Western New York Fishing Report - January 11th, 2013
Lake Ontario and tributaries
Eighteenmile Creek was muddy at last check heading into the New Year, looking like a coffee with two creams, according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker. But fish were still being caught – steelhead and brown trout. Late last month an 18-pound coho salmon (and still silver) showed up at Burt Dam. The water has had good flow to it. When it’s stained, use chartreuse, orange or pink-colored baits to boost your chances for success. Jigs fished under a float or egg sacs will work best. Olcott Harbor was turbid but when the waters start to clear look for perch fishing to pick back up again. Ditto for Wilson Harbor. Not too much pier fishing going on because of the northerly winds. Keg Creek was finally open and some fish were being caught, primarily browns. Water was low and clear with decent flow as of last week. To the east, Johnson Creek and the Oak Orchard River were at moderate flows with trout available. Perch action in Irondequoit Bay has been good but boats were having a tough time launching.
Lake Erie and tributaries
Tributary action was good to very good, but that could change depending on the weather. Snowfall along Lake Erie could make for some very tough conditions for the tributaries. Your best bet might be Dunkirk Harbor off the fishing platform or the city pier. Target the warm water discharge with live bait or egg sacs and you could do well on trout.
Upper Niagara River
Not much has changed since the last report. Perch were still available off Broderick Park on emerald shiners. Dip your own for bait. The same area, along with Bird Island Pier and the northern section of Squaw Island, were good spots to cast for trout with spoons or egg sacs.
Lower Niagara River
The big news on the local fishing scene is the fact that lake trout season has opened back up as of Jan. 1. Area anglers can legally target lake trout, with the lower Niagara River and the Niagara Bar off the mouth of the river your two best spots for these native fish. Just a reminder that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is conducting a study on lake trout and they have placed a floy tag in the dorsal fin of 72 fish. If you catch one of these fish, either call the fish and wildlife service offices located on the tag or clip the tag and place it into the special box located at the fish cleaning station of Lewiston Landing. Steelhead and brown trout 23re also being caught with regularity in the lower river from boat and shore, with Kwikfish lures, egg sacs and minnows good from a boat; spoons, spinners or eggs good from shore. While weather hasn’t cooperated of late, Capt. Jeff Draper of Grand Island was one of the few boaters out, catching a few steelies and browns on small minnows. If the wind is out of the north, use your trolling motor to help increase your speed. If you fish in Canadian waters in the lower river, remember that the Province of Ontario license year started on Jan. 1 and runs on the calendar year.
Not too much fishing action going on. Ice could be forming soon thanks to extended periods of cold temperatures. In the meantime, perch and walleye were still your two best bets on the lake if the water wasn’t turning hard. Best spot for perch was between the bridge and the ferry in the narrows on the Stow side of the lake. Best spots for walleye were in the deeper holes off Long Point and in Dewittville Bay with a jig tipped with a crawler. But chances are we’re close to safe ice now and open water is a thing of the past, at least for a while.