This past week anglers have been finding walleye spread out across the northern basin. Weedlines are still the best bet, but walleye have also shown inside the weeds to 5 feet of water and around the rims of the deeper holes in the north basin. Anglers can target muskie 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 AND TRIBS
Lake Erie anglers continue to report good walleye catches off Cattaraugus Creek. Gear run 60-70 feet down in 70-85 feet of water has been productive. Walleye are readily hitting stickbaits and worm harnesses, but, if running harnesses, expect some incidental catches of yellow perch, white bass and sheepshead. Depths of 75-95 feet off Dunkirk and 80-100 feet off Barcelona are good starting points for walleye also. For more information, see the Walleye Fishing on Lake Erie page. Anglers have recently seen some decent yellow perch catches off Cattaraugus Creek, starting in 60 feet of water. Expect to do some searching to find the active schools.
Cattaraugus Creek has lower, but adequate, flow and decent water temperature. A good slug of steelhead jacks have already moved in and are available in the lower section. Other tributaries are open to the lake due to the high lake level, and there may be a few fish up to the first riffle. However, creek flows are too low to pass fish beyond that. Shore anglers can target staging steelhead off the Cattaraugus Creek breakwall (at mouth) or by wading off creek mouths and casting spoons and spinners. For those new to steelhead fishing, see the Steelhead Fishing in Lake Erie Tributaries page.
LAKE ONTARIO AND TRIBS
Heavy rains and cooler temperatures should trigger runs of fish in the tributaries off Lake Ontario, especially at 18 Mile Creek and Burt Dam. Roy Letcher of Newfane reports that some salmon can be found scattered in 18 Mile Creek now, with limited numbers at the dam. Use salmon skein under a float in the creek, using a small boat to gain access to the deeper holes. Fisherman’s Park at Burt Dam is open, but they are not charging yet for parking. Cost will remain at $3 per person when they do open, when the fish arrive in any numbers. Off the piers, Letcher prefers J-13 Rapalas or casting Moonshine and Cleo spoons. Karen Evarts at The Boat Doctors in Olcott reports that pier action has been decent in Olcott for a mix of salmon, trout and pike. Glow-in-the-dark spoons were the hot ticket from her shop. If you are able to make it into the lake this weekend, head to deep water for more stable conditions, 400 to 500-foot depths and beyond. Target the top 100 feet of water with spoons. You can also try and target mature kings staging off the piers in Wilson and Olcott. Perch action in Wilson was good this week, according to Evarts.
Lower Niagara River action for salmon has finally turned on, according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle in Lewiston. The Devil’s Hole area has been a good place to be, either off the NYPA fishing platform or from a boat drifting with treated egg skein. Boaters were doing better last week, but they are still catching fish from both spots. Casting glow spoons, spinners or Rat-L-Traps will work. Walleyes and bass are hitting downriver and on the Niagara Bar. Popular drifts in the river include Stella’s and Peggy’s Eddy, as well as the Coast Guard. Be forewarned that there is some regular maintenance taking place along some of the Artpark trails in the gorge for some scaling work. The upper trail is closed, but the lower trail is partially open, including three-quarters of that trail and the three designated fishing areas. Lake trout season closed Thursday. If you do catch any lake trout moving into the river to spawn, make sure you release the fish quickly and without harm to them.