Lake Ontario Trout & Salmon Association (LOTSA)
LOTSA is a Not-For-Profit group of mainly weekend recreational fishermen who are dedicated to the enhancement and promotion of the Lake Ontario Sport-Fishery. LOTSA places a heavy emphasis on Education including recruiting new Anglers to the Lake Ontario Fishery and providing continual Education opportunities for the experienced Anglers.
LOTSA meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of certain months (see events below) at 7:00 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, 4487 Lake Ave. (Route 78, two miles north of Lockport), Lockport, NY and usually feature an informational seminar on a particular topic relating to the Lake Ontario fishery. Each meeting also features a sharing of information on the current fishing conditions. Get Directions >>
2018 LOTSA Events
July 12th Seminar featuring Captain Jim Skoczylas
On Thursday July 12 at 7pm the Lake Ontario Trout & Salmon Association (LOTSA) will be hosting a seminar by Charter Captain Jim Skoczylas on fishing for Lake Erie Walleyes. Jim has been fishing Lake Erie for many years consistently putting his customers on fish. Jim also has done well in many tournaments through the years. He will be sharing his techniques along with answering questions that you may have to help you be a become a better walleye fisherman. This is one seminar you don’t want to miss.
The dates of our meetings are listed below. They begin at 7pm at the 4H Cornell Cooperative Extension, 4487 Lake Avenue (Rt 78 two miles north of Lockport), Lockport, NY 14094
Thursday April 12th – Tournament Spring Kings Techniques with Captain Vince Pierleoni of Team Thrillseeker
Thursday May 10th – “At the Dock” talking Kings with Captain Rich Hajecki (meeting at the Wilson Boathouse)
Thursday June 14th – Everything Matters when it comes to Kings with Captain Joe Yaeger
Thursday July 12th – Summer Lake Erie Walleye Tactics with Captain Jim Skoczylas
Thursday September 13th – Season Wrap Up Roundtable with multiple LOTSA Captains
Thursday December 13th – Annual Christmas Party
15th Annual LOTSA King Salmon Tournament & Free Picnic:
Saturday July 21nd at Olcott. 9th Annual Curt Meddaugh Memorial Tournament Friday July 20.
LOTSA “Tournaments within a Tournament, free for LOTSA Members”
Spring LOC Derby $1000 Cash Largest Salmon 5/11 – 5/20
Summer LOC Derby $500 Cash Largest Salmon 6/30 – 7/29
Fish Odyssey $700 Cash Largest Salmon 8/18 – 8/26
Fall LOC Derby $500 Cash Largest Salmon 8/17 – 9/03
Latest Club News & Happenings
LOTSA Themed Clothing – Now Available
It has been several years since LOTSA was able to offer LOTSA themed clothing items to our members. In order to avoid the upfront costs associated with producing the merchandise and carrying the inventory, LOTSA was able to work out an arrangement with “Special Tees” located in Geneseo, New York. Special Tees has created a website where our members can go online to purchase LOTSA merchandise (hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and UV protective shirts (men and women styles)). The LOTSA member pays for the merchandise, applicable tax and shipping costs. Your order will be shipped directly to you. There is no cost to the club.
Please be advised that this is not an on demand ordering system. There is a deadline in which you can place your order. Once the deadline expires, the website will not allow you to place an order. The reason for this is because Special Tees has to set up the printing equipment and will run all of our orders at the same time. This helps keep costs down. Bottom line –Do Not Procrastinate if you want to place an order!
The website is as follows: https://lato2018.itemorder.
Deadline is June 9, 2018!.
LOTSA Tournament Time is just around the corner!
Friday July 20th and Saturday July 21st!
Have you thought about fishing a salmon tournament in the past?
Not interested in a high stress, high entry fee tournament?
Do you fish alone?? – Not a problem here!
Then the LOTSA Tournaments are for you! We offer options that cater to all anglers from small boats to large, offer 4 ports to launch from (Niagara River, Wilson, Olcott and Oak Orchard); our Curt Meddaugh Memorial Tournament is FREE, open communication and a chance to make some new friends while you’re at. On Saturday July 21st we even offer a free catered picnic to ALL LOTSA members and family. We have had over 30 boats the last 2 years and hope to grow the tournament again this year!
Each team that enters is required to provide a valid cell phone numbers that accepts text messages!
The Curt Meddaugh Memorial Tournament is FREE
- Pays back 3 places! Link to register and rules below!
- Rules and registration details provided at this link > https://lotsa1.org/sign-up-curt-meddaugh-tournament/
- Food Bank of Western NY will be accepting fish donations following the tournament – please keep your fish on ice if you are donating!
Interested in putting a little more skin in the game?? We offer 2 additional options!
- Saturday July 21st – LOTSA Tournament – $60 entry – link provided below
- Rules and registration details provided at this link > https://lotsa1.org/sign-up-lotsa-tournament/
- Friday/Saturday – LOTSA 323 – $50 entry – MUST BE REGISTERED IN THE LOTSA Tournament – our spin off of the famous 333 out of Lake Michigan!
