Western New York Fishing Report – March 4th, 2016

Lake Ontario and tributaries: Best bet at last look was Eighteenmile Creek and Burt Dam at that end of the lake. Fish a small jig under a float. Tip the jig with a wax worm and you should be able to catch some fish. It will be dependent upon water conditions. Rains should drawn in more steelhead and brown trout. No other reports were available. Dates for the Lake Ontario Pro-Am Tournament have been set for May 20-22. Early information and entry form has been posted on www.lakeontarioproam.net . 

Lake Erie and tributaries: First there was snow, then rain. Fishing options may be limited. Try the fishing platform in Dunkirk for trout with minnows under a float. You can also cast hardware. With warmer temperatures in the forecast, snow will be melting and filling those tribs up. Fishing should be good when things settle down.

Upper Niagara River: Slush and ice was hampering casting consistency. Nothing new to report.

Lower Niagara River: The Lower Niagara River continued to be very susceptible to high winds on Lake Erie and conditions can change overnight. If that water is too muddy, look for the shoreline to clear first. However, the river had 18 inches of visibility and a nice green color at last look and if the winds aren’t too bad you should be able to catch fish when things warm up and the launch ramps aren’t a problem. The only other unknown will be the run-off from rain and melting snow that could create some clarity problems. Shore casters can do well with spinners or spoons. Eggs or egg imitations like beads will also work for you. If the water is stained, use brightly-colored baits. From boats, minnows or Kwikfish/mag lips will work off three-way rigs. 

Buffalo Small Boat Harbor: The inner harbor had 4 to 5 inches of ice but may not be fishable now. Harbor anglers have been catching the usual small yellow perch, but there has been an uptick in keeper-sized perch caught. There were also some sunfish and smelt catches being reported. Not much action on tip-ups.

Silver Lake: Anglers were catching smaller yellow perch lakewide, especially over deeper water. But ice conditions are deteriorating and it may not be fishable by now. Small jigs with grubs will catch mostly smaller perch around 6 inches long, but keeper perch have been tough to come by. To target larger perch, try jigging spoons and lures tipped with grubs, a piece of minnow or perch eye if you can get on the ice. Tip-ups or a dead stick with small minnows to bass size shiners are also better for bigger perch. The bluegill bite at the south end has been slow, and tip-ups produce the occasional northern pike. Ice anglers can access the south end at Silver Lake State Park on the west side or by Mack’s Restaurant on the east side. There is also public access on the northeast side at village of Perry Public Beach, if there is safe ice.

Honeoye Lake: The south end of Honeoye Lake had about 6 to 7 inches of ice but it was going fast. South end anglers reported there were plenty of sunfish and yellow perch around, but they were tight lipped. Jigs with grubs or plastics generally work well for perch and sunfish. Set tip-ups with shiners to target largemouth bass, pickerel and walleye. Anglers can access the south end at the Honeoye Lake Public Boat Launch.

Cuba Lake: If the ice is holding up, Cuba Lake can offer fair fishing for walleye, crappie, yellow perch and sunfish.

Chautauqua Lake: The southern basin of the lake seems to be your best bet, especially around Rock and Grass islands. Also off the Mayville launch to the north around the flats in 8 to 10 feet of water. For walleye, try off Long Point in 20-32 feet of water with a small black jig tipped with a salted minnow. Keep an eye on ice conditions, which may be iffy – or worse.

Cattaraugus County lakes: When conditions permit, number of small lakes in Cattaraugus County have good ice and offer a variety of ice fishing opportunities. Case, Harwood, Allen, New Albion and Redhouse lakes offer fishing for smaller yellow perch and a variety of sunfish. There is also an opportunity to catch large breeder trout in all but Harwood Lake, fish that were stocked in the fall by the Randolph Fish Hatchery. Quaker Lake offers decent sunfish and northern pike fishing, and was also stocked with breeder trout in fall.

Orleans County: The more up than down temperatures and some recent rains have caused water levels and flows on all of the tributaries within Orleans County to be at high levels, with visibility less than a foot in most cases. It has also caused most of the tributaries to clear the majority of ice they have had. With precipitation in the form of both rain and snow, water levels should remain high. On Oak Orchard Creek, the turbines at the Waterport power station seemed to be running full bore, which means the turbine channel should contain most of the fish on the move. Steelhead should still be the most prevalent fish in any of the tributaries, followed by brown trout and we’re still getting reports of an occasional coho being caught. Some fishermen are having some success on Johnson Creek now that it has pretty well opened up from the ice pack, but no reports of what is being caught yet.

Lake Alice was still iced over but with the warming trend it was unsafe at last check.

Categories: Western NY

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