Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report – November 24, 2021

West Marine

Greater Niagara Region

Frank Campbell

It’s a time to give thanks and enjoy some fishing in Niagara Falls USA.
Several Pennsylvania outdoor media visited Western New York the past week and caught brown trout, steelhead and a mix of other fish while fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell and Capt. Joe Marra, both of Lewiston, in the lower Niagara River. Writers included Peter Brookes of Virginia, Doyle Dietz, and Wade Robertson of Pennsylvania and they all caught fish. Lower river trout action has been fair around Devil’s Hole and Artpark according to Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. Shore anglers are floating beads and casting spinners for the most success. Steelhead is still the primary focus, but lake trout are tough to keep off lines. Lake trout season opens on Dec. 1 which is not far off for those looking to legally target them. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught several steelhead with a Kwikfish Tuesday off the NYPA Platform and along the Artpark shoreline. Turbid water has made for a slower bite. The NYPA fishing platform will be shutting down on Dec. 1 for the season. Boat anglers are using live bait like emeralds and goldens, but Kwikfish, MagLips and beads are also working to take trout. Capt. Ryan Shea of Tonawanda reported conditions were great on Tuesday, boating steelhead and other trout. In addition, down river action for brown trout is slowly picking up. Water temperatures are close to the 50-degree mark, with the closure of the regular musky season around the state, including the Upper Niagara River and Lake Erie, on Nov. 30. If you still have that musky itch beyond that, the lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario remain open to musky angling through Dec. 15. Some perch catching is going on near the north corner of the Lewiston Landing area. It’s better from boats.

Brian Russell
Brian Russell of Pittsburgh caught this Niagara River steelhead fishing with Capt. Ryan Shea of Tonawanda.
Dave Jarosz
Dave Jarosz of Elma caught this lower river steelhead fishing with his dad, John, and Capt. Ryan Shea this week.
Derrick from Pittsburgh
Derrick from Pittsburgh caught this lower Niagara River brown trout fishing with Capt. Ryan Shea this week.
Doyle Dietz
Doyle Dietz of Pennsylvania with a feisty Niagara River steelhead he caught while fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell.
Mikie Rzucidlo
Mikie Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls caught this steelhead off the NYPA fishing platform on a Kwikfish. The platform will shut down Dec. 1 for the season.

There was enough water in some of the tributaries around Wilson and Olcott for outdoor writer Ben Moyer of the Pittsburgh area to reel in his first Chinook salmon on a fly. He also caught a small brown trout, all while fishing with Blake Kowalski of Tonawanda. High water is still a concern in some of the bigger streams and canal releases have been cut back in some areas. Fishing pressure in the tributaries has been lighter due to hunting seasons underway.

Oswego County

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

Salmon River Report:

The Salmon River was at 1800, as of noon today. This is the same high flows we saw last week after heavy rains. Temperatures have started to drop this week with the colder weather. We’ve even seen our first snow of the season! And water temperatures are already in the mid 30’s.
This week’s report is from Captain Nick Mulpagano of Nautical Nick’s Guide Services.

Capt Nick Mulpagano
Capt Nick Mulpagano picked up this steelhead this week. Steelhead season is picking up and should really kick off once this high water settles.

Fishing has remained challenging. The bite has been day to day. We’ve been working hard because most of the fish are still scattered. With the falling water temperatures, we recommend to start concentrating on the slower deeper pools
Our go to set up this week is a variety of colored beads. Natural colors have been best but don’t be afraid to throw an oddball occasionally. Pink and white egg sacs have produced at times as well. We’ve also done well pulling plugs.

Tight lines everyone!

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon


Snow fall last night only left a few inches along the lake. All streams are fishable with shorelines open.

The water flow on Maxwell is creating some nice pockets near the small pools. Maxwell is a short stream, however any trib opened to the lake has fish.

Use fresh eggs if you can or go with bright chartreuse jigs…green, orange or red. The browns coming out of Maxwell are colorful.

Steelhead are also hitting egg sacs. Fish Maxwell early in the morning and during the week and you will have space to cast.

Lake Ontario tributary regulations

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


You can fish for bass in Sodus Bay until November 30th then it’s catch and release only. Currently it’s the perch bay and they are hitting out from the loop, over by the breach, between the islands and out from Oak Park Marina. So…they are hitting everywhere.

It’s the same scenario at Port Bay. If we can get safe ice this should be the best ice fishing in decades. The Port Bay water was 46 degrees last week and certainly lower today. If the wind stops for a while the bays will freeze fast this winter. Let’s hope.

Use the south ramp for Port Bay. DEC extended the ramp and now your boat trailer won’t drop off the edge.

All persons on board a recreational vessel less than 21 feet in length (including canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) must wear a USCG–approved PFD from November 1 to May 1.

Erie Canal

The canal current is still strong where the waterway is not drained. You can launch at Widewaters. Be extra cautious at any ramp as they will be very slippery this time of year.

The bass are still on the bite. Use spinnerbaits this time of year.

All persons on board a recreational vessel less than 21 feet in length (including canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) must wear a USCG–approved PFD from November 1 to May 1.

The 2021 New York State fishing guide can be found at 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

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 below web page.

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 great way to help maintain mental and physical health.

Orleans County

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

Barry Kuhn
Barry Kuhn from Greensburg, PA caught this brown trout this past weekend at the Oak.

Still lots of water in the Oak at slightly high and slightly stained with about 2 ft of visibility. Water color has that swamp headwater tannic stain to it. Expect daily water level fluctuations thanks to leaf fall/wind and hydro power operations. Another shot of precipitation from a couple of days ago – forecast ahead thru the mid week looks seasonable: cool and mostly clear with a slight warm up toward the end of week.

Fishing pressure is light with a few cars seen at each parking spot on the Oak. This amount of fishing pressure in these high – ish flows will put next to no pressure on the fish. Kings have for the most part given up the ghost and now some carcasses are seen seeding the waterway. That’s more typical of what we would have normally seen a month ago. Now quietly too a few guys are reporting better action. Not a dozen hook ups for a morning effort, but at least a few that might include a couple steelhead or a couple browns. Patience and persistence on the Oak may finally be paying off. So it sounds a little like an improvement from a struggle for a hook up to getting a few.

Flows in the other area smaller waterways did bump up slightly from the most recent precipitation but seem to be sliding back to medium – ish for now. No significant icing on any waterway. Most fishing pressure has been to the east but even now that has started to ease up some. Second season trout action now with light fishing pressure and still reasonable weather with all kinds of water to fish seems like the name of the game right now!

West Marine store finder

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *