Western New York Fishing Report – January 24th, 2014
Lake Ontario and tributaries: Your best bet will be for the ice fishing in Wilson, but keep an eye on changing conditions. It was great last earlier this month, with 8-9 inches being reported. Bluegills, perch and a few trout were being reported by anglers using Hali jigs in chartreuse, orange and purple. They were tipped with a piece of minnow, according to Greg Stanley at All in the Same Boat in Newfane. Matt Wilson of North Tonawanda was reporting good hard-water success earlier this month in Wilson Harbor with teardrop jigs in chartreuse and yellow or orange colors. He was mixing up what he was tipping them with – small minnows, pike minnows, wax worms and more. He was catching a mix of fish. As far as local stream action, the cold weather has put a damper on activity right now, but warm weather could open up some water around Burt Dam on Eighteen Mile Creek. There was some open water reported at the Dam earlier this month, as well as the dams at Johnson and Oak Orchard.
Remember, the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo is this weekend (Jan. 24-26).Check out www.niagarafishingexpo.com for more info. Also part of the show is The Bass University and the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association’s Salmon School and Marketplace. There will be plenty of educational stuff for the kids, too.
Lake Erie and tributaries: With some areas receiving over a foot of snow during the blizzard earlier this month, many of the tributaries will be wiped out. You might be able to find some open water at Dunkirk Harbor, especially around the warm water discharge area.
Upper Niagara River: If the ice pack held up in the Buffalo boat harbor, look for ice fishing success for perch and panfish. That said, there were some reports of some walleye being taken on Little Lindy rigs. The top approach has been with teardrop ice jigs in chartreuse and tipped with minnow heads, spikes or wax worms. Some pike were also being reported.
Lower Niagara River: The Niagara River was filled with ice and waters were muddy earlier this month. Some flood warnings were up because of ice jams. But things may have settled down and you may seem some action.
Chautauqua Lake: Ice action has started a bit more vigorously at both ends of the lake. Burtis Bay is one spot to target for a mix of panfish using small ice jigs tipped with spikes or wax worms. Perch in the northern section of the lake were starting to turn on, too. Keep an eye on changing conditions, always.
Silver Lake: Silver Lake was reporting good ice (especially south) with panfish options around the shallows, but check again before you go.
Cattaraugus County lakes: A number of lakes in Cattaraugus County have good ice and offer a variety of ice fishing opportunities. Case, Harwood, Allen, New Albion and Red House Lakes mostly offer fishing for smaller yellow perch and a variety of sunfish. However, there is also an opportunity to catch large breeder trout that were stocked in the fall by the Randolph Fish Hatchery. Quaker Lake offers good northern pike fishing and was also stocked with breeder trout last fall.