Lake Ontario and tributaries
Fishing has been good of late, according to Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Olcott. Best fish zone for him has been in 250 to 450 feet of water, using flasher and fly or spoons in the top 85 feet of water. There has been scattered big kings and steelhead. Bait has been spread out so work an area when you mark bait pods. Browns are still in tight to shore, inside of 60 feet near the bottom off Wilson, Olcott and the Oak. Some mature kings are available in tight, too – early morning or late afternoon around dusk. Meat, J-plugs or flasher-fly rigs for the big kings; small to medium-sized spoons for the brownies.
Lake Erie and tributaries
Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Lewiston reports some good bass fishing at Seneca Shoal in 20 to 40 feet of water. Fish are scattered. Long drifts are working by starting just off the shoal and letting your boat drift across it. You don’t have to stay on the edges. Best baits have been golden shiners and crayfish. Walleye action was pretty much the same as last report, with decent catches being reported off Buffalo (40-45 feet of water) and Sturgeon Point (60-65 feet of water) with worm harnesses or stick baits fished near the bottom.
Upper Niagara River
Smallmouth bass fishing has been decent along weed edges in 10 to 20 feet of water. Target the west bank of Grand Island (or the West River if you have a Canadian license), the head of Strawberry Island or around Motor Island. Work the bottom with live bait off three-way rigs. Shore fishing from Buffalo to Tonawanda has been fair, producing a mix of bass, perch and sheepshead.
Lower Niagara River
Action has been good for bass. Overall, not a lot of problems with moss lately. Crayfish and golden shiners were both the best baits for bass overall. Bigger fish were coming from the Coast Guard drift or the green can. The end of Stella was producing decent numbers of fish. The Niagara River Anglers Association will be holding its Lower River Walleye Contest on Aug. 25. Go online to www.niagarariveranglers.com for details or stop into Creek Road Bait and Tackle. Gorge action for bass and a mix of other warmwater fish was being reported from the Whirlpool, Devil’s Hole and along Artpark. Some decent bass fishing was being reported off the NYPA Fish Platform.
Target the weed edges to catch everything from panfish and bass to muskellunge. Even perch can be caught in the deeper waters off the weed edges, with a good spot in the narrows on the Stow side of the lake. Use minnows or worms to catch ringbacks. Smallmouth have been hitting in deeper waters, too, with minnows, crayfish and plastics like grubs or tube jigs. Largemouth are closer to the weeds with jig-n-pig. Muskies were hitting large stick baits for casters.
The hardest part of fishing on Lake Ontario right now is keeping up with the very fast moving water. One day last week anglers were fishing in great temperature water at 80 feet; within an hour that water had moved out to over 200 feet of water. Rigs went from 30, 40 and 60 feet down to 80, 90 and 110 feet down. Dipseys went from 80 and 90 feet back to 190 to 240 feet back. The color patterns stayed pretty much the same with 42 Second patterns in both spoons and flashers remaining pretty consistent. It seems like wherever you find fish, there is a good mixture of all of the species (mainly chinooks, cohos and steelhead/rainbows). Don’t forget that the Fall LOC Derby runs through Sept. 3. The best fishing report on the inland waters is still the bluegill and crappie action from the Waterport Bridge.