I was able to pop out for a half day to the Niagara River with my friend Dean on Friday. Although a short day, it was one heck of a day to be out! We had incredible weather and the fishing was good once we figured out what they wanted. The water temps are still in winter mode at 33.6F! I can’t remember the Niagara River ever being this cold at this time of year. The fish are not in their spring spawning mode yet. Not even close. The females are still tight and possibly a couple weeks away from spawning. The numbers of fresh fish haven’t even arrived yet up river. The ice flows were minimal on Friday. Ice flows and cold water will be an issue this spring with so much ice breaking up from Lake Erie and the ice bridge. Caution must be exercised when navigating a boat.
Dean and I had fun targeting steelies that have been in the river a while that were coloured up nicely. We figured out that they wanted a TriggerX single egg in pink or chartreuse above the hook tipped with a roe bag. Single TriggerX eggs worked well on their own as well. We fished water from 12- feet to 24-feet deep drifting with the bottom current to allow us to have the most natural presentation possible. The water is stained below the power dams with about 2-feet of visibility, and several feet of visibility above. There was a definitive mud line coming from both sides of the hydro power generation dams.
I used a 9’6″ Rapala North Coast medium action rod teemed up with an RType reel spooled with 8lb Sufix Siege line. I employed a 7-foot Sufix fluorocarbon leader to a size 8 Gamakatsu octopus hook with a three-way rig and a slinky. The Minn Kota bow mount motor helped to achieve precision boat control.
The Niagara River will be good for steelies into June this year, so get out and enjoy it!