The trophy bass season on the Lake Erie, NY side just opened on May 2. The other popular season opener is for walleye the same day, so anglers are pursuing both fish species this weekend. For bass, New York, state regulations allow for one fish with a minimum size of 20 inches in length, per person per day.Some of the most productive areas to target are around the break walls in Buffalo harbour. Some of the best Walleye fishing will be taking place at night with casting & trolling with Rapalas in front of Hamburg, NY. Bullhead are being caught in most bays and tributary marshes in both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Trout are still in a many of the Upper NY tributaries like the Cattaraugus, Canadaway and Chautauqua Rivers. Most of the Ontario-side of the Lake Ontario & Lake Erie tributaries are still offering some steelhead action, but the fish are moving out fast.
On this week’s show on TSN join Italo & his wife Barbara as they take you early-season fishing for whitefish, pike, perch and walleye at www.horwoodlakelodge.com , Horwood Lake, ON. You’ll learn great techniques to help you catch fish when you need to fish during cold-front conditions for in-active fish. You’ll also learn a great recipe to make “walleye-bobs” for our whole family to enjoy!
Fishing in the Lower Niagara has been slow, but Steelhead are still being caught from the Devilâ€™s Hole to the Niagara Bar and many of the drifts in-between. Minnows and Kwikfish are producing quite a few fish. Smelt fishermen are still picking up fish at night. The Niagara Bar is continuing to produce lake trout.Anglers are trolling or drifting/jigging to catch their fish.
Upper Niagara River
Migratory rainbow trout and a few bass are being caught throughout the runs at the mouth of the Niagara River from Buffalo/Fort Erie going north to Grand Island, NY. For bass in NY state, itâ€™s catch and release fishing until the regular season opener in June, unless youâ€™re fishing Lake Erie. The special early trophy season starts up May 2. Crappie and perch are being reported at the sand piles and around the tunnels. Perch and a mix of other panfish are being caught in the Buffalo Boat Harbour and also near the boat launch in Fort Erie.
Ron Bierstine reports: Oak Orchard turbine flows are so far hanging in at slightly better fishable levels compared to other smaller waterways. Water color has been mostly clear with 3+ feet of visibility, but now turning back a little more stained. The rain and cool temps earlier this week perked flows up only slightly. Now seasonal Erie Canal water feed will be commencing with the Canal being filled for the summer season, so flows may increase slightly and go a little off color. There has been an unseasonable warm-up thru weekend. A slight blip back to cooler temps today and the area received some thunderstorms last night. Some smallmouth bass have begun their spawning migration. Anglers can target these feisty fighters now before the season opener on a catch and release basis. Anglers can still get in on some late season action with a few steelhead hookups too. Anglers might intercept some drop back fish or be lucky enough to come across a few fresh steelhead. River mouth and shoreline casting action is underway with spoon casters taking advantage of slowly warming in-shore waters. The action is mostly for hungry brown trout with a few cohos or steelhead in the mix. Persistent east or north winds can make for slower action.
The last of the steelhead action in the Oak Orchard should continue on any mod – med or greater flows coupled with cool weather thru April. This weekend’s hot weather may just about cap off the last decent steelhead action in the Oak Orchard and smaller tributaries. Any remaining fish seem to be in the middle reaches of the river near fast water gravel areas or dropping back into temporary holding lies in the downstream, slower, slack water. Look for mod turbine flows thru the weekend. Any more precipitation could bring flows higher and dirtier. Water temps have been around the low 50’s F and will begin to climb with warmer weather. Earlier higher water temps put plenty of fish on gravel with spawning already complete for most fish. Suckers are fairly numerous and smaller, fresh jack steelhead are also being caught.
If you would like to book a guided fishing trip, or if you would like to contact Ron, you can reach him at., www.orleansoutdoor.com
The steelhead run is certainly winding down with most of remaining trout activity on Cattaraugus Creek. The Catt is flowing at 424 cubic feet per second and is your best bet. Concentrate efforts in the mid to lower sections of the creek as steelhead are dropping back toward the lake. Steelhead will take egg sacs, woolly buggers, egg-sucking leeches and minnow imitations. The other Lake Erie tributaries are low and clear with a few steelhead remaining.
