>Lake Ontario/Lower Niagara
Lower river water temperatures hold well below 40 degrees, but the smelt run has begun.
Night dippers at Lewiston began seeing nice nettings after 9:30 p.m. Monday. Smelt schools are running larger this year, with a good number of 2-year-old breeders in the bunch.
The major run arrived well in advance of the Niagara River Anglers Association Annual Smelt Fest, which begins at 6 p.m. May 4 at Lewiston Landing.
Shore anglers have a fair shot at steelies. Boaters have been running out to the Niagara Bar for good numbers of lake trout, hitting mainly big minnows and chubs on drifting rigs.
Trollers off the bar mainly hit into lake trout so far, with a few kings showing in the cold-water outflow from the river.
Farther east, trollers at Wilson, Olcott and Oak Orchard run planer boards into the shallows as much as 4-foot depths around feeder-stream outlets for a nice mix of coho salmon and brown trout. Olcott Pier gives shore casters a chance at cohos and browns.
Wilson Harbor drew first dibs on the bullhead run, with leeches working best well before sunset. Other smaller feeders have seen a few bullhead, but Wilson offers the best chance at numbers and an early bite.
The perch run off Cattaraugus Creek started just this week. Boaters brought in good pre-spawners from 57-foot depths some two miles off the creek Tuesday, said Rick Miller at Miller's Bait & Tackle in Irving. Rain on Wednesday morning didn't curb boat traffic headed out for ringbacks.
Miller notes the supply of certified emerald shiners should last another two to three weeks.
Here is a listing of locations and counts of brown trout the Randolph Hatchery will have stocked for weekend anglers:
Cattaraugus County: Red House Brook (Red House), 2,000; Science Lake (Red House), 250; and Quaker Run (Cold Spring), 1,260.
Allegany County: Genesee River (Amity), 3,960 year-old brown trout and 320 2-year-old browns; Genesee River (Wellsville) 2,740 year-old brown trout and 410 2-year-old browns.
* Chautauqua: Crappie action picks up, but finding keeper-sized (9 inches or more) can be challenging. Ashville Bay and Long Point shoreline shallows have shown fairly well during last weekend's warm spell. Mayville bay perch offer good numbers; bluegill in fair numbers and sizes have schooled in pockets around the South Basin.
* Silver: Crappies and bluegill are moving out of canals, replaced by incoming bullhead. Shore casters at the state launch at the southwest corner of the lake can connect with bullhead in the evening, but the site closes at 11 p.m. Boaters can park and launch 24 hours at this site and cast the shallows for bullhead.
* Honeoye: Crappies school at both the north and south end of the lake. Boaters last weekend hit into good perch numbers at the northeastern corner of the lake around Trident Marina. Fathead minnows did best for both crappie and perch bites.