Steelhead trout runs up Great Lakes feeders remain great.
Most fishing folk will be headed to inland lakes and bays for their first forays on ice, but steady stream levels along both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario feeders make for some nice steel-heading any time of the day.
Canadaway Creek draws the most waders per stream mile, but Cattaraugus Creek offers a good mix of heavy, matures (5- to 8-pounders) and runs of smaller stockies in the 1-3 pound range.
Fish presence and biting action along Eighteen Mile Creek on Lake Erie depends on angler pressure; Eighteen Mile Creek on Lake Ontario is best under Burt Dam.
Waders walk up to Waterport Dam on Oak Orchard Creek for a mix of mainly steelies and some brown trout. Ice has yet to form well along the creek or on Lake Alice above the dam.
Lower Niagara River / Lake Ontario
Devil's Hole and the Niagara Bar give boaters extremes for steelies and lakers.
Drifting minnows on the bar produce mainly lake trout. Drifts in the hole offer mainly steelies and a few lakers.
Simcoe -- Shore ice has formed to 5 inches or more around the entire lake, with many bays showing 8- to 9-inch depths.
In Cooks Bay, walkers and a few hut haulers got out at midweek last week, said Terry Goy at Terry Goy Ice Fish Hut Rentals on the west shore of the bay. "They're catching perch at depths of 18-35 feet," Goy said Wednesday morning, "It looks like we'll be busy here this coming weekend." For conditions, check with Goy at (905) 775-2754.
Steve Barber at Steve's Fish Huts at Pefferlaw began hauling huts Monday and set up over several hot holes off the Pefferlaw River by midweek. For a detailed report on this area, check the Outdoors Page on Sunday.
Silver -- Silver Lake ice firmed over all but a small waterhole at the north central part of the lake Sunday. About two dozen walkers got out on the southeast shoreline Sunday for nice catches of bluegill, said Frank Malone at Mack's Boat Livery. Check with Malone for an update at (585) 237-5983.
Chautauqua -- Burtis Bay ice reached 3 inches by Wednesday morning, and Mayville edge ice was unsafe -- about 2 inches -- at midweek, said Lisa Green at Happy Hooker Bait & Tackle in Ashville. Cold nights and light winds could have solid shore areas open for panfishing by the weekend. For an update, check with the Greens at 763-5815.
Honeoye -- Honeoye Lake formed solid shoreline ice lake-wide by midweek. Safe access depends mostly on low winds, while cold nights build up thick, passable ice surfaces at the south and north ends of the lake. Those shallow areas are typically good for bluegill and crappie schooling during first ice.
Check with Dan Sharp at Honeoye Bait & Tackle before heading to Honeoye.