Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report – November 11, 2021

West Marine

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon
Streams: Stream fishing continues to be excellent with Maxwell the hotspot. This Wayne County trib is a smaller connection with Lake Ontario, however it holds fish. The flow has calmed from last week and the water is clearer. Browns are hitting fresh eggs or bright colored beads…red or green. Some cohos were also caught in Maxwell. Look for the pockets that hold trout, mostly on the south side of Lake Road. The north side is slower water so throw out egg sacs under torpedo bobbers. You can park on the north DEC lot, at Beechwood Park, or limited space on the south side.

Lake Ontario tributary regulations: Three fish in combination and not to include more than one Rainbow Trout (or Steelhead) and One Brown Trout. 

Bays: Yesterday’s high of 65 degrees brought out a flotilla of boats on Sodus Bay. The perch being caught are in the pound class. They are being caught on both sides of LeRoy Island and next to the breach…both locations on the north side of the bay. At the south end perch have been in 10 to 15 feet of water near Oak Park and the points on the west side of the bay. Use bright jigs or Power Bait two to three inches. White grub colors have also worked. The south ramp of Port Bay is now open. Use this DEC site for an easier launch. The Port Bay perch are also caught off the points in the bay. The water has cleared since last week’s rainfall.

Erie Canal: The canal water is still high, collecting extra water from all the tribs that dump in the waterway. The bass are still hitting near Widewaters, and crappies are caught from Port Gibson west.

  • The 2021 New York State fishing guide can be found at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7917.html for downloading and printing at home. Production of hard copies is finished and have been delivered to License Issuing Agents. Hard copies can be requested by emailing FWFish@dec.ny.gov.
  • Keep informed from the NYS Canal web for changes and restrictions with canal waters. Keep informed about 2021 canal hours. (There will be no fees for the 2021 canal boating season.) May 21st is the scheduling for the canal opening. Hours are 7 am till 5pm. Stay informed with the following page: http://www.canals.ny.gov/boating/hours.html

Safety Precautions from DEC

While enjoying the outdoors, please continue to follow the CDC/New York State Department of Health guidelines (leaves DEC’s website) for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19:

  • Try to keep at least six (6) feet of distance between you and others.
  • Avoid close contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, and kissing.
  • Wash hands often or use a hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs, handrails, and playground equipment.

When fishing, DEC recommends avoiding busy waters and following the guidelines on DEC’s website about fishing responsibly in New York State. If an angler arrives at a parking lot and there are several cars, they should consider going to another parking lot. If an angler is fishing upstream, they should fish downstream of the other angler or consider fishing another day. Anglers fishing from boats should be able to maintain at least six feet of distance between one another. For more information about the benefits of being outdoors safely and responsibly, go to DEC’s website.

New York State is open for fishing and DEC encourages anglers to recreate locally at a nearby waterbody. New York’s lakes and streams offer great opportunities for fishing in a wide array of settings across the state. Even during the current COVID-19 public health crisis, getting outdoors and connecting with nature while angling in New York’s waters is a fantastic way to help maintain mental and physical health.


Oswego County

Report is Courtesy of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning

Salmon River Report:

The CFS was at a 750cfs release as of this morning. We have had a stable flow for the last week. Temperatures have been dropping on the cold nights early this week. However, we expect an increase in flows with the latest batch of rain we are receiving.

The following report is courtesy of Captain Andy Bliss, of Chasin’ Tail Adventures.

The steelhead season is well underway. There are fish from the estuary all the way to the fly zones. Steelhead are typically very aggressive this time of year with the current water temperatures, so fish the faster runs and heads, or tail out of pools.

Overall fishing is still challenging. A combination of leaves, moving fish and pressure have us working hard to capture a few fish each trip. What has worked the best is to get into a spot you like at first light. Fish that hard for a couple hours. Then start covering a lot of water to find the moving pods of fish. Where you catch them today might be empty tomorrow. The steelhead are definitely on the move!

Our go to set ups this week are a variety of colored Trick’em beads with Pautzke fire gel. Natural colors have been best, but don’t be afraid to throw an oddball occasionally. Pink & white egg sacs have produced big fish as well.

Orleans County

Ryan Lichtenfels Brown Trout
Pictured right: Caught this brown trout this past week at an “undisclosed location” in Orleans County. Courtesy of Ryan Lichtenfels.

