Western New York Fishing Report – May 27th, 2016
All of Region 9’s trout waters have been stocked. Hatchery staff are now delivering additional stocking increments to the larger and more popular area waters. Anglers can call the Randolph Hatchery Fish Stocking Hotline at (716) 358-4950 or check back here for bi-weekly stocking updates.
Among the waters recently stocked are:
Allegany County: Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar).
Cattaraugus Creek: Elton Creek (Freedom).
Wyoming County: East Koy Creek (Gainesville).
Lake Ontario and tributaries: East wind is the nemesis of the Lake Ontario salmon and trout fishermen and we’ve had a bunch of it the last couple of weeks. Despite the less than ideal conditions, it was the Yankee Troller team led by Capt. Rich Hajecki leading a field of nearly 50 boats to take the annual Wilson Harbor Invitational Tournament. The one-day event target’s salmon only and the team scored the tournament limit of six salmon – all kings – and averaged nearly 18 pounds per fish. The team fished from 6 mile to 4 mile in 100 to 225 feet of water. In practice they had some bites on Dreamweaver spoons, but during the event it was all Familiar Bite Meat. Their best setup was a 150-foot diver pulling a Familiar Bite Whip Flash/Meat combo. They also had a similar combo going on a rigger. Seeking out active fish hasn’t been easy with the east wind.
Lake Erie and tributaries: The bass bite has been slow for most. Some fish were being caught around the breakwalls in Buffalo harbor area. In the First annual 2016 Border Bass Wars with the WNY Bassmasters and the St. Catharines Bassmasters, top team was Pete Garnier and Rob LaFleur of Canada weighing in two fish totaling 11.77 pounds. Big fish honors went to Rick Kewell and David Peacock with a 6.56-pound lunker. Perch fishing has slowed on the lake for a few people we spoke with. Best area was still between Sturgeon Point and Cattaraugus Creek in 45 to 60 feet of water. Walleye fishing for the opener was a little slow, too. Trolling the shoreline off Hamburg at night was producing a few fish. Water was still a little cold and action should improve as waters start to warm.
Upper Niagara River: Not too many reports to share but this should be a good time to target panfish around Grand Island and along River Road. Use minnows if you are targeting perch or crappies. Bass anglers must still use artificial baits in the river. Northern pike and walleye seasons are now open, too. The Erie Canal is open for business and offers some good fishing options this time of year.
Lower Niagara River: The lower river’s Devil’s Hole area was closed for a few days to allow for the removal of some old transmission lines. Numerous precautions were being taken – including closing boat traffic, all trails and even the Robert Moses Parkway from any traffic. Trout were still hanging on as the warmwater fish were becoming a bit more active. Kwikfish were working on lake trout; steelhead prefer shiners. Filming a TV show on the lower river recently with Mid-West Outdoors, we managed to catch seven different species of fish. The number one species we caught were numerous silver bass in the Wagon Wheel area just south of the launch ramp on swim baits. While drifting for bass, Bob George with Buck Knives had the surprise of his life – a 50-inch muskie! Check out the Facebook page for Niagara USA Fishing and Outdoors to see a video of it. Because it’s not in season, it was released immediately. It still provided a nice thrill. He was using a Strike King Rodent soft plastic bait. John Antone of Sanborn was fishing with Capt. Steve Drabczyk recently and he managed to catch five different species. Egg sacs and shiners worked best but the key was using a 7-foot leader. Some big smallmouth bass in the six-pound class were caught in the river and at the river mouth during the annual media event utilizing tubes and swim baits. The key was fishing the baits slow.
Chautauqua Lake: Walleye were being picked up in Warner’s Bay and Ashville Bay in 8 feet of water with chartreuse worm harnesses. Early morning or evenings are best times of the day. The smallmouth bite for catch and release anglers has been a little slow but some were being picked up off Ashville Point at the drop-off in 12 to 14 feet of water with pumpkinseed 3-inch tubes.
Orleans County: Right now the bite still seems to be mainly lake trout, with some coho and steelhead action thrown in. On Lake Alice, conditions with the green algae bloom continue to improve, as does the fishing. Good catches of bluegill, crappie, rock bass and perch were being reported.
No reports of late from the waters of the Erie Canal yet, but fishing action should pick up soon