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Monday, February 6th, 2023

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Western New York Fishing Report – August 22nd, 2014

Lake Ontario and tributaries:  Action in the lake has been improving, but Mother Nature keeps throwing a curve ball with the weather. Capt. Matt Yablonsky of Youngstown had been doing well on the Niagara Bar drop-off for staging kings and a mix of other trout. Use magnum spoons for a mixed bag of trout (browns, lakers and steelies) in green-chartreuse. Use flasher-fly combos to target mature kings, with one hot setup being a Pro-Troll E-chip flasher with green-glow the best fly. Try in 80-90 feet of water at the drop to start. Near shore, brown trout have been hitting consistently inside of 60-foot depths. Some early staging salmon have been seen off Olcott early in the morning inside of 100-foot depths, with magnum spoons, flasher-fly or meat rigs yielding fish. 

Lake Erie and tributaries: Most of the walleye fishing has shifted to the west. Ed Schintzius, formerly of Pekin in Niagara County, was fishing with Capt. Jim Tunney and they managed good results by heading toward Cattaraugus Creek, using all worm harnesses. It depends on what your comfort zone is on what baits to use – and what the fish want. Bass action has been decent in 30 to 45 feet of water, according to Capt. Joe Fonzi of Gasport. Drop-shot rigs or tube jigs have been effective in taking smallmouth bass consistently.

Upper Niagara River: Bass action continued to be good when winds and rain aren’t a factor in the waters above Niagara Falls. Best spots have been in the west river around Navy Island, Staley’s Reef, Strawberry and Motor islands, Thompson’s Hole and the head of the river. Live bait like worms, shiners or crabs will all catch fish, but you can also use artificials like tube jigs. Speaking of tubes, large (8- to 10-inch) tubes will work if you want to try and target muskellunge. Seek out drop-offs or weed edges. The Strawberry Island area is always a good bet, as is the Huntley power station. Casting or trolling large body baits will also work. Shore fishermen have continued to take bass, perch, white bass and panfish from the shores of Broderick Park and the foot of Ontario Street near the launch ramp.

Lower Niagara River: Action hasn’t been fast and furious, but bass are available. You just have to work for them. Live bait like crabs or shiners will work, but worm harnesses have been producing some bass for the walleye drifters, so keep that in mind. In addition, some nice walleye are being caught by those willing to put in their time.

Chautauqua Lake: Action for muskies has been good to very good, especially for trollers seeking out suspended fish 15 to 20 feet down over 25 to 35 feet of water, according to Craig Robbins of Jamestown. You can catch muskies as shallow as 18 feet or as deep as 40 in the northern basin of the lake, from the Bell Tower to Long Point. Bass fishing has been good, too, while walleye action has slowed. For bass, target the shallows around the docks in Bemus and Ashville bays.

Orleans County: Lake Ontario waters have flipped and the near-shore water is much colder than the offshore temps. The lake hasn’t really warmed up as much as it normally does, which has made this an unusual year to start with, and now the lake flipping has to have the fish wondering just where they are. Reports from last week put the best fishing out around the 30 to 34 lines, with the largest portion of the catch being steelhead. Some very large domestic rainbow trout in the 10- to 14-pound range have been taken.
On the tributaries and inland lakes within Orleans County, fishing for bass has been very good and crappie, bluegill and perch action has been fair.

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