Western New York Fishing Report – November 27th, 2015
Lake Ontario and tributaries: With the regular big-game season in full swing, that’s good news for fishermen who are getting a little more elbow room in their favorite areas. In the streams, more rain this week should be just what the doctor ordered for casters to reel in salmon and trout out of Wilson and Olcott. Fish will be available in the harbors, off the piers – if the winds cooperate – and up in the streams. More water was likely added with the dewatering of the Erie Canal earlier this month.
Lake Erie and tributaries: Streams were low and clear but that could change with any significant rain. Cattaraugus has been fishable. Lake action has been for bass and perch. Bob Fronczak of Ransomville reported boats scoring from 40 to 70 feet of water during a recent trip. Use emerald shiners on the bottom and move until you find active fish. They caught 60 keeper perch on their trip. Focus in the waters off Cattaraugus Creek to Sturgeon Point. Bass action was also decent when boaters could get on the water. Target reefs and shoals with live bait or tubes, but keep in mind the regular bass season ends Nov. 30.
Upper Niagara River: Winds kept anglers off the water at times. Trout were still being reported off the Bird Island Pier and off Broderick Park. Cast spoons, spinners or eggs. Bass are still bulking up for the winter and can be caught from head to the upper reef at the intakes as the regular season winds down.
Lower Niagara River: Trout fishing has improved – from both boat and shore. Shore anglers were doing well and Chuck Booker’s homemade spinners worked magic on trout along the Artpark area. If you hook into a lake trout, remember that season is closed until the end of the year. Steelhead and brown trout were still available as well. Spoons and eggs – real or imitation – will also catch you fish if you are casting from shore. In boats, the best artificial lures you can use are silver or gold Kwikfish or Mag Lip lure fished off a three-way rig. Check water conditions before heading out, and wind can also be a factor. When high winds arrive, shore fishermen just need to find some cleaner water someplace and use baits that are more visible like chartreuse, pink or orange colorations. Things that make some noise or give a vibration will also help you catch fish.
Chautauqua Lake: Crappies were moving onto the Mayville Flats near the launch ramp area. Use a 1/32-ounce jig in 8 feet of water. Tip it with a crawler under a float in front of Smith Boys Marina. Musky action continued to be good for casters and trollers in the final days of the season (it closes Nov. 30). Use bucktail spinners or large body baits on outside weed edges.
Orleans County: The Erie Canal closing and dewatering process should bring the water levels up in all of the tributaries within Orleans County. At last check, Sandy, Marsh and Johnson creeks were experiencing low water flows, which make them very difficult but not impossible to fish. The Oak remained at moderate water flows and provided for much more suitable conditions. Chinook salmon were quickly waning from the system and brown trout numbers are on the rise. Also on the rise are steelhead, which will be in the tributary system all winter long. On the lower stretches of Oak Orchard Creek perch, northern pike and bass were being caught, but not with any consistency. On Lake Alice the crappie were in hiding but bass, perch and walleye were still being caught in varying numbers.
A reminder that the regular bass season closes on Nov. 30.
As the Erie Canal dewaters and colder weather approaches, be aware of debris that may dislodge from the banks of tributaries and become part of the water flow.