Reports from this past week have shown that ice fishing on Chautauqua has been the best so far this season, especially for walleyes. “Eyes” are still holding in deeper holes off Long Point, Lakewood Bar and Warners, with a good number of keepers showing up in Ashville and Burtis bays.
LAKE ERIE AND TRIBS
The steelhead fishing is picking up with the warmer temperatures and thaw. With all that comes good-to-excellent fishing with plenty of fresh fish. Lots of good reports are coming from Chautauqua, Canadaway and Eighteenmile creeks. All Lake Erie streams except Cattaraugus Creek, were running high and are currently in good shape with moderate to flows. The creeks are mostly open, but expect slush and shelf ice to return with extended frigid temperatures.
LOWER NIAGARA RIVER
Temperatures continue to put a damper on open water anglers in the Niagara River and in area tributaries. However, that’s going to change for the better this weekend as temperatures will shoot up into the 30s and it may even hit the 40-degree mark Tuesday. Whether you are fishing in the river or the streams, there’s no rush to get on the water. Greg Schloerb of Amherst reported that fishing improved once the slush off the top of the water was gone at 18 Mile Creek at Burt Dam. He caught some dandy steelhead using his homemade olive-colored jigs tipped with a wax worm and fished under a float. He caught steelhead to 12 pounds. In the lower Niagara River, action has been a bit more difficult with ice floes coming down through the system. If you can find areas that offer a better drift, take them. Gary Hall of Niagara Falls and Gary Fiori of Lewiston both hit the water last Wednesday and caught some nice steelhead before they got too cold. Dress accordingly. That water is 32 degrees coming down the river.