Western New York Fishing Report – February 19th, 2016
Lake Ontario and tributaries: There were some decent tributary conditions in places like Burt Dam and Eighteen Mile Creek before the cold snap. A jig tipped with a wax worm and fished under a float is the best approach, although just plain wax worms on a hook can work, too. Keep an eye on Wilson Harbor for potentially safe ice. The piers may be available to casters for trout on spoons and spinners. Some of the harbors that had opened up – like Olcott – had been reporting an uptick in perch and pike action, according to Wes Walker at The Slippery Sinker.
Lake Erie and tributaries: Cattaraugus Creek was in good shape at last check. Find open water and you should catch trout. Egg sacs, egg imitations like trout beads, a variety of flies and nymphs and even red worms will work for you. The cold snap could have things iced over a bit.
Upper Niagara River: Conditions have been fishable and spoons or spinners have been taking some trout around Broderick Park. Ice conditions in Buffalo Harbor may have improved.
Lower Niagara River: Fishing was tough in the river. The best spot to be was the Niagara Bar, fishing three-way rigs for trout. Best baits were minnows or Kwikfish. Lake trout, browns and the occasional rainbow were all showing up at the mouth of the river. It could be one of those years when the shore fishermen do better than the boat drifters. Spinners continue to be a hot bait for hardware casters.
Chautauqua Lake: Ice conditions may have rebounded from the warmup earlier this month. The recent cold snap had to help, but we haven’t heard much in the way of reports.
Orleans County: Catches of dark steelhead and smaller browns were being reported but with the increased water flow we should start seeing some fresh steelhead in the mix. The best fishing on Johnson Creek seems to be around the Blood Road area. Both Marsh and Sandy creeks are showing fish movement but the cold snap may have hindered fishing. Fishing on Lake Alice has been spotty at best, with the only fish being taken are around the Kenyonville Bridge area.