Excitement begins and ends on the water.
World-class fishing is right here on the St. Lawrence River, watershed of the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. Deep waters and strong currents make for fat walleye that challenge even a clever fisherman at tournaments like the Fall Classic in Waddington on September 15.
If it’s salmon you’re after, the Salmon River Festival and Fishing Derby should be on your calendar. One of the northeast’s largest derbies, it happens October 5-7 in Pulaski and draws competitors the world over to fish the Salmon River’s famous waters.
Don’t pass up the area’s top attractions. Take a narrated Clayton Island Tour and spot lighthouses, massive freighters and magnificent island castles. Weekends through September 18, you can go lighthouse spotting, twilight birdwatching, book an evening wine and cheese cruise or explore shipwrecks on the new Night Heron glass bottom boat.
It’s not hard to find a marina in this region. On Alexandria Bay, Aqua-Mania offers rent and dock facilities through October for pontoons, kayaks, fishing boats and runabouts. Boat sales, repairs and service are also offered at this full-service marina.
Raft the Black River weekends through October with Whitewater Challengers. The narrow river canyon and scheduled dam releases make for fast moving water on the Watertown stretch of this whitewater gem. Come for a day or a weekend—it’s the real deal.
For an even closer look at the St. Lawrence River’s famous shipwrecks, Bottom Time Charters takes you beneath the waves to wrecks like The Keystorm and The American, and also offers twilight and night dives, all led by USCG Certified Captains in state of the art dive boats.
Fall Muskie fishing starts in October, and St. Lawrence River Fishing Charters can show you where they live in dawn to dusk charters for experienced and novice anglers alike. Northern Pike, Black Bass and Walleye are also on the menu aboard the Northerner, and all the bait and tackle is provided so you can focus on the fishing.
For fall trophy fishing, nothing tops Oswego County’s Salmon River where the run of salmon and steelhead is legendary. The main salmon run, late September through early October, lures anglers from every state, and 20-pound Atlantic salmon are not uncommon. Steelheads peak in October, and brown trout abound here from mid-September to mid-November.
Or book an open air or climate controlled scenic cruise from Alexandria Bay, Clayton, Gananoque, Ivy Lea or Rockport with a stopover at historic Boldt Castle. The cruise season season runs through October.
For more travel ideas, visit the 1000 Islands region.