Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report – November 4, 2021

West Marine

Greater Niagara Region

Frank Campbell

We are certainly getting closer to the completion of the Olcott breakwall and pier project, part of the state’s Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative for Lake Ontario. One sure sign is that anglers can now fish off the west pier in Olcott. Tributaries are still high and muddy from the recent rains, but you can still catch fish if you find areas not as stained according to Karen Evarts with The Boat Doctors in Olcott. For Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek, there continue to be good numbers of fish such as a decent amount of Coho salmon, Chinook salmon and brown trout. Best baits continue to be egg sacs, treated egg skein, and jigs fished under floats. Colors vary, but when the water is off-color, go with something bright. Night fishing in Olcott Harbor continues to be good with glow spoons or stickbaits. Casting the piers in Wilson is still producing some salmon and trout, too. Twelvemile Creek has good water flow, but it is also high and muddy right now. When it comes down, there will be fish in it. Try this weekend. Smaller creeks like Fourmile and Keg should be good for fishing this weekend, too, if we don’t see any more rain.

Gary Hall steelhead
Gary Hall of Niagara Falls shows off a dandy lower Niagara River steelhead he caught while fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston.

Shawn West brown trout
Shawn West of Lockport caught his personal best brown trout from a favorite Lake Ontario tributary.
Porter Smith salmon
Porter Smith, 6, of Kingston, Ohio with a big Burt Dam salmon he caught, a personal best.
Connor Smith salmon
14 year old Connor Smith of Kingston, Ohio with a lunker 18 Mile Creek salmon he caught.
Gary Laidman smallmouth bass
Gary Laidman of South Wales with a Niagara River smallmouth bass.

In the Niagara River, fishing is picking back up according to Lisa Drabczyk with Creek Road Bait and Tackle of Lewiston. There are still a few salmon hanging around, but the action is primarily focused on trout. You can catch fish from a boat or from shore. Beads, sacs, and spinners are the top approaches for anglers according to Drabczyk. With the water being off-color, the shore fishermen have been doing better than the boat drifters. That doesn’t mean that you can’t catch fish from a boat. Capt. John DeLorenzo of Niagara Falls hit 6 trout one morning this week, a mix of lake trout and steelhead. Some brown trout are around, too. Bass and walleye are still available in the river if you want to try and target them according to Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston. He likes to use drop shot rigs with Strike King dream shots or swim baits to take bass. Worm harnesses are still working on walleyes. On a final note, remember that lake trout season is closed until the end of the month. It opens on Dec. 1. Also, remember that if you are fishing from a boat or watercraft less than 21 feet long, you must wear a PFD when on the water.

Wayne County Fishing Update

Chris Kenyon


All the streams in Wayne County are experiencing heavy flows, which is what we were waiting to happen.

Maxwell is opened to the lake and continues to be the hotspot in the county, however, use caution angling the current, especially on the south side.

The browns are hitting fresh egg sacs or use chartreuse green beads. Make sure you use 20 lb. mono if that is your set-up.

The fish are found in the pools and if hooked they zip down the stream. You will need to follow fish so make sure you have good footing, especially now the flow is so strong.

Parking is available on both sides of Lake Road.

Pier fishing has been productive, however use caution with high waves at Sodus Point. Bring your long handle net. It has been a little to windy over the weekend, however it’s predicated to be calm today.


The bass boats are still roaming Sodus Bay. Be careful launching as ramps can become very slippery. The safest way to fish for bass is always fish with a partner.

The largemouths are still near the docks and under any weed cover. You can also catch them off the many points jutting out in the bay.

The perch are on the east side and near the north breach east of the channel. The best bait is still white rubber grubs. The larger the bait…the larger the fish.

Perch are in the north section of Port Bay. The south ramp is now open. It’s located off West Port Bay Road.

Erie Canal

Canal water is extremely high with last week’s rain. Use caution launching a boat. You can find less current on the south side of the waterway.

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:

Here we are into November with cooler temps and on the backside of higher flows. That sounds like a recipe for fresh fish migrations in all the waterways and the chance for brown trout and steelhead hook ups! The past days, since the weekend, rains and high water have been tough for most. After a cold night last night, look for a further drop in flows all around and clearing water color. Forecast is for continued seasonable weather thru the week with highs around 50°F and dropping back into the 30’s°F at night. No significant Lake Effect Snow expected here on the WNY Lake Ontario Plain. There’s a chance of an inch or two maybe south of the area off Lake Erie.

Erie Canal water release in Orleans County
If you didn’t catch “On the Water” program when it was aired this past Spring discussing the effect of the Erie Canal water release on fishing in Orleans County, watch it here! Ron gave a great interview!

Any emergency Canal drainage flows are now tempered and so that leaves tribs like the Oak and Sandy mostly to regular run of the river flows. Flows in the Oak are high and stained with about 1 foot of visibility. Without overflow levels now, some might be inclined to call it only slightly high. Either way, flows consist of a strong head of turbine water that could be close to full bore. Flows should stay up thanks to exceptional upstream supplies even as water color should continue to improve.

Plenty of salmon are spawning now in the higher flows and some of the post spawn zombies will be flushed out along with lots of other weeds and debris. (Some fresh salmon are still likely to be in the mix easily thru November). That should make for cleaner drifts, although with a late leaf fall, look for continued usually daily water level fluctuations thanks to hydro power operations.

Anglers started out with a tough bite yesterday but reported better later in the day. No doubt as flows drop and clear even a little guys should get onto more fish, especially brown trout. Other area smaller tribs east and west are coming back into slightly high and stained flows. Sandy Creek is probably remaining stubbornly stained from that Canal drainage but definitely dropping back some. Look for fish to be well spread upstream thru all the waterways with anglers wise to spread out too and try different spots to find fish.

West Marine store finder

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