Lake Simcoe: "You're going to have to sort," said Leona Kreber at Casey's Fish Huts in Port Bolster of perch numbers and sizes. The ratio of keepers to runts has improved, but even the best of hut sites over 30-foot depths around Georgina Island produces smaller with larger ringbacks.
Whitefish keep showing up in relative shallows and hitting perch rigs, but huts set deeper, over 50 feet or more, produce good lake trout and whitefish numbers. "Most [jiggers] come in with a two-fish limit of trout and whitefish," Steve Barber at Steve's Fish Huts noted.
Lake Erie: Sturgeon Point ice and angling went well on Monday, but surface water, and fears of a situation similar to western Lake Erie ice last weekend, kept perch and walleye seekers on shore. Feeder streams opened with the recent thaw, but high, muddied waters kept waders on watch for settling and some clarity.
Cattaraugus Creek shoreline and mouth ice broke up this week. Monday outings accounted for fair to nice perch numbers, but warm, hefty winds ended all ice outings out of the Catt.
Smaller perch and bluegills abound, with a few nicer ringbacks showing on occasion. Smelt schools move in some areas of the harbor, often a foot or two under the ice. Small grubs on teardrop jigs or small flies account for rainbow smelt.
Both Conesus Lake and Honeoye Lake support a nice bluegill fishery at 8- to 10-foot depths around the north end of Conesus and the southern embayment of Honeoye.
Chautauqua Lake: Filleting-sized perch, in the 8- to 10-inch range, show best in deeper waters (25-40 feet) along the North Basin shore near Mayville. Walleye numbers slowed, but bigger perch often offer a 50-fish limit of fish worth cleaning.
>Feeders and shore casters
Warm air sent runoff water down feeder streams, clearing most to their mouths along the Great Lakes. For example, Eighteen Mile on Lake Ontario and Silver Creek on Lake Erie cleared of ice. Stream waders could see feeder action within a week, noted several bait and tackle dealers along the shoreline.
>Lower Niagara/Niagara Bar
Water clarity holds and ice floes aren't a factor while drifting the lower Niagara River for trout. Steelies top the hit list, but the occasional lake trout and brown trout go for an egg sack, Kwikfish or minnow rig.
Lakers and browns move across the Niagara Bar and minnows top the menu for bar drifting, but conditions have to be right for bumping around edges of that rock hump. Most boaters stay in the river and stick steelies.