Anglers are catching decent numbers of walleye by jigging along weed edges and around the rims of the deeper holes in the north basin. Look for musky fishing to heat up as water temperatures 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 AND TRIBS
The nasty weather this past week has greatly limited Lake Erie outings this past week. Previously, the waters off Cattaraugus Creek were the top option for walleye and yellow perch. Depths of 70-85 feet of water have been productive for suspended walleye, 60-70 feet down. Walleye fishing is reportedly slow off Barcelona, Sturgeon Point and Buffalo. Anglers are reporting decent to good yellow perch catches off the Catt in 60-65 feet of water. Roving perch schools are scattered, so some searching is required.
Stream temperatures are looking good for steelhead to move into the creeks, but most stream levels remain low. The recent rain has helped, although smaller stream levels did not come up very much. Additional precipitation should be more impactful. Cattaraugus Creek currently has moderate, stained flow. The Catt is a top option when conditions permit as it was previously producing steelhead catches in the lower section. Eighteenmile Creek currently has slightly low flow, while Canadaway and Chautauqua Creeks remain low. Anglers can target staging steelhead off the Cattaraugus Creek breakwall (at mouth) or by wading off creek mouths and casting spoons and spinners.
LAKE ERIE AND TRIBS
Remember that new rules are in place in the Lake Ontario tributaries for steelhead and brown trout. Steelhead must be at least 25 inches in length if you want to keep your one fish for the creel. For brown trout, the daily creel has been reduced from three to one this year.
It’s early October and the fall foliage is in full color. Earlier this week, there was rain in the morning and high winds in the afternoon. Hopefully there was enough rain to see a little bit of a difference in the Lake Ontario tributaries. Many of them need water. The best stream in Niagara County off the lake is 18 Mile Creek and action continues to be spotty for salmon. However, Karen Evarts with The Boat Doctors in Olcott reports that glow spoons, J13 Rapalas and egg sacs have been working off the piers. Skein and sacs under a float are working up the creek from boats in some of the deeper holes. Beads and sacs will work at the dam, but there are limited numbers of fish there. In the harbors at Wilson and Olcott, Capt. Joe Fonzi of Gasport sampled the waters for a mix of largemouth bass, pike and salmon. Some perch have been hitting in Olcott Harbor. Having a small boats near the yacht club would be the best solution for success. With fair weather in the forecast for this weekend, boat trollers in the lake still have the option of trolling the pier heads off Olcott and Wilson for mature kings. Don’t forget about the Niagara Bar either. In addition, if the winds cooperate, you can still run out and target steelhead and immature salmon over deep water further out in the lake.
In the Lower Niagara River, another good push of salmon came through for anglers, according to Lisa Drabczyk of Creek Road Bait and Tackle. There aren’t too many boats in Devil’s Hole, and that has been a plus for the fishermen who are making that drift there. Treated egg skein is the best approach for salmon in the “Hole,” according to Capt. Frank Campbell of Lewiston. The NYPA fishing platform has been producing some fish and there are some fish being caught from shore up in the gorge. Drabczyk also reports walleye and bass being caught downriver. Bass action at the Coast Guard has been best on chubs. Perch have been hitting minnows around Lewiston. In the upper river, Capt. Hans Mann of Eden picked up a musky in Buffalo Harbor a couple days ago, but it is still a bit early. Not many muskies in the river quite yet. Musky trollers and casters are just getting started for the fall musky fishery. In the meantime, the smallmouth bass action has been good in the upper river. Capt. Connor Cinelli of Grand Island has been using minnows and shiners to take some chunky smallmouth, along with good numbers of smaller fish which is a favorable sign for the future of the fishery. Try around Strawberry and Motor Islands, using a three-way set up to bounce bottom.