Western New York Fishing Report – February 21st, 2014
Lake Ontario and tributaries: One of the sleeper spots is Burt Dam and Eighteen Mile Creek. Some open water was available there earlier this month, according to Greg Stanley at All in the Same Boat Tackle Shop in Newfane, but getting the big ones to hit is another story. He did well on steelhead and browns earlier, but recent weather problems put a damper on fishing action lately. Open water was located near the dam and down toward the trestle, but may have changed with the cold snap. That said, a warmup earlier this week could have open water a possibility again. Clear water could be a problem and you may have to change your presentation. For instance, using lighter line and longer leads are two suggestions. Using a smaller hook size is another. It could be a problem, at least until we get some melting action to stain the water up a bit. Egg sacs or jigs tipped with a waxworm are two approaches that have been working. Ice fishing should be available in both Wilson and Olcott. Live minnows, salted minnows or ice jigs clean or tipped with bait should catch panfish. Try a jigging spoon for a chance at a trout.
Lake Erie and tributaries: Most of the tributaries have been iced over from the cold weather. Your better bet is to head out west of Sturgeon Point for yellow perch on the big lake. Best action has been just inside the 50-foot mark.
Upper Niagara River: Ice fishing was being reported around Grand Island at places like the Holiday Inn and Beaver Island. Ditto at the Buffalo Boat Harbor, where plenty of ice was reported. Action there has slowed a bit, but a few northern pike and some perch were being caught.
Lower Niagara River: The ice was spotty in the lower river earlier this month and action had been decent, according to Capt. Steve Drabczyk of Lewiston. But conditions may have changed by now. Water clarity has been good – not too clear; not too cloudy. The steelhead bite has been good on the Artpark drift, as well as up in Devil’s Hole. Pink egg sacs were doing the trick. Drabczyk recommends tying your egg sacs loosely as the mesh was allowing for a better hookset when the trout grabbed hold of the bait. Walleye and the occasional northern pike were being reported north of the Lewiston Landing area. He was using a three-way rig to slow troll a single blade in-line silver spinner with a No. 2 hook tipped with a golden shiner in 17 to 20 feet of water. Remember that there is a one-fish limit on walleye in the river through March 15. If you hook into a muskie, it must be released immediately as they are out of season
Chautauqua Lake: Up to 10 inches and more of ice was being reported all around the lake. For walleye, try under low-light conditions (morning and evening) in 20-30 feet of water off Long Point or Dewittville Bay with jigging Rapalas or jigging spoons tipped with a minnow. The flats off Mayville continue to be good in 8 to 15 feet of water for panfish and perch, but there will be a fair number of throwbacks for every keeper. Mayville and Burtis Bay have been good spots for crappies in the shallows, also under lower light conditions.
Silver Lake: Bluegill action was very good at times, according to reports, with plenty of keepers.
Orleans County: Most of the tributaries and smaller inland lakes within Orleans County have plenty of ice on them to support the hard water fishermen, but fishing through the ice has not been very easy as of late. Otter Creek is still producing some bluegills, and on Oak Orchard River – both by the bridges area and then at the point – fair catches of perch are being taken. As far as brown trout and rainbow trout go, the only action seems to be right at the power plant in the tailrace side.
On a much brighter note, this summer over $500,000 will be given out in derby and tournament cash and prizes all along the Lake Ontario coastline. For a complete list of tournaments and derbies check out www.Ilovenyfishing.com.