Walleye trollers are working depths 50 plus feet, stickbaits and/or worm harnesses keeping offerings close to the bottom. Anglers fishing out of Barcelona Harbor are catching larger walleye, with few limits. Targeting suspended walleye at depths over 70 feet is a good bet for keepers. The Dunkirk area has generally been slow, but off Van Buren has been starting to pick up around 60 feet of water.
Smallmouth bass catches with warmer surface temperatures, targeting smallmouth bass in deeper water is a better bet. Key on structure areas around reefs, rock piles and drop-offs in 25-45 feet of water. Drop-shot rigs combined with crayfish, minnows, tube jigs or other plastic baits work well.
August is traditionally the best month to target lake trout in Lake Erie. Head for prime depths of over 90 feet deep, northwest of Dunkirk to the Pennsylvania border. Downriggers with spoons running near the bottom is a very productive method, although lakers may also be suspended in the water column.
Chautauqua Lake trollers have been seeing great walleye action along weed edges with worm harnesses and pointed number 13 stickbaits in perch color around 15 feet of water from Ashville Bay to Cheney Point in the southern basin.
The largemouth bite for bass fishing been very good inside 10 feet to the shallows. Keeping it simple with top water baits, weedless rigged power worms and wacky rigged worms have worked well. Live minnows, crayfish and night crawler baits are producing decent smallmouth bites in the deep water just outside weed edges.
Muskellunge fishing is starting to pick up with casters working the weed edges by casting large stickbaits and bucktail jigs around the narrows between the bridge and ferry in Stow and Bemus Point.
Cassadaga Lake bass anglers still have been finding success in and around the shore line structure, like lily pads and fallen logs in the middle basin of Cassadaga. Early in the day 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 Lily Dale are working well.
UPPER NIAGARA RIVER
Smallmouth bass are available throughout the upper river. Concentrate on areas outside weed edges in 10-20 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 8-10 inch tube jigs or by casting large stickbaits. Either side of Strawberry Island can be productive. Anglers catch a mix of black bass, perch, sunfish and sheephead from Buffalo area shore sites. Live bait (minnows, crayfish and worms) is best.