Lake Ontario and tributaries
Fishing for kings is becoming a bit tougher with each passing day. It appears their spawning urges are a bit ahead of schedule. As a result, using lures that will upset the salmon is the way to go since many are not longer feeding. J-plugs, flasher-fly rigs, cut bait and magnum spoons are all good baits to try and get these fish to hit. Fish were stacked up on the bar but getting them to hit was another story. The same scenarios off Wilson and Olcott were being reported. Some of the best fishing was coming in from 400-500 feet of water northwest of Olcott.
Lake Erie and tributaries
Bass fishing continued to be very good in places like Seneca shoal, Myers Reef, Waverly Shoal and Evans Bar. Best depth has been 25 to 45 feet on structure. Drop-shot rigs are working best. Some perch are hitting off Cattaraugus Creek and Evangola State Park in 60 to 70 feet of water. Walleye action has slowed but you can try off Sturgeon Point near the bottom with worm harnesses or stick baits in 65- to 80-foot depths.
Upper Niagara River
A few nice bass were showing up in the upper river from places like Thompson’s Hole and around Strawberry Island. From shore, bass have been hitting off Broderick Park and the north end of Squaw Island. Crayfish and leeches have worked best. Worms and minnows are working off Ontario Street.
Lower Niagara River
Lots of action going on, including the first salmon of the year hitting off the Power Authority fish platform. Jerry at A-1 Bait Supply reports that several fish have been hooked up off the platform and several have been caught off shore at the Whirlpool park area around the “beach.” Casting jigs, spoons or rattle baits are good enticements for getting these fish to hit. When they do, hold on! Walleye have been hitting for boaters. Capt. Bruce Blakelock and Capt. Frank Campbell had customers from Virginia in town and they used jerkbaits and spinnerbaits to work the shoreline from Devil’s Hole to Fort Niagara. They consistently caught smallmouth, largemouth, northern pike, muskie, gar, silver bass, walleye and more – a good time of year for this mixed bag.
In the northern basin of the lake, muskellunge have been hitting for casters in the Upper Dewittville Bay area, according to Craig Robbins. Focus on 10-12 feet of water with jerkbaits. Best colors have been perch or fire tiger. There hasn’t been any trolling bite to speak of. For bass, largemouth have been hitting around Warner’s Bar around the northwest corner in 10-15 feet of water. Use a black six-inch plastic worm with a purple tail in the weed pockets.
On the inland waters of Orleans County, both crappie and bluegill seemed to have slowed slightly at the Waterport Bridge, but have picked up on Glenwood Lake. Northern pike fishing is good to very good on all of the inland waters, as is the smallmouth bass action. Gar are being taken at the bridges on The Oak. On Lake Ontario, there is a good mixed bag of coldwater species in the 10 to 100 feet of water range, with some staging kings already moving in. Dipseys back 120 to 140 feet and downriggers set at 60 to 70 feet down are very productive. There is also active fish our around the 30 line for those who like to be a little more adventurous.