50 Fishing The Niagara Bar

Fishing the Niagara Bar A yearround, Western Lake Ontario hot spot (photos)
Fishing the Niagara Bar A yearround, Western Lake Ontario hot spot (photos) from www.newyorkupstate.com


Welcome to the world of fishing the Niagara Bar, where the thrill of the catch meets the beauty of nature. Situated at the mouth of the mighty Niagara River, the Niagara Bar is a hotspot for anglers looking to reel in some impressive fish. With its diverse range of species and breathtaking views, this angler's paradise offers an experience like no other. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of fishing the Niagara Bar, from the best techniques to the top catches to look out for. So, grab your gear, and let's dive in!

The Niagara Bar: A Natural Wonder

A Geological Marvel

The Niagara Bar is a unique geological formation that sits at the mouth of the Niagara River, where it flows into Lake Ontario. It is characterized by shallow, rocky shoals that extend into the lake, creating a natural barrier. This natural wonder is a result of the erosive power of the Niagara River, which has been shaping the landscape for thousands of years. The bar provides an ideal habitat for various fish species, making it a prime location for anglers.

Breathtaking Scenery

Aside from its geological significance, the Niagara Bar also offers stunning views that add to the overall fishing experience. Imagine casting your line against the backdrop of the mighty Niagara Falls, with the mist enveloping your surroundings. The picturesque beauty of the area adds an extra layer of enjoyment to your fishing adventure, making it a truly memorable experience.

Top Fish Species to Target

Smallmouth Bass

The Niagara Bar is renowned for its population of smallmouth bass, making it a dream destination for bass anglers. These feisty fish can be found in abundance, particularly during the summer months. When fishing for smallmouth bass, try using techniques such as drop shotting, crankbait fishing, or jigging. Keep in mind that these fish are known for their acrobatic jumps and strong fights, so be prepared for an exhilarating battle!

Lake Trout

If you're looking for a bigger challenge, targeting lake trout on the Niagara Bar is the way to go. These deep-water dwellers can be found in the colder depths of Lake Ontario, and they offer a thrilling pursuit for experienced anglers. Trolling with spoons or using downriggers are popular techniques for catching lake trout. However, be prepared to venture further into the lake, as these fish prefer the deeper waters.


Walleye are another popular species that can be found around the Niagara Bar. These elusive fish are known for their excellent table fare and can provide a satisfying catch for anglers of all skill levels. Techniques such as casting with jigs, trolling with worm harnesses, or drifting with live bait are effective ways to target walleye. As with any angling adventure, understanding the behavior and preferences of your target species is key to success.

Best Times to Fish


Springtime on the Niagara Bar is when the fishing action starts to heat up. As the water temperatures begin to rise, fish become more active and move closer to the shore. This is an excellent time to target species such as smallmouth bass and walleye. As the season progresses, the fishing only gets better, with larger fish entering the area.


Summer is prime time for fishing the Niagara Bar, with a wide variety of species available for anglers to target. Smallmouth bass, walleye, and lake trout are all in their prime during the summer months. The warmer water temperatures also attract other species like perch and steelhead, adding to the diversity of catches. Whether you prefer casting, trolling, or jigging, the summer season offers ample opportunities to reel in some impressive fish.


The fall season brings with it cooler temperatures and a different fishing dynamic on the Niagara Bar. As the water cools down, fish start to make their way back towards the river, preparing for the spawning season. This is an excellent time to target trophy-sized fish, as they gather in larger numbers. Anglers can expect to encounter larger smallmouth bass, walleye, and even the occasional salmon or muskie.

Essential Equipment and Techniques

Fishing Rods and Reels

When it comes to fishing the Niagara Bar, having the right equipment is crucial. For smallmouth bass and walleye, a medium-light to medium-action spinning rod paired with a reel designed for freshwater fishing is ideal. If you're targeting lake trout, a heavier rod with a baitcasting reel or a medium-heavy spinning setup will provide the necessary strength. Ensure that your gear is capable of handling the fight and weight of the fish you're targeting.

Baits and Lures

Choosing the right bait or lure can make all the difference in enticing fish to bite. For smallmouth bass, popular options include soft plastic worms, crankbaits, and jigs. Walleye are known to go after live bait such as nightcrawlers, leeches, and minnows, as well as artificial jigs and crankbaits. Lake trout can be enticed with spoons, swimbaits, or even live bait such as smelt. Experiment with different colors and sizes to find what works best on any given day.

Techniques and Strategies

Various fishing techniques can be employed when targeting fish on the Niagara Bar. For smallmouth bass, try casting near rocky structures, drop-offs, or areas with submerged vegetation. Walleye are often found near drop-offs, weed edges, or rocky shoals. Trolling or drifting with live bait or lures can be effective for targeting walleye. When it comes to lake trout, trolling with spoons or downriggers is a popular method, as these fish are often found in deeper waters.

Weather Considerations

Wind and Wave Conditions

As with any outdoor activity, it's essential to consider the weather conditions before heading out to fish the Niagara Bar. Wind and wave conditions can greatly impact your fishing experience, as well as your safety on the water. Strong winds can create rough waves and make it challenging to navigate or control your boat. It's advisable to check the weather forecast and monitor wind speeds before planning your fishing trip.

Temperature and Seasonal Changes

The temperature and seasonal changes also play a significant role in fish behavior and their movement patterns. Understanding how these factors influence fish can help you determine the best times and locations to target certain species. As the water temperatures change throughout the year, fish may move to different areas in search of optimal conditions. Pay attention to water temperature trends and adjust your fishing approach accordingly.

Respecting the Environment

Practice Catch and Release

Preserving the natural ecosystem is crucial for the sustainability of the Niagara Bar's fish populations. Practice catch and release whenever possible, especially with sensitive species such as smallmouth bass and lake trout. Proper handling and release techniques can significantly increase the chances of fish survival. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the thrill of the catch while ensuring that future generations can continue to experience the same joys of fishing.

Dispose of Waste Responsibly

When fishing the Niagara Bar, it's vital to leave the area as pristine as you found it. Dispose of any waste, such as fishing line, hooks, and packaging, in designated bins or take them with you. These items can be harmful to wildlife if left behind, so be a responsible angler and help preserve the beauty of this natural wonder.


Fishing the Niagara Bar is an adventure that combines the thrill of the catch with the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. Whether you're targeting smallmouth bass, lake trout, or walleye, the diverse range of species and breathtaking scenery make this destination a must-visit for any angler. By understanding the best times to fish, using the right equipment and techniques, and respecting the environment, you can make the most of your fishing experience on the Niagara Bar. So, pack your gear, embrace the challenge, and get ready for an unforgettable angling adventure.