As fall begins here in Western New York, water temperatures drop. For bass anglers this means bass can be found off shallow rocky points, docks and other shoreline structure. Warner and Lakewood Bar are great places to begin the search for monster smallies. With baitfish moving into the shallow, muskies will also start to search shallower water for their next meal. Walleye have already moved out of the deeper water and are on worm harnesses and stickbaits running close to the weed edges.
LAKE ERIE AND TRIBS
Reports of good walleye bite out of Barcelona Harbor in 65 feet. Perch are beginning to move in off Cattaraugus Creek. The mouth of Catt. is still producing good numbers of walleye this past week in 75-90 feet, while keeping your offerings close to the bottom. Lakers are still running below the thermocline where water temperatures are cooler, typically between 70 feet down and the bottom. Running west out of Dunkirk, look for 80-115 feet and continue run spoons.
LAKE ONTARIO AND TRIBS
Pier action is fair as king salmon, brown trout and northern pike are all being caught off Olcott, according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. Blue has been the hot color this week, spoons and stickbaits. The water is still way too warm and water temperatures were around 64 degrees. J13 Rapalas are hitting a few fish. Boat traffic has slowed a bit and staging fish in the lake have had lock jaw. Better success is being reported out deep in 500-plus feet of water for steelhead and a mix of salmon year classes off Olcott. Spoons and flasher-flies are working out deep; in close it is cut bait, j-plugs, flasher-fly, and magnum spoons. Capt. Mike Johannes of On the Rocks reports steelhead off Wilson in 400 to 450 feet of water. Spoons down 50 to 100 feet were taking steelies on riggers, sliders and divers. A 400 copper also took one fish on a flasher-fly. If you do head into the lake for steelhead, remember that the new daily limit is no more than two fish per person as part of your three-fish aggregate for salmon and trout. Minimum size on steelhead in the lake is 21 inches. No salmon or trout have been reported at Burt Dam yet. When they do start showing up in the streams, minimum size is now 25 inches on steelhead. The daily limit is still one fish. Brown trout daily limit has also dropped from three to one fish, so be aware of the new change.
Mike Ziehm and Mike Rzucidlo, both of Niagara Falls, report decent success on king salmon migrating up into the Devil’s Hole area and beyond. No. 4 spinners were working their magic from shore. The NYPA fishing platform is still producing a few salmon in the corner near the tailrace. Off the other end of the platform it is bass, sheepshead, and a few other species, according to Lisa Drabczyk at Creek Road Bait and Tackle. Bass and walleye are being caught downriver, from the launch all the way down to the lake. Crabs and shiners will work off three-way rigs for bass. Worm harnesses for shiners. Remember to stay out of Canadian waters. A lake rollover the tail end of last week created an outstanding situation for bass action around the Coast Guard station and along Fort Niagara. When the lake flips, the bass will all congregate in the warmer river water coming down from Lake Erie. Watch the weather, and the next time that happens, you know where to go. None of the new trout regulations changes apply to the river.