Offshore bite has slowed down a bit, but weedlines in the north basin are still your are for bet for “eyes.” Target walleye with bouncing rigs with worm harnesses and with stickbaits run near the bottom. Vertical jigging with jigging Rapala-style lures is also productive, especially tight to the weedline. Vertical jigging has also produced some catches around the rims of deeper holes. Look for that to improve as water temps drop. Anglers can target muskellunge along weedlines, or suspended 10-15 feet down over 20-35 feet of water. Fishing along weed edges and in pockets with live minnows and worms is a good bet for a mix of yellow perch, white perch, white bass and bluegill.
LAKE ERIE & TRIBUTARIES
Unfavorable Lake Erie conditions have kept most anglers away this week. Those that did get out report decent to good walleye action between Cattaraugus Creek and Dunkirk. Depths of 75-90 feet off Cattaraugus Creek and to the west have produced the best and most consistent catches on gear run close to the bottom. Walleye are coming from similar depths off Dunkirk, but anglers have had to work harder for them. Walleye have seemingly not been favoring a particular lure type, color or presentation lately. If good marks are not translating into catches, change it up.
Lake trout are an underutilized species in Lake Erie, however late summer is a great time to fish for them. Target lakers below the thermocline where water temperatures are cooler, typically between 70 feet down and the bottom. Catches are generally best in 80-115 feet of water west of Dunkirk. Running spoons off downriggers works well
LAKE ONTARIO & TRIBUTARIES
Salmon have begun being caught off the piers in Olcott but it is slow fishing according to Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors. Some brown trout have also been caught, too. Salmon fishing has been slow after the windy weekend impacted local action. For those that have made it out and fished from the Niagara Bar to Olcott, plenty of fish have been marked on the electronics. However, getting those fish to hit has been another story entirely. If the numbers of fish staging are any indication of the run this fall, it should be a good year. With some northeast winds in the forecast for this week, it could shake things up a bit and turn things on according to Roy Letcher of Newfane.
The first salmon of the year were caught off the NYPA Fishing Platform in the lower Niagara River according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle. Water levels have not been as much of an issue according to Mike Rzucidlo of Niagara Falls. Call 286-6662 for updates on closures at the NYPA platform. Some salmon have also been caught from shore further up in the gorge, as well. It is still early in the run. Bass fishing action has slowed down a bit, but there were some good days last week for Mitch Grant of Rapid Fishing Solutions and his crew testing some new tools and bait enhancements. Some walleye and perch are being caught around the Lewiston area at night. Upper river bass action has been spotty. Remember that you must always stay in New York waters. There is no venturing into Canadian waters, even if you have a license.