The ice has cleared out of the Niagara River. Anglers are reporting that the smell run is on in the lower Niagara River. Most anglers are catching smelt, but in smaller numbers. The most popular spot on the lower Niagara right now is the Queenston Boat Launch area. Water conditions has been fluctuating from clear to 2′ visibility. I had a chance to fish below the falls on Sunday and the water conditions looked perfect. I only hooked and landed one fish, a silver 5 lb. female. With heavy rain forecast for the early part of this week, tributary waters will be rising and becoming turbid again which will enable another run of rainbows to run up most of our Lake Ontario tributary streams.
Wayne Sheridan reports on fishing the Ontario Grey-Bruce tributaries. Andy, Mario and the boys went up to check the river levels this past weekend. They checked out the Saugeen River at Dennyâ€™s dam and also the Maitland River and both were too high and dirty. They ended up going to the Sauble River at the S bend and caught and released a nice 2lb rainbow and a big male steelhead that fought a great battle until it was released. The upper part of the Saugeen River is still high, but clearing, visibility there was much better than the lower Saugeen River. Best bets are fishing at rivers and stream mouths that are open to fishing. Best lures: spawn-sacks, single egg presentations, Cleo, Kwikfish, Hot Shots & spinners and spoons.
River Flow Rates: moderate/high
Saugeen River (Durham) dropping at 1.48M, Saugeen River (Walkerton) dropping at 10.3M, Saugeen River (Port Elgin) dropping at 8.5M, Sauble River (Sauble Falls) dropping at 1.4M, Sydenham River (Owen Sound) dropping at 5.2M, Maitland River (below Wingham) slowly dropping at 1.5M, Credit River at Streetsville down at 4.45M, Credit River at Orangeville steady at 11.2M, Grand River (Doon), down at 4.1M.
Prime Fishing Times: Saturday April 18th, 2009: 7:36 am to 8:48 am (moon overhead), 8:01pm to 9:13pm (moon underneath).
On this weeks up-coming TSN programs watch Italo as he takes you fishing for trophy smallmouth bass in Lake Erie and uses the Slimers in-organic flesh baits to catch big bass using light line with a light action spinnig outfit and 1/8 oz. jigheads with Slimers eel, crayfish and slip-tails. You will get excellent tips on locating smallmouth bass that are cruising structure in search of baitfish in clear-water conditions.
*Sceduling change for April 19, 2009, the program has been re-scheduled to air at 5pm.
Lake Erie anglers are catching lot’s of jumbo perch especially from the Long Point area and going west to almost the mouth of the Detroit River. Most anglers are fishing live minnows near the bottom on a “pickerel-rig” (bell sinker with two bait hooks up from the sinker). The fish are ranging in depth from 15-30′.
Lake Simcoe still has ice-packs that are being shifted on and off the shorelines and anglers are anxiously awaiting for it to melt so that they can get out and capitalize on the jumbo perch out from shorelines in 10-20′ of water. As the weather settles-down and temperatures return to the seasonal average, fishing should be good by next week.
I had a chance to speak to Aldo Nava who operates www.niagarafishingadventures.com. He fished the Niagara Whirlpool a couple of days ago and landed one steelhead. He said there was so much ice in the Whirlpool that they could hardly get their lines in. I went down on Saturday and checked out the lower River and it was full of large sheets of ice which makes for dangerous boat-fishing out of Queenston, ON. Anglers will be wise to stay off the lower Niagara River until the ice chunks clear through.