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Fishing Line

Lake Erie

The Catt remains top dog among Lake Erie feeder streams.

Each round of rainfall spurts just enough to raise water levels in smaller streams to bring a few trout upstream and then levels drop back quickly. Cattaraugus Creek, with its own system of feeders and a hefty main stream, continues to draw the most fish and fishermen daily.

Casters at the mouth of the creek send out orange/red casting spoons during sunrise and sunset hours for mainly rainbow/steelhead trout moving upstream. An occasional brown trout and a rare Chinook will sometimes perform, but the steelies steal the show.

Waders can connect with steelies along just about every riffle and pool from the mouth up to water fluttering out from below the Springville dam.

Water color changes with each passing downpour. Often, anglers near the 5 and 20 Bridge will not see the rain that fell at or above Gowanda and Springville, causing all kinds degrees of staining.

When waters muddy, try some stink and sounding. A dab of any trout attractant or anise oil applied to a noisy spinner or fluttering spoon just might send out the right sounds when trout can't look about.

Boaters have pretty much ended open-water runs for walleye and perch. But the few stragglers heading out of Cattaraugus Creek in search of perch during days with favorable winds this past week did well just west of the creek mouth at 68 to 72 feet. This might be a good starting point to keep in mind for a ringback run early next spring.

Bass and muskie casters and trollers have had to work hard for the few hits they get. Better action on both species has shown well into upper river waters.


Niagara River

Upper Niagara River drifts and shore eddies have produced nearly as many largemouth as smallmouth bass in recent weeks.

Bass casters in boats do well with both live bait and either spinners or flashy spoons worked with a lift-and-drop retrieve.

Shore casters also enjoy better-than-average bass numbers along the Buffalo shoreline.

Northern pike haunt weeded shallows around Strawberry Island and many embayment sites around Grand Island where northerns can ambush incoming bait fish. Lower river salmon have begun showing their post-spawn (blackened) colors, but a few fresh kings show daily.

On average, slightly more steelies show along Devil's Hole drifts, with skein the most popular hit-taker among egg offerings.

With 60-degree waters flowing down from Lake Erie -- some 8 to 10 degrees above normal for the last week in October -- lower river drifters still see sizable sizes and numbers of smallmouths along both the New York and Ontario river edges.


Lake Ontario

Olcott is hot.

Eighteen Mile Creek draws a steady stream of browns, steelhead, rainbows and Chinook salmon into clear waters below Burt Dam, according to Wes Walker at Slippery Sinker Bait & Tackle.

Walker also points to good perch schooling in the harbor, with mid-morning and afternoons to sunset good times to round up ringbacks.

For trout and salmon, water clarity has some casters dropping to 6- and even 4-pound test fluorocarbon lines to fool line-sky salmonids.

Smaller baits (egg sacks, woolly buggers and single-egg setups) all help to get hits.


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