The great perch search picks up about where it left off last fall or at the end of ice fishing season.
The Town of Evans boat launch facility at Sturgeon Point does not officially open until May 14, but officials allow anglers access at one ramp. Boaters must move with caution in and out of the marina in areas where dredging pipes draw sand.
Boaters park in a flotilla about a mile north-northwest of the point over depths of 52-55 feet for movement of prespawning ringbacks.
Sites at Cattaraugus Creek also provide access, and Rick Miller has gotten mixed reports of deep-water movement mainly east of Foxxes Point. Most boaters tell Miller they connect at depths of 50 feet or more.
Niagara River/Lake Ontario
Lower Niagara River smelt dippers pull a few at Lewiston, but better prospects come at the Artpark area. Some schools move in during daylight hours, but the main run comes just after dark.
Devils Hole steelhead trout continue to hit. A few boaters have headed down current in search of that king salmon run, which should be starting any day.
Boaters drifting the Niagara Bar use spot-tailed shiners for lakers and a few brown trout moving in at times. Boaters in Ontario waters well west of the Niagara River find a king or two on trolling trials, but the main schools of kings has yet to form.
Chautauqua Lake -- Canals, the few allowing public access along the southeast shoreline, have shown best for crappie action. Boaters at Bemus Point have had mixed successes with fish barely making the 9-inch length limit and few putting a 25-fish limit in a cooler or bucket.
Honeoye Lake -- Crappies have outnumbered perch in 10-12 feet of water along the east shoreline up to Log Cabin Point. Minnows set halfway to the bottom draw crappies and a few larger ringbacks.
Silver Lake -- Bluegills have moved to spawning, and perch have slowed for their prespawn moves, with crappies somewhat active. George Dovolos, fishing coordinator at Letchworth State Park, sees panfish picking up with a boost in water temperatures along the shoreline.
Seneca Lake -- Perch continue to school but have moved from 30-foot haunts to depths of 50-60 feet around much of the north end of the lake. Good catches have come from Glass Factory Bay, High Banks and north of Sampson. Either minnows or oak leaf grubs work well.