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Western New York Fishing Report – February 20th, 2015

Lake Ontario and tributaries: Open water was tough to find; at last check the only tributaries with any open water flowing were Eighteen Mile Creek at Burt Dam and over at Oak orchard in Orleans County. There was some ice fishing going on in places like Wilson and Olcott harbors, but action had been a little tough.

Lake Erie and tributaries: The Buffalo Boat Harbor was producing a mix of perch, panfish and the occasional pike through the ice. Action on the big lake has been questionable and some open water was still being reported off Sturgeon Point. We’ve not had any successful reports as of yet. 

Upper Niagara River: Not much to report other than some ice action at Grand Island from marinas and bays for perch. Some decent-sized fish have been coming in, but you do have to work for them. Small jigs tipped with a spike or waxworm were catching some fish. Small minnows will also work.

Lower Niagara River: Not too much fishing has been going on with the cold temperatures, snow and ice chunks bobbing down the river. That said, if you can fish, you’ll probably catch fish because the water looks pretty good. Egg sacs, minnows and Kwikfish or MagLips will all work for you on any given day – depending on wind direction and other weather elements. Bouncing the bottom with three-way rigs is the way to go. Shore anglers can use beads, egg sacs, spoons or spinners to take fish, but be careful of the ice along the shoreline. Respect the river.

Chautauqua Lake: The flats off Mayville have been good for perch and panfish in 8-15 feet of water, but you’ll toss back more than you’ll keep. Lots of action, though. For bigger perch, try fishing in some of the deeper holes off Long Point. If you want walleye, your best bet is to fish after dark in the northern basin of the lake along the weedlines around 15 to 25 feet of water. Jigging Rapalas have been working around Dewittville, Prendergast and Long Point. 

Silver Lake: Snow has made for difficult travel on the ice. Find the right school of keeper perch and it might be worth the effort. Maybe.

Orleans County: Lake Alice has plenty of ice; so much so four-wheeler races are being held. Even with that activity bluegills and rock bass are being take through the ice. All of the smaller tributaries (Johnson, Marsh and Sandy creeks) are frozen over, as is most of Oak Orchard River. There is still some open water at the dam on Oak Orchard and, as always, some steelhead and brown trout are being taken.

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