This week’s fishing report is from Ron Bierstine, Oak Orchard Tackle & Lodge:

“Flows in the Oak are still slightly high and water color has improved with 2 ft of visibility. Expect water level fluctuations thanks to hydro power operations especially as leaf fall is likely to accelerate soon. Even without any significant new precipitation, look for flows in the Oak to stay up thanks to strong swamp headwater supplies. Darker and some old moldy salmon are still around. Most Kings will be spawning or on zombie patrol with the occasional fresher fish. No doubt a lot of King action came and went on the previous higher and off color flows.

Fishing pressure looks more like the end of November than the beginning of November for this mid week period so far. Suspect some pressure has shifted to other area smaller waterways. Good high water drifters are getting a few brown trout hook ups each outing by covering some water. Lots of water cover has probably spread out the fish. Flow conditions right now are more like nice steelhead water and higher then typical fall flows. Flogging one spot like at the Archers Club may not yield more then off and on action.

To the east flows are also somewhat higher then typical fall flows with slightly stained water color. Slower action there reported just lately after some good quality fish were hooked in the previous higher and dirtier water color. Those fish should be somewhere in the system and may be spread out now farther upstream. To the west, there’s not a lot of recent reports but flows should be more like moderate to medium and going toward clear. Weather is definitely agreeable right now and should last for another day or two. There’s a change afoot soon with the forecast ahead for the end of week and weekend going colder with a chance of mixed bag precipitation. Actually that forecast sounds more normal by November standards. No serious snow accumulations expected with highs in the 40’s°F.

Niagara County

Take note that Nov. 11, is Veterans Day and this is the final free fishing day of the year in the state. For more information check out the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov. You must still abide by all the regulations on the body of water you intend to fish.

Lower Niagara

trout action continues to improve from Devil’s Hole to Artpark.

According to Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston, the action has been good for both shore and boat anglers. Eggs and beads are working from shore along with spinners. Boat anglers are pulling Kwikfish or MagLips, as well as chubs from 3-way rigs. Your target species is steelhead and brown trout, but you will probably catch some lake trout in the process. The laker season is closed but will open soon on Dec. 1. Bass action on the Niagara Bar has also been very good for bigger fish.

Capt. Jim Gordon of Appleton reported catching some huge lunkers over the weekend. Bryan Greenwalt of Pittsburgh, Pa. reeled in a first fish that weighed 6 pounds and then followed that up with a 22-inch 7 pounder, both caught on a golden shiner in 18 feet of water.

Upper Niagara

Bass are going on a fall feed there, too, as musky action struggles with warmer water temperatures.

Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island reports that some big bass have been coming to the boat. This is the time of year when big baits translate into big fish. He is using 6-to-7-inch suckers fished off 3-way rigs or large golden shiners to catch 5 to 6-pound smallmouth bass. This is normally the time when Cinelli is targeting musky, but with water temperatures still in the mid-50s, action has been sporadic. He would like to see those temps in the upper 40s or lower.

Tommy Ortolano with Lake Effect Bait, Tackle and Charters in Buffalo reports that they are starting to get some rainbows and some big walleyes at the foot of Ferry Street and along the wall towards the Peace Bridge.

Chris Brown Smallmouth Bass
Chris Brown of Tazwell, Va. with a big smallmouth bass he caught in the upper Niagara River fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli.

Guide Scott Feltrinelli of Ontario Fly Outfitters has been locating “post spawn” trout in many of the tributaries off Lake Ontario. He says the fish are just starting to slide off the redds, hole up and put on the feed bags. Most of the tributaries are fishing fair. The water releases from the Erie Canal continue to make an impact with higher water and some turbidity. Smaller tributaries are running low and clear. That will probably change on Friday when more rain is expected. Angling pressure has been up, but this will probably subside a bit with the increase in hunting activities in the next week or two.

In Olcott Harbor, there are still salmon hanging around and taken at night according to Josh Dunkelberger of Olcott.

Jim Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott reports that there are salmon and brown trout at the dam with an occasional steelhead. Anglers are also catching Northern pike in the harbors.

In Wilson, there continues to be pier action for both salmon and trout. Spoons, spinners, and eggs, not necessarily in that order. The West Pier is now open at Olcott.

Dave White Musky
Dave White of Ohio caught this upper Niagara River musky this week fishing with Capt. Chris Cinelli.
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