Western New York Fishing Report – May 2nd, 2014
Lake Ontario and tributaries: Shoreline trollers in the lake are picking up browns and coho salmon with regularity, using stick baits to attract these feisty fish to hit. Dennis Hoffman of North Tonawanda reported good success on cohos; usually with any silver colored Rapala stick bait long-lined or fished off boards in 8-10 feet of water. Steelhead were in 8-20 feet of water in front of Four Mile Creek. In the clearer, shallower waters, an electric motor worked better than his kicker motor.
The piers in Wilson and Olcott are also producing browns, steelhead and the occasional coho, according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker in Olcott. Tributary action has also been good. Browns and steelhead were still at Burt Dam and Eighteen Mile Creek and there were even some reports of bass. They are also picking up some perch in Wilson harbor.
Lake Erie and tributaries: Most of the tributaries should be in good shape and holding trout. Lake action is restricted has been by the ice but that could have changed by now. Dunkirk pier action has been good for trout around the warmwater discharge. Cast spoons, spinners or stick baits. Minnows or egg sacs can work under a float.
Upper Niagara River: Look for bays and inlets around Grand Island to find waters that will be warming quicker to seek out a mix of panfish like perch, crappie and bluegill. Trout are still an option off the Bird Island Pier and Broderick Park by casting spoons, spinners or egg sacs.
Lower Niagara River: The stairs at the Whirlpool and Devil’s Hole state parks are now open after the nasty winter that didn’t want to go away. It was closed down for nearly a month due to safety concerns. Lower river trout action has been good with steelhead, brown trout and lake trout snapping for anglers in the river and out on the Niagara Bar. Minnows, kwikfish and egg sacs will all work for drifters; casters can use spoons and spinners. Walleye season opens on May 3.
Chautauqua Lake: Crappie action has started to turn on. Local angler Tom Tabone did well fishing the canals near Smith Boys with his grandson. His best enticement was a white rubber jig on a 1/32-ounce head. He noted that he was catching more legal-sized fish than not, most of them coming 2-3 feet down. Similar reports have come from around the lake as the waters slowly warm. Boats were hitting the lake and some of the better areas have been around Rock and Grass islands, on Lakewood Bar, along the narrows between the bridge and the ferry, as well as around the Mayville flats. Minnows can also be a good bait.
Orleans County: The filling of the Erie Canal has begun and the canal should be reopened on May 3. There are more new regulations when using Brookfield Power’s facility on Oak Orchard River, including the use of PFDs when entering any waters that border the facility (including the portion of the peninsula owned by Brookfield). Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the new regulations when entering their property.
As far as the fishing goes, on Lake Ontario the near-shore fishery is excellent, with catches of brown trout, lake trout, coho salmon and steelhead both by boats working the shoreline and individuals casting from shore. Oak Orchard River still has good fishing for brown trout and rainbow trout as well as perch. Walleye and bass are also hitting, but bass are out of season, as are walleye until May 3.. The other tributaries also are providing some good fishing, including for bullhead.
On Lake Alice, waters are warming up and should start providing a good fishery for bluegill and crappie.