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Fishing Line /

Lake Erie

Ice anglers will have to hold off on using those Christmas gear gifts, but the Province of Ontario still will require that anglers have a renewed license Monday when fishing province waters.

New York State licenses renew Oct. 1, but anglers need to get a new license for fishing in Ontario or along the waters on Seneca Nation of Indians lands, particularly Cattaraugus Creek and its feeders in SNI areas.

All feeder streams have begun to drop, still showing either mild mud stain or green waters. "They're fishable," said guide Ed Luba as he surveyed Eighteen Mile on Wednesday morning.

Farther west, Cattaraugus Creek has similar green-tan tones, with good numbers of smaller new-stocked steelies and the bigger hiders.

"You have to work for them," Luba said of trout that have moved upstream and hold under ledges and around rock edges in places that look fishless.

Canadaway Creek and Chautauqua Creek continue to be mainstays for trout trekkers, with upstream pools and riffles more interesting when fishing pressure increases near creek mouths.

Dunkirk Harbor steelies continue to move in as waters chill and minnow schools increase in the harbor.


Lower Niagara River / Lake Ontario

Steelies have shown in solid numbers in Lower Niagara River waters, and Devils' Hole has be heaven for sticking steelies. Drifters have headed up past the power plants for steady numbers on steelies and the occasional lake trout. Laker season reopens Monday.

Brown trout numbers have slowed compared with steelies below Burt Dam at Eighteen Mile Creek above Olcott. Waters at Olcott and in many Lake Ontario feeders have settled out and most pools and riffles are low enough to see fish holding in currents or moving upstream.

Oak Orchard Creek remains the spine for major steelie moves, but nearby Johnsons Creek and Keg Creek can be good when angler presence declines.

Shore casters seeking panfish have done best on perch in just about every bay, but Wilson also can produce a few good 'gills. Bluegills school close to yellow perch packs. Wilson, Olcott and Oak Orchard all harbor good perch numbers, with mixed sizes showing along breakwaters and piers.


Irondequoit Bay

That sheltered bay east of Rochester has developed a reputation for a high degree of perch schooling. Boaters continue to head out to depths just over 20 feet for ringbacks that reach well over the 10-inch mark. Typically, ice anglers hit into these bigger fish as soon as ice safely holds anglers walking out on the bay.

This year, with bigger lakes a long way from freezing, Irondequoit might be a busy site for ice spuds and drills.


Chautauqua Lake1

Add a few crappie to the perch take for shoreline casters working accessible docks and piers around the lake. Perch move into north or south basin areas; crappie have been better along south-area haunts.


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