Western New York Fishing Report – August 9th, 2013
Lake Ontario and tributaries: Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown has reported good action on the Niagara bar, but he has been moving around a bit to find his fish. Late last month he found his fish just off the bar drop-off in 175 to 200 feet of water, fishing flasher-fly combos 100 feet down on the riggers and 300 back on the divers. Steelhead have been in 280-300 feet of water in the top 50 feet and were responding to spoons. Brown trout have been cooperating on the ledge in 85 feet of water on the bottom. Lake trout are also available. Look for decent action around the drop-off or just off of it. Off Wilson and Olcott, the more stable water has been out deep in the 450- to 550-foot range. A mix of steelhead, cohos and kings can be found in the top 60 feet of water on spoons, according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker. Kings are down a bit deeper, below 80 feet with flasher and fly. Some mature kings were found inside of 80 feet and beyond 200 feet, but water was mixed up from the recent storms and wind at last look.
Lake Erie and tributaries: Walleye fishing continued to be outstanding off Buffalo, especially near the international line in 50 feet of water. Roy Larson of North Tonawanda and Mike George of Niagara Falls have been doing very well trolling slowly outside of the departure buoy and beyond to the west toward Sturgeon Point, locating the larger schools of fish. Limit catches have been the norm. Fish can also be found in shallower and deeper waters, with stick baits a secondary option for fish. You will catch other species of fish, like white bass and sheepshead. Bass fishing has also been good in the lake and the best action has come from deeper water like 25- to 45-foot depths with tube jigs, drop-shot rigs and live bait like soft shelled crabs if you can find them.
Upper Niagara River: Bass action has been good and moss was not a problem at all. Mike George of Niagara Falls and Bill Hilts, Sr. of Sanborn used green floating jigheads with a full nightcrawler to take smallmouth bass in the west river along the Grand Island shoreline. Consistent action held throughout the morning until a southwest breeze kicked off the speed of the drift. Other good bass areas include the waters between Strawberry Island and Beaver Island State Park, as well as at the head of the river. Live bait or tube jigs will both work well.
Lower Niagara River: Traditional areas like Devil’s Hole, the Clay Banks, Stella and the Coast Guard are all good drifts to try for bass. A few walleye were being reported on three-way rigs dragging worm harnesses from deeper waters – out to 50-foot depths.
Chautauqua Lake: Decent walleye action was still being reported along the weed edges around 15 feet of water. Some good reports came in around the Bell Tower and Prendergast Point. To the south, the stretch of lake from Cheney Point to Ashville Bay has also been good. Worm harnesses, stick baits or jigs tipped with a crawler are all working. Bass fishing has improved for both largemouths and smallmouths. Those same fringe areas along the weeds are good places to target with top-water baits, power worms and wacky-rigged Senkos. Live bait like minnows, shiners or crayfish are good bets, too. Muskie fishing has been slow.
Orleans County: The Orleans County Rotary Club Derby runs through Sunday, Aug. 18. Not only do we have the Rotary Club Derby but also the LOC Fall Derby (Aug. 16-Sept. 2, and the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey Aug. 17-25.
Water spouts were again spotted last month, generating plenty of excitement and talk among boaters. But things have settled down and recent reports are of plenty of schools of bait and hungry fish around those schools. Good catches are being taken on Lake Ontario around the 100-foot range and then again in the 26 to 28 lines West of the harbor. Most of the boats are keying in around those schools of bait, trying several different directions until they find the right one. Spoons, flasher and flies and cut bait are working on riggers, Dipsys, lead lines and copper rigs in an abundance of color patterns. Chinook salmon are being reported in the high 20s to low 30-pound ranges. On the inland waters of Orleans County, fishing is good everywhere, especially for bass. Lake Alice was producing some nice catches of both bluegill and crappie, especially around the Waterport Bridge. On the Erie Canal, a wide variety of species are being caught, with fishing being very good around the wide water area.