The lower river salmon should be at its peak right now. Salmon numbers picked up, but catch rates for boaters have been fair to good this past week.
A temperature dip to 62 degrees -- about 5-6 degrees in less than a week -- increased salmon movement in Devil's Hole and down current to Lewiston, Queenston and the Fort Niagara area.
A chunk of skein works best on drifting rigs. Casters go with either spinners or spoons. The Little Cleo gets much mention this past week.
Drifters also go with live bait or tube jigs for a good bite along drifts close to the river mouth. One pair of anglers hooked into a double header on the Niagara Bar that resulted in a released sturgeon and a caught walleye. But the typical bite comes from smallmouth bass and Chinook salmon right now.
Shore casters have done best at the Whirlpool access, but Devil's Hole and the Artpark access are worth the walk.
Stream walkers see both trout and salmon, but boaters still have a solid program of trolling off key ports in Niagara and Orleans counties.
Olcott Harbor waters hold solid, stacked schools of salmon staging for a run into Eighteen Mile Creek. "Most of them are mature, 4-year-olds we saw from our pen projects," said Wes Walker at Slippery Sinker Bait & Tackle in Olcott.
Trollers get out at first light and run J-Plugs and Rapala J13 minnow-type baits for kings cruising 80-foot depths off Olcott Harbor. Farther out, at 250-foot depths, younger "teenagers," 2- and 3-year olds, stage in the top 50 feet.
Along shore, the Wilson Harbor brown trout run continues. Among warm-water species, perch put in the peak presence.
The Irondequoit Bay perch run is solid. Piers and channel areas all attract feeding ringbacks. Boaters have to move around at times to get over bigger and bulkier batches of perch, but several report coming in with 50-fish limits.
Cattaraugus Creek is that pretty green that means good fall trout fishing.
After last week's heavy rains, anglers quickly saw Catt waters settle out to that yellowish blue-green that brings trout into the creek and gives them good views of egg sacks, skein, Vibrax Spinners, Little Cleo and Hi-Tech Spoons, and other baits.
The run has smaller and mature rainbow/steelhead trout headed up stream in solid numbers from the mouth at Irving to the dam at Springville.
Mornings and evenings work best for shore casting along the breakwall at the mouth, but most hours of the day will produce trout where undisturbed. Smaller Lake Erie feeders hold some fish, but clear waters have fish spooked easily.
Boaters still can head out to 60-foot depths off the Cattt and hit into good sizes and numbers of yellow perch. Live minnows or -- if you can find them -- salted minnows all work well.
Anglers with good photos of great catches can have their trophy shots displayed on the Fishing Page of the News' Web site (www.buffalonews.com/fishing).
To get your photo published, e-mail it along with a brief description of the catch, including the name and home (city, town or village) of the angler, the location of the catch and how the fish was caught to the e-mail address listed below.