county officials along the lakeshore are still expressing concern for boaters who may encounter debris floating on the lake due to the fact that the levels are still so high.

They are also asking boaters to respect a 600-foot “no wake zone” along the shoreline. This should not deter you from fishing any one of the many fishing events that are held at the lake. Already this year, winning fish in the Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Trout and Salmon Derby, Niagara’s Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament, Wilson Harbor Invitational and Orleans County Open were weighed – including the LOC Grand Prize catch manhandled by Paul Nienaltowski of Michigan, who boated a 27-pound, 8-ounce Niagara Bar king salmon.

Fishing was great in the spring and good salmon fishing is still being reported in the month of June all along the south shore of the lake. You’d never believe that listening to the local television news or reading the local papers.

Jonathan Schultz, director of emergency services for Niagara County, had this to say: “There is presently no immediate public safety threat. The Emergency Order ordering all boat traffic along the lake shore of Lake Ontario to operate at idle speed, causing no wake for a distance of 600 feet from shore and in the harbors, is for the safety of boaters and residents and residences along the shoreline and does not restrict access to these locations. With that being said, the marinas and boat launch sites are open for operation and fishing. The lake can be used for trolling within the 600-foot idle zone.

“These orders are for safety, as many objects that protruded from the water before are presently underwater and could be hit by watercraft, and the wakes could damage the shoreline. For those fishing and participating in the many derbies and tournaments, be certain to maintain vigilance for situational awareness in and around the shorelines and the harbors and be alert for a large amount of floating debris and other hidden objects below the higher-than-normal water levels. Good luck fishing.”

Some launch ramps and marinas have experienced some difficulties along the lake. However, the Town of Newfane Marina in Olcott took matters into its own hands and made things better. It already had floating docks in place, but for areas that needed some help, it added wooden pallets topped by plywood. Everything is fine and it’s one of your best bets for launching anywhere. Despite being proactive, though, many people still think the lake is off limits to fishing and that the marina is closed there.

If you are making a trip to Lake Ontario, call before you come to determine marina functionality. Read the weekly fishing reports at www.ilovenyfishing.com. And if you don’t have a trip planned, now is a great time to take advantage of the situation. Some charter captains and other fishing-related establishments have lost business due to the negative press and it would be a good thing if more people could come up and wet a line this summer. The lake shore communities could use the boost.

As far as the fishing itself, trolling spoons is a staple every summer, but the bigger kings seem to be hitting spin doctors and flies. The hot fly so far has been the new A-Tom-Mik stud fly. Meat rigs are also working well to take some colossal kings. The biggest we’ve heard so far was a 30-pounder in mid-May and a 33-pounder in mid-June. Numerous fish in the 20-pound class, too.

The Summer LOC Derby starts up June 30 and runs through July 30. Take advantage of the situation. For details, go to www.loc.org.

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