LAKE ERIE AND TRIBS
Recent warm up has been producing interesting conditions. The good news most all creeks are wide open. The Catt is beginning to clear up and produce fish. All streams in Chautauqua County are producing in various spots depending on clarity, which changes every day under current weather conditions. Next week, however, should start some all-around great fishing as we move into spring fishing.
Chautauqua Lake is transitioning from hard to soft water and it’s suggested that anglers stay off the ice.
LOWER NIAGARA RIVER
Steelhead fishing was good in Devil’s Hole and along Artpark on pink egg sacs and Kwikfish. Some fish have also been caught on MagLips. There was no ice and water clarity was good, for now anyway. Best color of Kwikfish was gold. Some browns are still hitting downriver and walleye are still being caught. Emerald shiner fishing has been consistent off three-way rigs. Remember that walleye season closed in the state on March 15. From shore in the gorge, be careful of the shelf ice. Artpark only had a foot or two, but more could be found further up into the gorge toward the Whirlpool. Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls was using jigs and spinners from shore to catch steelhead. Others were using egg sacs in pink, purple and chartreuse.
LAKE ONTARIO AND TRIBS
Stream and river action are both strong right now and this week’s weather hasn’t been too bad, especially today. In the lower Niagara River, Ricardo Davila of Wheatfield has been doing well in the Niagara Gorge from shore casting spoons. Water has been very clear there. Hopefully we will see a little snow melt and rain to help stain that water up a bit. Still, he’s been taking some nice steelhead from shore. Boaters have more opportunity to move around and steelhead and brown trout are both producing consistently by anglers drifting shiners, egg sacs or plugs like Kwikfish or MagLips off three-way rigs. If you are looking for browns and lakers, try drifting the Niagara Bar with a shiner near the green buoy marker. The tributaries are opening up nicely and if there’s good flow, there will be some fresh trout in there. The most popular area in Niagara Falls USA off Lake Ontario is 18 Mile Creek near Burt Dam. Egg sacs and jigs are working to produce some feisty steelhead with an occasional brown trout. Speaking of brown trout, it appears a few boats have been trolling the shoreline out near Fort Niagara and picking up some browns in 6 to 8 feet of water. Use small stickbaits, either flatlining off the back or working the shoreline with in-line planers.