Tonawanda News — 1. Lake Ontario and tributaries
The waters are slowly starting to warm in Lake Ontario now that the ice is out of the system – which could be perfect timing for the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournaments coming up May 24-25 and May 31-June 1.
The Trophy and Classic Divisions are set but Recreational Open teams can still register at The Slippery Sinker or The Boat Doctors in Olcott up until May 19 for the first weekend; May 26 for the second weekend – cash only. This year’s double tournament could be perfect timing for the fishing – something we didn’t experience last weekend due to the late start. Best spots in the lake seemed to be either side of the Niagara Bar wherever some warmer water and baitfish could be found.
Another popular area was around the 30 Mile Point area east to Shadigee Road. Warm water and baitfish combined for some of the winning fish in the Lake Ontario Counties spring derby, as well as the Wilson Harbor Invitational event.
Spoons, stickbaits, plugs and flasher-fly combinations were all catching fish, with no set pattern off riggers, divers or boards. Staying away from the pack of boats seemed to help a little, too. Salmon and browns could be found in 10 to 40 feet of water; lake trout a bit deeper, outside of 50 foot depths. As of the end of the week, some surface temps were over 50 degrees and a few fish were caught in the 30-50 foot range. Alewives were starting to move in, which means the kings won’t be far behind.
Pier fishing in Wilson and Olcott has been producing some trout and an occasional coho on spoons. In the harbors some perch and catch and release bass are being reeled in.
At Burt Dam, the bowfin moved in according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker. They have chased out any other fish that were in the area, or so it seems. Last weekend was an exciting end to the Lake Ontario Counties Spring Derby, the Wilson Harbor Invitational tournament, and other events associated with the WHI – the Salmon Slam and $1,000 a Day events. A pile of cash was up for grabs and there were a few very big winners – starting with John Tustin of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. His 23 pound, 12 ounce king salmon caught the first Saturday of the derby held up the rest of the week to win the $15,000 Grand Prize.