Western New York

Lake Erie and tributaries: The Buffalo Boat Harbor has been
producing perch, but quite a few smaller ones. Some bluegills and
other panfish were also being taken. The occasional northern pike
is also being caught there. Most of the tributaries are locked in
ice right now.

Lake Ontario and tributaries: Hard-water action has started in
both Wilson and Olcott harbors. Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker
reports that he’s seen some pictures of a couple of dozen perch
taken from Wilson in one sitting. Bluegill fishing has been good,
too – at least when there’s not a northern pike or big trout
around. Most of the fishermen have been targeting the panfish, but
there were some nice lunkers caught through the ice – including a
29-inch northern and a 10-pound steelhead. Wax worms and spikes
have been catching the most fish.

Lower Niagara River: Most of the boats braving the cold
collected a few fish, with eggs or egg imitations the best bait to
use off three-way rigs. Capt. John DeLorenzo of Niagara Falls
reported good success one day last month despite the cold
conditions, catching over a dozen steelhead for the day. The
Niagara River Anglers steelhead contest is set for Feb. 21.

Upper Niagara River: Pat Van Camp at Big Catch sends word that
ice fishing in the Black Rock canal has been good for perch. Over
on Grand Island, there were some good reports of perch at Blue
Water Marina with minnows and grubs the best baits being used. The
hot jig of late has been the Maramooska in firetiger or light blue.
Tip it off with a grub.

Chautauqua Lake: The northern end of the lake off Mayville has
been the hotspot for big perch and some walleye, according to Craig
Robbins. Jigging Gotcha lures or using small jigs tipped with wax
worms, grubs or spikes is the way to go. Target just outside the
weed edge in 8 to 10 feet of water. Fish are stacked up in there.
For walleye, you may need to weed through some smaller ones to get
the keepers. Perch have been good sized. Tip-ups will also work
with shiners or minnows.

Bill Hilts, Jr.


(716) 679-ERIE.

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