- Rules and registration details provided at this link > https://lotsa1.org/sign-up-323-tournament/
LOTSA Picnic – Saturday July 21st – RAIN or SHINE – regardless if day is a wash due to weather and winds.
- Krull Park – Lion’s Pavilion – all details at link below
- Raffle drawings for tackle
- 50/50 Raffle
- Picnic will be catered for food and drinks!
- Bring your family
- Must register at this link > https://lotsa1.org/sign-up-lotsa-picnic/
We look forward to seeing you all there!! Please let us know if you have any questions!
Attention Great Lakes Salmon Fishermen! On Saturday, January 19, 2019 the Lake Ontario Trout & Salmon Association (LOTSA) is proud to (once again) host its well-known in-depth Salmon School. This highly acclaimed school, now in its 12th year, has become the premier Salmon School anywhere in the Great Lakes. What started out as a local event 11 years ago now sees many diehard salmon anglers from across the Great Lakes and Canada attending. The School, coupled with all of the trout and salmon exhibitors at the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo (January 18 – 20), makes this a “must attend” three-day winter event for many.
The School consists of six hours of detailed instruction taught by three expert captains and this year they are:
Capt. Pete Alex (Vision Quest Sportfishing out of the port of Wilson and other Canadian ports); Capt. Andy Bliss (Cold Steel Sportfishing & Chasin’ Tail Adventures out of Oswego and the Salmon River); and Capt. Matt Yablonsky (Wet Net Charters out Youngstown, Wilson and Olcott.).
Salmon School Details
The registration price of $85 includes free admission to the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo for all 3 days, your 2019 LOTSA Membership, a hot buffet lunch (or alternative for dietary needs) on Saturday with beverages available throughout the class and a “goodie” bag consisting of the “go to” baits of the instructors. Also included for the first time this year is a Friday night one hour “Meet & Greet” with the instructors that includes free drinks and snacks. The class (and Expo) is held at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls in a “state of the art” conference room with a large screen, stage, good seating with tables and a good sound system that all make for a comfortable venue throughout the day for everyone attending. Given the quality of what you will be taught, coupled with the lunch, “goodie bag” and free admissions, it is a terrific value and a great way to start your 2019 season. Doors open at 7 a.m. for check in and the class runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m..
The Salmon School is not meant for novices to the Lake Ontario fishery. It is a “hard core” salmon class targeted toward providing the “experienced weekend warrior” with additional insights and details to improve their catch in the limited time they have on the water. As the Great Lakes continue to change and become a much more challenging fishery, knowledge is often the difference between having a couple of bites or having steady bites throughout the day.
This is a custom class built from the input from the attendees on what is most important to them to cover. It is not an “off the shelf” class for the masses. Each attendee will have the opportunity to submit their top three topics that they want to have covered in the class. The instructors will then use this input to customize the curriculum to cover these particular areas.
The School sells out every year as many of the attendees come back year after year – which is the ultimate testimony to the value of attending the school. Signups will be available beginning in early September. Early signups are encouraged to give the instructors enough time to build the curriculum for the desired topics.
These three captains offer a huge amount of on-the-water experience trolling for trout and salmon along with a proven tournament track record of high placement in the most prestigious tournaments over many years. They are a much diversified set of instructors and will provide a class full of insights and details that no one single instructor would be able to provide. They are all skilled communicators and very well known for sharing their fishing knowledge and daily fishing trips with anglers to help them to be more successful fishing the lake. Each brings their own unique set of trolling skills, techniques and knowledge to the class. Given the depth of the knowledge base of these instructors and their proven ability to educate anglers, we expect this school to be another high quality, comprehensive, in-depth, information-packed event that our attendees have come to expect from this annual day-long instruction.
Captain Pete Alex
Captain Pete is a 53 year old salmon and trout fishing addict and reached his 30th year as a licensed charter captain in 2018. Pete has always had a passion for fishing and especially tournament fishing which helps feed his competitive side. He has accumulated fishing experience on Lakes Ontario, Erie, Michigan and Huron.
Captain Pete and his Vision Quest Fishing Teams have won over 20 events on Lake Ontario and Lake Erie and have amassed over 100 Top 10 finishes since 2006. He ended the 2017 season by winning the Fall King of The Lake event, FishUSA overall Championship and the 1st annual Lake Ontario Championship Series. He feels that tournament fishing helps improve his overall fishing game.
Pete enjoys doing seminars, educating and helping other anglers improve their fish catching ability. He believes he is a very diverse angler and can consistently catch both salmon and trout species by applying what he has learned over the years.
He consistently fishes Lake Ontario from the end of April to third week of June then returns occasionally to fish throughout the remainder of the season. He really considers himself a part time angler on Lake Ontario and must figure things out each time he returns. He believes that there are reasons some anglers locate and catch fish consistently, while some do not. He hopes he can provide some of that knowledge to you at this year’s Salmon School.
Pete represents these companies: FishUSA, Dreamweaver, Shark Cannonballs, Silver Horde, Fish Hawk, A-TOM-MIK Trolling Flies, Costa Sunglasses and Shimano.
