Lake Erie feeder streams get better westward.
Rain -- with slight touches of snow -- lifted water levels in Eighteen Mile Creek and smaller streams east of Cattaraugus Creek earlier this week. But feeders west of the Catt, such as Canadaway and Chautauqua creeks, saw good rises in levels.
Stained, not muddied, waters drew good numbers of rainbow/steelies into creeks closer to the Pennsylvania state line.
In all feeder-stream waters clear enough for fishing, egg sacks lead the egg-offering menu, with egg imitations and small streamers a close second. The black wooly bugger gets much use in all mildly stained water right now.
Boaters still do well with perch off Cattaraugus Creek, but a good number of ringback runners head either east or west of Sturgeon Point to depths of 57 feet or greater.
East of Sturgeon, perch packs roam from the Kellogg estate to the mouth of Eighteen Mile Creek. Westward, boaters move out to depths of 65 feet and more for better perch numbers. Before the Tuesday chill and high winds, a depth of 73 feet got mentions for areas off Point Breeze, Evangola State Park and Foxes Point.
Bass have not been small of mouth anywhere from Buffalo Harbor to Sturgeon Point. Bigger smallies have come from deeper drop-offs around Seneca Shoals, Myers Reef, Eighteen Mile Creek and Evans-Angola Bar west of Sturgeon Point.
Best bass bites have come from depths of 30-32 feet, but hit any shallow humps before heading out to the deeper reefs and sunken island spots out there.
>Lower Niagara/Lake Ontario
A few salmon linger in the lower Niagara River, but boat drifters and shore casters have to work for one- or two-fish outings. Devils' Hole still holds the best prospects for boaters. Whirlpool has been the shoreline caster's hottest salmon site this season. Experts see good numbers of steelies and fair counts of lake trout (while are out of season until Jan. 1 in New York State) moving upstream.
Salmon still head up to the Waterport Dam on Oak Orchard Creek and to Burt Dam on Eighteen Mile Creek. A few brown trout have entered into the mix at Oak Orchard.
Just about every popular fish species turned on at Chautauqua during the past week, notes Lisa Green at Happy Hooker Bait & Tackle in Ashville. Musky casters have mainly hooked into smaller fish, but a 42-inch and a 50-inch "ski" ramped up for some visiting Ohio anglers.
Walleye schooling tightened in the 40- to 50-foot holes off Long Point, Prendergast Point and Dewittville, a fishery showing for more than a week. Vertical jigs (Got'Chas and Rapalas) have worked best on 'eyes. Perch to for fathead minnows in both basins of the lake. Some nice numbers of crappie have come from canals and bay sites around the lake.