Lake Erie, Harbors and Tributaries
The walleye bite continues to be slow in New York waters with no consistent action in any one area. From west of Sturgeon Point to Barcelona, trollers are catching some walleye in 35-50 feet of water. Some of the better catches came on lures run around mid-water column. Trolling with leadcore or divers paired with stickbaits or worm harnesses is a good tactic for suspended walleye. Buffalo area anglers can target walleye off the windmills in 30-45 feet of water, off the breakwalls in 20-35 feet of water and around the breakwall gaps. In addition to traditional trolling, slow trolling or drifting (1 mph or less) with a bottom bouncing rig and worm harness is often productive at the east end. See the Walleye Fishing on Lake Erie page for more information. Anglers continue to put up some nice yellow perch catches in 50-60 feet of water off Cattaraugus Creek and to the east or west. Emerald shiners, golden shiners or salted shiners are good perch offerings. For smallmouth bass, key on rocky structure in 20-35 feet of water. Ned rigs, tube jigs, jig heads with swimbaits or twister tails and live shiners work well.
Catfish are still biting well in Cattaraugus Creek, with better action during low light periods. Fish a bottom rig with nightcrawlers, raw shrimp or cut bait. The smallmouth bass bite is tapering off in the Catt. All other tributary streams are at a trickle with few bass remaining in the deeper holes.
Regular bass and muskellunge seasons open on Saturday, June 19th. Live bait such as shiners and crayfish are permitted for use when the regular bass season opens and are top baits for bass. Good numbers of bass are available around Strawberry and Motor Islands, and along the southwest side of Grand Island. Early season muskellunge are often found near emerging weed. Casting large stickbaits and spinnerbaits are good bets in early season.
Filamentous algae, or “moss” is making frequent line checks a must on the lower river. Smallmouth bass are available downriver of Lewiston. White bass, sheepshead and walleye are other possible catches.
Lake Ontario & Tributaries, Harbors & Piers
Fishing activity and catches picked up over the past week. Most Niagara County anglers are running to offshore waters where water temperatures are more stable. Trout and salmon are scattered in 100-400 feet of water and the productive areas change with the day. The action has been decent to good for a mix of steelhead and coho salmon, with the occasional king salmon mixed in. Spoons and flasher-fly combos run in the top 60 feet have worked well.
There is a wide variety of warmwater species available in the Lake Ontario harbors and tributaries. Fish are available well up to the dams on larger streams such as Eighteenmile and Oak Orchard Creeks. Possible catches include yellow perch, northern pike, black bass, bowfin, channel catfish, longnose gar, rock bass and other sunfish. Be aware there is an “eat none” fish consumption advisory for Eighteenmile Creek.
Anglers can find walleye along weed edges and in pockets within the weeds. However, lots of floating weed debris has made it tough to keep weeds off trolling lines. Jigging along weed edges with nightcrawlers, leeches, jigs and twisters or blade baits is another productive option. Muskellunge fishing has been a little slow. Target muskie outside of weed edges by trolling large stickbaits or by casting stickbaits over weed beds and then retrieving towards open water. Regular season bass opens tomorrow and largemouth bass are typically available in the nearshore areas and around docks. Shallow diving stickbaits, spinnerbaits, tube jigs, wacky rigs and live shiners are good bass baits.
Inland trout streams
Trout streams in the southern tier counties range from moderate to slightly lower flows. Most streams in the northern half of western New York are low to very low. A variety of fly hatches are happening in the area, differing by stream. Trout are snapping at surface flies, but nymphs and streamers are also productive. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small in-line spinners.