Cod fishing red hot; tribs still offering up good action – Western New York Report

DEC’s Randolph Fish Hatchery was scheduled to kick off its stocking season on March 19. When stocking begins, anglers can call the Randolph Hatchery Fish Stocking Hotline at (716) 358-4950 for weekly stocking updates.
Lake Ontario and tributaries: All the streams have fish in them. In Eighteen Mile Creek, water was stained but fishable at last check. Using brightly colored baits or egg sacs is the way to go. Jigs tipped with waxworms and fished under a float is one approach that always seems to catch fish. Sometimes just a hook and a waxworm is all that’s needed. As water clarity improves, the fishing should get better for perch in Olcott and Wilson harbors. Pier action has been decent for trout – casting spoons or fishing a minnow under a float. Keg Creek was low and clear earlier this month, but that can change quickly. If it hasn’t, a stealthy approach is recommended. Downsize your presentation to get these fish to hit. If the water becomes more turbid with the spring rains, go back to your normal presentations.
Lake Erie and tributaries: Trout can be found in all the tributaries right now and how good the fishing is will be dependent upon how much rain we receive The smaller creeks will clear first; use egg sacs or egg imitations as your primary bait. Jigs tipped with waxworms and fished under a float is also a good option. Trout were still cooperating for anglers in Dunkirk Harbor from the city pier, from the fishing platform and from a small boat. Barcelona Harbor is also an option this time of year.

Upper Niagara River

Fishing action will be limited until things start to clear. When they do, use emerald shiners for perch along the shoreline or egg sacs, minnows or spoons for trout at the head of the river or at the top of the rapids.

Lower Niagara River

Boats were giving the river a try and anglers were catching a few fish, but winds created more turbid conditions. When the waters in the river start to clear again, look for steelhead, browns and lake trout to be back on the feed. Use minnows, egg sacs or Kwikfish – not necessarily in that order. Remember that walleye season ended March 15.

Chautauqua Lake

Boats can get out at some launches in the north basin and poke around the open-water areas. There have been no reports of good crappie catches in the canals yet. However, anglers should expect the crappie and bullhead fishing to pick up in the canals soon.

Orleans County

Tributary fishing should continue to improve with the early arrival of spring. There were reports earlier this month of some excellent brown trout fishing from the piers of Oak Orchard and from small boats very close to shore. In the tributaries there are still fresh steelhead/rainbow trout being caught but, with lower and clearer water this fish are harder to hook up. On the Oak, improving catches of perch are being reported from the bridges all the way north to the point. On Lake Alice, catches of both bullhead and bluegills were being reported around the Waterport bridge area.

Categories: Western NY

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