Niagara River Smallmouth

The area of Niagara falls is a smallmouth heaven with having Niagara River smallmouth in addition to having access to Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and so many other fishing opportunities.  If you are lucky enough to live in this area, take advantage of the Niagara River.

The Niagara River flows north from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It forms part of the border between the Province of Ontario in Canada (on the west) and New York State in the United States. Source 

Niagara River smallmouth

Niagara Falls has a world-class reputation as a destination for sightseers, honeymooners, and thrill seekers. A well-kept secret of the area, though, is its world-class fishing.


That afternoon our group went kayaking for smallmouth bass during the catch-and-release, artificial-lure-only season in the Lower Niagara River. We launched Hobie Kayaks at the Lewistown Boat Ramp, and although the kayaks could be powered by paddle, we used the Hobie Kayaks because they could also be powered by foot pedal, which allowed for hands-free angling.

…the group fished the American shoreline downstream from Lewistown and towards Old Fort Niagara. We found pockets of bass along that stretch, but the fish were not holding near shore. Instead, they were located on the first break into deep water where we managed to get hookups by erratically retrieving Rapala X-Raps and by working jigs tipped with green-pumpkin, five-inch Trigger X plastic minnows. Original article

Here, we have a scuba divers view of the Upper Niagara showing the smallmouth bass as well as other species and the type of structure and habitat that you will be fishing here.


For summer smallie action on the Niagara, try this technique:

Frank believes drop-shotting is far more effective for catching Mid-summer Smallies.  It’s how Frank incorporates drifting with drop-shotting that gives a twist to an already popular style of fishing.  With the bottom of Lake Erie near the mouth of the Niagara River consisting of alternating sand-bars and stones, locating unique structure often comes down to the difference of a few large rocks.

Frank explained that the challenge with drop-shotting during a controlled drift is keeping your line as near vertical as possible, while at the same time never letting your weight lift from the bottom.  Keeping your weight on the bottom means your bait stays in the strike zone and keeps the weight from spooking fish.

During the drift Frank regularly drops his rod tip while at the same time imparting action into the bait by moving his tip left to right.  Never up and down as this lifts the weight off the bottom taking away from the natural action of the bait and possibly spooking weary fish.  He then brings his rod tip slowly back dragging the weight along the bottom, and repeats the process.  It’s possible to take things one step further by replacing the drop-shot weight with a tube.

All our hits came on a slack-line shake, with Strike Zone Slammers boating the first of at least 40 Smallies caught that morning.  We caught fish consistently before getting blown off the lake by 3’-4’ white-caps.  The Smallmouth caught while the skies were overcast did all they could to stay down, whereas fish caught during a period of strong sunlight shot towards the surface after feeling the sting of the hook which made for some frantic reeling.

Frank made me a believer that drop shotting can be successfully executed from a carefully controlled boat under drift.  The key lessons are to keep the weight on the bottom and impart continuous action to the bait by dropping your rod tip and then quivering it side-to-side.  Seems simple enough, but long periods of concentration are crucial if bottom contact is to be maintained, regular action imparted and, most importantly, bites detected. Original article here

Some nice Niagara River smallmouth fishing:


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