Sportsmen have been spending more time in the woods than on the water, for any decent reports this past week. This should change this next week, as tags are being filled and late-season bass and muskie seasons are closing Nov. 30.
UPPER NIAGARA RIVER
In the Upper Niagara River, Capt. Ted Kessler was reporting some good musky action recently, including a doubleheader for two brothers — Virgil Mosiman of Kenai, Alaska and his brother, Brad, from Warsaw, New York with 47-inch and 38-inch muskies while fishing with Kessler of Grand Island in the Upper Niagara River. The season closes on Nov. 30 in the upper river and Lake Erie, as well as the rest of the state, except for the lower river and Lake Ontario.
LOWER NIAGARA RIVER
The place to be this week is the Niagara River , both above and below Niagara Falls. At the top of the list the past week in the lower river has been the steelhead and brown trout. As of Monday, river conditions were near perfect, according to Capt. Chris Cinelli of Grand Island. Pink egg sacs were the ticket for steelhead in Devil’s Hole and along Artpark. Head down river for brown trout. Egg sacs were working on them as well. Gary Hall of Niagara Falls had a good day fishing with Capt. Frank Campbell on Monday and he was rewarded with a big musky on a MagLip lure in silver and chartreuse. Remember that musky season is open until Dec. 15 in the lower river and Lake Ontario.
LAKE ONTARIO AND TRIBS
The action in the streams off Lake Ontario has slowed for browns and steelhead, as well as the occasional late king salmon. We’ve heard a few Cohos being caught, too. Water has been slightly stained and conditions aren’t too bad, but fish have been finicky. It’s a good bet that many people are hunting. There hasn’t been a lot of fishing pressure.
LAKE ERIE AND TRIBS
Recent weather snow/rain has brought many of Lake Erie tribs flows up, but still fishable. This fall has seen steelhead numbers and catches are good on all streams. Catt Creek still remains high, which is making it difficult to fish. The small to medium sized streams are seeing high levels following this week’s weather. The smallest streams are the best bet at the start of the weekend. Be aware that fall fingerling rainbow trout were recently stocked in Eighteenmile, Cattaraugus, Canadaway and Chautauqua Creeks. Please handle with care.
With water temperatures now in the 30s, expect steelhead to be more lethargic. They tend not to move far to grab bait and will generally strike less aggressively. Keep drifted offerings slow and low along slower moving “seams.” Downsize your float to detect light biters. Egg flies, nymphs, egg sacs, trout beads and jigs with feathers or mister twister work well.