Upstate and Western New York Fishing Report- April 27, 2023
Greater Niagara Region
Mother Nature has not been kind to area fishermen. However, there are still plenty of fish available if you can deal with the unseasonably cool conditions and some wind.
The kings are in, according to some of the local charter captains. Capt. Pete Alex of Vision Quest Sportfishing reports some excellent salmon fishing last weekend as he fished in 50 to 60 feet of water between Wilson and Six Mile Creek using a mix of Dreamweaver DW spoon sizes. One gentleman on board was Jerzy Slawinski of Pennsylvania (son of Polish-born artist Jozef Slawinski) and he caught the fish of the day – a 22-pound king that hit a white-backed Rambler spoon 30 feet down over 60 feet of water. Action was good for salmon. Don’t miss out on the next Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association special “At the Dock” meeting featuring Capt. Pete on May 4, the night before the Spring LOC Derby. He will be giving a seminar on spring salmon fishing off the back of Vision Quest VI at 7 p.m. at Bootleggers Cove Marina in Wilson. Come early at 6 p.m. for a Marty Polovick-cooked hotdog.
You won’t be disappointed with either. Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Thrillseeker Sportfishing reports that Olcott has been strong with Coho and brown trout trolling with an odd king here and there. Fish are expanding their habitat now, so fish in 10 to 80 feet of water as water warms and alewives move in. With the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby a little over a week away, this is a good time to register. For weigh stations, both Wilson and Olcott are available. However, work was going on behind the scenes to try and line up a station in Youngstown. Keep posted at www.loc.org to see if there is anything firmed up.
Niagara River fishing has been inconsistent. It’s been on-again, off-again as the water is still influenced by winds and rains on Lake Erie. Just when the fishing starts getting good, it shuts down again with muddy conditions according to Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston. Trout are still available, especially lake trout which seem to be chasing smelt that have entered the lower river system. Mark Plennert of Niagara Falls has been reporting some decent catches of smelt the past week, with the Artpark area being the best spot for the tasty baitfish. How long they will hold on is anyone’s guess. They seem to run best when the water is clear. Bass are available downriver around Fort Niagara as well as above Niagara Falls in the traditional areas. If you are targeting bass in the river, make sure you use artificial lures. The current season is catch and release, artificial lures only. The only exception is the main body of Lake Erie. Walleye, northern pike, pickerel, and inland tiger musky seasons will open on May 1.
Wayne County Fishing Update
The LOC Spring Derby starts Friday May 5th and ends on May 14th. All the information including prize structure, rules, and weigh stations is on the web at loc.org
Currently the browns are hitting east of Sodus Bay because there is still stained water, especially nearer Scotts Bluff.
The water temperatures out of Rochester are a very cold, 41 degrees. The recent cold front and the consistent wind have made trolling a challenge.
The browns are hitting off riggers, down 10 fow and back 45 to 50 fow. Stickbaits are really the best presentation. Perch colored Smithwicks have been grabbing browns and spring salmon.
The cold front has slowed bay fishing. Sodus and Port Bay have temperatures averaging 43 to 47 degrees.
The water temps have to increase for a favorable bite. The perch have spawned, and they are now entering Lake Ontario through the channels at Sodus and Port Bays.
You can still catch perch; however, you must move around. For clear water use live minnows, while you need a chartreuse rubber bait fishing in stained water.
The bullhead fishing has also slowed because of colder water. You can still catch them on Bay Bridge at the south end of Sodus Bay. Use worms or grubs.
The pike and walleye season starts May 1st.
When you launch your boat… remember from November 1st until May 1st New York’s law requires you to wear your PFD. That means it cannot be laying around your boat. It must be worn.
Bait for fishing is available on the south end of Sodus at Davenports and Bay Bridge Sport Shop.
On Port Bay Jarvis Bait shop is open on Brown Road. The signs are on East Port Bay Road at the junction of Brown Road. In Ontario, Grantley’s Bait at 1864 Route 104 Ontario, NY.
Crappies are still being caught at Lauraville Landing in Clyde. You can launch a boat or fish along the shoreline. Crappies will hit smaller bright jigs.
Panfish have been hitting at Widewaters Park. There is also less wind fishing on the canal.
The New York State Canal Corporation recently announced that, conditions permitting, all portions of the New York State Canal system are scheduled to open Friday, May 19, 2023, at 7:00 a.m. for the 199th consecutive season of navigation.
Notable Freshwater Fishing Regulation Changes
The following list offers a summary of the most notable fishing regulation changes resulting from the adopted rulemakings described above.
- New statewide regulation for rainbow trout, brown trout, and splake in lakes and ponds. The season will now be open year-round, with a five-fish daily limit, any size, with a “no more than two longer than 12 inches” harvest rule.
- Statewide Atlantic salmon regulations will now allow for a year-round open season.
- Ice fishing is permitted on all waters in New York unless specifically prohibited with the exception of Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Warren, and Washington counties where previous rules remain.