The smallmouth bass action is heating up in the Erie tributaries with good numbers of bass moving into the creeks. Catches can be phenomenal, giving anglers a good forearm workout. Fly anglers do well with woolly buggers and minnow imitation patterns, especially emerald shiner imitations. Casting and retrieving stickbaits and crankbaits that imitate minnows also works very well. Starting May 2nd, anglers fishing in Lake Erie and tributary streams can keep one bass per day, minimum size 20 inches and use of natural bait such as minnows is permitted. Channel Catfish have also moved into the lower sections of the tributaries, settling into deeper holes. Fishing at night with worms, raw shrimp or cut bait can have you hooked into a 20 to 30 pound channel catfish.
Walleye season opens on May 2nd. Early season walleye action is best in near shore areas at night. Trolling with shallow diving stickbaits or worm harnesses in as little as 6 feet of water over rocky and rubble areas is a good bet. Good early season locations include (from west to east): Shorehaven Reef, Bournes Beach, Green Hills, Van Buren Bay, Evans Bar, off Hoak’s Restaurant (Hamburg) and near the mouth of Smokes Creek.
Anglers are catching bullhead in Dunkirk Harbor off the main city pier and behind the Clarion. Bullhead are also biting in Small Boat Harbor. Look for smallmouth bass action to pick up in harbors such as Barcelona, Dunkirk, Sturgeon, Small Boat Harbors and Black Rock Canal (south of Peace Bridge). Minnows (starting May 2nd) or minnow imitation stickbaits will produce.
Upper Niagara River
Anglers are picking up a few trout at the foot of Ferry Street. Bass and panfish action will be best in areas with slightly warmer water temperatures, like the various harbors and inlets along Grand Island, Buffalo and the Tonawandas. Good locations to try include Beaver Island State Park Marina, Blue Island Marina, Big Six Creek Marina and the foot of Ontario Street. These warmer water pockets draw in bait fish which in turn draw feeding panfish and bass.
The crappie bite has been hit or miss this past week. Decent locations have been in the canals or areas off the canals and creeks. Minnows, tube jigs, cubby jigs or combination have been productive for crappie. If you can’t find the crappie, you can always fall back on the perch. Yellow perch catches are good on minnows in both shallow and deep areas. Long Point is a good starting point for perch chasers. When walleye season opens on Saturday, concentrate efforts at night between 8-10 feet of water near stream inlets and weed beds. Trolling with stickbaits or worm harnesses is a good bet.
Inland Trout Streams
Most inland streams are low and clear. Anglers are having success with little spinners, salted minnows, worms and flies. Fly anglers are reporting an increase in fly hatches. Trout are rising to hatching Hendricksonâ€™s, blue wing olives and caddis flies. Nymphs such as stoneflies, scuds, pheasant tails and caddis flies will also catch fish.
Trout Stocking 2009
Many of the region’s streams and lakes are stocked each spring (March through May) with thousands of yearling brown, rainbow and brook trout. In addition to the traditional stocking of yearling trout, many waters also receive generous numbers of two-year old brown trout that average 14 inches in length. All of the region’s trout stocking waters have now been stocked, though select waters will receive a second stocking during May. For a complete list of stocked waters by county and number of trout stocked, view the spring 2009 Trout Stocking pages. Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many stocked trout streams and wild trout streams in the region.
Wiscoy Creek Angler Diary Program
The DEC Region 9 Fisheries Office will be running an angler diary program for Wiscoy Creek in Allegany and Wyoming Counties during 2009 and is currently looking for anglers to keep diaries. If you fish Wiscoy Creek (even once) and would like to keep a diary for DEC, please call the DEC fisheries office at (716) 372-0645 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The program will run March 1 through October 31. This program duplicates one run in 2006 and will be used in conjunction with a late-summer electrofishing survey to evaluate the fishery’s overall quality. In 2006, over 115 anglers signed up for the program.
If you need more fishing information or would like to contribute to the fishing report, please call or e-mail Mike Todd (716-851-7010; email@example.com) or Jim Markham (716-366-0228; firstname.lastname@example.org). Good Luck Fishing!
The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 679-ERIE or (716) 855-FISH.