Western New York Fishing Report – January 8th, 2016

Lake Ontario and tributaries: With a bit more rain and snow showing up, some of the tributaries were starting to see a little more water flow. At Burt Dam late last month, the creek saw a slight increase in flow, which brought in a few more trout. While there was room for improvement, some fresh browns and steelhead finally arrived, according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker. Water flow still is not where is should be, but it did get a few people excited. Water flow was 100 cfs at the dam but was low and clear. Adapt accordingly. The piers in Wilson and Olcott were still good spots to cast hardware like spoons and spinners to take a trout, if the winds aren’t too bad. Some perch were hanging around in Wilson and Olcott harbors. The mild weather late last month also brought a few boats out to pick up trout along the shoreline on spoons and stick baits. The New York State Winter Classic Fishing Derby will be kicked Jan. 1 and The Slippery Sinker in Olcott is now the only weigh station in Niagara County for the statewide event. The derby runs through Feb. 28. For more info check out www.nyswinterclassic.com. 

Lake Erie and tributaries: Perch fishing will be hit or miss, depending on the weather. You really have to work for them if you can make it out on the lake. Tributary action has improved a bit, but it’s still been a difficult fall. Seek out the smaller feeder streams for the first ones that will clear for targeting trout. With winter now arriving anglers might have a few more opportunities than they normally would. 

Upper Niagara River: Stained water shut things down again but it should be starting to improve. Nothing new to report – trout around the head of the river from shore; other fish like perch, bass and walleye were being caught by casters in places like Broderick Park.

Lower Niagara River: Action slowed down a little bit in the Niagara River when hard winds stained the water and impacted conditions. Shore fishermen were doing better than boat fishermen since waters have a tendency to clear a bit along the shoreline first. Once the main waters do clear, trout should take over where they left off – a mix that includes steelhead, browns and lake trout. Capt. Frank Campbell of Niagara Falls had Buffalo Sabres coach Dan Bylsma out for his first lower river experience and the very first drift on the Niagara Bar produced a trio of trout on Kwikfish with himself and Jim Hanley of Angola. More than 25 fish were boated for the morning as they moved around a bit to seek out browns and steelhead. Lake trout season officially opened Jan. 1, making it legal to go out and actually target these fish. Fishing has been good for trout with baits like Kwikfish and MagLips, but the spoons and live bait will also work from boats. From shore it has been spoons, spinners and eggs or egg imitations. Jan. 1 is also the start of a new walleye regulation in the lower river. You may only keep one fish as part of your daily limit, a regulation change designed to protect large females getting ready to spawn. Remember that Jan. 1 is also the start of a new license year in the Province of Ontario waters.

Chautauqua Lake: Not too much changed from last report, according to Craig Robbins. We’ll probably see more fishing action now that big-game season closed. Walleyes were still being caught off Long Point in 18 to 30 feet of water. Use a black hair jig tipped with a minnow. Crappies were still being caught in Ashville Bay on a 1⁄32-ounce jig inserted into a pink and white one-inch tube. Tip the tube with a minnow.

Orleans County: The rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain of late should provide some much needed water flow in all of the tributaries within Orleans County for at least a day or two. Temperatures were still remaining above average in the long-range forecasts and with that in mind ice fishing will likely remain on hold for a while. With the increase in water flow in all of tributaries, fish (mainly steelhead and some brown trout) should be on the move as they experience faster moving water. Those who are getting hook-ups right now are using stoneflies, Woolly Buggers and egg-sucking leeches in several different colors, along with wax worms and spikes.

On Lake Alice, the bluegill catch was up around the Kenyonville Bridge and perch were still being caught in the same area, but not as many as the bluegills. Bass can still be caught in the deeper waters but it’s catch and immediately release.

Categories: New York Fishing Reports, Western NY

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