On Chautauqua Lake, there is open water in parts of the southern basin, with much of the Route 394 –west side — of the lake free of shoreline ice, while the Route 430 — east side — offer ice-covered shoreline. Anglers need to remember that walleye season closed March 15.
LAKE ERIE AND TRIBS
Despite the recent cold temperatures, all Lake Erie tributaries remain wide open. The small-to-medium sized streams have moderate to lower flows, with clearing conditions. Cattaraugus Creek is slightly high at 700 cubic feet per second, but certainly fishable. The overall steelhead bite has recently been fair. Target the deeper holes and drift offerings slow and low for best results. Look for improved fishing with the next thaw.
LOWER NIAGARA RIVER
The lower river trout bite was excellent at the start of the month. Action has slowed lately, coinciding with very clear water conditions. Steelhead and lake trout are still available, but are finicky. Walleye season is now closed as of March 16.
LAKE ONTARIO AND TRIBS
In the Lake Ontario tributaries, conditions have been fair to good for trout. White flies and jigs have been working well. Jig tipped with a wax worm also have been catching some fish. Next rain or melt-off should produce a solid push of fish. Water has been cold so fish low (deep) and slow, according to Scott Feltrinelli, a local fly fishing guide out of Rochester area. Both steelhead and brown trout are being caught depending on where you are fishing. If you can make it on the lake, you can troll the shoreline for browns with stickbaits.