Greater Niagara Region (www.niagara-usa.com)
by Bill Hilts, Jr.
Lake Ontario and tributaries – Browns are being caught along the shoreline in front of Olcott according to reports. Stickbaits and heavy spoons like KO Wobblers are producing the most fish. Work the mud line in and out. Cast Little Cleos off the piers for trout, too, according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker. The harbor is producing a few fish, including some perch. Wilson Harbor is also yielding some perch. The Wilson Bullhead Contest is being run out of Jean’s from Friday night at 6 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. Call 751-9198 for more info. There are still some trout hanging out in 18 Mile Creek up at Burt Dam, but water conditions are low and clear. The Spring Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby is not that far off, set for May 3-12. Register at area outlets or go online at www.loc.org. Fox Boyz Marina in Youngstown will be open for business and they are now taking reservations at www.foxboyzmarina.com or you can call 745-7121. The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association is putting their salmon and trout pens in at the Town of Newfane Marina on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. They are looking for volunteers to feed the fish, too. For more info check out www.lotsa.org. Speaking of LOTSA, Capt. Rob Wescott of Sandy Creek will be giving a seminar at the next meeting on Thursday night at Lockport’s Cooperative Extension starting at 7 p.m. His focus will be on a stealth approach for brown trout and king salmon.
Lower Niagara River – The river turned muddy on Tuesday, making fishing difficult for charter guys. It was chocolate on Wednesday. Hopefully things will start to clear by the weekend. No report of smelt in any numbers in the river, but Creek Road Bait and Tackle is trying to stay on top of it. Call (716) 807-6111 for updates. They also have telescopic smelt nets for sale. The Niagara River Anglers group is working on organizing their salmon pen project in Youngstown and they are looking for volunteers. Call Steve Drabczyk at (716) 807-6248. Ice could still be a problem in the river this weekend. Shore fishermen could be doing well along Artpark and Devil’s Hole with turbid conditions. Eggs or minnows fished under a float or casting hardware in clear water.
Upper Niagara River – Good news for trout fishermen. There are two inland lakes or ponds that will receive trout stockings April 15 – Oppenheim Park Pond on Niagara Falls Blvd. in Wheatfield and Hyde Park Lake in Niagara Falls. Oppenheim will receive 100 two year old brown trout and 200 rainbow trout yearlings at 10 a.m.; Hyde Park Lake receives 200 of the bigger two year old browns and 1,450 of the yearling browns at 11 a.m. In addition, Gill Creek in Niagara Falls – the outflow of Hyde Park Lake –will also receive 470 brown trout. In the upper river, ice was flowing down at a good pace and the water turned muddy with the recent winds. When the ice finally leaves the river, action should start to heat up for panfish.
Chautauqua County (www.tourchautauqua.com/Fishing.aspx)
by Craig Robbins
Lake Erie – Chautauqua County’s tribs following into Lake Erie are flowing at or near prefect levels, however as the week continues some may be a bit murky. Cattaraugus Creek is running a little higher at about 715 cubic feet per second and is quite cloudy. The Catt was fishing well before the water level jumped earlier in the week. Early week action was decent in the deeper holes of Chautauqua and Canadaway Creeks, while the bite was very slow at Eighteenmile Creek. With the added bump in flows, look for steelhead to spread out and some fresh fish to move in. Spring run steelhead hit a variety of baits/lures including egg sacs, egg pattern flies, trout beads, jigs with grubs (fished under a float), minnows, nightcrawlers, stoneflies, streamer patterns and bugger patterns. When fishing murky conditions, brightly colored baits and flies are good bets.
Some steelhead are paired up and actively spawning. It is recommended that anglers avoid active spawners and take care not to disturb gravel nests, as natural reproduction adds to the future steelhead returns
Chautauqua Lake – With Easter weekend temperature in the 40’s and first of the week Chautauqua County temperatures nipping into the 20’s again, it’s going to be a difficult week for hard water anglers on Chautauqua Lake, as the season begins to come to an end.
Crappie catches had been on the rise lately in the shallows of Burtis Bay and off Mayville. Just after ice-out look for crappie schools in those same areas and other traditional springtime crappie spots. Minnows or a small jig (1/32 oz.) tipped with a minnow are good baits for crappie.
For area fishing and travel information, visit http://tourchautauqua.com/Fishing.aspx
Fair Haven/Cayuga County
Captain Werner Sterger
April has finally arrived and trout season is open. Fall Creek, North Creek, Owaso Inlet and Salmon Creek are all stocked trout waters and can provide fun weather drifting egg sacks, casting Cleo’s or Phoebes or just drowning worms.
For those in the Fair Haven area, the ice is clear and the launches are all open. Water levels are still low so the State Park will provide the best access to the bay and lake. Near shore waters are holding plenty of brown trout waiting the next offering. We will be launching our boat this week and look forward to providing you with weekly reports and pictures from the lake.
Oswego County (www.visitoswegocounty.com)
Courtesy of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.
Oswego River – According to Capt. Kevin Davis of Catch the Drift, this week was tough for river fishing as the wind was a major factor. The water level has been running between 3,000-4,000 cfs but as of this morning it has risen to 7,740cfs. The weather forecast is calling for warming temperatures over the next several days so hopefully the bite will be on. Early in the week we saw action with brown trout and a few fresh chrome steelies. Egg sacs are the bait of choice.
Salmon River – According to Whitaker’s Sport Shop and Motel, Wednesday was another cold day with very windy conditions and a wind chill in the low 20s. The good news is that warmer weather is expected for today and right through the upcoming weekend. The water level will be running at 500cfs through the next few days. The mid to lower end of the river is a good choice if you’re looking for some solitude and searching for fresh fish. The upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville is seeing some action and continues to get the most fishing pressure. For those anglers who are fly fishing, high stick nymphing, egg patterns under a strike indicator or swinging flies have all produced results. For those anglers who are spin fishing or float fishing, egg sacs, trout beads, pink worms and jigs have all produced results.
According to Garrett Brancy of the Douglaston Salmon Run, although fishing conditions were difficult this week, mostly due to strong winds, our guests willing to brave the conditions were rewarded. Hats off to the young anglers accompanying their fathers on Wednesday, great job toughing it out! No one caught any huge numbers but some nice size fish were landed. Stone flies seemed to be the ticket, especially those with brightly colored wing cases. The most successful sizes were #8-12. Today the weather is forecasted to take a much welcomed “turn for the better” with temperatures hitting the 50 mark!
Oneida Lake – There is not a lot to report from Oneida Lake as we look forward to the upcoming warmer temperatures and some open water fishing that is coming before too long. A reminder that walleye season has closed and will reopen the first Saturday in May.
Sandy Pond – According to Dave Wood of Woody’s Tackle, we are currently in the lull between ice fishing and open-water fishing with little activity on the pond. A reminder that walleye and northern pike seasons has closed and will reopen the first Saturday in May.