Coming to Niagara USA with fishing gear in hand? You're going to wish you'd planned more vacation days, thanks to the abundance of fishing "honey holes" beyond the Falls. Here are just a few of the promising fishing spots waiting to be discovered in the Greater Niagara Area. 

Fishing the Lower Niagara River-for those who haven't traveled here before-means working the waters north of the Falls all the way to Lake Ontario. Pack your tackle box with rainbow trout, brown trout and chinook salmon in mind and you're likely to catch your limit.

Tips for Fishing the Niagara River: Chartering a trip with a local guide helps keep you on top of local licensing and regulations and allows you to focus on your fishing. Bait tips: Try minnows for trout, wobbling bait for salmon and experiment with flatfish-type lures (a local favorite is the Kwikfish.)

If lake fishing is your passion, Lake Ontario might soon become your favorite annual destination. Fed by the Niagara River, these waters offer intense chinook salmon action starting in April each year. Hot spots to try: the Niagara Bar at the mouth of the Lake, also Wilson and Olcott. Check local fishing reports before you come to gauge how the weather is impacting each area.

Niagara Area Lake Fishing Tips: Plan your gear for the big ones! Chinooks in this region regularly tip the scales at more than twenty pounds and the walleyes, muskies and smallmouth bass are equally impressive. Pack your trolling spoons, flasher-fly combos or cut-bait rigs for catching salmon and bring your giant trolling lures for muskellunge. Smallmouth bass are hitting on grubs, crawfish and minnows most years, or you can test your skill with lures like tube jigs and spinner baits.

You can also find plenty of action in the small streams that crisscross the area surrounding Niagara Falls. Of particular interest to trout fishing enthusiasts are the tributaries that flow into Lake Ontario. 18-Mile Creek just south of Olcott at Burt Dam is especially popular because of regular stocking by the state.

Twelve-Mile Creek is another Lake Ontario tributary stocked annually with steelhead, as is East Branch. Look for marked areas where public fishing rights (PFR) have been secured by the state, allowing public access to private land for anglers. This stream is split into two branches by Wilson-Tuscarora State Park, with the best access by kayak or canoe.

We've hooked you, haven't we, with dreams of fishing the fertile waters of Niagara County? If you'd like to meet local experts and rub shoulders with thousands of Niagara USA fishing fans, make plans to attend next January's Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo.

Another excellent way to experience angling fever in Niagara County is by signing up for the LOC Trout and Salmon Derby happening three times in 2015, from May 1 to 10, as well as from June 13 to July 26 and August 21-Sept 7. Pack your gear and make a trek to the Niagara Falls area. The fishing stories you'll be able to share at next year's Expo will be worth the trip.