- New specific dates replaced floating dates for statewide season openers to include:
- May 1 – Walleye, Northern Pike, Pickerel, and Tiger Muskellunge.
- June 1 – Muskellunge. (Note that in 2022, DEC will allow for the fishing of muskellunge beginning the last Saturday in May to accommodate previously planned fishing trips);and
- June 15 – Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.
- A five-fish daily walleye limit in Oneida Lake.
- A new regulation to limit the growth of the walleye population in Skaneateles Lake. No daily possession limit; 12-inch minimum size limit, open year-round.
- The statewide sunfish daily harvest limit has been reduced from 50 to 25 fish: and
- The statewide minimum size limit for crappie has been increased from nine inches to ten inches.
Orleans County Sportfishing Coordinator Ron Bierstine:
Trolling action has been turning in some good mixed bag action for browns, Kings and lakers. No serious winds as of late so the near shore waters have been on the clear side and skinny at times. But apparently there’s enough gloom thanks to passing storms along with some chop to make the fish comfortable being shallow. Lots of bait lurking ever closer to near shore is probably the biggest draw for the fish! Captain Hajecki from Crazy Yankee Sportfishing just recently had a good trip targeting mostly Kings in 12 – 16 fow just east of Point Breeze. He said long leads and stick baits were the ticket for a great mixed bag of Kings, browns and lakers. “Not sure if the fish will stay in that skinny water.” But if the bait hangs around and the water conditions are reasonable the hungry big predators will be nearby!
Cool weather is hanging on thru about the mid week along with passing storms and mostly gloomy weather. Cool conditions are hanging in so any last lick steelhead chances in the Oak likely are still hanging on. Flows are good at about moderate to medium with slightly stained visibility and so far not topping out much above 60°F. Bass action has been pretty good with multiple hook ups on big feisty bass. Not very technical fishing, put a drift or swing out there – fly, bait or lure and hang on. Casting chances for brown trout also offering up good chances for hook ups.
Reports of some hook ups at the Oak Orchard piers at Point Breeze over the past weekend. That same cool weather is keeping near shore water temps cool and the brown trout lurking. They look to be getting well fed up on bait so alewives might make a near shore shallow water push sooner then later bringing more browns within casting range or for personal small craft action. Always the chance for wild card hook ups on any trout or salmon swimming in Lake Ontario this time of year. Temps forecast to warm for end of week and weekend.
Steelhead pen rearing project concluded with a good release of the 10,000 fish in 2 pens at dusk on 4/24/23. Conditions were favorable and the fish seemed to disperse well after towing out to the Oak Orchard River mouth. Little to no bird or cormorant predation evidenced even into the next day – today, thanks to control efforts. King salmon nets for 126,000 fish were dropped at the marina later afternoon on 4/24/23. Those fingerlings should be making the short trek out to the Lake also with minimal bird predation.
Lake Ontario – Mexico, NY
Click Here of the 10 day Forecast
Brown trout have been plentiful, from the mouth of the Salmon River to the high rocks. But the three main spots have been grindstone, butterfly and the high rocks. Fish are shallow off the grindstone and butterfly, try 8-20’. Off the high rock you find fish out to 35’
Stick bait colors are black/sil/org, golden bass, firetiger and ghost. Spoons that have been working too, especially ludington special, ‘57 Chevy, uv grn glo, alewife, uv diehard, and gold perch.
Lake Ontario – Oswego
Click Here of the 10 day Forecast
Fishing has been on fire the last week! It doesn’t matter if you head East or West, brown trout have been plentiful along the shoreline to about 30’.
In typical spring fashion, planner board and small divers are taking fish. Flat lines from 75-150’ and 1 and 2 color leadcores have been best.
The best baits are stick baits in hot steel, firetiger, jailbreak, and clown. Spoons colors have been angry bird, killer mongoose, doctor, and circus freak.
Oneida Lake Hatchery Tour & WalleyeFest Tagging
Join “The Awakening Angler” on a tour of the Oneida Lake Walleye hatchery in Constantia NY. See how baby walleyes are made and watch a fish get tagged for The Oneida Lake WalleyeFest.
Oswego and Salmon River Reports
Throughout the spring and summer, both the Oswego and Salmon Rivers offer a variety of fishing opportunities, including panfish and bass. The Oswego also offers carp and walleye opportunities.
Year-Round Notice (Oswego River): There are mandatory personal flotation device zones on the river. The Oswego Fire Department offers loaner life jackets at no charge through its “Loaner for Life” program. For more information contact the east fire station by calling (315) 343.2161 or Click here for the Brookfield Varick Fish Safety brochure.
Free Oswego Fishing Guide
Click Here to Order a Free Guide
The 68-page guide includes a detailed overview of fishing opportunities on eastern Lake Ontario, Oneida Lake, the Oswego and Salmon rivers and a variety of other tributaries, as well as the more than 40,000 acres of public lands available for hunting.
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