hi Italo. I am hoping to fish the Niagara bar for the first time. can you please let me know the general timeline for catching salmon , steelhead, and lake trout ? also, this will be my first time taking the boat on the river. I have a 17ft bow rider. Would this boat generally be safe enough for this application or does it get very rough when getting to / drifting over the bar ? any tips on the boating aspect and where to start my drift (Canadian side) would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance. George.Posted on September 7th, 2017
Hi George, the best time to catch salmon and steelhead around the Niagara Bar is in the spring and early summer when both species feed in the baitfish rich waters that are still very cold. In mid summer the steelhead and salmon are feeding off the bar in deeper water. This time of the year salmon & steelhead don’t feed on the bar in high numbers, they swim right past it and head up-river and right up to the Falls. Best time to catch lake trout is after the season opens in January and right through to the next spring. Lake trout move into the Niagara River in the fall to spawn. Much of their spawning happens in Nov. and the season is closed for them. When they are done spawning they make their way downstream and feed very heavily on the bar for several months.
You boat sounds fine, but to fish the Niagara Bar safely you should only head out when winds are under 10km/hr and off-shore. Even when the lake is calm, the current coming out of the Niagara River creates pretty big waves off the Candian side of the bar. Most of the Bar is in NY waters.
If are targetting steelhead and salmon, my suggestion is that you fish the Lewiston, NY side of the river below the Queenston/Lewiston bridge. That drift is called “Art Park”, or you can run past the 2-generating stations just south of the Queenston bridge and drift the Devil’s Hole. When the fish are in you will see many boats drift both areas.