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Taking A Close Look At The Niagara Area Fishing Waters

If you're unfamiliar with the Niagara River or the two great lakes that surround Western New York, you're missing out on some great fishing and unique opportunities to catch a wide variety of cold and warm water species of trophy proportions. These waters are the homes of many of New York's State record fish. My fishing reports detail a few of the local waters in the area where I charter. To keep you in the loop on the reports, please look at these descriptions and give yourself some background knowledge before reading the fishing reports.

The Niagara River flows northward from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario for a distance of 36 miles, and is separated into two parts by Niagara Falls, the upper and lower.

Lower Niagara

The lower Niagara stretches from the base of Niagara Falls 14 miles to Lake Ontario. At the base of the whirlpool, a popular tourist destination, the river makes a 90 degree turn and heads towards the famous Devils hole fishing area. From here the last 8 miles of the Lower Niagara River are accessible by boat. The Lower Niagara flows past Artpark, through Lewiston and Youngstown down to the famous Niagara Bar by Fort Niagara and out into the lake. Anglers have the opportunity to catch Chinook salmon (king salmon), Coho Salmon, rainbow trout (steelhead), lake trout, brown trout, walleye, smallmouth bass, muskellunge, yellow perch and smelt depending on the time of the year. Weather depending, the Lower Niagara can be fished all 12 months of the year.

Upper Niagara

Because the Niagara River runs north, it can be a little confusing, but the upper Niagara is actually south of the falls. It's much shallower and does not receive the same amount of attention as the lower, but it still has some great fishing spots. Some of which are around Grand Island and Strawberry Island just a short distance down river of Buffalo .The upper has an abundant population of muskellunge (musky), largemouth bass and small mouth bass as well as a mix of, pike, walleye, perch, sheepshead, panfish and more.

Lake Ontario and Tributaries

The final lake in the chain of great lakes system is Ontario. It's the smallest in surface area but has the greatest volume of all the great lakes. Its depth exceeds 800 feet. It is the home of biggest population of fresh water trout and salmon in the world, but plenty of warm water fish live here too. Major cities like Toronto, Hamilton, Oswego, Pulaski, and Rochester call the shores of Lake Ontario home. These cities utilize the waters of Lake Ontario for commercial and transportation needs. Vessels enter the lake from the ocean through the St. Lawrence sea way and exit through the Welland canal at Port Welland. Extending off the lake are multiple tributaries that the fish use for spawning. We use the harbors in these creeks as launching points for our fishing charters and trips. In Niagara County there are two major tributaries eighteen and twelve mile creek. They get their names from their respective distances east of the Niagara River. 12 Mile Creek runs through Wilson Tuscarora St. Park and Wilson harbor on its way to the lake. In the town of Newfane is 18 Mile Creek it flows north from Burt dam through Olcott harbor. Eighteen mile creek is known for huge fall runs of king salmon and brown trout. Oak orchard creek separates the border of Orleans and Genesee Counties. It enters the lake near the Oak Orchard State Park in Waterport, NY.

Lake Erie

Lake Erie is the shallowest of all the Great Lakes. It has become infamous for its shallow water and treacherous navigation. These same attributes have made world class fishing, thus making it famous. Anglers journey to it because of the excellent sport fishing opportunities for smallmouth bass, walleye, yellow perch and steelhead. The city of Buffalo sits on the shores of the lake and the head of the Niagara River. Lake Erie's warm water species are the most abundant of the Great Lakes, which is good news for Western New York fishermen. These are just brief descriptions. The best way to learn more about these areas is to get out here and explore them yourselves.

Our Clients say ...

"I can appreciate your passion for what you do and it shows in the way that you handle your business as a professional fishing guide. We able to be 'hands on' and enjoy the full experience for both fishing trips. I like how you were relentless in making sure that we caught fish, by consistently changing depth and presentation, to dial it all in. We'll be back to fish with you again."
Scott Denney

  A New York State Freshwater Fishing License is required for adults
(16+ years old).

They can be easily obtained at any Walmart Store in New York State or at

Village of Lewiston Offices. 145 N 4th St., Ste 1, Lewiston, NY 14092
Clerk's Office  716-754-8271.

Ask Captain Matt to help you get yours, when you call to book your fishing charter!

You can also get your licenses online.
For New York State.