Western New York Fishing Report - March 8th, 2013
Lake Ontario and tributaries
Many of the streams were high and muddy at last check, and the ice was posing a bit of a problem along the shoreline. Burt Dam and Eighteen Mile Creek was open, according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker, with steelhead and browns the top targets. Jigs tipped with wax worms and fished under a float was the top approach, but egg sacs will work, too. Keg Creek was open, too, and with milder temperatures it could open up some other waters. The second place fish in the NRAA contest came from the Oak and the top brown trout came from Twelve Mile Creek in Wilson. In Olcott Harbor, a few anglers were fishing off the docks for perch, but they may have to crack through some ice in the morning. In Wilson, there was 5-6 inches of ice being reported. Perch and bluegills. Caution was advised. This is the time of year when conditions can change quickly.
Lake Erie and tributaries
Trout were available in all streams but the Catt, which too high and muddy fat last report. Ice may be safe in the Buffalo Boat Harbor but caution is advised
Upper Niagara River
Not too much fishing going on lately due to weather conditions and high winds.
Lower Niagara River
NYON columnist Will Elliott of Pavilion is no stranger to the sport of fishing and he proved that when he won the Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead contest with a 13.16-pound fish caught in the Devil’s Hole area of the Niagara River. He was fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls, as well as two contest regulars – John DeLong and John Kieller from the Finger Lakes. It was a silver and pink “bug bite” K-9 Kwikfish that did the trick. Second place went to Mike Pustulka of Delevan with an Oak Orchard steelie that weighed in at 10.88 pounds. Third place was Bob Hubler of Niagara Falls with a 9.92-pound lower river trout. And the top brown trout was a 9.62-pound fish from 12 Mile Creek in Wilson, caught by Chad Hottot of Niagara Falls. A total of 71 anglers competed in the contest and all faced tough conditions.
Burtis Bay was producing a few fish through the ice but caution is advised, according to Craig Robbins. Perch were also being caught off Grass Island on wax worms and minnows. A few smallmouth were being caught off Rock Island on the northwest side in 10 feet of water. Catch-and-release only for bass, and artificial baits only.
At last look, ice was marginal at the south end, with good solid ice of 3 to 4 inches in some spots and less in others. Ice was reportedly better off the east side of the south end, but keep in mind conditions can change quickly. The bluegill bite has been fair in 7-10 feet of water on small jigs with wax worms or spikes. Anglers were icing the occasional keeper crappie or yellow perch as well. Tip-ups with shiners have not produced many northern pike this season.
There was 4-5 inches of ice but the overall action has been slow. Jigging has produced modest numbers of keeper-sized yellow perch, crappie and walleye. Tip-ups with shiners catch mostly bass and northern pike, along with the occasional walleye.
A few perch and sunfish, but chain pickerel offer good action on tip-ups with minnows.
At last check, Johnson Creek had moderate to high water flows and low visibility all the way from the lake to Lyndonville Dam. There was open water all the way up so if things calm down weather-wise Johnson Creek should have a good fishery for both steelhead/rainbow trout (both fresh and seasoned) and drown trout. On Oak Orchard River the flow was more moderate and visibility more like 1-2 feet. The Oak had open water all the way north to past the bridges area, but there was still some shore ice that limited access. Those venturing out were having some success. As always when the water temperature is in the low to mid 30s your presentation needs to be very slow and close to the bottom to entice lethargic fish. Marsh Creek didn’t seem to have much open water and Sandy Creek was fishable at last report.