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 email@example.com. 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; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jim Markham (716-366-0228; email@example.com). Good Luck Fishing!
The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 679-ERIE or (716) 855-FISH.