Greater Niagara Fishing Report
Lake Ontario and tributaries – Ice fishing action in Wilson and Olcott continues to be an option for hard water anglers, but you do have to work for them. Chris Schotz of Sanborn caught his biggest fish ever last weekend through the ice in the Wilson back bay, a big northern pike. Persistence finally paid off! Pay attention to the main channel in Olcott Harbor with the increased flow – it could create some unsafe conditions. With temperatures into the 40s this week, it should open up 18 Mile Creek at Burt Dam a bit for guys and gals looking to chase a trout or two in the open water. Both brown trout and steelhead should be available on small jigs tipped with a wax worm. White has been a good color, but if water becomes stained with the excess run off from snow melt or rain, you may have to use a brighter color. Remember that the Lake Ontario State of the Lake meeting is set for Cornell Cooperative Extension in Lockport on March 13 starting at 6:30 pm. Many small game seasons are starting to wind down with the end of February approaching, but at least one new one is starting up – the late Canada Goose season for the South Area on March 1-10.
Lower Niagara River – The Niagara River Anglers Association held their annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead contest last weekend, with more than 50 diehard fishermen heading out to any local trout waters that they could find. Most of them fished the Lower Niagara River and that’s where the winning fish came from this year. In the end, Jim Sayer of North Canton, OH was the top dog with a 13.6 pound steelie caught on a pink egg sac in Devil’s Hole while fishing with Capt. Jim Rores. Second place went to Bob Hubler of Niagara Falls with a 10.86 pound trout, also while fishing Devil’s Hole with an Emerald shiner. Third place was Norm Deitrick of Philadelphia, PA with a 10.64 pound trout reeled in the same way and area as Hubler, fishing alongside Sayer and Rores in the same boat. Biggest brown trout was Paul “The Hammer” Czarnecki of Erie, PA while fishing a pink egg sac along the Coast Guard drift downriver. He was fishing with Capt. Jim Taylor. Many of the boats caught double digit trout numbers, with several of the boats catching in excess of 20. They were released to fight another day except for the winning catches. That could all change with the recent warm temperatures and rain in the forecast. Run off could create turbid conditions, but you will have to wait and see what Mother Nature dishes out.
Upper Niagara River – Not too much to report other than some ice action around Grand Island. One thing to mark on your calendar is the Niagara River Anglers Association’s 8th Annual John Long, Sr. Memorial Raffle and Feast on March 23 at the St. Vincent DePaul Hall on Military Road in Niagara Falls. This is the main fund raiser for the club, supporting conservation camps for kids, youth fishing programs and more. Chief cook Mike George promises a great menu for all in attendance. Check out www.niagarariveranglers.com for details.
Chautauqua County Fishing Report
Lake Erie and Tribs – Lake Erie is reporting 20 inches or more of ice, west of Cattaraugus Creek. Anglers should still be very cautious when ice fishing Lake Erie, keeping an eye out for pressure cracks. Ice anglers have been accessing Erie off Cattaraugus Creek. Anglers have been walking out to 50 plus feet of water in search of monster Lake Erie perch and the occasional walleye.
Lake Erie tribs are still frozen up and open water fishing won’t be happening till they start to thaw.
Chautauqua Lake – Chautauqua has good solid ice of 12 inches or more throughout the lake. With a mid-week warm up forecasted the snow pack on top of the ice should start a slow melt down. Lakewood, Burtis, Ashville Bays are producing consistent numbers of crappie, sunfish and perch. The flats off Mayville has been a top bluegill spot. Yellow perch fishing has improved in deeper areas of 25 feet or more, with good action reported off Prendergast, Maple Springs and Vikings. Most of the perch have been in the 6 to 7 inch range with the occasional fish around 8 inches. Jigs with grubs or small minnows and jigging spoons, Swedish pimples, slender spoons with grubs or minnows have worked well for perch. Some anglers have reported good walleye action during early morning and evening hours between Long Point and Victoria Bar in 20-30 feet of water. Walleye have also shown at similar depths near Dewittville Bay. Anglers generally target walleye during low light periods with jigging Rapalas, jigging spoons or shiners on a tip-up
Oswego County Fishing Report
This report courtesy of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning.
Oswego River – The water flow has not been much over 5,000cfs for this week. This afternoon it is 3,640cfs. This level makes more areas along the river accessible. However with heavy rain moving into the area over the next 24 hours along with snow melt, this level may change. There has not been a lot of activity but a few steelhead have been taken. The bridge to Leto Island is closed, and there are Mandatory Personal Flotation Device (PFD) zones on the Oswego River below the Varick Dam. For more information, view the Oswego County Tourism web site at www.visitoswegocounty.com and look for the fishing report under fishing and hunting.
Pulaski area/Salmon River – According to the Douglaston Salmon Run, for the first time in several days the weather cooperated with fishermen yesterday. A handful of guests took the opportunity to chase some fresh steel down on the run. Anglers had to work for their catch but most were able to land some fish, including a brown trout or two. #10-12 stoneflies were the most successful and single egg patterns in cream, pink, and blue also brought a few fish to hand. White and blue egg sacs took some fish as well.
According to Whitaker’s Sport Shop & Motel, on Wednesday the weather improved with morning temperatures in the mid 20′s and afternoon temperatures reaching into the upper 30′s. Yesterday anglers we have staying in the motel reported having another good day in the upper end of the river between Altmar and Pineville. The Lower Fly Zone, Schoolhouse Pool, Wire Hole, Trestle Pool, Pineville and Sportsman’s Pool have produced steady action on a daily basis. Anglers who are fly fishing have done well with nymphs in black, brown or olive and single egg patterns in pale colors. Anglers who are float fishing or bottom bouncing have done well with egg sacs, beads and pink worms.
Oneida Lake – Conditions will be difficult over the next couple of days. With the warmer temperatures, the snow is melting on the ice and it is slushy and more challenging to get around. Rain is expected to move into the area this evening through tomorrow morning and may be heavy at times. The good news is colder temperatures will be returning by the end of the weekend. Anglers have found a decent perch bite in about 20 feet of water.
Sandy Pond – According to Dave Wood of Woody’s Tackle, the fishing on the pond is good. We have not lost ice on the pond with the warmer temperatures but the top of the ice is a little sloppy and slushy. There shouldn’t be a problem with the ice as cold temperatures will be returning on Sunday. The perch bite has been fair with small jigs tipped with grubs. The northern pike bite continues to be good with tip ups, large minnows and large spikes working well.