|Niagara River, Ontario
|N43º 7.318′ W79º 4.291′
|Trout and Salmon
This Hotspot comes to us from outdoor writer/photographer/angler extraordinaire Craig Ritchie. Of the spot, Craig says:
“The most dependable Trout and Salmon spot I can suggest for the shore angler is the Lower Niagara River at the Whirlpool. It’s a huge pool on the river, about halfway between Lake Ontario and the falls. Follow the trail from the Whirlpool parking lot off the Niagara River Parkway—it’s a long way down at the bottom of the gorge, but definitely worth the walk. Just make sure you travel light because it’s an even longer way back up when you’re going upstairs!
“The fishing itself is pretty simple: You can cast 1/2-ounce Little Cleos, Mepps spinners in sizes 3 through 5, or drift with roe bags, either on the bottom or with a float. Most of the fish tend to hug the shoreline.
“In October, the Chinook Salmon run is at its peak with thousands of fish from 10 to over 30 pounds. By mid-month, smaller Coho Salmon in the 10 to 15-pound range also start to show up, and there are plenty of Brown Trout and Steelhead (Rainbow Trout) up to about 20 pounds. Plus, there are Lake Trout (out of season, so release them immediately if you happen upon one) and even the odd Walleye.
“This is a primo Hotspot because it does not rely on rain to attract fish, though strong south or west winds can definitely mess things up. The winds stir up the water in Lake Erie, mixing up the sandy sediment, and that muddy water flows right down the Niagara, reducing visibility to just inches. It can take several days for the water to clear after a good windstorm. Otherwise, it’s pretty dependable.”