Western New York

Lake Erie and tributaries: Tributary fishing has been decent and
most tribs have been holding trout. The only one that’s seen
limited action is Cattaraugus. There was ice in the Small Boat
Harbor, but check for updated safety conditions.

Lake Ontario and tributaries: Fishing has been inconsistent, to
say the least, but there has been some favorable fishing along some
of the tributaries. Ken Jackson of Sanborn reports that he picked
up some fish in several Niagara county tribs earlier this month.
Then Jackson was back at it with family members like his father,
Paul of Sanborn; brother Dave of Niagara Falls; brother-in-law Rob
Dunn of Sanborn; and nephew Sam Jackson of Florida. They caught a
bunch of steelhead up to 9 pounds, with pink and chartreuse egg
sacs the ticket for about half the fish and straight wax worms for
the other half. Most of the fish came when the water was dropping
after they shut off the power turbine – a bit unusual. Fishing is
usually best when they are generating power. Everyone caught fish
except Paul. Only one brown trout was part of their catch. Jackson
was back again a few days later and managed to catch a few trout,
including a 12.5-pound steelhead on a pink jig.

Lower Niagara River: The water was still discolored in the lower
Niagara at last look. Some boats have been out trying their luck,
but it’s been tough with the stained water. The most successful
boat angler caught three fish, and that was for all day. There
might be a few fish caught from shore on minnows or egg sacs, but
only if you can find some clean water. The good news is that once
the water starts to clear, the trout fishing should take right off!
Remember that if you’re fishing on the Canadian side of the river,
the new license year is under way. And in addition to the license,
you will also need to purchase the Outdoors Card for a cost of $9
Canadian. This is good for three years.

Upper Niagara River: Between the muddy water and the
inconsistent weather patterns, not too much going on above Niagara
Falls and on toward Buffalo at last look.

Chautauqua Lake: Ice was being made during a midmonth cold snap,
and with any luck hard water anglers are out there as of this
writing. But always check conditions before venturing out.

Bill Hilts, Jr.


(716) 679-ERIE.

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