Western New York Fishing Report – May 31st, 2013
Lake Ontario and tributaries: Capt. Bob Cinelli out of Olcott sends word that he’s been hitting fish from 60 to 300 feet of water on spoons and flasher-flies. They’ve been catching a mix fish down 20 to 129 feet – kings, cohos, steelhead and lake trout. Fishing deeper has been a tactic that has been working more this spring.
Lake Erie and tributaries: The early trophy bass season bite has been good for many as anglers can now use live bait or artificial baits to take one fish with a minimum size of 20 inches. However, catch and release is always encouraged with these trophy fish. Double-digit catches are the norm, targeting smallmouth in 5 to 20 feet of water around any kind of structure like Myers Reef, Evans Bar, Seneca Shoal or the breakwalls around Buffalo Harbor. The yellow perch bite slowed a bit, but some nice catches were still reported between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point in 45 to 55 feet of water. There were still a few steelhead hanging around in Cattaraugus Creek, but smallmouth bass were starting to replace them. The walleye bite has been off, but now that water temperatures are increasing again action should pick back up again for night trollers off places like Hamburg Beach.
Upper Niagara River: Yellow and white perch action continued to be decent in all of the traditional shore fishing sites, such as Squaw Island, Broderick Park, Ontario Street launch and the parkway that runs alongside the river. Boaters were fishing in the bay around Ontario Street, too.
Lower Niagara River: Trout were still available in the river, from Devil’s Hole to the mouth on the Niagara Bar. Steelhead and lake trout still dominated the catch, but you can still hit an occasional brown trout. Three-way rigs with minnows or Kwikfish will work best at this point. Shoreline casters can use spoons, spinners or twistertails to take a mix of fish.
Chautauqua Lake: Crappie action continued to be decent in Whitney, Burtis, Bemus and Ashville bays, as well as on the flats off Mayville, according to Craig Robbins. The dawn to dusk bite has been better with minnows or small jigs tipped with minnows and fished under a float. Other panfish action has improved in those same areas. Walleye action has been slow, but you can pick some fish up at night by trolling outside weed edges with a stickbait or worm harness.
Orleans County: There should be some colored water around the tributaries to Lake Ontario, given the recent rains. Fishing on the Erie Canal was slow at last check. On Lake Alice, the numbers of bluegill being taken continues to increase but the crappie fishing was still slow. Oak Orchard perch fishing was still good, and northern pike were becoming more active. Bass were cooperating, but remember, it’s catch-and-release until the third Saturday in June. The waters of Lake Ontario were still on the cool side with all the east/northeast winds we’ve been experiencing. The best fishing seems to be taking place in the 50- to 100-foot range, with a mixed bag of species being taken. June 7-8-9 are the dates for the 8th Annual Orleans County Pro-Am Tournament.