LAKE ERIE AND TRIBUTARIES
Walleye fishing at the east end of the lake out of both Barcelona and Dunkirk Harbors has been incredible over the past couple weeks.
Trollers are picking up limits in 50 to 75 feet of water. Stickbaits and worm harnesses are working best. A good supply of night crawlers is needed because perch have been hitting the walleye sets equally as well.
White bass are plentiful and are caught regularly by walleye and perch anglers. The magic water temperatures are now in the upper 70s and targeting smallmouth bass in deeper water is a better bet. Key on structure areas around reefs, rock piles and dropoffs in 30 to 45 feet of water. Drop-shot rigs combined with crayfish, minnows, tube jigs or other plastic baits works well off Dunkirk Dumping Grounds and the state park.
July and August are the best months to target lake trout in Lake Erie. Working depths of more feet deep, northwest of Dunkirk to the Pennsylvania border is the best bet. Downriggers with spoons run near the bottom is a very productive method, although lakers may also be suspended in the water column.
Chautauqua Lake anglers are still seeing great walleye action along weed edges in around 15 feet of water from Ashville Bay to Cheney Point in the southern basin and in the north basin around the Miller Bell Tower.
Largemouth bass fishing have been very good inside 10 feet of water. Top-water lures, weedless rigged power worms and wacky rigged worms have worked well. Live minnows, crayfish and plastic creature baits have produced decent smallmouth bass catches outside weed edges.
Muskellunge fishing has been a bit off, but anglers are targeting muskies along weed edges by casting large stickbaits and bucktail jigs or by trolling with bucktail spinners or large stickbaits.
Cassadaga Lake bass anglers still have been finding success in and around the shoreline structures, such as lily pads and fallen logs in the middle basin of Cassadaga Lake. Early-day fishing finds top-water baits such as buzz bait, floating plastic worms and bucktails. During mid-day hours, jig and pig or weighted 4-inch plastic worms Texas rigged in and around the lily pads in the northern basin off Lilly Dale working good.
UPPER NIAGARA RIVER
Smallmouth bass are available throughout the upper river. Concentrate on areas outside weed edges in 10 to 20 feet of water. The west bank of Grand Island near Beaver Island State Park and the east side of Strawberry and Motor Islands are good locations. Drifting with a three-way bottom bouncing rig and crayfish works well.
Anglers can target muskellunge by drifting on the outside of weed edges with large 8- to10-inch tube jigs or by casting large stickbaits. Either side of Strawberry Island can be productive. A recent survey also showed good numbers of muskie and pike along the east side of Grand Island near Spicer Creek. Anglers catch a mix of black bass, perch, sunfish and sheephead from Buffalo area shore sites. Live bait -minnows, crayfish and worms is best.
TONAWANDA CREEK, ERIE CANAL
Tonawanda Creek and the Erie Barge Canal are good places to catch a variety of warm water species such as smallmouth bass, rock bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, northern pike, bullhead and channel catfish. Downstream of Route 277, multiple municipal parks offer shore access to Tonawanda Creek.
Upstream of the confluence with the Erie Canal, Tonawanda Creek is best fished from a canoe or kayak. There is plentiful shore access to the Erie Canal east of Lockport.