Shore anglers are doing well casting spoons from the pier at Dunkirk Harbor for trout and smallmouth. Stream fishermen have been finding it tough going on many of the Lake Erie tribs due to muddy water. But by this weekend that should all change with the current weather forecast. Up to this point though, stream anglers have been doing well with egg sacks
First, the New York Ice Pro-Am Tournament Series has chosen Chautauqua Lake as its second stop on their 2013 tournament trail. “”Chautauqua Lake has long been known as an excellent fishery and for ice fishermen that means bonus fishing opportunities,”” shares Tim Thomas New York State Pro-Am founder and CEO. “”The choice to hold our second event for the 2013 season on Chautauqua Lake was a perfect fit, especially when the dates fell on the same weekend as Chautauqua Lake’s Presidents Weekend Winter Festival.””
The New York Ice Pro-Am event on Chautauqua Lake tournament will be held February 15-17, 2013, with the official weigh-in to be held at Mayville Lakeside Park during the Winter Festival. The New York State Ice Pro-Am Tournament Series boasts $75,000 in cash and prizes for the tournament trail, making it one of the largest ice fishing events in the Northeast. For more information on the New York Ice Pro/Am Tournament Series trail, visit www.nysiceproam.com/Events.html
Secondly, Jack Links Major League Fishing filmed their General Tire Summit Cup Championship event on Chautauqua Lake late last summer. This reality tournament has been airing on the Outdoor Channel since January 2nd. The Championship Round (seventh episode) will broadcast on NBC February 9th at 1 pm.
Jack Links Major League Fishing Commissioner Don Rucks calls Chautauqua Lake, “a tremendous destination with a great feel. We could not be more pleased that Major League Fishing filmed on Chautauqua Lake and at Chautauqua Institution,” Rucks said. “As part of our broadcasts, we will showcase the competition water and the local community. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have first-class partners in Chautauqua County and Chautauqua Institution.” For more information, check out www.majorleaguefishing.com/
For area fishing and travel information, visit tourchautauqua.com/Fishing.aspx
Greater Niagara Region
Western Lake Ontario and tributaries (Youngstown/Wilson/Olcott) – The only action we’ve heard about since the weather turned cold again was in the tributaries such as 18 Mile Creek below Burt Dam. While the water is still a bit stained, Wes Walker of Burt reports that the levels have dropped and anglers are catching steelhead and a few browns. The last rain event brought in fresh fish into the system and small jigs fished under a float and tipped with a waxworm has been the hot bait. Use colors that are brighter like orange or chartreuse with the stained conditions. Both Keg and Hopkins creeks had water flow to them and were holding some fish, but if the cold weather continues, those streams could be iced up by the weekend. The good news – or the bad news depending on your perspective – is that a warm up is expected next week. The Oak had open water to the Archers Club and a few holes were reported in Johnson Creek. The piers are ice-covered at Wilson and Olcott. Remember that the Niagara River Anglers steelhead contest is next Saturday, Feb. 16. Lake Ontario tributaries are eligible. Check out www.niagarariveranglers.com. The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn. will be holding their Lake Ontario Expo and Flea Market on Feb. 24 at Cornell Cooperative Extension Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue (Route 78), Lockport from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ice fishing in Wilson is still on hold.
Lower Niagara River (Lewiston/Youngstown) – Not much fishing has taken place since the storms and cold weather that blew in prior to last weekend. However, the water is clearing and it looks good for the weekend as far as boaters and shore fishermen are concerned. The high winds last week broke up the ice in Lake Erie and much of that ice came through the system, meaning that until ice cover returns on the lake, the lower river waters will be susceptible to high winds and turbid conditions. Steelhead, brown trout and lake trout are all available in the lower river with minnows or banana-shaped lures your best bet from boat; minnows, egg sacs and hardware like spoons or spinners a good bet for shore casters.
Upper Niagara River (Niagara Falls to Buffalo) – Muddy water and ice continues to hamper the fishing action above Niagara Falls. Ice is starting to set up in traditional spots like the marinas around Grand Island and in the Buffalo Boat Harbor, but wind has restricted ice formation and safety is a huge issue. Warmer temps are around the corner, too. As the waters clear, look for trout at the head of the river or along the head of the rapids. Spoons, spinners or egg sacs.
Streams- Maxwell Creek has open water on the south end of Lake Road. There is ice build-up so use creepers where you find the openings.
The steelhead are hitting egg sacs and small spoons. The other streams in the county are difficult to fish as most have iced-over.
Bays-After the balmy weather destroyed the ice two weeks, we are now blessed with the colder Arctic air and most of the bays have safe ice.
The east side of Sodus Bay has 5 to 8 inches and anglers are catching jumbo perch in ten feet of water. They are also catching pike between LeRoy Island. The perch are hitting small teardrop jigs tipped with spikes.
The Port Bay situation is the same although the ice was only 5 inches thick. Hefty perch were caught last week before we lost our ice.
Blind Sodus Bay has perch and bluegill action on the south end of the bay. There is more snow cover on this small bay, which will limit the ability to make solid ice. Snow is a great insulator and not a friend of ice anglers.
Beware of thin ice and the rule of thumb is to follow the crowds if you are unsure of the area you are fishing.
The bait shops in Wayne County have very consistent hours. If you need egg sacs, flies, jigs or spikes you’ll find everything you need. Check out the Wayne County Tourism web page for their locations. www.waynecountytourism.com
Erie Canal- The canal is frozen and some anglers were on ice earlier this week. Perch and bluegills are probably the targeted species.
Wayne County tourism staff will be attending the following sports shows. Stop by the Lake Ontario Sportfishing booth and find out the latest news:
Greater Philadelphia Show Feb.14-17th
Springfield, Mass “Big E’ Feb.21-24th
This report courtesy of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.
Oswego River – According to Larry Muroski of Larry’s Oswego Salmon Shop, the water level has dropped to just over 10,000cfs since yesterday. This still makes fishing difficult in many areas along the river but anglers are trying their luck behind the hotels. Driftboat anglers are reporting some nice catches of browns and steelhead this week.
Salmon River – According to Whitaker’s Sport Shop & Motel, on Wednesday morning we picked up a few inches of lake effect snow as it quickly moved through our area. We ended up with blue skies, plenty of sunshine and the temperature reached into the upper 20’s. Slush ice was a factor in the lower end of the river but it did clear in the afternoon. The few anglers who are in town are fishing the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. Anglers are fishing along the soft edges and inside seams of the Lower Fly Zone, Schoolhouse, Wire Hole and Pineville. Check the weather and water conditions before making the trip.
Oneida Lake – There have been some anglers out on parts of the lake, however there is a lot of spotty open water. Lake effect snow is in the forecast for tomorrow which may make determining conditions difficult. A warm up by the first of the week is also predicted. Please be patient for safe ice conditions.
Sandy Pond -Anglers are reporting ice at Green Point. The perch and blue gill bite was a little slow but anglers reported some success.