Carp are gaining recognition and impressive specimens can be caught throughout the region. The most noteworthy run is the lower Niagara River in Lewiston, home of the Smelt Festival and the Smelt Capital of the World designation in April. Also known as silver bass, population numbers have dwindled a bit. These are a few of the fish that make our region famous and give you the thrill of the catch that will last you a lifetime. Introduced into the Great Lakes through illegal ship ballast exchanges in the past decade, population levels have exploded and they are starting to displace native species of fish. Lake sturgeon can grow to lengths of over six feet, weigh in excess of 200 pounds and live to be more than 100 years old. Minnows and crawfish work best for those who choose live bait; tube jigs, grubs and other soft plastics like Reapers take the most fish when using artificials. However, they can still be caught with some regularity in the spring and fall by anglers using small silver spoons, spinners, small jigs tipped with twistertails and live bait like worms. The most recognizable trait of this silvery fish is its purple throat. Walleye is one of the most popular sport fish anywhere. These are also popular fish to target with spoons and spinners off the piers at Wilson and Olcott during the spring when waters are just starting to warm. We are proud to specialize in Lake Ontario Fishing and target lake trout, brown trout, king salmon, coho salmon, Atlantic salmon and steelhead. Occasional salmon will show up in Lake Erie tributaries, but no stocking is currently done in these waters. They can be caught from April through November, with one of the best times being April and May on the Niagara Bar.   |   Instead, try fishing with dew worms at night. The lake's main fish species include chinook salmon, coho salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout, lake trout, northern pike, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye and carp. Considered a panfish, they can be caught in relatively shallow waters under docks, under overhanging bushes or around any type of bottom structure. Average catches are 20 to 50 fish a day can be enjoyed throughout the season with fish in the 4 pound class not uncommon. Catch and release are the way most musky hunters treat their quarry and annually fish in the 40 pound class are sent back to be caught another day. In all of these lake trout waters, you’ve got an excellent chance at catching a 20-pound trophy, with an outside chance at a 30-pound fish! However, with the world record catch coming from Lake Ontario at 33 pounds, seven ounces, you might get an argument from some. Below the Peace Bridge in the Upper Niagara River and the Lower Niagara and Lake Ontario the size limit is 48 inches, still a monster of a fish. The state record is another Lake Ontario fish, a 24 pound 15 ounce trophy. They are quite common throughout the Great Lakes of Western New York And usually put up a good fight. The sheepshead or freshwater drum is the only member of the drum family that lives entirely in freshwater in North America. The white perch is a close relative of the white bass and striped bass. The previous state record of 39 pounds, 8 ounces came from the mouth of the Niagara River. Out in the lake, these trout can be caught from January until September 30th when the season closes. ERIE.GOV Small worms are the best bait. Spearing was once a legal method for taking these fish in the tributaries, but that option is no longer available to anglers. These fish show up in the spring and hang around into the fall when they follow the kings in to spawn. The result has been some impressive catches, including some fish over 40 pounds. We usually target steelhead while fishing for salmon and trout. That could change in 2006 when a proposal could reduce the creel to two per person but allow for one fish inside the slot and one outside the slot. In the winter and early spring, lake trout actually run up into the Lower Niagara River and are easily accessible from both boat and shore. Come springtime, the big lake is the best spot, trolling the shoreline during April and May.   |   Fish over 30 pounds have been caught. Lake Ontario Fish Species Land Locked King Salmon. Long handled dip nets are used at night to catch these fish. Some other species to consider include bullhead, catfish, sheepshead and more to make it an exciting day to wet a line and get your heart racing. This first cousin to the musky can be found with frequency throughout the Greater Niagara area. For speed trolling Reef Runner Stick Baits and worm harnesses attached to Dipsy Divers and side planers/planer boards work best. Fish in the super-trophy 6 and 7 pound range show up each year as well. WARNING: Threatened species, must be released immediately if caught. Lake Ontario has some of the biggest brown trout in the world and LOTS of them!


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