Captain Andy Bliss
Capt. Andy first fished Lake Ontario in 1987 at the age of 7. He was hooked salmon fishing ever since! Since his early start he was able to work on many charters from Sodus Bay and Oswego learning many different styles and techniques from a variety of Captains. In ‘99 he started fishing full time aboard the Cold Steel out of Oswego with Capt. Tom Burke. Since then they have competed in many tournaments from the East end to the West end of the lake.
With over 20 first place finishes and numerous Top Ten finishes, they know what it takes to be the best! They have won the Lake Ontario Challenge Cup 4 times and they were runner up another 5 times! This experience has taught them how to fish in many different conditions and produce results.
Capt. Andy love fishing the open waters of Lake Ontario and typically compares it to a chess match. He enjoys teaching the techniques to become successful at catching these special fish to anyone who is willing to learn.
Capt. Andy represents these companies: Michigan Stinger, A-TOM-MIK, Pautzke Bait Co., Pro-Troll, Cannon Downriggers, Humminbird electronics, BayRats Lures, Shark Cannonballs
Captain Matt Yablonsky
Captain Matt has been a charter captain for 12 years and has have been fishing the Niagara Region for 18 years. He has been a full time charter captain for the last 6 years. On average he’s on the water 250 days a year. He runs charters on Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the Lower Niagara River. A lot of people refer to him as “the small boat guy.” He has been operating his business out of a 21-foot Lund boat since he started chartering. It has allowed him to operate charters on both lakes and the Niagara River comfortably and safely. On Lake Erie he fishes for smallmouth bass, walleye and perch. On Lake Ontario he trolls for all species of trout and salmon. He also fishes the Lower Niagara River from September through May for trout and salmon.
Captain Matt fishes many tournaments and derbies throughout the year including the Lake Ontario Pro-Am series, LOC Derby, Lower Niagara Sportfishing Challenge, Niagara Basseye and Reeling for a Cure. In the LOC Derby alone he has 40 top 20 places since 2009, of which 2 are grand prize, 6 are first place and 4 are second place. He was on the winning team for the Niagara Pro-Am in 2006 and won the Trophy division of the Niagara Pro-Am in 2012 as a captain. He has had the grand champion team 3 times and grand champion angler 4 times in the Lower Niagara Sportfishing Challenge. He has also had the grand champion team and grand champion angler twice in the Niagara Basseye. Captain Matt has had multiple articles written about his derby wins and techniques of fishing the various bodies of water in the Erie-Niagara region. You can find these articles in the Great Lakes Angler, Lake Ontario Outdoors, The Fisherman magazine, Salmon-Trout-Steelheader magazine and New York Outdoor News.
Captain Matt has provided footage for various television shows. One of the shows was filmed on the Lower Niagara River for Illinois Outdoors. Other television shows were filmed on Lake Ontario for CRCS OUTDOORS. So far he has filmed 6 episodes for CRCS Outdoors.
Matt represents these companies: Yakima Bait Co., A-TOM-MIK Trolling flies, Silver Streak spoons, Torpedo, Tuf-Line and Shimano
If you love to fish the Great Lakes for Kings, this is a great way to “Kick Off” your 2019 Season. Where else would you want to be in the Great Lakes on a Saturday in January than learning how to increase your catch from 3 expert Captains, sitting in a comfortable venue talking salmon fishing with a room full of individuals with the same common interest that you have? Tickets are pre-sale only and have sold out every year (early December sellout for the 2018 School). So, signup early so that you are guaranteed a seat to avoid being left out in the cold.
Below you will find a collection of links that the members of LOTSA have found useful, educational and entertaining over the years.
- Officers & Board of Directors
- LOTSA Facebook Page
- At the Oak
- Lake Ontario United
- Olcott Fishing
- Fish Odyssey
- Bill Hilts’ Fishfinder
- Greater Niagara Outdoor Expo
- Bill Hilts Jr. Outdoor Beat TV
- Lake Ontario Buoy Data Map
- Olcott Harbor Web Cam
- Sandy Creek Web Cam
- LOC Leaderboard
- Marine Forecast Niagara to Sodus
- Marine Forecase Niagara to Hamlin
- Lake Ontario Surface Currents
- Lake Ontario Suface Temp
- Satellite View – Lake Ontario
- Satellite View – Lake Erie
If you would like to see additional links added to this section, please let us know. We will be happy to review the suggested link with the board for inclusion.
"Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers... "
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Scattered clouds with the possibility of an isolated thunderstorm developing this afternoon. High 86F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Thunderstorms likely in the morning. Then the chance of scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. High near 80F. Winds SW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 80%.
Partly cloudy. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 78F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
Generally sunny despite a few afternoon clouds. High near 80F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph.
Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High 83F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph.
Chance of a Thunderstorm
Scattered showers and thunderstorms. High 76F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Chance of Rain
A shower or two possible early with partly cloudy skies in the afternoon. High 72F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 30%.